I'm caring for my 87 year old mom who has dementia. When she can't have her way she calls social services and lies about her treatment.

My mother is not nursing home material because she is too combative.

How do I protect myself from these people.

I have full POA. What questions should I not answer due to my rights.

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ive only dealt with aps one time. i was polite but quite unwavering in my resolve and replies to their questions. had i been weak or indecisive i believe they would have punked me around a bit. their strategy is to keep you nervous. you wont try anything unethical if your a nervous wreck already. its a cruel strategy that adds panic and burden to an already stressed caregiver. your job is to protect the elder , even from aps.. stand up to them, then they know the elder is in firm hands.
Helpful Answer (8)

As far as I know APS should be observing the environment for health and safety issues, neglect issues, hygiene issues, hydration and malnutrition issues. Keep good records about activities you provide; when her doctor diagnosed her/at what stage/when she had to stop driving/cooking/ etc. For example, you mom may report that she never goes out of her room. The recliner in the living room, stereo, television, some of her favorite activityes will reflect that she indeed leaves her room for not only meals but also to enjoy the things in the living room. If APS is asking you questions what kinds of questions are they asking.
Look at NH facilities which are overseen (albeit poorly) by the state. They also receive both state and federal funds. As a result said NH are required to provide a certain level of care including a designated amout of activities. You can good NH regulations federal and you will see what a NH is expected to provide. That can help you determine where you could be lacking (likely not).
If they are indeed asking you questions it would be interesting to know what they are and how this squares up with your civil rights as a citizen of this country caring for a parent.
By and large I believe APS is looking for the things that I mentioned at the beginning. They might also want to know who cares for your mom if you need to go out of the home for an appointments, grocery shopping (safety)--in other words is your mom being left alone for periods of time (which could very well be unsafe). Are there physician reports about any bed sores (not re positioning a LO often enough) is the perineal area kept clean and dry (it should be); is she forced to take a bath/shower (these tasks can traumatize someone with dementia). Do you have a fire exit emergency plan/smoke detectors, gas shut off valve and wrench. How do contain/prevent infection? Is there an odor in the home; is the home clean and safe? Are throw rugs and other tripping hazards removed? Is your mom supervised long enough to light the stove/microwave and start a fire. Do you have fire extinguishers in the home?
Medications and how you keep them away from her/how is she monitored for medication.
I think if you follow what is here and adhere to what is expected of federally funded and state funded regulations you will be fine; I make that assumption because I don't have a clue what questions they would be asking.
When mom came to live with me any household item from vinegar to XXX was removed and placed in a rubber maid 30 gal trashcan which I placed right out my back door. My mom wasn't told what I was doing and didn't have a clue what the can was for; she never asked and I never reported what it was used for. I removed everything that was unedible in the bathrooms and kitchen/washrooms . Clothes soap in the form of those pods appear to look like candy to children and therefore could do the same thing to someone with dementia. Things like dish soap which comes in very pretty drinkable colors was place out of sight/out of reach for mom. Safety proof your home.
I'm sure you are fine.
Helpful Answer (7)

