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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?

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I also was faced with this problem with the DFS., and It was all about the children worrying about money they are trying to get,,I just had witnesses to the situation ,and keeped all my paper work that what she spent,,I was very stressfull but in the end no charges were filed and the case was dismissed,,they don;t tell you how does the reporting ,I now once again after taking care of a friend 6yrs ,she had a fall and is in rehab ,now the children who have not even seen her and don't live in the same state ,which the daughter visited and her mom fell the day she left ,are trying to send the dcfsc after me,all they want is the check books and important papers ,also requested me from visiting her all they want is thier mom to pass away so they get the few $ she has left ,,this has made me very depressed all she knows is me and I can't even be their her last days,,so I feel you're pain,, Just be calm and you will be ok,,,,p
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195Austin, Thanks for that info, the article I read didn't have the part about the Diner not allowing them anymore, and I'm very glad to hear that the outcome of the murder trail was 'Not Guilty'. I only hope the whole sad thing has brought some attention to the need for caregiver support.
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The case where the man was taking care of his parents happened in my state and the diner where he was leaving them while he worked for a few hrs, would not let him continue to leave them there ao he left them in the car and his Mom got out of the car but his father was found dead and it went to trail and he was found not guilty-our senior center has a very low cost day care program the only thing they do choose who can use it one lady was told not to come back because she had cats and her clothes smeled it is very sad caregivers aren't give a little more help. APS does not have much power it only takes a report of someone who does not know the facts to make a report-nothing came of the report made on me and I met a man running for office who had worked with social service in my county and he made a report on the troublemaker-but the caseworker did scar me until I checked with someone in social service in another county and she tolf me they really had no power.
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I'm praying for you in this situation, as I've been through similar false accusations. Someone called DPS, but it didn't go anywhere from there. My parent has serious Personality Disorders, and it's hard to take. She does have her "hero allies," though, which is worse, and adds gasoline to her fire. The old cronies believe her, and discredit her diagnosis. Lord, help us all!
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I agree that you should handle this aggressively, It's a matter of self-defense.
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get evidence that she is mentally ill and that she menaced you with lie about u abused her if you put her into a nursing home. go to the police and made a police report staying that. get a lawyer or legal aid close to you.don't be scared/nor nervous when you go to see them. take witness with you that can back u p your statements/
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Also see who wrote a caseworker came to my house and pretended she was a social worker she was called by a home care nurse from a medicare agency to provide help after a hospital stay by my husband-in our state APS has no power and noyhing came of it and later on I was able to report the actions of the nurse and the caseworker. I would get in touch with an elder lawyer and do not give them the credit of scaring you-let a lawyer handle it-he or she would have information about this being done to other families-at the time my daughter worked for social services in another county in our state and people in my church were willing to write letters for me.
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Not to blow this out of proportion, But I'm reminded of the news account of the single young man whose life was devoted to caregiving for his two 90 year old parents. In order to run his errands, he would leave his parents at the local diner where they were all well known and kept watch over by the owner and staff. Unfortunately, one day dad wandered off and mom went back to the hot car alone. I believe it was dad who died that day, and the son was arrested for his murder by authorities not up to speed on the difficulties and complexities of what we do everyday.
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I think I know what is going on. It's called "cover your butt." Some attendant at the nursing home noticed some bruising, and HAD to report that in. The nursing home then HAD to report that to the appropriate Agency. The Agency HAD to follow up. It's like a tax audit, scary but not really a big deal once both sides meet and exchange info.

It will be tough to get anybody to "vouch" for you, ie. physicians. So call up FPS and ask them what they need to clear up the misunderstanding.

Keep us posted, we can all learn from your situation.
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Stay calm, but take this very seriously. If it isn't handled correctly it can (and has before) become a serious mess for you, your family, and your mom.
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That is a pretty serious allegation for FPS to make if they are only basing it on allegations of someone who has been medically diagnosed with Alzheimers. In addition to an attorney, her admission records to the nursing home may help to clarify if there is a misunderstanding. Also, what has her behavior been like in the home? Has she been equally combative or confrontational with staff? Did she have bruises when you placed her in the nursing home, perhaps? Anything else happened between the two of you since you placed her in the home? All things you need to think about, not as an answer to my questions, just for yourself, and for an attorney - if you decide to go with that recommendation someone has shared with you. It makes a lot of sense when one is accused of elder abuse. Also, what does the nursing home administrator have to say about any of this, if anything? Did the nursing home staff report something they may have suspected to FPS? Something happened along the way, even if it is not abuse. If it's just your mother's idle threat to "get back at you," then that should be fairly simple for FPS to discern.
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I would not recommend a lawyer at this point (unless you can afford it very easily, ie. US 10,000-30,000). Was your mother ever seen by physicians? Can you get a social worker referral. Go to the Alzheimer's groups and ask for help. All Social Services is doing is following up on someone's complaint, which you haven't mentioned is from who. You know the real situation, calmly tell them the details and facts so they can document themselves and close the case.
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Talking to you about a complaint that was made and actually accusing you of something is two different things,if a complaint has been made towards you for no basis,a simple explanation is all they need.They have to follow up on all complaints, justified or not. They are government workers.If there is no basis for their complaint,just chill out and talk rationally to the people,if they come after you,then get the lawyer.Remember anyone can report anybody at anytime,but they have to follow up,thats their job and they can get reported if they do not.
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You could start with the state dept. of aging and see who could explain your rights and the investigation process. You could also call the nurse or social worker at the doctor's office for info. A lawyer can advocate for a price. If you have no money, try the Legal Aid office in your community. Hope that this helps,
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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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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-
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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.
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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.
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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.
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Get thee to an attorney's office. This could be serious and you need to nip it in the bud.
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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
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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.
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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.
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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
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