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The following is a list of some suggestions for you to review with yo our own attorney in your own state. Nothing here is intended to be legal advice merely topics to get you started with your own attorney as laws vary significantly.
1. Have your own attorney, not the elder's since the elder's attorney only represents the elder and is probably adverse to your position. 2. Know a criminal defense attorney and have the number handy since you will need it quickly if you are about to be falsely accused. 3. Keep a diary day by day hour by hour and log in every thing from who was present, what food was served, what meds were given, who called, who you called, times waiting on the phone making calls concerning the elder. 4. Photograph the house each day as you enter and as you leave or if you live with the elder am and pm. Digital cameras are great for this. 5. Take photos of the elder eating at least once a week. Photograph the continents of the fridge and pantry each week. 6. Keep every scrap of paper from doctor's appointment cards, food receipts, pharmacy receipts, everything. 7. Put a big calender on the wall listing each day's appointments and photograph it once a month. 8. Document everything in writing and keep copies. 9. If you are being investigated, you may not have access to the house and elder any more so keep copies of everything at another location. 10. Do not talk to the police or adult protective services without a lawyer present. The police and adult protective services are not your friend.
Reply with quote #2
Excellent info, ESQ. Thanks so much!
I might add... If possible, save all voicemail messages. Also, your telephone bills if they show incoming and outgoing calls. Lucy
Reply with quote #3
Thanks MsLucy, I will add a few more.
1. At the doctor's office with an elder in a diary you keep with you, log in arrival time, time spent with doctor, what was said and list a treatments or prescriptions. 2. In that diary, hour by hour jot a note of what you were doing, such as 9:00 had donut and coffee, elder ate chocolate donut. If someone accuses you of doing something on a particular date you can so no, we were at the donut shop, here is the receipt. 3 have any one coming into the house sign a log with date time of arrival and time of departure. 4. Demand and keep receipts for everything. 5. Log in what you are watching on tv and what channel.
Reply with quote #4
Good suggestions esq, your not kidding about police and APS not being your friend.....they're not friends for the elderly either I have found to often on cases when I called them . APS just shows up and checks basic human needs ( food in frig, utilities running, roof over their head )there could be bugs running around, family stealing narcs, gross neglect and they don't do nothing but maybe that's Detroit wonderful service for ya. Don't get me going on the police and EMS, you could be dead by the time they show up.
Reply with quote #5
I forgot to add the most important two rules that I have concerning mother's care.
1. Never do anything yourself, if possible, in the hands on care department. I know that this may not be possible for many of you, but if you can avoid doing anything yourself, go for it. Think upstair downstairs if you can afford it, if the going get to tough think al/nh. 2. If you see behavior or a physical condition that worries you, document it and give written notice to the medical pros. Let the pros deal with it. 3. Never hestite to call 911 if elder is unmanageable. You do not need to be pummelled. 4. Never hesitate to call 911 with a serious medical problem. 5. Demand and take respite.
Reply with quote #6
Excellent advice! I think this is the first time that anyone has really, for purposes of educating caregivers and getting this online, addressed in a checklist form pro-active and defensive ways caregivers can take care of themselves. Thanks for posting this! Here is my question: Would you suggest documenting abusive, mean-spirited, name calling, profane and threatening types of conversations in great detail, a little detail, the brief outlines, or (unlikely) not at all? And, what about the caregiver response?
Reply with quote #7
thanks , gracenotes. I would suggest domumenting the abuse that the caegiver receives in great detail and photograph any injuries to yourself. Show this to no one but your lawyer. Keep it in a secure location away from the elder's residence. As to caregiver response. other then saying I called 911 or I called the doctor, I would be very careful. Never admit to anything. Do not lie but nothing says you have to say anything. That is the Fifth Amendment
Reply with quote #8
Sorry about the typos, I hit the wrong button.I would suggest documenting the abuse that the caregiver receives in great detail and photograph any injuries to yourself. Show this to no one but your lawyer. Keep it in a secure location away from the elder's residence. As to caregiver response. other then saying I called 911 or I called the doctor, I would be very careful. Never admit to anything. Do not lie but nothing says you have to say anything. That is the Fifth Amendment
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Thanks, I was wondering, and it looks like one has to be extra extra careful about the issue of abusive behavior towards the caregiver.
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gracenotes, you have to be extremely careful in situations involving abuse to the caregiver. You do not have to tolerate it. Call 911. If at all possible, do not defend yourself ,unless your life is at risk. Walk away and call 911.
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Excellent, excelling advice. I was given much the same when I met with our lawyer. Since I refused to give hands on care to my MIL, I have been hated by one and all, but this is precisely the reason I refused. It's like putting a bulls-eye on your forehead. Unless you are in a situation where you feel confident you are not at legal risk, I don't suggest it. I also live in fear of being accused of all sorts of things. One of the reasons we are moving. I appreciate this thread, as I feel this is very important advice. I will ask Mike Gamble to pin this thread. Hugs to ya, ESQ-- O.
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I'm very glad you mentioned that about getting your own attorney, ESQ. I had become accustomed to "trusting" my mother's attorney, since I take her to all appointments and participate. One day he made a real point of saying to me, "I am YOUR MOTHER'S attorney, you know." Heads up! He didn't have to give me that clear warning, but I'm sure glad he did. He can see how she is, and I really think he was encouraging me to wake up and smell the coffee. Legally, he represents her, potentially against me. Now DH and I have started seeing another attorney about our estate planning, and Mom has decided she wants me to take her to him to re-write her will. I think not. We'll make the trip into the city to see HER attorney.
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Farm Gal, ethically your mother's attorney is required to inform you that he is your mother's lawyer because he has a conflict of interest and can not represent both you and her. He represents her and only her.
Olivia, it is always easier and safer to protect yourself from potential allegations of abuse than to defend against the charges. Caution is the best procedure.
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Hi ESQ and all,
Just a quick note... thanks for the info. I copied it all to a word doc so I could keep it--God willing I never need it! Hugs!
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Bless you, ESQ, for providing all this information. I truly appreciate it.