Saturday, November 23, 2013
'The Kidnapping of Richard Maass'
My grandparents lived in their house in Glen Head, Long Island, since 1951. My mother and I moved there in 1981. We had our own apartment there and paid rent. We took care of my grandmother when she became ill until she passed in 1998, and we cared for my grandfather as his health started to deteriorate. Around 2001, he was officially diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Mom then hired a full-time aide to care for Grandpa in 2005 after she became ill. My Mom passed away in 2006.
After my Mom’s death, I continued to live in the house, pay rent, and spent many hours every day with Grandpa. Due to many months of chaos after my mother passed, one of my cousins who lived locally started to come around. He somehow managed to have a “new” power of attorney drafted in 2006, giving him complete control of my grandfather’s estate. When I looked over the paperwork months later, I discovered there was over $40,000 in missing funds. My attorney and I requested that my cousin return the funds and discharge himself as POA,but he refused.
Our attorneys agreed that we would let the courts appoint a guardian. I was completely unaware of what that truly meant. Judge Asarch appointed Mary Giordano as guardian and Anne Recht as geriatric “care” manager. We signed an agreement whereby Mary and Anne would be paid out of Grandpa’s funds, $600.00 and $500.00 per month respectively to “care” for Grandpa. A new full-time aide was hired to care for Grandpa 24/7.
One day in September 2009, I called the aide to let her know I was on my way over and she told me that Mary Giordano called and told her to pack my grandfather’s clothes because she was moving him to a nursing home. Mary never called anyone in the family to let us know nor did she discuss this with anyone. The aide was as shocked as I was, since he was happy and doing very well in his own home.
I rushed to the house immediately. When I got there, Anne Recht was there and the aide was packing for him. I asked Anne where he was going and she refused to tell me, stating that he was better off not seeing anyone for the first few days so he could “acclimate.” I called Mary and she claimed his money was running out and could not afford to live in his own home anymore.
My lawyer and I requested a hearing immediately after Grandpa was kidnapped. He told me that he never received any paperwork and that what Mary did was illegal; that an order had to be signed by the judge and no order was ever signed. We requested a hearing on the matter. Judge Asarch’s only response was that the move was not handled “properly.” We also advised Judge Asarch that this new nursing home was not a safe location for him, that the home was very dirty and smelled like urine; that it was very short-staffed.
Judge Asarch ruled in favor of Mary and Anne.
When Grandpa was first moved to the nursing home, the staff would always answer my questions and willingly discuss his care with me. However, as his health continued to decline and my aunt and I voiced our concerns and complaints, Mary Giordano advised the staff that they were no longer allowed to answer any of our questions or address any of our concerns. Only Mary Giordano and Anne Recht had that right.
By January 2011, my grandfather’s health had deteriorated substantially. At that time I was visiting him daily and my aunt and I requested that he be moved to hospice. However Anne Recht claimed that he was too sick to be moved. We then requested palliative care. Anne said she would take care of it. There was never any sign of this care and it was apparent that his suffering and pain was increasing each day. When my aunt and I complained to the nursing home, they told us that no paperwork was ever submitted by Anne and they could not do anything for him at all without her approval. Nothing was ever done despite all of our calls and requests. I had to watch my grandfather suffer daily, in tremendous pain, until the day he passed away, February 28, 2011.
None of these people loved or cared about him, but I do believe they loved his money.I cannot even begin to tell you how much pain this situation has caused me. Every day I think about him and wonder what more I could have done to save him. It is now almost three years since his death and I miss him every day.”
Full Article and Source:
The Kidnapping of Richard Maass