How do I protect myself from Adult Social Services? - AgingCare.com

How do I protect myself from Adult Social Services?

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I've been taking care of my mother for 1 1/2 yrs since my dad passed. There have been a few months here and there when I haven't. I moved in with her because she asked me to. When she would get mad because I wouldn't kiss her @$$ she would kick me out and have my worthless sister and her husband move in. Then she would get mad at them and have me back. Once she got mad at both of us and moved in for a month with my oldest sister who hadn't even talked to my mother in yrs.

So this past February she called my from my oldest sisters house and said she wanted to come back home and would I move in and help her. I said ok but things need to change. she agreed.

In the last few months she has been doing some really strange things. I knew her mind was going so I called her doctor. We went in and he diagnosed her with dementia.

I have her DPOA and her health care POA. So I took over on everything. I had too because she started giving things away. She asked me to take her to the bank to get $1000.00 out. I asked her why she needed that kind of money. She said she just wanted it. I said no so she grabbed her purse and went walking down the road. I went out and asked her what she was doing and she told me she was going to get someone to take her to the bank. She cancelled her next doctors appointment when they called to confirm. So I took the phone so she couldn't do that again. I told her she would get it back after the doctors visit. I also fixed the front porch so that she would have a hard time getting around a bench if she tried to sneak out again. I caught her at 2am trying to get out.

So we go to see her doctor she tells him she scared of me, that I stole all of her money, that I went out and bought a brand new car and my husband a brand new truck. she told him I was holding her hostage for a month (I blocked the porch for 2 days). She told him so many lies I was stunned. I would try to defend myself and he got up and with a raised voice said we were both acting like 2 year olds and that he was going to call Adult Social Services. I said really? I'm doing my best to take care of her because she asked me to and gave me the rights to take care of her business. That was HER decision she made at her attorney's office where she had the papers drawn up and signed.

So then he has me go in another room to talk to me. I told him all the crazy things she's been doing, messing up her medications etc. He said he wanted to see us back in 2 weeks and if things weren't better he would call Adult Social Services. My mother told me that he asked her if I had ever hurt her, she tells me she said no. She said he asked her if she was afraid I would, she tells me she said no. She tells me she told him she wants me to be with her and take care of her.

So, the very next day guess who shows up. Adult Social Services. They come in and ask her some questions about if she was afraid of me etc. Then she talks to me and I explained why I had done the things I did even though I feel I shouldn't have to explain myself. This was this past Friday. Today is Tuesday. I gave her back the phones like I told her I would. I told her not to answer calls from anyone she doesn't know...so the phone rings and she answers it. It was for me. I get off of the phone and told her that I had told her not to answer to anyone who calls. She said well it just kept ringing. I said let it ring. She says "hear we go again".

So now I have to walk on eggshells?? Because she going to continue telling everyone I'm a monster? I forgot that part. She has told anyone she can how horrible I am but to my face says she loves me and wants me here.

I said what are you going to do? tell your doctor again so you can end up in a nursing home. She said she doesn't care that it's better than putting up with this.

Who protects the caretaker? What can Adult Social Services do to me? I've been so stressed its insane. I'm crying constantly. I take darn good care of her yet they will believe the rants of a woman with dementia?

I have no one to talk to about any of this. I'm scared. I want to take care of my mother but I don't want to end up in jail because of her. What can I do?

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First, the doctor is a mandated reporter. That's why he called Adult Protective Services. Next, APS has seen and heard it all. Your mom has been diagnosed with dementia. I presume APS knows that.

Now I'd like to make a few observations from your post.

You know she has dementia yet you expect her to remember not to answer a ringing phone. Much of what dementia'd seniors do is from habit. Pretty predictable that she would answer the phone, don't you think? She probably doesn't even know why you're angry about it. And why DON'T you want her to answer it, by the way? If you're expecting her to look at the caller ID, which it sounds as if you do, I think it's likely you're expecting too much.

I use that as an example. Taking care of dementia'd loved ones is more about manipulation than you think. Example...

When she wanted to go to the bank for a thousand dollars? Instead of no, tell her you'll take her for sure tomorrow. When tomorrow comes,she may or may not remember. If she remembers, take her but suggest she start with $50. You'll take her for more when she needs it. Then take her out to lunch.

Hope some of this makes sense. I know APS being involved is spooky, but, believe me, you and mom aren't their first rodeo.
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I want to expand on what Maggie was talking about with dementia. There's tons of great info on this about dealing with dementia and you should do some reading, but here's some basic stuff I've learned from dealing with my very stubborn Dad who has dementia.

You just can't argue, you won't win. The ability to reason through the simplest things is no longer there.

Don't correct them all the time. It just reminds them that something is wrong, and they can become confused and angry.

Don't play 20 questions. "Don't you remember this or that?" They don't and won't. Don't bother with it.

Don't get mad. This is the hardest for everyone dealing with dementia. You have to remember it's not their fault. It's even harder when the relationship has always been bad.

