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His daughter rarely sees him and his son never visits. Both will call him occasionally. He lives alone as he has been divorced for many years. Neither of them will invite him over for the holidays. My issue is once when he was in the hospital - before I began working for him - he signed over his house to his children and his daughter is his POA. His money is running out and I have drastically cut my hours from 6 per day to 4 per day and now it's just 2 hours per day. I'm there to make sure he eats and takes his meds. I hate to leave him alone, so I'll stay, when time permits, for 3 to 4 hours and not charge him. He's been recently diagnosed with the beginnings of dementia. My concern is that he's worried about his finances and would like to get his house back in his name but his daughter won't hear of it. What he wants is a reverse mortgage but it doesn't look like they're going to budge. His daughter told him that getting a reverse mtg is a bad idea. I have started the process for him to get help with IHSS (In-Home Supportive Services), but that might take a while before it kicks in. I have been a private CareGiver for a man (79) for almost two years now. My question is: With what his two children are doing, by not helping him, could that be considered elder abuse or elder neglect?

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Be prepared. Any 'criticism' may be seen as betrayal and you might be looking for a new job, even though you only have the gentleman's best interests at heart. Thank you for doing what you're doing, and best of luck with whatever you end up choosing to do!!
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I wouldn't think they legaly have to do anything. Parents have to care for & provide for children but no one HAS to care for any other adult. The POA can be changed at anytime he wants. Who hired you him or his kid? What would the kids do if you give them a weeks notice that your quitting? That is so sad how they don't care about him. How far do they live from him? SHAMEFUL!
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I completely disagree with freqflyer about the Reverse Mortgage. My Mom and Dad got a reverse mortgage, not to be able to travel or remodeling, but because they needed the monthly income to live on. After my Dad passed, if Mom had not had that extra money she would never have been able to make ends meet. But when they got their reverse mortgage, their home was paid in full. As it happened, when my Mom passed she owed more on the house than it was worth. No one was liable for that additional money due and they didn't foreclose on the house for a year. So I had plenty of time to empty it out, have an estate sale, etc. The bottom line, I did not expect my parents to leave me the house as an inheritance. I expected them to do what they needed to do to take care of themselves and for me to do the same. Find the right reverse mortgage company, as my parents did, and it can be a blessing. Oh-- and as long as one of the responsible parties remains living in the home 6 mos or more per year, they cannot call the loan in. Of course, since the house isn't in your patient's name it's all really a moot point.
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As an owner of a caregiving business for persons with memory loss, you are in a tough position. You want to help, but as many have said, you don't know the history of this family. I faced a similar situation, based on advice from someone with much experience with seniors. You need to keep track of all the time you spend. Use a notebook. Also if you have a smart phone, take a photo of when you arrive and leave. Be sure you photos have dates on them. Then you need to send the daughter a letter, telling her that her father needs more care. You could list what you used to do and the tasks you do now. If you do not get a response within two weeks, then send another letter. Use Priority Mail, so you have a record of the delivery for both letters.
In the meantime, see if you can find a professional social worker or minister or agency that works with the elderly. You need local advice on what to do. In some areas, APS is almost worthless or so overburdened that they may not be of much help. Also find out if there are elder law attorneys in your area. Most will give free advice or direct you to the right source.
You should be aware that when someone hears that an elderly person needs more hours, they may think that you are just looking for extra work or money. That is a primary reason that you need to document what you used to do and what are limited to doing now.
A thought; sometimes persons with Dementia worry about money, even they have more than enough resources. The background you provided did not make it clear whether you know for certain that he is running out of money or whether he is just telling you that he is.
Also has he been formally diagnosed with a type of Dementia? Or is that an opinion based on his symptoms?
Do be careful and if you need employment, you should begin to look for another assignment. It is often hard to accept that someone you care for is NOT your legal responsibility. You cannot changes his family's reactions to his behavior. You must protect yourself.
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916nana, God bless you for caring for this gentleman and not making it just a job. You are indeed a Giver of Care. With that said, you do have to protect yourself, as well. You don't want his children going after you alleging things. Keep records and it is good that you are seeking outside help/support. If you do talk to the daughter, it would be good to have an impartial witness, or record the conversation (check the laws in your state on whether all parties need to have knowledge the conversation is being recorded. ) One never knows why some adult children neglect, ignore, walk away, whatever. My own brother who was the favored lamb, indulged as the oldest child and male, does not give his mother the time of day. Not even when she was in the hospital with congestive heart failure. And, he won't even help his sister so she can help their mother. He doesn't show at holidays either and is quite "frugal" (read cheap) where we are concerned. He really does not understand what happens in the aging process and actually believes that dementia is willful manipulation. Some people have preconceivd notions and it can be unrelated to anything worthy of neglect by an aging and declining parent. So, we don't know the real scoop and cannot judge or assume facts not in evidence. I got mom on to Medicaid and have researched on gotten her as many services as possible, including in-home PT. If you can get the Medicaid process going, Medicaid will look into the finances. Good luck and know that you have been doing a very good thing for this gentleman!
