Tuesday, November 22, 2016

The Battle With The Adult Protection Service Is Over, But Another Battle Is Sadly Lost

I'm Free!!!  The APS Case Is Closed!!!
Like a couple of posts ago, this will be out of the norm of this blog.  The sarcasm will be mostly absent, the humor will be minimal at best, and the topic is one that can actually have a bearing on your life one day.  

This is about a victory my father and I had over the Indiana Adult Protection Service!

My last posting about the APS drew quite a few views.  One might even say that I cast aside my sarcastic trademark and provided a human interest story.

Okay, so I won't make it a habit.

Still, I have to boast a little.  Regardless of the efforts made to incarcerate (a more fitting word than the phrase "confine to a nursing home") my father, as they did my stepmother, they have now closed the case!

In addition, the sister of my stepmother is now attempting to regain guardianship of her and move her out of the nursing home.

We can only hope it's not too late.

But, let's first look at my father's case.

Attempts were made, first by the nursing home, to generate a feeling of dementia around his actions of the time.  They took a statement made by a man that had been awakened in the middle of the night and twisted it to look as though he didn't know where he was at.  They then took his action in walking five miles to be with his wife (when his vehicle was damaged in an accident in which was another person's fault) as the act of a person without their right senses.  And, finally, they looked at him not bringing lunch with him as an act of a man that couldn't remember things, when in essence, he didn't want the food to spoil in the heat and had already eaten a healthy breakfast.

In the meantime, he continued to change her bed at the nursing home, feed her when staff failed to do so, take her to the bathroom when staff wasn't available, and calm her down by talking to her, rather than using the drugs the nursing home fed her constantly.

Now, you know why her sister is attempting to get guardianship.  It's only my guess, and
I Sometimes Look At My Wife And
Wonder, "What Would I Do If I Were
In My Father's Shoes?"
only a layman's assumption, that knowing all that my father was doing, the nursing home looked upon him as a threat.  What better witness against them than a man performing the tasks they were paid to complete?  And, wouldn't it be to their benefit to discredit the witness in advance rather than attempt to do it after he had testified against them?

Legal services for my father were retained immediately this time.  I wasn't playing around in hopes that they'd see for themselves that he was very competent.  He had tried that with his wife and the results weren't as he'd expected.  I knew better than to let the state office have their way early.

I scheduled appointments with the Veteran's Administration for mental and physical competency tests, the Department of Motor Vehicles for a driving test, and contacted the APS so they'd understand that proceeding ahead of those appointments might result in a legal suit against them.  As expected, they intelligently backed off.

Well, the physical examination showed that my 83-year-old father is in better shape than I am!  That was no surprise as his blood pressure was 105 over 54, his heart rate was a little less than 70 bpm, and he is on no medication for any ailment at this time.  He is constantly working in the yard in all types of weather, chops wood daily for the Winter and his Mother Earth News style home furnace, and eats no fast food whatsoever!

Then, the mental examination was given.  He got every question right but the date, and was only off by one day.  Hell, I've often miscalculated the date, thinking it was the 3rd and it was the 4th, etc.  

The doctor, after bragging about his state of physical and mental health, told me to cancel the driving test as he had given her no reason to proceed.  She smiled, told him not to forget to set an appointment for his check-up in six months, and bid him a cheery good-bye.

Still, even with that news, I knew that we needed to be careful.  So, I continued limiting his time at the nursing home to two hours a day.  Although he's greeted with smiling faces there by the staff, I'm not forgetting how they attempted to have him confined.  He's still a danger to them, and even more so now that he's been through all the examinations proving his competency.

Oh, there have been instances I look at him and think to myself, "He's not going to be in great health forever.  I need to keep a close eye on him."  

I think, throughout all the trauma this last year has brought us, and considering that he is suffering from being alone for the most part, my father and I have finally grown close.  At age 83, he respects me and my opinions now, something he never really demonstrated before.  It's as though we've changed roles, with me becoming the adult telling him how to stay safe and of what to beware.  The child has become the parent.

Although a man that cannot live without his independence, he calls me now when he needs help.  He's not above admitting that society has greatly changed since "his day" and it's not easy to keep up with.  Computers, electronic drafts, dealing with official agencies and legal representation may not be his cup of tea, but he knows I have no trouble with any of it.  So, he now looks at me as being there to take care of him when he needs it.  

You might say it's the first time since my days as a late 60's freak 
that he's shown me respect.

And, it's only taken me over 40 years to earn it.

Love ya, dad!

Just do as I say!

*     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     

***I was debating on when to publish the above.  I wrote it before the national election, but with all the hatred and spite in the air, I just couldn't publish it then.  I had thought during the Ten Things Of Thankful blog hop, or perhaps some other time.  

However, to every victory a small amount of tragedy occurs.  

Less than two hours ago I received word that my stepmother was being given a maximum of two days to live.  She is unresponsive, unable to swallow, and has had a Catholic priest by her side for quite some time.  The end is near.

I lost my real mother when I was thirteen.  For the last thirty-six years, this woman has been my mother and the wife of my father.  I know it will be a great loss for me when she passes, but his loss will be even greater.

We all get old.  It's a natural occurrence.  Acceptance of growing old finally sets in when common sense overcomes ego.  Acceptance of death arrives at about the same time.

The same compassion that allows us to love forces our hearts to ache when we lose a loved one.  I have told many to stop thinking of themselves and rejoice in the departed's release from misery.  Instead of thinking about how much we'll miss them, think about how they are now free and in a much better place.

It is time for me to practice what I preach.  It won't be easy, but one must do what one must do.  Otherwise, self-pity and grief overcome our sense of logic and create a deeper hole for us to climb out of when the sun rises and the clouds clear.

I worry about my father and how he'll take this.  Will he lose his sense of purpose?  Will he lose his desire to live on and continue to enjoy the ...

... Sorry, I just answered the phone.  The 48 hours just shrunk to less than two. 

My stepmother has passed.

Her suffering is over.

May God Bless You, Shirley.