“He probably won’t shoot you”

Memoir of an Adult Protective Services Case Manager


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About the Book

Adult Protective Services (APS) is the social service system charged with aiding older people and disabled adults who are being mistreated by others or cannot meet their own basic needs for health and safety (self-neglect). These are America’s most vulnerable citizens, and they often suffer for years, while remaining largely invisible to the greater world.

Written from the inside of APS, Mark Mehler’s memoir of his seven years as a crisis case manager reveals a world that very few people see, and addresses why and how people do this work, what they take away from it and the price that they pay to do it.

Ranging from horrifying to uplifting and bizarrely funny, the stories recounted here witness human frailty and disaster, and the efforts of some dedicated caseworkers to stem that tide.

About the Author(s)

Mark Mehler is a veteran journalist whose work has appeared in dozens of major newspapers, magazines and websites. He lives in Queens, New York.

Bibliographic Details

Mark Mehler
Foreword by Kathleen Quinn

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 200
Bibliographic Info: glossary, index
Copyright Date: 2021
pISBN: 978-1-4766-8234-1
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4368-7
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Foreword by Kathleen Quinn 1
Introduction: Happiness Is No Gun 3
1. Welcome to Countertransference 9
2. Orphan in the Storm 18
3. Hidden Figures 32
4. Damned If You Do…. 40
5. …And Damned If You Don’t 48
6. A Crisis Manager Walks into a Bar… 56
7. APS Versus APS 60
8. In Harm’s Way 63
9. That Guy Who Looks Like Felix 69
10. The Two Faces of Esther 71
11. If I Had a Rich Man 75
12. Naked Came the Stranger 81
13. Rules of Engagement 83
14. How Do You Solve a Problem Like Tobias? 92
15. Tender Mercies 96
17. Both Sides Now 109
18. Thwarting the Gypsies 116
19. Wretched Refuse 120
20. Sons and Mothers 132
21. Smoothing Over the Humiliation 137
22. Who’s That Hogging My Bathroom? 141
23. Celebrity Jeopardy 143
24. Tuesday in the Court with George 149
25. Terms of Endearment, or Disparagement 151
26. Nothing to It 165
27. Senior Lifesaving; Or, Hello, I Must Be Going 167
28. The Supporting Cast 170
29. Scammer’s Delight 175
30. How’d I Get Here? 178
31. Change Is Gonna Come 181
32. Officious Channels 185
33. Journey’s End 187
Epilogue: A Proclamation 190
Index 193