Now two bills in the Massachusetts Legislature would go a long way to remedy this injustice: S.843, An Act Relative to the Uniform Probate Court and S.1116, An Act to Establish a Public Guardianship Commission. Last Thursday these bills had a hearing before the Judiciary Committee.
Al Norman, Director of Mass Home Care, had this to say in his public testimony: "We wish to be recorded in support of S. 843, which we believe is another part of our mission to ensure that only people who really need to be in a nursing home reside there. Reforming the guardianship process is one way of guaranteeing that elders and the disabled are not inappropriately institutionalized or warehoused because of a guardianship process that takes shortcuts with the disabled persons’ independence and dignity. Not only is the elder unjustifiably segregated, but the taxpayers of the Commonwealth have to pay for an inappropriate and expensive level of care for people who should still be living in the community."
Now, just because the bills have had a hearing doesn't mean they will become law! If you are represented by any Judiciary Committee members, tell them you want the bill reported out favorably. Then start working on your state representatives and senators.
Judiciary Committee Members:
Baddour of First Essex
Antonioni of Worcester and Middlesex
Creem of First Middlesex and Norfolk
McGee of Third Essex and Middlesex
Tarr of First Essex and Middlesex
O'Flaherty of Chelsea
C. A. Murphy of Burlington
Naughton of Clinton
J. M. Murphy of Weymouth
Peisch of Wellesley
S. M. Walsh of Lynn
Curran of Springfield
J. D. Keenan of Salem
Walz of Boston
Evangelidis of Holden
Webster of Hanson
If we're lucky, we'll all be old someday. Let's keep our independence as long as we can.