Any Charges Reported on this blog are Merely Accusations and the Defendants are Presumed Innocent Unless and Until Proven Guilty, through the courts.

October 31, 2007

Causes of Under Reporting of Elder Abuse

‘Elder Abuse in Western Australia’
Report of a Survey Conducted for
The Department For Community Development – Seniors’ Interests
June 2002
Professor Duncan Boldy
Mr Mathew Webb
Ms Barbara Horner
Ms Margaret Davey
And Ms Beth Kingsley
Freemasons Centre For Research Into Aged Care Services
(incorporating the TG Smith Dementia Research And Development Unit)

When asked why they thought abuse might be unreported and what they thought were the main causes of abuse, responses can be grouped under three perspectives, namely that of:

• the older person being abused;
• those abusing; and
• health professionals.

The older person abused

Loyalty to the family and fear of the consequences, were seen as major reasons for nonreporting by those abused, with some respondents referring to fears of being abandoned or “put into a home”. The dependency of the older person on the abuser(s) came through as a strong theme, related to both non-reporting and the main causes of abuse. One respondent stated “Specifically – has no other alternative to avoid the situation”. There were comments suggesting that the person abused was unable to make decisions or voice their needs because of dementia, poor self image, or even felt that “I deserve this, I am a burden”. Other comments referred to the reluctance of an abused person to change the situation, and the likelihood that such a person might ‘renege’ on any changes that were instigated.

Person abusing

Comments highlighted the lack of social and network support for abusers, lack of more suitable alternative accommodation, ‘family culture’, and in one case that there was an “obligation to care with no understanding of dementia or services”. Respondents felt that the main cause for abuse from the abuser’s perspective was due to the stress of caring.
Other causes mentioned included greed, financial difficulty and lack of support. One response maintained that it was a “punitive response to ageing and disease”. A lack of supervision and a feeling that the caring was all too much, came across strongly with one respondent giving as an example that the “carer was trying to do it all – a martyr”.
Several stated that intergenerational conflict was a factor, with a controlling element being identified in some cases.

Health professionals

The reasons given as to why health professionals fail to report elder abuse included such cynical comments as “Does it matter – money will eventually be the daughter’s”, “look the other way, it’ll go away” and “too hard basket”. Some were considered to be frustrated by the lack of anonymity for the reporter and because it was hard to pin down the variables related to abuse. There was felt to be a concern that it was unsafe to report abuse because there would be repercussions for the person being abused, or that the agency may actually cancel services. There was considered to be a reluctance to be involved with legal issues or with reporting suspicions only. It was noted that staff members were not trained to assess abuse.

2. Future efforts/funds are targeted at activities aimed at gaining an increased understanding of why elder abuse occurs and, particularly, what are the most cost effective primary preventions and interventions, bearing in mind the extent of multiple abuse identified. As regards the kinds of primary preventions needed, respondents rated all kinds of education as particularly important, education of both professionals and the general public in recognising elder abuse, and education of older people to assert and protect their rights. Interventions rated as particularly important were respite care (also considered an important contributor to primary prevention), advocacy and counselling services. It is recommended that:

3. Any existing relevant education programs (targeted at professionals, the general public and/or older people themselves) are appraised as to their adequacy and cost-effectiveness, and new programs developed as needed and evaluated.

Although the above study was done in 2002, I believe the findings still apply. Public education on this important issue has not been taken up by our politicians. The 'head-in-the-sand' attitude cannot be tolerated any longer. In an ageing population, it is obvious that seniors make up a big group of voters. It would be prudent of politicians to take note and do something before Aged Care and Elder Abuse issues, escalate into unmanageable problems.
Visitors to this and other related sites should support any call for better funding in this very important but neglected area in our country.

October 30, 2007

Political Blame Game over Elderly Mistreatment in Australia

The World Today - Friday, 19 October , 2007 12:21:00
Reporter: Michael Edwards

ELEANOR HALL: The report depicting widespread mistreatment of elderly patients in public hospitals has shocked many in the community, but sparked a blame game between politicians.

The report looked at nursing homes across the country and found that many residents return from hospital malnourished and in some cases with life-threatening infections.

Doctors and nurses are blaming a lack of training and staff for the problem, but the Federal and State Governments are blaming each other, as Michael Edwards reports.

MICHAEL EDWARDS: The Aged Care Association's report surveyed 370 nursing homes and found a majority of them have residents who've come back from hospital in worse condition than when they left.

These include cases of elderly patients returning with ulcers, chronically malnourished or with other serious illnesses.

There were also many cases of older people being put in taxis by hospital staff late at night and sent back to their nursing home when there was no one there to care for them.

They're stories that come as no surprise to the Australian Medical Association's aged care specialist, Dr Peter Ford.

PETER FORD: I am a general practitioner and I deal with the residential aged care sector, so it's not uncommon to come across this problem.

MICHAEL EDWARDS: Dr Ford says older patients require specialist care, and many hospitals just do not have the resources to cope.

PETER FORD: Older people have special needs in regard to skincare and other issues such as feeding so that, you know, this is a special need that is well addressed in the residential aged care, but perhaps there's not enough awareness about it in the acute sector.

MICHAEL EDWARDS: However, he says it's not only an issue for the hospitals. Dr Ford says nursing homes also need to be better equipped.

PETER FORD: There are unnecessary admissions and transfers from the residential aged care to the acute hospital sector. I think if we had better resources in residential aged care, if we did more to attract doctors and nurses - I'm talking about registered nurses - to the acute sector, then I think we could deal with many of these problems without transferring people inappropriately.

