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I am wondering if I should send APS. It is for my ex-husband in his 50's living with my son who is 28. This must seem like a strange question to ask about younger people. They moved in with my in-laws several years ago, both have since died. They hardly ever leave the house, they don't work. The lawn has not been mowed and is grown up to where you can't see the house. My son has reached out for money to pay electric bill when they get desperate. I think my ex-husband and son are both depressed. The neighbor called me (I live in another state) and told me they had no phone, electricity, internet or food and something had to be done. They got my son to their home so he could call me and I wired him some money to have electricity turned on and get food. I keep offering for my son to live with me, but he won't leave his Dad. They go nowhere and have no visitors. This has been going on a couple of years. I am afraid if I send APS my son will never speak to me again, but I am also afraid this will get worse and that maybe my son won't leave because my ex-husband might be suicidal.

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OP is probably concerned her son and/or ex husband will be sent to a mental hospital if she calls APS as well.
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Whenever I've encountered a troubling situation, I looked into my heart and asked what was the right thing to do. I did call CPS 3 times for 3 different children. And each time, they were removed from the caretaker. So, in my case, it did some good.

PLUS, it's anonymous. If you act mum, who's to say who called. It could have been the postal person.
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I hear you, Deda and see you feel you are between a rock and a hard place. Can you go there and talk with him and try to get him to get help for himself and his dad?

The whole picture speaks to me of mental illness like depression and/or addicts like drug/alcohol abuse and that some intervention is needed.

I have tended to take a hard line with my kids, if I felt it was needed, and take the risk that they would get angry. In one case my dil decided they should no longer speak to me. She is bipolar. So be it. It wasn't nice but we are back on socializing terms again.

Would calling social services in the area be a safer choice for you?
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Okay.

Rest your mind.

What APS definitely will NOT do is

take your confidential call
refuse to act on your information
AND
tell your son and his father that you were the person who called them.


Also.

Your son may suspect or figure out that you "informed" on them, and he may react by being angry. But that does not mean that you do not have every justification for asking the appropriate authorities to intervene, does it? So let him be angry - it's still more important that the right people with the right skills are given an opportunity to help.

And if he's not already desperate and yet still refusing to seek help, then when will he be?

And if APS won't act this time, and then things get worse, you can always call again, no?

And at the very, very least, you can tell APS what it's all about and why you're worried and just ask them to advise you what to do next. Wait and hear what they say before you assume it'll be a disaster - but whatever you might have read in the papers, it truly isn't their business to make situations worse. They are there to help.
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I guess my fear is that I will call APS, they won't do anything, and I will have a son who will not even call when he is desperate for help because he will be mad at me.
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About the city intervening, they live in the country, the neighbors are not as close as in a city situation, and the neighbor checks on them occasionally because they were friends of the in laws. I kept hoping it would get better but hasn't and will probably call the county APS next week.
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I would call APS.

I have done similar in a couple of occasions. One was calling social services about a family I knew whose kids were totally out of control, by the mother's admission when she came to visit me. The father ended up in the psych ward. The mother was depressed and not coping, the kids were wild. They got a visit from SS and some help in the form of counselling and I am not sure what else. The mother came to visit me a few months later and asked me if I had called SS and I said. "Yes, as I figured you needed some help." She was not angry at me (not saying this would be the case with your son, I don't know) and the kids were much better behaved. She talked about the counseling she had gotten. It was a win win.

By your son's admission, his dad is in bad shape. Obviously son is not in that great shape either.

I too am very surprised that the property has gotten to this point without the city intervening. That sounds strange to me.

However, overall, I think there is more to be gained than lost by at least a call for a wellness check or to APS. I agree with not subsidizing them anymore. It would be better to work with your son directly or through a social worker to get the situation evaluated and them both set up with proper resources.
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Agree stop sending them money. You are just enabling their lifestyle. Without knowing what is really going on it is the wrong thing to do.
Another thing you can do is call the police and ask for a wellness check. Also call APS, don't worry if your son never speaks to you again, it does not sound as though he is communicating now unless he asks for money.
Did your ex or son ever work. if so why did they stop?
Does either have a history of mental illness?
First thing Monday morning get the ball rolling or just walk away and let the chips fall where they may. You are talking about two adult men who may or may not have chosen to live this way
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You can call APS and report this situation anonymously. If you do so, make sure you warn their neighbor to not saying anything to them like, “Oh, yes, your ex told me she was thinking of calling APS.”

I understand how you feel about not wanting your son to be angry with you. However, would you be able to forgive yourself if anything happened to him? Stop enabling him to live like that by bailing him out.

