Question: My mom has mild dementia and refuses to come live with me and my family. She wants to stay in the comfort of her own home, which is understandable, but she can't be left alone. I need to know how to protect myself from a neglect charge. Who can I talk to?
Dr. Amy: If your mother has been diagnosed with dementia, or you suspect she may have dementia, the first step is to talk to her doctor to make sure she is getting the right medical care and support and to learn more about her condition. Of course, your mother will need to give written permission to the doctor before you can speak to him because people's health information is protected by privacy laws.
If your mother will not consent to your talking to her doctor and you feel she is in danger, you need to call Adult Protective Services. This is a government agency. Its mandate is to help keep vulnerable adults over the age of 18 safe. It offers a range of services that can help. Also don't forget to contact your local Alzheimer's Association for more information and support. They are a very valuable resource.
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