How do I handle my Mother who has lives with me. She is now wrongfully accusing me of physical abuse?


My 76yo mother moved into my home 3 months ago and I love so much. She lived independently prior but I noticed her physical care and health declining. Its now like I live with someone with multiple personalities. My mother before was so loving and caring, never cursed or lied. When she changes she is so mean to me, she has the mouth of a sailor and breaks every boundery possible. She has been falling and not telling her healthcare providers, I took her in and told them about her behaviors. Then today I get a call that she told her in home assistanct that comes to help her bathe that her bruises were caused by me. And I would never ever touch my mother. I only want whats best for her. Now even though I have shown her nothing but love Im going to be under investigation for abuse. Im hurt, in disbelief, sad for my mother, scared for myself. I am a nurse and fear for my career and I have no idea what to do. But I know that I made a promise to my mom when she was herself that I would never let her go into a nursing home. I cant stop crying and I dont know what to do. Im emotionally exhausted. What do I do? Please has anyone else experienced this? No other siblings will help.

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All of the above suggestions are good, especially a monitoring system to document when she falls. I think if you're videoing your mother in your own home, there shouldn't be any legal issues, at least none of which I'm aware. It is in fact your home, not a restaurant or other facility, although the proliferation of amateur filmmakers is so extensive that I think sooner or later the issue of unauthorized videos is going to be addressed legally.

Then turn the investigation to your advantage and use it as an opportunity to get help. Explain her dementia, her personality change, her vocabulary change to more coarse language, your frustration with trying to make the environment safe, etc. And ask how the investigator can help, with recommendations, referrals, or in any other way.

I think if you show them that you're frustrated as well, and can demonstrate her behavior via video, they'll see that she's confused about the accusations she's made.

Be forthright; you'll be believed more easily if you are.

I'm not sure though whether or not to tell your supervisors of the investigation; you don't want to unnecessarily alert them, but on the other hand it might be wise to pre-empt any potential action. I think I'd probably lean toward the latter option, and perhaps even ask some of the doctors with whom you work for their opinions.

Another thing to consider about falling is her hearing. It's my understanding that sight, hearing and balance as well as mobility and strength are the primary factors to avoid falls.

BTW, forensic physicians can tell by bruises whether they were inflicted by forceful or accidental action, possible type of impact object, etc. A human fist or arm would leave a different bruise pattern than, say, contact with a floor or piece of furniture.
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If you go the doc route RN, make sure the docs are geriatric specialists both for neurology and internal medicine. Many docs, and I probably do not need need to tell you this, have no clue about treatment of the elderly. Their issues are quite unusual and as are their responses and effectiveness to medication. One med to be very watchful of is Ativan. On some it works as anticipated. On others, however, can have the exact opposite effect as intended, as in my Mom's case an abolustely frightening and frustrating thing to learn just when it is needed.
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Three things going on here simultaneously, at least... First, you are very hurt your mother would lie and say you are abusing her when all you have done is be kind. This is, most unfortunately, typical of dementia. My mother accused my retired police detective husband of stealing her wallet (she had given it to me for 'safe keeping'). It's like they aim for the most painful thing they can possibly say. Second, your mother sounds like a UTI to me, just based on my experience with elders and UTIs. They go completely nuts with this infection and it takes weeks to return to normal when they finally get the treatment correct, too. Third, you have a legal issue which is threatening your license which is your job, your income, your life. I guess if I were in that boat (again), when Mom has fallen and you come upon the scene, before you rush to pick her up, snap a picture with your cellphone of her on the floor. Or put in a surveillance camera in the areas where she is prone to falling and check for falls. Ideally, get her permission in writing that you are doing this (Probably would be good), that you are trying to figure out how to make things safer for her and need to know how she is collecting these bruises. I find video and even audio evidence seems to be helpful for the person so they can see what happened to themselves and not fabricate (as much). But first things first, get her to a good internal medicine board-certified guy that will do lab tests like Babalou says. A neurologist is a good idea too, to document what's going on with her brain. Also, just incase you haven't done this yet, pick up all the trip hazards...rugs & mats; open a clear space to and from the bathroom; provide night lighting; get her glasses checked for accurate prescription; have her balance evaluated by a PT and get treatment if it would help. That's a lot, but you have a lot on the line. Probably there are some legal issues with recording her, but I'd try to find a way, in my opinion.
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RN, also, make sure your mom doesn't have a uti. Changes in mental status can be traced to them in the elderly.

I'm assuming that your mom has been diagnosed with dementia? If she hasn't yet, please get her in for a neurological and perhaps neuropsych workup.

It sounds like this is a big change in mental and physical status for your mom. Big changes like that need to be thoroughly checked out by her doctor. If her doctor says "her blood tests are fine" you know that mom needs a different doctor.

There is an excellent article on this site "I promised my parents I would never put them in a nursing home". Please read it. Today's nursing homes and Assisted Living facilities are nothing like the nursing homes our parents remember. And for me and my family, dementia was the great game changer.

I'm glad that your mom has home health care coming in. They can attest to mom's general good condition. APS is generally savvy and understands that dementia patient's have broken brains and that the "facts" that they report are often the result of delusions. But the fact that you have a license to lose is certainly a consideration that may make placement a better option. It's so so sad that this is happening, but remember that it's the disease, not mom's fault.
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Rn70. I had APS show up at the door three years ago. I was thinking the allegations were physical or emotional abuse. I was wrong, financial explotation was the furthest thing from my mind. Be open and honest with these people. Relax. They see and hear accusations all the time that they fiind out are not true.

Does mom take any blood thinners? These old folk bruise so easily add cumadin to the mix and it is surprising that we don't have blue people walking about. The worst bruise we saw was a black eye. All he had to do was rub the eye wrong...

My best wishes to you. I know it is terribly stressful.
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