Yesterday, my cousin called me to say that when he went to visit his parents in an assisted living facility, his mom (under hospice care: has Alzheimer's, diabetes, and breast cancer survivor) was wandering down the hallway toward the office visibly shaken and crying. My cousin carted her into the office and sought to calm her by having her sit in a chair. He asked her why she was crying and she stated, "He shoved me into the chair and hurt me!" Then my cousin asked his mom, "Who shoved you?” She began crying even harder. At first she didn't answer, so my cousin asked, "Where's dad? Did he push you?" She responded, "Yes, he pushed me, and I can't take this anymore!" My cousin then looked down the hallway and saw his dad approaching the office. He said his dad had an extremely angry expression on his face and was taken "off guard" when he walked into the office and realized his son was sitting there with his wife along with a number of women from the AL facility.
I won't give all the details. Although my uncle called them all "liars" and stated that he's never abused his wife, it was obvious to everyone that my aunt had been hurt and that my uncle was the one who had done something to cause the scare. The nurse ended up medicating both of them to calm them down.
My thought was that they should have called 9-1-1 and immediately reported this. Am I wrong to think this way? [I have a sister who lives with an abuser, so I'm aware of this type of behavior and am sure my aunt has chosen to live with this kind of husband (just as my sister has—but it doesn't make it right). I've also had to deal with another experience where my dad was mistreated by a caregiver in a facility, so I'm very sensitive to elder abuse (and know some of the laws).]
My uncle had another incident several months ago when he shoved or held my aunt back when EMS came to take her to the hospital due to diabetes issues (she wasn't under hospice care at the time). He refused to let them take her to the hospital for treatment, so the facility called the police and my uncle was actually hauled off to a mental health facility where he was treated for extreme paranoia for several weeks and then returned to the AL where he and my aunt are living.
Because they are both under the guardianship of DSS, my cousin was told to notify the caseworker ASAP, which he did. The social worker said she would discuss this matter with her supervisor. My cousin and I both believe that his dad should be removed from the facility and placed in a mental health facility. He qualifies for VA benefits (if DSS will get on the ball and finish the paperwork that has been given to them). There is a VA facility not too far from here that provides care for mentally ill patients (my uncle has been diagnosed with mental health issues by both the VA doctors and the doctors at the facility where he spent several weeks).
So in my opinion someone needs to act on this and protect my aunt as well as the hospice caregivers and those in the AL facility. If something isn't done soon, my aunt may be severely harmed or at least lose the benefit of her hospice care (as hospice is likely to drop a patient if the caregivers feel any threat while treating her—my hospice nurse friends have told me this).
Does anyone know how the elder abuse laws work? My relatives are in the state of South Carolina. I do know that medical staff has to report this to the proper authorities. Is DSS the only one that has to receive this report? Can family members request copies of the report? Because of my aunt's Alzheimer's she won't know today what happened yesterday. I wish something had been done in the moment, but I can't change what happened yesterday.