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I just found this group and am looking forward to the input from others on various subjects and issues I am having.

I care for my 86 year old mother who has Stage five Dementia. She is confined to a hospital bed, on oxygen, blind and no longer has control of her extremities or can speak.

She was placed on Hospice Care the first of the year by her doctor. Her doctor sees her at least once a month and she has a nurse that sees her three times a week in the morning and a hygienist that comes three times a week in the afternoon to groom and bath her. I provide all the other necessities including making specialized dietary meals, feeding her, diaper changes etc..

I live on a cul-de-sac with only four homes and two that face into it. I know most of the neighbors as I grew up in this house, and many of them still live in the area. I am 55 and my mom is 86.

My problem. Across the street from me is Mr. and Mrs. Kravitz. A husband and wife that have lived her thirty years. They have no life other than the husband maintains a meticulous will landscaped yard. He is so anal about it he mows it on avg. three times a week and transplants new flowers every couple of weeks. The Kravitz have been a pain in the you know what since they first moved into the community. Calling code enforcement on everyone if they felt the person was meeting there expectations of maintaining the neighborhood. I could write a book on just the stuff my parents told took place over the years. The neighborhood refers to them as the Governors of the block.

They personally do not like the way our family home looks because it has no flowers in the front yard, so when they look out there windows they see grass, Oriental Box Wood hedges, a vegetable garden in one section and an off white exterior paint job, something I know they hate because they have comments to not just me but many of our neighbors. Just to show you how extreme they are, I caught the Husband trying to mow my parkway about eight weeks ago because he felt my grass was too tall. When I confronted him to stop he stood in the street and yelled at me that I was being spiteful to him and his wife. I think you get the point.

So about five weeks ago I see someone taking pictures of there yard and code violations they had on there own property. Id did not know who it was but my best guess it was someone in the area that just reached the breaking point on dealing with these two. A week later I see the City Code Enforcement office and the City manager taking pictures of the property, a trailer they had on the driveway, construction equipment etc... I had a good chuckle, but also knew that they would blame me, which is exactly what they did. I had to call LEO into the picture. (another close neighbor had to file a restraining order on these two a few years back) knowing that the situation would go south if I allowed them to confront me.

So last week I get a visit from APS. The anonymous complaint. Over medicating, abuse, and abandonment. When the lady at APS told me who she was I said, "I have been expecting you." she was stunned by the comment, so I proceeded to tell her the issue with the neighbor, and I went into great detail. She asked if she could see my mom and I allowed her in. As were discussing the medications I look at her and say, "You understand she is under Hospice Care", the surprised reaction from her was "What"? So I told her about the medical care she was receiving and told her that if there was an issue with her care anyone of the care providers would have had to report me. She realized that the call was a bogus call and apologized for the inconvenience. As she was leaving she tells me the majority of the calls they get are like this. When I asked her how they proceed with people that use the system to harass she others she said the state law ties there hands and there is nothing they can do.

So I continue to go about my routine and a few days after that visit, every time I walked down my driveway the Kravitz would click there car alarm on the driveway. I actually started videoing it. If I left to go to the store for food or meds they would click the alarm. Then it dawns on me they have a security camera hidden someplace trained on my house 24/7. That was verified when another neighbor told me earlier this week he heard they had just installed one.

Frustrated I call APS and talked to a supervisor. He tells me the same thing there is nothing they can do. Then I ask him about what constitutes abandonment. He tells me the rule of thumb they use is that if you leave the house and house in not in your view of sight that's abandonment. I ask him, if my neighbor presents a time stamped recording of my home where I am gone a couple times a week for fifteen or twenty minutes what would happen. He says we would prosecute you for abandonment.

So what's your thoughts on this?

