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Reason enough to contact Adult Protective Services?

Grand Rapids, MI |

My aunt's health was/is declining, she decided that her unemployed friend could be her caregiver. Now, my aunt's house is falling apart due to neglect. It reeks of cat urine (the friend's cats) and there is filth and clutter everywhere. She allows her friend access to her finances. The family suspects that the friend is taking money for herself, but my aunt won't allow anyone to check her accounts. The friends uses plastic bottles to urinate and leaves them sitting in her room . The doctor has recommended that my aunt move into a nursing home, she is diabetic and has been hospitalized several times due to not eating and for multiple falls. The friend sits in at the doctor's appointments and insists that my aunt is fine. The friend won't voluntarily move out. Should APS be contacted?

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Attorney answers 5

Posted

This is an elder law question and you should contact an elder law attorney to assist you or another family member in obtaining a guardianship for your aunt. This sounds like neglect, abusive and potentially exploitive behavior. I would also obtain a simply statement from your aunt's doctor whether or not she is able to make decisions about her Activities of Daily Living and Financial Management.

You should contact Adult Protective Services if you suspect abuse, neglect or exploitation by calling 855-444-3911 to make a report. Adult Protective Services will send out an investigator within 24 hours.

David D. Sprague Elder Law Attorney

Any information contained herein is not to be construed as legal advice. Please seek the advice and counsel of a locally licensed attorney on any legal matter. To the extent that any information contained herein concerns tax matters, it is not intended to be used and cannot be used by a taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed by law.

David D. Sprague

David D. Sprague

Posted

You should probably go to the probate court and ask for an emergency guardianship for your aunt. Additionally, the statement from the doctor needs to be signed by the doctor. If you are filing for a guardianship you will need a physician's statement - you may want to have her physician file out PC 630 - REPORT OF PHYSICIAN OR MENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONAL. Good luck.

Posted

It certainly sounds like sufficient reason to report this matter to Adult Protective Services. Keep in mind that depending upon factors beyond your control, such as the attitude of local law enforcement and the district attorney, the results of reporting the matter to APS may be mixed, but it does get another set of eyes on the living situation. As suggested, you may want to file for emergency guardianship.

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Posted

Sounds like a case for either a guardianship filing or an APS referral.

Lawrence Friedman, FriedmanLaw, Bridgewater, NJ, 908-704-1900. 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.

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.

Posted

Yes contact APS sooner than later.

Posted

I would start by calling Adult Protective Services. If she is not able to care for herself properly, you might consider having a guardian appointed.

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