Someone turned me into elderly abuse. What are my rights?

Asked by

My Mom (90) lives with me...been rough. She abuses me mentally. She almost destroyed my daughters family with false lies....so i took her, boy did not know what i got myself into....has dementia and bipolar....took her to dr.last week...psychiatrist....i think he turned me in to state for elderly abuse...got mad at family dr..for changing the medicine....and because i did not get lomotil for her medicaire would not pay for......she gets my dad's social security...i take care of everything with it...i do everything for her....she let the woman in the house.when i told her not to open the door...this woman questioned her..without me present...went to get her meds....when i came home she said a detective came...i called this person...asking me how much i made...and mamas ss she can only pay half the utilities.....i have to buy her diapers,food, copay, bring her places...i use it to buy what she needs....if anything she abuses me emotionaly..ordering me around.. being nasty..... what are my rights,,does anyone know.....want to put her in nursing home...but have to find a place to go....i am not able to afford to stay where i am unless i have a miracle.....thankyou

Answers 1 to 10 of 10
Expert Answer
3932 helpful answers
I'm with everyone else here. You need to let APS know that you can't care for her needs. Let them take responsibility and then find a way to take care of yourself. You shouldn't have to go through this.
Carol
Regarding “Granny Dumping” I’ve experienced this situation in a relationship with a woman who was in total renal failure and on dialysis – she finally developed vascular dementia at age 51. I cared for her as long as possible (10 years) and then one day when she was screaming that (imaginary) fire was coming from electrical outlets I knew that she could never be left alone again, even for short periods. I called the ambulance and she was taken to a hospital. My refusal to take her back home was how she landed in an excellent nursing home with dialysis. I was there twice per day, every day until she died and I was with her when she took her last breath. However, when she was in the nursing home I had loads of people telling me what I SHOULD be doing. All of these people had something in common…for all their advice, not one of ever offered to help or even sit with her so I could have a short break. My point is that she was placed in a nursing facility but she was NEVER abandoned or dumped. Big difference.
In a way you are fortunate. Call APS today, tell them you are leaving and someone at APS needs to take care of getting Mom the help she needs. Or you could take Mom to an ER for some problem. Then leave her there telling them you are unable to provide for her needs.
OK, first, I spent many years in Federal law enforcement so I have to tell you not to talk to the police without a lawyer. When they say that “anything you say can and will be used against you,” believe that. Have her taken to the hospital and sign nothing except as POA. Keep meticulous records of any spending from her accounts. Placing her in a nursing facility from her home or your home is next to impossible, while placing her in a nursing facility from a hospital is no problem at all. Why? After being treated, Medicare will not pay the hospital while she stays there waiting for a nursing home…the hospital with have a TEAM of social workers coordinating to place her in a nursing facility. Unfortunately, this situation with my MIL is not my first rodeo…
"Lake Charles, LA
I am caring for my mother, living at my home"

My first call would be to an elder affairs attorney !
Then call for EMT 911 and have them take take Mom to an ER for some problem.
Do not go with her.
Do not sign anything !
If they contact you to send her back.say NO.
Tell them you are unable to provide for her needs.
you need to free yourself from liabilities.

What have you signed accepting res[onsibily?

Area Agency On Aging
(337) 474-2583
3950 Gerstner Memorial Blvd
Lake Charles, LA 70607-3852



Can she qualify for medicaid? How else could you pay for the nursing home? What a nightmare, I think you need to get away from her.
Don't give up hope, I'm sure taking care of mom has been very difficult with dementia and mental illness. anytime you are caring for someone-keep receipts and a 'log' of all the places and things you did for that person.
First I'd contact APS and explain the situation, while no one likes being turned in to APS for neglect or abuse, they are there to help and can assist you with solutions & options for caring for your mom.
You must understand dementia and mental illness so you and your family are prepared for all the strange behaviors and 'story telling'.
Contact your local Area Agency on Aging or Bureau of Senior Services, they will be able to discuss all the options that are available for you in the care of your mom. There are programs available such as adult medical day care, in-home services, some programs help to pay for assisted living and there is also nursing home options. You are trying to do the right thing by caring for mom, however if she were in assisted living or a nursing home, you can still take a part in her care.
You can contact your local chapter of the Alzheimer's Association and your local mental health association, they can give you ways to deal with the behaviors your mom is exhibiting.
These days, life is not cheap. There are medical co-pays and medication co-pays, food, utilities, transportation, the cost of personal need supplies; using your mom's funds to pay for these things would not be inappropriate. I always caution keeping receipts.

