Saturday, March 29, 2008

APS2

For preceding post on this subject, click here. For the next post, click here.

I am a 65 year old adult with a couple of medical problems that leave me homebound. I am have several good friends that help me with shopping, transportation when I need to go to the doctor, and I have a very good Home Health Care Nurse.

On Wednesday, March 12, my privacy was invaded by Alan Stie, from the OKDHS department of Adult Protective Services, saying someone filed an APS complaint indicating I was in danger. He harassed me for 30 minutes to an hour, with a large number of questions, forcing me to prove that I was oriented times three (a medical term indicating I know who I am, where I am, what time it is, and that I completely understand my situation). I convinced him I was not in danger, and yet he refused to say who filed the complaint. I started calling around, and found that there was a high probability that it was filed by a social worker who was trying to hurt one of my care givers who was doing a very good job, but who the social worker did not like.

Alan's boss Russell Jones was out of town, so I complained to Gerald Davis, who was of no help, so I escalated to Stephen R Scott - Area 6 Director, who was of no help either, so I went to Larry Johnson - Field Operations Division Director. He tried to derail me by saying he was going to have his boss respond, to which I gave this response, and he then waited until after 5pm Friday, when I already started working on capuring the emails of the people to notify next (since I told him that if I had to go to his boss I would be going public with my complaint), and his response was just that he had writtem me a letter. But I am not waiting for the letter.

When I referred it to Larry Johnson I blogged about it, and now, in addition to complaining to Marq Youngblood, I am blogging about it again, and contacting 30 fellow bloggers, to see if they will cover it, and I am contacting 16 people in the media (radio, TV, and print). I am also filing a complaint with a number of local and Federal Agencies and national organiations to help Senior Citizens. None of these complaints is likely to topple OKDHS, but they will be an annoyance to respond to, and failure to respond to them will just have people that much more suspicious about OKDHS, and none of it would have been necessary if Gerald, Stephen, or Larry had been bright enough to realize they were protecting an evil person, and that they cold have refocused my ire toward the really guilty party, and her bosses.

I have already contacted my state senators and representative, as well as all of the members of the senate and house committies with oversight responsibility over OKDHS, and I have a lawyer with the Oklahoma Disability Law Center researching the matter as well. If Marq Youngblood can't help me, I will be contacting my federal senators and representative, as well as all of the members of the senate and house committies that would be in a position to consider federal legislation to help protect vulnerable adults.

Marc is basically the top of the bureaucracy. If he cannot help me, and if I have to go to Howard H Hendrick - Director of Human Services (Cabinet Secretary), Richard L.DeVaughn - Chairman Oklahoma Commission for Human Services, and then Brad Henry - Governor, we will have left the bureaucracy and gone into the political relm, so I will be reaching out to the Democratic and Republican parties. Oklahoma is a Red state, and yet it has a Democratic Governor, so I am sure the Republicans will be interested in something to use in November against the Democrats, and the Democrats will be very concerned to know what they may see in a campaign ad.

I know Marc's first thought will be to fall back on "we must protect the identity of someone that files a complaint" but there are two problems with that. One is I know for a fact that my neighbor reported her cousin, who checked himself out of a nursing home, and who was not taking his medication, and the APS agent that went to see him had no problem telling the cousin that it was my neighbor that triggered his visit. The other is that I looked up the law that DHS said forced them to keep the information confidential, 43A O.S. § 10-110, and section B.5 provides you can tell a family member, and I told each person up the chain of command that they could make me stop by just telling my brother, who is my next-of-kin, and they refused.

Does anyone want to take bets whether Marc will help me, or will he do as those before him, and just shoot OKDHS in the foot?

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

I have read your blog on your experience with OKDHS. There will be a public forum on issues of OKDHS problems by citizens. State Rep. Richard Morrisette is heading this forum at the capitol building. April 8th, romm 512A, 9am-11:15. His admin assistant can be reached at 405-557-7404. He has invited citizens wishing to share their stories of abuse and maltreatment in child welfare and aging. I have more contact addresses if you would like to contact me. My issues arise from areas of foster care dangers, however, I feel that OKDHS is now targeting the aging boomers as their next source of financial capture. dj

Don Singleton said...

I would definitely like additional contact info. Send to donsingleton@cox.net

I called (not there) and emailed Richard

claire said...

don......what ever became of your situation with the adult protective services issue? did you ever get this resolved? dj

Don Singleton said...

I am no longer threatened by them, but then I never was threatened. I carried my complaint to the level I did to protect other elderly people from an abusive system.

I carried my complaint all the way to the top two guys just under the governor, and never heard from them, but I am not surprised, because they were fighting several lawsuits for similar things happening on the CPS side of the house.

I have not heard the status of those lawsuits, but I did hear that the legislature had started some hearings, again focused on the CPS side of the house, but I am hoping that any cleanup that happens there will fix the APS side.

I am alert for any stories of current problems with APS, and if you are aware of any, let me know, and I will try to help you address them.