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My loving, sweet, 82 year mom has dementia. She is also a survivor of abuse and still living with her abuser, my step-father. My younger brother and I invoked the help of Adult Services when we found my mother living in filth, her toenails curled beneath her toes, she had not been bathed in months, there was minimal food to eat in their home and she was left alone for hours on most days while her husband was out buying new motorcycles, riding with his friends and having meals out. They have money to work with but he's busy spending it as fast as he can before he kicks the bucket. When Adult Services dropped the ball my younger brother and I hired an attorney to help us appoint a neutral (not a family member) guardian and someone to handle her finances so she could be moved into a care facility. When they learned we were talking with an attorney Adult Protective Services legal council threatened to resist and we were advised to back away from the effort by the attorney we had hired. We were told that this action was based on the history of my brothers mental illness. Question 1: why should that have anything to do with getting outside help? He was not asking to be her guardian. Now, my mother has been moved to an independent living situation with her abusive/neglectful husband. The only thing that has changed is the environment. My younger brother and his wife see mom about 3-4 times a week (I live out of state) and always find her sitting in her own excrement, toenails painfully curled behind her toes, no bath...etc. Her husband is spending money on model trains, a snazzy jazzy scooter for himself - as always - and has not made one effort to provide additional help to my mother. I am livid that Adult Protective Services considers their job done, what can we do now?

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Every time I read this sad story again, I cringe! How in the world is this ALLOWED TO HAPPEN?!!!!! I had a thought that goes something like this--I wonder if EMS COULD be called, e.g. the woman has "chest pains" whether it be an exaggeration or not. And the Emergency Medical Technicians would come and then see with their own eyes the DEPLORABLE conditions that this lady is living in? Thoughts everyone?
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I have spent extended time with my mother, despite living out of state, when her husband was hospitalized 6 months ago. I took her to the Dr. to have her feet cared for, got her a nice haircut, she showered and she was blossoming. Then, he returned. There are police reports and photo's. She was left alone for hours a day, before and after his hospitalization. She wandered 6 blocks from home, fell and was picked up by the fire dept who contacted police. Still, in light of all of that, APS let HIM make the decision to move them, together, into an assisted living home where he's opted to have no assistance. My brother and his wife would have no reason to fabricate the ongoing neglect and financial abuse that she suffers. The income is primarily hers, she worked all of her life, her husband barely worked. Her benefits give him access to health insurance and everything his heart desires but it always has. When she was working he would wait outside her office for her paycheck. He'd deposit it and give her $20 a week for "spending money". I can only say that she would never leave him when she was in her right mind because he threatened her every which way to Sunday. It is no way to end up ... if you are living in an abuse/neglect situation get out while you can!! Moral of the story.
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Thanks to everyone for your insight. I have spent extensive time with my mother over the past year, despite living out of state and prior to being kicked out of the family by her husband for talking with a hospital social worker who was the initial contact with APS. At this point, I have to accept the situation as it is. The system is broken.
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PANDA B. Some spouses are just not "good". Sounds like, your mom is living with an elderly gentlemen who has manipulated her for many years. Your mom deserves basic care. Involve anyone who you think can help (police, social workers, hospital, etc) her get removed from your step-dad's home.
You will need to visit your mom (extended visit) and set the plan in motion.
You brother needs to agree with what you want to do to make this work.
P.S.Not sure why any past illness of your brother's would impede what needs to be done with your mom.
Md10194. I agree with jeannegibbs. Divorce the man. 71 is still young. Your life does not sound pleasant and it is doubtful that it will get better. Living on your own has to be better than what you are living with now.
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Md101945: I agree with jeannegibbs. How can you live like that? Consult an attorney.
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Md101945 How can you live like that?

Would you really want guardianship, even if it were free?

Have you considered consulting a divorce attorney?
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My husband of 48 years he kick me from the bedroom he hasn't talked to me or out two wonderful kids that we have he transfer the money from the trust and he put it in his name and he has a checking account only his name.I can write a check I have to beg him to pay my credit card.He donate 100.000 thousand to DAV but with my attorney I took the money back.Everybody said how can you leave like that but he is 92 and Am 71 and I hate to dismental my life.I don't know how long Am I going to last.I call the VA so many times finally his primary doctor ask him some question and he said he doesn't have dementia.he spends like crazy I having gone out to eat for eight months.I went to have a guardian or conservatorship but if he cant go to the doctor its very hard.A new attorney said yes we can get the guardianship its going to cost about 50 thousand and I said forget it.How long he is going to leave.Any advise
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THIS IS ELDER ABUSE AT ITS WORST! APS must intervene! How about the town's social worker? How about the town elder care advisor? Get these 2 individuals on this pronto!!!!!!!!!!!
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Actually, not bathing someone in your care is neglect, which is a form of abuse. Bacteria builds up on the body and can negatively affect the health of that person as well as others around them. This turned out to be part of the case with my foster dad who hadn't bathed in probably more than a year. Because their lacked a guardian, manpower and other resources, it seems like this was forced to be left alone despite tenants in other apartments being able to smell that person. I think dad probably needed guardianship long before he actually got it because between the hospital and nursing home, they cleaned him up. I think they also got rid of all of his old clothes he was wearing, and got him all new ones.

