Monday, February 8, 2016

 
TEXAS LAW ON ELDER ABUSE IS A MESS
 
The year and a half I have been managing my brother's affairs I have learned so much about elder abuse and the legal system.  On October 18 and 20th of 2015, my brother had two different neurological events caused by the lesions on his brain.  He has yet to see a specialist.  Why? his wife got him so upset he refused be to transported.  She is convinced if he leaves the nursing home for medical care he will not come back.  In March of 2015, under threat of a lawsuit the nursing home gave him something to calm him so they could transport him.  The MRI showed significant damage since the previous brain MRI.  M.D. Anderson actually has a Director of Neurofibroma.  My brother can afford $7,000 a month for a posh nursing home in Houston, about two hours south from where he is.  His doctor will be Dr. Slopis. .  The wife refuses to let him go.
 
Texas has a law which allows the probate judges to assign disabled people a guardian.  I used the law to have a professional guardian appointed.  What a mistake.  I believed a professional guardian will keep family out of it on both sides, which seems best.  Now we have three lawyers billing down my brother's estate with no end in sight.  I thought we had it settled when I told the court the family would take no action if a professional guardian is appointed.  It seemed everyone agreed. 
 
My role is very limited.  The law provides the spouse and then family have to be considered before a professional guardian.  The wife has refused to undergo a psychological evaluation as ordered by the court, so she is out.  She has not managed any of her own affairs in over a year.  She cannot even get the nursing home to put her back on physical therapy.   She has edema which can lead to congestive heart failure.  Lasix is not a good option for her because of her kidneys.  So the key is physical therapy and a small dosage of Lasix.  I have been through this with two seniors who died because by the time they got the treatment they needed it was too late.
 
With my sister in law out of the picture a brother or sister is next.  To prevent discord between the two families I informed the court a professional guardian would be best. 
 
My brother cannot walk of use his hands to feed himself.  According to national reports the nursing home he is in is one of the worst in the state of Texas.  Only a guardian can move him, since the wife is convinced this nursing home is the best in the world.  To keep her from wasting away because she will not eat the food, they give her several high calorie shakes a day. 
 
Because my brother cannot feed himself he has lost over 50 pounds.  They will not feed him.  Sometimes my sister in law wheelchairs herself over to his room and tries and feed him.
 
His diapers are so soaked you can see his genitalia through his diapers.
 
He fell out of bed about 10 times.  It took threat of a lawsuit to get him taken to the ER - he had a fractured him.  I notified the nursing home of the claim, and their lawyer called me and demanded I move him.  I could not move him because they had already told all the nursing homes in the area he is high risk.  The posh nursing home in Houston will take him and his wife tomorrow.  In fact it will be cheaper than what they are paying now.
 
When I could not move him, and the wife refused to move to Houston, the nursing home refused to submit his monthly insurance claim with TRICARE.  All stroke patients are considered skilled nursing, which means TRICARE pays 100%.  I filed a complain against the nursing home with TRICARE and they were ordered to submit the month claims. 
 
They thought if my brother had to pay out of his own money he would move.  Trust me he would have been moved a year ago if it were not for the wife.  So to intimate the wife they took her off of physical therapy thereby ending the TRICARE insurance for the nursing home.  She now pays nearly $4,000 a month.  The Houston posh nursing has agreed to put her back on TRICARE, which means she will pay only $3,000 a month.  If you minus her social security it will mean just over $2,000 a month from their savings.  They can both live to be a 100 and not run out of money.  But she says no and in  fact will tell you she is not paying for the nursing home.  I can assure you she is.  I have a complaint with TRICARE for her since her daughter refuses to fight.
 
I have documented endless physical, financial, and emotional abuse of my brother.  I personally witnessed a nurse cursing him out for complaining so much about being in pain.  That is when I threatened them with a lawsuit if they did not take him to the ER to have his hip checked.  Yes sir, he had a fractured hip.
 
I control the money.  Because of fraud by one of the attorneys the bank put all of the money with the Registry of the Court.  Only the judge can authorize use of the money for essential payments.  Unless it is essential I will not agree to any money being withdrawn.
 
The chief of police actually had to send an ambulance to get my brother after his last two strokes because the nursing home refused to call for an ambulance or doctor.  Unfortunately, once they saw the police and ambulance outside, they so upset my brother it became too dangerous to move him.  The in house doctor refused to give him something to calm him such as they had done last March.
 
The three attorneys continue to bill down the estate with the help of the judge.  After my sister in laws attorney submitted an agreed order to withdraw nearly $19,000, with the signature of an attorney claiming to represent my brother when he fact was not, the judge recused himself and it became a criminal matter.  No attorney has ever been paid, and with the criminal fraud investigation I think they will never get paid.  But they keep on billing and billing and billing.  The judge had chosen an independent guardian, but the deal collapsed after the near $19,000 theft. 
 
ADULT PROTECTIVE SERVICES
 
In East Texas they are a joke.  The police will not file abuse charges for elderly abuse unless asked to by Adult Protective Services.  In this town you can beat your parent every day and you will not be arrested until APS investigates and refers the matter to the police.  I have this directly from the police chief.  He says his hands are tied because the City Attorney told him the AG issued an opinion stating same.  No one can seem to find that opinion.
 
As everyone knows I am document driven.  The story is bigger.  A national organization got the Wall Street Journal to take the story.  We are working on it now.  The fraud by the attorneys is real and verifiable through court documents. 
 
THE ESTATE CODE
 
The code says in appointing a guardian the spouse comes first and then the siblings.  The attorney investigator has twice billed the estate to say no siblings have standing to seek guardianship.  The estate code is clear siblings are the second priority.  But forget the fact for the family I have informed the court we prefer a professional guardian.  So what is the beef?  Two filings means more billing.
 
The Estate Code is silent on how the wife or siblings informs the court they wish to be the guardian.  All it says is spouse then siblings, and if the spouse or sibling wants to be the guardian they must submit a criminal background check.  It is absurd that if four people are seeking guardianship four separate Applications for Guardianship need to be filed.  I have not filed one.  The investigator filed one and I agreed to a professional guardian on behalf of the family.  The professional guardian will have to move my brother whether his wife likes it or not.
 
There is no battle, but the attorneys refuse to end it.  I can only hope with the open criminal investigation and the WSJ taking an interest in the story, my brother will be moved soon.
 
THE POINT OF TELLING MY BROTHER'S STORY
 
He is retired U.S. Army. He served two tours in Vietnam and was exposed to Agent Orange.  He is dying a miserable death from the lesions on his brain.  He has more than enough money and insurance for the best of the best, but the system is designed to allow probate judges to assign numerous lawyers to bill down his estate while doing nothing about the abuse.
 
I want my brother's case to be his last battle for this country.  A battle to protect seniors against these abusive judges and lawyers.
 
Adult Protective Services twice now has refused to submit reports based on complaints.  A local source asked that I send the written complaint and all of the supporting documents to the Regional Counsel for Adult Protective Services. 
 
It is just too easy to steal from disabled seniors.  The law needs to be changed.  We need greater checks on the judges.  And for the record based on a survey by the National Chamber of Commerce, the WSJ declared East Texas the area of the U.S. with the most unjust legal system, with the LRGV coming in second.

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