What are my rights when the Department Of Aging is investigating my family and I? - AgingCare.com

What are my rights when the Department Of Aging is investigating my family and I?

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My family and I were reported to the Dept of Aging for not taking care of my mother by her former boss. My mom is 82 years old and just retired because she made home made pasta at a little italian store but her shoulder is just shot. She is rubbing bone on bone in there and has been for years. I don't know how she even lasted as long as she did. So her bosses got mad that she retired and turned me in to be investigated for elder abuse and neglect. I just got a phone call from the Dept of Aging that they came into my home while was at work and made my mom open the door and let them in. Our home is two apartments but we have a common door in the downstairs hallway and we use this as one home and not two. Two women went up to mom's floor and looked around her house and spoke with her without my knowledge. I am quite bothered that someone just came into my home without my permission or knowledge and made my mother open the door and let them in. What rights if any do we have to find out of they are just permitted to come into your home and not tell you? I don't know how they got my mother's phone number as it is not published and she also does not have a doorbell because I don't want her to open doors for strangers. She has middle stage dementia. The dept. of aging said they found nothing wrong and they were going to close the case. They contacted my uncle who is mom's POA and told him we were not entitled to know who filed the complaint and we also cannot get a copy of the report. Is this legitimate?????? If anyone knows anything about being investigated and how to handle our rights and also get a copy of this report, it would be appreciated very much. I feel like my home has been burglarized and I was violated with my privacy. I am now installing cameras outside and inside that I can monitor online during the day to see who is coming and going and to make sure my mom is ok and no strangers are coming in. ALso changing her phone number again so this does not happen again.

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This was a huge fear of mine while we taking care of my mother with Alzheimer's. She would tell anyone who would listen that we stole her money, she was not fed and that our caregiver was sleeping with her husband. The neighbors behind us seemed more interested in our lives than their own so I took some measures to protect us and our caregivers. I created a daily log sheet for my mother's care. We would document her activities, feeding times, exercise, sleeping, pains, complaints and attitudes for every day. I kept everything in a binder by date and would take it with us to the doctors office, showed it to hospice and any other caretakers who entered the house. Taking care of our parents is one of the hardest jobs we face in our lifetime and it hurts when some stranger questions our care. Give your mom a big hug, tell her how much you love her and remember that you have a whole community of caregivers standing behind you. We know that you are doing a good job and we support you!
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This was just posted to the public a couple days ago and I'm not holding on to anger any longer. It's been over and done with and I'm not aggravated at all but thanks to all of you for your help. we are on to new things like trying to find an ALF now and seeing what kind of assest they look at.
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I think its alot like child protective services, but with elderly they have to investigate. It is actually a very good thing that they are here for the very young and very old, its hard to believe but bad people live in this world ; even family.
But yes i would be very upset too, because we only want the best for our elderly and someone saying your bad when you aren't just sets a higher stress level.
Just know you are doing what you can and thats good.
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Very well said, alwayslearning! Thank you.

