To the Editor:

Kudos to state Sen. Rachelle Crowe, D-Glen Carbon, for her new law stripping inheritances from family members convicted of elder abuse.

Too bad her law still has an escape hatch for some of the abusers it seeks to deter.

Despite the time and money our states’ attorneys will presumably invest in obtaining criminal elder abuse convictions, the guilty parties, by virtue of their undue influence over their elderly victims, will still be able to claim some or all of the abused elders’ assets.

When an elder traumatically loses independence and faces desperate medical and homecare crises, an unscrupulous family caregiver — alternating between threats to abandon the elder and claims to being the elder’s only savior — can effectively put themselves at the center of the elder’s collapsing world.

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I never believed my father could be brainwashed like that — not turned away from me while I was right there in the trenches with him, taking care of him five hours a day, seven days a week. (All that after I had been Dad’s only daily helper for 11 years straight.)

Yet, after gaining emotional control of our father, it wasn’t long until Dad’s brainwasher took physical “custody” of him and without cause, totally banned me from visiting. By the brute force of exclusion, Dad’s isolator did make herself his only close family member through his entire last seven years of life.

Can we really expect such an isolated and dominated elder to disinherit his “sole” family member, regardless of what a judge or jury decides?

Sandy Baksys


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