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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

Posted

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: david@davidcarrierlaw.com #3 See me on TV! www.woodtv.com - go to the Ask the Expert tab! #4 Listen to my radio show (2 full hours every week!) www.woodradio.com - go to the podcast section.

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Posted

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 SpecialNeedsNJ.com for articles and Q&A on elder law, special needs, wills, trusts, estates, and tax. Visit SpecialNeedsNJ.com/blog and subscribe for free timely updates to be delivered to your inbox. Information on both Avvo and SpecialNeedsNJ.com 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.

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5 comments

Asker

Posted

Your statement that APS' opinion must mean my mother needs FT care is amazing. They have had less than a 1 hour meeting with my mother. A social worker is not a medical doctor. When I have medical professionals disagreeing with this position, I have reason to be concerned. Hence the reason for your question. I find your response to be irresponsible and naive.

Lawrence A Friedman

Lawrence A Friedman

Posted

Your position is extremely naïve and likely to lead to major issues down the road. It also simply is wrong. In practicing elder law for many years, I have seen that courts tend to give substantial credence to APS views and are far more likely to believe testimony of an APS staff person (who has no personal interest) over a family member (who may have personal interests that conflict with those of the vulnerable adult). My response, by the way was right on target. As I said, if APS believes your mom needs full time care, she likely is a vulnerable adult, which triggers APS authority and responsibility. You ignore or minimize APS' position at YOUR peril!!!

Asker

Posted

Just like any field, level of expertise varies significantly across elder attorneys. You would not be a good fit for my needs and don't even practice in the same State so there's nothing to worry about here. Best to you.

Lawrence A Friedman

Lawrence A Friedman

Posted

You are fooling yourself if you think there is no need to take very seriously an APS position that an individual is a vulnerable adult whose needs aren't being adequately met merely because there may be some grounds to hold a different view.

Kelly Scott Davis

Kelly Scott Davis

Posted

Der Asker, You should be advised that Attorney Friedman is recognized as one of the best elder law attorneys in the nation. He is quite knowledgeable and experienced in this area of the law. I have always valued his opinion.

Posted

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.

TWIN CITIES ELDER LAW TWIN CITIES HEALTH LAW TWIN CITIES PROTECTIVE SERVICES LAW CRIMINAL LAW

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