Follow
Share

My dear friend was diagnosed with Alzheimer's about six months after we started living together. He had no relatives in state and I was happy to take care of him as long as I could. An out of state brother was contacted to begin guardianship arrangements for the time when he would need more assistance than I could give him. He hired a local social worker to be co-guardian. When I needed to be away for a week this woman hired round the clock caregivers for him and decided that when I returned from my trip I not only couldn't stay with him anymore but she didn't want me to see him or talk to him because she didn't want him dependent on me. This was an impossible situation because we live in the same building and he was constantly looking for me and very upset because he thought I was angry with him. It broke my heart and I told the SW that I would continue seeing him as long as he was still living in the building. She wasn't happy with it and made life difficult for both of us. When she placed him in memory care over two weeks ago, she didn't tell me she was going to and she wouldn't allow me to see him or talk to the staff at the facility. (She has emergency guardianship) She said it was protocol not to have visitors for two weeks. When two weeks was up another friend and I went to visit him and we were told he wasn't there and never had been. We know that isn't true because the friend had talked to someone there about him the second day. He may still be there or he may have been moved somewhere else because of adjustment issues. He can be very angry and I don't think he would take the move dociley. Meanwhile I am crushed that I can't see him and so worried for his well being and safety. Since he has no family here I don't understand why she is cutting him off from friends who love and care for him. I don't know what to do.

Find Care & Housing
I understand that you feel emotional about not being allowed to see Charles. But I do question that the social worker has his financial interest at heart. “She wants to influence how his money is spent”. Meaning? She has a personal interest in his financial wherewithal? I’d be very, very careful making that idea known. Accusing her of coercion will absolutely not endear you to her or her agency.

You don’t mention if Charles has any family, who petitioned for guardianship, if he does have a family, how you all get along, and if it’s possibly their wishes that Charles becomes acclimated to his new surroundings before visits with friends from his now previous life. He is, apparently, now in a facility with trained medical personnel to see to his needs and monitor his behaviors and should not need your intervention to calm down. His caregivers now may feel that seeing you may regenerate memories of his previous life and would prove a setback to any progress he’s making.

You have every right to contact an attorney. You may be able to find one who will offer their first consultation for free and decide whether you have a case or not. But be forewarned that since there is no legal bond between you,  or even common law, there may not be much an attorney can do. 
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to Ahmijoy
Report

Lucky,
Go to your local Senior Center and ask for an elder law attorney referral. We got one for a small donation.
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to SueC1957
Report

Who does the social worker work for? She must have a supervisor. If you can’t get a straight answer from her about why you are being denied access to Charles, perhaps the supervisor would be able to tell you. They will not be able to divulge personal information regarding him due to HIPPA, but should st least explain to you why Margo seems to have singled you out. Unfortunately, as someone who is not related to him, you don’t have many rights.

There are a lot of holes in this situation and I’m sure you feel that way, too. Charles must have been declining and showing signs of aggression even though you say he never acted out toward you. However, this behavior must have occurred while he was at home since you said you were able to calm him down. You say his behavior escalates when he is stressed, so you do understand the potential for harmful behavior is there. His decline seems to have come about very rapidly. He wasn’t even in the first facility for ten days before he was uprooted and sent to another. I wonder what the all-fired rush was. You say he was basically living a fairly normal life until the beginning of June and then suddenly took a nosedive. Who was applying for guardianship? A family member? If so, is your relationship with this family member acrimonious? Margo could be following orders from Charles’ family that you not see him. The other family whom Margo allowed to see their LO may have been an entirely different situation so comparing their situation to your’s isnt quite fair.

Try contacting the social worker’s supervisor to try to gain some insight on what’s going on. But since you technically aren’t “family”, you may not be told much of anything.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to Ahmijoy
Report

