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New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung (Newspaper) - September 27, 1987, New Braunfels, Texas New Texas Guardianship September Public guardians struggle to keep up as private firms rely on solvent wards EDITORS NOTE Middle class of they are alone and may need Who will help States have answered with a relatively new MM the public This part of the Guardians of the Elderly An Ailing ex plores how these government of ficials LOS ANGELES AP Five social workers in the public guar dians office here control the lives of elderly The office also controls million in assets and has run a hardware a plant nursery and an oil drilling operation owned by its It is the largest and one of the oldest public guardianship offices in the and its critics say it now turns away cases and favors monled wards over the Both criticisms are true to some the public guardian His office is and his budget is constantly under We dont want any We have too said Gordon the Los Angeles public Everyone thinks we should expand and were Were And its happening all across the Faced with a crush of elderly who either outlive their money or live far from states are setting up and loading up public guardians as a catchall for those who have no one While numbers remain an Associated Press study of more than guardianship cases around the country shows that percent of the to people under guar dianship may be wards of public The public guardians take direct control of the lives of old people and make the decisions any guardian makes where the ward will whether to pull the plug on life support how much money is spent on Public guardianship is brandnew by government said James the public guardian in San Were in our in Were really just evolving now to meet the needs of the Meeting those needs is becoming increasingly In caseworkers have time to visit their wards only four times a Ten nessees new public guardians office took in 37 people in the first two mon ths and expects to reach 300 in the first Thirtytwo states have some form of public and almost all are finding big problems that are getting Some public guardians have been others criticized for neglec ting wards or warehousing them in nursing In a grand jury blamed the Santa Clara County public guar dians office for the 1985 starvation death of 79yearold John The office hadnt seen the ward in two The grand jurys report helped establish new guidelines for the off The public guardian for Du Page pleaded guilty to charges of official misconduct and theft last year after he was accused of investing wards money for his own He was ordered to repay John a former Bay public ad mitted in 1985 that he embezzled from some of his 75 He was sentenced to five years in Las Vegas public Jared has drawn fire for making real estate investments with part ners in the law firm he chose to han dle most of his offices In North wards are placed in the hands of parttime public ad appointed officials with no staff or money to care for their In one a public administrator put two wards in the care of a friend who charged each estate a month for room and When you dont have the ap propriate you get into these said Verdine presi dent of the California Association of Public Sometimes 1 wake up in the middle of the worried that I havent done something that will come back to haunt Added Phoenix public guardian Dean Trebesch Theres more realization now that the power that goes with guardianship is so awesome and the loss of rights so awesome that wed better make darn sure we do it While some social service profes sionals hail the care and services provided by public other experts point to the problems of handling so many with so few Without a public guardianship pro gram the mentally some of them who have been declared in competent have no one to speak for In it is estimated to mentally ill people have been declared incompe tent since and half have been released from Its a These people are in nomans No one is protecting said Edward a member of the Pennsylvania bar associations subcommittee on the elderly and Yet some oppose the Idea of public Lawrence a law professor at the University of sees it as another layer of Charles Arnold looks out on the rest of country from this retirement mec ca and sees unlimited possibilities for the guardianship I think guardianship Is unques tionably the he The business is overwhelming and the need is An attorney and former public guardian in Arnold is part of a new and growing field of guar dianship entrepreneurs profes sionals for a will run the lives of old Called professional guardians or they take on a role once held by sons and They earn their money by making all the decisions for their elderly in cluding where they will live in some extreme when they will So promising is this field that San Diego Community College has begun night courses on how to be a profes sional Their fees come from the people whose lives they No state yet requires a license to hang out a The ranks include people such as Frank who agonizes over the medical decisions he must Substituting judgment for another adult who sits there and says I dont want this its just said the ex ecutive director of the Guardianship Program of Dade County a non profit Miami Others define their role in terms of cost economies of scale and bottom It is basically money manage said Alan a Detroit area attorney with 400 It is basically the review of their financial affairs to make sure the nursing DO YOU HAVE FALL HAY FEVER SYMPTOMS If we need volunteers to partici pate in an approved clinical study for a once a Participants must be between the ages of 18 and and will be For more information call Frank Allergy Immunology 70S Landa 6257612 No Obligation Nothing To Pay Danger Signals of Pinched Ntrvttl HMdKfm oKof ftak Tight Muscles Pain Down Pain Numbnw in or Pain Betwnn tht Ghouldeis Painful LMMT Hip Pan Down Lap DifficuJl Swathing 850 B High way 81W New Tx 78130 Can Chiropractic Help You WE ACCEPT MOST INSURANCE Health Insurance MAJOR MEDICAL Liability Automobile Accidents Workmans Compensation ON THE JOB INJURY HEADACHE Llanos Mestenas Mustang Plains O Could the Ameri who were the first to call Spanish horses have won their Revo lution without them Read Llanos Mestenas Mustang Plains whose Agnes Glasscock had ancestors in Virginia by in the Carolinas y 1724 and in Texas in In no way is lanos Mestenas just a regional compendium homes are charging them the correct amount of that the nursing home Is that the money pro vided for their While guardianship still is largely seen as a family a legal step taken by children to better care for their a yearlong Associated Press study of the nations guardian ship systems found an Increasing number of strangers taking over as the legal parent of the In more than files reviewed by the AP about one quarter of courtappointed guardians were attorneys and businesses who charge for their ser The investigation also detailed in stances where private guardians have proven costly in some detrimental to their wards through avarice or ignorance Susan a Grand professional conser vator was sentenced to nine months in jail In 1965 for stealing from her She was accused of cashing wards Social Security checks and buying a car for herself with wards A presentencing report said she had told a witness she needed the money and they A 1982 Miami grand jury report told of a lawyer who served as both attorney and guardian and double billed his wards estate for The charges included for the three hours it took to buy a clock When a nurs ing home complained in 1978 about the unpaid bills of an elderly resi court officials discovered her an had failed for five years to collect rents or pay taxes on a home she The ward lost the home in a tax Court officials note that these cases are the Many professional guardians are dedicated people who can help the elderly through their re maining For the deeper issue is corn See The OaKs Center 1551 N Suite 1 New IX 78130 512 6206517 THU HOMK CENTRE 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