A life time of emotional, financial and physical abuse culminates in neglect. What can we do now?

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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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