Can somebody please explain to me what Adult Protective Service’s job really is?

I am absolutely livid.  I went and checked the mail this afternoon and had a nice, cordial note from Adult Protective Services letting me know that the lady that I contacted them about is not eligible for their services.  Really?  Not eligible?

Let me tell everyone a little something about this lady.  She is one of our tenants and she is an eighty-six year old widow who lives by herself in a mobile home.  In the past, she has been super independent and steady as a rock.  She even cleans up at our biggest mobile home park’s mailboxes, for which we reduce her rent.  She hand trims her walkway and is always painting her home, but lately things have changed.

Unfortunately, this wonderful lady had her grandson take $600 out of her checking account last month, which caused her to bounce enough checks to accrue $350 in bounced check charges.  She bounced 3 checks to us in the last month; so many that we now take all of her checks to her bank and verify funds before we try to deposit them so that she won’t get charged anything.  The main problem, though, is not that she is having trouble paying the rent.

In the last 3 weeks, she has bounced several checks, had her power disconnected, and we’ve had several instances where people have picked her up walking on the side of the road in extremely cold temperatures.  She is very confused at times and shows signs of rapidly progressing dementia.  Her grandson is supposed to be helping her, but he never comes around except when he needs to bum some money.  If it weren’t for a couple of concerned neighbors, she would have no one.

She desperately needs help with her finances and the entire situation, so  I called Adult Protective Services no less than 8 times over the last 3 weeks.  My greatest fear is what will happen to her over the winter if the neighbors and I were to lose track of her.  I can’t even imagine what would happen if she took off in the snow.  Also, we can only help so much with her finances before it becomes a conflict of interest and a legal issue.

They sent somebody out and decided that although they have programs where they send people to help elderly folks with their finances that this lady didn’t qualify.  She’s losing track of time and money and can’t even keep conversations straight for 5 minutes.  She even had a neighbor drop her off at a local grocery, only to disappear before he could get back to pick her up.  She still doesn’t know how she got home that day, by the way.  All this, and she doesn’t qualify?

So, my question is this:  Can anybody tell me what Adult Protective Services does do?  Because I’m quite sure that it isn’t helping elderly people with dementia before they become another tragic story of how we neglect our elderly.

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