One Year Ago As of March, … Tribute to the Year of Challenges

Dear readers,

While all my family will expect me to pay tribute to a grandmother I couldn’t even spend time with for ten years, I would like to also point out that it will have been a whole year since people expected me to bow down and kiss the ass of two very bigoted people. In the blindness community since then, I have seen a great awakening in the group of survivors of sexual abuse. I have also seen a great awakening within myself, especially because the people responsible for the bigotry and the death threat that culminated in months of being exploited on my end, and then the guys expected people to shut me down here on WordPress for defamation. One young lady in Australia tried to report the blog for defamation, but here’s the scoop on that. This woman in Australia is in Australia, not the United States, and has no knowledge of legal matters here. She has no business reporting my blog because she’s Australian, which has a different law structure, also it’s a different set of issues and different government. We have a bicameral legislation here and we have a President, and we elect just about everybody freely and fairly. What Australia does obviously isn’t my business, though I find their politics amusing. The point is that if you live outside the U.S., don’t go reporting my blog if you don’t know the subject material enough to understand why I wrote it.

As for Dirty Money on Netflix, some little weasel sued Netflix to get the segment on guardianship removed. I could have been told to take down the Right Wingnut Roundup, but guess what? Wes and Bill, the guys responsible for the accusations of defamation, can’t get a grip. They’re the bigots, they entertain the thought of police brutality, and my buddy Clayton could have been targeted by the U.S. or other countries for any number of reasons, but you chose to target me instead. Why is this? Probably because Wes and Bill perceived me as weak, but what they don’t get is that threatening people is against the law, illegal. I did not threaten, I only told the truth. It’s been a year since it happened, and since that year has passed, I’ll be darned if I have to change names again. Screenshots of conversations don’t lie, and I can’t alter the evidence, after all that would be tampering with it. Right?

to those who believe that I should be warehoused in a group home, denied the chance to see my partner, and otherwise honed in to guardianship, guess what? You’ve got something coming. Guardianship is evil, and I’ve been the victim of such. I was denied the chance to see those I cared about, and the minute someone finds out I’m in guardianship who’s a vision or blindness professional, my expectations in terms of DVR and professionals like that are lowered to the floor. DVR in Colorado won’t support my dream of being a musician, and I wanted training so I could produce and learn how to use the program Komplete Kontrol, I have the m32 midi setup but I had to uninstall much of it because of the space limitations on my drive and Big Sur. Ugh. But the biggest problem I have with DVR is the gender based stereotypical chores I was forced to do over all the others. I won’t be cooking or cleaning my living space for anyone but me, myself, and I and my partner and immediate family products, likely children and or pets. I’m not your maid, so I should say. The big thing I want to stress is that I’m not anyone’s nanny or handmaid, and if I had my skills abused by someone, it was likely my parents. They abused my talent for music, honed it in to church mass every Sunday, and expected me to stay Catholic and asleep.

The big thing bothering me is how people view me as a woke person, and let me tell you what woke is. When you’re woke, you’re awake. You have this sense of being yourself, that it’s okay to feel the feelings you have, that it’s okay to cry if you need to, laugh if you want to, all that. These bigots who censored the Netflix documentary and tried to kill me are not woke. These guys are asleep in the not so comfy embrace of conspiracy against me bullcrap and theories about woke culture that don’t fly and aren’t really in line with what’s acceptable. Even with Trump in office, I was woke. I”m still woke, still awesome, and I have a lot to say. As a woke person, I’m going to stay woke. I was given a very personal statement about the problems of “insane asylums”. One man puts it that woke culture is controlled by psychiatric patients not on medications. I don’t believe that for a split second. I’m on abilify, and I could have been on a ton of sedatives. I could have been on dangerous medications that made me drool all over myself, speak incoherently, and not know what is going on. I was on a mood stabilizer that caused a seizure, how’s that for scary. I don’t think institutionalization is a right and fair process, and even my friends think it’s okay for this to happen. It’s not. This man I speak of is blind and in his forties, but yet still doesn’t have a paid job, but lives with family. This same man could easily be targeted by someone and yet doesn’t know how awful the system is. As Rosamund Pike says in I Care A Lot, and let me paraphrase, she says she can put sedatives and all kinds of bad things in your food, deny you food, all that. And then she says, “I own you.” She’ll own you, this fictional guardian that Pike portrays in I Care A Lot. I watched that whole movie and wanted to jump through the screen and smash the whole system. As the action unfolded, things got really weird and wild. When one of the characters, Roman, is put to sleep on tranquilizers, the character of Marla goes “Sleep tight, motherfucker.” Wow, I thought, how damn heartless she was. Sleep tight, motherfucker, I want to say to those who don’t want to get woke and realize that guardianship is evil. If you side with evil, you’re not probably trying to read this blog. IF you’re going to read this, wake up, motherfucker. Wake the hell up. I could have been threatened with death by the lady I like to call Avilar Karen, and what I am about to tell you might startle you. It might not.

