Our throwaway elderly
July 3, 2013, 12:40 p.m. Regency Care Center, Norwalk. I sit alone, next to the bed of Bob Queener, my friend of four long years. I say “long,” because what he has been through with state government bureaucracy, the courts and ineptness on the part of many “health care” providers made it an eternity for this man with few needs or expectations.
As I sat and watched his deep, slow and deliberate breathing, and fearful his end way near, I was taken back to our many experiences. From the fall of 2010 to the recent past, as his court appointed Guardian and friend, I would check Bob out of whatever Des Moines care facility he had been incarcerated in, and take him to coffee at Caribou, or to my home acreage where he enjoyed a cup of coffee and talking to my wife. He even asked to work in the flower beds and pick-up sticks around the yard. He was no stranger to work, and frankly, it was tough to keep ahead of him. Yet, here he was, out on leave from what he referred to as his “cage.”
When Bob was removed from his home in Des Moines by several police officers and DHS employees, it was based on an unverified allegation of utter nonsense. Later, when the allegation was proven wrong, it made no difference, for Bob had already been confined to a care facility. “Guilty until proven innocent,” seems to be the norm with our disposable elderly, but then DHS used their “dementia” card, and kept him confined. A court appointed temporary Conservator had Bob’s furniture and belongings removed from his house and garage, and did so without a required court order. His personal items, including his Korean War paratrooper pins, service ribbons and patches, along with his uniform and family photos and memorabilia were taken to flea markets, good will stores, given to neighbors or sold for pennies on the dollar.
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