Sunday, May 3, 2015

IN Close: Guardianships - The Geraldine Strege Story

Teresa Maxwell: This was just a month before the guardian took over her life.

Terry Murphy: This is how Teresa Maxwell would like to remember her mother, Geraldine Strege…

Maxwell: She was full of life.

Murphy: Before everything fell apart.

Maxwell: Within a couple of weeks we weren’t able to see her.

Murphy: Today, Maxwell’s memories are buried in piles of paperwork. These pages tell a story of love and loss…

Maxwell: All visitations for Geraldine Strege has ceased…

Murphy: And a legal system, Maxwell believes stole her mother.

Maxwell: This is the United States of America? This is what’s going on in our courtrooms? And to just take her out of our lives and put all these restrictions on us, and for my mother it was like she was in prison.

Murphy: Geraldine Strege has passed away, but Teresa Maxwell is determined to tell her story, a story that begins here.

Murphy: Even though Strege stated in her declaration to the court that she didn’t need or want a guardian, eventually the court did appoint one.

Maxwell: And then all of a sudden when the guardian takes over in less than three weeks she had a hand-written note that all visitations are ceased.

Murphy: Next, Geraldine phone was disconnected. Before long, Maxwell was completely cut out of her mother’s life.

Maxwell: No phone, no way to communicate with the outside world. All her friend she’d known for 40, 60 years were out of her life, couldn’t come see her. Within a week, seven days or so, they moved my mother and they were moving her to an undisclosed location. So that was that. We had no idea where our mother was.

Murphy: When Maxwell did locate her mother, the restrictions continued.

Maxwell: So they sent my mother over to a lock-down facility. We asked to go see our mother, the guardian would not allow us to see our mother. Couldn’t see her grandkids. She had 12 grandchildren. None of them could see her.

Murphy: According to Maxwell, visitation was permitted after she took a mandatory class on eldercare. Several weeks later, she finally saw her mother.

Maxwell: And what she looked like before and the first time we went to see her was night and day. She was at the state where her head was down, she was very medicated. Her face looked totally different.

Murphy: With no legal right to intervene on her mother’s behalf, Maxwell could only document her decline.

Maxwell: With about six month of being in this new nursing home, she had broken her wrist, she’s been in and out of the hospital several times. She had black eyes. Her legs were swollen. No human being should have to go through what my mother went through. Nobody deserves this at all.

Full Article, Video and Source:
In Close: Guardianships


Betty said...

So well done and hard to watch.

Martha said...

My heart bleeds for this family and for what Geraldine suffered at the end of her life.

Anonymous said...

No. It should not take years to decertify a guardian as Shirley Bondon said. Wards of the state are denied due process. Why should guardians be given what they deny their wards?

Janice said...

I'm so sorry. It was all so unnecessary. When Mrs. Strege went to the facility and got bruises, etc. the court should have stepped in right then.

The State of Washington failed Gertrude Strege.

Bax said...

I'm sorry Teresa. I know how badly it feels and it never goes away. Bless you.