To be an ELDER is a privilege, not a “condition” causing you to be tossed aside and abused.
If we are lucky, each of us will get old. Let’s create a society where we can age with dignity and respect, and ensure that our individual rights and assets are protected. It’s time to reform the Elder Guardianship System in the U.S., persecute predators and hold legal agents–judges, attorneys, evaluators, professional guardians– to a higher standard.
In many cultures, an elder is an influential member of the community… a “wise one.” In the United States, elders tend to be pushed aside. They are not given the respect they deserve and are often stripped of their dignity. In some states, seniors are actively preyed upon and victimized by the very systems set up to protect them. We created this website to shine light on elder dignity and justice, with specific emphasis on guardianship and financial exploitation.
Our mission is:
to raise public awareness about systemic issues and abuses in state guardianship systems throughout the United States,
to advocate for victims, and
to be a voice for guardianship reform and elder dignity.
The website was initiated as a result of an advocacy campaign for my Aunt Lillie who has been caught in the Florida Elder Guardianship System since 2012 by a family “friend” (who initially put in the court documents that he was a nephew) and an estranged granddaughter trying to take over her assets. He failed to name my mother — Lillie’s only living sibling — in the documents even though previously they would talk often. During my family’s investigation of the situation, we discovered a string of similar cases, as well as legal loopholes in Florida and elsewhere making it easy for financial predators and agents of the court to exploit seniors.
The process is rampant and has been called “Liquidate, Isolate, Medicate.” The winners are all the people getting paid through the process including the attorneys, professional guardians, medical examiners, etc. The loser is the elder. The judges are given extreme power with no checks and balances. We intend to put a face to this type of exploitation by sharing real stories and offering resources we uncover.
Lillie is still caught in the web. On August 30, 2016, the court-appointed guardian abducted her and we haven’t seen her since. While she was isolated, they stripped away her last two remaining rights: the right to vote and the right to choose who to socialize with. Please watch this video, which I filmed the week of July 25, 2016. Does that look and sound like a woman who should be declared completely incapacitated and is not in sound mind in relation to her finances? Could there be other motives to silence her and shut out the family that love her? She is not the only one this is happening to in Florida and other places in the U.S. Be sure to read the Huffington Post articles, “Is Elder Guardianship a New Form of Human Trafficking?” and “Seniors Stripped Of The Right To Vote; Florida Is A Hotspot.”
As former Vice President Hubert Humphrey said:
The moral test of government is how that government treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly; those who are in the shadows of life, the sick the needy and the handicapped.
Let us know your thoughts and find out how you can help #FREELILLIE. Follow us and retweet @elderdignitynow. If you have specific suggestions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. As we fight for Lillie, we want to expand our efforts and fight for the dignity of all elders. Thank you!