From Texas — a Right to See your loved ones

From a NASGA email:

Glen Campbell’s Children Instigate Tennessee Law That Will Protect Elderly

Posted: 18 May 2016 07:44 AM PDT

This week marked a major victory for Glen Campbell’s oldest children in what they claim has been an ongoing battle with their stepmother over rights to visit their ailing father. On Monday, Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam signed the Campbell/Falk Act, which protects communication rights for people who’ve become wards of the state and those who have conservators over their financial and living situations.

Named after the country music legend and Emmy-winning actor Peter Falk (Columbo, Murder, Inc.), the new law restricts conservators from blocking interaction with loved ones, whether it be in person or via phone, email or mail. And if the disabled person is unable to communicate — as is the case with Campbell, who is in the final stages of Alzheimer’s — his or her prior relationship with the visiting person presumes consent.

Campbell’s eldest daughter, Debby, and son Travis teamed with Falk’s daughter, Catherine, in lobbying the government to get behind the cause. Catherine Falk claims her stepmother tried to prevent her from seeing her famous father, resulting in extensive (and expensive) legal action. Peter Falk suffered from dementia and passed away in 2011. Catherine claims her stepmother neither notified her of her father’s passing, nor of his funeral.

Falk was at the Tennessee state capitol this past Monday, along with Debbie Campbell Cloyd, Travis Campbell and his wife Trudy, Marcia Southwick with Boomers Against Elder Abuse and Joseph Roubichek of the National Association to Stop Guardian Abuse. Country legend Tanya Tucker — who dated Glen Campbell in the early Eighties and has remained a close family friend — was also in attendance to lend her outspoken support.

“If this can happen to Glen Campbell, it can happen to anyone,” Trudy Campbell said at the bill’s signing, as reported in a news release from Tennessee’s Senate Republican Caucus. “It is a civil right and certainly a God-given right to see your child and to receive mail from them. We know that thousands of others are suffering from restrictive action by a ward and are very pleased that Tennessee has passed this law to protect them.”

Senator Rusty Crowe (R-Johnson City), who sponsored the bill with Representative Jeremy Faison (R-Cosby) commented that it’s “heartbreaking to hear sons and daughters who cannot spend quality time with their parent after they are incapacitated and their health is in decline,” adding, “We believe this new law strikes the right balance so that it protects the rights of some of our most vulnerable citizens, while at the same time giving the conservator a fair process to follow in protecting the ward.”  (Continue Reading)

Full Article & Source:
Glen Campbell’s Children Instigate Tennessee Law That Will Protect Elderly

Elder abuse legislation signed into law by Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam

The only problem with the Falk bills is that they often require you to have a lawyer to protect your rights.  I see no reason why the courts have to get involved at thousands of dollars per hour in lawyers fees–a GAL, a lawyer for the Guardian and then yet another lawyer to ask for a phone call and visitation schedule?  That’s nuts.  A trained volunteer can assist the elder in making up a visitation schedule for just a few dollars to reimburse him or her for gas/travel.  I say, forget this nonsense. Get rid of guardianship.  Use trained volunteers who are just  reimbursed their expenses for meeting with a ward once per week for an hour.

2 thoughts on “From Texas — a Right to See your loved ones

  1. Wish this law had been in effect when Gloria wasn’t allowed to see her mom. But still — very good progress.

    PS: Spent my time in Chicago last week reading books and eating PIZZA! Sorry we weren’t able to connect.

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