Oh boy, I can relate, you have to cover your butt, been through the wringer on this one. My mother is very nasty when she does not have her way. She can be sweet as pie, but if you aren't doing what she wants when she wants, then she pulls out the arsenal. She literally does things that she knows have aggravated me at one time or another to get a reaction, I of course TRY to bite my tongue to try not to get that knee jerk reaction, this incites her more till she gets a reaction. This is a real issue with her, a personality disorder perhaps, a definite exhibition of my mother's younger personality, but now she can't bully me physically so it is without the power in back of it, this is particularly her issue, she does not like the loss of power or independence. She will do whatever she can to get even, and is quite vindictive. Now there are those who say she can't possibly be this way, well let me tell you she is moderate cognitive decline and sure I see her cognitive decline, but I also am amazed at how sneaky she is and how she sets up things. She can remember fine some things, other times when she is unbearable it is the ole, well I don't know what I am saying thing. Her Geriatrician affirms me and says to go with the flow, he says dementias present differently in everyone and some things do not get involved, for now this is her. She involved me early in the game after moving from USA to another country to take care of her with both the Garda and Adult Protective Services. She thought it was funny that they came to the house after she locked herself out and I didn't get to the door to get her back in fast enough. She had been complaining to the neighbors that I was hitting her, keeping her prisoner, not feeding her???????????????????????????????????????What the hell. Well after detainment at station since I did not have a lease or was not on the deed of house that she wanted me out of the house, in her words, "I don't want you anymore, get out of here, and give her a good thumping" Nice hey, loving mother hey. Smirking at the thought of me getting a beating from Garda. At station and night in shelter and then my mother being carted off to a respite center, I saw just how ugly this all can be. They wanted to keep my mother and put her in a nursing home. I moved heaven and earth, got her out of there and then after they were saying she had dementia/alzheimers and could not be alone, I went to work. I got the lawyer that did her will, Ireland is different than USA, but I got the specialist and doctors to put in writing that she could indeed understand her finances, and I got POA, and have an Enduring Power of Attny, in the wings for the time when they do put in writing that she is incompetent and then it goes to court to be registered. This will be nursing time home for her then. I told her as she claimed that she never said anything to anyone, that she didn't know what she was saying, that she never had no one call the Garda, that she did not remember the two months in respite. I told her, this is it, if you ever put me in peril again, I am gone, do you understand, she looked me square in the eye and said she did, no more bullshit from her, just the occasional regular spiteful stuff when she wants me to be with her night and day. But she does the occasional garbage, she said to me the other day when I was doing online banking that if I did not come in and sit and watch tv with her she would tell them at the Adult day center that I don't feed her, and that would fix me ARRRRGGGGG, emotional blackmail, and abuse. I told her you tell them what you want, you will have someone else to take care of you and that is fine with me, if that is what you want. The water works comes on, she is petulant and I am so sorry I got myself in this. Why is it that the person who cares for the elder can be threatened with this garbage, I know it exists blah blah blah, but I don't have a life anymore, now I am confined with Mommie Dearest. So, to make a long story short, cover your ass anyway you can. I got a right of residence also put on this house deed, no more overnights in a homeless shelter thank you. In other words get the word out there.
Helpful Answer (7)

momhouseme's information is all very good but I had a different take on the meaning of your question so let me address it from my perspective.

First if all, if it weren't true fat mom wasn't nursing home material, would you want to have a ride home with you? It's fine if you do but I asked the question because there's no such thing as "not nursing home material" because someone is combative. There are licensed, locked Alzheimers, dementia or memory care facilities that take people just like your mother. The workers there know how to handle them and if they are two out of line, the doctors prescribe medication to calm them down. I'm going to address the rest of the issues as if this question is answered that, at least for now, you WANT to keep mom home with you.

APS is charged with the responsibility of investigating ANY reports of senior abuse, usually referred by a mandated reporter such as a doctor, psychologist, nurse or other hospital worker, just about anybody if they know who you are and they're suspicious, or as in your moms case, the person herself. How advanced is her dementia if she can use the telephone. My mom couldn't for a very long time, she lost the ability to figure out the electronics of the buttons (hint: remove the phone). Or does she still have enough wherewithal that you leave for home alone or she would need it? Just things ti consider.

APS investigates suspicion but they're not out to get you. They're trying to benefit the elder not injure you as long as you're not doing anything untoward. But that doesn't mean you don't want to protect yourself from any allegations your mother may make. So you don't need to protect yourself as much from "those people" as you do from your mom.

I did a little research barely over a week ago because I have recommended nanny cams, nanny cams, nanny cams. I found you can get a mini alarm clock nanny cam for about $65; there's something extra called an SD card they said you needed that I don't know how much that is. it can be set on continuous recording or motion sensing recording. I would suggest you get one of these, set it up facing sure that your mom likes to sit in, sit off to the side making sure you're not blocking the view, and when she's in a good mood, engage her in a friendly conversation and eventually ask her about why she gets mad at you enough to call social services. My and had alcohol dementia and she could get downright nasty sometimes but when she was in a good mood we would talk about it and she laugh about when she was being nasty, she thought it was funny and she knew she was doing it to get her way. Of course you want your nanny cam "evidence" to be just right so you won't really be trying to record her in the beginning when she's in a snit. After you get some good stuff supportive of you, showing that she's having an enjoyable time and it made it to her bad behavior, you can then record some snits. Off camera, after you've done this, you might also begin to inform her that as much as you like her to stay with you, if she continues to call and falsely accuse you, "they" are going to remove her from your house enforcer to be in a facility, is that what you want mom, etc.?

