Disability Awareness & Advocacy, guardianship, Uncategorized

Update: Emily Delph – Still Suffering to Survive in Michigan.

Small in stature, with severe, multiple disabilities (cerebral palsy being one diagnosis), Emily Delph continues to be large in her determination to survive a broken legal (probate court) system in Michigan and currently inadequate medical care, on the west side of this state. Michigan is called the Great Lakes, but there’s nothing great about the medical neglect and yes, abuse, happening to Emily since she was taken from her mom. Emily is languishing and deteriorating in a nursing home – when she should be home with her mom, receiving the great care she’s always received. She should be home with her lights and toys, computer, movies, therapies, community outings, music; being engaged, entertained, happy, but now….. she has nothing.

There were NO neglect or abuse charges (there never was) against Holly Delph – and the court recognizes and everyone who has testified (10/24/2019) agrees, that before Emily was taken from her home and her mom (09/17/2019), that she was well taken care of. Her health was not just maintained, but she thrived when her mom moved to stop looking to Network 180 to do what they were suppose to be in place to do (provide access to her community), and Holly moved ahead with warm water (pool) therapy and getting Emily involved in her community herself – going to special events. I will include pictures and video at the end of this post.

What actually happened is based entirely on the dislike of an older white woman towards a young, black woman – even though that black woman is severely limited (total care) physically and is nonverbal – which made Emily Delph an “easy mark” for an entitled, prejudiced, closed-minded, cruel bully to move in and do her worst. This is the type of person who can’t stand that someone like Emily would even exist – especially within “her” world, and worse, in this woman’s mind, Emily’s mom is white! Apparently, THAT was the last straw for this woman. I can’t believe that this is 2019 and there are antiquated, ass-backwards people like that still out there – but eh, look at the POTUS that we have today, who incites the worst of the worst . It’s repugnant.

REMEMBER WE MUST CONTINUE TO RESIST HATE!

When Emily’s mom, Holly Delph, got up to speak on behalf of her daughter during the Michigan Attorney General’s Elderly Abuse Task Force Tour, (which has proven to be a huge failure and mostly a PR stunt) held around the State of Michigan and in Kent County, this privileged white woman was OFFENDED. Yep, she was offended. It gets worse.

This woman had set up shop in the back of the room, as a Representative of Area on Aging in this county. You heard that right. She was suppose to be there as a support and resource for families and individuals in need. She was quite the opposite.

She was the beginning of Emily Delph’s imprisonment and medical neglect. This woman’s false accusations, without proof, sealed Emily’s fate. This was further perpetuated by a probate court system and judge who handed over Emily’s “case” (person) to a state-appointed, public guardian named Karin Van Sweden.

This Representative of Area on Aging said that Holly was “irrational” and “hitting her head”, which is not true (witnesses who were there have been located and will be providing testimony/affidavits). Holly didn’t even find out about “the why” of any of this until she went back to probate court on October 24th! Until then, she had NO real idea what happened, although there were some thoughts on this related to other false and misconstrued statements made on social media – you know…. “if it’s on the internet, it must be true” bullshit.

And to-date, Emily still does not have her wheelchair, orthotics (leg brace worth $3500), toys or clothing, while she is being held captive at The Laurels of Kent County (nursing home). Michigan’s Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) has been called in to investigate. When asked by Michigan’s LARA where all of Emily’s things are, the court-appointed, public guardian commented that she “was afraid to bring in everything because they might get lost”. Just wow. Emily’s wheelchair is customized as are her orthotics (leg/foot braces) which provide for her positioning needs, so that Emily is held in comfortable, therapeutic positioning – to keep her from regressing physically. To my knowledge these items have yet to be produced. Who knows, maybe they’ve been sold. Who cares, right?

To further explain, for those who don’t understand how Community Mental Health in Michigan works (and believe me they all work differently, depending on which county you live in) and they all interact with the State of Michigan differently as well, I have included an explanation below.

Holly had tried to work with Network 180 for quite some time.

For those who are not familiar with Network 180, this is the same as with other Community Mental Health locations (county agencies) in Michigan. Sometimes mental health in different counties, go by different names. They are all in place under the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. They are suppose to be in place to support and serve not just those with mental illnesses; children and adults with Autism; challenging behaviors; those dealing with addiction issues, but they are also suppose to work with individuals who are developmentally-disabled (and of course their families).

Network 180 is based in Kent County (Grand Rapids), where Holly and Emily live. Network 180 was suppose to provide services and supports to Emily and Holly in the form of respite and community living supports, but because (their reasoning) Emily was “so disabled”, they couldn’t find trained/experienced workers to come in-home and those who could accompany Emily out into the community.

Unfortunately, community mental health has long been lacking in the area of providing appropriate/necessary supports and services to those who ALSO have physical disabilities – especially to those who have the severest forms. Within the State of Michigan, those who are developmentally-disabled AND more severely, physically-involved (severely, multiply-disabled) are indeed the minority within the disability community.

