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Please forgive me, I did not realize that this was a forum for caregivers. I myself am not a caregiver but am looking for help regarding an elder who is being denied the medication and services he needs BY his primary caregiver. I'm hoping that someone in this community will have some insight into this situation and might be able to point me in the direction of some real resources that will help.


The elder in question is my girlfriend's father, also my landlord who lives in the house of which my apartment is attached (our living rooms share a common wall). What prompted me to sign up here tonight was an incident that occurred a few hours ago that resulted in me calling the police to check on them. I could hear his wife (my girlfriend's step-mom) yelling at him, threatening to kill him and ultimately, hitting him repeatedly saying things like, "Now I've got you where I want you! You think you're stronger than me?" (slap) My girlfriend has also photographed "mysterious" bruises that no one has explanations for.


At the heart of it, the wife has refused to accept the Alz diagnosis, continuing her search for, "the real problem." In the meantime, his health deteriorates and she responds to the symptoms of his condition with verbal and physical abuse, insisting that he knows what he's doing.


She has demonstrated in the presence of physicians that she doesn't know what medications he takes (and she's the one charged with administering them). The pharmacy once called my girlfriend because the wife had failed to pick up his diabetic insulin for over 3 months! He recently spent time in a local hospital for evaluation which determined that his condition required 24/7 care, either in the home by a nursing professional or in a nursing home. He has gotten NO CARE whatsoever. When the wife discharged him from the hospital without a plan in place for this care, the hospital reported it to Adult Protective Services as a discharge AMA and gave them the details. APS did absolutely NOTHING, as they did when my girlfriend first reported to them about a year earlier, how the wife mistreats him.


I have several times now, heard AND RECORDED through the wall, she's yelling at him, threatening him and now physically abusing him. She has reported the failure to administer meds to his primary care physician. No matter what we do, no one is willing to help. Everyone says, "Report it to APS" which does absolutely nothing except close the case without explanation. The man is clearly suffering and there seems to be no help anywhere! My girlfriend is pursuing getting custody but as of right now, the wife has power of attorney and health care proxy and has all the power over him and his care. Please someone, tell me there is hope, that there's SOMEONE we can go to for help with this! Please!


Thank you for at least taking the time to read this.

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Your girlfriend could try to gain Guardianship of her father. That may be very difficult though. And if she does gain Guardianship how and where will she care for him?
Continue to call APS and the Police if you hear anything. Each call documented will help.
And I would make an appointment with an Elder Care Attorney they are well versed in how to proceed in situations like this.
One last thought..Is this Gentleman a Veteran? If so the Va might be able to help out in a variety of ways.
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Jada824 - That's horrible! I'm seeing more and more that, it's not necessarily the organizations that are at fault but, the laws that they are governed by. Bear with me for a moment cause this is going somewhere. I've recently found out that I need an upper plate to replace my top row of teeth. The process involves removing MY teeth, inserting an temporary plate while the the gums and jaw heal and then, in about 6 months, put in a permanent plate. Insurance will cover 50% of the permanent one but will NOT cover any of the temporary claiming that, I'm too young to require it. How's that makes sense? How does my determine that I'll have to go without teeth for 6 months? Makes no sense. In the same way it makes no sense that APS, elder services or whomever "Can't do anything" if an incapacitated individual who's incapable of making decisions, doesn't answer their question, "Would you like us to investigate allegations of abuse?" with a, "yes." I understand an believe it's absolutely necessary that we preserve the presumption of innocence, that we must PROVE guilt and not the other way around. But in cases like this, the laws do tend to favor the guilty while punishing the victims and it's just not right at all. But how many people, after going through this sort of thing, have the energy left to pioneer new legislation to protect these people?
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FNH, follow up that visit with a polite call a) to say thanks for your time (with or without leaden irony, according to taste) and b) to check what record has been made of yesterday's interview. You want to make sure this is now down on paper and no more bu**ering about.

I'm not sure, not at all sure what you'd do about it; but I'm just trying to imagine any comparable assault with similarly clear evidence that the police would feel justified in not acting on. Wouldn't you, trying to be objective about it, expect them at least to interview the alleged assailant?

