The sad reality for everyone is that age can rob even the most active people of their strength and vitality — and they can then become targets for exploitation.
That may be what has happened to Buzz Aldrin, the astronaut who so famously once walked on the moon. Arguably one of the most famous senior citizens in the world, he now alleges that he’s the victim of financial abuse by his own business manager and children. He also alleges that they’ve perpetuated that abuse by falsely claiming that he suffers from dementia.
Aldrin has had to go to court to ask a judge to force his son to relinquish control of his social media accounts and finances, despite the fact that he’d already rescinded the authorization he’d once given under a power of attorney. Aldrin claims that his son and daughter have conspired against him and essentially walked off with a lot of his money — with his business manager’s help.
For their part, Aldrin’s son and daughter have asked a judge in the Florida court system to make them their father’s legal guardians. They claim that Aldrin is paranoid, delusional and confused. They also claim that he’s actually being exploited by some new “friends” that are using him for his assets and trying to separate him from his family.
While the court has ordered a mental health evaluation in the near future, a psychiatrist who evaluated Aldrin in April, 2018, declared the senior “normal.” The psychiatrist is also on record stating that Aldrin is quite capable of seeing to his own physical needs and perfectly able to spot fraud when he sees it — which would seem to cast doubt on the allegations of dementia.
It’s too early to say how this dispute will work out — both sides are currently waiting to see what the newest mental health evaluation will say. However, disputes among family members like this happen all the time, although generally with more privacy. Sometimes the senior really is having problems with dementia and the family is justifiably concerned. Other times, family members simply see an opportunity to use a family member’s age as justification to deprive them of their free will. When that happens, it’s always best to get the court involved as soon as possible.