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My Mom and Dad both need professional care, but neither one wants it. Three of us siblings share the responsibilities of caretaker, but it's getting so bad we're just no longer enough. We need to do something, but Mom and Dad won't cooperate.


A family member talked to a social worker who told a story about a son who was charged with elder abuse when his mother didn't want to go to a facility even though she needed to. Could that happen to us?

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AudioMan,

You have received great advice, do I won’t repeat the same message. I just want to wish you well in your job interviews. Will keep you in my thoughts and prayers. Take care.
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Reply to NeedHelpWithMom
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I agree with JoAnn29... If you can't get your parents to get evaluated to see if they need to get more care, APS is a really good idea.

My experience: My 80+ year old father was caring for my mother who was in worse shape than him, he started acting very strange. I was so worried something really bad would happen. I'm an only child with basically no cousins or aunts / uncles to help talk to them. My father refused to go to the doctor. I anonymously called Adult Protective Services. I told them how I was related and my name but I told them I wanted to remain anonymous so my parents would not be upset with me. I later told them I was the one who called. Basically, my father had a kidney infection that was causing him to act differently. Also, the APS worker helped encourage my parents to get some in home care.
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Reply to Mmm777
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Has APS been to your parents home to evaluate the situation? If not, thats what needs to be done. Explain to them that the only reason they are able to stay where they are is because they get help otherwise they could not do it on their own. That your hands are tied because they won't assign anyone POA. That you need to get back to work. Once APS evaluates, then Mom and Dad are on their radar. Records will show they need help but won't do what is necessary to get it.

My RN daughter has worked in two states and says Hospitals can release "unsafely". Rehabs not so much. So if one of your parents is in the Hospital and rehab is suggested, make sure they go. While there have them evaluated for 24/7 care. If found its needed, this is the time to say there is no one to care for them. They can't afford "in home" care. The home is unsafe for the care needed. Whatever excuse fits. In other words, they need to go to an AL if they can afford it or a NH with Medicaid covering their care. If this happens, maybe the other parent will follow. Medicaid does allow assets to be split if one parent stays in the home. But thats a whole other topic.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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You need either POA or guardianship to do this against the will of a person, and there must be documentation of examination and diagnosis that the person is no longer competent to act in his or her own best interest. Without said documentation, yes, you would indeed be trampling the rights of an individual to make decisions for him or herself.
If you do not already have documentation and diagnosis you cannot act. Even with diagnosis and prognosis you need POA or guardianship/conservatorship.
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Reply to AlvaDeer
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rovana Jun 21, 2021
But if caregiver needs to return to their life, how do they go about "resigning" their caregiver status without leaving themselves open to charges of abandonment? Nut and bolts of how to do this within the law are needed. I mean, can you simply pack your suitcase and say "have a nice life?" A caregiver would generally want to see elder in a safe situation before jumping ship so to say, so basically they are being held hostage by feelings of guilt. Any ideas of how to deal with this kind of situation?
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Do you or any of your siblings have conservatorship or guardianship over your parents that was legally awarded by the probate court in the town or city they reside in?

If the answer is no, then none of you are responsible for them.
Also, the social worker who told your family member the story of the son charged with elder abuse for placing his mom in a care facility against her will, is completely full of sh*t. Never assume that any social worker you deal with is telling the whole truth of something. They lie all the time and will customize their lies to promote the policies of whatever business, agency, care facility, or even state who signs their paychecks. No elderly person in the history of mankind has ever wanted to go into a care facility. No one is in a nursing home because they want to be.
My step-daughter is an LCSW and told me this herself. So, don't trust what this one is saying.
If your parents are refusing hired homecare help or they are past what homecare can provide and will not willingly go into a care facility, then you and your siblings have to go to the probate court.
One of you has to apply for conservatorship/guardianship over them and have them put into a care facility under what is called a 'Hostile Transfer'. The term is pretty much self-explanatory. Whatever care facility you'll be using will help you with getting them there.
Get together with your siblings and do the petition for conservatorship/guardianship at the probate court. Then you can work from there.
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Reply to BurntCaregiver
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Laws differ from place to place. Is there an Area of Aging or Social Service you could call to ask about this, specific to your state?

Where I live (as most everywhere) everyone is deemed competent unless proved otherwise.

Competent is not just one yes/no either Eg may be competent or not for medical, legal, financial or lifestyle.

With folk living alone past when they should.. the "I don't need ANY help!" But they sure do.. Like your folks, it often does become 'awaitng a crises' type situation.

Here, it goes something like this;
1. Crises. Hopsital. If ok, go home. If not ok, home services are arranged/suggested by Social Worker. If they lock the home help out, crises #2 happens soon enough, back to step 1 for another loop.

Hospital Social Worker will lay out their available options each time. Sometimes, one will see their can no longer cope at home, give in & choose their NH from the shiny brochures laid out.

Sometimes they go around the loop a few more times before they give in.

(Met a lovely 93 yr old once upon a time on probably his 6th or so loop.. last visit home was ONE day before he called family & EMS in tears 😞).

Some are such an *unsafe discharge* & the hospital cannot send home alone (& family say no, not having 'em here) so a Guardianship process through the courts is persued. A neuro/psych exam may be ordered & if not competent, a Guardian appointed (either family or court appointed). Guardian then can make living decisions.

You can find out how it works in your state & warn your folks. Or not! Let the Social Workers, Doctors etc do all that. You just live your life. Be a friendly visitor, call to say Hi etc.

Best of luck with the job! Enjoy your new direction.
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Reply to Beatty
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When they end up in the hospital you can refuse to bring them home. They need more help than anyone can provide them at home.

Good luck with your interviews! 2020 was hard on so many. Hope the job is well suited to you and you to the employer's needs!
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Reply to gladimhere
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AudioMan Jun 20, 2021
Thanks, Gladimhere. That explains a lot.

Both jobs look great. One's definitely closer than the other, but I'd love to land either one.
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Without POA or guardianship you cannot force them to do anything. Sometimes it takes an emergency to get them the help they need. Placement directly from a hospital to a care facility.

So, yes, if you forced them to go to a facility, you in effect are locking them up. Unlawful imprisonment. Sounds extreme doesn't it?

Your solution is to get out of there and get on with your life.
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Reply to gladimhere
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AudioMan Jun 20, 2021
Can they (or one of them--the same thing. If one goes, the other will follow) be placed directly from a hospital? I keep hearing things like that, but I can't get any answers about it.

BTW, I am doing everything I can to move on. 2020 was a rough year, but I have two job interviews this week. I'm praying one of them leads to something.
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Are the folks competent? If so, it is their legal right to decide where they live, even if you think it is a bad decision. You don't have to enable them though.

Now if they have been declared incompetent you may have the right to place them if you are POA or have guardianship.
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Reply to gladimhere
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AudioMan Jun 20, 2021
No one has POA or guardianship. Mom is very incompetent, Dad slightly so. There is no way Mom would accept anyone having control except herself. Dad might be persuaded, but ultimately he would respect Mom's wishes on the matter.
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APS does know, but so far we're not getting a lot of help. Advice and recommendations, but nothing concrete yet.
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CTTN55 Jun 21, 2021
" Advice and recommendations,"

What were they?
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Unlikely. Notify Adult Protective Services and let them know there are vulnerable adults in the home who will lot accept help. Let them take it from there.
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Reply to MJ1929
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MJ1929 Jun 21, 2021
*not* accept help.

Blasted fingers.
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