The caregiver has filed these charges with the state never once saying anything to my mom or myself. The first we had learned anything regarding this matter was when the officer showed up at our door serving my mom papers telling her that my father was expected to appear before the judge to answer this charge of battery.
To our knowledge, this is the first and only time we have ever heard of this happening. My dad has a severe hereditary heart disease, he has suffered five major heart attacks, he has numerous stents in his heart and Drs say that he is only working with about 15% of his heart. Why and how he is still with us is nothing short of a miracle from God. He has suffered 3 major strokes, he is starting to show definite signs of dementia but has never been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. He also suffers from hearing loss. He is unable to care for himself, he needs help with bathing, dressing himself, preparing his meals. He is unable to get around without the help of his walker or wheelchair. It is very difficult for my dad to verbally communicate since his strokes. He understands what is being said but has difficulties coming up with the correct words to communicate back to others. His memory seems to be getting worse as time goes on.
I find it very difficult that my father has intentionally committed this crime he is being accused of.
Is there anyone out there who has also had to deal with this type if situation? Is there any suggestions that can help go forward with this crisis that has come up??? Please any and all help is definitely welcomed .

My first thought is to check out the caregiver. It is possible that this is a scam.

You are looking for short periods of employment with a resignation and minimal information to the employer. Is she from an agency, how long has she worked there, are there any other complaints, what references were taken up? If she worked at a previous agency, check with them too. I’d also try to talk to the police to find out more details of what is alleged, and what evidence they have.

If it is going to court, make sure that Dad's lawyer knows that physical and verbal abuse is common with elderly people, especially with dementia or other ageing symptoms. An experienced caregiver should be well aware of this, and should be accustomed to divert the anger and self protect against it. If you think the lawyer won't know, do the research yourselves and give it to the lawyer.

You have my sympathy and best wishes, Margaret
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to MargaretMcKen

This story is tragic for your entire family, especially your dad.

I think Margaret’s advice is wonderful. I would start there. Please keep us posted as to your progress.

Sending love and support for your family. I am so sorry that you are dealing with this horrible situation.
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Reply to NeedHelpWithMom

I would get a lawyer as suggested. Since this is going to court, then he will be able to get info on the plaintiff. If she was from an agency, then this should have been brought to the attention of her boss. If private, same thing, she should have brought it to your attn. If no to both, why not? Have you recently let someone go because of performance or they just up and left? Battery sounds like he beat her up. My daughter was punched in the head by a woman suffering from Lewy Body. When asked why she did it, the woman said she didn't know.

A lawyer will require health records and probably suggest a Dementia eval. He maybe able to tell the court with Dads health problems, he can't possibly be present. The case may get thrown out of court if found no bases to the complaint. She is an an aide, there is a likelihood she will get hit. Comes with the job. I think the big thing here is she didn't tell you. Did she see a doctor, go to ER? If so, you may be responsible for those bills.
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Reply to JoAnn29

Concur with Margaret's and others' suggestions.    "Battery" charges can sometimes be accompanied by "assault" charges, which I assume is not the situation.  

Research FL law to determine the specific actions required for a "battery" charge; you can start with a google search to locate the specific state statutory provision, to at least know what the alleged actions are.

If you don't yet have a criminal attorney, research the Florida state bar and local bar association list of criminal attorneys, review, contact and ask how many battery charges they've defended.    You want someone with experience, not just out of law school.

Also ask if the attorney has an investigator.   Firms I've worked for often do, and they're sometimes former police officers.   They know how to locate the records and data that could identify this caregiver, if this is a pattern, and would theoretically show up in court records.  

Also, check the court records for the jurisdiction (and adjoining jurisdictions, and potentially other states), in which the complaint was filed, search for the plaintiff's/complainant's name and see if there are other similar charges filed by him/her.   Work in conjunction with the attorney's investigator, who can accomplish more than inexperienced citizens can.
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Reply to GardenArtist

I'm going to contradict Alva's typical good advice and advise you NOT to make any statements in court other than that your father requests a court-appointed attorney.   

