My mom is at home, in a lovely home, with home care services and home health care services. She sees her primary doctor every 3 months. Someone is with her at all times. She is 92, has dementia, and is confined to a wheelchair but in good overall health.

This morning I got a call that someone called Adult Protective Services. I am meeting the rep this afternoon. I called both the home care and home health agencies, and they were both breezy and said no worries. I also have a call in to my elder attorney.

There is absolutely no basis for a report, and I can't imagine anyone who knows me thinking there could possibly be an issue. There are no vindictive neighbors or relatives. The only ones I can come up with are a helper from the home agency who recently left - a little crazy - and a former home health nurse from the agency - I requested a new nurse. The other option is someone via Facebook, but that seems like a stretch.

Any advice? Needless to say, I am upset.

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Update: My meeting was only about 15 minutes and reasonably pleasant. The complaint was against me personally. That I had told my mom's helpers to let my mom lay in the same position for a long time and remain in wet briefs. Of course untrue. Pretty sure it was the former helper. My mom was sometimes aggressive toward her...the only helper she was aggressive toward...and I basically said don't engage with her when she was like that. I didn't want the helper to get hurt just for the sake of removing a wet brief at that moment. Anyway the caseworker said she will be probably closing the file as unsubstantiated and that I would get some sort of letter in the mail. Am still very disturbed...and very angry that someone would do something so vindictive.
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Davina Jan 31, 2019
Anyone would be upset and angry. Glad that all is well!
Don't be angry and don't be upset.

I expect you're right, and I expect slightly nuts caregiver who rubbed your mother up the wrong way was indeed the source of the report. But she is slightly nuts, plus QED not the most skilled caregiver, and you knew you didn't want her around anyway, and her complaint has been found to be groundless.

This is what is *supposed* to happen. The system is working. It's all good!
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A Place of jealousy? Very possible. I too was reported by twisted sissies for financial exploitation, when of course nothing of the sort was occurring. And one of them KNEW it as she was mom's POA. So jealousy? Maybe greed? I will never understand the vindictiveness of some people, especially those twisteds.

When APS left the day he had closed the case, he gave me a hug, felt bad, and told me I was doing an excellent job. Also told me the reports, yes two of them, were nothing but vindictiveness and spite. All while I was providing the necessary 24/7 care.
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busymom Jan 31, 2019
There are not enough APS workers to follow up on all the calls they receive, and I have found that these case workers are usually quite compassionate people themselves. They work long, hard thankless hours for the most part. Because they do have to follow through with the reports they receive, they go through the formalities of fulfilling the duty. Very often there is nothing that needs to change, but at times there are situations where people are in bad straits and really need their assistance. When that does occur, it can be a long process. I would not want the job of an APS worker, but I'm glad there are those who are willing to do it.
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Your gut is probably instincts are telling me the same thing... most likely a disgruntled former caregiver. Doesn't matter at this point.... you may NEVER know as I believe it is confidential information.

Therefore I would not even mention the "source" of the complaint this afternoon to the Rep. I suspect they will have alot of questions for you....let them take the lead here. This may also include a visit to your Mom's home with a discussion with the on duty caregiver. Once they see there is no basis for the complaint I assume they will suspect/know it was a false claim.

Never the less...VERY disturbing. My Mom is HOH....hard of hearing...almost deaf in 1 ear. I have been half expecting a call from APS myself! Only because I have to yell sometimes to be heard by her and a passerby might misconstrue this as abuse!

Please let us know how it so curious as to how it all works.

Good got this!
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gdaughter Jan 31, 2019
try a pocket talker (amplifier) for when communicating with her? Or if she will use a hearing aid, hit Costco...some have rechargable batteries, in the cup at night, good to go in the AM.
I'm the original poster. Thanks, everyone, for sharing your experiences. I found out from another helper last night that the disgruntled helper was upset with me because I "cut" her hours to 40 a week - yes, she had been working some overtime, for which I was being charged. After the agency's rates went up early last fall, I told her I could not afford to having her do more than the 40 and paying her OT. I do remember she seemed kind of miffed and took it personally, not "getting" my predicament.

Re: the abuse. Apparently several of us had radar go off and were examining her for any bruises, etc. No one really found anything, but there could still be verbal abuse of course. Another lesson learned: absolutely go with your gut! My radar had been up for awhile, I had asked my mom about her (for what that was worth), and planned on making a change after a trip I am taking in February. Removing her gutted the weekday daytime schedule as she was there 4 of the days. However, the schedule has been revamped and she has helpers she knows and likes - and that I trust! So hopefully all is well.
I think the helper has been fired by the agency. Again thank you all.
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gdaughter Feb 1, 2019
What a nightmare for you! I'm glad she's been fired but she's going to be someone else's problem. It sure gives one pause when thinking of hiring anyone. And worst of all, in this regard, is that there is confidentiality so the system "works" well and protects the whistle blower...but you have no recourse knowing it was done out of spite and was a false accusation. That's wrong too. There ought to be protections for the innocent family caregivers who are stressed enough doing the best they can and then have to deal with this BS.
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I have worked in state agencies since the early 90s and can tell you without hesitation that many people use us for revenge purposes. People who get mad at relatives, neighbors, exes, small businesses - they all like to rat them out to the authorities when someone displeases them. I'd say better than half the complaints are unfounded. They are all investigated, using taxpayer dollars, but few are actionable. My money is on the care giver who was let go.
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I would also ask the question - what was the complaint regarding?

