The Case That Prompted this Blog
August 18, 2007
This week's parliamentary report on elder abuse reflects poorly on the CSCI, which should have dealt with these issues years ago.
Paul Ridout August 17, 2007 9:00 AM (The Guardian UK)
The care sector has always had a small minority of providers delivering a poor, sometimes degrading service - so the joint committee on human rights' findings will come as little surprise to many.
This is a heavily regulated sector. The Commission for Social Care Inspection (CSCI) is currently the body charged with regulating the sector (it will become part of the super-regulator Ofcare in 2009) and so, in terms of blame, the buck stops there. CSCI inspects against rigorous regulations and standards covering every aspect of care from admission assessments and daily activities to care delivery and complaints. It can even prosecute breaches. That there are still abuses reflects poorly on CSCI (and its predecessor, NCSC) who have had about five and a half years to address these issues.
Interestingly, CSCI recently hailed the adoption of its new enforcement policy. This was greeted with some bemusement in the sector, as many thought isn't that what CSCI should have been doing all along? Many will draw the same conclusion now.
I want to stress that the vast majority of care homes provide a really good service, committed to the dignified care of older people. We should work harder to identify the small minority of bad providers and either bring them up to scratch or remove them from the sector. CSCI has all the power and resource it needs - it just needs to get better at using them properly and effectively in the interests of the people who matter - the service users.
Today's joint committee report tells us nothing new. It fails to make any meaningful criticism of the regulatory body in this country and that is what has been missing from this debate in the last 24 hours - the fact is that the regulatory tools already exist to tackle the substandard care that we all find so unacceptable.
Abridged - Source: The Guardian
Majority of the those over 65 years of age, live in their own homes. Many of them are still active and have the capacity to make major decisions about their well-being.
The term “Elder Abuse by Family Members” refers to situations where the rights of older adults are abused by people they trusted, such as family members or friends. Elder abuse can take the forms of:
· Financial or material abuse: For example, the use of an older person’s money or property without their permission
· Emotional or Psychological abuse: For example, verbal or physical threats, including threats of abandonment and intimidation; threats to harm others and pets; withdrawal of love and support Y Physical abuse: For example, slapping, punching, pushing, beating, burning and restraining
· Sexual abuse: For example, sex without consent, interference and harassment
· Social abuse: For example, restricting social freedom and isolating an older person from their family and friends
· Neglect: For example, failure to fulfil a commitment to provide assistance and support, such as neglecting to provide adequate food, shelter, care and emotional support.
Can you prevent elder abuse?
You can take action to protect yourself from experiencing elder abuse by:
· Remaining active in your community
· Maintain contact with family and other important people in your life
· Develop and maintain new friendships outside of your family, for example, be involved in an arts, religious or sports/recreational group; attend courses at your local recreation centre or TAFE
· Be involved in your community, for example, be a volunteer at the local school or Community Centre; join the local Resident’s Committee or Nature Preservation Group Planning for your own safety
· Make a list of five people you trust and can most rely on to support your best interests
· Keep the names and telephone numbers of these people handy
· Seek their support if you are experiencing fear or have other concerns
· Remember, “There is nothing so terrible that you can’t tell someone about it”.
· Arrange emergency procedures with these people and with other, for example, with your neighbours.
We may have grown older, but we do not lose our rights.
Keep informed about various issues concerning you and your society. If you think that you have been abused, seek help.
Check out the links on the sidebar of this blog. It is not a comprehensive list - but it is a start.
Adapted from: An Advocare Article
August 17, 2007
Elder abuse is the infliction of physical, emotional, or psychological harm on an older adult. Elder abuse also can take the form of financial exploitation or intentional or unintentional neglect of an older adult by the caregiver.
Most incidents of elder abuse don’t happen in a nursing home. Occasionally, there are shocking reports of nursing home residents who are mistreated by the staff. Such abuse does occur - but it is not the most common type of elder abuse.
Most elder abuse and neglect takes place at home.
The great majority of older people live on their own or with their spouses, children, siblings, or other relatives-not in institutional settings. When elder abuse happens, family, other household members, and paid caregivers usually are the abusers. Although there are extreme cases of elder abuse, often the abuse is subtle, and the distinction between normal interpersonal stress and abuse is not always easy to discern.
