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 guardianship 
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Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2011 3:14 pm
Posts: 36
Post Re: guardianship
My lawyer just called. He has read the MDE. It is very much in our favor and shows that mom needs Guardianship of the person. I am going with my daughter to read it tomorrow. It is going to be really tough to read what she says about me according to the lawyer. The psychologist had already warned me. Thank goodness I have read the wonderful books recommended here. I realize that she does not believe she has any problems and that I am the problem. THe hearing is next week. Thanks for listening.

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Mom 87 in AL with LBD diagnosed one year ago, Dad 87 in AL with AD diagnosed 6 years ago


Thu May 31, 2012 4:47 pm
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Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2009 1:46 pm
Posts: 3213
Location: WA
Post Re: guardianship
You'll be in my thoughts and prayers! Hope it goes smoothly.

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Pat [68] married to Derek [84] for 38 years; husband dx PDD/LBD 2005, probably began 2002 or earlier; late stage and in a SNF as of January 2011. Hospitalized 11/2/2013 and discharged to home Hospice. Passed away at home on 11/9/2013.


Thu May 31, 2012 4:54 pm
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Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 1:46 pm
Posts: 4811
Location: SF Bay Area (Northern CA)
Post Re: guardianship
I'm glad you have some family support during this stressful time!


Thu May 31, 2012 6:31 pm
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Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2010 9:33 pm
Posts: 3437
Location: Vermont
Post Re: guardianship
K- when you read outrageous things that your mom said, remember, it's not your mom talking, it's her disease. You may need to say something like that as a mantra until you really believe it! I wish you the best, and hope you can do everything possible to not take hurtful words personally. It's the disease, it's the disease, it's the disease..... Let us know how this turns out. I'm betting someone else on this forum can benefit from your experiences. Lynn

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Lynn, daughter of 89 year old dad dx with possiblity of LBD, CBD, PSP, FTD, ALS, Vascular Dementia, AD, etc., died Nov. 30, 2010 after living in ALF for 18 months.


Fri Jun 01, 2012 8:50 am
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Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2011 3:14 pm
Posts: 36
Post Re: guardianship
The testing has shown that mom is borderline incompetent, but delusional. The psychologist recommended that they give me guardianship because she would continue to deteriorate and her plan to care for herself is totally unrealistic. The hearing was supposed to be yesterday, but we all arrived and mom called the court and told them she wanted to come. Several weeks ago she said she did not want to be there. So, the hearing was postponed. Now, I just do not know what to do. Mom is insisting that Dad come as well. His outbursts are becoming such a problem that the interim guardian has requested that security is present to deal with him. I am going to refuse to allow him to come, but I am thinking that since she was able to figure out how to call the court and request being present, that maybe she is competent. So, I'm really thinking of dropping her competency hearing and waiting until things get worse.

Mom has never wanted my help and never wanted me around. I really think it would be for the best if she is just on her own. I think that her sister will drive up to get her and take her wherever she wants to go. It sounds so harsh, but I truly think that this can only get worse. The lawyer that the court appointed for her thinks nothing is wrong with her so I would be fighting her as well. The Interim Guardian thinks she is totally irrational and delusional. My lawyer thinks it will be up to the judge as to who is most believable. We have just increased her Excelon Patch and she is doing really well. I think she will do great when questioned so I really see no alternative other than to drop the entire thing. At first, I was really sick about leaving her on her own, but it is what she would have wanted if she was thinking clearly and is what she wants now. She can never come back to our house and there are no other siblings. She only has the one sister who is also showing signs of memory issues. What a mess! Thanks for listening and for all the encouragement you have given. In so many ways, Dad's Alzheimers is so much easier to deal with.

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Mom 87 in AL with LBD diagnosed one year ago, Dad 87 in AL with AD diagnosed 6 years ago


Thu Jun 07, 2012 11:17 am
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Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2010 9:33 pm
Posts: 3437
Location: Vermont
Post Re: guardianship
So does this mean if your mom goes with her sister (or wherever she goes by herself) you would be the guardian of your dad and you'd be able to help him better because she wouldn't be interfering with his care?
What does your atty. think? If she wants to go on a downward spiral by herself despite your best intentions, that may be what has to happen, but I hope if you drop the guardianship she won't interfere with your trying to take care of your dad. This must be such a nightmare for you. I hope you have lots of local support. Lynn

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Lynn, daughter of 89 year old dad dx with possiblity of LBD, CBD, PSP, FTD, ALS, Vascular Dementia, AD, etc., died Nov. 30, 2010 after living in ALF for 18 months.


Thu Jun 07, 2012 4:16 pm
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Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 1:46 pm
Posts: 4811
Location: SF Bay Area (Northern CA)
Post Re: guardianship
I'm sorry for your situation. I'm surprised that you would give up the competency hearing but only you are qualified to make the right decision for you.


Thu Jun 07, 2012 10:42 pm
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Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2011 3:14 pm
Posts: 36
Post Re: guardianship
Today my lawyer called. The judge was so sympathetic to what this might do to my dad that they are going to have the hearing at the Assisted Living!! I could not believe it. The Assisted Living has agreed to allow us to use the conference room. So, the hearing is a go on Tuesday.

