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I am dealing with a frustrating and confusing situation with my 68 year mother and adult protective services. I live 2 hours away from her and she has some mild cognitive impairment and bipolar. I have rheumatoid Arthritis and have had some serious complications this year so I have not been able to provide as much support as I normally do. I became injured and could not drive at all, so I set her up with a local non profit agency that helps seniors and they were supposed to keep me informed as to how she was doing. She tripped and fell and also became injured and was not able to do housework and became severely depressed. Her house became filthy and over a period of about 3 Months, mice moved in. The agency said nothing but then called aps and also set up an exterminator to come in without talking to me or my mom's landlord. I found out at the last second about the exterminator and had it canceled because the landlord had not been consulted. I then got an accusatory email from aps saying they were opening an investigation for neglect and endangerment. Thankfully We have a long time family elder care attorney who stepped in and has been working to get the case resolved. I helped my mom clean up the the house and the mice seemingly went away. The non profit set my mom up with a psychology trainee to have in home counseling and she now seems to be filing false or exaggerated reports. My mom was mailed some slightly different medications by her insurance company and had a bad reaction- she became very confused and started adding an extra dose of one medication to her regimen. I contacted the trainee to see if she thought my mom had become more confused and she said she had thought so for 3 weeks, but said nothing to me. I went racing down to wheee my mom lives to her her to the doctor and he got everything fixed with her meds. The trainee then called aps and said my mom had overdosed and made it sound intentional. The aps caseworker had been planning to close the case before that happened; and now, it appears that a mouse has returned. The trainee also reported that and the aps lady showed up at my mom's house Friday saying an exterminator was coming in 15 minutes and that my attorney and I knew about it and had agreed. This is not true- she had emailed my attorney but she was was out of town, so no response to was made nor was I informed. She then lied to my attorney and Said she wanted to set up an exterminator for the 23rd, but my Mom said aps needed to talk to the landlord first. She made no mention of having set one up for that day and that my mother refused to let them in and asked to reschedule. My mom is already on thin ice with the landlord because of how the house was being taken care of, and I am afraid that he is going to evict her. She is very very low income and I have no idea where she would go if that happens, as the waitlists for senior housing are closed. It should be noted that her duplex is an old farm house that has periodically had a mouse or two that comes and go periodically and it has been that way since she moved in. Can aps just act like the gestapo and do what ever they want? This is taking an enormous toll on both of us, and I had to delay a surgery because my blood pressure suddenly went through the roof and now my kidneys seem to be having a problem when they were fine 3 months ago. My mom says she feels frightened and intimidated by this woman and is also at the end of her rope mentally with this. Has anyone else dealt with a similar situation?

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I think this is the kind of thing Barb is referring to: "the aps lady showed up at my mom's house Friday saying an exterminator was coming in 15 minutes and that my attorney and I knew about it and had agreed." This is what your mother said happened, right? But your mother does get confused, and that is increasing, according to your post. Sometimes what we hear from someone who has dementia is not 100% accurate. Not that they are lying -- just that both their understanding and their memory are impaired. So, just maybe, the version your mother told you doesn't match the what the lawyer told you (15 minutes vs the 23nd) because Mom was confused.
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How long ago was she evaluated for home health and Medicaid?

An injury or illness is often followed by progression of the dementia.
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I would listen to my attorney. I'd be careful to ask for legal advice from him or some other attorney, as you don't know what social services may do.

It sounds like you have distance and health issues that make it problematic for you to be in charge of your mom's care. And the nonprofit sounds like it hasn't worked out well. I'd ask for options and find someone who can take charge. Allowing a person with dementia to live alone is really not an option, even with someone checking in occasionally. Most people with dementia are not able to administer their own medications, past the very early stages.
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Downhiller, there definitely are far too many cooks stirring this broth - and one of them's not even a cook, she's a trainee washer-upper!

Ugh. What a mess. The thing is, there are two questions:

1. What should you be doing to help?
2. Which single person needs to take charge of your mother's living situation and care plan?

I'd nominate the attorney for #2, and then that should leave you free to sympathise with your mother when you feel up to it and otherwise just concentrate on your own health. The communication network here is pretty complex, what with the landlord, the pest control company, the overenthusiastic young psychologist and Uncle Tom Cobley and all chipping in, and there really does need to be just one person whom everyone has to contact. Ideally not you.

Does anyone have Power of Attorney for your mother?
And did the non-profit provide any more practical help? What day-to-day living support is your mother getting?

I'm sorry that your mother's got to the point of finding APS intimidating instead of useful. Reassure her that they are on her side, because it's not going to help her if she gets into a battle of wills with them. Once someone has actually taken charge so that they know that things are under control they should be happy to back off a bit. Has anyone had a chance to calm the landlord down?
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Yes, Downiller, I read your post, and asked for clarification.

I have not been in this situation. What is your lawyer advising you to do?

If your mother became confused about a generic substitute for meds, I'd say that that's prima facie evidence that she's not capable of living without supervision.
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The insurance mailed her the wrong medication- a generic substitute for something and she has been formally Evaluated. Did you even read my post?
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Xxxx
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even aps told my attorney that the tips were not totally accurate. Has anyone dealt with a situation where aps just starts doing things to a person's home and they are not deemed incompetent.
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No the attorney is the intermediary for everything and aps reports to her. I know about the med mixup with her insurance because I tried to help her get it fixed when she was unable. The non profit was supposed to be keeping me informed when I couldn't drive and they didn't.
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Are you basing your knowledge of what is happening on what your mom tells you?
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The house was not in good shape, but once we cleaned up there was no sign of the mice for about a month. Actually she is not even close to needing a facility. We had an evaluation for home health and Medicaid and she does not even come close to meeting those criteria. Her dementia is early stage, and she was doing well before we both became injured. I prefer some distance, and don't want her living closer to me. She can be quite needy and we actually don't get along very well.
She says she feels frightened and intimidated by aps and also wants to know how to get them to go away.
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Oh my! Lots of people trying to be helpful here, and many of them just making matters worse.

An exterminator? Had the mice totally overrun the house? Did anyone try a few mousetraps first? I have mice nearly every fall. We take care of it, and that is the end of it for a year. I live in a nice middle-class suburb. My best friend lives in a house built in 1895, on the historic register. She has mice twice a year, and sometimes bats in the attic. I don't see how having mice, especially in an old farmhouse, brings up accusations of neglect.

Except ... your mother's house was apparently in bad need of a thorough housekeeping, and that is probably how the mice fit into the report.

Here are my thoughts: Your profile says Mom has dementia. Persons with dementia cannot live alone beyond the earliest stages. It is probably time for your mother to live where she can have some supervision. And wouldn't it be great if she could live closer to you?

I think it would be a good idea to research what might be available to Mom within a distance that would make visiting here much easier. Perhaps assisted living would be good. Or a small group home. Possibly memory care. Eventually nursing home care. But I think Mom is done with independent living.

You have your health to deal with, which would be much less stressful if you knew Mom was somewhere she was being looked after. Do NOT consider moving her in with you. Take care of your own health. It wouldn't be fair to you or to your mother for you to be totally responsible for her.

I think I'd let go of all the APS drama, and focus on the fact Mom has dementia, it is progressing, and she needs supervision. Perhaps this could start with a thorough medical examination of Mom.

I am sorry you are facing such challenging problems as well as health problems. Know that you are a good person trying to do the right things.
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