Amanda Portrait Day 14 – Down On the Shore

Amanda14

Who doesn’t love a beach, right? But the Scenic has pretty much ruined all other beaches for us, with its clean sand and lighthouse view. It’s where Dad used to take us swimming when we were small, and Amanda learned to swim there.  It’s less than ten minutes from our house in the village.

DadManda

I still go down there and take the dogs swimming. During the years I stayed with Dad and Amanda I was there every day. Some days I could get her to come along with me. Walking through the dunes was hard for her, but once in awhile she would go. A couple of times I even got her to wear her suit, and she would go out beyond the sand bar, with her bald head popping up among the waves, hollering at me. “This feels great!”

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She still preferred the pool at our cousin Denny’s hotel on the island. Less walking.

I think she may be swimming regularly now in Arizona. At least, I hope she is. It is the best and easiest exercise for her.

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.

“I’m the guardian and you’re not.” That’s the reason her guardian gave when he refused Amanda’s request to visit me in summer 2016.

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:

http://www.stopguardianabuse.org

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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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