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Old 10-15-2013, 04:26 PM
 
Location: East valley
2,847 posts, read 3,005,073 times
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Go to National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers | GCM Specialists which is the national association of professional geriatric social workers who deal with these problems every day. Put in your state and get someone to advise you professionally. I am a retired social worker myself and there is so much misinformation out there that you need professional guidance for this problem. Good luck. I wish you the best.
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Old 10-16-2013, 05:49 AM
 
2,380 posts, read 5,234,229 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wannagonorth View Post
See, this is what I suspected was the case. If you totally ignore the parent (like most of my siblings do), you're off the hook. But if you provide care, and it's not sufficient to keep the parent safe, you can be held liable. Talk about no good deed going unpunished!!! I think that's so wrong.

I think it's very different from a child being harmed. One is that you choose to bring a child into the world, you're responsible for them while they're dependent. Two is that you have control over a child. You have the legal right to modify their situation in any way necessary for their well being. You have no legal rights at all with a parent, unless they're legally incompetent and you've been appointed as their guardian.
Keep in mind - my statement was based on what I've seen prosecuted. Their was a local case where a vulnerable person (person with health conditions) was living in awful conditions, in the same home as their husband and adult son. The adult son threatened the father and basically stole the parents SS income, etc.. and prevented the father from getting much help for the bedbound mother. The mother died in her bed, and when they removed her the bed sores were pretty much horrific. The father pled guilty, but the charges against him were lowered because all believed that he'd been in fear of his very strong/large adult son. The adult son was charged with abuse (this was flat out abuse) and put in prison.


But this was a very Horrific case of clearcut abuse. (Person left to rot in their own bodily waste).


Simply being bed bound does not mean someone needs 24/7 care.

Also, nursing homes have a financial incentive to threaten you into using their services. (A coworker who cares for his disabled brother has been threatened by hospitals/rehab centers --- because the brother would be a slam dunk medicaid approval. He's had to call the medicare ombudsman to get them to stop badgering him (and they shut up very quickly)). So if its a nursing home that's threatening you in order to get your mom as an enrollee.. well, I'd say they have a financial motive and would not pay much attention to that.


yes - caring for loved ones is difficult, and no one expects you to become your mother's slave (maybe your mother does, but that's unfortunate for her).

Sorry you're dealing with this situation.
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Old 10-16-2013, 06:24 AM
 
Location: Simmering in DFW
6,749 posts, read 8,869,189 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wannagonorth View Post
You're right, having her in a wheelchair would help a lot, and no, she's not in one during waking hours. I have pushed for this before and gotten nowhere. One problem is, her house is not really wheelchair accessible, in terms of hallways and doorways. Other problem is, you can't make her do anything. She is the type of person who, given a choice between something that would make her more dependent and something that would make her more independent, will always choose to be more dependent. In other words, she'd rather sit in her chair and be waited on that be able to get around in a wheelchair and do things for herself.
Not to belabor this point, but wheelchairs can often be gotten very cheaply on Craigslist or sometimes if you just let your Facebook friends know you want one someone may give you one, same with adult/disabled potty chairs, so even if she doesn't seem interested if there is one just hanging around the house or even just sitting in her room she might give it a try when no one is around. This isn't a permanent solution and I apologize for straying from your post's purpose......
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Old 10-16-2013, 07:18 AM
 
4,733 posts, read 4,919,278 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wannagonorth View Post
I've seen a couple of mentions of folks being threatened with being reported to authorities for abandonment or neglect of an elderly parent. I'm wondering if people who have faced that situation (or even been threatened) could post something about the circumstances. My therapist has warned me that this is a possibility (although a remote one) in my own case and I find the idea outrageous. My situation is: my mother has such severe balance and mobility problems that she's not safe alone unless she's sitting in a chair or lying in bed. To be absolutely safe, she'd need someone to help her stand up and sit down, help her in the shower and bathroom, and bring everything she needs (meals, reading materials, beverages, etc. ) to her so she doesn't need to get up from her chair except to go to bed or to the bathroom. No lone person could provide this kind of care and frankly I'm not willing to have my entire life tied up that way. My mother needs to be in assisted living, but her income won't cover it, she has no savings, and family members won't or can't contribute.

I don't understand how the legal authorities can expect family members to keep an elderly parent safe in this type of situation, but it seems they do, at least sometimes or in some places. Anybody have any thoughts/experiences to share?
Someone with standing petitions the court for a court appointed guardian. A STRANGER, not YOU /eyeroll.

If that is granted, you are out of the picture. If you refuse to work with or cooperate with the guardian you get no say so in the matter of your mother, her resources or decisions.

Whether you are actively involved in her situation thereafter is up to the guardian. The FIRST thing they'll do is move you out of her home.

Quote:
will always choose to be more dependent. In other words, she'd rather sit in her chair and be waited on that be able to get around in a wheelchair and do things for herself.
So stop doing things for her.