Italianbabs, I'm concerned that this incident happened about 100 days ago and it still seems a source of deep aggravation to you. Especially in light of the fact you were essentially vindicated, this kind of obsession with seeing yourself as a victim just doesn't seem to be doing you any good. It is not changing your sister or the boss or whoever else might have called in a claim. It is not changing the agency that was doing the job they are mandated to do. You can't change what happened. You can control your response to it. Maybe for your own sake, it is time to let the outrage go.
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In the middle of all this, it will help you deal with the family dispute and all related matters if you are very, very disciplined about not making assumptions. If her boss said she'd call in a complaint, it's understandable that you'd think of her first; but it does not follow that you "know for a fact" it was her. I am a mediator and conflict-resolution consultant and I can tell you that that sort of "conclusion" gets people into a lot of trouble. The other thing that whips up conflict is the choice people make about how outraged to be. Several people on this website have taken the trouble to write you, expressing sympathy for your feelings and at the same time showing you the other side and suggesting ways to think of this that will help you calm down. Whether you feel "violated" or "protected" by how the elder-abuse-prevention system worked in this instance -- or, if you quite understandably feel both of those things, which one dominates your response -- is up to you. Pick the one that helps calm down your family dispute, not the one that whips it up.
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I had it happen also, and I also knew who did it. You will get a registered letter that says "Unfounded" and thats all. Who cares what else is in the report, unfounded means nothing found, everything A-O-K so thats all you need. If she had middle stage dementia and was alone I would be more concerned as to why she was alone. Middle stage dementia means reasoning is off. My Mom was alone doing fine, she swore she knew how to do things, and not do things, and she then made a bad decision and fell. If anything, I wouldnt leave your Mom alone because some day you will come home and she will be gone. DO get cameras with audio, they are fantastic and you could have listened and watched it all if you had them, we did do that and love it. I know how you feel, but be happy its unfounded. Once someone reports something false its THEM that look like the fools in the courts eyes.
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I also understand your frustration. However, remember that people see things differently and a lot of times things are misunderstood. Not wanting to get too involved, many people would rather have the authorities take care of it than asking some questions. People have the right & responsiblity to report suspected abuse and the authorities have the responsiblity to investigate it. That is how our system is set up. Sometimes they will say who made the complaint but don't have to. The fact that they are closing the case is a good thing. Enjoy the time you have with left with your mom & don't worry about it who made a complaint. It really doesn't matter.
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That's all I am asking for is a letter saying the case is closed for future reference. We still never got it and I guess we never will..... These people that turned us in were just being malicious. The 25 years my mother worked for them and all those years they knew me cause I brought her to work everyday and picked her up and spoke with them they turned me in. Just ridiculous to even have done that. They were brainwashed by my sister who is not in mom's life anymore and she told the whole world I stole all my mom's money and I guess they all believed her. Oh well, my sister's loss because my mom wants nothing to do with her anymore....
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I understand your feelings of violation and ivasion of your privacy. I am a caretaker for my mom, who is 91 and has Alzheimers. I totally know the feeling when she says... "no, I didn't eat all day." to the Home Health staff ... when she can't remember that she ate 30 minutes ago. Let alone having her say such a thing to an investigator. THAT SAID, however, I also was the one investigating allegations of Child Abuse and Neglect in my career and we had certain rules but the primary one was that we HAD A MANDATE to confirm or reject the allegations-- for the safety of the child. Considering that our elderly are often vulnerable as the children we have to see this from both sides. By Regulations and Law, we had a time limit to get to the home, see the person and the environment. We could NOT knock a door down (without a warrent) but could ask for admission. IF the child was the only one at the home (or the oldest one) and I went knocking on the door and the child opened it and let me in... which happened a lot..... I pointed out that this, in and of itself is a dangerous situation. But once inside, I was required to look around, check for food available, basic cleanliness, physical signs of neglect or abuse, etc. If all looked well, I would then make every effort to locate the parents, or contact an adult. (In the case of young children I was not allowed to leave them alone-- either locate a responsible adult or remove them into custody. With elderly, it gets more complicated, as I fully know. ) HOWEVER, following any investigation, we had a standard letter to the responsible people. stating the general allegations, documenting our investigation in very general terms and our determination as "unfounded, and closed, Founded and case opened, or even founded and taken into custody" . I told people to keep this letter in a file for future reference -- especially if reports were maliciously being made with MANY agencies. I cannot see why such a letter/ statement could not be sent to the POA or the caregivers. WE NEVER DIVULGED WHO REPORTED BECAUSE WE DO NOT WANT TO DISCOURAGE THE ONE WHO MIGHT HESITATE TO REPORT SERIOUS NEGLECT OR ABUSE.
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I agree I would try to get a hold of an elder law attorney. It seems to me that the documentation of this should be available to you. My thought is that your Mother did not understand and was frightened and intimiadated into opening the door. I have a problem with that! Often times our elders with dementia may appear "normal" to other folks but people who love them KNOW differantly... My Mom has dementia too... take care
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