I received a letter from the Department of Family Services saying that we "abused, neglected and abandoned" my elderly mother and they want to talk to us. What do I do now?

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We brought my 90 year old mother to live with us 2 years ago. She was abusive toward my children, pets, threatened to burn down the house if we didn't do everything she said and threatened that she'd "get us back" if we ever put her into a nursing home. After she threatened to hit me, her daughter with her fist, and threw her walker at me, we got her into a nursing home in the Alzheimers ward. The stress and strain of caring for an angry, bitter, vindictive old woman was too much for me and my family. Today I received a letter from the Department of Family Services that we "abused, neglected and abandoned her" and they want to talk to us. What do I do now?

Answers 1 to 10 of 24
Top Answer
Get an advocate or an attorney. Document her behaviors as best you can (did others witness these outbursts, did her doctor evaluate her?)
These investigations usually "out" the truth. If she has been diagnosed with Alz. it should be obvious that she is not in control of her mental faculties.
I hope the Dept of FS can see the writing on the wall - but be armed with as much documentation and as many witnesses as possible - and I would not go into a meeting of this sort without an advocate.
good luck
And Please, Please contact an eldercare professional, someone who has surely been exposed to this type of situation before and has the credability to present your side of things to authorities who might not be aware of how common, and how very difficult, this type of thing is.
Has your mother been evaluated by the social worker or mental health staff after her admission to the nursing home? They can help document her aggressive behavior. Using her doctor to explain the behavior can be helpful. You may be able to use a letter, affidavit, etc. I have been concerned about my father's care of my mother being subjected to scrutiny as my mother's mental status is also deteriorated. I have been giving this some thought as well.
I would have to very much agree with Lilliput on this as FS is just doing ther job-to protect your Mom from any harm-but as mentioned if you have documentation to prove otherwise-than the situation would most likely be in your favor. If you can back up your assessment with that of a physician or a neurolgist-even better.
Good Luck!
Hap
Get thee to an attorney's office. This could be serious and you need to nip it in the bud.
Definitely get legal help. The fact that your mother is in and Alzheimers ward should tell Family Services something about her state of mind. When you had her put in the nursing home, did you tell anyone there about your mother's threats and the whole scene that you wrote about? There is enough grounds there alone for her to have been committed for a complete physicological and psychological evaluation for she was clearly a danger to others in that situation.

Get some legal help, stick to the facts, and try to not let them see you swet.
I'm curious about the intentions of the state agency. I am aware that they have authority to intervene in a situation in which an elder is still living with potentially abusive caregivers, but once she's in the nursing home, I was not aware they have any authority to do a retroactive investigation. Does your state have some kind of elder abuse law with provisions such as you'd find in a child abuse law, allowing the government to retroactively prosecute people accused of some general form of abuse (as opposed to a specific incident of assault or attempted murder or something illegal)? I've even been advised that abandonment is a somewhat acceptable strategy for getting a nursing home bed when nursing homes resist admission otherwise (because they don't like the financial package you're offering). What I've been told, by professionals, is that you'd leave the person at an emergency room and leave before anyone has time to ask you who you are. This is a desperate manuver, but I certainly never thought it was criminal.
It may also turn out that the Nursing Home is trying to make a case to get your Mom out of there. People who are disturbed and abusive do not usually change overnight so once the Nursing Home realized what they were dealing with, they may have devised a case to send her back to you or have the State pick up the additional cost of keeping her if she is driving the other residents away. In any case, all of the previous advice is on track. You need an advocate who will help you navigate the difficult waters of this storm.
is she violent there- feel for you- i told my kids if i get vilent - put me in a home- sometimes their better with strangers and i may be too- good luck-
When you people say get an advocate, who are you talking about? I have not found anyone other than the people who are in the business of running homes that have one single thing to say to me about my mother,

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