When the social worker mentions that the hospital was prepared to call Adult Protective Services (APS) because they were so concerned about my parents, it initially sends a chill up my spine.
We are trying to help my parents, we know they want to stay independent, but they are unable to do so safely anymore. Now they are getting themselves into situations where others are recognizing their state.
I ask her what it means to have APS involved. Might this be a good lever to help my parents make a choice to get some assistance? She suggests I call and just ask them.
When I call APS, they ask if I want to file a report. No – I just have a few questions. I let her know I have two elderly parents and I’m concerned for their safety. How could APS help?
I’m told that they first and foremost respect an individual’s right to choose how they live. Their goal is to protect the elderly against fraud, abuse and neglect. In my parents’ case, it might qualify as self-neglect. However, she continues, they have every right to refuse assistance.
I was hoping this was an option since the only other one seems to be to wait around until something bad happens. This choice is not ours. Undeterred.