If you get a good response in a good conversation out of that, you can have it again a couple of days later and getting her to admit on camera that she called falsely. THAT is how to protect yourself from mom. You shiw that to social services, APS, the doctor or the police and you're covered.

When you say you have full POA, I infer that you mean you have both the general durable power of attorney, GDPOA, for financial matters, and the durable power of attorney for healthcare, DPOAHC, for her medical needs, and that these were set up prior to her dementia or in the very early stages, right?

That's good but meaningless if somebody decides you ARE abusing her, they are required to take you to court and a judge will set aside your POAs, appoint another family member or a public guardian. Good reason to protect yourself.
Helpful Answer (5)

- As others have said this is a very tenuous situation for you as any agency investigating will have the mindset of siding with the elderly. You must proactively protect yourself with various agencies.

- Very important to have support of your mother's primary care doctor who is aware of her condition and have knowledge of your efforts in caring for her. Doctor may provide helpful advice along with her official diagnosis plus that from specialist involved, as to your mom's condition plus tendencies.

- Neighbors are a good resource as to being able to vouch for the care you provide and you need to make them aware so they are not falsely alarmed should your mom acts out.

- Should your mom dial 911 or somehow get police involved (via social services or other agencies she calls to complain), I have been told by police that they may have no recourse but make an arrest first and up to individual to prove innocence incurring lawyer/court costs, embarrassment, and so forth.

- Which is why my neighbor (ex police officers) directed me to immediately file non-emergency police report to let them know elderly's behavior of filing false accusation when not getting their way. Officer will be sent out to make inspection/report, so good to show dementia diagnosis from doctor and proof of care provided. Thus, if/when your mom inadvertently or otherwise involve police, you are covered.

- Ask local Alzheimer's caregiver support groups/agencies on how to properly proactively approach social services, Elderly Protective Services, and other local agencies to explain elderly's combative and false reporting behaviors. NOTE: Important as you need to be aware that it may be opening a can of worms for yourself if not properly prepared to prove adequate care being provided and so forth.

Was very traumatized by the experience as to how vulnerably exposed caregivers are when elderly with dementia or otherwise cries wolf. So do take the time to carefully go through the info by respondents to help you put together action plan to protect yourself when your mother acts out.

Hope this helps and Best Wishes to all us caregivers...
Helpful Answer (5)

