Amanda Portrait – Day 8


I call this, “The Two Golden Orbs.” The picture is from the weeks in 2013 following Dad’s death, when Amanda and I stayed in the motel room that Amanda called, “Our apartment.” Este slept on Amanda’s bed every night and was right there when she woke up. Este brought so much comfort to us, as she had to Dad, too, during his illness.

These are the weeks and months we worked the hardest on writing our book, “The North Side of Down.”

Amanda has Down syndrome and is currently being held by her guardian, who is not allowing us to have contact. On March 27 it will be 8 months since I have spoken with my sister. I am doing a portrait of her every day until I hear from Amanda.

A few warning signals of guardianship abuse:

1. The guardian and/or conservator treats you as an outsider instead of a relative, friend, or loved one.

2. The guardian/conservator sees to it that your loved one doesn’t have a phone.

3. When you visit, the guardian “hovers” or even employs someone to hover so you’re not alone with your loved one.

4. You are denied input about your loved one’s care – the doctor won’t talk to you – you are shut out.

5. The guardian/conservator refuses to take your call or answer your questions.

6. Your loved one doesn’t get his/her mail.

7. If your loved one is in a nursing home, you’re only allowed to visit in the dining room or recreation room.

8. You start seeing questionable documents and realize financial accounts are closed or changed and the statements have been diverted to the guardian/conservator.

9. You discover the taxes haven’t been paid — or even filed.

10. The nursing facility tells you when you visit, you “upset” your family member or upset the staff.

11. Items are missing from your loved one’s home.

12. Your loved one appears to be more sluggish, perhaps even dazed.

The days of guardians running the show are coming to an end. There is help available.  Click the link below:



About Nancy J. Bailey

Artist, author, bad karaoke singer. Woodsy ragamuffin. Mom of a horse named Clifford who plays fetch and paints with watercolors. He visits libraries and schools with me, to promote literacy and making the world a better place. Yes, he is house trained, no, he doesn't live in my house! I have written three books about Clifford. But my newest book, THE NORTH SIDE OF DOWN, is co-written by my awesome sister Amanda, who has Down syndrome. Her unexpected one-liner wisecracks can always make me laugh. If you make me laugh, you've made my day!
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2 Responses to Amanda Portrait – Day 8

  1. Renee Tipton says:

    Dear nancy
    I’m sorry for what your going through i have been there but my ending was not good how can they the siblings kill your mother by overdosing her in less then 2mos under there care all over money my mom had a trust and all her Affairs in order then the three siblings that kidnapped her from her home made her sign against her will some documents to put them in charge and off to the bank they go but the one in charge was one step ahead of them in the lies that they said and came up with was so far-fetched and then they brought in hospice and knowing that their seven children only the three were allowed the ones that kidnapped her in held hostage against your will had to have the police come in to do home check and they had her so doped up she was picking flies off the wall it was so sad I only said I was going to make a law that would stop this my story to be told but I’m just one of several people that’s gone through and it’s very sad my heart that you go into this with your sister I wish you the best and good luck and stay strong lose your tears your heart out and mom always said wheels of Justice grind slowly I can’t make him Grand fast enough for the damage that they’ve done and not be able to say goodbye to my mother thank you for let me tell you my story Renee Tipton


    • Dear Renee, Thanks for sharing your story. I’m so sorry to hear this has happened, and for what you and your mother went through. You say this has happened to several others — but actually the numbers are in the thousands. Thousands of people are having similar experiences. This is one of the country’s dirtiest hidden secrets. It is so rarely addressed by the media and in public; I think partly because the wards by definition are unable to defend themselves. Family members don’t want to stir up trouble or attract attention to their “dirty laundry.” The tendency is to remain silent, protecting bad behavior in families lest one be labeled a “whistle blower” or otherwise scapegoated. Peer pressure is a powerful measure which allows the abuse to continue. Many of my relatives would contend that Amanda is well fed and cared for, therefore not being abused. The burden of proof falls on those who want to make the change. You show a lot of courage by coming forward and telling your story in this forum. You might consider clicking on that above link, and reading about them, and making a donation or even becoming a member if you can. Sometimes helping to make a change is the best way to honor your loved one, and the first step in healing. Sending you my gratitude and very best wishes.


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