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My 90 year-old uncle has been summoned to court tomorrow by DSS for what is called an elderly intervention hearing. The papers that were given to him describe this as a neglect or abuse case. He has been unable to properly care for my 91 year-old aunt who has Alzheimer's and diabetes. He forgets her medications, her doctor appointments, and often skips meals. My uncle has his own set of mental health issues and now is refusing to pay bills—including the electric. The family has made no real plans for either my aunt or uncle's future care. They have very little money and live in a mobile home on property that belongs to their son. We don't know if the court will appoint a guardian to take on the responsibility of their care, or if something more substantial will be decided at this hearing. If someone has been through a hearing like this, I would appreciate knowing what to expect. My husband and I have been trying to help them, but it's becoming quite obvious that we can't meet the real needs that they have (we're not Power of Attorney). Also my uncle doesn't want to listen to wise advise and trying to get bills paid is becoming more of a tug-of-war. At times, we pay the bill so the power and phone will still be provided.

It is good that an intervention has been made. it is clearly unsafe for either of them to be living independently. Hopefully they can be moved to a facility and if they wish remain together.
I would strongly advise again you taking responsibility mainly because your Uncle will not be co-operatve and you should not have to keep paying the bills. By all means become advocates for your Aunt and Uncle. they are both beyond the age where most people are able to continue to be independ.
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Reply to Veronica91
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We took my loved ones to the hearing on Monday. At this point, the judge has ordered a psych evaluation be done on my uncle, that he also allow home health to visit them, and appointed a guardian ad litem as well as a lawyer, since we had not been informed to get one for my uncle (he didn't have the funds for one anyway). There will be a second hearing in a little over 2 weeks to review the findings of the doctor, etc. If the lawyer appointed for my uncle thinks that he's capable of caring for himself and my aunt, then my understanding is that a court case will follow 4 days after that hearing. If it's determined that my uncle is not capable of caring for my aunt (or himself), then the judge will order for them to be placed somewhere. Because my uncle is a Veteran, he may have different benefits from my aunt. Also since he displays mental health issues, I won't be surprised if he will be placed in a mental facility. I don't know whether my aunt will be placed in the same facility or another. She still knows my uncle, but she hardly knows her own son and no longer remembers me as her niece (even if I tell her that my mom was her sister, Joyce). She's very sweet and had no clue as to what was going on when we went in and out of court.

I have prayed for over 2 years that both my aunt and uncle would get the care they can't give themselves. If they had children and grandchildren who showed love and respect toward them, then I would be fine with them caring for their parents. While my cousin did come to the hearing, he left quickly afterward. His dad had already begun blaming him for the court hearing. Even when we tried to explain that the medical doctor and DSS were the ones requesting the hearing, he would not accept that information.

If I have learned anything from this sad situation, it is that my husband and I need to have a good plan in place when/if the time comes that we can no longer live in our home. We have wonderful young adult children who love and respect us, but I love them too much to dump such a heavy burden on them when it comes to caring for us when we are too feeble to care for ourselves.
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Reply to busymom
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I have not had any experience with a hearing. I was turned into DSS by my mother's doctor. Mom lived with me. They do investigate but they found, in my case, mom was very well taken care of.
So, someone did report your aunt and uncle to DSS. That may not be a bad thing. If no one in the family has the ability and/or means to take care of them, then they need to be placed in a facility, hopefully together, so that they can get the proper care. Your uncle is totally unequipped to take care his wife with dementia. That is a tough road even for a fully functional adult.
If you do not have the means or time to consult an elder attorney, then I would say plan on being at the hearing. I bottom line is, someone cared about them to report them and so now it's time to make the necessary changes to be sure they are taken care of.
I will keep all of you in my prayers and that your aunt and uncle get the care they need. Hugs(())
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Reply to DonnaF
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Well, after months of trips to Family Court and things not appearing to be accomplished, DSS filed an ex parte order last Thursday, June 14th. My husband and I were not able to go to the hearing since I had spine surgery 2 days before and was just being released from the hospital that afternoon of the 14th. Currently, both my aunt and uncle are in the ER at a local hospital (near where the hearing was). My uncle did refuse to get some of the medical tests done, but later allowed them to do the TB test, which is required for him to be placed in a nursing care facility in the future. He seems to think that agreeing to this test will allow him to go back home sooner. His dementia, aggression, refusal to pay bills (mainly the electric bill) brought him to this place of DSS calling the "shots." I'm still unclear as to how he's allowed to decide his own medical needs and refuse testing. Since we weren't at the hearing, we're unclear as to what the judge signed. While having DSS make their decisions may not seem the best or easiest way to get them help, I must admit that knowing my relatives are in a healthier environment, getting fed, appropriate medications, and even bathed allows me to rest better at night. No longer will I have to wonder what will happen when their power goes out, as the shut off date is today. My uncle claims he was able to get the power company to hold off until the end of the month, but whatever the case, he hasn't paid the bill and we offered to take his check for the bill directly to the local office. He wanted us to put it on our credit card—we did that last month as a one time emergency payment—and told him that was the only time we would pay his bill in that manner.

