Elders: Taking Stock of Our Lives
INTERESTING STUFF – 1 September 2018

Elder Guardianship

Two months after it was fixed, my computer crashed again on Wednesday and this time I'm just going to replace it. That will take a little while.

The backup laptop I'm working on hasn't gotten any better since last time. It is slow, cranky and painful to use so until I am up and running with a new one, posting will be sketchy.

Peter's music column is already set for Sunday, so that will be here and a new reader story will post next Tuesday.

I can't promise an Interesting Stuff tomorrow or a Monday post. But maybe. Meanwhile, I can tolerate being on this machine only in short bursts without pulling my hair out so I'm just letting you know.

For today, I had intended to write a piece on elder guardianship but I can't get to my notes in the broken computer so let's do it this way:

  1. It was last October that I first meant to report on this important subject based on a frightening story published that month in The New Yorker. Due to some personal health issues, I didn't get back to it until now.

  2. In June this year, John Oliver, host of the HBO program Last Week Tonight, made elder guardianship the main story of his show one Sunday based largely on the same New Yorker material I had.

So I'll just run the Oliver video without the additional information I had tracked down and intended to include until it got lost inside the broken computer.

Oliver's piece is as excellent (in John's inimitable way) as the New Yorker story. It's important for all elders to know this can happen and to be sure all your late-life, end-of-life papers are in order.

Here is Oliver. If you have access to The New Yorker online, their story is here and includes a lot more detail and useful information than Oliver could fit into his video - although you get to see and hear the people discussed in the magazine piece.

There. I'm done – this is all I can stand to do on this laptop right now.


I'm so sorry about your computers. I'd lend you a laptop, but I live too far away.

I am so sorry that your computer is kaput, Ronni. I can identify with the frustration of a computer that is not working properly.

I spent an hour and a half on the phone with a techie from Windows 10 yesterday after months of trying to fix a problem that has me close to going to the funny farm. Windows 10 has been trying to install updates that stall at 42% then they remove what was installed and repeat the process 3 times. This takes about 30 minutes and I have to sit there and type in my password so I am unable to go do something else while they repeatedly try to install their updates. This has been going on for months.

I have run the trouble shooters, etc. to no avail so I finally reached a live person and after going through numerous forms we reached the point where she was going to take over my computer. Rant. Scream. Cry. The file was missing or deleted.

Her solution was to buy Windows 10 pro for $199.99. Don't you just love how they make $200 look like over a hundred?

So I am going to have to buy a new computer. Rats!

I remember the John Oliver video and it is unconscionable that this situation exists.

You have my sympathy, Ronni. Nothing makes me crazier faster than a malfunctioning computer (except maybe the Xbox and tv). And I'm not even pressured by a regular publishing schedule.

I just read the New Yorker article you spoke of. I’m appalled at what the legal system allowed to happen! Thank you for the information.

Um... Okay I know that life is full of the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, but even so, it strikes me as insane that someone in Ronni's position should be without a properly functioning computer. Ever.

Might it be possible to create a special Ronni's Computer Fund, into which we all drop whatever occasional pennies we can spare, so that this doesn't happen again?

We all depend on Ronni. It's only right that, fiercely independent though she is, she should also (sorta-kinda) depend on us too, at least once in a while.

Oh, Katie, that's kind of you, but I'll be fine. I tried last time I got the blue screen of death to see if the old computer had some life left in her, but apparently it wasn't much - only about six weeks worth. So I've been prepared to buy a new computer for awhile and am just waiting to have a talk about what I want/need with my terrific computer guy.

I hold a donation/fund raiser here at TGB each February to help pay for the various services I need to run the blog and readers are amazingly generous. So this time, some of that fund is going toward the new computer and I already depend on you all: most of the time the comments here are more compelling than what I've written. What would TGB be without you guys.

Thank you for the thought.

Okay, that's great Ronni! I thought the regular fund got all-eaten-up by regular blog expenses, but that's lovely if there's a bit left over for a new computer.

Just a reminder to all that, in addition to Ronni's request for funds in February, there is a 'donate' button on every TGB post.... Happy September to all! It is certainly starting to feel autumnal in the PNW!

I would rather be sick than have a sick computer.

Thanks for the Elder Abuse article. I did read it when it first came out. We have so many really crappy laws not to mention really evil people in this world. I'm not usually in favor of the death penalty but I might make an exception in this case.

I wish the article had explained what we can do ahead of time to personally prevent this or at least protect our homes and finances from these predators.

I guess it is worth investigating how this can work in our respective states. Maybe some States have safeguards in place.

There was follow up on the New Yorker story and the evil genius at the heart of the scandal was at least charged with malfeasance if not arrested.

It was indeed a horrific story, with a kind of "only in a barren western state" air about it.

I hope that woman guardian is in jail by now! And thank you for the John Oliver clip - thank God for family. For those of us with no family to count on - it's definitely dangerous.

I have been using the same Apple MacBook Pro for 5 years. Don't know what a blue screen is.
Actually I hold a MCSE Cert and use Windows 10 at work. I remain amused at how every time there is a Windows upgrade, it is more Mac-like than the last one.
Consider getting a Mac this time.

Please save your hair. As a fellow-thin-hair sufferer, every strand is precious.
Try to enjoy the enforced detox and don’t worry about us. We’ll be here when you’re ready to be back once the computer problem/s has/have been resolved. BIG hug (virtual!)

Carol Roupenian--I can agree that most of us have families in whom we can rejoice; but, your kids can do you in, too. A close friend's husband (very much an autocrat), on his death bed, told her younger son to "Take care of your mother." So, her son became the autocrat in her life. He has put her in what she calls "old people's hell" and taken away her car - all the while truly believing that he is doing what is best for his mother. Oh, yes, he found a doctor who said, "No one over 80 should be driving." There are many of us "over 80s" who think that doctor is incompetent. My friend is not.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)