Quote:
Oh for God's sake - there's a world of difference between refusing to be a 24/7 unpaid servant and "continuing to ignore her needs." There's no way in the world I could meet her needs, even if I were willing to be a 24/7 caregiver. The last time she fell, I was still asleep at 7:30 on a Sunday morning (in the same house). The time before that, I was brushing my teeth (in the same house). I can't stop her from falling and I can't pick her up by myself, either. What do you think I should do - hover over her over waking second, to the exclusion of meals, bathroom breaks, bathing, and any life of my own?
Move out of her home. You are not "caretaking" if you can't even bother to investigate resources for her and it's more important to you to know your personal liability. You're nothing more than an "alarm". Put a nanny cam in there you'll get the same outcome. She falls - call 911.

Then you can petition the court yourself and let her make her case to the judge for why she can live alone.

I love how you just assume she would be spending 24/7 in a chair if she went to assisted/long term care without a single bit of research about what is available etc. Or even APPLYING for Medicaid which I don't think you know much about. No they can't FORCE her to comply with exercise etc but why would you care, anyway if you just want her safety?

I also love the tidbits of info.

She fell. OK fine, she got up right? Then what? Because if she got admitted to a hospital you'd already KNOW what resources were available after she got released.

Here's a thought: She falls. You call 911. Oh wait. That would mean someone not in the family would come there.

You're teetering very close to the "abuse" scenario, IMO. By posting here you show you have concerns and that is all admissible in court you'd lose your cloak of anonymity. It's very telling IMO that you never mentioned what HER DOCTORS SAY but what YOUR therapist warned you about. And she'll have a little bit of threatened liability potentially too. It just depends on if the lawyers/judge go that far.

Last edited by runswithscissors; 10-16-2013 at 07:47 AM..
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Old 10-16-2013, 09:32 AM
 
Location: East valley
2,847 posts, read 3,005,073 times
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As I said above, there are many opinions from many different people here, some knowledgeable, some not.

Time to work with a professional to get things straight.
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Old 10-16-2013, 12:04 PM
 
220 posts, read 106,648 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by runswithscissors View Post
Someone with standing petitions the court for a court appointed guardian. A STRANGER, not YOU /eyeroll.

If that is granted, you are out of the picture. If you refuse to work with or cooperate with the guardian you get no say so in the matter of your mother, her resources or decisions.

Whether you are actively involved in her situation thereafter is up to the guardian. The FIRST thing they'll do is move you out of her home.



So stop doing things for her.



Move out of her home. You are not "caretaking" if you can't even bother to investigate resources for her and it's more important to you to know your personal liability. You're nothing more than an "alarm". Put a nanny cam in there you'll get the same outcome. She falls - call 911.

Then you can petition the court yourself and let her make her case to the judge for why she can live alone.

I love how you just assume she would be spending 24/7 in a chair if she went to assisted/long term care without a single bit of research about what is available etc. Or even APPLYING for Medicaid which I don't think you know much about. No they can't FORCE her to comply with exercise etc but why would you care, anyway if you just want her safety?

I also love the tidbits of info.

She fell. OK fine, she got up right? Then what? Because if she got admitted to a hospital you'd already KNOW what resources were available after she got released.

Here's a thought: She falls. You call 911. Oh wait. That would mean someone not in the family would come there.

You're teetering very close to the "abuse" scenario, IMO. By posting here you show you have concerns and that is all admissible in court you'd lose your cloak of anonymity. It's very telling IMO that you never mentioned what HER DOCTORS SAY but what YOUR therapist warned you about. And she'll have a little bit of threatened liability potentially too. It just depends on if the lawyers/judge go that far.
It's amazing the assumptions you're making here.

The home in which my mother lives belongs to both of us jointly; I paid the down payment and we both pay the bills. I also have a home of my own, separately, but she strongly prefers me to stay in her house. You seem to think I'm leeching off her by living here; that is absolutely false.

I have been actively investigating resources for her, for several years. Not Medicaid, not yet, because I don't think she's eligible and more importantly, because I think that would mean her going to a nursing home, which is a fate worse than death for her. I have checked out several assisted living centers in my area; but the financing is a big issue, along with how to convince her that she needs to go to one.

I am not anywhere near the abuse scenario. My mother is well cared for, except for the fact that she's really not safe even moving about the house by herself, and there's no way I can change that. I do as much as I can to keep her safe here - I bring in the mail, take out the garbage, cook her meals, make her bed, clean up after her and her (non-housebroken) dog, keep her alert pendant charged and running, and a host of other tasks. I can't be with her 24/7 nor can I keep her from getting up when I'm busy doing something else or otherwise not in the room (or in the house). I would call 911 if needed, but I helped her buy this house specifically in order to be near my siblings, and so far I've always been able to get one of them to come over and help lift her up. Her pendant will call 911 if nobody is around to help her when she falls.