Several years ago I arrived at my parents IL apartment to find an APS agent just leaving. Seems a neighbor called and complained about my mothers driving. Nothing to do with me - other than I couldn’t get my mother off the road at that point in time. The agent agreed that there was nothing I could do as my mother was a competent adult.

So yeah, what the complaint is actual about would make a big difference in how much or little it might effect you.
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Babs75 Jan 31, 2019
We had the same situation with my dad. A neighbor called APS who came out and met with all of us and yes, I had no control of the situation. I had no control of his driving. I was hoping they would help to get him off the road but they said there was nothing they could do. We have had them involved several times and they really don't don't anything. They were the ones, however, who pushed me into guardianship and they were one of the few who supported me as guardian as opposed to someone from the outside (my dad is a tough one and some people felt it would be better for someone else to manage this - many days now that I think that also). I have found them very easy to work with and have never felt threatened. Her number is saved to my contacts in case I need her again.
Yes, tornadojan, I can help you! Same exact thing happened to me and needless to say I was stunned. Without going in to detail about mom - take my word for it she is practically living in the 'lap of luxury' in my home, care 2xday, concierge doctor, etc., etc.

We had a 19 year old Home Heath Aid, whom aside from having an attitude, thought she knew everything. Long story short, she didn't like the fact that my extremely frail 89 y.o. mother with vascular dementia - was not taken out shopping, taken to the movies, wheeled down the street, taken out to dinner (SERIOUSLY??!!), wasn't taken out on the lanai (this last I'd tried numerous times, but poor mom is at the point where even the trip to our family room causes much anxiety and agitation). She prefers to and is much more content to STAY IN HER ROOM. Period.

The aid questioned me about this a few times and I patiently explained the situation. Well, one day she started busting me about it...hands on her hip/attitude type of thing. Well, she wouldn't let up about it and I'd had enough. So I brought her the phone and told her that since she didn't like the way mom was being cared for, that I have mom's doctor (concierge doctor who comes to the house on a regular basis) on speed-dial and she's welcome to call HIM and tell HIM she doesn't like the way he and I are doing things. And I kept saying "here's the phone, go ahead call him..." She sat there speechless, turning red. The last straw was, when I very gently told a sweet voice...that she's only 19 years old and barely has the life experience to know much about ANYTHING, AND that her brain wasn't going to be fully developed until she hit 25 years old anyway so perhaps she should think twice about dispensing advice. She got up, and before storming out bent over and said to mom "Good luck ... I hope you end up in a better place than this." I immediately called the agency, told them what just happened and got a replacement.

Well, the very next door bell rings and there stands a little lady with a plastic name badge XXX from Adult Protective Services...I almost fell over. Said "You gotta be kidding me" and let her in. I quickly checked my attitude and said, "Let's start over...". I introduced myself, shook her hand and told her I think I know who called her. I calmly told her about the aid. She said she could NOT confirm that because it anonymous and I told her I understood. Then I told her with a smile that I'd gladly give her a tour and answer any questions she had. I treated her as a quest - a welcomed guest - primarily because that's the way I treat folks in my home, but secondly because I'd nothing to hide or be ashamed of (thank GOD I'd vacuumed the floors the day before)! I introduced her to mom who was happily watching tv and eating a snack with the new aid. There was also an emergency nurse there to check on mom's banged up knee that another aid (!) had caused. The APS woman chatted briefly with mom and checked out the room. I also voluntarily showed her mom's bathroom. She and I then sat down in the living room, and I offered her a beverage, and we had a chat. She asked about mom's meds., etc, and of course about me and how I felt about caregiving, etc. I was honest, but threw in a little humor which she 'got'. She was a very nice woman and told me she liked what she saw and that mom WAS being well cared for and that she would close this complaint out. Upon leaving she said that my 'guess about who had called was probably right'. I thanked her and she left. I've not heard from them since and it's been like 4 months.

My advice to you is be nice, and be accommodating - especially since you've nothing to hide. Some people ARE spiteful for whatever reason. Also, I know a woman who'd to let her dad with Alzheimers, ride his bike all over the neighborhood/in traffic. He had 24/7 care, too. Someone called APS about the bike riding and APS did go back and visit him again - 3 more times!

Good luck!
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lucyinthesky Feb 17, 2019
Cute little ignorant Caregiver wanted to take your Mother shopping and to the movies and out to dinner etc!

Much more fun than actual Care-giving! Do they really think they can "play us for stupid?" Who's stupid now without a job and a bad reference?

Hopefully she learned a very valuable life lesson.
Thanks for the update, Tornadojan. I can totally understand how upsetting and unnerving this situation was, yet I am also glad there is a system in place to investigate all complaints, even baseless ones from a disgruntled ex-employee (as seems to be the case) like this one. I hope there is some comfort for you in that, and that you can put this unpleasantness behind you!
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If all is well, then they will investigate, which they are required to respond to all complaints, and nothing will happen because, all is well.

What complaint was made?
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