Mom received note from family services in her door, is this normal? - AgingCare.com

Mom received note from family services in her door, is this normal?

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Mom will not give me more details other than it was an envelope left in her door with a contact card with a name and number. She doesn't want to call them. Is this normal welfare check or do you suppose someone has called and reported something? She wouldn't give me the number to call. Is family services the same as APS?

She could use the help and lives alone and refused any outside help, services, or consideration to moving to AL or other.

I am traveling up later this week to check on her, but just curious as to what this means and why the note would be in her door vs. in the mail or them remaining and knocking on the door until she let them in. (Though she's suspicious of everyone and likely would ignore opening the door).

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It seems like it is so common that elders don't want "strangers" in the house. I am the opposite..

Both my parents are the same way with their home, no strangers. Dad has always been the handyman around the house and even now at 93 he still thinks he can handle any chore that is put in front of him, even cleaning gutters.... I use to grumble that he should hire someone, but now I yet let him do what he wants.... and I hope I don't hear my parent's address on the EMT scanner :P
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Hi pam; no; that was just mom's perception. The business card was from APS as well as the letter and I verified that it was all legit. I'm sure they just said "well we can get services for you in your home" and all mom heard was "we want to have someone in your home". Mom is totally paranoid of any stranger coming into her home since I had in-home CNA care there almost 2 yrs ago per county services request. She rebelled and ultimately fired them and I couldn't legally stop it. So at this point, she is distrustful of any of the town's services including the police. She is an immovable object. I tried to explain to her what they meant -- but she threw up her hands and stated she was having no part of it.
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The county APS does not move someone into your house. Could this have been a scam? Read it all carefully.
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Hi friends, here is an update. I visited mom and all is well; honestly I can say she's better than ever; her house was organized, she's clean, clothes clean, she's sharp on her finances (bills paid, witnessed her reconciling her bank statement to checkbook, food okay, etc.). Amazing considering she is 91. We spent almost 4 days together and she is managing.

Back to APS notice. Well, as I suspected they did little to no follow up. Thank god mom is doing fine; but if she weren't -- I would have not faith in this town's family services. Here's what i found out.
Mom had just a card in an envelope left in the door with hand written note to call appearing on the envelope.
Mom called the person on the card (surprise!). "Mom said they just wanted to move someone in her house and she was NOT having a stranger move into her house". THat was about it.
WHile I was there; another envelope arrived in the mail from "family services". Mom opened and there was a cover letter indicating a case number and the case worker. It was a form letter in which a box was checked "Case closed"; typed comment: "Client refused services".
No personal visit; no nothing.
Luckily mom is okay -- BUT I thought how can someone close a case without placing a home visit to a 91 yr old. How does this case worker know mom is not "toileting on the floor"; has no food, no heat, water doesn't work, ceiling falling in, etc. -- Any senior could say anything or anwer questions any way they want -- but unless you visit them or observe living conditions, you can't make an evaluation.
I'm not saying that is their job exactly; but if a senior has been reported and you take the time to drive to their house; you would at least make an appt and do a home visit.

Dissappointing; but not surprised.

The good news is that I felt good about mom, she is managing and we had a nice visit. I would like her in AL where I could be confident she was being "overseen" and had company, regular meals, etc; but she chooses to stay barracaded in her home without "anyone in her business" and I guess as long as she is still managing I will have to accept it. We did visit an AL close by (mom was at least curious) so that is a step; though she admantly said the next day she didn't want to live there until she couldn't do for herself at all; then she'd move there. I know that means NH at that point; but I kept my mouth shut.

Bottom line; her town is worthless.
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In small counties, who have limited resources, the dept of social services is prone to allow and encourage family members to step in and take care of the elderly or in need person. I tried my best to get them to assist me with my cousin, but they just hold off if there is a responsible family member anywhere on the scene. If you are a family member and sound responsible, they will bow out and pray that you will take over. They have so much on their plate. I guess that's the reason.

I would also be careful staying with your mom. If you are living under the roof with her and know she is not capable to take care of herself, then you leaving her there in that condition might be problematic. Maybe I'm too cautious, but I would look into what liability and responsibility you have by staying with her and then walking out.
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Blannie, the protocol I reported above is what they do at first. After trying in person a few times they might send a letter. Your scenario is much less likely. Just face it, somebody is concerned about mom, and it doesn't matter who..
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I wonder if someone was just concerned about your mom and got a business card from the agency and dropped it off. It doesn't necessarily mean that the agency has her on their radar. That would be something I would do as a concerned neighbor, to make it easy for the person to know who to call. So don't necessarily assume it's an intervention. I'd think they'd have a standard letter "We were here but you weren't home" kind of thing that they'd leave if it was really a visit or well-being check. But I'm just guessing....
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It is common protocol to do exactly as your mother described, leaving a business card in an unmarked envelope when no one comes to the door. The tells them who was there but the envelope preserves privacy. How long would you expect them to stand there? If the person doesn't call back the investigator will try again....but not forever if they can't make contact. Call APS hotline and tell them your mom's name and ask them to give your info to the assigned caseworker. Then go from there.
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I would tell the social worker " Look, my hands are tied and your hands are tied because she refuses help. Where do we go from here?" Build a plan together, join forces. If family services wants to move her, they can be the ones getting the court order for protective custody.
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Sunflower, all good thoughts coming your way. You don't have to read many posts on this site to see how quickly things can devolve into chaos when an elder refuses help and a child tries their best.
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