Elder abuse, like other forms of violence, is never an acceptable response to any problem or situation, however stressful. Effective interventions can prevent or stop elder abuse.
By increasing awareness among physicians, mental health professionals, home health care workers, and others who provide services to the elderly and family members, patterns of abuse or neglect can be broken, and both the abused person and the abuser can receive needed help.
Why Does Elder Abuse Happen?
There is no one explanation for elder abuse and neglect. Elder abuse is a complex problem that can emerge from several different causes, and that often has roots in multiple factors. These factors include family situations, caregiver issues, and cultural issues.
Caregiver Issues and Elder Abuse
Personal problems of the caregiver that can lead to abusing a frail older person include caregiver stress, mental or emotional illness, addiction to alcohol or other drugs, job loss or other personal crises, financial dependency on the older person, a tendency to use violence to solve problems. Sometimes the person being cared for may be physically abusive to the caregiver, especially when the older person has Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia.
Caregiver stress is a significant risk factor for abuse and neglect. When caregivers are thrust into the demands of daily care for an elder without appropriate training and without information about how to balance the needs of the older person with their own needs, they frequently experience intense frustration and anger that can lead to a range of abusive behaviors.
The risk of elder abuse becomes even greater when the caregiver is responsible for an older person who is sick or is physically or mentally impaired. Caregivers in such stressful situations often feel trapped and hopeless and are unaware of available resources and assistance. If they have no skills for managing difficult behaviors, caregivers can find themselves using physical force. Particularly with a lack of resources, neglectful situations can arise.
Sometimes the caregiver’s own self-image as a "dutiful child" may compound the problem by causing them to feel that the older person deserves and wants only their care, and that considering respite or residential care is a betrayal of the older person’s trust.
Dependency is a contributing factor in elder abuse. When the caregiver is dependent financially on an impaired older person, there may be financial exploitation or abuse. When the reverse is true, and the impaired older person is completely dependent on the caregiver, the caregiver may experience resentment that leads to abusive behavior.
Source: American Psychological Assn.
If you are caring for a family members and you feel that you need help - please check out the links listed in the sidebar. Get some help before you become part of the statistics of Elder Abusers.
Whilst horrible stories on elder abuse in nursing homes are given the warranted publicity, let us not forget that there are others who give their hearts and souls to the caring of our loved ones in nursing homes. Often, they work in difficult environment - made more difficult by under-staffed and/or under-resourced workplace.
I know a few cases, where the carers gave so much of themselves that they "burnt out" and suffered personal health consequences.
Having said that, let me make a statement of caution. If you are a carer and you feel that you are stressed out, for whatever reasons - seek help before it leads to your becoming an abuser.
Check out the links given in the sidebar of this blog.
August 15, 2007
By David Hughes (The Daily Record.co.uk)
THE treatment of old folk in hospitals and care homes is so bad that some carers should be classed as criminals.
That was the stark warning yesterday from a group of MPs and peers, who demanded a "complete change of culture" in how the elderly are looked after.
Parliament's committee on human rights called for new laws to force old people's homes to provide decent standards of care.
The MPs said: "Elder abuse is a severe human rights abuse, perpetrated on vulnerable older people who depend on their abusers to provide them with care.
"Not only is it a betrayal of trust, it would also, in certain circumstances, amount to a criminal offence."
The committee carried out a major investigation of care homes.
Shocked MPs heard how frail residents were left lying in their own filth. Others were fed so badly that they fell victim to malnutrition, or suffered terrifying abuse at the hands of staff.
The probe into homes and hospitals in England and Wales mirrors an award-winning Daily Record investigation into the standards of care in Scotland.
Our findings prompted the Executive to give the Care Commission more power to tackle abuse and bullying.
The Westminster human rights committee are now demanding a similar crackdown south of the Border.
In their report, the committee gave a series of horrific examples of abuse suffered by old folk in care.
One 80-year-old woman suffered a serious sexual assault by a fellow resident but staff did not call police or even tell her family.