When the lady called me threatening me, she sided with evil. Wes had commented on this blog that “the guardianship your parents had in Florida was correct” among other things. I should have said this is a little paraphrase of what he said, but I spammed the comment because I needed readers to understand that the comment Wes wrote was sacreligious to me. Wes’s comment was deleted because it contained defamatory and ableist information about me that readers don’t need to or want to know. I blocked a young lady in Wisconsin for writing that it would be my parents’ business to terminate pregnancy if I got pregnant. That the guardianship was okay was not a misnomer on this young lady’s part. I blocked others for being evil, unfriended a few people’s pages for the very crime of banning me from speaking, silencing and retaliating against me for being myself. I can’t afford a criminal record, going to jail requiring the cash bale system. I hope that people understand that filing a police report against someone in Denver when you live in Iowa or somewhere else is wrong. Wes and Bill’s little stunt with my buddy Clayton hasn’t left me at all, and it could get worse. Here’s why I believe we need change and what we can do to make it happen.

We need change because believing ableist and evil things should be considered a crime, and some form of conspiracy against the disabled entitled white man should also be a thing to scrutinize. There are disabled assholes, I won’t doubt it. However, any disabled person who ginds subminimum wages favorable is a real asshole on I95. Jimmy Buffet, sing it buddy. If you don’t get the reference, it’s the Asshole Song, and Jimmy Buffet and his parrotheads sing this awesome song that pretty much talks about the bad driving on I95. Well, that’s what I compare government officials who favor the subminimum wages to. They are driving badly.

I also found an article in which Marjorie Taylor Greene pretty much mocked trans people. She should be expelled from Congress also because she’s a believer in the Q Anon group. Do you guys know how much that group tears apart families? There’s a guy in an article I read whose stuff was tossed outside and the mother threatened to have her son hurt. I have a message for those people who hinder progress and kick guys like that out of their home. Get your heads right and wake the hell up. Q Anon is a bad group, they’re terrorists, and you can’t negotiate with them. It’s people like that who hamper our efforts to change the nation to something acceptable for black and trans and disabled people.

IF you’re a government official who believes that I should be warehoused in jail for writing this, check your privilege at the door. Police brutality is a bad thing, and I don’t want my partner to die from that. If some cop in Aurora or Denver comes to my door, he should know that I’m not a good target. Trenton who loves me and supports me won’t support your targeting me. The guys who did this don’t realize that they’re going to lose everything if they mess with the wrong person. And they messed with the wrong girl. I don’t want to be put somewhere where I don’t belong. I want to have children, stay with Trenton, and live a happy and uncompromisingly normal life. To those of you who wish to target me, put down your guns and wake the hell up. But if you choose, well, if you choose evil, then sleep tight, motherfuckers. Don’t come crying to me if someone stabs you in the back, whether it’s with a needle or in the mind. Sleep tight, motherfuckers, don’t come crying to me if you’re just like Roman in the hospital with a tube stuck in your throat, or you are like me and get denied the chance to see your beloveds or the person you love. If you wanna wake up, then wake up. Just wake up and come to the front of the line and the middle of the circle. IF you want change, make it happen for the benefit of all, not just you entitled ones.