Have you had a look at your state's/county's guidelines on what you should expect the police to do about given situations?
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FindingNoHelp Mar 13, 2019
Thank you for all your comments. I will look at them more in depth a little later today. Just came off overnight shift on only 2 hours sleep (yesterday was a busy day! Ha!) and need to crash but I have also forwarded your comments to my gf.
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I forgot to add .. this seems to be a fairly well educated community. I wonder if someone could clarify, does POA and/or Health Care Proxy constitute guardianship? My understanding is they each allow decisions to be made on behalf of an incapacitated individual. Is guardianship a separate issue? Meaning, if 2 people are married and one becomes incapacitated, in this case due to some form of mental illness, does the spouse automatically become guardian or is there a process that needs to be followed to obtain guardianship? Further, is there a way to find out if that spouse has guardianship or not?

It was suggested that, the next time my gf has her dad over for the day (something that has always been mutually agreed on by her and crazy lady), she should keep him and/or bring him to the ER to have him checked (his many bruises, check his levels, etc.). Our concern is first with the ER visit, as only "the wife" has the legal right to make medical decisions. In terms of her keeping him, would that constitute kidnapping of a sort? Obviously we don't want to ANYTHING illegal or anything that would put the case she's building in jeopardy. If his wife has legal guardianship, I'm guessing it's cut and dry .. would be considered kidnapping but, if she does NOT .. does that change anything from a legal point of view?
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Countrymouse Mar 13, 2019
CL (Crazy Lady) is her husband's next of kin, whatever.
POA - power of attorney would have been *given* by the father before he became incapacitated to whomever he trusted with his financial decisions. CL may have POA/DPOA.
Similarly HCP, for healthcare and welfare decisions.

Guardianship is entirely different. A guardian is appointed by a court to act for a person who is incapacitated and who, for one reason or another, does not have valid powers of attorney in place. Your gf can apply to a court for guardianship of her father.

If CL has guardianship and is abusing it you go back to the court that appointed her and tell them about it. The court retains the power to vary conditions as they see fit in the ward's best interests. Gf can still apply to the court to challenge CL's status and/or seek guardianship herself.
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Quick update: Went to the police station yesterday and spoke for about an hour with the officer that responded to my well check call. He did confirm that he never put eyes on her dad. As we showed him all that we had, 16 pics of bruises, documentation of various things we've noticed, doctors have shared, etc. and played the recording from that night, he appeared, "uncomfortable" as if he realized he screwed up and should have checked things more thoroughly. His responses were shaky and slow, with the exception of the timing of my call. As I suspected, he JUMPED all over the fact that I did not call IMMEDIATELY but waited over 2 hours. I corrected that, showing from my phone that my recording ended at 10:45 pm and the call was made at 11:27, when I arrived at work. I also explained how I wanted to consult with my gf first as any previous actions taken have resulted in crazy lady restricting her access to her dad. But the timing aside, it does not excuse her tone and actions that were recorded. How appropriate is it for a caregiver, in this case the man's WIFE, to speak to him with phrases like: "There! I've got you where I want you! I've got you where I want you! Do you think you're stronger than me? Huh? I don't think so! I'll pull your balls right off you, I'll pull them off! I MEAN IT!!! Put your hands down! (SLAP) Put'em down! (SLAP) There, stay on the floor!" Or when he had an accident on the floor: "I should pour it down your f-ing throat! You're an animal! A disgusting animal!"

And still .. no solutions offered other than, "Keep doing what you're doing" and, "Try to mend any differences and help her see the need for others to help." (I'd love to know anyone who's tried that with a narc and succeeded but, we do try just the same.) I didn't honestly expect a "solution" from an enforcement officer and we DID accomplish what we set out to which was, to make the PD aware of the situation. He did assure us that for any future calls, they would be sure to check everything and put eyes on her dad, so we call that a success.

