My mother's friend contacted adult protective services and reported my mother's POA for elder abuse. What will happen now?

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It is my understanding the POA for health and property put my mother in an assisted living facility. My mother fell, was kept in the hospital for observation. Both POAs had her tested for dementia, had her deemed incompetent for health and property. They moved her in, costing $3817.00 a month. She has been there for 2 months now and neither of them have come to see her. She is not incompetent or have dementia, she has always made it clear her wishes were to stay in her own home. Her POAs won't let her go home. Now one of my mother's friends turned her POAs in for elder abuse as it is having a devastating affect on her mental health. What will happen now?

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Sometimes people in a facility seem fine, but take them out of the facility and ALL the reasons come to the surface as to why they're in a facility. Mine was somewhat noncompliant in general at home. Wouldn't do her prescribed exercises, frequent urine/stool accidents (even with a bathroom 6 feet away from her), called 911 for frivolous reasons (she did this somewhat often..), many preventable falls as well, but she refused to listen to anyone and/or adjust her behavior. We warned her many times that she was headed for a nursing home, but she could not or would not change her ways. Now that she's in a facility, she has friends, goes on day trips, she isn't sleepy all the time, she's always in one activity or another, etc. Is she cured? No. Will I move her to her own apartment now that she seems better? No. She needs the facility in order to be doing as well as she is. However, sometimes the reasons a person is in a facility would not be obvious.
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Reply to OverTheEdge17
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Why are you concerned with what APS will put your sons through?

You seem to think your mom is fine and should be returned to her home. If she is fine, APS will help with getting her out of AL and having her declared legally competent.

Is that what you want?
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Reply to BarbBrooklyn
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If the lady's competence or lack of it has been called into question; if there are concerns about the original assessment finding her incompetent, or if with proper care she has recovered from whatever was disturbing her balance of mind and is again able to make sound decisions for herself; in any case, what is the objection to having APS investigate? It's a review, to be undertaken by qualified professionals. I don't see why it's a problem.

The relationship between yourself and your sons sounds like a very sad state of affairs indeed, though. Would there be any way to repair it? Have you thought about mediation?
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Reply to Countrymouse
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Cwdaisy, please note that an Assisted Living facility evaluates a person before that person can move in.... apparently with their professional knowledge, your Mom had qualified for the facility.

Honestly, this wouldn't be elder abuse having your Mom be in a facility, it is for her best interest. Makes me wonder what your Mom had told her friend. If Mom does have memory issues it is not unusual for a person to make up stories, which is ok, because her brain isn't thinking correctly. In fact, both Power of Attorneys may have visited many times but your Mom had forgotten, again, not unusual.

I have a feeling you don't live nearby where your Mom is now living. If that is correct, arrange to visit her to see for yourself what is going on. If the only communication with Mom prior was by telephone, it is easy for some elders to sound very clear minded while engaged in a conversation on the phone. My Dad was that way, yet he had dementia and no way could he live by himself. If I had Dad live on his own, then that would be considered elder abuse.
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Reply to freqflyer
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Oh this brings up memories..... We had a playground bully of an LPN providing "home care" to my family member & threatened to call APS on me because Mom was non-compliant with a lot of things and her overall condition was not what we'd all hoped. If a sick person continues to get sicker it does not mean there is neglect or abuse! I would think an LPN would know this as she is in a vulnerable position as well in terms of someone accusing HER of something. And, initiating such legal action against the primary caregiver (me) seems rather counterproductive - doesn't it? Who will take my place? Calling APS just because someone doesn't like how things are going is inappropriate at best. APS is there for true, honest to goodness cases where there is an adult whose basic needs and/or safety are in jeopardy. That LPN had me so terrified that I to still worry I will be contacted by APS & Mom's been permanently in a facility for a while now due to multiple factors.

