We are looking to find ways to tell our tragic story to help others, so they are not taken advantage of by heartless scammers. I’m an only child and my mother was Italian-born. In Italy it is considered shameful to the family to put a parent in a nursing home. When my father passed away in 1988, my husband and I took full care of my mother (who was 64 at the time and did not have dementia yet). My dad did everything for her in terms of paperwork and socializing and we were honoring a death bed promise to him in looking out for her. He was always concerned that she would be taken advantage of due to her naïveté.
My story revolves around a situation which is becoming more common as the population ages and the weak and sick elderly are exploited - both financially and personally. The reason for me reaching out to this community is because this very personal situation that occurred to my family needs to be made public. I'm looking to find the appropriate people or public media (writers, editors, investigative reporters) to help get this story out in the open. We are not looking to “make money” on a book, but rather increase awareness of what terrible things can happen to anyone. Any suggestions to find correct investigative media in the NJ/NYC area or nationally to help other potential victims and as a concerned citizen.
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 corrupt nursing facility put her touch with local attorneys who manipulated her and bilked her out of hundreds of thousands of dollars and a large portion of her estate. We fought hard to stop them, but they had powerful connections. My petition for legal guardianship as her only family went nowhere, and my family was 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 and judges 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 without rails (that her guardian arranged), alone and completely isolated from her family.
My hope in telling this is that I can connect with others who are facing the same type of 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 have contacted AARP but maybe a website like Caring.com is more appropriate, but I am unsure of who the appropriate contacts are and my goal is to contact a broader forum of the media and am not afraid to even be on a television show too. We are not a journalists or bloggers, just concerned caregivers. I have seen countless stories similar to mine lately in reputable magazines and papers such as The Atlantic, NY Times, Washington Post, etc and so elder exploitation and wrongful guardianship seems to be a rapidly growing concern with increasing occurrences. I have the basic story written up in a document that can be shared that has all the details and timelines.