Pennsylvania families lose rights to care for seniors under lax law
Youth soccer shoes pennsylvania is fourth in the country in terms of its elderly population, and as the state’s more than 3.3 million baby boomers join the elder ranks, state courts and welfare systems will be put to the test. Guardianships are especially open to abuse because there is little regulation or oversight.
Examining guardianship is a priority in the state, with both the Pennsylvania Department of Aging and the Supreme Court of New soccer cleats onlien Pennsylvania conducting studies. While guardianships are needed for those who can no longer care for themselves, they also require individuals to surrender all their rights in some cases to a total stranger. in 2011. In Pennsylvania, the courts decided more than 30,000 guardianship cases between 2000 and 2011.
Carpenter said she was elbowed out of being her mother’s caregiver because of a feud with her brother. youth soccer shoes She is not alone.
Guardians are often appointed for the elderly or disabled because of family squabbles. And for many, the conflicts are never resolved.
In Carpenter’s case, an orphans’ court judge in Indiana County appointed Distinctive Human Services, a nonprofit agency in Johnstown, as Mary Little’s guardian.
From there, an agency caseworker had the power to decide where she lived, what she ate, what medical treatment she received, and who she saw.
Ellen Hamilton, executive director of Distinctive Human Services, said all the measures taken were in Little’s best interest and that Carpenter is now allowed supervised visits.
“You’ve got an elderly, frail woman who’s being torn between children, who has had her life turned upside down and thrown all about the neighborhood, Hamilton said. “She doesn’t know how to make this controversy end,
Some cases reviewed by PublicSource, an online investigative news group in Pittsburgh, show the difficulties that guardianships often bring. According to court documents and personal accounts:
late 2007, two of Rita Denmark’s children filed for guardianship of their mother in different states one in Pennsylvania, where Rita was a lifelong resident, another in Florida. The dispute came to a head while Denmark, who has dementia, was visiting her son in Florida. Attorneys suggested an independent guardian serve for a short time. Now, Denmark has been a ward of a guardian in Port Orange, Fla, for more than five years. Her daughter, Holly Peffer of McKean County, has been trying to bring her 82 year old mother home. The guardian has billed nearly $94,000 from Denmark’s estate. “I had no idea how dangerous guardianship was, Peffer youth soccer shoes said.
people brought Grace Connors, who was suffering from dementia, from California to Pennsylvania in 2001. One of them obtained a fraudulent power of attorney to control her assets. Daughter Mary Claire Connors, who had cared for her mother in California, traveled east to reclaim her, but a Luzerne County judge appointed a nonprofit agency as guardian. Mary Claire Connors said that, under guardianship, her mother’s estate was depleted and she was not allowed to visit without supervision. She New soccer cleats onlien said she spent at least $100,000 and went bankrupt trying youth soccer shoes to get her mother back. Grace Connors died in 2006 at age 85. Guardianship, her daughter said, is “ownership of a human being. There is no escape,
can also occur when the guardian is a family member. Shelley Kuziak of Columbia County said she was the primary caregiver for her mother, Miriam Kuziak, for several years. But Kuziak’s sister became guardian in 2006. The sisters’ opinions on how to care for their mother differed. Kuziak said she repeatedly fought in court for visitation after being accused of coercing her mother to accept medical treatment. She said she was not permitted to visit her mother in the years leading up to her 2008 death at age 77 youth soccer shoes.