Sam Huff care dispute continues despite interim resolution

Sam Huff eldercare dispute continues

Sam Huff eldercare dispute continues

Robert Lee Huff (born October 4, 1934), known as Sam Huff, is a former American football linebacker who enjoyed a successful career with the New York Giants and the Washington Redskins.  He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1982.  A recent story in the Washington Post found here, discusses some of the difficulties he and his family are experiencing with his care.  Sam Huff is 82 years old.

The dispute involves his longtime partner and his daughter.  At issue is who should care for him.  Court documents have revealed that he suffers from dementia caused by either Alzheimer’s disease or chronic traumatic encephalopathy.  Sam Huff had been living with his long time partner Carol Holden for about 30 years in Middleburg on a horse farm known as the “Huff Farm”.  On or about March 31, 2016 Sam Huff’s daughter, Catherine Huff, picked him up for a dentist appointment.  He did not return home and he has lived with Catherine since.  As a result, legal proceedings were commenced to determine who should care for him.

A Judge in Loudon County Circuit Court recently ruled that Sam Huff should return to live with Carol Holden.  This was an interim resolution, pending trial in March of 2017.  The parties seem to have reached an amicable resolution allowing Sam Huff to return home to Huff Farm.  Mediation is to take place before the trial to encourage a final resolution without a public hearing.

Sam Huff dispute illustrates common eldercare issues

The Sam Huff scenario illustrates some of the challenges that are becoming more common as our population ages. As age advances, people require more care.  Who should provide this care is often the cause of strife within families.  Eldercare is often a very sensitive subject within families.  This is especially true if the person who requires the care has lost capacity or has deteriorated mentally.

Eldercare should be part of succession planning.  Many people elect to put off the preparation of power of attorney documentation as something that can be taken care of at some point in the future, toward the end of life.  As a result, capacity may become an issue before proper instructions are in place.  This makes eldercare more difficult since the person requiring the care can no longer make decisions pertaining to his or her personal care.

It is crucial to ensure seniors have proper power of attorney documentation in place well before capacity possibly becomes an issue.  No one can anticipate if or when a person may lose capacity, therefore it is better to be prepared in well in advance.

More on this story here.