My mom has dementia. APS has accused me of neglecting her- their allegations are simply not true. They are quite threatening. What can I do?
My mom has lived with me fo 6 years. For the last 5 years, she has attended a county run adult day care program. She has dementia but no physical health problems. At first, she was there 3 days a week and really seemed to like it. About a year ago, they insisted she attend 5 days a week. When this started, her behavior started to deteriorate at the center. About a month after she started to attend daily, they informed me that they had stopped serving breakfast "last year" and I needed to send food with her. I did this and also started getting up earlier so she could have a hot meal instead of cold snack food or expensive microwave meals. Then I got a call reporting that she had yelled and used foul language toward a staff member. A month or so later, they reported she had cursed another client and made them cry. About 6 weeks ago, they reported that she had acted up again and terminated her from the day program.
My mom has always had a sharp tongue, and with the dementia, she doesn't have much of a filter. However, I did not see this kind of behavior at home. I did see her getting irritable and she was regularly balking at "going on the bus".
At the same time, the center complained about her hygiene and reported that at times she had body odor. At times this was true. It was a battle to get her to wash her hair and body. She refused to shower and just washed in the sink. This worked well enough, but the next challenge was getting her to change clothes. Especially after she started going to the senior center 5 days a week, she would go for a "nap" shortly after getting home and often sleep through the night in her clothes. In the mornings, I put out clean clothes, but she often put the dirties back on or would change the visible clothes and not her underwear. Then the bus to the center would arrive and there was not time to get her changed. So yes, sometimes she smelled bad. Two years ago they told me they would make a referral for home hygiene services. They finally did it 2 weeks ago.
In January, about a week after she was terminated, a social worker called and asked how she was doing and if she was ever at home alone. I answered that she was home alone at times. A week later Adult Protective Services sent a worker to deliver an accusation of neglect saying she was always hungry (almost daily we will eat a full meal and within an hour she will ask when I'm going to make lunch, dinner etc. I'll ask if she's hungry and she can't decide, I give her more food, she maybe takes a bite. Her weight has not changed for years.), and had body odor (sometimes) and matted hair (no).They stipulated that she must NEVER be left alone or the county prosecutor would immediately take guardianship and put her in a nursing home.
I was blown away! I had largely started sending her to the day program so she could be around people her age and not be stuck at home all the time. When they insisted that she go every day, it just got to be too much for her physically and socially (there are 50-60 people there, and they spend most of the day doing activities as a group. Not really her thing). She has a routine here at home and has done the same things every day she is here for the last 6 years--up for 2-3 hours, dress, make her bed, eat breakfast, read, let the cats in and out a few times, go back to bed. 2 or 3 hours later, up again, same thing again until it's dark and then she sleeps through the night.
Meanwhile I am off work on FMLA jumping through all APS's hoops and trying to figure out how to get someone in here without bankrupting her. The bottom line is that I truly and genuinely believe she does not need someone here 24/7. They have been clear that it doesn't matter what I think or what she does, the case is open and the expectations stand.
Has anyone else been in this kind of situation? Is there any way to get them to back down? I could see having someone come in for a few hours a day when I'm at work and my daughter is at school, but all day every day is just not necessary! I appreciate any advice, thanks!