Parents of Member Teresa Sears
So many people my parents, ages 87 & 81. do not grasp the need to plan ahead for when they are elderly.
My parents believed they would stay in their home until they passed away.
After my father fell several times, breaking his wrist, and later breaking a hip among other bumps and bruises, the family knew he would need more help. The first nursing home gave us the name of a lawyer they used to help with Medicaid in the event he would need long-term care.
Meanwhile, I filed all the paperwork to bring him home, and get him a wheelchair and ramp. This was not going to be a long-term solution because he could not walk and there was no stability in the home to make sure he would get ongoing care.
The lawyers assured us that once my sister and I gained guardianship we would be in a position to care for and protect their home. When the family became at odds with each other because our dad needed much more care, things started to fall apart, so I asked to be removed as guardian.
I was not permanent and the lawyers and over 7 other staff members (emailing, calling, and corresponding with us) told us the only way to withdraw as guardian was to become permanent. We had spent $4500.00 on each guardianship that was never permanent and that was doubled because they did both parents separate which we obviously did not know.
I was told to cancel my Medicaid applications several times that I had started for my parents, the lawyers would do it without any more fees. They insisted we have five phone calls to talk about the documents they needed from me. They kept saying they did not have them. I had sent them over and over and yet had pretended they were not there in email?
I really never could figure that out but they prolonged this until they could get their own guardian in to replace us. (Again, we never were never made legal but charged for it and said we had to go to court to make it legal and then be removed?) The lawyers suggested a wonderful lady who would take over the guardianship.
The nightmare began.
The story is too long and hard to share. The page on this web page called 10 Dirty Tricks – NASGA (stopguardianabuse.org must have been studied before taking on the role of a guardian. There was verbal abuse from her toward my family I later found out. My parents were placed in care and had only donated clothing from the nursing home while the guardian spent hours on the phone with me and the lawyers spending their money.
I had no idea that she was lighting fires and then she would pass on all the nasty things my siblings were saying about me to keep me in the loop, trying to pretend she had my parent’s best interest. I told her over and over I did not want to hear stuff and even cried but she continued to read emails and text to me. Helping me to stand against them. The guardian and her lawyer continued to send petitions to the court and depleted my parent’s estate and rights until I finally got a lawyer myself to remove her.
Thousands of dollars with the excuse that it was our family conflict that was the spending reason, which she was really instigating.
One particular issue I found troubling: she became upset on occasion when the nursing home could not take mom to appointments. She said it was their responsibility. I live five minutes from the facility and offered to take my parents to those appointments. Instead, she would “inconvenience” herself and tell me later how she paid herself $ 500.00 for the day because she had to travel and hour to pick my mom up. She also told the doctors how bad mom needed to be kept from my brother so she made sure they wrote the report to help keep mom locked up.
The guardian shared all this with me using other terms of course.
Later her attorney allowed this guardian to spend my parents’ money any way she chose, as well as gaining over $15,000 dollars himself for less than 10 months. They said my parents had to have an Guardian ad Litem. I had no idea what that was. He also was closely tied to the group. I do not believe he ever met my dad and only my mom briefly. The Guardian ad Litem did know all the lawyers, and guardians as he worked with them on other occasions, as I later found out. You could tell that they all knew each other and worked together. The guardian was trying to sell things to friends out of my parents’ home; she refused entry to get my parent’s personal items for their room for over a year! Though the judge told me I could enter and get things for them. She refused me.
I also caught her trying to sell a car, motorcycle, and lawn mower to friends at low prices so they could make money. Her lawyer did nothing to help. I had agreed mom should be evaluated and moved but this guardian locked her up while promising she could come and go. She moved my mom out for reasons we thought were valid.
BUT, my mother was soon restrained at age 80 and refused any outings, she missed birthday parties, Christmas, and any time with family because the guardian was going to keep her away from my siblings. She and her lawyer ignored my request and would not even allow her to visit a friend in hospice. I watched daily as families took their loved ones on outings that had much worse dementia than my mother.
The nursing home refused all requests from me like I did not exist, as she was the guardian, yet she told me I had to go to them for any permission. It was a cycle of total frustrations.
My mother cried and lost all interest in living. She told me she didn’t want to walk anymore and soon became less stable and active. Within a few months, she went downhill and started falling. I asked for a walker for my mother, the guardian said she was not allowed to have one. I asked for bed pads that beeped as she got up at night. I was told that is restrictive.
My mom’s last fall resulted in a fractured hip. Then the guardian refused us being in the emergency room with her for longer than 30 minutes, yet for what reason? Pure evil is my only reasoning. My mom was crying and so afraid and confused. This was payback time from the guardian as I had already started proceedings to remove her through the court system.
Luckily she was removed during the surgery and even the guardian’s lawyer finally acknowledged the abuse because others were involved such as my lawyer and the new guardians. I believe he knew all along but there was too much money to lose. The guardian withdrew because we “were a difficult family” she stated in her final report, but she was given a choice and that is what she accepted to save herself. She knew I had enough on her and her lawyer knew it too, that is why she withdrew.
. We were able to spend the last few weeks with my mom as she did not recover. She was too fragile to have surgery and yet they did it without even letting us have input. There is no doubt that mom would have lived longer and would not have declined so rapidly if it were not for this terrible intervention from those under the disguise of ” helping the elderly.”
I later found out that the guardian verbally abused my brother to his face, (my parents’ neighbor also) as well as running up thousands talking on the phone to any of the lawyers that would listen to her. She cashed in my parents’ and my brother’s life insurance policy resulting in them having nothing after my mom paid for 40 years of monthly premium. She could have changed it to the funeral home but instead she cashed them in for literally nothing.
The lawyers also told me they would not charge any more for Medicaid applications because of the guardianship fees. Yet, after she came on board they received $14,000 more for Medicaid from her, from my parent’s estate.
My question was why would a so-called professional guardian need to use three-plus lawyers and even more legal assistants to do her job? I believe that when it was all over they took over $60,000 in fees in less than 10 months.
The money is nothing compared to what they did to shorten my mother’s life and rob her of months with her family. My parents gave money monthly to St. Jude, Appalachian families, veterans, and their church. Once the guardian took over my parent’s money, checks started flying out to the lawyers while these wonderful charities got nothing.
I am battling a lot of emotions and have joined NASGA to be a voice for my parents and others.
I am so thankful that she was able to be removed and my dad is free of her and them. I have repeatedly told myself that God says it is ok to be angry and to channel it in the right way. God will repay as his word says. They can enjoy my parent’s little bit of money but they will give an account one day of the way they went about it. Greed is a very ugly sin.