The National Association to Stop Guardian Abuse posted a memorial for war hero, Hugh Johnson. NASGA honored Johnson’s service in World War II and recounted the horrors of being a German prisoner of war. The memorial also recounted the greater horrors of Johnson’s last months in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Horrors of war and POW camps did not prepare Hugh for the horrors of guardianship in Wake County, North Carolina. A healthy active man who still enjoyed golf at 95, Hugh deteriorated rapidly under Guardian Cheryl Theriault of Raleigh based Aging Family Services.
Aging Family Services’ cautions “the last thing you want is for them to end up in a nursing home.” Family never imagined the nightmare Theriault’s guardianship would bring.
Theriault immediately removed Hugh from his upscale home, isolated him from family, and chemically restrained him with the anti-psychotic drug Seroquel. Five months after being taken from home, Hugh was frail, bedridden, and incontinent. His legs and feet were covered with sores that would not heal.
Denied the personal care of a loving daughter, Hugh languished at The Covington. The facility advertises “truly affordable assisted living.” Our Parents website gives The Covington 2 out of 5 stars. Daughter Ginny Johnson called it, "NASTY. NASTY."
Comparing The Covington to his time as a POW, Hugh said, “My German captors kept me better.” Meals were missed. Rooms were filthy. Hugh suffered 28 falls, a broken rib, and his partial plate was lost.
Theriault responded by moving Hugh to Blue Ridge Nursing Home. That facility lost its eligibility for federal funding and was assessed a $4,550-a-day civil penalty for 6-weeks in spring 2012.
Geriatric Care Manager Heather Joyner of Aging Family Services so neglected Hugh that she was removed from his case. Geriatric Adult Guardianship Social Worker Karen Johnson replaced Joyner. Ginny described both Joyner and Johnson as “so, so, so HATEFUL.”
Ginny complained to Theriault over and over. She emphasized that Seroquel is not approved for use in elderly patients, and Hugh was having severe adverse reactions. Theriault ignored Ginny’s complaints, just as she ignored Hugh’s welfare and his wishes.
On January 9, 2014, attorney A. Justin Eldreth sent Ginny Johnson a cease and desist letter. The letter threatens that Cheryl Theriault and Aging Family Services will sue Ginny for defamation if Hugh Johnson’s memorial is not removed from the NASGA website.
Accordingly, we demand that you (a) immediately cease and desist your unlawful defamation of Cheryl Theriault and Aging Family Services, Inc., by writing to the National Association to Stop Guardian Abuse to request that they remove any mention of either Cheryl Theriault or Aging Family Services, Inc. from their website, specifically, the information located at http://stopguardianabuse.org/hugh_johnson.htm; (b) provide this office with a copy of your written request; and (c) provide this office with prompt written assurance that you will cease and desist from further defamation of the character and reputation of Cheryl Theriault and Aging Family Services, Inc. All this must be done within ten (10) days from the date of this letter.
If you do not comply with the cease and desist demand within this time period, Cheryl Theriault and Aging Family Services, Inc. is entitled to seek monetary damages and equitable relief for your defamation. In the event that you fail to meet this demand, please be informed that Cheryl Theriault and Aging Family Services. Inc. has asked us to communicate to you that she will pursue all available remedies, including seeking monetary damages, injunctive relief, and an order that you pay court costs and attorney’s fees. Your liability and exposure under such legal action could be considerable.
Ginny did not compose the memorial on the NASGA website. Ginny has no control over the NASGA website. Ginny has no ability to delete content from NASGA’s website.
Readers may express their concerns to Cheryl Theriault at Aging Family Services.
Aging Family Services
4812 Six Fork Roads, Suite 110
Raleigh, North Carolina 27609