A conservatorship is a court case where a judge appoints a responsible person or organization (called the “conservator”) to care for another adult (called the “conservatee”) who cannot care for himself or herself or manage his or her own finances.
My brother Miguel spent some additional time in San Diego to work on getting a conservatorship put in place to better protect my mother from any additional abuse and to give us better control of taking care of her finances.
The city of San Diego provides a free Conservatorship Clinic. The clinic provides free assistance with information on the Conservatorship process and court forms only to clinic participants not represented by attorneys to Petition the Court for Conservatorship of the person. They also provide information regarding alternatives to Conservatorship. The process involves gathering the information you will need to fill out your forms then file the forms/petition. The petition must include information about the proposed conservator, potential conservatee, relatives, and the petitioner (person filing the case in court). It must also include reasons explaining why the conservatorship is necessary and should be granted.
Once a petition is filed with the court, a court investigator is appointed to interview the proposed conservatee and to determine if the individual is truly incapacitated and whether appointment of a conservator is justified. The investigator reports back to the court with an opinion.
We were trying to do this on our own as we did not have the money to hire a lawyer to go through this process.
In the mean time we wanted to have Irma come back out to my house in the Dallas area for Thanksgiving as we had done the prior year. Her friends and neighbors were all aware of what was going on and were keeping a closer eye on her and helping out as much as they could. We would talk to her on a regular basis and had to remind her to take some of her medications. She had osteoporosis and was supposed to take a monthly pill for it and Miguel would call her on the first day of the month and make sure she would take the medicine. As is the case with many people the children became the parents, we became her medical and financial advocates. We were her caregivers from afar protecting her from any additional abuse and making sure she was ok.
Parentification is the process of role reversal whereby a child is obliged to act as parent to their own parent or sibling.
We were looking forward to seeing her on Thanksgiving and having her with us. She brought us a lot of joy, she was the funny and giving she exuded love to all around her and absolutely lived for her grandchildren.