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problems with social worker/Adult Protective sx
My father has history CHF--July 2021 he had 5 hr procedure (via femoral artery) to place 3 stents in coronaries. MD discussed a similar procedure (TAVR ~ 60min procedure) to replace his stenotic aortic valve to prevent his cycling back into CHF. I'm trained as a Nurse Practitioner (retired) so I explained pros/cons in simple terms to dad. He said "no" until he cycled back into CHF ( it feels like you're suffocating to death). He TAVR done 10/7/2021--saw dad next day, he was extrememly weak & unable to stand on own. Spoke with MD--dad went to rehab facility for ~ 3wks. Dad has not been same since O.R.--SOB extreme fatigue & some memory deficits relating to day & date of month, SOB much improved.. I've been living with dad since June 30, 2021.
This is the scary part . . . Dad has been receiving home delivered meals. A person 'Katie' called to say he need to be recertified 'in person' for meals. When said person came out I asked her name, last name and if she had a business card. She responded "I'm 'Katie', just call me 'Katie'--seemed pleasant & I let her in & woke dad up from his nap. Once inside her demeanor changed! She asked dad the'person, place, time' questions & dad did not know day of wk or date of month. Then the berating started: HE CAN NOT BE AT HOME!!! HE NEEDS TO BE IN A NURSING HOME OR ASSISTED LIVING!!! HE CAN NOT BE AT HOME. Told her I was staying with dad & my training as a Nurse Practitioner. Now the insults..."YOU ARE RETIRED!!! YOU HAVE NO LICENSE!!! YOU HAVE NO LICENSE!!! I WILL HOLD YOU LEGALLY RESPONSIBLE IF ANYTHING HAPPENS TO HIM!!! I told her to tell that to my dad. She looked at him, then looked at me & said "NO". Embaressingly I burst into tears--I was sooo stunned by her behavior! She contined her tirate...HE CAN NOT BE AT HOME!!! FACE REALITY--HE NEEDS TO BE IN NSG HOME...on & on for ~30min. Lastly she berated me with "NOW YOU MADE ME LATE FOR MY NEXT APPT!!! Found out 'Katie' is a social worker from local Aging Agency who came in the guise of 'meals!!! Dad was terrified of retaliation--ie nursing home also no meals. So was I. Spoke with supervisor who said she would look into it surreptitiously & contact me end of following wk--no call. Called following wk & left 2 VMM to no avail. Called IL Dept Aging & gave verbal report of Emotional/Vertbal Abuse via social worker from Aging Agency. Shortly after that rcvd letter from co-worker (Adult Protective Sxs) from same Agency wanting to come out & 'talk'!?! I call the main IL Dept Aging--transferred to APS--told to email written report. Looked into reviews of Agency--very disheartening! Spoke with someone who was willing to share their story. Like mine, their relation went thru above. . After AP gains entry to residence, some times with police, and removes the 'victim' from the home, into the court system, then into guardianship! ALL done via legal loopholes ALL done AGAINST the 'victim's wishes.
Very scared! Merry (not today)
What state do you live in?
I would advise moving up the chain to the state level with your complaints.
Your father is in good hands!
Are you in Illinois?
Agree, go straight to the top, maybe report to police as well.
A Certified Elder Law Attorney (CELA) www.nelf.org is a very valuable resource for many aspects of the dementia journey.
Field this one to your attorney - it will take care of the problem.
Who called Adult Protective Services?
Sounds like one of the meal delivery team filed a complaint with APS because of what they saw or think they saw/observed at your home. Considering how aggressive they are , trying their no warrant lie to get into the house etc , I'd get a lawyer. Now.
The agency will probably tell the lawyer what concerns them and then hopefully you can address it. If you wait, as you've heard, they can do an emergency hearing, remove Dad, and you'll be playing very expensive defense. And Judges tend to leave things in the hands of the "professionals" who've gone to the effort to remove the person .
And honestly, no need to post details here, but try to step back and look at the living situation, your Dad's condition-- are things needing improvement, or subject to misinterpretation- like bruising from meds etc. If that is the case work with the lawyer to agree to whatever will remedy the possible issues .
Complaining to elected people does nothing as they have to defer to the agencies with the power and abilities to go to court. You don't want to go to court unless you need to file for your own guardianship of Dad.
I investigated only to find the 'meal' person was a social worker from our local Agency on Aging.
After the Emotional & Verbally Abusive meeting (see Adult Protective sxs definition) where not a single word about meals was mentioned, I contacted her Agency Supervisor (there is NO feedback or accountability system at all). I told supervisor that my dad, as well as myself, were afraid of retaliation either in stopping 'meal' sxs or at worst follow thru on her threats/intimidation to put dad in nursing home. (NOTE: suggested donation is ~ $65 dollars/ month. Since we both feel there are people who can NOT afford to contribute, we send a check for $100/month). Supervisor seemed pleasant enough & promised to get back to me by end of following wk. After 10 days (2 unanswered VMM, yes she was in office). . . I contacted IL Dept Agency & gave a verbal report. Yes I also filed a report with the police.