Those who are more medically-fragile, non-ambulatory and nonverbal are the most silent of the silent minority. Therefore, they are easily taken advantage of and too often are disenfranchised and so are their families. It’s next to impossible for these individuals and their families to fight for supports, services and their civil rights – as most of their time is spent simply getting by and surviving. So therefore my reason for trying to explain some of this to those who “just don’t know” or have no idea what’s going on here and in the State of Michigan right now.

Whether any of us would like to admit this or not; to recognize that discrimination does exist… it most certainly does. To ignore it, is not just to condone it, but to perpetuate it. Over the years, Holly “learned” that it does exist – as Emily, adopted from Haiti, is black. My understanding and I have heard this from more than one person, is that this part of Michigan is pervasively discriminatory and prejudice against those who are not white. Absolutely, attention needs to be drawn to that fact and how inhumane and disgusting that is.

And so here we are…. Or rather, here is where Emily is at.

“They don’t follow protocol about basic cleaning around stoma. There are big reasons why this nursing home has so many fines.”
and
“Emily is dying. I’m no longer going to be nice about staff. The condition I found her in was horrible. These people cant even clean a PEG.. her leg was all twisted. Found a stink bug”.
– Holly Delph –

Better times…..

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Disability Awareness & Advocacy, guardianship, Uncategorized

So much for the Michigan Elder Abuse Task Force

By Gretchen Rachel Hammond

On March 25, 2019, during her announcement of an Elder Abuse Task Force, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel laid out seven initiatives for guardianship reform in the state which she touted at listening sessions, directed at the elderly population who were concerned about abuses of the system by court-appointed guardians, as initiatives she could easily push through the legislature. However, the membership of her Task Force included a number of pro-guardianship organizations. Obviously, they have pushed back.

See below photos below:

The initiatives as proposed March 25, 2019 are in the left photo. The photo to the right shows the initiatives as they appeared in Nessel’s Elder Abuse Task Force news letter published October, 2019:

Of note:

1) The limitation on the number of wards has been removed. Guardians with hundreds of wards each cannot possibly ensure their well being.

2) The requirement for a court to provide written opinions as to why a relative is not suitable as a guardian has been removed. This investigation saw numerous cases in which family members were overlooked and DPOAs were tossed out without reason. The judges are again off the hook.

3) Certification by the national Guardianship Association is simply a matter of paying a $375 fee for a multiple choice exam which a Rhesus Monkey could pass.

4) The requirement that a judge sign an attestation that an accounting filed by a guardian has been reviewed and meets the fiduciary standard has been watered down to “guardian required to file accounting when they manage property of the ward.” The majority of them already do. However, as our investigation noted, there were problems such as over billing, missing money etc.

5) Emergency petitions for guardianship to require a full hearing with the ward present has been removed. Now the language simply states that such petitions can only be filed in cases that “pose a danger of imminent and substantial harm.” Since guardianship petitions are rarely filed with accompanying medical evidence, this language is not only ambiguous but utterly worthless.

6) Similarly worthless is a “Family Rights Form” since probate judges do not follow Michigan statute anyway and attorneys are reluctant to represent families challenging a guardianship. Note that such rights are no longer being “developed.”

7) The language that a guardian’s removal of a ward from their home has been enhanced to include “in a non-emergency situation.” With no accountability, a guardian could still declare that such a removal is an emergency as the ward’s money has run out and the sale is required for long term care (as they already do) or that the home is unlivable – again, something they already do without proof. Also the appraisal requirement is gone which would still allow a guardian to undersell a ward’s home.

Clearly, the Michigan Guardianship and Probate Judges Associations exerted no small amount of influence here just as they did with the 1998 and 2005 Task Forces. This legislation is still in the early stages. Who knows what it will look like if and when it is passed?

Is this enough? Feel free to weigh in. If you are going to share, please be sure to cut and paste the commentary.

The Underground Advocate: What was suppose to happen (Initiatives) and what THAT final outcome was. What a waste of everyone’s precious time and the lives of many, many unfortunate, vulnerable people and the families that love them. This absolutely INCLUDES ALL VULNERABLE PEOPLE, such as those who are severely, multiply-disabled who are remain segregated and isolated within group homes and nursing homes. Anyone over 18 years of age. This isn’t about just the elderly. The neglect and abuse are even bigger than that. Talk is cheap and actions speak louder than words.

Michigan’s AG is putting on a politically-motivated dog and pony show – at the expense of the most vulnerable in the State of Michigan. Sadly and horrendously this is happening NOW all over our country (the elderly and disabled being kidnapped and victimized) and WHY the mainstream media has not picked up on this is puzzling and questionable. Think about that one. I know that I do every single day.

My next post will be all about Emily from an earlier post (Her Name is Emily). Emily’s struggle has gotten more desperate, twisted and warped – as to why she is languishing and deteriorating in a nursing home in Michigan.

Stay tuned. Buckle up ’cause it’s gonna be a bumpy ride!

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Disability Awareness & Advocacy, guardianship, Uncategorized

Her name is Emily

Disclaimer: Some of the exact dates are in question at this time, so these are approximate. This article was not totally ready for publication, but has become necessary at this time, and is life and death – in getting the word out there – For Emily’s Sake and very life! And so it is necessary. As this travesty has now become public, and with her mother’s permission, I am proceeding to do so.