As for the finances, there is another form of neglect when you spend so much money on yourself that you neglect your spouse who desperately needs proper care and is not getting it, and it shows. If this turns out to be the truth then it sounds like the abuser in the picture happens to be greedy.

If abuse and neglect turn out to be true and if I were you personally, I would catch the ailing patient home alone and take them to the hospital and get an evaluation done. If they confirm your suspicions, I wouldn't take them back to that house on discharge, take them back with you out of state and file for guardianship while they're still in the hospital, and have the hospital help you in any possible way they can. Yes, if the patient is being abused, the first place you want to take them is to the hospital and then home with you on discharge. If the patient is being abused don't friend them back into that environment by no means, get them out and far away from there. This is exactly what I would've done had I been you and had the money and resources to spare. I say this as an abuse survivor myself, and I know what it is to be abused and badly neglected. Therefore, being a survivor myself, I would take a fellow human being out of what I myself survived. This may be controversial, but you don't know what you do unto you yourself are lucky to even be alive from life-threatening prolonged abuse of a little more than a decade. If you happen to call APS and they won't help, they may actually be expecting close family members to take care of it, which is where you may actually have to take the first step and get her out of there
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cak2135, calling APS is something of a double edge sword. First you cannot file a complaint unless you have seen the problem with your own eyes.
Second, APS will turn the tables on YOU, wanting to know why YOU have not done anything. If you are POA or HCP they may go after YOU for neglect. If you are neither POA nor HCP and you are calling in from far away, they will not work with you. That's the law.
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You say APS won't work with you? Make 'em!
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Panda--it sounds like YOU need to get to mom and see her in person. Document her living conditions with TONS of photos...then start calling APS again. She them what HE is doing. Mom can't take care of herself and he isn't doing it. I also don't see why your brother's mental status has anything to do with this--also, isn't his wife involved?
I wish you the best. If your mom is lucid enough to describe what goes on, that would help, but it sounds like she isn't capable of that.
Is the attorney still involved?
Good luck with all this.
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Neglect comes in many forms, but not bathing does not rise to abuse. Having worked for CPS in AZ, I fail to see how the son's mental status is of concern unless he is caring for your mother frequently, not on his medication (for whatever mental illness he has), and acting irrationally. The step-father is legally responsible for your mother's care as they are married, so he should be the one APS focuses on. But, spending money on toys is also not abuse. Not feeding your mother is, but you will have to prove it and living out-of-state presents a problem. Since dementia is a terminal illness there is nothing you can do to prevent the outcome, and I suggest you talk with your step-father and see what he says. I would also ask to speak to a supervisor at APS even though they probably will not talk to you (privacy laws).
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Oh yes, you may have the husband investigated to see if any of the money he's spending may actually belong to her if she happens to be on Social Security or any other federal benefits. If he's spending any of those funds he may not be entitled to, he could get in serious legal trouble and have to pay restitution. Definitely check to see where all of this money he's spending is coming from and make sure it's actually his money he's spending and not anything belonging to her. Depending on the situation, actions should be taken accordingly, even if this is jointly owned money because jointly owned money should be distributed evenly between the spouses. If it turns out there really is abuse and neglect going on, it really needs immediately addressed if it turns out they really are abusing and neglecting him this patient. It's not fair to have a lot of money and spend it on yourself and neglect your spouse or kids who depend on you for survival. Though my mom never worked, my bio dad did, but I can tell you how it feels to be abused and neglected and not be provided for despite there being plenty of money and resources. I pity victims of mistreatment, this is no way to live when you depend on someone else for your very survival and they neglect their duties. Whoa unto those who won't provide for their own, especially those of their own household! You just don't have a family and simply not provide for them. When they got married, they made a commitment, and it seems like someone is definitely needing a wake up call
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Have you seen her condition for yourself? If so, have you gotten any pictures on your device? They really should be very legible pictures and it wouldn't be a bad idea to also take video of her and any other helpful evidence. I guess the APS is wanting proof from enough sources, they wouldn't help in the situation of my foster dad either. They finally broke down and said why. Despite me giving a long laundry list of things I knew, they said they still didn't have enough information. I don't know what else they were looking for, they didn't say. However, one day they came by and said they moved dad because two other people came forward, but I don't know what they said, most likely some of the same stuff I already said, I knew just about everything there was to know. It's a good thing to finally get the right help in this type of situation, but be very careful that no one mistakes you as the abuser if this was not the case. Reveal the truth to whoever needs to know and let them come up with their own ideas despite knowing the truth because one day they'll answer for it
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After you evaluate the situation in person, determine whether your mother has appointed an agent under a Medical Power of Attorney and/or a Durable [Financial] Power of Attorney (other than your step-father) and reconsider whether your mother should be a person placed under guardianship and who should apply to be the guardian.
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Never rely on third party reports. Come and see it with your own eyes. There may be some exaggeration on your brother's part. The only way you know for sure is be there yourself. I should think that in an independent living facility, someone would notice her poor condition at meals and the house keeper would surely see her sitting in filth in the apartment.
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