The authorities were only alerted a year later, when the woman's daughter found out what had happened.
In another case, an 89-year-old lady's bed sores were not treated because staff at her care home said it was "not their job".
A third abuse victim, a 92-year-old woman called Dorothy, was admitted to hospital but was not given the help she needed to eat.
The committee heard: "On many occasions, Dorothy's food was left untouched on her bedside table and taken away at the end of mealtimes by the catering staff."
The MPs attacked the Department of Health and Ministry of Justice for failing to tell care homes about their duties under the Human Rights Act.
The committee also found evidence of "historic and embedded ageism" and a failure to "respect and protect the human rights of older people".
A shocking 21 per cent of care homes in England and Wales failed to reach minimum standards fo privacy and dignity. The committee called for every care home to be brought under the powers of the Human Rights Act.
The committee's chairman, Labour MP Andrew Dismore, said: "We must see a complete change of culture in the health and care services."
The report was welcomed by Help the Aged. Kate Jopling, head of public affairs at the charity, said: "This influential group of parliamentarians have lifted the lid on the shameful treatment of our older citizens.
"Far from tending to the needs of the most vulnerable, too often these services fail to respect older people's most basic human rights. Surely the shocking examples highlighted by this report provide all the evidence this Government needs to justify urgent action to remedy the situation.
"Help the Aged have long called for a ban on age discrimination and for action to ensure older people in care have their human rights protected. The Government must now act."
Gordon Lishman, director general of Age Concern, said: "It is scandalous that there is ignorance and even blatant disregard of human rights, seven years after the Human Rights Act first came into force."
He added: "This hard-hitting report gets to the heart of many of the problems.
"The Department of Health must, as the committee says, show more leadership in putting human rights at the heart of health and social care."
Government around the world should take note. My plea on behalf of the voiceless - Act Now!
By Nigel Morris, Home Affairs Correspondent
Published: 15 August 2007
Shocking levels of abuse, ill-treatment and neglect of elderly patients in hospitals and care homes are revealed in a damning report today.
An influential group of MPs and peers is demanding an "entire culture change" in health and care services and calls for tougher legislation to protect vulnerable pensioners.
They heard evidence of patients being poorly fed and dehydrated, given the wrong medicine, lacking privacy and even left lying in their own urine or excrement. Others were roughly handled by staff, deprived of their glasses, hearing aids or false teeth and discharged despite their frailty.
The Age Concern charity estimates that 500,000 older people in Britain suffer neglect or psychological, physical and financial abuse at any one time, although not all of this abuse occurs in health care. The elderly are the main users of the NHS, with two thirds of hospital beds occupied by people aged over 65.
The parliamentary Joint Select Committee on Human Rights condemns the Government's lack of "proper leadership" on the issue and points out that failing to counter the ill-treatment of older people could be a criminal offence. It says 21 per cent of care homes fail to reach minimum legal standards for privacy and dignity and says it found evidence of "historic and embedded ageism" within health care.
The committee says: "In our view, elder abuse is a serious and severe human rights abuse which is perpetrated on vulnerable older people who often depend on their abusers to provide them with care." It calls on the Government to place a duty on health and residential care providers to promote equality for older people, and to amend regulations so that all care homes are brought under the Human Rights Act. It also says that legislation banning age discrimination in the workplace should he extended to healthcare.
Andrew Dismore, the committee's Labour chairman, said the Human Rights Act had failed to eliminate the abuse. "It has become a tick-box exercise for lawyers, rather than becoming the lever to improve the delivery of services and in particular to ensure elderly people are treated decently," he said.
Ivan Lewis, the Health minister, said the Government would correct the "anomaly" of private care homes being excluded from the Human Rights Act.
Kate Jopling, for Help the Aged, said the report had "lifted the lid on the shameful treatment of our older citizens by health and care services".
Source: The Independent News
Source: GAA article in Chinese
- loss of self-esteem,
- poorer concentration,
- depression etc.
Governments around the world should recognise that unnecessary stresses on these vulnerable older citizens will result in further strain on the health system in their respective country.
It is, therefore, irresponsible for the "head-in-the-sand" attitude of some politicians.
Raising awareness of elder abuse is paramount.