Beth

‘99% of the world has no idea’: inside the shocking legal guardianship industry | Film | The Guardian

Please watch this, I forgot to post the HRW thingy, but this is going on Netflix on Feb 19.

In dark Netflix thriller I Care a Lot, a predatory court appointed guardian wreaks havoc, a story that’s far closer to reality than one would expect
— Read on www.theguardian.com/film/2021/feb/17/99-of-the-world-has-no-idea-inside-the-shocking-legal-guardianship-industry

Letter to Government People in All Fifty States: If You Can’t Handle This, Put the Blog Down and Think

Dear Readers,

The following is something I found using the Human Rights Watch website. With the publicity of the #freebritney movement, HRW is noticing that guardianships are evil, bad, and wrong. Let me explain the evils of such, and if you are a government official reading this, let me explain how each of these parts of a guardianship is detrimental to your country’s citizenry, particularly those who are of protected classes like LGBTQ or women or persons with disabilities.

  1. Liquidation. Jamie Spears liquidated the hell out of his daughter Britney, weedling down her estate from over $300 million to just under $60 million in less than probably six months, but this is something I could have gone through. My parents would probably have sold a beginning student flute, absolutely they would have sold all my CD’s, thinking they were collector’s items or something like that. They could have liquidated my *Nsync bobbleheads and sold them all for a price. At auction, who knew what all those collector’s items would have gone for? And then, there go my parents, saying they are rich and can throw me away if they chose. But instead, since there was no trust and estate to weedle down to nothing, since there were no valuables to barter, no house to plunder, they just left the guardianship discharged as of December 2020. I never knew what was in their heads, but I thought I’d never see this day. We need to make all group homes liable in the cases of estate trafficking of disabled citizens of any country in the world. For example, you have a mentally ill or impaired boy who is twelve years old, labeled aggressive in school and all sorts of stuff pops up in his classes, and the kids bully and make fun of him. He can’t communicate the same way as other people, only speaks to you in metaphors, doesn’t give you a good firm grasp of reality from a glance, but you know he’s in touch with reality, and reality hits harder than anything. At eighteen, he’s guardianized by his caring mother in order to protect him from the abusive casework of the state, then let’s say the mother and younger brother both die one at a time because of life circumstances. This young man will be left to the care of a professional guardian who will weedle away his Special Needs trust, take the money and run, throwing him in a group home in the process. This situation is far too common as described to me by one activist I spoke with. What guardians often do is steal a child’s belongings or take the adult’s house and other things.
  2. Isolation. “You’re not allowed to talk to so and so.” “No phone for a week.” Those phrases I can’t help but wonder if others like myself are hearing all too often in their guardianship hells. Remember Katy, the young Orlando woman I wrote about here in this blog? Well, her phone did indeed get snooped on and snatched away for talking to a guy she liked. She was forcibly broken up with her boyfriend, a group home resident from Miami who truly wants a life away from the system. Katy was told no by her guardians, and this is how it happens. Isolation of the ward is a very big evil and favorite tactic of guardians seeking to please the judge and attorneys, besides the estate trafficking of course. Britney Spears had been so isolated from her boys, I wonder how she feels about seeing them now. She was stripped of custody of her two boys, and now she can’t even see them because of a guardian or conservator saying no, you won’t. This is not acceptable treatment for a ward of any state, a person with a disability, a human being whatsoever. I was told repeatedly that if I called Orien Henry, a friend from school, my phone would be taken away. This is called unacceptable treatment in a restrictive environment. The young man in the vignette above does not have to worry about this, but it could be a ticking time bomb if a professional such as Bessimore Trust was put in charge of the young man’s trust, care, and personal freedom. Parent as adversary is most common, and the favorite way to stoop the ward subject low in life is to isolate them. I was so isolated that by the time I got to Colorado Center for the Blind, I had to relearn blindness skills and how to talk to others, and ultimately was alienated from certain peer groups and in trying to get away from the immature group of folks, I had to get counseling. There were people at CCB who acted like it was high school, and I didn’t want to see that kind of thing, all that because I was in Titusville, seeing this same abhorrent behavior. I was also subjected to name calling, Islamophobia, and all kinds of abuse from my peer group because I chose to date a Somali boy. Well, I was also seeing a lot of antiimmigrant sentiments from most of the white folks in CCB and their ITP program, and I couldn’t really pin a label on it yet. Being isolated reminded me that the world was waiting for me to step out, but because I was isolated, bullying was what my peers chose to do. The NFB is a clearly Islamophobic organization and I didn’t even know it, but for me in isolation, it was either NFB or stay in isolation. I got through CCB and graduated, but then I was trying to make friends among Mosque attendees in Denver. The problem I saw was that any man interested in marrying me was a stranger, and I could have been further isolated. I left Islam not because of my ex, but because of the mentality of the brothers