Can I be charged with neglect, even what my Mother tells people is not true?

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Mom is 83, lives alone in own home with assistance from me and a dtr-in-law. She puts on a good act with other people and her doctor so they think she is "of sound mind." We take very good care of her, but in some instances, she will say things to other people that I know they are thinking otherwise. How do we get her to stop doing this. I've called her out on her untruths, and she seems to be contrite, then the next time we are with someone else, will repeat the lie. What to do?

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If someone were to report her allegations to Adult Protective Services, I think they'd certainly make a visit to her home. Yours wouldn't be their first rodeo, though, and your story is far from unique.

It must be said, though, that they certainly COULD deem her unfit to live alone. That, after all, is part of what they do -- safeguard people like your mom.

I would make sure the house was getting regularly cleaned by you or others...that there was always fresh food in the fridge...and that obvious fall hazards were addressed to the best of your ability.

Just.in.case.
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I don't know, but my guess is that the legal authorities are too busy to run around investigating complaints where no actual harm to the elder has not been abandoned and no actual harm has been shown. That said, it must be really aggravating to be putting out so much effort to take care of someone and have them bad-mouthing you or even trivializing your efforts. I would be very upset, but I wouldn't worry about legal action. My mother is somewhat of a drama queen and I could see her exaggeration minor issues to get attention or sympathy. If your mother has dementia, maybe she's lost the ability to distinguish between fact and fantasy. I'm sure people can tell that she's being well taken care of, regardless of what she says, so I wouldn't worry too much about their reactions or possible legal action.
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d56ers, you CAN be charged if she says she is abused, don't kid yourself. All it takes is ONE person to believe her and call APS who will make your life totally miserable. Good Grief tell her MD she is making false reports. Ask him to order the VNA once a week to document her delusions. Protect yourself first and foremost. Document every lie she tells.
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My mother likes to bash me in public or when family or friends are around too--saying things like "my daughter never calls or visits me." Close friends and relatives know this isn't true, I call on a daily basis and visit often. But strangers surely must think the worst of me. I'm growing a thicker skin though and not caring what strangers think anymore. However, accusing me of not calling or visiting is not the same as your mother accusing you of neglect. That must be an arrow through your heart! I've no advice just wanted to commiserate. It is hard.
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Your mom might have some level of cognitive decline, and if so, so she's beyond being able to watch what she says. My mom will sometimes say slightly inappropriate things just to be making conversation and I cringe inside. But I know she doesn't have the ability to filter what she says.

I will on occasion remind her right before we go somewhere (like the bank) not to say this or that. She can remember it in the moment...but only if I tell her right before we are there.

If your mom looks well cared for, is clean and not losing weight, I doubt others will put too much stock into what she's saying about her care. If you're with her, you can just "Oh mom, you're exaggerating" or whatever is closer to the truth. Good luck - it's hard to take care of these seniors and maintain our sanity sometimes!
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JessieBelle - what you said is interesting and I think it applies to my situation too. A few days ago my mother complained about me not paying rent at her house and literally did not remember that I did pay rent the entire time I was living there with her. I actually helped her with her bills for at least a year before I moved in with her, because she hadn't sold her old condo yet and was paying on two places. I couldn't believe it because we've had many conversations about this - how could she forget? But apparently, she did!
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It is amazing that dementia can be hidden for short periods, but then pours out at the most inappropriate times. This is just the beginning. She will accuse you of things like: stealing her favorite black bra, her keys, HVAC thermostat, etc. My mom wanted to call the postal inspector when her mail didn't come. She thought I had it! (It was a holiday.) You are not alone. Tip: Always make her doctor (or caseworker) appointments in the late afternoon. The more tired she becomes, the more obvious it is she has dementia. In the beginning, it was hard for me to convince my mom's doctor something was wrong until we got his last appt of the day (4 pm). She was a mess and he understood.
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Sure do wish we could edit our own posts on here. I hope you all can read through the misplaced language in my post above.
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I too have seen that older folks complain of treatment, just to get sympathy. What's equally problematic is their complaints to others when something does happen but failing to tell their primary caregiver.
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I read something on Facebook the other day about some research done on memory. What a person remembers is not the event itself, but they remember their last memory of the event. It makes sense when we think of fish tales and how that fish gets a little bigger each telling. The fisherman would probably be shocked to see a picture of the real fish -- gosh, the thing's a minnow.

It makes sense with dementia, too. I've seen confabulations become the new truths, with these truths changing through time. I've had my name smeared on several occasions by these "truths." It isn't harmless, because I've seen some people act more suspicious of me. I could say something to my mother, but it would just fix the new "truth" more firmly in her head. It is important to her not to be wrong in the eyes of other people, even if it means hurting her daughter.

Something else that is very sad I've learned is you can do things for a person with dementia every day all day long, but then they will say you never do anything for them. I think it is because they don't remember the day before. They see only the present time. However, if something is negative, they are more inclined to remember it. Go figure!
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