About 1 wk later, we received letter from 'meal' person's co-worker at same Agency--'Patrick' an Adult Protective Sxs worker, wanted to come out to 'talk' to us--I think NOT!!! I do NOT feel comfortable with the same Agency coming out! Then I called the 'main' IL Dept Aging--was referred to APS to file written email report.
The following wk 2nd letter from same Agency APS worker 'Patrick' wanting to come out in the guise to 'talk' about other programs we might benefit from.
I investigated some of the reviews . . There seems to be a theme (going back 5+yrs) of rude, intimidating & threatening behavior (Emotional/Verbal Abuse) of 'victim' and /or caregiver. When people complained sxs were stopped. Worse yet, APS, sometime via police, removed the 'victim' from their home--against their wishes!!! Whisked them thru the court system, then into guardianship with 'trumped-up' charges, discredits the caregiver--'the caregiver emotionally upsets the 'victim' and therefore needs to refrain from any contact with the 'victim' while disqualifying them from guardianship. Lastly, the 'victim' is ripped from their home & dumped in a nursing home!!!
WHY??? My dad could not remember day of wk or date of month?!? BUT to them dad has assests, very little financial assests, but dad has real estate assets. When the 'meal' person came to the house it was obvious dad had little 'ways-'n-means'--therefore few resources to hire an attorney. True.
Contacted 2 downtown law firms with offices also in suburbs--wanted $4 to $5,000 retainers (charged between $3 to $500/hr PLUS wanted their expert to evaluate dad's competency at out-of-pocket cost of $1,800 to $2,500 plus expenses)--WOW!
Contacted 4 legal aid/volunteer legal sxs--1 stated "we can't handle Adult Protective Sxs cases'. Two others vaguely stated "..can not offer assistance". I've asked them, per emai,l to please elaborate. I'm getting the impression that when APS is involved the legal aspect can be complicated and lengthy. Hence the eagerness of the 2 downtown law firms.
I will look into NELF. Thank you for the info.
Thank you for your honest feedback.
Aside from me falling for the 'meal' guise of 'no warrant' (thank-you for that bit of info!)--dad does seem to have some intermittent mild cognitive impairment. Dad's frame house does indicate a lack of 'ways-'n-means'.
So far law firms have been eager to take this on--they're cost prohibitive for us.
Legal aid/volunteers have either said they do NOT take APS (?involved?) cases probably because they can be complicated and lengthy. Or that they can't take on such cases or whatnot!!!
I'm trying to fight for my dad's life as he wants and knows--the right to remain in his home as long as possible!!! It breaks my heart to hear him say "Please don't let her put me in a nursing home!". AND I'm scared that this 'rock' that's rolling down hill & gained momentum is going to smash both our hearts and are 'lil family as we know it!
Feel helpless and afraid!!!
Merry, I agree that the APS worker was appallingly unprofessional and unkind. But the reality is that APS has a tremendous amount of power. Victoria is right, you need to figure out what triggered the original report. Take an objective look around, and maybe ask someone you know for their honest opinion. Is the house run down, or cluttered, or dirty? Is Dad disheveled or unclean at times? Is it possible he is telling others things that are not true (many of us have been down that road)? Is there yelling coming from the house? Is food available, other than the delivered meals? Does he keep his medical appointments? I'm not convinced that someone from the meals filed a report, the worker could have just said that knowing he gets the meals and that would gain entry. You need to figure out what other people are seeing. If you honestly feel there is no cause for concern, ask to meet with a different APS worker. Be calm and rational, save criticisms of "Katie" for another day, and ask to discuss openly whatever issues they see. I have never felt that APS was pushing to yank well cared for elders out of their homes, but they do have the power to do so if the elder is being neglected or abused. The best way for you to handle this is convince them that neither is true. Unfortunately, you can't just ignore them or refuse entry --- that will lead to the result you do not want.
PS --- I should also add that APS can be helpful in these cases. If the house is rundown, they can access funds for some repairs. They can arrange help such as home health aides if needed, provide you info on available resources. If clutter/hoarding is an issue, they can arrange cleaning. Their (usual) goal is to keep an elder in his home as long as is safely possible. But you do have to figure out what they are seeing before you can address it.
If possible, can you leave your dad at home with someone and meet with ‘Patrick’ at a neutral location? Maybe they have services to offer. I’m actually surprised that this is happening since most people here can’t get anyone in to help them and no agency seems interested in removing loved ones even when asked by the caregiver to do so.
Or maybe, it’s time to sell your Dads real estate since neither of you can maintain it or afford to pay someone to do so. It’s only going to deteriorate further as time goes on, reducing the amount of money he will have for placement later. Where is your home, since you comment that you are staying with him? Is it suitable to move him in with you or to an assisted living facility close by. Those are not nursing homes and generally are very pleasant surroundings.
You can ignore this post if it doesn’t really apply to your situation. I’m thinking out loud based on limited information and I may be off base in my opinion as a result.
