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Thread: Discrimination? - Caregiver with a disability threatened with elder abuse

  1. #1

    Discrimination? - Caregiver with a disability threatened with elder abuse

    Anybody know where to locate the legal rights or resources for a caregiver that has a spinal cord injury and uses a wheelchair for mobility? She has been taking excellent care of her elder mother that has mild dementia and is considered a fall risk for over five years. In essence, the situation is similar to having an agent from Child Protective Services remove a baby/child from home because they assume a mother with a disability is unfit.

    Recently, a home health agency insisted that because she is 'wheelchair-bound', she must hire an independent caregiver for her mother. If she doesn?t, they have threatened to report her to Adult Protective Service which would result in having her mother removed to a nursing home and an elder abuse charge to the disabled daughter.

    The disabled caregiver performs all the activities of a non-disabled caregiver. Medication management, meal prep, housekeeping, financial management, companionship, bathing, grooming, assisting with exercise program, transport and accompany mother to medial appointments, and much more. She hires caregivers to assist her for activities that can be difficult to perform while in a wheelchair such as transferring in and out of shower.

    The agencies argument is that the caregiver with a disability couldn't do anything to help if the elder parent fell down. The caregiver's response is that she is extremely proactive and cautious to prevent falls. If her mother exhibits a level of unsteadiness that could be difficult to prevent from a fall, she hires assistance to ensure her safety. In addition, she has access to people on the property that could be immediately available in the event of a fall.

  2. #2
    Suggest you get an attorney now. Anyone can report something to APS, and they are obligated to do an investigation, but that does not mean that they will find against this caregiver. Who is the HHA working for? The caregiver or the mother??

    You are right that this sounds a lot like parents who have been threatened by the loss of custody of their children. Because of this, I would also make contact with Through the Looking Glass to see if they can provide you any advice, resources, or legal assistance.


  3. #3
    Thank you. This link to an organization dealing with family issues is just what I was hoping for.

    The HHA is for the mother.

    I would welcome APS to investigate because I'm confident they will not find a deficit in care. However, they may be just as ignorant or judgmental as the HHA and automatically discount the ability of someone in a wheelchair. Besides, the time and stress of going through an investigation is burdensome.

    The elder mother would be at less risk to fall in her home than in a nursing home.


  4. #4
    Adult Protective Services showed up unannounced at 10:30 this morning based on accusations that the elder mother was neglected by the daughter caregiver because the daughter had a disability.

    The APS determination was that the mother was well cared for and that there was no concern over the disability of the caregiver who has a lot of support, resources and assistance to help with tasks difficult to perform in a wheelchair.

    Nonetheless, APS warned that the HHA will blame the daughter if the mother falls again. Again, I feel that is discriminatory that someone with a disability has to be held to a standard against a risk that could just as well occur with a non-disabled caregiver. It creates a high level of undue stress.

  5. #5
    So sorry. Please do follow through with contacts with the Through the Looking Glass Foundation, and I would also recommend making contact with your local ILC as well.


  6. #6
    i had adult protective called on me for my grandmother for no reason at all as soon as they came to the home and saw there was no issue they dropped the case! they happened to come at lunch time and she was sitting at the kitchen table eating. if there is no issues and she is getting the care she needs with the caregiver then there shouldn't be any issue. if at anytime the caregiver can no longer do the job then the loved one should be placed in a nursing home. which is what happened with me. she wasn't accepting my help anymore and was becoming belligerent with getting her to do the basics. so at that point i had her admitted to the hospital and then transferred to a nursing home. yes she will be blamed because she fell all i can suggest is to make sure they maybe get some HOME PT in place and maybe have her use a walker for stability.
    T6 Incomplete due to a Spinal cord infarction July 2009

  7. #7
    Senior Member Vintage's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Texas USA, female ************** T9 incomplete
    Broken Doll, I'm so sorry that you are experiencing this horrible miscarriage of justice. I am T9 incomplete and have had similar unpleasant encounters with the agency that is supposedly in charge of "protecting" me. The person in charge of my case got promoted, and her replacement couldn't have been nicer. I asked him if my previous home health care provider had made the accusations. He was not at liberty to confirm this. (In a round-about way, he did though.) But one by one we went through the list of...infractions (?), and he noted that none of them were legitimate. The items listed were actually absurd. He never came back. But from that experience, I realized how vulnerable we are due to our disability.
    Female, T9 incomplete

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