Follow
Share

I have a personal situation that’s occurred to my family over a period of about 5 years. In the final years of her life, my mother, who suffered from dementia, fell victim to financial abuse by the very nursing home caregivers we had trusted to keep her safe and comfortable. The nursing facility put her in touch with local attorneys who manipulated her and bilked her out of thousands of dollars and a large portion of her estate. We fought hard to stop them, but they had powerful connections. My petition with the county court for legal guardianship as her only family went nowhere, and my family is unsure where to turn when the system is so irreparably broken. The last few years of my mother’s life were fraught with watching the attorneys separate her completely from her family, until they fought for, and won legal guardianship, only 22 days before her death. She died alone in the nursing home, having fallen from her bed, completely isolated and alienated from her close family. My hope in telling my story is that I can connect with others who are facing the same type of unimaginable situation with their loved ones. There are unscrupulous people who prey on the elderly, and I would love to help at least one person or family avoid the same heartache we fought to keep happening from my mother. I would be happy to go public with my story to the media, but am not sure where to start, as I'm not a journalist or a blogger. Just a concerned caregiver who wishes to help others

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Find Care & Housing
ship2shore, sounds like Guardianship was done because there was no Power of Attorney. Am I correct that your Mom never had appointed anyone to be her POA?

Therefore the Guardian managed financial matters, living arrangements and medical care decisions for your Mom, same as a Power of Attorney. Did your Mom not want to bother with a POA or was Mom's memory too limited for her to assign someone? Or just a matter that she nor the family even knew that a POA would be needed?

I am just so curious how the family was left out of Guardianship proceedings, especially since your Mom had a family. And how did the State take so much of your Mom's estate?

This whole situation is so very complex and so stressful.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Another article on horrible scams against the elderly - in this case, their own family. aarp.org/money/scams-fraud/info-2018/family-fraud.html
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

To freqflyer : My mother was private pay, so the nursing home (who diagnosed her with Dementia of the Alzheimer's Type and Bipolar I) said she needed to be in a memory care unit. There was no Medicare or Medicaid involved. We negotiated a specific rate and then suddenly the night before she was admitted, the room suddenly was taken by someone ahead of her, moving up from Assisted Living and they said she would have to be in a different room that was almost double in price, conveniently. They claimed they would not charge her the difference, but since I could not get that in writing, they did anyway. The facility claimed she was eligible for VA Aid and Attendance and Hospice they would help with all the paperwork. They never did that either. What they did do was connect her up with one of the two corrupt attorneys across the street from them, that basically spoke Italian with her, invited her to their house for Thanksgiving and successfully brainwashed her and completely isolated her from our family (I'm an only child, so no rival siblings or other family). These lawyers were able to convince an inexperienced judge that she was 'unequivocally competent" and we could not obtain guardianship. They also kept her isolated from the family by intimidation and our phone calls and visits were completely prevented for three years. Ironically the lawyer did eventually get guardianship in a second court hearing and me and my three adult children were not considered. By the most of her money had been spent on the $9000/month room, multiple unnecessary surgical procedures, ambulance trips back and forth to the hospital and most of all - their monumental and ridiculous legal expenses over the three years that she supposedly did not need a legal guardian, but as her "conservators". I tried the NJ Law Ethics Board (other lawyers sit on this board), Attorney General's office and Ombudsman's Office and they don't want to get involved when it is considered "civil" although all of them recognized that the system is broken and the best route for me is going public via the press. Suing other lawyers for malpractice has to come from their client, which we are not. And my mother with dementia passed away in 2016, so she as a client would never sue what she called "her new family". And after spending over $100k of my own personal money on ElderCare attorneys, unless I can find an attorney who works on contingency, it becomes an expensive and heart-breaking exercise in futility. So the only way that I can help others from going through this is going public with my story. I have the truth on my side and plenty of solid documentation to avoid slander or libel however.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Yes I agree putting your ducks in a row is perfect idea. I'll request information via email then if no response I'll go forward
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

ship2shore, may I ask who was paying for your Mom's care in the nursing home? Was Mom self-pay then she had to use Medicaid to pay for her room/board and care? Maybe that is the reason that Medicaid was using your Mom's money. And later why your Mom became a guardian of the State. Who was your Mom's Power of Attorney?

Another question, why was no family member allowed in to see your Mom during her final weeks?

One has to be very careful about making a public complaint. You need to have all your ducks in a row and a paper trail. You don't want to be hit with action of damaging the good reputation of someone; slander or libel.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

For the Nursing Home deficiencies report them to CMS and file a complaint. This will trigger an immediate survey from the State regulatory agency which determines if the NH is compliant with Medicare regulations. Look on your State website & search for in State Government Ask at the State level that you need to speak with the department that surveys NH & Long Term Facilities. If your patient does not have Medicare I still think they can submit a complaint through that office.
For lawyers, maybe file a formal Bar Complaint or take him to court if he is acting like a criminal.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Ship, the standard route for complaining about attorney misbehavior is the state bar association, which handles grievances against attorneys. Be aware, though, that determined (if not financially vicious) attorneys may strike back. So be sure that your claims are well documented so you're not sued for slander or libel in retaliation.

That would also be a consideration for press involvement.

AARP Bulletin features articles on families abused and/or exploited by the care and legal system.

I'm sorry to read about this sad situation, and the breach of ethics and standards, but I know from experience that this kind of egregious behavior is unfortunately true.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Go to the press. Try whoever your local investigative reporter is or you might even try to see if you can interest some of the national investigative news shows.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.