Friday, March 21, 2008

Ask The Attoney : What Can I do to Help Friend in ALF ?


I need help being pointed in the right direction to get assistance for an elderly woman currently residing in an assisted living facility in Orlando, Florida.

She is our neighbor, and over the past 13 years has become part of our family. We love her and are very concerned about her welfare. Two years ago she was afflicted with Guillian Barre Syndrome, but has since recovered and is back to her old former self, completely able to manage living alone again (with a little assistance, which we are more than willing to provide)

The problem is her family. They are mental abusing her and are keeping her in the assisted living facility against her will. Her son told an employee of the facility that he does not want her to come home because he is afraid of what she will do when she finds out they have cleaned out her house and disposed of a lot of her personal belongings and keepsakes. Bottom line is he is afraid she will disown him and write him out of the will. We are talking quite a large amount of money, as her house is completely paid for and worth about 500,000. Her son had power of attorney, which she would like to change but her refuses to give her her purse or ID's.

How can we get her assistance and transportation home (from Orlando, Florida to Lakeland, Florida, a distance of about 50 miles. (I cannot drive long distances or I would do it myself) I know there will be a confrontation at the facility when someone comes to pick her up.

Please help me to help her, it would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you for your time and assistance.

Sylvia B

By Maria C. Gallo, Esquire

Why does she need transportation from Orlando to Lakeland Florida? There are agencies (Angel on Board, Hughes Transportation) and other transportation facilities that can transport a perfectly competent person from one place to another.

The neighbors have little to no standing as they are not family but if the lady in the ALF has not been declared incompetent, then she needs to revoke her POA and simply, make arrangements to move back home. She is presumed to be competent to make the necessary arrangements to get services in her home.

If the neighbor thinks that the little lady is being financially or economically exploited, then they can report it to the Department of Elder Affairs at 1-800-96-ABUSE.

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