Sometimes it is difficult to 'ignore' lies & stories that come from those that have mental disorders/dementia. Sometimes ignoring them is the right thing to do. I can understand how your mom's behavior can undermine family relationships and can cause problems. This happens to others too, so don't feel you are alone in this type of battle.
Speak with her medical doctor regarding her dementia, you don't say how bad it is but you want documentation of her dementia especially if you see it is worsening. Doctors, psychiatrists, social workers, nurses, teachers etc are mandatory reporters which means if they suspect abuse/neglect they must report it. One person may not have the whole story, that's why it's important you contact APS. I have found them easy to work with especially if they see you are doing what you can for your mom. You didn't say why your mom needed the lomotil but if there is a medical condition causing her to need the lomotil, then may the cause needs treated as lomotil only eases symptoms. When you visit her doc, make a list of questions and concerns you have so he/she can address them. If the medical doc changed a medication that was for her bi-polar then he must have had a reason. You can ask the medical doc to contact the psychiatrist regarding medication changes-they can work together to make sure your mom is as stable as possible.
You are not alone, this has happened to others and they worked through it just as you will. It can be very overwhelming, but utilize the services in your community to help you. APS will explore all the options available. Good luck
I'm so sorry for your situation. Almost everyone on here is correct, especially fandango12. If yours and your mother's income are both used for the home/apt you're in, you will have to bite the bullet and find your own place to live, living in hell is not living. I hope everything works out for you and your mother. God Bless You
About the "having EMS or ambulance take her to ER & then you don't pick them up" scenario, could make matters worse. The EMS / ambulance will have address of pick up. When she goes to ER, unless they are evaluated to need & be admitted for hospitalization or be placed under " observation " status, they will be discharged. They will need to be sent back to wherever they came from. Cannot just stay in ER. Either an ambulance or transport service may take her back to where she came from.

If you go the ER route to NH placement you need to have some pre planning done: like you speak with social worker @ hospital ; her doctor as they will need to provider info on her; and enough info on her financials as to figure out how NH will be paid. Just sending to ER could make your situation worse as you could face further APS issues with abandonment.

Champion - What if instead of viewing APS as the enemy, instead view them as your ally & an one has the ability & staff to get mom moved out & into a NH or mental health facility. Your probably to overwhelmed to do all this on your own. Let APS take over & do the work & free yourself to move on with your life. APS will have contacts with other programs, so they may be able get you with a program for you to get your own housing or health needs.

Also Pam is right about the very serious problem you caused yourself on NOT getting moms Rx filled. Mom has SS income, she has $ to pay for her medications, there is kinda no excuse for your not getting moms Rx for Lomotil done. It makes you look bad for APS. This plus any other not-quite-right items like not bring able to document & to the penny how her money is bring spent could have you facing a judge.
If you can't afford to live where you are by yourself, then it is likely that the perspective from the powers that be will be. you are living with your mom, not the other way around. Then, she has diagnosed dementia, they will be looking at whether or not they think you are taking advantage of her; financially "abusing" her. It's probably already a problem if you pay ALL of the rent and/or utilities with her funds.

It would be wise if you take a little time to document the accounting of how you pay things. If, for example, you use your own money for some of her food, her co pays, her transportation and/or her incontinent underwear, then you use her money to pay a portion of your half of the utilities and/or rent as an offset to what you've spent on her, you need to write that down to keep track of it.

The County APS is usually where the investigation starts. I understand how you could be upset if you told your mom not to let anyone in and then she did anyway. But even if they had come to your residence when you WERE home, they would still have interviewed your mom separately, asking you to move to a different room so that they are sure you aren't intimidating her or influence in her answers. If you were to refuse that, they could get a court order anyway.

They also don't tell you who reported the situation. But medical personnel have no choice if they feel there is abuse. They are what is called "mandated reporters". If they don't report a situation, they could lose their own licensure.

Since your mom is bipolar in addition to having dementia, and the two of you are in a financial situation that makes it difficult for you to care for her, you are facing a continual uphill battle. You are better off admitting that you can no longer care for her, ask them to place her in a nursing home, and find your own place to live, even if it means putting your things in storage and renting a room from someone until you can get back on your feet.

Share your answer

Please enter your Answer

Ask a Question

Reach thousands of elder care experts and family caregivers
Get answers in 10 minutes or less
Receive personalized caregiving advice and support