Friday, September 12, 2014

Thinking Back: Memories Revived Going Through Mom's Things

Seems like so long ago; seems like yesterday. Mom's final days with us and her departure from this life.

Hurts to remember. Still pangs of frustration and feelings of anger at the Skilled Nursing Center who insisted we could not have any Hospice except for the one they provided that didn't really provide any support, in fact they showed their total ineptness with how they "managed" her end of life care.

Where was the Department of Health and Senior Services when we needed them? 

They were quick to come to judge our home and me as being "abusive" without any investigation and the word of a woman who came into our lives infrequently, took Mom to the bank, had her take money out of our home and opened a safety deposit box.

The DHSS "Adult Protective Worker" believing this woman's false, misleading and purposely planned "turn the tables" and "point the finger" so she could get away with several months of money from Mom's Social Security.

Why did the DHSS never pursue an investigation of the woman and work to clear my name? 

Why did they continue to allow Mom's Skilled Nursing Center to violate so many rights of the individuals who lived/live there and when called in to do an "audit" of reports, from others?

How can we be sure about the woman who came into our home, from our Church, and attributing the disappearance of money from months of Social Security Mom had no opportunity to spend? 

Mom trusted her. Mom followed her lead. Mom even went into a facility and stayed there because the woman visited her frequently and made sure Mom was constantly provided with "things" she should have had from her home, our home, but instead the woman "bought" for her. Sadly, Mom had no idea the woman was using Mom's own money for this purpose. Mom didn't even blink when the woman got a "new car".

What did the woman "buy" for Mom and claim to provide as "gifts":
a hat, glove and scarf set (Mom had at least six) made of a slippery yarn that if she'd worn them when using a walker, her hands would slip off the handles. This from a woman who "specialized" in caring for men and women with Alzheimer's and Dementia????

Another gift was a three drawer plastic "cabinet" on rollers. Mom was provided with a dresser but this had "see through" drawers and Mom was convinced this was where she should put papers and her phone.

I believe it made it easier for the woman to see and get to papers Mom had and to continuously get Mom's phone, as she did, to take my telephone number off and put her own on one of the three speed dials.

So exactly why would the woman need to remove my phone number and put her own in the phone family provided for her?

It was a way of ensuring Mom didn't connect with me; the woman probably thought we wouldn't check Mom's phone, but we did, daughter and I. And every time we put my number back in, the woman would visit and remove it putting hers in its place. It was to maintain control over Mom.

You're probably saying, why didn't someone intervene?  Well, the woman had "convinced" the facility I was an abuser just as she'd convinced the DHSS representative. Read some very early entries to "catch up" in this area. And, Mom had "rights".

I'm not in favor of removing individual rights but I do believe Seniors need protection, especially when the DHSS previously had determined there was an inability to have in home care and stated as the reason it was because Mom was incapable of keeping records.

Changes need to be made in Missouri. More than have been done.

Hope someone is reading this from the State. It's time to reopen the case, investigate the "abuse reporter" and have another entity investigate her reports of payment or income. My Mom and our family couldn't have been the first and won't be the last until someone cares enough to stop Elder Abuse by stopping someone we believe is a continual Elder Abuser.

Sadly, the Missouri DHSS does not oversee its staff to ensure accuracy and timeliness. 

The Missouri Statues allow accusations but there are no specific guidelines at the Elder Abuse Hotline or within the State of Missouri DHSS to ensure an accusation is completely investigated. If found without merit, it should trigger an automatic investigation of the person making the accusation, especially after being told the woman who made the accusation was most probably the one who took a substantial amount of money, as we calculate, most probably $5,000 and more, from Mom.

Mom had no way to spend her Social Security during all the months my husband was so sick and actually in the process of dying. I didn't pay any attention; too busy caring night and day, day and night, to my husband's four bags taped onto his abdomen constantly draining, results of a MRSA infection, 100 days in the hospital and devastating and debilitating physical challenges. 

Where did the money go if not to the woman?  Not to us. We were barely able to survive and sold many things to keep going until daughter finally found a minimum wage job and I got a part time job. We've made it almost four years since that devastating time of the woman's upheaval of Mom's life and ours. Can I forget?  Will I forgive?  How can I when I see the woman is still "working" in the Senior community and have no way to ensure another family isn't "taken" by her maneuvers and manipulations.

Now the woman's moved on. Out on line I see where she's working "for the Church" with SVDP and she's the Home Visit Coordinator. How convenient. She gets to see who "needs" a visit. 

Being a fairly high economic Parish, she can see who may be getting visits from SVDP and most probably any and all visitations. Yes, even in difficult times the best areas and people have problems; not necessarily financial, but trying to stay at home and manage daily living.

How convenient to know who might need "help" as an older person. Our Church wouldn't listen. Perhaps like the scandals the denomination has had to go through with the abuse of children, they'll someday face the same challenges over our Senior population due to people like the woman who abused my Mom and our family.

I have the comfort of seeing all the wonderful birthday cards and notes Mom wrote over the years; the pictures; the memories. I see, too, from those small changing notes where her handwriting underwent serious changes from being legible to being almost impossible to read. I see more clearly now and going through papers and things that were hers, things I never went through while she was alive out of respect and being of the generation taught about real "privacy" and "trust".

I know, Mama, I see more clearly now. We were so close, too close, perhaps, living together for so many decades; accepting, moving forward, adjusting without seeing the decline, the slight changes that would only be significant so close to the end of life, the differences between Dementias is sometimes like a huge chasm with Lewy Body Dementia and its masks making daily life clouded.

Thinking back; looking forward. Moving onward knowing we did the best we could with what we had and what we knew. Moving onward sharing and caring; telling others what life with Lewy Body Dementia can bring into the lives of even the closest families and relationships.

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