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I have to say I would not take this lying down at all. Don't you have harassment laws in the US? I would be tempted to take an umbrella and have a screen built in front of the house then put the umbrella up when I leave the house - let them prove without doubt it was you then - or wear a balaclava. Are you allowed to put a mirror up that would reflect back. Or possibly send a note to all the neighbours (lets not be caught singling one out) saying how upset you are that anyone might think you are neglecting your mother. Identify that as great neighbours you would welcome them to come and sit with your Mum while you do errands essential to maintain her wellbeing and know that since some have a very concerned interest in her welfare that they would be willing to have input.
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Geez, life gets wild enough without busybody, bored, crazy neighbors! That said, I think Hospice might be able to help you with finding volunteers who can come stay with your mother so you can get out for an hour or so to run errands. Or perhaps when the aid is in you can leave for that time. I was taking care of relatives a while ago who were home under hospice care. I suppose it varies from place to place but these people were wonderful, helpful and very understanding. Also where I am living now there are caregiver classes (an hour a week), to help caregivers learn to decompress and take care of themselves as well. It sure helped me to be around others in a similar situation. Hospice might know more about such a program in your area.
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In response to PhoenixDaughter: Regarding Video taping, cameras etc.... The Supreme court has already ruled on this issue many times. The Rule of thumb is this, there is no perceived privacy in the public eye. So if it can be seen by a human eye in a public area it is legal to record it. Them monitoring my house, the excuse they will use, "Were monitoring our front entry way, unfortunately for him our camera seems him coming and going 24/7.
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I wouldn't let him mow my entire lawn. He would probably slip and fall and then sue you for making him mow your lawn.
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Whether you are a christian or not, this excerpt from anonymous may help:
Desiderata
Keep about your work that God has given you
Do not flinch because the lion roars,
Do not stop to stone the devil's dogs,
Do not fool away your time chasing the devil's rabbits.
Let liars lie,
Let corporations resolve,
Let the devil do his worst,
But see to it that nothing hinders you from fulfilling
the work that God has given you.

He has not commanded you to get rich.
He has never bidden you to defend your character.
He has not set you at work to contradict falsehood about yourself
which satan and his servants may start to peddle.
If you do those things you will do nothing else,
You will be at work for yourself and not for the Lord.

Keep at your work
Let your aim be as steady as a star.
You may be assaulted, wronged, insulted, slandered, wounded and rejected.
You may be abused by foes, forsaken by friends, and despised and rejected of men.
But see to it with steadfast determination, with unfaltering zeal,
that you pursue the great purpose of your life and object of your being
until at last you can say,
"I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do."
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Bigwaverider - sounds like you've got it all covered - and fact of the matter is, something could happen to your mom while you're in the same room. But here's the thing and I'm gonna use an example from my same a-hole neighbors. When they called the police over me removing the tree ribbons, the police told them I was well with my rights and the law to do so. That if they sent their tree guy back and he got up in my tree again I could press trespassing charges. That if they trimmed one inch on my side of the property line I could press vandalism charges etc. This mightily pissed my neighbor off - that it didn't go his way, so he stepped up his game. One of the last things I did to my yard was put in a white picket fence. I stressed to the fence guy that everything had to be perfectly to code or the neighbor would make trouble. We put in a four foot fence. Sure enough the neighbor called the city code people and it turns out you could only put in 3 1/2 foot fences without a permit - even though there were non-permitted four feet fences all over our neighborhood AND the fence people - a large, well known company - had never come across this code before, it was so rarely enforced. I was told I had to tear down the fence. In the long run we were able to keep the fence, got a permit and after fees and other minor adjustments it all worked out. Moral of my story? If your neighbors are looking to mess you up and you give them the slightest reason - no matter how small or how petty - they are going to jump all over it.
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Bigwaverider, So sorry for the ilness of your mother, and all that you are going through.
You are going through so much, I sincerely hope you can be brave and not engage in this neighbor's war, because this kind of hate can kill your spirit-it is ongoing, there will be no relief from it.
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Phoenixdaughter:
True story-my brother's wife, (my Sil) tried to redirect the neighbor's spy camera away from their home by using a broom, the camera broke, the evil neighbors sued and my brother and Sil had to move, after great expense with lawyers.
The best revenge is living well, and today they still do!
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Omg Stacey! That outfit with the black leggings and pink top, walking a darling little doggy sounds so cute!!!

My point?
If you all cannot figure it out, I will come back later and explain it to you.

You will have to excuse me now, cause I have to get dressed up to answer the door because one of my neighbors has called the police, again.
Wondering how I ever made it to over 65 as an honest, caring citizen, obeying the rules.....

