I believe this is Elder Abuse! My father is 66 yrs. old. He lives on the streets or a storage unit really, he sleeps outside at night and when the unit is open, he sleeps in there. He panhandles during the day. He has a wife who is very vindictive and doesn't care. She takes his money that he gets from SSI and refuses to let him have his money, she has convinced him that she is the only one that can control his money and told him he was cured of diabetes. His toes have already started turning black. I have reached out to Adult Protective Services, and they say they can't do anything, if he says he is okay than there is nothing they will do, I reported her to SS and they said they cannot do anything unless he cooperates, which he won't because of her. I am at a loss of what to do. He is not mentally stable, I believe because he thinks that it is ok for her to do him this way, it’s okay to be homeless and okay that he doesn't see a doctor, she makes him believe that they will be together so she can keep getting his money. She has also alienated him from his family because in her words, "We are not his family, she and her boys are" She has also convinced him that I am not his daughter.

Someone please tell me what I need to do or can do! All I do is cry and be depressed because I can't seem to help him!

I cared for him 4 years ago, I made sure he bought new clothes, personal hygiene things, a new phone and food he likes, made sure he took a shower and I had him put back on his medicine (even though he fought me on it), but she convinced him to move back to her and when she got his money back she put him on the streets.

Find Care & Housing
Although your Dad already seems to be in crises (housing, health, self-care, financial), unfortunately you may need to wait for an even bigger crises to effect real change.

Eg If he is so unwell he gets transported to ER.

Although as you have seen, he has a home with his wife so could be released again to her care. His wife cannot keep him at home if he chooses to wander.

She can insist on a thorough health inc cognitive assessment if he is an in-patient. But doesn't mean she will. She may have realised the limits of her ability to change things & be waiting for the next crises too.

I think your role is to be an Advocate for your Dad when he does meet the next crises.
You can't fix it. But you can alert professionals to the real situation.

Not all situations go the best way or the way you'd like 😞
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to Beatty

If your father is not diagnosed with dementia, they are correct. He can do as he chooses. If you feel he does have dementia, help him get his diagnosis and ask for guardianship. I have no idea if he is dealing with mental or dementia issues, but none of this is normal, so for APS to say there is nothing they can do I am assuming they are adjudging this as a mental issue. Unfortunately there is little help for the mentally ill in our society and when you try to intervene you will hear that there is no law against being mentally ill. I suggest you read Liz Scheier's excellent memoir about her trying for decades to help her mentally compromised Mom, which she was never able to even with the help and air of the city and State of New York. Title is Never Simple. It is a good dose of reality. There may be nothing that you can do.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to AlvaDeer

concerned0210, wow I don't know where to start. Just curious how you know your Dad sleeps outside at night and during the day in a storage unit? Are these things your Dad is telling you when you are able to be in contact with him? If yes, it could be your Dad has Dementia.

If your Dad does in fact have Dementia then it makes sense that his wife has control of the money. To be a caregiver to someone with Dementia [depending on the stage] can be very difficult. Could be his wife doesn't know what to do for him, so she just lets him do what he wants.
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to freqflyer

You could check your state laws to find out if dad can be detained and have a mental health assessment, in Florida there is the Baker act, which is for involuntary assessment of individuals with a mental health issue. Your father seems like he may be mentally ill. Also in Florida there is the Marchman act. That’s for involuntary assessment of individuals with a substance abuse problem. Other states have similar options with different names. All are for helping the at risk person. Do your research and figure out who to call about your dad’s problem. He must be a victim of elder abuse by his wife, so that’s another thing to look into. In some places there are volunteer groups that help the elderly find the right social services, so try to find such a group. Good luck to you.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to Fawnby
Caregivingguy Sep 9, 2022
Hello Fawnby, after reading what you wrote. Actually, there are a few things you can do. !. Go online and type in State Attorney Complaint, all States have Elder Laws that are govern by the State Attorney General, and after you are at the end of the complaint, ask the State AG office to forward your complaint to the proper authority. Another option is consulting a fraud Attorney, they will know the steps that you can take concerning his wife using your father as her meal ticket. Concerning your father's Dementia, i would choose a time that you can pick your dad up, take him to the emergency department at a hospital near you, and when they ask why you brought him in, tell them he is refusing to care for himself, this is cause in any State, any Hospital to admit him. Then the next morning contact that same Hospital (Social Services) set up an in-person meeting, then tell the Hospital Social Services staff member in the meeting how his wife is taking his money and causing him to be in an unsafe environment without food, without housing, without medical care placing your father at (Risk of Death). By any States Law, a hospital is by Law obligated to report it to authorities. When you file your Complaint with the Attorney General office online, file your complaint under fraud. The Attorney General office uses your State Police to investigate it. The reason the SSI office could not help you is because the SSI office does not have any authority to do anything. The reason APS cannot do anything is because they need proof or cooperation.
Now, while your dad is in the Hospital, go to that hospital medical records department and tell them you need a copy of your dad's entire medical record they have a form that must be signed, ask them if the nurse brought your dad to their office if your dad signed the medical records release form if you could get a copy of the Entire medical records. After that meeting pull his nurse aside and ask them if they would kindly escort your dad in a wheelchair to the medical records office so he can sign the form.
Keep mentioning your dad's " Risk of Life " to everyone you talk to that I have mentioned. Once you have the copies of his medical records search through them for any Provider's diagnosis of the Dementia. Once you have that document, you can prove that your dad has Dementia, and through the Attorney filing in Court for Bank account records then the Attorney can prove in Court the Fraud, and the Court will end his wife's control of any money. Then plus his wife the Court may order that she return to your dad any money that she has taken, the bank account records will show how much, and your Attorney will obtain the exact amount from the bank records. Make sure you ask the Attorney to have the Court to order/revoke any of his wife's handling of any of your dad's money. Then ask your Attorney to ask the Court to award you as Sole Guardianship for your dad.
It is very possible that his wife may be facing at this point possible jail time if it meets the Fraud Laws. Fraud Laws is simple all you have to prove is someone got money from someone (your dad), and that person (his wife) benefit from the money, and the person who got his money taken (your dad) was caused harm (homeless/hungry/penniless) and risk of death from an unsafe environment.
If you have a camera phone, take a picture of what I wrote and please let me know if this helped. Now, you have a lot of people involved and, in your corner, and you are no longer alone. I recommend that you do not say a word of what you are doing to his wife, let the blame fall where it may.
Your dad will thank you, and you are doing this because you will soon be able to help your dad. I hope this helps you
Ask a Question
Subscribe to
Our Newsletter