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awalker

Shouldn't I have been involved in my mother's long term plan of care?

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My mother, who is suffering from dementia, was committed to a geriatric psych unit under a court order. I was not informed of this until after the fact. I have been trying to get straight answers on how DHR managed to exclude me in the process to no avail. It had been around 3 1/2 weeks since the last time I visited with her. I received legal papers notifying me of a hearing for legal guardianship of her. I called her caregiver and asked what was going on. I was told then that she was in the mental ward at a local hospital and DHR had taken over her case. I was furious that I had not been notified of anything that had happened in the 2 weeks prior. I called DHR to inform them that I would be seeking guardianship of her and would bring her home to live with me, as I live alone, have an extra bedroom and work from home as an accountant. I have 6 years experience as a medical assistant and also cared for my special needs son until his death at the age of 15. I also cared for an elderly lady with dementia and had a letter from the son explaining what a wonderful caregiver I was for her. I had spent much time researching care for people with dementia and had incorporated the methods I learned from said research. I wasn't informed by the case worker that allegations of abandonment had been presented in their report. Rather, they let me show up to Probate court, not knowing the allegations and without legal representation, and while I listened to the lawyers for DHR tell the judge their plan to admit her to the worst LTC facility in the county, I ran over my rebuttal in my head. When the judge asked if there was anything the children would like to say, I opened by asking why I was not included in this plan, why was it that they already had this in action, and why was I not allowed the code to visit my mother in the hospital. I had been begging EVERYONE to let me see her and, even on this day in court, had not been allowed. There are so many bizarre things about this case, like taking a walking, talking, self bathing, self cleaning woman and turning her into a bed bound invalid in diapers over night,  but I will get to my question. My brother and I were split up at very young age when our parents divorced. He went with my father and I, my mother. She raised me and my father raised him. He rarely had contact with her over the years and, in fact , I made him see her last Thanksgiving and that was the last time he has had contact with her. I now believe that, if in fact there had to be a signature in order to have all of this wrong done to her, then he, being the eldest, did so without consulting me in the matter. Is this legal? My plea to bring her home fell on deaf ears and the letters and documentations proving me to be a capable guardian for her were not entertained. I asked the judge to let me present them for review and he had me hand them over to the case worker for DHR and gave guardianship to a local attorney.

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I think you have two problems:

 

1 - Infrequent visits to your mother put you out of sight, out of mind.

 

2 - You went to court without a lawyer and got everything about that wrong.

 

If you expect to fix any of this, you are going to need a lawyer, not comments from strangers on the internet.

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If you went to the hearing without a lawyer it was like taking a knife to a gunfight.  The government lawyers do this sort of thing, that is, guardanship and committment proceedings, all the time and are very good at it.  Perhaps there is a possibility of appeal.  Consult an elderlaw attorney as soonas possible.

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My intention here is to know whether or not it is legal for my brother to make a decision such as this without involving me. That is my request. I saw no need to bring counsel, as I did not know I had been accused of such atrocities as abandonment. She had a care giver, that in fact was her male companion for the last 18 years, but they never married nor resided in the same home. He seems to have tired of his position and, as I have stated before, there are bizarre issues in my case. I have a lawyer as of late and I only want to know yes or no. BTW, this is a forum to ask strangers legal questions.

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Thank you, Retired, and you are correct.I should have had a lawyer, but saw no need, as I did not know of said allegations, which by the way DHR is now claiming there were no allegations,. I came prepared with necessary documentation to prove my ability to care for her and believed it to be enough. Isn't that the point of a hearing, to choose a good guardian for her? Guess not. I believe if she were indigent and without an estate, they would be at my door forcing me to care for her. 

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29 minutes ago, adjusterjack said:

I think you have two problems:

 

1 - Infrequent visits to your mother put you out of sight, out of mind.

 

2 - You went to court without a lawyer and got everything about that wrong.

 

If you expect to fix any of this, you are going to need a lawyer, not comments from strangers on the internet.

 

6 minutes ago, awalker said:

My intention here is to know whether or not it is legal for my brother to make a decision such as this without involving me. That is my request. I saw no need to bring counsel, as I did not know I had been accused of such atrocities as abandonment. She had a care giver, that in fact was her male companion for the last 18 years, but they never married nor resided in the same home. He seems to have tired of his position and, as I have stated before, there are bizarre issues in my case. I have a lawyer as of late and I only want to know yes or no. BTW, this is a forum to ask strangers legal questions.

 

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2 minutes ago, awalker said:

Thank you, Retired, and you are correct.I should have had a lawyer, but saw no need, as I did not know of said allegations, which by the way DHR is now claiming there were no allegations,. I came prepared with necessary documentation to prove my ability to care for her and believed it to be enough. Isn't that the point of a hearing, to choose a good guardian for her? Guess not. I believe if she were indigent and without an estate, they would be at my door forcing me to care for her. 

 

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Is it or is it not legal procedure to consult both children prior to making  a life altering decision, such as this?  Or, is it that only 1 child, the eldest,  is required to agree to and submit permission allowing a court order to take a confused lady out of her home ( the safest place in the mind of someone with dementia ) and force-ably inject her with mind altering medications that have wielded her incapacitated? This is the answer I am seeking. I have consistently, and most likely , overwhelmingly filled my lawyer's inbox with queries and hoped I would be assisted with this probe in this legal forum, rather than hinder his progress with more and more catechisms. Feedback, please. Yes or No, legal or extralegal?

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48 minutes ago, awalker said:

My intention here is to know whether or not it is legal for my brother to make a decision such as this without involving me. 

 

 

16 minutes ago, awalker said:

Is it or is it not legal procedure to consult both children prior to making  a life altering decision, such as this?  

4

 

There is no requirement to consult you.

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One problem with your appearance at the hearing was that documentation is generally not admissible as evidence, and not considered by the judge, because it is almost always hearsay.  An attorney would understand that and avoid the problem.  The attorney would have also probably limited your own testimony to the relevant points.  For instance, your extensive discussion about your prior research and involvement with dementia would not be considered by the court unless you are a qualified expert in the subject.  An attorney would have insisted on hiring a qualified expert to present your case.  What it all boils down to is that legal representation is important in most cases, and especially is cases like this.

 

If you currently have an attorney, I would strongly suggest you rely on your attorney and not on the anonymous strangers on this site.

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