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I agree with CWillie; however, if you are in CA, there is only a 30 month look back period for MediCal. Still, that really only works for skilled nursing homes. I think you should document and inform the family of your concerns when you invoice them for the care that he isn't able to pay for. I think his children will take advantage of you as well, if you are giving him free care; that's why I think you should document in case there is some way to hold them accountable - either financially or for elder abuse. It would not hurt to seek free legal advice through local non-profits - the government agencies seem to be less helpful if you have a choice. It's so sad to hear about this situations.
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As someone said--we don't know the whole backstory---but I don't think this is "elder abuse" it's more likely "elder neglect". You could contact APS, but that could stir up a hornet's nest.
Try peacefully talking to the POA daughter. Calmly. Get your information straight and "legally" correct. See how that goes. If there is a lot of pushback and you are not being paid and this gentleman is in danger...then call APS. The kids will not enjoy dealing with them.
FYI: MANY adult children take a giant step away from elderly parents. So many reasons why. As a person who had a poor relationship with my mother all my life, I have found it very hard to deal with her after daddy died. She doesn't "enjoy" my company and I have sometimes had to take 4-6 month breaks and not see her. Now she is developing dementia and has become so much kinder, I can be around her and not go insane within 5 minutes.
If you "knew everything" perhaps you'd have a better understanding of this man's kids. You are an angel to work extra hours for no pay....I do wish you luck in all of this.
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I agree with all who say there's probably more to this story.
My mom has always been hard to deal with. But now that she's 85 and blind she's impossible to deal with. There are issues between us that go way back, but the most recent was her treatment of our dad while dying of prostate cancer. There were signs of mental and physical abuse. We had to move him to a nursing home, when all he wanted to do was pass in peace in his own home. But mom would not utilize the help we lined up and did not like strangers in her home. She verbally abused him and did so with her windows open so neighbors could hear. She obviously had issues with his past affairs, but choose to stay with him and hate him. I think she considered his cancer a punishment for his behavior. Sad.
Fast forward to today, she's as helpless as a baby, refuses to cooperate, won't use tools that benefit blind people, wont write a will, wont sign DNR, won't sell her home, can't live in it with out help, can't afford but 3 months of paid help...the list goes on and on. She did give my sister and brother POA. And every time her future is discussed she accuses me and sister of wanting to put her away and that we're really not helping her at all and all she wants is to go home and do the best she can. The truth is we never mention nursing homes, we are trying to make her living with us work. It is emotionally and physically draining trying to help her. My siblings and I have all gotten so frustrated with mom that we have have all wanted to dump her off at her home and walk away. But we too have worried about getting charged with elder abuse and neglect.
All that said, perhaps his son and daughter have similar issues with him. You never know. I think fate or karma has a way of catching up with all of us in the end. Talk to the daughter, be professional and try not to be too judgmental, until the facts are in. Good luck and God bless your kind heart.
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With a POA comes responsibilities, and if his daughter is not doing anything to help him, then I would call APS. Tell her you are staying later without pay, and you either can or will not continue doing that (I don't know your financial situation). You do not know what this man did to these two adult children, so therefore do not judge their actions now. A reverse mortgage is a bad idea, and since his daughter has POA, she can stop anything you may try to do. You are just the hired help and do not have any legal obligations. It is nice you are staying, but be careful. This man, in his dementia state, could accuse you of stealing or hurting him, and then you would be out of a job. Keep your own welfare as your number one priority. This is a family matter and you are not family. Thanks for helping out!
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Ibernscammed and freqflyer- I love that you urge all to not judge.
I understand that there are cases of elder neglect.
I am one who wants to do all I can, but mom and dad both in poor health, living in big home, almost 2 hours away. Refused thoughts of moving, help, etc. I have been battling stage 3 breast cancer, and we are trying all we can to help them, raise a son, and work to cover my medical bills.
916nana- I pray you find your help, and God bless you for your loving care of this man.
I am grateful this is such a place of grace for all to come for information we seek. Thank you all!
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Such good help here, i hope it helps you find the best way to help without jeopardizing yourself. And without fanning any low flames. Its tough to be an observer who wants to help.
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I was in that situation, witnessed this with a neighbor whose daughter rarely visited. She was clearly neglected in a very bad way. There was nothing I could do to influence the situation. Also I couldn't conclude "abuse" by the mother. Later I found out that the daughter couldn't possibly do caregiving because her own husband was beating her. We cannot judge!