Oh, and what her doctors say. They say her balance issues are from an organic brain problem that is too advanced to be treated. They don't seem to want to get involved in her living situation, or anything other than her medical needs. I asked for a senior evaluation and her primary dr. said there's no point in it. I got a referral from my therapist for a geriatric care manager who I'm going to bring in to help us figure out what's available that she/we could afford in terms of assisted living or other services.

I realize a lot of people got the impression from my post that I'm mainly concerned about my legal liability but that's really not the case. I'm very concerned about the use of these laws, and interest in learning how other people have been affected by or threatened with them. I'm a lawyer by training (but not in elder law) and also a graduate student in gerontology, and these laws and the filial responsibility laws are the main focus of my research. I've read cases in my own state where caregivers have gone to jail and I personally can't see how they could have done anything differently given the limitations on their resources and their lack of control over the elder's decisions as to whether or not to eat, drink water, get up and walk, accept medical attention, or whatever contributed to the person's condition.

Your comments about "admissibility in court" and a "cloak of anonymity" - this comes wholly from your own head. My computer isn't even password-protected. Your eyerolls here are totally misplaced. Not that I'm really expecting an apology from somebody who jumps to conclusions and judgments as quickly as you apparently do.
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Old 10-16-2013, 12:11 PM
 
220 posts, read 106,648 times
Reputation: 871
Quote:
Originally Posted by runswithscissors View Post
Someone with standing petitions the court for a court appointed guardian. A STRANGER, not YOU /eyeroll.


She fell. OK fine, she got up right? Then what? Because if she got admitted to a hospital you'd already KNOW what resources were available after she got released.

Here's a thought: She falls. You call 911. Oh wait. That would mean someone not in the family would come there.
Oh, and this. I don't know why you would call 911 if someone falls and is not seriously hurt. My mother certainly wouldn't want an ambulance called; for one thing, they charge you, and it isn't cheap. That said, I have taken her to the urgent care several times after a fall, when she had an injury that seemed to need medical attention. I didn't realize there was anything nefarious about not calling 911. The fact that she falls is no secret - I've been bringing this up with her doctors for years, and they finally sent her to a neurologist and got a diagnosis, which unfortunately has not resulted in any treatment.
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Old 10-16-2013, 12:49 PM
 
2,380 posts, read 5,234,229 times
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OP:

The first rule of internet forums, don't take anything said personally, even when it comes across as a personal attack.

I post here on and off and have a differing view of many (but not all) of the posters on this board, and yes - people jump to conclusions all the time.

Unfortunately, people have very strong feelings about this subject, and many are not willing to look at another's situation objectively, but instead project their own situation onto other's.

It sounds like you're doing what you can. Just curious - who is threatening you with the elder abuse charge?

We were in a similar situation with my parents (they were unsupervised during part of the day) and someone made a similar comment to me about something horrible, "What if there were a fire?" .. and was stunned when I said, "They'd die".

It was a care agency who was pushing for 24 hour care (so we could pay someone to watch my parents comfortably sleep for 8 hours). They wanted to scare me into getting more care.

The county association for aging social worker knew of our situation (I contacted them to find out what services they could recommend) and knew my parents were "unsupervised" during part of the day. She also knew my parents were cognizant of their surroundings, completely mentally intact and had cellphones at the ready, and were not scared or worried about being "alone". She said she wished more parents had the care mine did.

So I stopped worrying about busy bodies charging me with neglect.

Also - both my parents were in a SNF for a time. You want to talk about neglect? Right there.
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Old 10-16-2013, 01:54 PM
 
1,006 posts, read 626,859 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wannagonorth View Post
Oh, and this. I don't know why you would call 911 if someone falls and is not seriously hurt. My mother certainly wouldn't want an ambulance called; for one thing, they charge you, and it isn't cheap. That said, I have taken her to the urgent care several times after a fall, when she had an injury that seemed to need medical attention. I didn't realize there was anything nefarious about not calling 911. The fact that she falls is no secret - I've been bringing this up with her doctors for years, and they finally sent her to a neurologist and got a diagnosis, which unfortunately has not resulted in any treatment.

You are never charged for the call. if they get there and don't transport, there is no charge. please don't ever let the possibility of costs effect wise decisions regarding calling 911. The concern that you can't see is that she did spinal damage or actually fractured a bone. Especially an issue as an older woman.
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Old 10-16-2013, 02:45 PM
 
220 posts, read 106,648 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cocaseco View Post
You are never charged for the call. if they get there and don't transport, there is no charge. please don't ever let the possibility of costs effect wise decisions regarding calling 911. The concern that you can't see is that she did spinal damage or actually fractured a bone. Especially an issue as an older woman.
Well, that's an interesting point. Several of them, actually. I didn't know that they didn't charge for coming if they don't transport. I think my mother would be horrified to have 911 called, but maybe that's not the deciding factor. Of course I/we ask her if anything hurts, if she's injured anywhere. Mainly she has bruises or bleeding from tears in her skin (she has fragile skin, and was on blood thinners for a while). You're right, we don't know if any bones are broken. Hmm....
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