8:13 am
Sun April 6, 2014

Dispute Over Disabled Man's Care Magnifies Guardianship’s Complexities

Nancy Pantoni is contesting decisions made by a court-appointed guardian for her disabled son, Dominic. He is pictured here, on the left, at a dinner with his mother and brother, Vince, about five years ago.
Credit Alexandra Kanik / PublicSource

Rarely is there so much tension — or so much at stake — around giving someone hope for a family reunion as in the case of Dominic Pantoni.

Every month, Dominic intently waits at the door of his group home for his mother to arrive, and he immediately asks her, “When’s the next hearing?”

A court hearing, in Dominic's eyes, means going home, or at least leaving a place that he calls prison, said his mother, Nancy Pantoni. She has been trying since 2010 to change legal guardianship of her 27-year-old son, who has intense special needs because of a genetic disorder.

Read more
9:00 am
Sun August 4, 2013

As PA Ages, the State Examines Guardianships and Abuse

Norma shuffles through family photos of her mother, whom she has been unable to see since last Christmas.
Credit Halle Stockton / Public Source

Norma Carpenter, a nurse and school board member, visited her 82-year-old mother regularly at a personal care home in Indiana County. The two would walk hand in hand through the home, stopping to hug each other. 

Then, in October 2012, Norma was banned from visiting or calling her mother, Mary Little, who has dementia. Her visits, she was told, left her mother sad and depressed.

In December, Norma discovered that her mother had been moved nearly 100 miles away to a Fayette County nursing home.

All of these decisions were made by a court-appointed guardian.

Read more