In the 1600's, Lord Mansfield pointed out that society had a duty to protect those people who could not protect themselves. He singled out for protection children and those who were infirm. In approximately 1927 or thereabouts, Mr. Justice Oliver Wendel Holmes wrote in the case of Buck vs. Bell that "three generations imbeciles is enough" Indeed, our society has apparently taken those words to 'heart!' Reading NASGA and Probate Sharks web pages it is clear that in an effort to not create a hostile work environment for the lawyers, Judges, and guardians appointed by the Court, we have not only removed the ten commandments from the Courthouse but removed common sense and respect for the elderly.
In re: the Estate of Mary Sykes, pending in the Circuit Court of Cook County, is a magnet for miscreant conduct. In December 2010, Mary was taken to the hospital. Hospital personnel noticed that she had lost Ten Percent of her body weight. Had any inquiry been done as to this serious situation, the Elder Abuse mandatory reporters would have discovered that the plenary guardian admitted that Ms. Sykes had suffered from a swallowing disorder and was denied treatment until the extreme weight loss occurred.
As happens all together too often, there apparently was no report to the Illinois Department of Aging by the Hospital. The two guardians ad litem - who are now famous for their advocacy for the interests of the plenary guardian - also failed to report the clear neglect of Mary! In fact one of the guardians was quick to deny the admission made by the plenary guardian. Naturally, neither of the two GALs reported the admitted neglect to either the Court or the Illinois Department of Aging.
Reports by family members and friends to the Naperville Police Department, the Illinois Department of Aging, the Illinois State Police etc. resulted in absolutely no action! Even calling attention to the fact Mary had sought a 'protective order' against the plenary guardian before the plenary guardian was appointed Mary's guardian was met with a yawn!
It is unfair to say that nothing happened - something did! It is reported that Mary's youngest daughter and most active advocate was 'chained' to a chair in the Courtroom, forced to disclose where her money was, and the Court reached across the Indiana border to freeze her funds. This attempt to silence the younger daughter was unsuccessful, but has slowed down her ability to irritate the status quo and the guardians ad litem. Mary's isolation continues. Indeed, Mary's younger sibling (age 82) was denied unlimited visitation with her sister. The GAL disclosed that Mary's sibling is not fond of the abuser of her sister. [Apparently he thought that a condition precedent for one sister to visit unfettered with another was love for the abuser!] Thus, the younger sister was given restrictive (supervised) visitation after not seeing Mary for about 18 months!
It is now six months since Mary almost lost her life due to the alleged admitted neglect of the plenary guardian, yet Mary remains in the care of the plenary guardian without there ever being a hearing on Mary's sworn petition for a protective order. Mary is still isolated and both Guardian ad litem are diligently active to keep the status quo - i.e. Mary is being isolated and kept from her activities, her friends and her family. We all know how dangerous an 82 year old sibling can be!
Unfortunately, the GAO report and websites have disclosed the frustration that every victim and their family members must endure. How can this happen in America? The reality is that it has happened and we apparently are mollified by the lip service of the political elite and the meaningless words that they utter about concern for the elderly!
Yes, there are excellent and well meaning court appointed guardians and people working diligently to make life a little easier for the disabled and their family and friends, but by tradition we focus only on the miscreants whose avarice is so common. By necessity we focus on Mary Sykes and victims like her!
That said, the Sykes case is so obscene that it cries out for Justice; however, Justice, fairness, and appropriateness are absent as the Sykes family endures one outrage after another and each occurs unabated. Consider: What possible excuse can be rationalized to prevent a 92 year old person from freely visiting with her 82 year old sister! What possible danger can the 82 year old be to her 92 year old sister? Aunt Yo Bakken was indeed subjected to restricted visitation with 92 year old Mary Sykes! She had to go before a judge to obtain access to Mary Sykes. The restricted visitation granted to 82 year old Aunt Yo is a travesty and mocks the foundations of the justice system! It informs everyone that form trumps substance and *****.
Shame on you, and shame on me! We totally lost our sense of decency! We allowed this outrage to happen not only to Mary Sykes but to hundreds of other senior citizens while we mouth our concern for seniors, their health care and social security. We like the political elite could not care less! What good are few pennies of social security to seniors who are held hostage by a plenary guardian such as Mary Sykes has looking after her? What good is health care when it is denied until a senior loses 10 per cent of her body weight and suffers for days with a swallowing disorder! What good is our concern if we allow a senior to be isolated from her family, her friends and activities! Why do we have criminal code, and/or give any lip service to being compassionate concerning the elderly when we act in such a blatantly knowingly wrong manner?
Indeed the ten commandments, the Torah, the Bible or whatever we choose to call the words of the deity truly do not belong in our homes, our courts or our lives as when we let the Sykes style outrage continue month to month and year to year ***** Next time one of your elected representatives mouths off about how he is against cuts in Social Security or some other entitlement for the seniors - ask him/her why? Unless the political elite are concerned about senior civil rights, due process, and equal protection of the law all that health care, social security and the other entitlements are bribes that ultimately will unjustly enrich those who make their living exploiting the Mary Sykes' of this world. Worse yet - by supporting or buying into the lies of these hypocrites we are just as guilty as the miscreants. Democracy is not a spectator sport!