Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Court-Appointed Overseers of Elderly Decide Where Their Wards Live, Who Can Visit, and for How Long

Mary Whitten worries each day about her uncle, former advertising executive Harvey Whitten.

The elder Whitten, a Korean War medic, suffered a stroke in 2010 and was diagnosed with vascular dementia. Because of his condition, some in Whitten’s family moved to petition the court to appoint a guardian.

That decision has haunted Mary Whitten.

When Whitten, a Montgomery County resident, read a column about elder guardianship abuse, she was pleased that Pennsylvania cases were finally being thrust into the national spotlight.

The article, written by former Court TV reporter and nationally syndicated columnist Diane Dimond, highlighted what the journalist called a shameful racket in America.

Families and loved ones are often shut out while the health of the elder quickly diminishes, according to Dimond.

“My uncle is a victim. His guardian changed his doctors and medication behind the backs of his family and approved of his being administered 5 milligrams of Haldol daily, a chemical restraint,” Whitten said.

“My uncle’s guardian emailed last September and said my uncle couldn't eat anymore without a feeding tube,” Whitten said. “We went to visit and he was trying to eat his sheets because he had been starved for two days.”

Harvey Whitten suffers from allergies to clothes detergents, and as a result, not only was he starving, but he had blisters on his skin from the detergents, his niece said.

“My cousin asked if there was some way that my uncle could be fed, since he was trying to eat the sheets. So, (the guardian) decided to give him ‘comfort food.’ If the family didn't say anything, he would have been starved to death,” Whitten said.

Full Article and Source:
Court-Appointed Overseers of Elderly Decide Where Their Wards Live, Who Can Visit, and for How Long

See Also:
NASGA Victims Profile:  Harvey Whitten


StandUp said...

This article was very well written. I feel so bad for the Whitten family and Harvey Whitten and will pray that the court does the right thing.

Carole said...

Hospice is as much big money these days as guardianship.

Diane Lents said...

Bless you, Harvey Whiten. I hope for your release into your family's loving arms.

Barbara said...

He should be moved closer to family and right away. Who knows how long he's got to live? Make his ending comfortable for him.