in most of the Islamic centers anywhere in the world, that women should be isolated from the men who were unrelated, making it impossible for me to get to know a potential husband in the community, and I wasn’t about to get barefoot and pregnant with just anyone, no matter what deity allowed me to love him. He had to be someone I could trust, someone with a disability so superiority was wiped out, and someone with talents and interests similar to my own. In Islamic circles, music is supposedly the call of the devil, but I wasn’t about to let a religious extremism insult my musical career. This was essentially the nail in the coffin for myself and my ex, and furthermore me and Islam. Allah didn’t like music, so I couldn’t be in a religious group that didn’t appreciate my music, and since Arabic was not a language I spoke, forget it. Isolation had a greater impact on who I chose to marry in the end. I met my husband online, and we met, but the relationship should have gotten slower and it felt like a whirlwind tour of Africa the way it was going before. But the thing was, we had to go to a marriage counselor, and because of the way I was called nasty sexual names that would not look nice in print, something about a dog in heat, I had to cut off someone who we both thought was friendly to us and our relationship. My husband insisted that his “sister” go to our wedding, but the pandemic changed that and her actions toward me changed everything between all of us. We no longer speak to her, and we can’t given her actions. She chose to abuse rather than uphold me. This happens oftentimes to women who are isolated, and isolation any further in Florida could have cost me my life.
  3. Overmedication. Another favorite evil tactic guardians use is overmedication. Guardians love it when a charge is sedated. They can also be dangerously close to allowing a perverted caregiver to seriously have sex with their charge if the charge is overmedicated. Most of the time, however, overmedicating someone leads to them obeying orders and looking on helplessly as their friends are taken away, their phones stolen, and other property pilfered. A guardian will overmedicate the ward so that they can’t participate in everyday activities like a relationship or group of friends, and then they will lie about the person’s condition in court. This is health trafficking as described to me by activists LuAnne Fleming and Rick Black. I want to thank these folks for opening my eyes big. Overmedication happened to me, and almost could have been worse. I had to take fistfuls of meds according to the Brevard County School system, and they wanted me to be sedate and pliant, but the antidepressants and mood stabilizers I was put on cost me many pounds of weight, a doctor saying I had to drink insure, which is a meal replacer, and worse, I had to be carried out of a room because my parents wanted to steal things from me. I was about done and tired of it. They had guardianship when I was seventeen because of false claims of sexual abuse, and they claimed Rico will have sex with me as described in prior blog postings. Rico never did this, so I am going to label that as a lie. The overmedicated me at sixteen was zoning out in chorus class, clinging to life as it should be, but then I didn’t care what happened. My parents were emotionally abusive and did not understand that their parenting was literally making me sick. The medication didn’t help. Worse, John E. McCarthy, the former psychiatrist who prescribed the medication, was later demoted and deprived of his medical license anyway because according to a headline in the Florida Today or some other paper, McCarthy was having sex with patients and was not taking care of alcoholism. The man didn’t do much good, and when I went to another psychiatrist, it was an older gentleman who later died. I was taking a lot of mood stabilizing drugs like Tryleptol, and I’m still taking an antipsychotic called Abilify. It’s not a drowsy med, but why I am taking it, there’s no real understanding here on the part of this patient writing it all down. When I was on the tryleptol, I also came down with a bladder infection while under the care of an Irish guy called Kensla, and Dr. Kensla found trace of white blood cells in my urine sample, so had to put me on yet another med, septra. Unfortunately, because I was on tryleptol, the septra didn’t play so nicely with the other medications in my bloodstream, and I had a very terrible seizure that brought an end to a graduation party from college. I was about to hold the party, it was all set up, when bells rang in my brain, and suddenly, I fell unconscious, and a buddy of mine called Josh called 911 on his cell. He was caring enough to recognize that I had a seizure and needed to go to the hospital. Five minutes later, I was on an ambulance at Parrish Medical Centre, a hospital in my hometown, and was being hovered over by nurses, doctors, and EMT’s. It was a scary situation, but the highlight of that was that I was also executed sort of. Want to know what happens when your potassium levels go to shits? The seizure was the effect of being executed while on death row, and yet my living room at that time was almost a death chamber. Thank God I am alive, but hearing the ER notes scared me half to death. My parents had to change the bladder infection meds, and gave me a salt booster and made me eat lots of junk food. Okay, that was fine, but why the medications in the first place? I was frail feeling, and I wished I wasn’t living with my family at that time. My dad did however leave me with a wise adage, “When you’re young, pile on the sodium but when you’re old, reduce it.”
