Claudia Donnelly/Guest Author


“Mom was a victim.   I am a victim.  Please protect your elderly parents from elder abuse/guardian abuse and unsanitary conditions in nursing homes.”


My parents established a living trust win 1997 for their care in their senior years for my siblings  me. My dad got Multiple Myeloma and told my siblings about the trust in 2003.  I was never told.  Mom had the beginning of dementia.  My parents had 2 acres in the Renton area.

Dad checked himself into a care facility to get the medicine he needed.  My siblings decided that I was to take care of mom  — I was to be the Little Red Hen.  I would do all of the work — but get none of the rewards. The work included taking care of her, the house and property and her geese.  She loved animals and her trees and her flowers.

My siblings refused to help.   The more I said no, the more they abused me.   I was told by my sister: “we want you to micromanage mom and report all details to us”.   One brother said:  “He didn’t want to boss me around, but he had that right when it came to mom’s health care (I  had mom’s hcpoa.) Mom had told me many times that she did not want to be in a care facility.  She trusted me.

In December 2004, we made an agreement on how to take care of mom.   The first weekend it was in effect, no one showed up to help mom.   My siblings said it wasn’t a legal document because we hadn’t signed it.  I was supposed to adhere to it — but they didn’t have to.

My siblings started spending mom’s money on themselves.  My sister got $1500 for her daughter’s graduation presents — even though one daughter wasn’t even graduating that year.

I needed help, so I worked with an attorney to get a guardian.  My brother met with him before we went to court and made an agreement that mom would be forced into a care facility against her wishes the next time she passed out.

In September 2005, two brothers went onto the property and took most of mom’s geese.  She was devastated.    I tried calling my brother, but I was told I had to drive out to his house and talk to him as it was a game of control.

In January 2006, we got the guardian.  We also started working to get care givers into the house.  Mom passed out in March and the guardian — against state law — forced mom into Garden Terrace in Federal Way.  She was drugged; she “walked into a wall” and had a big ugly bruise over her eye.  Her family didn’t care.  Because I was advocating for mom, my siblings decided I violated the trust  and would be disinherited.

In May 2007 mom was diagnosed with having a MRSA infection.   In June, she gave up on life and died the way she wanted to do it.   I can’t help mom any longer — but I can help others to prevent this from happening to your loved ones.  She was a victim of elder abuse/guardian abuse.   In late January,  I was in Olympia talking to some legislators about changing the laws regarding financial exploitation of an elderly citizen, guardian abuse — preventing guardians from forcing incapacitated people into nursing homes and protecting seniors from MRSA infections in nursing homes (there are no laws preventing seniors from getting or checking to see if they have MRSA.)  The Long-Term Care Business doesn’t want sanitary conditions in nursing homes.   I know of two ladies who can’t see their mom’s because the mom’s guardians is preventing them from visiting their mothers.   This is wrong!

In 2005, I called APS about mom.  They sent the case to KC Sheriff’s office for investigation.  The KC Sheriff’s Detective thought it was a “civil matter — not criminal”.  Mom’s case fell through the cracks.  A book I have describes elder abuse for senior citizens.  Mom was a victim.   I am a victim.  Please protect your elderly parents from elder abuse/guardian abuse and unsanitary conditions in nursing homes.

The nursing home staff didn’t like me when I advocated for mom.  They said I was visiting on a certain day when I had driven to Olympia to testify about guardian abuse.   Neither they nor the guardian have explained how I can be in two places at one time.   We need to change our laws regarding elder abuse, guardian abuse and financial exploitation of a senior citizen.