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Mom 87 in AL with LBD diagnosed one year ago, Dad 87 in AL with AD diagnosed 6 years ago


Fri Jun 08, 2012 7:42 pm
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Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2010 9:33 pm
Posts: 3437
Location: Vermont
Post Re: guardianship
Hang in there, you'v made it this far. Stick to your guns and do what has to be done to protect your dad. We are all here for you and hope things go the way that will be best for you and your dad. That's so nice that the judge was so understanding - you are very lucky that that happened! Let us know how it all turned out. Lynn

_________________
Lynn, daughter of 89 year old dad dx with possiblity of LBD, CBD, PSP, FTD, ALS, Vascular Dementia, AD, etc., died Nov. 30, 2010 after living in ALF for 18 months.


Fri Jun 08, 2012 9:43 pm
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Joined: Thu Apr 21, 2011 9:07 pm
Posts: 247
Post Re: guardianship
We'll be thinking of you and hoping for the best!

It sounds like the judge is mindful already of the challenges families face in dealing with dementia and with other potential mental health issues. This is probably not surprising given how common dementia is. Also, with such drastic cuts to mental health care and community resources, the court system is seeing more and more cases where untreated or difficult-to-treat mental illness plays a big role. I'd think that any judge with some experience and some intelligence and some compassion would have tried to learn more about these issues and would be mindful of the pitfalls. Hope your judge will help to find a kind, compassionate, and thoughtful resolution.

Laurel

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Laurel - mother (97) diagnosed April, 2011, with LBD; died May, 2014.


Sat Jun 09, 2012 1:52 pm
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Joined: Sun Aug 29, 2010 5:46 pm
Posts: 610
Post Re: guardianship
Laurel, judges rely on the opinions of the medical or psychiatric experts when it comes to adjudicating parties with mental illness. Judges doing their own research on mental illness (i.e. trying to "learn more about these issues") and making decisions based on their own lay interpretations of what they read would not lead to sound decisions under the law. They need the input of experts.

Moreover, trying to learn on their own would expose judges' decisions to appeal and potential reversal by higher courts. This doesn't help the litigants or the judicial system as a whole.

It sounds like you have a good idea until one applies it to how the law and the courts work. That said, one always hopes for an intelligent, thoughtful, kind and compassionate judge.

Julianne


Sat Jun 09, 2012 4:58 pm
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Joined: Thu Apr 21, 2011 9:07 pm
Posts: 247
Post Re: guardianship
Thanks for the clarification, Julianne - evidently I didn't express myself very well! You are, of course, very right that judges need to have a proper evidentiary basis for decisions.

As a professional in the medical field, of course I very much hope that the judge will rely on the expert opinions presented. But it is a lot easier for judges to understand and balance the expert testimony (especially when they may get evidence from people with differing views) if they are familiar with the language used, and have some prior experience in the general area. I am of course more familiar with the issues in presenting technical evidence about medical and epidemiological studies, and it's just a lot easier to do this if you don't need to start from 8th grade math and science!

When I first started working in dementia research 25 years ago, AD was generally thought to be a very rare condition, quite different from "ordinary senility". Public awareness has certainly changed - in part due to work of our research groups - and I expect this has also changed the context in which judges and attorneys consider issues of competence in the elderly. When my parents decided to make legal arrangements for POA a year ago, their attorney and I had a pretty careful discussion about my mother's competence for such a decision. I was relieved that we didn't have to go to court, but it would probably have been straightforward. It was also clear that the discussion both with the attorney and in court would have been very different 25 years ago - everyone's baseline of understanding has shifted. The law is the same, and the need for experts and careful balancing of professional opinion is the same, as you point out, but you don't have to convince anyone any more that dementia is common...

Laurel

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Laurel - mother (97) diagnosed April, 2011, with LBD; died May, 2014.


Mon Jun 11, 2012 3:20 pm
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Joined: Sun Aug 29, 2010 5:46 pm
Posts: 610
Post Re: guardianship
By way of clarification, Laurel, my point was specifically that judges should only consider what is properly in evidence before them in regard to a particular matter, not extrinsic research or information of which they may be aware. Of course, they don't live in a vacuum and they have general awareness of the world and they have their own life experiences, but that's not what they are supposed to use to decide a particular matter. And unfortunately, attorneys cannot assume the scientific sophistication of any court and we have to get our experts to lay the foundation of their opinions scientifically, from eighth grade if necessary, as dry as it may be in a court proceeding, even though dementia is much more a topic of conversation everywhere than it used to be.

Yes, things are different now. And actually, the law is not the same. For instance, the laws protecting the incompetent are generally geared much more toward protecting their individual rights, as opposed to the rather paternalistic systems that existing three or more decades ago, under which could be surprisingly easy to whisk someone into guardianship of the person or estate with little or no notice or opportunity to be heard.

Julianne


Mon Jun 11, 2012 5:56 pm
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Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2011 3:14 pm
Posts: 36
Post Re: guardianship
Guardianship hearing was this morning. Received guardianship of mom.

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Mom 87 in AL with LBD diagnosed one year ago, Dad 87 in AL with AD diagnosed 6 years ago


Tue Jun 12, 2012 9:53 pm
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Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2010 9:33 pm
Posts: 3437
Location: Vermont
Post Re: guardianship
Wow - that is good. It's not going to be easy, but at least you did get guardianship. So what does this mean for your dad? Does that automatically mean you also legally represent him or what? I sure hope things are going to be straightened out for you so you can better help both of them. Did your mom go with her sister? Lynn

_________________
Lynn, daughter of 89 year old dad dx with possiblity of LBD, CBD, PSP, FTD, ALS, Vascular Dementia, AD, etc., died Nov. 30, 2010 after living in ALF for 18 months.


Tue Jun 12, 2012 9:56 pm
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