This is really odd behavior for a social worker. Any that I’ve ever worked with for my in-laws, mother or my husband always dealt with everyone involved for the good of their client. Maybe I was just lucky. Have you by any chance, since you said you’ve been reacting “emotionally”, given Margo the impression that you might be unstable and that’s why she doesn’t want you around your partner/friend? It certainly sounds like she’s going to extreme measures to keep you from him and I’m just wondering what the reason could be. Do you say anything to your partner/friend when you do visit that could cause him to melt down, so to speak? Does she ask you not to say certain things to him and then you do? The behavior of this SW just seems totally out of the norm if you are just a friend who’s just concerned for another friend’ s welfare.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to Ahmijoy
Report
lucky0115 Jun 26, 2018
I think her behavior is unusual for a social worker. I have been perplexed about why she wants me out of his life from the beginning but I did try to go along with what she wanted. I think she has been maneuvering to get sole control perhaps because she wants to influence how his money is spent. But she won't let any of his friends visit him. Not even those who have been in his life for ten or twenty years. I also resent that I am not supposed to get emotional when I think someone is mistreating the man I love. She is supposed to be the trained professional and I think she has some responsibility here also. But yes I am only communication by email now so no emotion can show. It seems I have the choice right now of spending $3000 to hire an attorney or never seeing Charles again.
(0)
Report
I am a little confused as you stated that you two lived together and later you stated that you live in the same building. Did you move out of your shared apartment once the Social Worker took over or did you ever live in the same apartment together? How long did you live together? Are you married? The Social Worker may not consider your relationship with your loved one as spousal, but just as a friend or even as a person who is trying to "get something from her client".

Talk about control issues. I am talking about the Social Worker. I wonder if the Social Worker is as protective and isolates her other clients from their families and friends also. Or is she acting this way only with you. If she does isolate other clients, and your attorney can prove that this is trend, you might have a better chance for getting visitation rights.

Because you "have been fighting emotionally and the other side is going to use that against me if they can. And I think Margo sees me as a threat because his behavior would "escalate" if he knew she is keeping me away."; you need to be calm and respectful and courteous and unemotional whenever you have any contact with the Social Worker or with any of the facility staff. It isn't easy to do, but if you show that you can be calm while talking to the Social Worker or your "lover's brother", then maybe you can visit more. Here's hoping!!
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to DeeAnna
Report
lucky0115 Jun 26, 2018
Charles and I have lived in the same building for years but our relationship only developed around a year and a half ago. I started living at his apartment primarily a year ago April. He was diagnosed with Alzheiners the next September. We were not married.

The only other person I know of that she has helped had both a spouse and adult children. She did not keep them away. I think she is afraid of Charles because his behavior can escalate when he feels he is losing control. He has never behaved badly toward me and I can usually calm him down when he is upset. I am baffled about why she will not let me see him because I think I could help. He was taken the 5th of June. By the 17th he was in a different facility where a nurse discribed him as being confused, unable to follow directions, unable to walk well enough that he wasn't in danger of falling and injuring himself. (This was written so that he wouldn't have to go to court for a final guardianshiip hearing.) The problem with this is that while he was living here he walked well over a mile every day and I never saw him stumble even though we live in an old neighborhood where the sidewalks are uneven. I am really fearful about what is happening to him.

I am trying my best to be respectful. I am keeping contact to emails because I get too emotional. The social worker hung up on one friend who called to ask her questions. I keep taking pictures of things that I know he would love but I don't have a clue if I'll ever get to share them.
(2)
Report
Can you contact your partner's brother to get him to tell the Social Worker to back off?

You should have SOME rights as a cohabiting couple. You could also contact HER supervisor and explain the situation.

There needs to be mercy for this poor man who has been ripped from his home, then transferred to facilities, unable to see loved ones.

Making a statement to her about having your lawyer sue for visitation rights might change her mind.

You are no threat to him or anyone else. Rattle some cages and see if it does any good.

Good luck to you and yours.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to SueC1957
Report
lucky0115 Jun 23, 2018
Once the sw became coguardian the brother wanted everything off his plate and onto hers or she demanded that it be that way. He essentially said that since I had said I didn't think I could be guardian then he would have to go with Margo's opinion. She works independently so has no supevisor. When we visited the site one of the caregivers did say that Margo has other people shes in charge of living there. My attorney has said that he thinks I have a 50/50 chance of getting visitation at a hearing. I have been fighting emotionally and the other side is going to use that against me if they can. And I think Margo sees me as a threat because his behavior would "escalate" if he knew she is keeping me away.
(2)
Report
lucky0115, Your question was buried on page 2 of the forum website so I am going to write something so that it will get to the "head of the line". I don't have any answers right now, but I will think about your problem and get back to you later.
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to DeeAnna
Report
lucky0115 Jun 23, 2018
Thank you
(1)
Report