Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Al Katz, Part Four: The Final Legal Solution

This column will establish a pattern of elder abuse and give you an understanding of how a state like Florida and its guardianship system can keep a family at bay while making life-and-death decisions of questionable legal authority.

Beverly Newman in late October 2009 had to hire an attorney, as required by Florida law, to represent her in her highly-contested court fight to obtain guardianship from the State of Florida of Al Katz, her father.

According to Beverly, who had court-ordered visitation rights, her father was begging daily to return home from the nursing facility, which he hated. He appeared broken-hearted, and Beverly noted signs that he was being neglected to the point that he developed pitting edema of the lower extremities and cellulitis, for which he was hospitalized. In December 2008, Beverly had filed a petition in Indiana to care for her Father as his guardian. Until September 2009, no one else ever filed a petition to care for Mr. Katz as his guardian.

However, Beverly’s request to be her father’s guardian was opposed by Ms. Jackie Steuerwald, Al’s nurse. It should be noted that on September 10, 2008, Jackie Steuerwald took Mr. Katz, suffering from dementia, to his attorney in Indianapolis to have Mr. Katz’s will and advance directives changed.

In September 2009, with the assistance of Jackie Steuerwald, the Florida public guardian put Al into the lockdown unit in the basement of a metropolitan hospital, under a no-contact order from family and friends, for three weeks. From this confinement and isolation from his family, Al had constant flashbacks to the Holocaust and wandered the halls night and day until he was released.

The Florida court on November 23, 2009, appointed Beverly Newman as Guardian of the Person of Al Katz, but not of his property. The court granted restricted health care powers to Jackie Steuerwald and gave guardianship of the property to a professional guardian. Beverly discontinued all narcotics and psychotropics administered to her Father, and he began to regain his strength.

After weeks in the hospital, being put into hospice against his advance directives, Al Katz was taken home by Beverly and Larry, the son-in-law, who cared for him around the clock. Al’s condition gradually began to improve, while he was surrounded by his loving family.

Full Article and Source:
Al Katz: The Story of a Holocaust Survivor - part 4

See Also:
Al Katz: The Story of a Holocaust Survivor

Al Katz: Part Two: Road to Perdition

Al Katz: Part Three: There's No Room for Common Sense in the Eyes of Government Regulation

NASGA - Al Katz: Indiana/Florida Victim


StandUp said...

A very tragic story. And a reminder, that even when the victim passes, the nightmare often continues.

Brianna B said...

Look at what this family, as well as Al Katz, had to endure. I am absolutely appalled.

Jennifer said...

Special thanks to Rick Swier for doing this piece. And to NASGA for blogging it.

jerri said...

a tragedy that should not have happened this should be front page news on all newspapers nationwide this can happen to others my heart aches for the beverly newman who was forced to endure another case of court ordered hell thank you nasga for giving us the real news that affects our lives in a very serious way

Allie said...

The very worst thing bad guardians do is isolate people from their loved ones and shut them out of medical information and decisions.


NASGA said...

NOTE This message was left by Evelina, but the links were deleted.

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Mary Sue said...

It made me cry when I read in the other segments that when Mr. Katz became confused and scared, he reverted back to the Holocaust. I pray for this brave family and for Al Katz's daughter, Beverly.