So my older brother has lived with my parents for the majority of his 40 + years of life. My mother passed away about a year and a half ago & since then I have noticed dramatic changes in my father. My brother, who is not 100% right in the head, has gotten himself into a position where he has full access to his bank accounts. My father has also told me my brother will threaten to not cook him dinner or yell and scream at him if he were to give any financial assistance to my sister’s family, they have been hit hard by the economy. I want to make a report and get my brother removed from the house and treatment for his disorder but if I report on them it will cause a huge family war. I am at a loss as to what I can do to help my father and at same the time get my brother help he needs.
Reporters are ordinarily kept confidential, an investigator should not reveal who filed the report. Also, reporting is normally mandatory. It is always difficult to make a choice that you know will cause tension in your family, but when you know someone is being abused and in need of services, it is the right thing to do. Your instincts are right. You are not really at a loss as to what to do, you are just worried that the consequences are going to be unpleasant. When you call and make the report, be sure to ask for a referral for some services for yourself and your family as to where to get help for your brother, and support services for YOU as well as your family members. Remember, you can't take care of others if you are not taking care of yourself. You may also want to check and see if there is a local NAMI chapter, National Association (or Alliance?) for the Mentally Ill. They provide support and education to families with mentally ill loved ones.
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If your father is being victimized, you should contact Adult Protection in the county in which your father resides and file a vulnerable adult report. As the reporter, your identify is confidential and cannot be disclosed by Adult Protection, absent a court order.
You could also file for guardianship and conservatorship over your father. However, doing so would not be an "anonymous" process - it would be very public.
Filing reports or starting the guardianship process often divides family members. However, if your father truly is being victimized by your brother, he may need someone like you to be brave enough to step up and get him the help that it sounds like he needs.
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