Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Elder Abuse - What to do When Authorities Refuse to Help

Letters to Editor:

An Elder named Ray is suspected of being a victim of elder financial abuse and elder abuse by a family member. Adult services were called by a family member . The Family Services responded by saying that they would not talk to her and would not investigate.

The Victims' family is at a loss as to what to do and who to call now.


Ray and Mary Ruth had ups/downs with their children (7) but the one child that they always depended and relied upon was, Rosemary.

Ray and May Ruth had a close relationship with Rosemary and her family. They went places together and Ray idolized and bent over backwards for his grandson.

When Mary Ruth was diagnosed with cancer, it was Rosemary who was there daily and took them to the doctor and hospitals and surgeries.

Mary Ruth passed away two years ago and Rosemary’s father, Ray became even more dependent on her after the loss of his wife of 58 years.

Rosemary made sure he had food in the house and took him home-cooked meals, did his washing, made sure he was always clean, paid his bills, took him to the doctor and for tests, made sure he took his medications, clean his house and much more.

No help was ever offered by the other siblings for the first year and most did not even visit their dad.

Ray was able to stay in his home, went on daily rides and went out to eat at several local restaurants every day. Ray was always very aware of his finances and assets (he was very well off financially).

Ray spent most of his time with Rosemary and her family and went on most vacations with them.

In June she and her family went on vacation once again because she needed sometime with her family and needed a break from her dad’s dependence on her.

She contacted her siblings and made arrangements for them to look in on her dad while they were on vacation and they did. After she returned she started noticing her dad acted different and confused.

She found out that even though her siblings where checking on him while she was away, one sister, Carole took it upon herself to medicate Ray and took him off some of his medications that she did not think he should take.

She exhibited the (Victimized Child Syndrome )She had written her mother, Mary Ruth that her father had molested her as a child and caused all her life’s problems and made attempts to put her mother on a guilt trip by manipulating her feelings and capitalizing on the mother's natural love and affection for all her children.

Mary Ruth never told her husband Ray of her accusations, and kept them to herself but the sister made copies of her letter and sent it to the rest of the siblings.

Ray’s confusion and health appeared to take a turn for the worse he became violent, unpredictable, afraid to make decisions and his situation became worst day by day as he exhibited all the signs of the progression of dementia and Alzheimer's disease.

It all came to a head in the fall of 2006 when the oldest sister was staying with Ray at nights because he was so confused. The sister called our office and told Rosemary that she could not find their dad. She had gone downstairs and when she came back up Ray was gone. Rosemary immediately left and went over. She found her dad hiding behind bushes in a neighbor’s backyard. They convinced Ray to go to the emergency room and took him to the hospital. Rosemary’s concern was her fathers’ health, well being and state-of-mind. They admitted him into the hospital and he was evaluated while under sedation. The copy of the attending doctor’s final evaluation was he had Alzheimer.

Ray would never give any of his family Power-Of-Attorney, Rosemary never asked for it knowing how he felt about it.

So now all the siblings are at the hospital. All of them, but two (2) agreed that Rosemary should be the one to get Guardianship over Ray. However Rosemary is reluctant to do so because she knows how independent her dad is and how he feels about the delegation and the erosion of his rights to govern himself.

But while everyone was debating this subject, Carole, in a surprise move went to Family Services and got temporary Guardianship over her dad.

A hearing was set and the family went in front of the judge two or three days later. The family was now put in a position where they had to prove to the judge that Carole was unfit and was only looking out for her own well being.

What happened next was Carole then made unfounded and slanderous accusations, and allegations of impropriety and accused Rosemary of stealing her dad’s money and that is all the judge heard.

Rosemary had joint accounts with her dad as she had helped with the handling of the of paying the bills. .

The Judge left Carole as temporary emergency guardian.

A month later he was declared by the judge to be competent and needed no further Guardianship.

During that 30 day period, Carole abducted her dad and moved him into her home. The siblings tried to visit, but each time Carole would not leave for them to visit. Any conversation that they tried to have with their dad was recorded by Carole, and the isolation of Ray grew progressively worst with time.

A month later Carole changed all his banking accounts, removed Rosemary from his accounts.

The sister Carole then preceded to have her father Ray sign over the Deed to his home over to her , then she moved her oldest daughter into Ray’s home and in March 2007 she mortgaged the home as collateral for a loan.

The siblings are no longer comfortable visiting with their dad and the few times a visit was made, Carole would not leave them alone or Ray refused to see them.

This past Tuesday, 7/17/2007 one of Ray’s sons’ and Rosemary’s husband went to visit Ray and they were upset at his condition. He looked like death warmed over. His face was sunk in, he was filthy, his pants had feces on them, he was having trouble talking and when shown pictures he made no comment or showed any response to them.

Rosemary’s husband came home and said that something needed to be done; Ray did not look good at all and explained his condition. The following morning Rosemary called Family Services and they refused to investigate.

So what can the family do now? Ray the father has been subject to isolation, undue influence, has been made to sign documents he does not understand and is not being cared for properly.

The family suspects Ray is a victim of abuse,and elder financial abuse and have called for help and the authorities will not do anything.

I want very much to help Rosemary in someway but do not know how and I do not know what to tell her.

Thank you very much for listening and I hope that this Elder (Ray) and his family receive the help that they deserve in their hour of need and during this most difficult time

A Concerned Neighbor

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