  4. Visitation and cremation upon death. Visitations were indeed monitored by my guardians, and they limited times I could talk to people on the phone and used the phone as punishable bait, and like the vignettes above, it was hard. I didn’t get to visit favored relatives, so I can say none of them understand what they were faced with and if I died under guardianship, I might have been a collector’s item, my ashes sold at auction to a professional and left in her office. Oh, a note about the pronoun “her”. Most professional guardians who have killed their clients, the ones in the paper at least, were older women. I’m using the female pronouns for those people like Rebecca Farrel and Tracy Hudson. Tracy stole money from elders she was caring for, bought Tampa Bay Buccaneer football tickets and ordered DNR for some of her clients. Rebecca had some of her weakest clientele in her office as nothing but ashes. What would have happened to me? I might have been kept in an urn, just a bad tank full of ashes, ashes to ashes. My ashes wil have been scattered about, and my parents would not have cared one way or another and the professional guardian would have said, “Oh well, I did a DNR on your daughter because she was sick.” I call bullshit. Sickness doesn’t just happen, and the medications I was on might have made me experience tartiv disconesia which is a tremor in the nervous system that causes your arms and legs to shake a bit, or you could have involuntary movements of the tongue and such. These are the evils of guardianship, and if you are willing and able, and you’re a government official, there is more you can do for citizens in your countries.
  1. Illegalize all other forms of guardianship except for a child’s natural guardianship.
  2. Illegalize the trafficking of estates and possessions by people other than the owners of such assets as houses and cars. If anyone wants to go into the caregiving profession, demand criminal background checks for all involved.
  3. End the representative payee program for SSI recipients. It’s radical, but must be done. Clients from school age should be learning monetary skills anyway, but if they have intellectual disability, the program should be reformed so that others don’t have full control of their finances. Example, if Britney spears had SSI, her father would not be able to be her payee, not under my plan, and Britney would have full control of money and things, on top of which, if she had any reason to give out money, it would have to be for food and shelter purposes. Examples of this might include a caregiver going to her local grocery store on Britney’s behalf and bringing home food. I trust my caregiver to do this, but she is not I repeat not my payee. I don’t want a representative payee because they could easily spend that money, either mine or my partner’s, on drugs, cigarettes, luxury goods, whatever, against the partner’s wishes. If the child recipient needs a guardian to help with finances, that would work. My caregiver’s daughter is naturally her charge, and the caregiver is her mother, therefore her guardian by nature. In this way, the monetary stuff can be shared, and she may then use the SSI check to do the things she needs, but those needs must benefit the child. That is fine by me, but adults? Forget that.
  4. Create a world in your country where acceptance of all peoples with disabilities is mandatory. Include integrating disabled kids into regular school systems, protect disabled citizens from discrimination and don’t let females collect dust on the shelf labeled “to abuse.” Females are not to be guardianized on the basis of sex, right, Prince MBS? Women may not seem like your ideal personage, right, Yemen and Jordan? But think about this. Women in islam should be equal to men, and their roles in family life should be elevated, and moreover, we need to combat inequality for disabled women by allowing them to choose who they want to live with, marry, or be intimate with. I’m also talking to you, Dubai. Let your princess do what she wants, because of this whole British thing. The princess has a right to leave, so let … her … go. I’m sure the UN commissioner on human rights would have a field day if you killed her. So just do the right thing and let her go.
  5. Illegalize all forms of pseudoscience, and demand higher standards than ever in your medical schools. Doctors should learn what calmative drugs can be used for, how chemical restraint could lead to death, and other things. All medical doctors should be forced to agree with and comply with a serious form of the Hypocratic oath which should be amended to say that all patients with disabilities have rights, and should be treated with extra care should they request it. Chemical restraint is not the best interest of the patients, rather it is the best interest of the Devil, Death, and Evil guardianship Law. No doctor should be allowed to overdose a patient on medications like mood stabilizers where the patient is unable to express themselves. Antidepressants should be taken sparingly. Doctors should get inside their patients’ shoes as much as possible, even if they themselves are stil in med school. I’m calling on medical schools to teach psychiatrists better ways of handling desires from guardians to restrain their patients, and attorneys should not be a part of the medical equation at all.
  6. Take the attorney out of the equation of medical practices. Judges and lawyers with salacious histories should not be allowed to make any judgments on guardianships. No judge should ever be a judge or attorney unless they learn that playing dirty games is not something to do on behalf of someone or their estate. Attorneys should never file motions to declare someone incompetent for blindness, and all law students in a school like the Florida State law School should be required by law in all areas to learn about disability law, practice with disability lawyers, and should be required to either uphold a code of ethics upon graduation or lose their jobs, and be investigated by ethics committees. Colorado has a salacious history of judges and lawyers being bratty and saying and doing sexist things, so we need to further amplify the need for more ethical individuals in law professions.

