"An Unwarranted Ward"
You may have arrived at this site by accident, on purpose, or even by curiosity. What exactly is Saving Mom all about? How did it begin? Who is it for? What is the purpose of the Saving Mom site? Becoming a Ward of a State can't possibly happen to you... or someone you love... can it?
PLEASE NOTE: This web site is a work in progress and additional information will continually be added. The basics are here but there is so much more to Saving Mom. This story will continue to unfold. Be sure and read the Disclaimer to the Saving Mom Web site, which has a link at the bottom of every page.
WHAT is this about?
Saving Mom is a tragic story. It's the story of a nightmare. A story that has many facets, but in the end has made our beautiful mother a ward of the State of Minnesota, for life.
Becoming a Ward of a State and having a State appointed Guardian and/or becoming a Protected Person and having a State appointed Conservator can be very important in many circumstances and even life saving.
A guardian according to the Minnesota Courts is responsible for making decisions for their ward. These decisions can be for medical treatments, legal issues, as well as where they live, the basic needs they require, who can and cannot see the ward along with any other decisions the ward may need.
It does not matter if the ward has a power of attorney (POA) or health care directive, the guardian makes all of the decisions. The family and or Attorney-In-Fact and Health Care Agent(s) does not have any more rights to make decisions for the ward. The guardianship is usually terminated upon the demise of the ward.
HOW did this begin?
Saving Mom began when unbeknownst to us, daughters Nina and Jean, an EMERGENCY PETITION for GUARDIANSHIP and CONSERVATORSHIP was filed on November 22, 2013, by a brother in Ramsey County Court, St. Paul, Minnesota.
Saving Mom was the result of our desperate attempt to save our beautiful 89-year-old mom from a system that would invade her privacy. A system that would cause unnecessary harm mentally, physically, and financially by draining her accounts. This Emergency Petition and its’ ruling, which we did not understand, resulted in shock, frustration, depression, and feelings of abandonment for both our mother and for us.
This also produced guilt by blocking our ability to care for our mother. All our responsibilities were stripped from us and we did not understand why. We promised our father on his deathbed we would keep our mother safe, happy, and make sure she had anything she needed. Our right to provide care and protect our mother was stripped away in an instant.
Yet, we knew we could not just stand by. We had to jump headfirst into figuring out what was happening, and what we needed to know to help our mother. It was a bit like being lost at sea with only the wind to determine direction. By our instinct we knew this Emergency Petition was wrong, but digging through the labyrinth of information, the Minnesota Statutes and following protocol would have to be learned at lightening speed.
It is important to understand, as we do, when there is no one to take care of an elder or disabled person, becoming a ward of the state and protected person can protect that person. However, misuse of appointing a Guardian/Conservator can have drastic affects.
We believe if there is a well thought out Power of Attorney and appointed health care agents in a Health Care Directive, with willing appointees, the State should never become involved. These appointments are not always static or final. The appointments of POA’s and Health Care Agents can change as circumstances change for either party.
Our parents chose the people they trusted most to make sure they were given the best care in the remainder of their lives. The changes they made, they felt were necessary due to their change in circumstances and in whom they trusted. They wanted their wishes followed according to their beliefs and their statements in their legal documents.
WHO is this site for?
This site is for anyone interested in how a person becomes an unnecessary and unwarranted Ward of a State, in this case, Minnesota. Reading about Saving Mom is for anyone who may find him or herself in the same situation of trying to save someone they love. Remember, sometimes a ward of the State is the only way to protect a person, and this must and is often determined by a Court hearing.
One of our goals of this site is to help others understand alternatives when they realize the wishes of their loved one are not being followed. We did not understand the process of Guardianship and we believe that sharing the knowledge we gained along with resources may be helpful to avoid the nightmare we lived through.
WHAT is the purpose?
The main purpose of Saving Mom is to create awareness of how a system can go drastically wrong with the elderly. Secondly to understand from not only our story but from others who may want to share their stories as well as the outcome of their efforts. By looking at our hindsight perhaps we will see what may have helped in the beginning or along the way to saving our mother or a loved one. This may help to understand how a system, to protect a person can be misused and go wrong.
This is a site for learning and understanding how our rights, choices and privileges can be taken away from us in an instant. It is a wake-up call pointing out the fact that no one is immune from having this happen to them.
As in any story, there is much more than can be said on this web site. This site only hits the tip of the iceberg. It is important to understand you MUST be aware of your family and friends and of their intentions and their motives. You must understand even if you made your will, Health Care Directive, and had an official Power of Attorney drawn up, those can be ignored. What YOU WANT is not necessarily what you will get. In Minnesota any member of your family, sister, brother, aunt, uncle etc. can change what happens to you when you are unable to make your own decisions.
Dad said, "They are going through my stuff. They are taking my things. What can I do? I'm ninety years old? I just try to outmaneuver them." I looked into my Dad's eyes, saw the torment and frustration and I said, "That is not right. Dad, you tell me what you want to do, I will make it happen." Dad said, "I know you can."
While Dad thought about our brief discussion, I went out the door, a couple hundred feet from the house and screamed without noise, shed silent tears of frustration. I could not imagine how this was happening and wondered how I could have been so blind. Where could I turn? What was I to do? This was not supposed to be how a 90 year old lived his final years. Not anyone, and not my dad!
From Nina, daughter