She's still looking for a lawyer (that we can afford!). And we are going to make another report to APS, this time from me. Family has now heard the recording and if nothing else, it has produced an emotional response and a greater awareness of the seriousness of all this. Hopefully that will translate into more action. Ugh ...
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Jada824 - Oh completely it's a control thing. As a matter of fact, my gf told me just today that crazy lady is cutting off contact with many of his family. Even today she refused to answer my gf's call until she texted and threatened to call for a well check. This is the week of making things happen starting with calls around for lawyers.
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Jada824 Mar 12, 2019
I know because my sibling is doing this to me. He has POA & my mom is almost 97 with diminished mental capacity & he is manipulating & controlling all her actions. He hasn't let me speak to her or see her for over 1 1/2 years & he had her change her trust to him & his kids only removing myself & my kids the way she had it originally set up years ago. The police & APS do nothing at all!
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Clarification, the day his sugar was 250 and pasta was sent for dinner, she had failed to send his insulin with it. So that makes a bad combo.
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She is serious and has a list of lawyers to contact first thing Monday. As for the sugar levels, that was an example of a day that he was with his daughter overnight (mt gf). She tested his sugar and it was 250-259 around there and crazy lady had sent pasta with him for dinner. As far as playacting .. she's all over the map so who knows. It's entirely possible. But facts are facts. When he's with my gf or in the hospital, where his meds are controlled and administered properly, he's fine. When he's at home, it's chaos. He will go with my gf once a week and she discovers bruises that crazy knows nothing about. I'm talking LARGE, like baseball sized on his legs. In fact, one day a couple years ago, I heard a serious crash next door. My gf was living here at the time but wasn't home. I texted her, she came home about 15 minutes later to find that he had fallen down the stairs backwards into a china cabinet. Approximately 2 hours after the fact, crazy lady comes down stairs and casually asked, "So, what happened now?" Several hours later, crazy had taken him to lunch with a friend and the friend noticed blood seeping through the back of his shirt! Excellent care there.

My girlfriend is meticulous about details - documents everything, knows every little thing. Having a 4 year old daughter with cancer, you tend to pay close attention to everything. Just talking with her now and no, there was no court involved in the incompetent decision. Health care proxy was given under his previous doctor. Apparently, she got that and then immediately changed ALL his doctors to ones that she picked out. I just asked her if there was a way to get it in writing that he is incapacitated but of course, without being on the HIPPA, she cannot. And crazy won't allow it. Who knows what her motives are .. bottom line she is the only one with power to make decisions about his care and she outright refuses to follow what all doctors have said.

I know my gf spoken with someone at the last hospital, they were the ones who made the report to APS. We're also talking about contacting local officials too, as suggested. This is sure to be a busy week!
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Jada824 Mar 9, 2019
I have found that the police say "it's a civil matter " & don't want to get involved & APS just doesn't do anything. With some people who have POA it's a control issue & if the elder is somewhat mentally incapacitated then the POA controls every aspect of their life including who they can see & talk to.
i know it's expensive but it sounds like you need a good elder care lawyer.
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I think your girlfriend, if she is serious about pursuing guardianship, needs to consult and eldercare attorney.

How do you know what his sugar reading is? Diabetics can eat pasta.

Are you sure this woman isn't just playing you; playacting so that you'll get all worked up?

Perhaps gf should contact the Patient Advocate and /or discharge department at the hospital he was last in and discuss these issues. And I'd also contact the local politicos.
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Sorry, hit post before I was finished (duh - ha!) But regarding APS closing the case (multiple times, including one reported by the hospital), if medical professionals have determined that he IS incompetent and unable to speak for himself in these matters, isn't that something APS should have taken into account when they made their visit? And if they realize they can't ask him, would that question (of whether to begin an investigation into abuse) fall to his caregiver? Obviously that makes no sense as she is the one being accused. So where does that leave APS? Do they have the authority to make that decision on his behalf? Just trying to get the full picture because it seems like a catch 22. He can't answer, decisions are made by his wife and she is the one accused of abuse so just, Sorry! Can't do anything. So frustrating. Everyone on earth keeps saying, "You need to report this" but when we do, no one seems to be able to do anything. Almost like, "Sucks to be you" kind of response. :(
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Not sure SPECIFICALLY but we were reading some of the posts here and when she (my gf) read your post, "they CANT act unless hes been deemed incompetent." She said, "Yes he has." Now I don't THINK that was a court decision because, no one has been to court but medical professionals have made that determination. Wife has ALL power and control over him, Power of Attorney, Healthcare Proxy, all decision-making, healthcare, financial control, everything. And she refuses to allow anyone else any kind of say. She denies his Alz diagnosis, insisting that it's something else that can be cured and in doing so, denies him the care that literally everyone is telling her he requires. The latest: she refuses to bring him back to the hospital where he was evaluated because "they will insist he needs long term 24/7 care." Well, that IS what he needs! She will instead, as she's done several times, ignore the advice of doctors and seek one who will agree with "her" opinion .. until they realize the truth, then it's off to find someone else. Worse than a soap opera, I'm telling you!
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worriedinCali Mar 9, 2019
She doesn’t have POA OVER him. POA doesn’t give you control over someone. It gives you the ability to make decisions on the other persons behalf. If it is a springing POA then it is not in effect unless certain things have happened-things which will be outlined on the POA document. Being declared incompetent is usually done by a doctor and some POAs require it to be declared by 2 doctors.
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When you say " non compis mentis" do you mean he was found incompetent in court? Does his wife have guardianship?