August 14, 2007
Even with these alarming statistics, not enough is being done to address this crisis. The combination of low pay for nursing home staff, high staff turnover, and residents who cannot effectively report abuse, create a perfect storm for ever increasing rates of abuse and neglect.
What can a family do?
Although family members may not be able to effect widespread change, they can reduce - although not eliminate - the risk that their loved one will be the victim of abuse and neglect. Some measures include visiting on different days and times of days, question staff about any changes in resident's behavior, question the resident (to the extent possible) about any unexplained injuries and bruises.
The same pattern appears to be mirrored around the world. Family members and other concerned people - we have a lot to do. Politicians look to other way. It is up to us to force the issue.
August 13, 2007
Sanctions are imposed by the Department of Health and Ageing on approved providers in cases of non-compliance with their legislated responsibilities.
With federal election coming up in Australia, we have not heard anything from politicians regarding this issue. The "head-in-the-sand" attitude must stop! This problem is not going away, you can be sure of that, if nothing is done towards correcting the problems that still exist.
June 17, 2007
August 12, 2007
Elder neglect occurs when a person aged 65 or more experiences harmful physical,
psychological, material/financial and/or social effects as a result of another person
failing to perform behaviours which are a reasonable obligation of their relationship to
the older person and are warranted by the older person’s unmet needs.
Neglect is categorised into two forms:
Active neglect – conscious and intentional deprivation.
Passive neglect –the result of the carer’s inadequate knowledge, infirmity or disputing
the value of prescribed services.
How common is neglect of older people?
Seventeen percent of referrals to Age Concern EANP Services since 2002 included neglect. For comparison, physical abuse comprised 20% of cases, financial abuse 42% and psychological abuse 60%. Neglect often occurred concurrently with these forms of elder abuse (therefore percentages can total more than 100)
Who is neglected?
Age Concern New Zealand statistics show that women aged 75 to 84 living with their partner or other family/whanau are most commonly neglected.
From the cases sampled in this study, the most common characteristics of older people
• communications difficulty,
• limited social contacts and isolation and
• mental or physical disabilities.
In addition, the study found that dementia and a dependency on one person were common among those neglected through financial abuse. The former was even more pronounced in neglect through abuse of enduring power of attorney.
The study found that some older people tolerated neglect because of their need for
The findings are consistent with international research, which shows that older people are more at risk of elder abuse or neglect if they:
• Are dependent on one person for all or part of their care
• Have mental or physical disabilities
• Have communication difficulties
• Have long standing negative personality traits that may have become more pronounced
• Have limited social contacts and are isolated
• Have feelings of low self esteem
Who neglects older people?
People who neglect are most commonly family/whanau members. This is consistent with
statistical information about other forms of elder abuse.
Known elder abuse and neglect risk factors for caregivers include:
• previous family conflict or tension
• history of family violence
• difficulty controlling anger and frustration
• life stresses such as unemployment, health, financial difficulty
• mental health problems, low self-esteem
• alcohol, drug or other addictions
• poor support and/or social networks
• dependence on the older person for housing, money, emotional support
From cases sampled for the study, the most common characteristics among those who
neglected older people were:
• a family member,
• who is the primary care giver,
• experiencing stress (unemployment, carer stress),
• an addiction(s), and
• dependent on the neglected person for housing/financial/emotional support.
The study suggests specific ways neglect can be prevented. These include:
• promoting understanding of the important role carers have in our community and their right to support
• improving support to family/whanau carers, particularly following respite or other formal care
• improving awareness of, and access to, advice on the help available for older people and their carers, including day care facilities
• including assessments of clients’ family’s/caregivers’ ability to meet their needs in clients’ needs assessments
• promoting communication between family members and with ageing relatives, especially if care and inheritance arrangements are contested or unclear
• making separate financial arrangements, including in some cases an independently appointed Enduring Power of Attorney,
• increasing awareness and availability of services to prevent social isolation.
improving management standards, staff training and supervision and monitoring procedures in residential care facilities and home support services4.
