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What "teeth" does Adult Protective Services really have in the State of Minnesota?

Minneapolis, MN |

My mother has been diagnosed with mild-moderate dementia impacting her ability to do complex tasks but not live independently (she lives in a Sr. Building). A resident's adult child continues to report me for abuse, neglect & financial exploitation. Each time Adult Protective Services (APS) investigates & their findings are inconclusive. It's getting old since I've never met the person filing the reports & she only sees my mother once every 6 months. The definition of a "vulnerable adult" in MN leaves room for interpretation. I do not believe my mother fits the definition. APS claims she does but, of course, can't give me any rationale due to confidentiality. They want me to get FT care for my Mother. She doesn't want it nor can she afford it. Seems like overreaching. How can I stop this?

There should be some recourse from false reports being made against me. Shouldn't an adult be able to direct her own life? It seems dementia is now the new ADHD. What senior hasn't been diagnosed with cognitive impairment? Her apartment is clean, she's clean, she's well fed, we have a companion that comes in 3x a week, she pays her bills, can articulate what she wants/doesn't want. A nurse, coincidentally visited the same week this happened and indicated that my mother was not home bound and that seeing her going forward would be welfare fraud. How can one deal with such divergent medical opinions. And, does APS even have access to her medical records without a court order. It feels like my mother has once again become an infant with no rights and somehow I am to blame because I have POA.

Attorney Answers 3

  1. Best answer

    Q: What "teeth" does Adult Protective Services really have in the State of Minnesota?
    A: Generally, APS officers can investigate and recommend criminal prosecution in appropriate cases. That's pretty toothy!

    This is not legal advice. I am not your lawyer. You are not my client. You cannot rely on my response to your question. My response to your question is probably worth exactly what you paid for it. You don't get to sue me for anything. If you'd like to sue me, well you have to hire me first. Here's how you can hire me! #1 Call: 1-888-463-2843 #2 Email: #3 See me on TV! - go to the Ask the Expert tab! #4 Listen to my radio show (2 full hours every week!) - go to the podcast section.

  2. If APS feels your mom needs full time care, your mom would seem to be a vulnerable adult. If your mom can't afford FT care, consult an elder law attorney re Medicaid. Otherwise, APS may step in eventually and seek to force your mom into a facility.

    Lawrence Friedman, Bridgewater, NJ. Certified as an Elder Law Attorney by the ABA approved National Elder Law Foundation, former Chair NJ State Bar Association Elder and Disabilities Law Section, Member Board of Consultors of NJSBA Real Property, Trusts & Estates Law Section, Vice Chair Special Needs Law Section of National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, and Master of Laws (LL.M.) in Taxation from N.Y.U. School of Law. Visit for articles and Q&A on elder law, special needs, wills, trusts, estates, and tax. Visit and subscribe for free timely updates to be delivered to your inbox. Information on both Avvo and does not constitute legal advice, as it is general in nature and may not apply to your situation or be subject to important changes. No attorney client relationship exists unless set forth in written engagement terms.

  3. Hello. I am sorry that your mother faces such health issues. Your issues and concerns are extensive. You state you have been reported repeatedly. I urge you to confer privately with an attorney at this time, and she/he will be happy to assist you and provide you with sound legal counsel and guidance at this time.


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