I agree with freqflyer - go check it out for yourself if you can and see what's going on. If not, talk to the staff at the facility and get the facts. Then call APS to advise them of this addtional information. Maybe you can stop the complaint in its tracks before it gets too far.
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Reply to OverTheEdge17
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jeannegibbs May 31, 2018
Hmm. If APS receives a report of suspected abuse, I don't think that a relative of the suspected abuser can simply call the agency and say, "Oh never mind that complaint. Mom is fine. You don't have to investigate." That wouldn't make for a very protective agency, would it?
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Don't worry about making too many posts. We are here to listen and help if we can.

OOPS!!! While I understand that your Mother's friend was "just trying to help", she may end up hurting your Mother, your sons, you and herself. Since your Mother's friend works for APS, she (and you) know that what she did is legally wrong as she violated privacy laws. She really should not have called you and told you about a case that is pending, especially if you or your sons don't know about APS investigating your sons as POAs yet. Makes me wonder how many times she has called a "family friend" in the past and told them that APS was investigating their family. Hmmm?!?

I wouldn't trust her with anymore private information about your family. She might accidently tell other APS staff members that she knows "something" about your family situation and cause more trouble.

Did you compound the problem and tell your sons that APS is investigating them because they are your Mother's POAs? Or has APS already contacted them? I haven't had time to read your previous posts as we are having a thunderstorm and I have to get off the computer now. I'll write more tomorrow. Good Night.
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Reply to DeeAnna
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Cwdaisy, the facility wouldn't have taken in your Mom unless the facility thought she couldn't live at home. At the facility, it can take a whole village to help one resident. Could be your sons were able to see the forest for the trees. I know we hate to see our own parents age, and sometimes we are in denial about our parent's ability.

By chance, are you visiting Mom at the same time every other day? If yes, then change the times. I would recommend after 4pm when some elders have what is called "sundowning". Then you would hear a different conversation.

My own Dad appeared very with it during the day but come 4pm he transported himself back to the 1940's. No way he could be left home by himself for any length of time. Plus he was a fall risk, I noticed with each fall, his memory would get fuzzier and fuzzier.
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Reply to freqflyer
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jeannegibbs May 31, 2018
ff, the facility does not determine whether she could live at home. They determine if they have the resources to help her. OP's Mom clearly does need help. An ALF can provide that level of help. That doesn't rule out the possibility that she could get that at home.

My husband would have been accepted at an ALF any time during his 10 years of dementia. And if he hadn't had me to take care of him, that is where he would be.

The fact that an ALF accepted her does not prove that she REQUIRED an ALF. (I'm not arguing that an ALF is not a good idea for her, just point out that their acceptance merely means that she needs some help and they are able to give it to her.)
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I was typing as you were posting so I am amending my answer:

Both freqflyer and OverTheEdge have brought up good points about your situation. Who are the POAs--your siblings?--So your sons are your Mom's POAs.


I think that you are not seeing the WHOLE PICTURE. If you still think that your Mother should not be in the Assisted Living Facility, then let Adult Protective Services go ahead and investigate and make everyone's life (including your life, your Mother's life and your sons lives) miserable. Your sons will not like you for it and your family might become even more dysfunctional.

APS will discover the truth to the situation and will do what THEY THINK IS BEST for your Mother. As a result of the APS investigation, you may find that you have to petition for guardianship of your Mother. THE COURT could appoint someone outside of your family to be your Mother's guardian (which will mean that neither you nor your sons will have any say regarding your Mother's care anymore.) Is that what you want?

My Mom was admitted to a Long Term Care facility for Rehab last May 2017. Most of the non-nursing staff thought that she was totally alert and coherent because she was friendly and visited with other residents; because she knew each resident's name and where they sat at dining room tables; and because she was able to discuss her finances and talk about how her income, along with her long term care insurance, would pay for her stay at the nursing home.