Fib, lie, use deception, divert attention, trickery what ever you can do to induce a loved one to do what's needed for their welfare and YOURS.


Finally, it only gets worse. Be prepared, lay track ahead of time for the next crisis and take care of yourself. Don't let guilt or others inaction and dumping all the responsibility on you kill you. Stand up for yourself. If putting Mom in care is the only way you will survive, then that's what you do
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It is possible that you are afraid of the adult social services because your mom threatened you with social services when you were a kid. You want them to see the situation as much as possible so they will have the right picture of what's going on. It sounds like she needs to be in the care of someone who does not have your history with her. She is pushing your buttons because she programmed those buttons years ago
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I would be careful about canceling appointments with social workers, doctors or anyone involved in her care. It could be taken as a bad sign and I would try to avoid anything like that. I would keep things as transparent as possible.

I would also try to keep reading as much about dementia as possible. The brain changes and the patient cannot be held to the same standard that they were held to previously. Even if the patient was rude, a liar and demanding for 40 years, when they get dementia, they have an excuse. Dwelling on old behavior throughout their life is not productive. I think I might see a counselor about dealing with it and accepting what has happened. You may not get your mom to ever behave in the way you think is proper. She will not be capable. Having high expectations can be very disappointing. Plus, she her dementia will progress.

I would also let go of expectations of her being polite or saying the right thing. With dementia, that's rarely what you do. You may say or do very bizarre things. It's expected and not odd by those who know dementia. You may explain that to others who don't know this. They will just have to adjust and accept it as well.

I wish you both all the best.
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Holy H*ll !!

Girl I feel terrible for you!! First things first, you MUST learn to STOP arguing with her. That will be your first big challenge. It's hard to just STFU, but if you learn this one, you're on your way...

If her doc diagnosed her with dementia, well then, he shouldn't be surprised at anything she says, at least my mother's doc wasn't. He usually just chuckled and said "Is that so"?... as far as ANY phones, I personally would take them away from her. She does not need them. If she's doing any sort of irregular stuff with them, then it becomes a hazard to both of you. You're there with her 24/7 (yikes), if she needs something or wants to talk to someone, I'm sure you will provide for her.
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If she is capable of comprehending anything, YOU need to put YOUR foot down.

If she's acting like a brat right now and doesn't want to eat dinner, so be it. She will not starve missing supper. Go about your business. If you plan on keeping mom at home, before she's too far gone, you need to really do hard ass homework on Alzheimers/Dementia or else you will not make it much longer...

Oh, baby proof the house. Make it where she isn't able to escape without you knowing... nice you have all the alarms, but if you have a gate outside, fix it so she can't get out that way either....

I will never forget the time my very own dear mother escaped and ran down the street hollering someone ( was going to kill her )...gasp!! I had just spent the last 2 hours doing her hair and nails... the mind is a curious thing.

Protect yourself.... let APS come in, who cares?... they'll leave you alone (hopefully) once they realize what really is going on.
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Lyl, i have to be honest, i don't see this working out. Your mother, BEFORE she had dementia, w as a deeply dysfunctional person and an abusive parent. I think hands on caregiving is too much to be asked of you. Talk with APS and her docyor about plaving. Not as a threat, but because it's what's best for both of you.
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Curious what type of doctor had diagnosed your Mother as having dementia? What kind of testing was done?

Regarding nursing homes, please do not make a nursing home a "punishment", you are scaring your mother.... with dementia some day she might have to have 24 hour care which you might not be able to do, and you wouldn't be able to get her to even visit one.
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I don't think I could handle the stress and anxiety of dealing with it. I would see an attorney and ask about filing with the court to have a guardian appointed to her. I would NOT do it. In many states, the court can consider willing family members or they can appoint someone else. The court will determine if she needs one based on her mental competence. They may need testimony from you and her doctor. If they appoint her a guardian, they can make arrangements to keep her safe and care for her needs.
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I'm sure I did handle it wrong. I have no clue about this sort of thing. It's new to me. I'm stressed out. I don't want her answering the phone because one she has cancelled not only her doctor appointment but an appointment for an eye exam that I had to reschedule. Two because she has ordered things and paid for it with her visa. A drink thing that was a monthly delivery and payment of $89

The caseworker told me I could take the landline from her as long as I let her keep her cell phone. I didn't want to do that but I might have too.

Right now she's pouting and won't eat.

I feel like a failure even though I know I'm taking good care of her. She has no one else. My sisters haven't even asked me if I needed any help.. My oldest sister called one time to make sure she knew that she wants her share of the sale of the house! I said umm she's not dead yet. The other sister calls every other day to ask her how she is doing but hasn't offered to visit or have mom go to visit her.

As I said, I'm new to this. I guess I needed to talk to anyone who could offer support. I don't know all the in's and out's of dementia. I had hoped her doctor would help me but he was horrible to me.

I guess I'll just get back to reading about it. I just really needed someone to talk to
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