Turning Awareness into Action
Putting our awareness into action is the key to preventing elder abuse and neglect. A multidisciplinary response across all sectors is needed to:
• empower older people to act for themselves and on their own behalf, to exercise their rights and advocate for their own interests
• raise awareness amongst the general population that elder abuse and neglect happens and is a problem
• educate those working with older people to recognise signs of possible abuse and to know how to respond appropriately
• prevent abuse or neglect through changing ageist attitudes and behaviour, and encouraging positive intergenerational relationships.
Services preventing elder abuse and neglect: (Not a comprehensive list)
New Zealand Australia UK USA
I thought it is worthwhile to highlight more from the New Zealand Report .
If you think you need more information regarding this issue, please check out the links listed here.
If you wish your services listed on this blog please contact me via email.
August 11, 2007
Elder Abuse and Neglect is a single or repeated act, or lack of appropriate action, occurring within any relationship where there is an expectation of trust, which causes harm or distress to an older person. It can be of various forms:
physical, psychological/emotional, sexual, or financial/material abuse, and/or
intentional or unintentional neglect.
Definition from Toronto Declaration on the Global Prevention of Elder Abuse, 2002
Key findings of the Study
• Older people who were neglected were commonly dependent on one person, had
communications difficulty, limited social contacts and isolation, mental or physical disabilities – including dementia.
• Abusers shared common characteristics. They were most likely to be: family members, living with the person being neglected, the primary care giver, facing life stresses such as unemployment or carer stress, addictions, and dependent on the neglected person for housing, financial or emotional support.
• Aspects of the older person’s life which were neglected and examined in the study included financial management, adequate nutrition and social isolation.
• Patterns of behaviour which may contribute to neglect were found. These include a lack of awareness of community or paid support services available, an unwillingness to accept assistance, failing to recognise the needs of the neglected person, limited family
communication, carers’ lack of ability to provide the necessary support, and lack of empathy towards a person’s disability or increasing inability to self care.
How can the community stop elder abuse and neglect?
Action must be taken to prevent neglect. Key ways to prevent all forms of elder abuse and neglect include:
empowering older people
educating people working with older people
raising public awareness about elder abuse and neglect
changing ageist attitudes and behaviours
encouraging positive intergenerational relationships.
We have a lot to do. Raising public awareness is the main aim of this blog. Remember to check out the links on the side-bar.
August 10, 2007
Bernard Lagan in Sydney
A 94-year-old great-great-grandmother, who left school when she was 12, has become the oldest person to earn a masters degree.
Phyliss Turner was awarded her higher degree in medical science at a ceremony in her home town of Adelaide, as generations of her family looked on. She left an inner-Sydney primary school before reaching her teens to help her mother to look after her brothers and sisters after her father left the family.
Her supervisor, Maciej Henneberg, said that discussions with international colleagues and internet research led him to believe that Mrs Turner was the oldest person in the world to gain a masters degree.
After marrying and bringing up her seven children and two stepchildren, she completed her school education at night, “because I love study”. In spite of her own achievement, she was proudest of her own children and stepchildren, she said.
Mrs Turner began her degree studies at Adelaide University when she was 70, and at 72 won a 12-month scholarship to study at the University of California. “I entered university when I was 70 and I came top in the essay section when I did my entry exam,” she said.
After her year in California, she returned to the Australian National University to graduate with a BA in anthropology in 1986.
Mrs Turner, who has lived in Adelaide since 1948, was 90 when she moved to the university medical school to do her masters after gaining honours in anthropology in 2002. Her thesis was on Australian settlement before European colonisation.
Professor Henneberg has urged Mrs Turner to continue her studies to a doctorate but she has so far declined. “People survive to 101 but rarely with a mind so young,” he said. “Her intellect is capable of completing a PhD, but her health is less certain,” he said. A PhD would take about three years.
“I feel very, very happy after five years of study, but sorry that I am just a little bit immobilised,” said Mrs Turner, who uses a walking stick. “I don’t feel old and I would like to go on to further study, but I am a bit of a liability to other people now.” Professor Henneberg said “Phil” had “a lively and fresh intellect”, while her son Tom said his mother “has an amazing brain”. Her family hope to have her achievement acknowledged by Guinness World Records.
