Monday, December 8, 2014
Social Media Guardianship Awareness Campaign to Protect Your Family Starts Today!
Can strangers really take over an elder person's money and make all decisions - even with willing and capable family members? Not only is the answer yes, but it's happening in all 50 states. What was set up to protect vulnerable elderly (and YOU in the future) from exploitation has turned into legalized kidnapping and looting of our elder's life savings and estates. If family members make any kind of waves, they are banned or restricted from seeing their own parent. Once you're in the hands of a guardian, even a Clarence Darrow can't get you out. Want to escape? They already liquidated your car. (Guardians took my Mom's car the second day.) Want to ask a family member or neighbor for help? (You can't, they have a GPS device attached to your ankle or wrist - for your own safety, of course.) When I took my Mom on a court-approved vacation, when I didn't have her back on time, they went to court to put a temporary restraining order on me, stating I was a danger to her.
It's no wonder one corporate guardianship had a fundraiser and dubbed it "The Wild, Wild West". Statutes are being broken. Loosely written laws by the Guardianship attorneys that benefit those that can make money off of the elderly (and like I said, YOU in the future) are spun to work against loving family. Can you imagine all that you've been working for - to insure that your spouse and kids have a good future - is taken in a less than a 15-minute court-hearing? And now all your assets are in the hands of a stranger, who will use up your life savings in a heartbeat. There won't even be money left for your funeral. Victims call Guardianships a transfer of wealth.
Why haven't we all heard of it if it's as bad as it sounds?
1. Social media hasn't been around long enough for people to make some noise.
2. When a Guardian has complete control over a loved one, your relationship with that person is based on fear. If you make waves, they can retaliate by taking it out on your loved one. So, you stay quiet and meek as a mouse.
3. Victims are behind the eight ball. A person hearing their story for the first time will look at them suspiciously, One can't help but wonder: What did they do or what's wrong with them that a Judge nullified their Power of Attorney? If it was as easy as they said it happened, that means it could happen to us. So honestly, it's easier to turn a blind eye and think we're safe or our parents are safe, because they had their Advanced Directives drawn out when they were of full mind and body.
Truth of the matter is - this could happen to you. Never in a million years did I think this could happen to my family! Two years later, I'm still in total disbelief. I needed an attorney to keep a GPS bracelet off of my Mom. She legally has less rights than a prisoner. And thousands of dollars later, I still can't get her out of this damaging situation. As Baby Boomers get older, the Wild Wild West World of loosely written laws that benefit those that stand to make the most money, will be stronger than ever.
A lot of old school media is fearful to cover the issue of Guardianships, because it isn't a one-tiered story. The layers of ruin run deep in the field of "liquidate, isolate, medicate". There are so many areas that need to be vetted in such a litigious society, that some media feel the story isn't worth the trouble it could bring.
But, with the Sarasota Herald-Tribune's fearless coverage of Guardianship abuse, written by Barbara Peters-Smith, other media outlets will have the courage to follow suit. Sharyl Attkisson did an incredibly expose when she was with CBS News.
Our awareness campaign begins with us. We would like for you to make a sign (or copy/paste a symbol) that shows you are aware of these violations against an elder's human and civil rights. That you won't allow it to happen to your friends, your loved ones - or even yourself in the future. You do not want your kids to go through watching all your constitutional rights stripped from you, as well as all your possessions.
Your sign can read something just as simple as "END ELDER ABUSE" or "No to Guardianship Abuse in MY hometown." If you know someone who is suffering as a result of this abuse, you can put their name on your sign as a show of support. Place the picture in your profile picture and ask your friends to either share or post their own. Only through awareness and exposure will these laws - that allow legal advanced directives to be voided as easy as if it were a traffic citation - to change.
My Mom, who is under the Guardianship of a multi-million dollar non-profit corporation, Lutheran Services Florida, told me that if you're unhappy with something, you use your mouth to talk (you don't destroy and loot). If they don't listen, you talk louder. And if they're still not listening, you get more voices to make more noise. Moms are always right. The awareness campaign begins Dec. 8 and runs through the month.
For more information on this cause, go to Florida Guardianship Laws Talking Points.
For more information on Guardianship Abuse, go to National Association to Stop Guardian Abuse or Boomers Against Elder Abuse.
A public relations firm will work to get the cause national publicity outside of social media. Together, we'll end this Holocaust of America's most vulnerable citizens - our elderly - and us, when we get there. We deserve better. America deserves better.
Guardianship Awareness Campaign to Protect Your Family
Florida Guardianship Law's Talking Points' Facebook Page
NASGA's Facebook Page
Boomers Against Elder Abuse's Facebook Page
CBS News: Guardianship Agency Costs Elderly Woman Dearly*
*NASGA worked with CBS News on this report.