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[The Netflix movie I Care a Lot] is fiction but the story all too familiar to thousands of Americans whose elderly parents have been entrapped by little scrutinised guardianship programmes. Many speak of a sense of helplessness in the face of system rife with the abuse, neglect and profit-driven exploitation of vulnerable people.

An estimated 1.3 million adults are under the care of guardians who control about $50bn of their assets. The little understood system has long suffered a lack of oversight, transparency and basic protections.

Karen Buck, executive director of the SeniorLAW Center in Pennsylvania, said: “It is the state coming in and taking away your most fundamental decisions, your fundamental right to autonomy, and giving those decisions to someone else who may be a total stranger to you. So it is a very drastic measure and it just simply doesn’t get that much attention until there is crisis and scandal.”

Read more in The Guardian.

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