In that case you would need to go to court.
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JoAnn29- You can request APS that he be taken out of the house to the hospital? We didn't know that. He WAS taken voluntarily a few months ago and they basically, "stabilized his meds" and he was doing well, until he went back home. At home his sugar levels are not monitored properly, he has "accidents" all over the house (which I have her recorded screaming at him for). His sugar may be around 250 and she feeds him pasta. Hello? Anyway, we'll have to see about that. And I DID tell the police in my call that he has Alz and she has MS (which I understand can effect the brain in some cases). More on that in a minute ...

Countrymouse - They are both in their 70's, not sure how long they've been married but it's been at least 20 years, maybe closer to 30. (My girlfriend lost her mom when she was a teen to an aneurysm.) And the wife IS nuts! She has all the characteristics and traits of NPD. For the longest time, she held off testing for her husband until she "finished dealing with her taxes." Said, "Once I have the taxes straightened out, then I'll deal with him." Seriously .. priorities are all out of whack.

BarbBrooklyn - Haven't been to the police yet, I had car trouble when getting out of work (3rd shift) but I did spend time with my gf and started making more plans. She talked with crazy lady who told her the cop didn't even come into the house! They just stood at the door and when SHE told the cop that I had heard things through the wall, he just laughed and left .. didn't even SEE him.

First opportunity we have this week is Tuesday morning. We're going to speak directly to the chief of police and see the report on this. Also going to play the tape for him. She is also bringing her documentation and HOPEFULLY someone will open their eyes to what's going on. He also has another appt with his primary this week and my gf is already writing a letter addressing some things and we're going to do the return receipt thing. Is that done with the post office? I'm still a bit unclear how that works - thinking like delivery confirmation? How does that prove the CONTENT of the correspondence?

Thanks for everyone's comments and suggestions. We're open to anything that may help. I must say that overall, I'm absolutely shocked that more people don't seem to know what to do about this. This CAN'T be the first time something like this has happened! If it were a child, everyone and their brother would be all over this but an elder? People just don't seem to care. I understand it's different when you're talking about an adult versus a minor but, who speaks for these people who can't speak for themselves? (By the way, he HAS been declared non compos mentis so technically, he cannot speak for himself regarding APS question regarding an intervention, etc.
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worriedinCali Mar 9, 2019
The letter she is sending be sent via registered mail. Not delivery confirmation(those are 2 different things). It doesn’t prove the contents though.
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https://www.bchumanservices.net/library/2016/01/Information-Sheet-on-Section-12-and-Section-35.pdf

So, Massachusetts doesn't have a Baker Act. But I think you can reasonably argue that wife is endangering the life and safety of a vulnerable individual.

How did it work out with the police today?
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Something to consider....Baker Act for the wife. Look into "Involuntary 72 hour psychiatric hold" for your state.

While she's gone, get dad someplace safe, like the ER and then admission to the hospital. It's a long shot, but if the police won't arrest her after the tapes, you may have to try something like that.
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I am assuming you tell APS and the cops the man has ALZ and as such cannot speak for himself. This is a travesty.
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Should've thought to ask - how old is stepmother, and how long has she been married to your girlfriend's father?

It's just, not to be simplistic, she sounds a bit nuts. Could be she too is in serious need of help?
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Be a squeeky wheel. Call the cops everytime she gets started on him. Call APS everyday. Ask that they take him out of the house to a hospital to be examined and blood tests done to prove he is not being cared for. Also, a head to foot exam. This woman has a mental problem. Document everything day and time. If you suspect she is allowing the dog to go in the house then call the health department. Might be a good idea because his health is in jeopardy.

As his POA its her responsibility that she sees to his heath too.
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BarbBrooklyn - by the way, with regards to the HIPAA, wife has REFUSED to allow her to be on it and also her brother (son of the abused). She wants ALL control.

