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My mother has Parkinson's disease and my father will only pay for an at-home caregiver for only 3 days out of the week. (Although they do have the funds to pay for additional caregiving.) Dad hoards the money and he is selfish, he insists that she doesn't need additional care -- she does! So for the other 4 days of the week, he "takes care" of my mother (meaning he puts food on the table when he cooks his own meals). I do give him credit for taking her to doctor appointments and refilling her prescriptions; however, the rest of the week she is pretty much left on her own to struggle with her walker in their (split-level!!) house. Mom has fallen several times and has fractured her ribs, she took another fall recently and I fear that she may have broken more ribs. My sister and I come help when we can (sis is actually the paid caregiver during those 3 days). Dad refuses to clear out a spare bedroom downstairs to accommodate her condition and to help keep her safe. He also refuses to sell their home (it's already paid off) to move into a one-story house which would be more suitable for Mom's Parkinson's. I really feel that Dad's behavior can qualify as elder abuse. He also can be verbally mean to her, saying demeaning and negative comments at times. My question is, if my sis and I report elder abuse, what will happen? Do they take Mom out of the home? (We live in California.) We don't want to traumatize Mom, as I know that the authorities will be investigating and probably interviewing her. My sis and I would like to take Mom out of that house, but we both live in small studio apartments and are married. We both want to help, but we feel stuck. Also, does anyone know anything about an ombudsman who can help advocate for her? Thank you for information and advice. This is an overwhelming and heartbreaking situation.

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Thank you Pink. These are all good things to keep in mind. I'm processing everything right now and taking in everyone's advice. Thanks again.
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As for the reporting of the elder abuse...I reported my niece to APS and they went out to my mom's house. My mom said that nothing was going on and they went away. Sometimes it works and other times it doesn't. In our case my mother wasn't willing to back up our report of abuse. Would your mother state that what your father is doing is abuse?
You might be opening up a situation where your father might not let you guys see her BUT if your sister is the caregiver he probably wouldn't go that far because then he would have to deal with getting someone to help him. I don't know.
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Before your father goes out of town definitely get a DPOA for your mom. Also a health directive is good in case something happens to her when your father is out of town.
Is it possible for your sister to clear out that spare bedroom while your father is out of town and set up your mom in there. You can hire a couple of guys for a couple of hours, cheaply, to move any boxes or furniture out of the room to make it livable for your mom. I'm sure your dad will pitch a fit but if it is already taken care of before he comes back would he go through the trouble of putting it back the way it was?
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Thank you all for your input and advice. I really appreciate it. The support here is amazing.
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Agreed, Glad .. I didn't mean to imply to talk to mom ahead of time .. rather, while you're fixing things up. Good point.
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LadeeC, I completely agree. Something needs to be done, and she should take advantage of dad being out of town. But, definitely do not tell him what is going to occur in his absence. But, I don't think mom should be told ahead of time, before dad goes out of town. Who knows what she may remember or how she will react.
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If it were me, I'd begin by biding my time until dad goes away, then, as suggested, take advantage of the time to set her up as she needs: get someone into the home who is qualified to advise you on your mom's actual needs, and when dad comes home, be sure that he's greeted with an intervention, at which the elder care person attends and acts as the mediator. Let that person be your buffer with your dad. These situations are so difficult for families. All of you will need some counseling and advice. Don't be ashamed to ask for help. Do it on behalf of your mom AND dad, as well as yourselves. And don't forget to ask your mom how she feels about it all.
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Before you take a drastic step, that will cause great distress, like reporting elder abuse, learn everything you can about Parkinsons. People with parkinsons fall, it's part of the disease. Much can be done to prevent falls, and there are many assistive devices to support balance and movement. A good place to start is "Move It" by Kevin Lockette. My Dad who has parkinsons swears by it. Also get your Mom into rehab, to keep her muscles strong, and help her balance. This way when you do fall you bounce not break. Check the Parkinsons website, they are the people to talk to first. They offer assistence to caregivers.
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it is good timing for the POA for dad now. What if something happens to him while gone? Is mom competent? While he is gone, get mom setup with everything needed. A hood place to start is poa for mom as well. hand definitely have a geriatric care manager complete a needs assessment for mom.
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thank you Raven, I really appreciate your feedback! My sister and I are planning on getting joint POA as well as Advanced Care Directive for mom. Dad is going out of the country for a vacation (another example of how he "cares" for her). Your info is helpful and I will talk to my sister about all this. it is a lot to process right now!!!
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When you report elder abuse you have to sign documentation stating what is happening, a social worker is assigned to the case and they go out and interview the person (your father) and they are basically on a fact finding mission, in some cases they are collecting information to take back to attorneys to see if charges need to be filed against (your father).

If I was your father and found out that you had turned me in to these people I would probably become upset with you and you do not want him to stop you from seeing your mother. I would therefore see if there was another way around all this. Have to spoken to his or your mother's doctors and informed them of what is going on. I have become quite a letter writer and I fax them to the doctors when I want or need them to know something. Your mother should not be falling like this, it is only a matter of time until she breaks a hip and then she may pass away as many do. Your father is being stubborn but he may need someone to shake him up a little and let him know that he could be held responsible for ELDER NEGLECT for all the things that are happening to Mom. If nothing else I guess you could call Adult Protective Services and ask them what their recommendation would be to seek help for your Mom, I just hate to get them involved because you never know if you are going to get a person who is gung ho and find your Mom taken away.

Do either of you have Power of Attorney for both of your parents? If not, I would suggest that you do it immediately and tell Dad that it is just in case he should become ill or injured and one of you needed to step in and help. If you do not have a Trust you need that as well.
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