My missing mother: I don’t know a whole lot

Person walking in landscape of large sand dunes leaving tiny footprints behind.

I opened an envelope and it all changed. Her bank statement has two deposits, her social security and her pension, and no withdrawals. No withdrawals can mean anything, but nothing good.

My first, best, likely option is she is in the hospital or she was in the hospital and then transferred to some longer-term care. Two years ago, I was called when she went into the hospital. I drove down because she needed convincing to go to long-term care for physical therapy. It’s hard to imagine that all happening now without hearing about it. It could be so bad she had no choice. I think she would have someone call me unless she can’t communicate or I am in the negative part of her delusions now.

I started with calls to hospitals. No one in San Jose has her. Some will tell me she hasn’t been there recently either. Others don’t. Thankfully, she finally gave me a limited POA when she was last hospitalized. So I can get her medical records, showing me if was admitted and then released to another facility.

I called the coroners for the three counties she most likely would have been. They don’t have her which is a true relief. True and unsatisfactory.

I called the local homeless outreach teams to see if they have had contact or can look for her and get her a message. Haven’t heard back yet.

I had been going with the idea that she stopped taking money out because something happened to her. Still, I contacted the bank. Turns out they deactivated her card because they detected fraud. I explained there was no fraud. All the transactions are legitimate. They correlate with past transactions and what I know her patterns to be. I told the rep my mother is homeless and this is her only source of income. I have a request in to change the fraud triggers on her account. I don’t want to have to change banks because they can’t figure out what’s fraud and what isn’t.

Anyway, I got the fraud hold removed. I got her a card in my name in case she needs it. It had been two weeks since she tried and failed to get money out and she might have gotten rid of the card. Or she might have lost it.

When I picked up the debit card at the credit union, I did a quick and fruitless trip down to San Jose. I checked a few spots before I had to head back for work.

Since she has stopped trying to get money out of her account, there’s no way I can track her now. While I know some of the places she goes, her habits may be completely different now. She could have picked another area to be in, another city.

I don’t know a whole lot now. Trying to find out more.