Thank you for reading this and I hope that in doing the reading, you are listening to your inner selves, creating a vision of a world free of guardianship abuse and conservators who pilfer assets and other things from people because they have a disability.

Beth

Alternatives to Guardianship: Why It Doesn’t Work, And What We As A Community Can Do About It

Dear readers,

I was the victim and survivor of guardianship abuse as done to me by my own parents. I have been on two shows talking about this thing, this monster that is attacking our elderly and disabled people. Let me explain further why we need to discuss alternatives.

Rod, age 86, is an elderly man who once rode into Bike Week, but now he’s been diagnosed with Dementia. He needs lots of care, twenty-four-seven care, so that he doesn’t wander outside and do various weird and dangerous things to the outside world. Should Rod be guardianized?

Catherine, age 94, has been spilling the beans, gossiping about her own family to some people, wandering outside, forgetting where she is and what she’s doing,, forgetting the big picture. She needs twenty-four-seven care to make sure she has food cooked properly in her kitchen, coffee in her pot, and needs medications to control other physical symptoms. Should Catherine be guardianized?

These vignettes are not the only ones. Take out the names, replace them with younger disabled people and their names and symptoms, and think clearly. Guardianship, as defined by law, is supposed to be a working relationship between a person and their vulnerable family members. However, let’s try a different vignette for this exercise.

Britney, age 21, wants to raise her boys on her own without much help with the day to day things she needs done. She has been on drugs and has gotten a DUI. She was admitted to the hospital twice, was stripped of custody of her two sons, and later put in a conservatorship costing upwards of hundreds of thousands of dollars a month. She has become an ATM machine for her father, ex husband, and sons. Should Britney continue in her guardianship conservatorship?