Anyone ever heard of HOA Syndrome?
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On a more serious note are they actually allowed to focus their cameras on YOUR house? We have laws preventing invasion of privacy and given you have a vulnerable adult I would want to know WHY they had a camera pointing on your house
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Stick artificial flowers in the ground. Put out lawn ornaments. Mount a fictitious surveillance camera pointed at their house. If the husband tries to mow part of your lawn again offer him to do your whole lawn. Wave with a big smile every time you see them. These neighbors are idiots. Dealing with them using humorous methods is better a coping method than anger.
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In response to Rainmom: Yes there are a hundred "What if's", for example I could have a hearth attack in the house, slip in the shower, drown in the pool, etc... When ever I left the house in my wallet was a serious of emergency contacts and instructions specifically identifying what needed to be done for my mom in case something happened to me. In addition I have security cameras in the house that are wifi enabled and I can monitor the house 24/7 from anywhere in the world. The one in my moms room is notifies me if there is movement in the room, I also have two way communication from any of the cameras, plus there wired to a fire alarm so if something happens I am notified. Regarding my mom, she is immobile, so there is no chance of her getting up. Even if she had a seizure, heart attack any major medical emg there is a Medical directive in place that no-emg personal are to be called. No life support what so ever. I had an issue with her last year when she was somewhat mobile where she fell off a toilet and hit her head. I took her to the EMG room. They ran a Cat-Scan which indicated she had another mild stroke, (common with Dementia) When the ER doctors read through the Medical Directive they told me to take her home and if it happened again let nature take it's course as the Medical Directive stops them from administering any life saving treatment.
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Oh and I see a few of you think I am the daughter. I am the son.
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In response to Freqflyer's comment: Those days of taking the high road are long gone. I have known these people since they first moved here in 1986. There is no compromise with them. There complete A-Holes. When my neighbor two doors down a few years back got in it with them, the cops were called out at least five times in a little over a couple hours. They do not understand the word 'NO' On the fifth call the responding officer, (same one for all the incident calls that day) Issued a temporary ten day restraining order against them and told them that if he got a call back within ten days before the hearing, and that meant if they were even outside ( the restraining order was they had to maintain at least a 100 yard distance yet from my neighbor, and they lived forty yards away. The cop gave them the option stay in your house, stay in your back yard or pack some belongs and stay away until the hearing), but if I get a call that your outside within the 100 yard distance I am going to arrest everyone in the household.

I appreciate your comments and I attempted to take the high road when I first moved back into the house in 2012, but that was fruitless. Within a year they were complaining because I removed the rose bushes in the front of the house. When they found out I was moving my mom back in to care for here they flat out told me to my face I was not capable of taking care of her and they made it a point of running around the neighborhood making the same claims to all the neighbors that listen to there B.S.
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Bigwaverider, I have seen on news programs where neighbors wars finished up with someone getting seriously injured or killed. We don't want that to happen if Mr. K loses it someday.

Let's try something different, when you see your neighbor out in the yard, say "hi" and maybe ask him some lawn and flower questions to get his expertise, that is if he is approachable. At least you are taking the first step to extend the olive branch. If he accept it, great. If he doesn't, then you know you tried your best.

I think in every neighborhood there is a neighbor who is the "hey, kid, get off my lawn" type of person. We have a Homeowners Association where I live, and there is one guy on the Architectural Review who will go around taking pictures of violations. Oops, I got a notice, a window shutter that came off during a storm. I sent a polite email to the President of the Association asking if it was ok for me to replace that shutter when the painter comes to paint my front porch on such & such date? The answer back was yes. Whew.
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I was just wondering how right wing your neighbour was.... I would get a friend to wear a burka and then you wear that same burkha out and come back in your normal clothes with the burkha in a bag. Just to confuse the bejaysus out of them and if they are far right frighten them too!!!!! But then I am a vindictive cow and my rule is don't get mad get even
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I responded regarding the issue of leaving your mother alone for short periods of time - but did not address the situation with your neighbors. You have my complete sympathy regarding the neighbors. When I was 27 and single I bought my first house. It wasn't the nicest in the neighborhood but nevertheless I was quite proud of myself. Over the next several years I worked very hard on my house and yard - during which time I married, had a child with a disability and then became a single mom - still I was very proud to have transformed my house into one of the nicest in the neighborhood and modesty aside - the one with the best yard. I had turned a crummy little ranch style into a quaint English cottage with gardens to match. Then THEY moved in next door. THEY poisoned my maple tree and a large hedge that seperate our yards so they could pour a concrete driveway and slab to store their hideous, large enclosed trailer - yes, I had proof. They called the police when I took the marker ribbons out of my ornamental cherry tree - they had hired someone to cut limbs back for their trailer and way past their side of the property line. It went on and on until just the sight of HIM would ruin my whole day. I stopped caring about my house because I had come to hate living there. In the end - we moved. These bitter neighbor feuds can become huge and contenscious with little legal recourse. I agree with the advice to see an attorney to see what can be done - if anything - and send a "cease and desist" letter to at least put them on notice that you've got legal representation. Either that or move.
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Stacey, so sorry to learn of this ridiculous reaction by the nosey neighbors. This is such overreaction that it borders on ridiculousness. I wonder if these idiots were watching Nazi movies or something.