As far as the city stepping in about the yard, a city here would send out notices and then come out and cut the grass. They would then bill the homeowner. If the homeowner doesn’t pay, they’d go to court. I guess the end result would be they’d be evicted if they wouldn’t comply or pay.

I agree that if you are reluctant to handle this on your own, find someone else who doesn’t have an emotional attachment to these two, like APS. If their lives are truly as sad as you say, APS will make them a priority.
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a) Your son not speaking to you.
b) Your son and his father reaching breaking point and one or both of them coming to serious harm.

Which would be worse?

And if you do nothing and b) happens, how will you feel about yourself then?

Put in a call. Take advice. Surely that's the least you can do.
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Deda, I'm going to put this very bluntly. You seem to be very concerned that your son won't speak to you if you call in APS.

First, do it anonymously and deny it if he asks. If the situation is as bad as you write, the whole neighborhood is aware at least of the overgrown yard. There may have been EMS reports documenting it as well; they're mandated responders.

(And like, FF, I can not understand why the local government hasn't become involved and mandated a cleanup. This does NOT make sense.)

And BTW, given their situation (no food, phone or electricity), the last thing they need to have is Internet. They need stable and safe housing first.

Living w/o electricity is probably a fire hazard. I wonder if they even have running water.

Your son may never find out who called for help.

Second, what's more important? That help be obtained immediately or that your son is mad at you? Excuse the bluntness, but I think it's appropriate: if either of them become terminally ill or die b/c of the existing situation, what will it matter that you were worried about your son being mad?

Sometimes it takes someone to put in perspective the potential imminent danger of a situation. That's why I was blunt.

And this is just as blunt: if you're unable to engage and get help (such as when you were there last year), then you need to delegate immediately to someone or some entity that can. Your knowledge of this situation and failure to do so could be considered negligence by governmental authorities.

You can respond negatively to me if you wish, but if what you write is true, this is a situation that demands immediate attention, and someone w/o the strength to do so needs to find someone who will and step out of the picture.

I still can't believe that local government hasn't gotten involved. Something isn't right about this story.
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Years ago, I lived down the block from a very nice, well put together elderly man. He died when he was in his early 90s. Fast forward a year or two later, a neighbor spotted a man with long matted grey hair, toe nails curled around his feet, wearing a dirty nightshirt standing at the front door. EMS and APS were called.

It turned out that the man had an adult son who had developed schizophrenia in his late teens, come home from college and never left the house again. Neighbors had no idea that this "young" man lived with his dad. For whatever reason, the older man didn't make appropriate arrangements for his son to be cared for after his death.

Take some action. It doesn't matter if your son gets angry at you. You are getting him what he needs, not what he wants. Long term, that's a good thing.
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DedaMc, I am surprised that the County or City hasn't gotten after your ex to mow the lawn. Usually County/City/Towns will bring in their crew to mow and charge the homeowner, or place a lien on the house. One would think the County/City/Town would be calling APS to do a well-fare check on the people in the house.

If neither ex-hubby or your son work, are they on some type of welfare or disability funds? What about health insurance? Who pays the real estate tax? Who buys the food?

How did the neighbor get into the house? Did the neighbor checked around to see if the electricity was "on", if the phone was working?.... did the neighbor peer into the refrigerator and cupboards to see if there was anything to eat? Probably not. Sounds more like something your ex or son would have said to the neighbor. Internet? Seriously? No one needs to have WiFi to survive.

Time to set boundaries, do not send money for food or utilities. Unless you have boots on the ground seeing what is happening day by day, you cannot be sure if this is real [tall grass might mean the lawn mower doesn't work], and they both are asking you to be their ATM when they run out of funds.
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Stop sending money.
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Oh...and thank you for your advice and interest.
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Yes, both have been treated for depression. And, I was outside the house about a year ago with the grass all grown up to where you couldn't see the house. I probably should have done something long ago, but like my neighbor, I am afraid my son will be so mad that he may not speak to me again.
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I vote for calling APS. Unless you can go for a visit, you have no idea if (at worst) your ex is suicidal and needs inpatient psychiatric help or (another kind of "worst") your son, ex and the neighbor are playing you.

Your son should be out earning a living and establishing himself. Has he had difficulties with addiction and/or mental illness in the past?
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Also, this has been going on awhile, I paid the electricity bill on several occasions last winter and have been encouraging my son to get a job, to move, but he says, "Dad is in bad shape".
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No, she called me Wednesday before Thanksgiving and I told her that I had been trying to do something from a distance, and she could call Protective Services, and she said she was afraid they would get mad at her.
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Won't the neighbor call Adult Protection Services? The neighbor is the party witnessing this.
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