Think about these vignettes. Britney, now aged 36 or thereabouts, or even older, should not be guardianized. Neither should Catherine or Rod. What is the commonality between these vignettes? All of these people are potential victims of guardianship related abuse. Catherine’s daughter is the only thing she has to care for her, and because of the crappy healthcare system we all live with, she doesn’t have the circle of supports necessary to live in her home. However, should there really be talk of nursing homes, assisted living, or anything else? Catherine, a woman of color in her 90s, should not be in any way placed in assisted living or nursing care because of the disproportionate number of abuse cases and the restrictions on visits due to covid 19. Rod, on the other hand, has a circle of support he needs to stay within the boundaries of his being. Britney, as everybody should know, has had her wealth stolen from her, ruined and defiled. Guardianship could also kill someone. See the next paragraph for more.

There is a book called Guardianships and the Elderly: the Perfect Crime, written by Sam J. Sugar, who has been through this dance for years. However, no volumes are available that cover the #freebritney movement or the plight of young and disabled guardianship survivors and victims. What are the results of such a book? Many people are aware of this evil, and they know it attacks our elders and most vulnerable, but it also goes after the healthy and wealthy like Britney.

What can we as a community do to stop this monster from attacking our elders and disabled folks? Here are a few ways we can discuss alternatives.

Let’s take the first step. Who can care for your elderly parent while you’re at work? IF your son or daughter doesn’t live near enough to the elder parent or grandparent, you might want to arrange for a babysitter for elderly people, better known as a caregiver or nurse, to come in and help your disabled or elderly family relative. There are many resources you can use, including a person centered approach. For Rod, he and his elderly counterparts need care that includes memory and other sorts of support and drilling to make sure his brain is working properly. He will also need a place to relax, chosen by him, that allows visitors and doesn’t have a high abuse and turnover rate. Nursing homes have that problem. While there are many dedicated nurses and doctors out there, yes, I’m talking to you front line people, there are still many more people in nursing homes who steal from elderly patients and liquidate their assets. This must be curbed and put in check.

A medical power of attorney is a way to do medical decisions without taking away vital rights, including that of voting, marriage, and social affairs. Elders need to be able to socialize so when Catherine gets isolated, why not take her to a recreational facility for elders or an adult day center? She can do things at the place, eat, hang out, and talk to others in her situation. Easter Seals offers adult day center care for disabled and elderly people, and if she cannot be at home, your elderly grandma or mother could benefit from the dedicated people at Easter Seals. They also have done things for kids, but still check out the benefits of elder socialization, letting your elderly charge take the wheel and have friends, hang out with people, and give others the chance to live. Statistics show that isolation can lead to early death among dementia patients, elderly Alzheimer’s disease patients, and many other elders. Hats off to the Japanese women living together at 95 years of age, not going anywhere, and hanging out with other elders in Japan. Japan has some of the best eldercare options in the world, and the most centenarians registered there. The Japanese respect their elders, as do so many other Asian cultures. However, the Western European principle applies here in North America, dump your elders in a nursing home and forget about them. This is bad not only for the person who does it, but for the elderly person themselves.

Younger people in nursing homes also will face abuse. Let’s take Britney for example. She cannot use her wealth much, and her father has hijacked her assets, and she could end up in a group or nursing home at age 70 or so. Her father will have been dead by then, and Britney will have no supports except her sons, who are young and want to live their own lives. What we need here is a cultural shift in attitude about the elders and disabled people. Even the Japanese have deemed blindness a curse from the gods, but what’s odd and ironic is that they put Braille on soda cans and guide strips on all the concrete floors of subway stations. I wonder if there is a possible cultural liberation of blind and disabled people in Japan going on. Elders in Japan, like I said, get the best treatments and care. Family is always around and the elders are a source of wisdom.