Anyone who's worked in criminal law, for a prosecuting attorney or defense attorney, or in that field, knows that anything someone says can be misinterpreted, and attorneys who work in contested areas (including divorce) and handle court appearances know well how to provoke and manipulate this.    It's like going up against a ravenous T-Rex with a little branch to defend yourself.

I would also revise my earlier comments by suggesting that you address this first, even contacting the police to ask them to suggest how to get a court-appointed attorney (I haven't done criminal work in decades so procedures may have changed).   

I'm trying to jog my memory back into the '60s when I was a court reporter, and if I remember correctly, court appointed attorneys at that time typically were involved before any hearing, which again at that time and in Michigan consisted of a preliminary hearing to determine if the defendant would be bound over for trial.   That was, however, at a time when the court structure was different than it was after legislative change during my last year of court reporting.

In case you're interested, this is a good site for the issues surrounding court appointed attorneys:

This raises another issue though, and I'm reaching out to WorriedinCA to opine:   was your father ever advised of his Miranda rights?   If the police officer serves the wife instead of the defendant, is he/she obliged to advise the latter of his rights, even if he's unavailable?
Barblem, get as much accomplished before the first court hearing.    Otherwise, you can feel overwhelmed.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to GardenArtist

My godmother would lash out at others. It was horrible. She had ALZ and was blind due to macular degeneration. She lived in fear. When I would visit her in the facility she would be covered in bruises. When I questioned what happened I was told, “You know your godmother, she may be tiny but she is a fighter. The staff has to defend themselves.”

It is tragic. The staff had an awful time with my godmother. My godmother was bruised in the rumble. She was old with tender skin.

It’s an awful situation all around.

So sorry that you are struggling with this. Best wishes to you and your family.
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Reply to NeedHelpWithMom

To begin with I would follow the advice of margaret below. I would request to see the complaint. What caused the confrontation? Was your dad provoked? Where there any witnessess? Did the agency provide a caregiver who was trained in caring for your dad's illnesses? The lack of self care and inability to properly express himself are certainly symptoms of dementia of which the caregiver should have been aware. With those symptoms, all one needs to do is to argue with your dad to deserve a punch in the nose. My hunch is that the caregiver provoked his response. I would write a letter to the court explaining the situation that your dad exhibits dementia symptoms and that he would not be able to properly express himself in court. If you have the time before the court appearance, make an appointment with his doctor to screen him for dementia. If not, I would submit to the court a document listing the symptoms of dementia and those that your dad exhibit along with the behavioral changes dementia causes.. I think you can muster a good defense for his actions and maybe even file false charges on the caregiver or her agency in not providing proper training to care for your dad.

Incidently, my wife also punched out her caregiver but it was never pursued.
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to sjplegacy

You have excellent advice below. Start out with Margaret's advice about background on the person, and step one along with that is that you must have a lawyer. If you cannot afford one, appear before the judge with Dad's medical diagnosis in hand as you presented it to us and ask for a public defender; offer to interpret for Dad.
Meanwhile be especially careful not to deal with this person or representatives seeking "settlement and dropping of charges in exchange for money". Do not speak with this person on phone or personally without a witness.
This is the time for Dad NOW to get a checkup, with your telling the doctor the reason why. In court you could be asked on the stand what you did after you were aware your father may have committed battery. You will have to be able to say that you sought a medical exam to explore whether your father is mentally failing due to his physical condition.
I would be careful actually now, what you discuss with Dad, because you could have to repeat it on the stand.
Someone recently wrote to ask if dementia was any excuse under the law. This would be one instance where it may make some difference.
I do not know if there is injury to this person? This person may be seeking money or they may not.
Remember, If there is no way Dad can afford a lawyer then appear before the judge on the date stipulated (things can change with Covid-19 to virtual; I hope not) and help interpret. Ask for a public defender if you cannot afford a lawyer. I wish you luck and hope you will update us. I am sad this has happened to you all.
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Reply to AlvaDeer

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