Thanks for contacting me! Are you with the Alz support team?
In general, looking at the big picture, with COVID skyrocketing; dad has many blood dyscracias which are being tuned up; dad's primary MD & 2 cardiac MDs say to 'give it time'; my past research into assisted living put it out of reach financially . . .
I'm NOT ruling out some sort of placement.
Dad wants to stay in his home as long as possible (he is independent with some minor day of wk/date of month cognitive impairment) & I feel as a retired Nurse Practitioner living with him, along with his team of MDs, he can be at home. The MDs feel fine with me.
You know . . . both of us want to be able to spent quality time together for as long as possible. Dad has been thru alot, with the big picture, why not?
Though the house, like some others around us, was built in 1940's/1950s--it's stable.
What're going thru is a nightmare & soo very wrong! I'd just like it to stop!
Yes, it is a crisis! Dads house, like many others next door & around us, was built in 1940s/1950s--but stable.
I've learned that some people just do not even try to work with people/caregivers and probably know little about geriatrics or even alzheimers/dementia--easier to pull them out of society into a nsg home.
Each of us has a story(s). Can you share yours . . .
There is always something to learn . . .
Merry (not today)
What I mean by that is . . .
Dad's house as the house next door & around the block were built in 1940s/1950s--but stable. When people die or sell (due to the large lot size)--the house is a tear down & replaced with a bigger new brick home.
That's the evolution of communities/towns that are still viable.
Yes, I do not know what they are seeking . . .
Since the dialogue was one way--the issue dictated was 'nursing home or assisted living' period.
Has anyone gone thru such an experience . . .
I love my dad & want to respect his wishes & quality of life for as long as possible!
This is a forum that doesn’t allow me to do anything but use the written word to try to help you.
I asked very specific questions about the condition of the home. Is it in disrepair. Is it what a normal person would consider dirty. Is it a hoarded home.
You gave a tremendous amount of detail when describing your encounter with APS, but are remarkably vague when describing the home. That says something to me, the reader.
I wish you luck. Without an attorney to protect him, he may not get what he wants in the end.
Home is not in disrepair, not dirty, cluttered, plumbing, heating, window a/c in summer. Same big 'ole porcelain clad cast iron kitchen sink. Unfortunately, bathroom has plain tub 'n shower not a claw foot tub-joke, Dad's 'ole shaving mug in bathroom. Cozy afghans mom crocheted. Doilies mom & grandma crocheted on end tables. Dad & moms wedding photo on chest-of-drawers. Same 'ole cozy furniture mom picked out before she passed--NO springs popping out! Some pillow covers mom crocheted--yes, they've been washed. Detailed wood work. Lots 'n lots of memories, love & cozy comforts one would find in an elderly home--that means alot to dad.
Not the man cave a single male would live in. Probably not the 'cave' of any young, urban professional either.
It's my dad's home that he knows & loves--I respect him. Just as I would respect someone from another culture, race, or socioeconomic status.
Okay, thank you. All seems to be in order for the home.If I were you, I would keep checking the probate court web site for cases involving your father and make sure you show up to any hearings scheduled.Where I live, there were a small number of social workers who worked with a third party "guardian" type law firm who would find vulnerable elderly without means to fight them, they would file for guardianship, not serving the person involved or family, take over and then the court places them in a third party guardianship and makes all the decisions for them.
Use his last name, first name and do a case search in the county where he lives. Do this at least weekly. Show up at every hearing and let the court know you are family and you want to be the decisionmaker. You will need to get someone to watch your father while you are in court and the hearing may be postponed to a later date, but if they see family showing up to fight for their LO, they will back off and move on to other elderly people.'I just want my parents back.' Woman says company imprisoned her parents in their own home (wxyz.com)This is not only going on in my state (Michigan). It's going on in my states. Probate courts are corrupt top to bottom.The attorney who stole my mother's house from her was removed as a public administrator from our county's probate system, but guess what? She was "appointed" as a "consultant" in the SAME county probate system the following week.
Okay, time for me to take some slow deep breaths. . .
This learning curve has been fast 'n steep- *computer skills for message boards 'n networking *alzheimers/dementia *specific caregiving skills *agencies 'n support groups *guardianship--esp 'predatory guardianship' *legal resources All with the worsening threat of COVID.
Soo much to learn 'n take in--also scariness of the context!
Dad's name search did show up in Probate Court search but the 'link' for details would not open the file.
I want to thank you for strength 'n courage you showed by telling your story. I connected with another person (they successfully took LO out of facility 'n moved to another state) who shared with me but was so traumatized by the experience they could/would not talk nor hear about the same experience. I respect that. We still keep in touch via inspirational/gratitude msg, the beauty of nature, & funny stories.
Have you reached out to the Alzheimer’s association for help since
they there headquarters are in your state. They may have some advice for you.
If not do you want me to get someone very high level to look into the from
I found this. Perhaps the food volunteer was the reporter.
It sould also have been the owner of one of the newly built houses.
You mmay have already answered but is a DPOA in place?