I am almost 300 percent positive it was one of her sisters that is convinced that I am the cause of my Mom's drastic weight loss. My Mom has vascular dementia with mixed Alzheimer's. I have been back and forth to the doctor with her and all of her appointments are kept and all reports that I have states I am doing a great job of taking care of her. No injuries, accidents, incidents ever happen while she is in my care. Now, my aunts do think that I am supposed to just let them drop in whenever they feel like it and not think of how it will affect my mom nor do they care about my feelings. I am not able to meet with the DSS worker and they did not have a good address for my mom. I am more hurt than anything. What should I do?
I was completely candid and open with the investigator. I left the room when she interviewed my parents and explained to her everything that was happening. Gave her all the information she requested. After a few weeks she came back and closed the case.
So my recommendation to you is to phone DSS and see if they would like to schedule an interview, or if they would like to speak with you on the phone. You haven nothing to hide. Those aunts have no idea what is going on in your home.
Sigh, why is it outsiders are so involved in criticising the care? grrrrr
Keep in mind that a non-stop view of someone you love failing in your midst is so punishing to families. Respite services/activities maybe? Respite is to help both the ill and the caretaker/s.
A DSS home visit prevents your having to wade through traffic, figure where to park, put wear and tear on your vehicle. It allows you to conduct business without being in a waiting room among many other distressed people. Have a list of doctors, prescriptions, and powers-of-attorney forms readily available. If you are her Representative Payee, have that document to show. DSS needs to know you are keeping up with Mom's needs.
Unsolicited questions from relatives as well as their complaints or suggestions need to kept at arms length!
I learned the value of the public library - free, quiet, peaceful. Magazines and papers to browse through. Computers and music programs to explore. Comfortable chairs to lounge in if I didn't want to engage the brain. A chance to chill out, at no cost. Our library allots users 2 hours per day for computer use. Our library has many free events, held in heated and air-conditioned rooms at different times of the day/evenings. Another benefit of a library is no talking and cell phones for the most part. You are under no obligation to chat with anyone - a good place when you don't want to talk, and just want some quiet moments.
If you're physically active, parks and other places are free to the public - quiet, free, away from relatives. There are also some coffee shops, Subways etc. and a grocery store close by in my community. The post office is not far so I've even taken my regular bills and sat at a library table to write the checks, and deposited them in the mailbox. The idea is to get away from negative people at as little cost to you as possible. If you use a laptop, the library allows you to bring yours - so you can do online business too. If using your own laptop, there is no time constraint.
In our community, the university's school of music allows the public to come to it's rehearsals. Again - just a free public event to step away from the madhouse.
Never tell these relatives exactly where you are going. Part of the respite experience is knowing that you are unreachable by the undesirables. You owe zero explanation to the undesirables. Whether it's personal business or chilling out, they need not know.
Respite workers are quite adept at making necessary calls to you, 911 etc. They are also instructed to not give information to unauthorized relatives. They can/will call whomever you list as alternate contact persons if needed. This helps keep your whereabouts unknown to undesirables.
DSS needs to know you act in your mom's best interest and that you are taking care of yourself too. Mom will likely need additional care beyond what you can do by yourself sooner rather than later. You need a life that enhances your well being and keeps you separate from undesirables.
But, it's such a shame. There shouldn't *be* any conflict! - you're all on the same side, trying to make sure your mother gets the care she needs and that you get the support that I'm sure you could do with.
It isn't acceptable that an appointment was broken, and clearly the communication is not working well. Did you leave a message? - and did no one get back to you?
I hope the meeting will turn out to be helpful and productive for everyone, and just to take one example at random: that your mother isn't confident about answering the door is exactly the kind of detail they need to know.
I agree with everyone who says meet with the social worker, you have nothing to hide or nothing to fear. I can top this easily. My bedridden mother refuses to go into a nursing home. My adult son, who moved back a few years ago to help with both of my parents, is a lot more objective and practical than I am. While I was wringing my hands trying to figure out what to do, he called Adult Protective Services and told them "we have an unsustainable situation here and we need whatever help you can provide". We allowed ourselves a few minutes of fantasy where they swoop in and remove her and lock both of us up, where we NEVER have to deal with her again ;p. A social worker visited (unscheduled as we expected) and asked my mom a lot of questions who cheerfully lied when answering each and every one. Fortunately the social worker had been around the block and knew mom wasn't being truthful. Unfortunately, even though she's bedridden, refuses an aide, and lies in a wet diaper all day, she's better off than most of her clients, some who don't even have a place to live.
I would give the aunts visiting hours and explain that they can only come at certain times because it disrupts your mom. I would ask them to please give DSS the correct address and phone number so that they can contact you to arrange a meeting with you and your mom. And then I would say very politely "if this isn't acceptable to you, please tell me which of you will be taking over mom's care 24/7 and I'll have her transported there". If the aunts don't get the message you are under no obligation to let them in. While the agencies for the aged have different criteria in different states, none of them want to remove a family member from a home where they are getting care.
So? There IS a vulnerable adult living in your home, and you are taking excellent care of her. It is a GOOD thing that this important information is available to the DSS, law enforcement, the emergency services and so on. If God forbid anything happens to you, your mother won't be overlooked.
I'm not being intentionally obtuse. I genuinely don't understand what the problem is. Has anyone made any allegation of abuse? Did the letter or call from the DSS inform you that they were opening an investigation?
Now the "old biddies". This is your home, your rules. You now have a reason to set the rules up. Tell them all they need to call before they come over. For me, morning was a no no. Mornings were getting Mom up, dressed and fed. (She didn't get up till 8 or 9) When I was done with her, it was my time to get showered and dressed. If ur like me, u have a routine you need to stick to. Tell them they have to schedule visits then.
I would no longer give them any info on Mom. If they ask how she is doing, tell them the doctor says good for her condition. If they say anything about ur caregiving tell them they are welcome to take Mom into their home and care for her.
I had an Aunt who always knew better. I held my tongue alot. Not my brother. And until the day she died, she still brought up his being nasty to her.