Day 21 / Burner Left On

A few days earlier, Miss D filled the top floors with smoke from burning eggs in her apartment. Her smoke detector didn’t work. My husband tried to turn off the gas without success fearing he may break a pipe. The granddaughter came in the evening after being called by a neighbor across the hall and told me she wants to make sure her grandmother will be okay.

I told Miss D the good news about her SCRIE application being accepted and her rent will go down. She was very pleased, said the landlord is going to “kill” her and laughed.

I got a call from the APS caseworker today. She was with Miss D in her apartment doing the assessment and asked if I would come down and sit with Miss D. I brought a muffin and orange for her. The caseworker asked her questions for almost an hour. Miss D did not do well answering the questions. The caseworker politely asked if Miss D would show her the apartment before she left. When the caseworker got to the kitchen and saw the top burner on, she told Miss D her burner was on and she should turn it off. She explained how dangerous it is to forget to turn it off.

The caseworker and I left Miss D’s apartment. She looked at me and said she could not leave this building without calling 911 and have Miss D taken to the hospital. I asked her if it had to be this extreme. She told me she could not sleep tonight if she left Miss D unattended in her apartment. I was shocked, she must know her job, she sees this all the time. She asked if I would go back to Miss D’s apartment and wait with her until she showed up with EMS. She said Miss D will be really upset and she should be mad at her not me. I went up to my apartment, made Miss D a sandwich knowing it may be hours until she ate and went back down to wait with her. She couldn’t remember the caseworker had just been there to visit with her.

Within the hour, there was a knock at Miss D’s door and two big EMS guys and the caseworker came in. The EMS guys started asking Miss D questions about who the president was and what year it was. Miss D was agitated and could not answer the questions. Miss D got pretty huffy and didn’t understand why she should leave her apartment with them. She finally agreed to go. I asked Miss D if she would like me to go with her and she said yes. She wanted to clean herself and get dressed. They gave her a moment to do it. I picked out some decent clothes for her to wear. I held her heavy purse and we all left the apartment for the ambulance waiting on the street.

The hospital did not want to take Miss D. The emergency staff was upset with APS and said they do not handle this type of thing. Miss D’s blood pressure was 200. A hospital social worker and the APS caseworker agreed they could not release her. The APS caseworker stayed for two hours and left. I called the granddaughter and stayed with Miss D until 11PM. She said they couldn’t keep her against her will, there was nothing wrong with her. I told her it would all be sorted out tomorrow and I would be back in the morning. I asked her if I could take her purse with me to keep safe in my apartment. She agreed and I left.

At home I documented the cash in Miss D’s purse. It was over $1,000.

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