Sunday, October 19, 2014
When a Veteran becomes a Victim.
It is the object of every advocate to help the veterans and/or their families. I have been very busy doing that. Sometimes though, you run into a problem where the veteran can’t be helped because the family is more interested in the financial resources of the veteran.
This is what I have encountered recently. There is a veteran at the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans that is in a great deal of trouble. He wants things a certain way, which in my opinion, are reasonable wishes. Unfortunately, his wife wants them another way and it is clear to me, this is not what the veterans wants nor is what she is doing in the best interest of the veteran.
This veteran has gone so far as to remove his wife as his guardian some years previously and now the Home wants to have a court appointed guardian put in place. The Home also wants a court appointed conservator. As much as I dislike this court appointed system, in this case, I have very mixed feelings.
We were approached by the wife of this veteran. Many things didn’t make sense when talking with her. We asked her permission to contact her husband. She had no problem with that. Unfortunately, her husband was clueless as he has heard nothing from nobody. Now, this wife has gone so far as to ask that the advocates stay away from her husband as we are supposedly, upsetting him. Her attorney has suggested that she talk to nobody about what is going on. Where does this leave the Veteran? He is clearly upset but I believe it is due to lack of knowledge. He is totally clueless what his wife and family has done. He has expressed to his visitor what his desires and wishes are and unfortunately, none of these can materialize as his family has already mortgaged off the assets.
As a long term resident of the Home, the veteran has seen many changes in the care he is receiving. Much of this is not good. However. In defense of the system, cooperation is needed from the veteran. We all know that having a shower at 2:00 in the afternoon can be a major inconvenience but with a full crew of veterans and a limited number of health care workers, showers are scheduled when they can be fit in. Our veterans need to work within this system if they want a shower. This is easily understood.
In the same nature, if a bandage needs to be changed, it is best for the veteran to do it when it is scheduled, not when it is convenient. I don’t believe that any health care veteran needs to beg a veteran to do what is in the best interest of the veteran. If the veteran repeatedly refuses to be cooperative, steps need to be taken to insure that he gets the best possible care, even if it is something he doesn‘t want at that time.
My prayers go out to this veteran as now, he is left with a court battle between the Home and his family. With no concern for what the veteran wants, he is now a victim. A victim with nobody in his corner.