She's also a major narcissist so for anyone familiar with that, you will understand even more clearly what we're dealing with.
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BarbBrooklyn - yes, she is aware. She's willing to do whatever it takes to get him the care that he needs.

Countrymouse - That's exactly what prompted me to call the police last night,that I not only HEARD it but, RECORDED it as well. I plan to followup by stopping by the police station to let them hear the actual recording.

gladimhere - WAY ahead of you my friend. All I did was boost the volume on a COPY of the recording to make it easier to hear details. The original is still on my phone exactly as recorded with timestamp.
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You have actual recordings of this woman verbally and physically assaulting her elderly, demented husband?

Call the police. Preferably, have a plan for what happens if they arrest her - APS should step in then but he will need support and reassurance from people he knows.
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gladimhere Mar 8, 2019
But DO NOT clean up that tape. I know you already did to enhance the sound. Now it very well could be considered tampered with. Do you still have the original?
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At least in situations that I'm familiar with, the person is interviewed privately and out of earshot. Is given an offer of immediate removal to safety.

Sadly, if he won't complain, or say he feels scared, they CANT act unless hes been deemed incompetent.

Is your girlfriend aware of how much it costs to get guardianship?
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Understood, about the return receipt. Good idea. No concern (as far as I'm aware) from neighbors. She owns the commercial lot on one side of us and the other side is a veterinarian so, not really much in the way of neighbors. She pretty much keeps to herself, doesn't want anyone in the house (probably because she hasn't taken her dog outside in about 2 years, lets her do her business all over the house).

About elected officials, I did just find contact info for the Executive Office of Elder Affairs. APS absolutely has not responded. Or rather, it's a case of, "There's nothing we can do" because he declined their starting an investigation. (Then again, would YOU claim there's abuse happening with the abuser standing right next to you?)
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Jada824 Mar 8, 2019
I too have found that APS does absolutely nothing after repeated calls to them. I even went there & sat down with them for over an hour & they told me it was clear my 96 year old mother was being manipulated & said to get a lawyer. What does APS actually do then if they don't act with abuse & manipulations of the elderly?
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Return receipt requested.

Ubless shes fir a signed HIPAA form from dad, doctor can't share any information with her. Maybe doc HAS called APS. Return receipt proves that shes reported abuse to doc.

She needs to start a paper trail that she has tried to protect her father. Doc will be liable if her concerns aren't reported to aps.

Are neighbors concerned?

If you feel APS is not responding, call local elected officials. They have staff who can help out with elder concerns.
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JoAnn29 Mar 8, 2019
No Doctor can't share any info but daughter can tel, him what is going on and he can act on it. His records will show he hasn't seen him in a while and the man is a diabetic.
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State is Massachusetts. "Letter with receipt?" What exactly do you mean, like certified mail? So far, I believe it's all been in person. We both certainly know the importance of documenting things in writing but, how will a letter of concern to the primary "force" some kind of action?

I've cleaned up the recording from last night .. amplified to make it easier to hear. Thinking of heading to the police station to followup the call and let them hear what I heard.
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May I ask what State you live in?

Notifying the physician by letter with a receipt will force action.

I'd keep calling the police.
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Thank you for the reply. As far as him indicating there's no problem, I haven't heard him say much more than, "okay" in years. And "she" is authorized to speak for / make decisions on his behalf so, there we go.

I will speak to my girlfriend about Area Agency on Aging but she HAS been in contact with the Alzheimer's Association. Also, she and her dad share the same physician and she HAS spoken with her on multiple occasions to no avail. It's my understanding that if a physician even SUSPECTS some level of abuse, they are MANDATED to report it. (?) So far, nothing.

She is currently in the process of finding a lawyer; only started this week as things have been deteriorating rather rapidly.
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The fact that APS is closing the case is an indication that the gentlemen in question is telling them that everything is fine.

Call your local Area Agency on Aging and discuss this problem with them and how to proceed. I'd also call the local chapter of the Alzheimer's Association and talk to them.

Have your girlfriend sent a short, bulleted list of these problems to the physician, return receipt requested. Has she retained an attorney for guardianship? I would cc the lawyer ( or any lawyer) on the letter.
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rovana Mar 8, 2019
Have you heard about the case in California where a kid got up the courage to report he was being abused.  Social workers came out, interviewed him in his home (family there) - did nothing and the kid was murdered!  Obviously, an abused person is going to say that everything is dandy when the abuser is there!
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