Monthly Archives: November 2012

Remembering A Thanksgiving In Exile

Thanksgiving in Exile

by Jim Fargiano

November 12, 2012

One of the unspoken areas of guardian abuse is in the emotional toll it takes when vicious, self-anointed despots determine that they will not let their already scared “clients” see their families for important holidays or events. This is what happened in the case of Dorothy Wilson, for what would have been her final Thanksgiving on earth. As many of you who have been following the “heartbreaking” series of articles about elder abuse, this is a reminder to all of us of the emotional toll it can take.  It drains not only the person who is being remanded and caught up in an unjust justice system, but also extended out to their loving family members and friends too.

Dorothy Wilson, who was 86 years old that November 2010, was pleading with anyone who would listen to help convince Mary Giordano, of Franchina and Giordano, in Garden City, NY, to release her from her unwanted stay at the Bristal Assisted Living Facility in Massapequa, NY. I felt it was the right time to write this article because as Thanksgiving approaches I have clear memories of Dorothy’s tears streaming down her cheeks as she could not understand why she was being locked up in a place against her wishes. She made it very clear that she wanted to be back in her own home or living with her favored daughter, Diane, in her warm, beautiful and safe abode. Instead, her “law” guardian, Mary Giordano, appointed by Judge Joel Asarch of the Nassau County Supreme Court in Mineola, NY, vehemently opposed releasing Dorothy for even a few hours on Thanksgiving itself. Knowing that there was a lot of family tension, Mary “allowed” the family to come to the facility if they wanted.  Obviously, this was not practical since this is a day of joy and gatherings, memories and memory-making times as most families cook and celebrate in their personal environment.

This also came on the heels of being forbidden to attend her only great-granddaughter’s christening. The date that Dorothy was brought to the Bristal, under false pretenses, was made during the week just prior to the weekend that she was supposed to be with Diane for the visitation that was previously set up. This is why the special sacrament was scheduled on the date it was. Everyone wanted Dorothy to celebrate this once in a lifetime event to bring together the four generations of Wilson women. It goes without saying that there were many tears shed from Dorothy and her loving family.  I am also “aware” that Mary Giordano’s dictatorial approach was met with unanimous disagreement by everyone at her law firm.

The month of November 2010 was filled with letters, phone calls and attempts to awaken Judge Asarch to the abuses that his oft used court appointed guardian and healthcare manager were perpetrating. No matter how many attempts were made to have him use some commonsense to let an aging woman be free to enjoy her family for a religious ceremony, as well as the most recognized national holiday for families, he ignored everything. Even letters to the New York State Bar Association that were accompanied with recordings of Dorothy Wilson’s phone calls crying and begging her daughter, Diane, to be taken out of the Bristal so she could have her civil rights restored were ignored.

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