In another situation, my friend wondered why her elderly neighbor rarely got a visit from her son. As it turned out, the son was working his butt off at his job plus a single divorced parent and his boss wouldn't let him have the days off he needed. A month later, the son started to visit his mom again after he was able to change his work hours. We cannot judge!
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916nana, hey, I'm a Nana too!

Are you comfortable enough to speak frankly to the POA/Daughter, about your concerns about her Dad's care? Does she provide him with enough financial resources to take care of her monthly needs and personal wants, or is he fully capable of managing his ow monies and bill paying? Maybe this "running out of money", is her way of forcing him to accept the fact that he needs additional care, such as Assisted Living, in which case they would have to sell his home, to pay for that, or certainly speak with a elder care financial layer, to access how to arrange his board and care needs. Obviously at some point he will no longer be able to continue to live alone in his own home, and I certainly hope they aren't planning to rob him of what is probably his biggest asset! Why did he sign his home over in the first place? What are his capabilities, or lack there of?

And why is it, that neither of his children will plan to spend the Christmas holiday with him? Is there some significant dysfunction in play from the past?

Something is very Off in this situation, and they are clearly not treating him very nice, so ther must be a lot more to this story, to basically abandon him, when he obviously need more help, than they are addressing.

You have been stuck in a very uncomfortable position, but it is clear that you care for this gentleman. Getting a needs assessment is definitely on the right track! You are wise ti reach out, and hopefully you will get some good ideas from the awesome caregivers on this site!

You will have to share more info, but that is part of making the best of the gaining great advice here, and it is nice, that it is all anonymous too!

Good luck finding ideas towards a better solution! Happy Holidays!
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916nana, I bet this is a situation where the grown children wanted their Dad to move to Independent Living and he had refused. And since he is of clear mind he can do what he wants, even with beginning dementia.

I had to deal with that with my own parents who refused to leave a house with a lot of stairs, and both were fall risks, and Mom refused caregivers and cleaning crews. It's becomes so very stressful to the grown child when one's parents do that, that it becomes a point where you just want to shrug your shoulders and walk away, but still watching from a distance.

Sounds like the grown daughter is using tough love on her Dad, hoping that he will take notice that he needs much more help. Don't throw a wrench into this by staying more hours and not charging him.

No, this isn't elder abuse/neglect because the person still has a clear enough mind to do for himself.

As for a Reverse Mortgage, I would not recommend it in this case. It is only good if the person has enough money to live on and wants more money to use for investments, vacation, remodeling, etc.
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If he signed over the house over five years ago, Medi-Cal will start paying for his care when he has less than 2K in assets. The POA will have to cooperate by revealing his financials.
California is a filial responsibility state. They can go after the children who received assets or refuse the Medicaid application.
I always tell people to avoid reverse mortgages. Most of the lenders are hungry predators who foreclose rapidly.
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We don't know the full story here. Often (not always) when children are neglectful of their parents there is abuse and child neglect in the background. I wouldn't focus on judging the children at this point, but in helping the man.

I agree with cwillie on both points -- send your bill to the POA. Mention in a brief note any concerns you have about the man's safety. If the POA will not allow the hours he needs, or if he needs more than you can provide, contact APS.
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Cwillie,

Thank you for your answer. I appreciate it.
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Some would call signing his wealth over to his children good financial planning, as long as at least 5 years have passed he is now free to apply for medicaid without having to worry about spending down his assets.
Keep a log of your hours and send POA daughter the bill, and if you are concerned he isn't safe living on his own ask APS to investigate.
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