August 9, 2007
By Susan Rand
Published Aug 07, 2005
If you have one or more elderly parents, you can bet that someone out there is trying very hard to get into their pockets, and empty them. These miscreants skulk around the home, bang on the door, call on the phone, place ads in magazines and newspapers, on billboards, online and on TV. Seniors who in possession of most of their faculties will likely turn these scoundrels away at the source, but what if your mother or father is mentally challenged, or losing contact with reality? What if they've lost their ability to exercise good judgment - maybe you've just learned they purchased a burial plot in a state clear across the country, in response to some salesman's telephone plea - what will you do?
What is senior financial abuse? Elder financial abuse is "the improper or illegal use of the resources of an older person, without his/her consent, for someone else's benefit."
August 8, 2007
If you are sent legal documents regarding property settlement, make unreasonable demands.
Avoid Isolation - Encourage your target to continue their normal activities except those involving the heirs. You want them to appear normal to friends and associates who can validate their feelings. Isolating elderly people can be used to prove undue influence.
ISOLATE – IN THE NAME OF SOMEBODY OR SOMETHING
Keep target in isolation. Remember if you ensure that target’s living-quarters are untidy and crammed – no one wIll visit.
Better still, if you have the power-of-attorney for the spouse, bar the only visitor to target. Give reason as that the other spouse would be upset.
Unbelievable as it sounds, the techniques mentioned here was used in a case that I have knowledge of.
The abusers were adult children. They thought what they did to their parents will never be known. Family matters and privacy of individuals? Of course, but when human rights are violated in any kind of abuse, the matter should be exposed.
Read more about this case. Click Here
August 7, 2007
Step One: Assess Opportunities & Establish Yourself
Step Two: Discredit and Displace the Heirs
Step Three: Savour Your Triumph
• Identify elderly affluent people who are alone;
• Use alcohol;
• Create reasons to see them often;
• Always take their side and fault anyone who disagrees with them;
• Get into a position of trust and authority;
• Act like the perfect son or daughter;
• Keep the rightful heirs ignorant of your relationship;
• Sever all communications between the victim and their heirs;
• Create conflict – lie to the victim about the heirs and their dishonesty and misdeeds.
The above list was posted on the site How To Steal An Estate
The site should be read as a cautionary tale: a shopping list of things to look out for: both for ourselves and for our loved ones, rather than as a “how-to” list on elder abuse.
Let me add to the list from a case I witnessed:
You got the Power of Attorney, Just drag on any move to work towards property settlement. If the person (you have the POA for) dies, you will get everything.
Just check out a real case where this ploy was attempted. That Case
August 6, 2007
BY GREGORY KORTE
Sex offenders live unidentified in nursing homes
In Ohio, sheriffs are required to notify neighbors when sexual predators live near by and enforce laws prohibiting sex offenders from living within 1,000 feet of a school. Nursing home residents are not exempt from these laws, but because the intent of the laws is to protect children and because elder abuse is an overlooked crisis in America, nursing home residents are forced, unknowingly, to live in homes shared with sex offenders and other criminals. With nursing home abuse and neglect being an important problem we face today, it is important to make sure loved ones are safe, protected and cared for- not at danger of sexual assault and misconduct. The Ohio state legislature is debating a bill that would require nursing homes to disclose the presence of sexual offenders to new or prospective patients. In one instance, a family placed an 18-year-old mentally retarded woman in a long term care facility but was unaware of the presence of sexual predators. Eventually, the home's failure to supervise residents convicted of sexual offenses allowed the woman to be raped by a sexual predator previously convicted of raping three women. It is going to be important, in the face of a growing elder population, to raise awareness of the many hazards of nursing home care.
Contacting elder advocates like ombudsmen and elder law attorneys can help send nursing homes the message that we are paying attention. They can not get away with underfunding homes, allowing for abuse and neglect, while the owners are pocketing excess cash. Contacting state agencies, advocates and elder law attorneys is the first step toward deterring nursing homes from continuing in their careless practices.
