What can I do to get answers to the health and welfare of my cousin age 74 who is confined to a nursing home,unable to care for herself

My cousin is 74 years old. She is confined to a
nursing home with a diagnosis of schizophrenia
since she was about 15 years of age. I have
contacted her court appointed guardian on several
occasions to no avail. We strongly suspect her
medications are altered as she becomes violent and
tries to escape. Neither her guardian nor the
director of the nursing home will provide answers.
We merely want to be aware of what is going on.

Asked on September 29, 2018 under Estate Planning, Massachusetts

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

You don't have a right to any answers if you re not her legal guardian. If you believe that her guardian is not acting in her best interest--is neglecting her, or diverting money or assets to him/herself, etc.--you could contact Elder Protective Services to file a complaint and they investigate: here is a website for contact information-- https://www.mass.gov/report-elder-abuse
But if you don't think that there is abuse or exploitation going on, there is nothing you can do: being a cousin does not give you the legal right to information or to intervene in her life.

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for the situation but it is wonderful that you are there to help right the wrong you think may be happening.  So what you need to consider doing is petitioning the court to remove her present guardian and be subsituted in his or her place.  You are going to need to speak with an attorney about the logistics of it all and the cost.  Good luck. 


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