My friend of many years, Kathy, fell in her home and broke her hip. She had surgery to repair it, returned home and developed either MRSA or Staph-no one has been able to tell me. When the ambulance came to get her the second time, an unknown well-meaning busybody, called APS and said she was living in squalor with animal feces in the house.. This is in Avery County, NC. She was placed in a local hospital and then moved to a more advanced hospital to clear up the infection. Her medication was all over the place and she sounded like she was crazy to the average person. Kathy has always been a little different but the word I'd use is eccentric-not crazy. Kathy has now been moved to a rehab facility not far from her home. Her medication is back under control and she is sounding more like her old self. I went to see her-both in Charlotte and back at the rehab. I cleaned her house and found not a single animal fece or urine stain anywhere. I have her dog and am caring for it until she can return home. The social worker who is assigned to her case, has questioned me regarding her finances and property she owns. I have been paying her bills with checks she signed for me during our visit.
My concern is this, what power does APS have over her and her future? Can they deem her "unfit to take care of herself" and force her into a home? She owns several rental properties in addition to a very nice home in this very poor county in NC. Kathy has never been "normal" by our standards-but that's just who she is. She lost her husband to pancreatic cancer 15 or more years ago and wants to donate her property to a local college because they agreed to name a building after him, in order to preserve his memory. I am her executor when she passes but she is only 62 and has the potential to live many more years. She keeps asking me-when is she coming home and I can't seem to get a straight answer from the rehab. Unfortunately, she did not sign a POA naming me or anyone else before this happened because she has been healthy. This means her bank won't speak with me so I'm collecting mail and viewing bank statements to keep her solvent while she is recovering.
Would someone please let us know our options in NC regarding an APS investigation? Do I need to hire an attorney for her? It's really scary that they can come in and decide your future for you if you have no family.