Laws Protecting the Elderly

There are laws that are supposed to protect all people from the many types of abuse that they may suffer. There are special places for abused women and children to go live in safety. There are police reports and possible persecution for those who wrong women and children. Even in the case of man versus man, there are lawsuits that can be filed. The same is not true for the elderly, unless there are visual scars that they are suffering. Adult protective services is a great thing, but they are limited to the help that they will actually provide for an abused elderly person. They will step in if the person is suffering physical harm or being starved to death, but they cannot protect an elderly person from making a mistake. You can have a man, like Jack Parkinson, who was messed up on medication and suffering with a UTI, diagnosed with dementia and various other issues, but the laws, Adult Protective Services, will not help him regain control of the property that was stolen from him.

They will tell you that it is a legal issue. They will say we are sympathetic, but you need a lawyer. They will tell you that you should not be removed from the property because you are the only one there to care for the dementia patient, that the person needs and depends on you, but they will also tell you that their hands are tied. There is nothing that can be done by them. This means you need to have a lot of money in your pocket to fight for what is fair. If I had the money to fight for what is fair, I would have had him declared incompetent years ago. Which is also something that is messed up. Most people will tell you that dementia means you are not competent, but this is not always the case. A dementia patient can be considered competent, even if you look at the facts and know that he most likely isn’t thinking right at the time.

For example: A man, my father, turned down a lump sum cash in hand price offer for $60,000.00 for his property only 7 months before giving it away. That doesn’t make logical sense. He knew he could get money. He knew he would get enough money to never again have to worry about what he would need to live on for the rest of his life and he turned it down so that he could still struggle each month to live on $700.00? No. Normal thinking people do not make those kind of decisions. He worries every month about going broke. He worries constantly about having to watch the money that he spends. Why would he have chosen to struggle? His brother convinced him he could sign over the land and then have it back once the land taxes were paid off. His brother’s wife, now drives a new car because they got the $60,000 that should have been my dad’s, and he still struggles to survive each month. What laws protect him? The man had been messed up on Wellbutrin, he had a UTI and dementia, he had severe cataracts (he couldn’t read what he was signing), and a whole boatload of other things going on.

I search daily for a lawyer that will take his case. I don’t want to give up. But the sad truth is, it will break both me and my father to fight for what is right for him. I think that it is unfair. It would have cost well over $1500 to get him declared incompetent before a judge. If I had the money, I would have done that. Now, I have to come up with more to fix things that the government should protect him from.

I HOPE that by putting my dad’s story out there, the laws will change. There has to be more people putting an effort into protecting senior citizens. They deserve it. My dad has been robbed twice in less than two years. Nothing is being done about it. He wasn’t compensated when the woman stole from his bank account and that cost him nearly a grand and so far he isn’t being compensated for the pain and suffering his own family has caused him.