Phoebe's Gift

Phoebe's Gift
Gifted to me while on Retreat at John's River Vally Camp

Sunday, November 8, 2015

(2) I called for Adult Protective Services, DHS

I  have been Alfred's caregiver for over ten years so calling the Department of Human Services last week, and making an Adult Protective Services Complaint was not easy for me however I felt it had to be done because Alfred has not been taking care of his hygiene, and occasionally (like three times a week on average) while sitting on the deck outside I hear him screaming in agony either at his other-self (per his diagnosis),  or because he is in great pain perhaps from an an abscesed tooth, I don't know. It is the great pain/infection part of the equation, and the fact that time had moved on and now I am his sole caregiver that nudged me and I had to do something more.

More background:
Now that Dad has passed I no longer need to adhere to his beliefs that Alfred will heal on his own if left alone. I think Dad's beliefs about Alfred's mental health came from a place of great shame, discomfort, combined with an unrealistic assessment of his prodigal son. In my opinion Alfred clearly has what NAMI calls a "brain disorder" and the right medication could help him if I can only get him to work with a health care provider and take his best option.

Alfred got a diagnosis in around 1997 at the age of 47 due to the diligent efforts of my mother who recognized he had problems soon after Alfred arrived in North Carolina from California. Alfred left California because he had been moved by police from him homeless spot under a bridge to a new homeless spot on the beach, and was then assaulted by some men and lost some teeth and maybe this is why Alfred believes he is two years younger then his actual age. Somehow he lost a couple years of his real age between the move and the assault. I may never know.

So in around 1997 due to mom's discussions with New River Behavioral Health and her own hard work petitioning the courts, Alfred was hospitalized for two weeks at Canon, assessed, given a diagnosis, released with Medicaid, SSI, and then refused to take medications. At almost ninety years of age mom could do no more, so today as time keeps ticking, Alfred has not taken any medication for over fifteen years. It is his refusal that makes getting help for him so hard.

I am not giving up.

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