It's sad that so many people don't have anything to do with their lives. But I'll bet that if they become needy, or when they get old, they'll be demanding help - I doubt if they're spending their spare time learning coping strategies for old age or infirmity.

I'm really, really sorry to learn what a sad experience this was for you.
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I know that this is no where near what you are going through, but I had an incident last week, where I walked my 5 # pocket dog around my sister's Condo. The doggy Was on her leash, but I did drop the leash for about 20 seconds, as she was sniffing about the hedges, and some lady reported me! A letter went out to the entire complex, describing me, "the blonde lady wearing black leggings and a pink top, walking her dog and a little girl with her", my sisters Grandaughter. The dog didn't go wee, or poop, but still, this bothered these busy bodies to no end, apparently! So then a response letter neede to be sent out that I was notified that THIS CAN NEVER HAPPEN AGAIN! Busy bodies are out there, with no lives of their own, just looking to cause trouble for those unsuspecting people just going on with their lives. Not a lot you can do about it though, Sorry!
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There might be a way to fight fire with fire. If you live in CA, or any other area where there's a drought, or an area such as the Pacific NW where energy conservation is a more potent issue than some states where people are obsessed with control rather than conservation, you might be able to use those concepts to create a protective response. I'm not suggesting getting down and dirty like these lawn freaks, but just turn the tables on them.

E.g., I believe that one of the Pacific NW cities has an ordinance requiring people to recycle a certain percentage of waste. Start taking pictures of their garbage and bags of lawn clippings. Even if you don't do anything with the photos, they'll wonder why you're taking pictures of them. Let them wonder. Don't engage in conversations on the issue.

Lawns are high maintenance, gas powered engines increase air and noise pollution and disrupt the quiet of the neighborhood. So start videoing (with date and time stamp) these polluters. Even if you don't do anything with the videos, just the fact that you're doing it might make them wonder WHY you're taping them.

Maybe if other neighbors do the same thing, the neighbors and you can collectively incite a sense of discomfort.
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There has to be some type of restraining order you can file on them to prevent them from having cameras on YOUR house. Sounds as if Mr. Kravitiz is exhibiting signs of dementia. ARGH!

Are there any of your good neighbors that would sit with Mom for an hour? If I were your neighbor in this mess, I would be glad to......just on principle and compassion grounds!!!!
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If you can afford it, I would consider hiring an aide to come and stay with your mother during your errands, but consolidate them so they can all be done at one time and the aide only has to come once.

Then I would do some online research of attorneys in your area, especially ones with constitutional law experience, and ask about 14th Amendment violations. They're intruding on your right to privacy.

I actually don't think there are enough abuses to rise to the level of suing them, but perhaps their unauthorized spying, past attempt to involve APS, filing an unfounded complaint, and other actions might collectively create a cause of action against them. If not, even a warning letter from a vicious attorney might scare them.

These people have obvious control, intolerance, anti-social and other issues, as well as too much time on their hands. I don't know how frustrating and unsettling it can be - there's one in my father's neighborhood and she's a real bitch.
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Abandonment seems like a strong word to be used to label a 20 minute errand - yet I have to agree that I don't think your mother should be left alone for any period of time - given her condition as you've described it. The stage five dementia coupled with the use of oxygen is particularly troubling and dangerous. Maybe your mom sleeps a lot or perhaps she is unable to get out of bed - and maybe your experience with her shows there are long periods of time when absolutely nothing happens - thus a quick trip to the store - still... What would happen if you were in a car accident and forced to be gone over an hour or longer? What if a light on the Christmas tree sparked? There are a thousand "what if's" and of course you can't live your life around "what if's" - except when you make the decision and commitment to care for someone as ill as your mother at home - it's her life too. So - can you plan your errands around when the bath aide is there? Is it possible to hire a caregiver for a few hours a week? Are there any friends or relatives that would mom-sit for a few hours? How about any church or non-profit organizations who might come in so you could go out? I'm sorry - probably not what you were hoping to hear.
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