Until relatively recently, I was unaware of how rampant elder abuse is within the legal court system. It was not until my good friend started to share her story with me that my eyes were opened to something far more prevalent than I was cognizant of; at least on a conscious level.
I have been privileged to know Diane for over five years. During that span, she has never been anything but helpful, loving and compassionate to everyone. Doing what I do for a living generally makes me able to be a pretty good judge of character. Ironically, it is a judge and his decisions that prompted me to write this article. The choices and attitude he has expressed have been protected by legal statutes. While they might be legal, they are far from moral, ethical or compassionate.
This all began approximately two and a half years ago. Diane's mother had given her power of attorney and named her the healthcare proxy. Like many families, there were disagreements with the siblings. Diane was being told that her brother and sister wanted to sell their mother's home and place her in a nursing home. While this elderly woman, Dorothy, had some early dementia and knee problems, she was still a vibrant, cognizant person. She had no interest in being displaced so that those two could have her money. Diane's family suggested she file for legal guardianship to protect her home and to protect her mother's life as well. It seemed to make an abundance of sense.
To tell the events of what unfolded quickly is really an injustice to the elder abuse that has incurred since. The siblings contested the petition for guardianship. Instead of reaching a mediated agreement, the judge listening to the case decided he would be better at making decisions for everyone. He assigned a law guardian and a healthcare manager. It appears these three have worked together before. Diane was immediately removed from what her mother wanted; to have her take care of her needs if there was any reason for it. As it was, Dorothy would spend many weekends at Diane's house. It must be noted that Diane works from home and took care of her father in his last years. It would give Dorothy a change of scenery and much appreciated love and companionship. All of that was about to change.
Full Article and Source:
A Heartbreaking Story of Elder Abuse
NASGA: Dorothy Wilson, NY Victim