This is a situation where residents and families are harmed while nursing homes, sexual offenders and the state gain benefits. Nursing homes are allowed to make higher profits by retaining more residents that are unaware of the dangers of the home. Sexual offenders have free reign while they ought to be carefully supervised. The state is rewarded because offenders can't get subsidized housing so their presence in nursing homes is funded by Medicare, a federal program, and not state agencies. We, as a country, need to become more aware of the dangers facing our elderly population, especially as that population is expected to grow exponentially in the near future, because not enough people are fighting for their rights.
Full Text: The Enquirer
August 4, 2007
But the guidelines have not prevented continued heavy use in institutions for the elderly, there is some evidence that the drugs can help.A review of 16 studies found that some anti-psychotics might reduce agitation, aggression and psychosis, although there was little evidence about long-term use, the newsletter says.The drugs may cause tremors, drowsiness and weight gain, and they may raise the risk for high cholesterol, diabetes and heart arrhythmias, the newsletter says.
Source: Global Action on Ageing
August 2, 2007
Of more than 3,000 cases Adult Protective Services investigates every year in the state, ten percent involve allegations of financial exploitation of the elderly. Even then, advocates say only one in 25 such cases actually are reported.
Ida Jane Bailey says she and her husband Doug used to manage two duplexes in East Dallas for their client, 78-year-old Ruth “Deloise” Barrett.
That was until a man named Norman Lehr moved in three doors down from Barrett in 2001.
The Baileys became suspicious when Behr befriended his neighbor, and bailey says they made a shocking discovery.
“I guess finding that check for $10,000 written to him when Doug went with her to get her medicine was a shock,” Bailey said.
Lehr got power of attorney for the old woman and fired the Baileys as property managers.
A deed transfer shows Lehr is now the owner of Barrett's three properties.
The state investigated, and a doctor found Barrett had dementia and didn't know what she was doing. The state took over her care.
“We were so distressed because she just seemed to be so in pain; in pain in more ways than one,” said Bailey. “More than anything, we saw that she was vulnerable, and needy.”
Lehr now faces a charge of first-degree felony theft of more than $200,000. Lehr's attorney would not talk on camera, saying he wants to see the state's evidence and it was wrong for caseworkers to come in and cut Lehr off from Barrett.
Bailey says she saw the once fiercely independent woman she knew become disoriented, paranoid, and agitated.
It's because of cases like Barrett's that district attorney Craig Washington is asking Dallas County for a special prosecutor to go after people taking advantage of the elderly, saying current prosecutors are already overloaded.
“With the surge in these types of cases that we see developing within the county, I think it behooves us to have someone whose primary focus is these cases,” said Kevin Brooks, who is the Dallas County Felony Trial Bureau Chief.
The district attorney is scheduled to go before the County Commissioners on Tuesday, July 31 to make his request for the special prosecutor.
August 1, 2007
Older people have the right to be treated with respect and dignity, whether they are being cared for in their own homes or in aged care homes.
Are you concerned about a situation of elder abuse?
If you, a family member, friend or person you care for is concerned about a possible or actual situation of abuse of someone who lives in an aged care home (more information), please contact the Complaints Resolution Scheme on 1800 550 552 to report the situation and to discuss options. This call can be made anonymously, or can be kept confidential if you wish.Read more: How to make a complaint
Are you concerned about a situation of abuse of a person living in the community?
Elder abuse is a single or repeated act, occurring within any relationship where there is an expectation of trust, which causes harm or distress to an older person.
Abuse can include physical, sexual, financial, psychological abuse and/or neglect.
If you are concerned about your own situation, or that of a family member, friend or a person you care for who lives in the community, or if you would like more information about this issue, please contact the Information and Referral Line for your state or territory, listed below.
If you, your family member, friend or the person you care for is concerned about a possible or actual situation of abuse of someone who receives care in their own home through an Australian Government-funded aged care service such as a Community Aged Care Package (CACP) (more information), please contact the Complaints Resolution Scheme (more information) on 1800 550 552 to report the situation and to discuss options. This call can be made anonymously, or can be kept confidential if you wish.
For More Information: Click on the Heading of this post. Please let me know if the information is helpful.
Any Charges Reported on this blog are Merely Accusations and the Defendants are Presumed Innocent Unless and Until Proven Guilty.