On September 17, 2019, Emily Delph, age 25 years (adopted from Haiti as an infant), weighing 75 pounds as the small person she is, and severely, multiply-disabled, was taken from her mother, Holly Delph, by a Michigan state-appointed temporary guardian and left abandoned at St. Mary’s Hospital emergency room.

When the temporary guardian, Karen Vansweden, and the officer arrived at Holly and Emily’s home, this court-appointed, temporary guardian told Holly “not to try to see Emily”. There was no neglect. There was no abuse. There were no charges and there was no paperwork handed over to Holly.

A court date has been set to go back to Probate Court on October 24, 2019…. if Emily makes it until then or there isn’t irreversible damage caused by waiting that long. It’s possible that Emily might never fully recover from this assault on her person by this rogue court and paid guardian. What were they thinking?!

Holly has never neglected or abused her daughter. In fact, every life decision that’s she’s made since Emily became her daughter, has been on Emily’s behalf and in her best interest. Holly loves Emily.

Upon admittance to St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Rapids, Emily’s health was reported as excellent. The hospital staff called her mom who was listed as the emergency contact and asked what to do with her!

Where was the temporary guardian?

Anyone with any knowledge of Emily would know that she couldn’t be just dropped off at an emergency room and abandoned. That’s neglect of a very vulnerable person and it greatly endangered Emily’s health and life. Sadly, her mother was powerless to stop it or step in at that time because of the temporary guardianship. Kent County Probate Court in Michigan and the judge that appointed this temporary guardian, should be held accountable for the probable tragedy that’s playing out right now.

Emily is not only severely, multiply-disabled, she has complex needs and is medically-fragile. Her primary diagnosis is cerebral palsy. She is nonverbal and total care for all of her basic and personal needs.

“I was told by Karen Vansweden not to go. I was called by St Mary’s Hospital. The Physician’s Assistant called me and said she was in great shape. They wanted to know how to feed her. The guardian just dumped her. I have no idea if I’m allowed. Emi has never been in a hospital ever for an illness. Only orthopedic stuff. I was always there. My somewhat slow attorney my son is talking to is trying to get real answers. Again no neglect or abuse. It’s a Michigan guardianship thing So flu season is here. Emily is healthy in a hospital costing the tax payers lots of money. If she gets sick, its state-sanctioned euthanasia. Again the guardian dumped her.”

Of course, now this temporary guardian will get a bigger paycheck this month because Emily was dumped at the emergency room and admitted to this hospital unnecessarily. I guess that this guardian gets paid to dump off disabled people whenever and wherever and with no accountability or oversight.

On 09/18/2019, Holly was advised through her attorney, that Emily would be discharged to a nursing home that day or the next until the temporary guardian could find “another facility”. It was unclear whether the guardian or the hospital had made that decision. It was then that Holly was advised that she could see Emily “at the new facility” (wherever that was going to be).

By 09/21/2019, Emily still remained at the hospital and at that time, Holly was able to visit in the evenings. There was a struggle with her food as Emily has a very sensitive stomach and the guardian wouldn’t approve what she had been eating when she was at home with her mother who cared for her. There is a particular kind of formula that provides nutrition for Emily. Her mother was not allowed to intercede and care for her as she had at home.

By 09/22/2019, Emily’s condition started to degrade. She became impacted, getting sores, her calories were cut and she received no therapy, as she was previously receiving before she was taken. Her brand new specialty leg brace ($3500) and shoes came up missing, and although her mother brought in her chair (for positioning and mobility), she was not allowed to sit in it. It gets worse from there….

On 09/26/2019, Emily was taken to Metron of Lamont (nursing home) basically to languish and die from starvation, pneumonia, bedsores, being impacted, infections. And then…

 

On 09/29/2019, Emily was re-admitted to St. Mary’s Hospital.

“I went to visit because I was told I could work with her. Emily is in bad shape. My intentions were to get her in her chair I brought. Give her a real shower. The charge nurse didn’t understand the food I brought was the same food brand they were already giving that was from me earlier in the week. She would not disconnect the IV for a short time, so I could put her in a chair. They were dumb. All of Emily’s night lights were gone. Again her $3500 orthotic was not there. The state-paid guardian refuses a care conference. Emily cried when I left but I couldn’t stay because my distress of the stupidity of it all was overwhelming. They are euthanizing Emily. “

As of several days ago, Emily is now at a place called the The Laurels of Kent. This is the website url. Their rating is poor. https://www.google.com/search?q=Laurel+of+Kent+reviews&ie=&oe= Read all the reviews.

#bringemilyhome #newsworthy #wwmt #wood #wzzm #wxmi #rockfordmichigan #ncaa #ada #sharethis #isthisreallyaboutmoney?

And finally but not least of all, here is a personal appeal from Emily’s Mother, Holly Delph, on her daughter’s behalf. Please share this post/video, so that Emily can come home and be with the family that loves her.

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