We as a community must learn to treasure our elders, even if they do have dementia symptoms and Alzheimer’s Disease. One thing we must do for our elders is reminisce with them about growing up. For example, I worked in a nursing home surrounded by elderly and infirmed or vulnerable people. I was able to play songs they all loved, and I was in charge of playing a lot of songs. My piano skills were pushed to the limits, but these people loved music, and some of the Alzheimer’s patients were ballroom dancers, so if you took their hand, they’d dance with you. Glenn Campbell is a famous example of a musician with Alzheimer’s Disease who died recently a couple years back. Mr. Campbell was so incoherent at speaking and remembering things, but he had it all in his head how to play the guitar, and he still played his guitar even after he was almost to death’s door. Music has that power to heal and make people feel good. If there is such a thing in Denver, I’d recommend the Good Memories Choirs. It’s a bunch of elders who sing in a choir, mostly old songs of course, but it helps them remember things. Catherine, for example, grew up in a time when lots of swing and big band jazz was played. The Great Depression and the years after that were full of great music, but most younger people would be darned if they had to learn Come Josephine In My Flying Machine, In the Good Old Summertime, and many other old favorites. So many younger kids aren’t learning music, just singing that annoying Baby Shark song that gets into everybody’s heads. That isn’t appropriate for a few reasons: it’s too repetitive and it uses the same words, even sometimes children’s songs don’t use words these days. Another way to bring back the liveliness of a discussion with an elderly grandparent and or parent, try singing songs they remember. Helen, age 72, from Florida, for example, might hear a song she remembers hearing from church at a nursing home, and it lifts her spirits up. My great grandmother, who I never even met, had many hymns she remembered from her church days, but I played many other songs on the piano that would get these people singing, remembering, all that stuff. If not that, try cooking a popular dish from that period of time.

Leaving our elders isolated and alone is not the answer, but what if your elder is deemed crotchety and frankly negative? There are ways to combat negative energy I could focus on in another blog post, but here’s something to remember: it is frustrating to adjust to any change when you’re older, finding out you can’t even cook for yourself, finding that you burn things, do things differently, can’t remember your grandchild’s name. Put yourself in your elder’s shoes. Rose, who died at age 93, could not remember whether I could do my hair on my own. I called her my Mimi. She was the only relative I could truly be myself with, and I looked forrward to her $5 gifts every birthday, and she would say, “Get whatever you want with that money.” I’d save it for lunch, as $5 would not get you much monetary things to begin with, except for lunch at school. Rose Gravina was the only relative I ever thought would even answer me when I was alone, and I gave her that opportunity to be herself. We had many a fine day together, but I wish I had asked her questions about her married life, when she got married, and her life in the roaring twenties. The 1920s was pretty much the teenage years and beyond for Rose, and she did end up getting married and having children, like any other woman would be expected to do that in her day. My father had been devastated when she died, walking into my room the night before I was supposed to leave for university in Tallahassee. I ended up not being able to attend Rose’s funeral because of college, and she would have wanted me to continue playing the piano and going to college. I will talk about end of life things in another post as well.

So what if your younger disabled family member drives you nuts and you perceive them as unable to handle life itself? So whawt if you had the guardianship discussion with your spouse or partner, your other children, but did not include your family member? Stop what you are doing, and put the pen and paper down. guardianship is hard to get out of once you get in, and it’s like quicksand, always grabbing you and pulling you in. It’s like a magnet and superglue and many other things I could say things about. However, think about alternatives first. For all of the elders in the vignettes, it should be clear that medical decisions can be removed through a durable power of attorney but not guardianship. Guardianship is too extreme on all circumstances, even Britney Spears, whose vignette appears above. So what if you are not a fan of Britney? I can relate because her father took advantage of the poor woman, and how she gets out I don’t know if we’ll ever see that.

I’d like to dedicate this post here to all the victims and survivors of guardianship abuse. Please feel free to take these steps to heart when you are caring for an elder or a disabled person. If a disabled person is so developmentally disabled that talking and doing various things isn’t an option, still, think about medicine. Love your family members with no conditions attached. Give selflessly to others, and when you yourself are older, you can do what you need to in order to make sure your affairs are taken care of. Do not let the courts decide who your family or your relative’s family can see.

Beth