Alzheimer's - Change Laws

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If you plan on living into retirement and have no children or more than one child, you need to pay close attention to this!  In many states in this country elders are being "legally kidnapped", their assets are confiscated and the elders are given life sentences in "elder prison" (nursing homes).  All it takes for this to happen to you is for you to have no children or 2 or more children that disagree on how to take care of you should you become ill or unable to care for yourself at some point.  In a courtroom, having two or more children that disagree on how to care for you is called "family dissension".  In a case like that the judge can automatically decide to place you in a nursing home and take your home and all your assets.    The judge can appoint a stranger (guardian) to make all decisions regarding your medical care, etc.  This guardian will make decisions regarding whether you can see a dentist,  have surgery, have limbs amputated, etc.  The guardian can be given the authority to sell your home, change the beneficiary on your life insurance policies, etc.  The guardian can basically act as a Power of Attorney and can and will make all decisions regarding you.  Your family will have no input and they will not be appointed your guardian. They may not even be informed of your loved ones health status and they can even be prevented from having any contact with you!!  

This appears to be a corrupt system in many states, run by corrupt lawyers and judges and needs to be stopped.  It has been referred to as the "Probate Mafia".  It has gone on far too long, hurt far too many innocents and someone needs to be a hero and protect these elders.  KFVS 12 in Cape Girardeau, Missouri recently did a series of investigative stories on Pauline Williams.  (I-Team:  Broken System and I-Team: Update - Fixing a Broken System).  Her husband died and she has Alzheimer's Disease.  Three of her daughters wanted to take care of her in their homes.  It was what she and her husband had wanted.  Mrs. Williams had created very extensive Power of Attorney papers to make certain she would be able to stay in the home and the judge chose to ignore them! Her three daughters had successfully taken care of her for about a year, making certain all her bills were paid, taking her to medical appointments with the use of a handicap vehicle and allowing her the ability to easily go to restaurants allowing her to live as normal a life as possible, buying her medication, putting safeguards in place in the home for her safety - daily visits from a home health aide, visual monitors at bedside to have eyes on her 24 hours a day, audio monitoring device to hear her 24 hours a day, locks on stove, oven and doors to prevent her from being burned or exiting, friends coming into the home to visit, etc.  She loved being among her family 24 hours a day and she would lay down in the living room, smile and say, "I love being in my mama's house."

A 4th daughter and granddaughter did not want to help take care of her in their homes - instead wanted her in a nursing home. The granddaughter, when asked if she would help, sharply replied, "not in my house!"  The 4th daughter although shook her head in agreement, never followed through and only caused turmoil.  This was just an extension of the dysfunction, for the year or two prior, the 4th daughter and mother had made several phone calls to the police! I would have a difficult time believing that this daughter was calling the police on her mother suffering from Alzheimer's disease if I didn't have the copies of the police reports! I now believe I know the very nefarious reason for those many calls... The sisters ended up in court.  Because of "family dissension" the judge sentenced Mrs. Williams to "elder prison" even though Mrs. Williams' physician stated in a letter to the judge that it would be "detrimental" to her health to do so.  In the short time she has been in the nursing home, she has suffered a fractured hip, heart attack and many hospitalizations. She has had a tremendous decline in health. She is no longer surrounded by people that love her 24 hours a day - mostly strangers and she no longer has eyes on her 24 hours a day.  The beautiful woman you see photographed was my mother.  She was a proud woman.  She loved life and she loved her home and family.  She loved cooking Sunday dinners for friends and family.  She always took care of others.  She never wanted to end up the way she is now - having lost all her constitutional rights, humanity and dignity.  ALL of her daughters knew this.  Her brother knew this, too.  She is a human being - but the state of Missouri thought she was a "cash cow."  Sadly for the taxpayers, they were misinformed.  It has cost Scott County taxpayers greatly -- more than they can afford. 

Before her husband passed away, the 4th daughter did place her mother in a nursing home for a time and she acquired bedsores.  After her husband passed away and the three daughters and son-in-law began their 'round the clock care of their mother, with the help of the home health aide and the wound center, the bedsores were healed.  After the judge sentenced her to "elder prison" (the court likes to refer to it as a 'skilled nursing facility'), within a few short months, she was hospitalized.  At the hospital, she was in severe pain with bedsores!  When asked, the nursing homes response was, "she did not have bedsores when she was here!"  The hospital nurse's statement was that she arrived at the hospital WITH bedsores!  When the nursing home was asked again, their response was that she must have gotten them in the ambulance on the way to the hospital!  Let me add the hospital is across the street from the nursing home!  During the time the three daughters cared for her, she had an occasion to take an ambulance 15 miles or more to a hospital and did not get any bedsores during THAT trip!  Someone is having a problem in the truth department!

The judge ordered her home of 66 years and all its contents to be sold to pay the large bills being accumulated by the state.  The sale of the property did not come close to paying her massive bills.  The judge had said someone would have to eat the cost.  I guess that would be the State of Missouri taxpayers.  I am only thankful that these kind, elders --- that worked hard all their lives for everything they owned and hoped that one day after they passed on, their children and grandchildren would have the opportunity to keep their home and sort through the history of all they had saved and treasured--- did not know what had become of their beloved home.  As the judge ordered - strangers came into the home that my mother once referred to (when my mother and father were moving in 65 years ago) as "the most beautiful home she had ever seen" and shoveled out all their treasured belongings into dumpsters!  Forever lost to their descendants... my parents weren't wealthy and did not have much of monetary value... but they were proud of what they had because they had worked hard for it and were in debt to no one. Please encourage your state lawmakers to change laws to protect our elders and YOU because we are all aging! YOU could be next! 

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