Raven, some people don't have argumentative people to take care of and it is very easy to say, "don't argue", "divert", "words of love", "loving fib", truth is that you are a human being and it can be so overwhelming at times that you can feel that you are existing on another dimension. Truth is till you are smack dab in it, you don't know how it is, I would prefer to get support than a "supposed text book answer." Caregiving is learned the hard old fashioned way, through trial and error, pain and tears.
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i proactively called the county sheriff office and asked that a notation be made concerning our household. mom is late stage dementia and i told them if she called up with a cock and bull story, feel free to check on us but you wont necessarily need a swat team. a person could be killed by police in their own bedroom if the cops are full of bunk , intruder like misinformation.
as far as aps, i havent found them to be overreactive at all. dont let paranoia eat you up. aps has seen it all. theyve heard it all. answer their questions with an air of self confidence. they were nice to me. id like to bite the younger one on the ass. i always wondered if women could sense that desire despite the visit being so formal and unrehearsed....
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Raven, don't go into hyperdrive. You are driving yourself crazy with the what ifs here, the whole point is to be careful and reasonable. Now you know what can possibly happen with those with dementia/mental illnesses, you are forearmed. Just make sure that the house is reasonably safe and secure, that your mother is safe and secure, that she eats and sees the doctor with any concerns you or she has. I refuse to be beaten down by my mother's irrational behaviour. Reasonable is the key word. Get the legals taken care of and if this is too much move out and take care of yourself.
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First if she has dementia and is too combative to be in a nursing home, how is it she has access to a phone where she could actually call just about any number and talk to someone on the other end of the phone about anything that would be nonsensical? My husband had an uncle who had dementia who would do that. How is it she has social services number? Second, social services varies a great deal from county to county, state to state. Some social service programs are nearly non existent, other's can be abusive, and others can be very helpful, basically her caregiver is the one who should have the phone and the numbers. You might try researching your local social services to get an idea of how helpful they could be, or not be. They might only ask basic questions, and come in once a week to check on both of you. Also depending on how reasonable your mom is, you might try a reward program a few times a day to get her to cooperate, some type of healthy food treat after lunch and dinner and before bed to get her to cooperate with daily routines, play children's basic board games, let her win of course, things like that, depending on your mom and what she likes, keep in mind something relaxing at bedtime. And of course the obvious, your mom should never be alone, should not have access to anything that might hurt her or that she could use to hurt others, she should not be able to leave the house unattended, the home should be immaculate, and she should be, there's should always be food in the house, and food that she can eat. She also should have a doctor that she sees on a regular basis to help with her dementia and other health issues. At 87 I'm sure she's on some kind of medication. As long as these matters are taken care of, and your mother is officially diagnosed with dementia, most social services will not give you a hard time even if she's calling them. Also just to note, in most states, it's illegal to call social services with false claims of abuse, they can and will file charges against the person if it's found to be obviously malicious. Good luck.
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Geez the more I read all this the worse it sounds and makes you not even want to be a caregiver. This is all so frightening that you can be the best person for the job and yet APS can pounce in at any time for anything and before you know it you could be sitting in jail for elder abuse.

I need to ask someone to PLEASE tell me how you found out all this information about what you MUST do, and what you CANNOT do. I consider myself to be somewhat intelligent or savvy but never did I think about removing all cleaning agents from the house or laundry aids, never have removed rugs, she gets ticked if they are not down. How do I force her to drink and be hydrated if she has never drank much water or juice for my last 60 years? How do you force them to eat when they eat a few bites and say they are too full and don't want anymore and get ticked and yell at you if you try to get them to take Megace to increase their appetite? How do I get her to shower more than once a week or wash her hair when she flat out refuses and yells at you to get your a-s out of HER house? How do you force her to go to the doctor when she flat out refuses and throws a fit and you basically would need a second person to drag her there?

I do consider myself to be a good care giver and I have cared for several relatives over the years but this is my last one, my mother. She is probably considered to have moderate dementia, she is still able to take care of her personal needs and works out in the yard some but is gradually becoming more tired. Her memory for facts is about 15 minutes, she weighs about 95 pounds, has a will of iron, will tell you to go to he__, in a blink of an eye. She is strong willed and opinionated to say the very least. She is constantly misplacing things, or hiding things like the checkbook or keys or money.

If I tried to make my mother do some of the things that have been mentioned she would raise the roof and the neighbors would probably be calling the cops and I would be carried off for elder abuse and be sitting in jail saying, but gee I was told I had to keep her hydrated, feed her more food, remove all rugs, make sure she sees her doctor regularly....I wasn't abusing her! I can honestly hear it ringing in my ears. I am not trying to be a smart a--, I am really concerned that I am stuck in this caregiving and I have a parent demanding one thing and the threat of APS on the other side and I too need to know HOW DO I PROTECT MYSELF AGAINST BEING FALSELY ACCUSED OF ELDER ABUSE?

The one thing I do have in my favor is that I do not even have the number for APS nor does my mother. Even if she did she wouldn't call them probably for fear that if I am gone she will go to a NH but due to the 15 minute memory for facts I doubt that she would even know anything about them.


Unless you live this life as a care giver to a person with dementia or Alzheimer's you have absolutely NO IDEA what these people are capable of doing OR NOT DOING, and this is the way they want it and if you try to change it, be prepared for all he-- to break loose!
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