However, the nurses and CNAs knew that: Mom cried after each of my visits or phone calls (even though the visit or phone call was very positive); Mom resisted eating or being assisted to toilet or bed; Mom could not be redirected by nursing staff or by me when she got a certain idea in her head and that Mom would accuse the nursing staff and me of telling her lies when we told he the truth (Mom would say, "DON’T YOU LIE TO ME!!!”); Mom had delusions, especially about the “white bus to heaven” that took her and other residents to heaven, dropped some of them off and then returned to the facility almost daily; and Mom thought that the nurses were building a bomb shelter under her bathroom.

Because some of the nursing home staff thought that my Mom was coherent, they "assisted" her in changing her D-POA (which was me) and I had to petition for guardianship and conservatorship. After spending several thousand dollars and having several meetings with lawyers, the "Attorney Ad Lidem" assigned by the court to represent Mom decided that Mom DID NOT know what she was doing when she changed her D-POA and returned Mom's D-POA to me. If someone had been more observant and realized just how much problem Mom was having mentally and emotionally, we could have avoided all of the legal stuff and I would not have had to spend several thousand dollars of my retirement fund to get my D-POA back again.

Some people with dementia are "show-timers" and can pretend or "fake their way" to act normal around groups of people or visitors but in reality, they cannot be left alone as they cannot take care of them selves at all.

You need to visit your Mother at different time and during different situations/scenarios to see how she interacts with others. There is more to this situation than you think. Whatever is happening, you need to do WHAT IS BEST FOR YOUR MOTHER no matter what her friends say.
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Reply to DeeAnna
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CW,

A couple things. Short term memory loss is a symptom of Dementia. Asking the same question over and over and over kinda sounds like Dementia.

If your Mom was not having short term memory loss, etc, etc, before the fall you might explore the head injury route.

I fainted in March, fell and smacked the back of my head on my cement porch. 4 staples in my head. I passed the neuro exams, BUT, I couldnt think my way out of a paper bag, my balance was nonexistent. I had to intentionally not talk a lot because I knew I was repeating myself and searching for words. This episode lasted 2 months after I hit my head. I am 57.

I am not saying your Mom doesn’t have Dementia. Or that you may be in denial about the situation. But if your Mom TRULY had all her wits about her before the fall, then deemed incompetent, and now seems to be recovering somewhat, her head injury could have been the source of this mix up.

With all that being said, we all know that when the elderly start falling things can take a downturn mentally and physically.

If your Mom is happy, healthy, and safe in Assisted Living and can afford it, is there really a downside to how this has worked out?
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Reply to lizzywho61
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jeannegibbs May 30, 2018
Lizzie, thanks for sharing your personal experience. I, too, know first-hand that a fall is not always the beginning of a mental and physical downturn. Often it is, but certainly not always!

People don't have to have "all their wits" about them to be considered competent. Many people with dementia are never declared incompetent. It is a matter of which "wits" they still have.

I tend to agree with you that an ALF might be appropriate for OP's mom. But she is not "happy, healthy, and safe." She is decidedly not happy! Being declared legally incompetent when you are not is a gross violation of civil liberties. She is now not able to make decisions for herself. She can't refuse surgery or change POAs, for example.

The question of whether ALF is good for Mom is really separate, in my mind. The first thing to verify/change is the decision about her competency. I would not let that stand without further testing. A hospitalist may certify that someone is not competent to make medical decisions on today's date. This would allow the medical POA to consent to treatment, for example. But this state of incompetency could be temporary, as several of us have experienced for ourselves.

This would be my priority list:

First, deal with the matter of competency.
Then consider whether POA should be changed.
Then work out the best place for Mom's care.

And all along, let APS to its thing.
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How did the sw respond to you being ordered out of the room?
Why did your mom make your two sons her POAs?  I know you were out of the area. Does she trust them?

Have you asked the DON if you can be prevented from seeing your mom?

It sounds to me like there is more backstory about this situation.

You say your sons are both taking money from your mom and you. Taking as in financial abuse? Intimidation?

I can't imagine a situation in which any of my kids would speak to me that way.  Are they always disrespectful?
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Reply to BarbBrooklyn
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