We should know more tomorrow regarding whether the hospital is admitting either or both of them for medical issues, or whether DSS has found a nursing care facility that can take them. My uncle still believes that all of this "stuff" is happening due to the "fraudulent billing system that he's 'figured out' and that no one else can 'figure out'!” No matter what happens, in his mind, it all stems from the "billing system." I am praying that a brain scan will be performed and that a psych evaluation will be completed that will bring answers to his major mental-health confusion, etc.

As I said in an earlier post, this has been a long journey, about 2 years long. I think we're now finally seeing light at the end of the tunnel. Thank you to all who posted their thoughts and well-wishes. In the end, the blessing of my literally being "flat on my back" recovering from spine surgery, was that my husband and I did not (nor were able to) attend the hearing on Thursday. This placed the responsibility of their needs back on the shoulders of DSS, who we know are understaffed and overworked, but were finally able to legally act on behalf of my relatives.
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Reply to busymom
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This has been a long process. The case is still on-going. Earlier this week we were back in court for the 4th time. Once again, the lawyers, and guardian ad litem met in the judge’s chambers. When they returned, the judge said that since we were at an impasse, we would meet for a pre-trial on June 4 with a “real” trial to follow on June 7th, if nothing can be determined on June 4. Meanwhile, we did get meals-on-wheels coming to bring meals for my 90 and 91 year old uncle and aunt. My uncle is getting progressively more belligerent toward us. My husband used to be able to get him to pay his power and phone bill, but the last few times we've suggested it, my uncle has stated that he's not paying the bills! In his mind, they’re all fraudulent. The power will likely go off, if it’s not paid in a few more days. We have pre-warned Social Services, the guardian, and my uncle’s lawyer (appointed by the court), that we've done what we can and that we won't bail him out if the power goes out. If we have to, we'll see if we can encourage the power company to work with us, but not until after they cut off the power, since that may be the only way to get them the help they need and possibly wake up my uncle to the fact that he can no longer accomplish what needs to be accomplished on his own.

In another hearing (a month ago), the judge ordered that home health be provided. While that sounded like a great thing, it was placed on the V.A. doctor to get it into place. Getting this took over three weeks, and since my uncle is the Veteran and not my aunt, the nurse can only come to check on him. When she came almost a week ago, my uncle was very unhappy. He thought a nurse would come and “babysit” his wife so he could go do his own things—visit the bank, “pay bills” (which is really just arguing with the poor customer service that the bills are fraudulent and he won't pay them), etc. When he found out they were only coming to check his blood pressure, pulse, lungs, heart, etc., he told them to go away.

I am having back surgery in June. Both my husband and I have been very clear with the Social Service employees, the guardian ad litem, and the lawyer for my uncle that something has to be done ASAP. We will not be able to hop into a vehicle and drive the 30+ minutes to their home while I am recovering. My husband will be my primary caregiver and that’s what he wants to be free to do for me.

We will see what happens on June 4 and when most likely we'll return on June 7th. Thank you to everyone who has commented and assured me of your care and prayers. We need them.
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Reply to busymom
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The court may very well find this is a dangerous situation for your aunt, and I expect that will be the case. My best guess is that the court will assign a guardian and will remove aunt from the trailer immediately. Guardian will have access to immediate appropriate care for aunt. Under normal circumstances I would say that the court may ask for a family member to be guardian. But, it sounds like them s has gone too far already.

The guardianship would remain in place the rest of aunt's life unless it is contested and approved to be another by the court. If court orders guardianship to the state, then tax payers would pay for it. Aunt would be entitled to half of their assets which it sounds as if there isn't much.
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Reply to gladimhere
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Perhaps someone has turned your uncle in to APS. Do you intend to attend the meeting with him? Might be wise in order to know what will come of it.
It sounds like he needs help so hopefully this is a good thing.
Does his son know about the meeting?
Let us know what happens.
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Reply to 97yroldmom
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Uncle needs representation at the hearing. If you can't get a lawyer, then at least family should be there.

Has son tried to get care for his mother and been rebuffed by the fatber?
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Reply to BarbBrooklyn
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approach elder care lawyer and get advice.
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Reply to Mythmyth
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No clue what happens, just sending you and your family hugs and love, this is not an easy situation. 

They both obviously need 24/7 care, I pray they get good help. Be an advocate for them if you can at hearing and if you are willing try to get Durable POA and Durable POA for health & mental health. If the state takes guardianship it is almost never a good thing, professional guardianship is a major issue for seniors. They can charge for everything until the seniors are completely broke, then put them in a hell hole facility and just disappear. Not trying to freak you out just inform you.
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Reply to Isthisrealyreal
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