MICHAEL EDWARDS: The report pointed to systemic problems in the system. It found a culture of blame shifting and fundamental flaws in the management of elderly patients in hospitals. The report was also some critical of some staff in hospitals.

Jill Iliffe from the Australian Nursing Federation is aware of the problems.

JILL ILIFFE: I don't think it is deliberate abuse. I think it is a lack of staff and a lack of adequately trained staff. And we need gerontic nurses and geriatricians and specialised units to make sure that older people are cared for properly.

MICHAEL EDWARDS: Prue Power is from the Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association, which represents the public system. She says it's not fair to blame hospitals for the problem.

PRUE POWER: Many aged people who need care have multiple conditions. And so they need care for these conditions which are chronic. And people who have chronic conditions, really need to be looked after in settings other than hospitals. So, the criticism of care itself is not fair.

MICHAEL EDWARDS: The Aged Care Association says there needs to be greater co-ordination between state, federal and local bodies to tackle the problem.

Jill Iliffe from the ANF sees integration as key.

JILL ILIFFE: What we want to see is to look at our healthcare and aged care system as an integrated whole, and our community health system for that matter, they all need to be integrated.

MICHAEL EDWARDS: The Aged Care Association, the ANF and the AMA say they'd all like to see aged care be a bigger election issue.

The Federal Health Minister Tony Abbott has blamed the problem on state-based hospital systems, systems which the Federal Government has a plan to fix, with its policy for a new community-based management boards to run hospitals.

But the Victorian Health Minister Daniel Andrews says it's a lack of federal funding for aged care facilities that is placing extra strain on its hospitals. The federal Labor health spokeswoman, Nicola Roxon, agrees that the problems are a result of the Coalition stripping money from the aged care sector.

But the report's author, Professor Tracey McDonald, says the blame game should cease and the problems should just be fixed.

TRACEY MCDONALD: It's just unacceptable that all of this risk be shifted onto the most fragile, vulnerable, valuable, precious group of people in our society. It's just not reasonable.

ELEANOR HALL: That's Professor Tracey McDonald ending that report from Michael Edwards.

Source Link


A call for an integrated approach to solving our aged care problems is one that should be supported. A few weeks left before elections, very little is said by either major parties regarding fixing this problem. "Hello there, anyone listening?"

October 28, 2007

Elder Abuse in India

Many elders are quietly suffering indignity at the hands of those who they taught to say their first words and take their first steps. It is shocking that the largest perpetrators of Elder Abuse are their own children.

According to a rough estimate, nearly 40 % of older people living with their families are reportedly facing abuse of one kind or another, but only 1 in 6 cases actually comes to light. To highlight what is a closeted and extremely complex phenomenon, HelpAge India marked World Elder Abuse Awareness Day in Delhi today with a discussion and launch of a campaign to fight such abuse.
Source: Help Age India

Special tribunals to hear cases of mistreatment of elderly

New Delhi, Aug. 19 (PTI):
With incidents of elderly people being abandoned or mistreated by their families on the rise, the government plans to set up tribunals in all districts that senior citizens can approach without the help of a lawyer to get maintenance from their kin.
"Though we already have a penal code to try such cases, most elderly people lack resources to engage a lawyer and most importantly, they don't have the time to do all this," Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Meira Kumar told PTI in an interview.
"To address these problems, we will set up the tribunals as part of a provision the Old Age Bill, which has already been tabled in Parliament."
The tribunals, to be headed by sub-divisional magistrates, will take note of such cases and approach families to find a solution.
They will have the right to award punishment of imprisonment for up to three months. The duration of detention has been deliberately kept low as it entails punishing the relatives of the complainants, Kumar said.
"We have tried to draw a fine balance as this means going inside a family, inside two generations," she said.
Under the proposed Bill, earning members of the family who are young have to pay maintenance of up to Rs 10,000 a month and provide shelter to not only their parents who are retired but also those kin who are under 55 and are dependent on them.

Source: Hindu News Update Service

October 27, 2007

Attempt to Turn off Spotlight on Elder Abuse

After my last posting 'Reporting Elder Abuse - Not an Easy Task' -- where I quoted the Frank Punito case (one of many posted on this blog) as an example; a close friend of Frank's children left a short comment - "Give it a rest!".

Is this person, who was not even prepared to leave his/her name, serious? Is this call to "give the cause a rest" only directed at me alone, or to everyone who has a blog/website about elder abuse?

This blog is NOT just about one case of elder abuse. It is set up to disseminate information on this growing global problem, and to empower older persons with important information.

I acknowledge that friends of elder abuse cases may try to discredit anyone who publicize such cases. Their attempts will not intimidate me into stopping to speak out for others.

I will not remove this blog or stop speaking out for the voiceless. I have no hidden agenda. Only a very strong belief in Elder Rights and Elder Abuse Prevention.

I admire and support others who are doing similar work; and must state that I now truly understand the difficulties in working for the cause.

Let us be united in this fight for better recognition of Elder Rights. Also, to urge politicians to introduce statues to ensure that older persons are protected.

In Australia, the Parliamentary Inquiry into Older People and the Law has just published its report and recommendations. Let us see how long before those recommendations are taken up by the government of the day.
Researches and reports from around the world are echoing the same thing. Elder Abuse is a growing global problem.

This blog is my attempt to keep the issue in the spotlight. I thank my supporters and associates for their constant encouragement and assistance. We have a lot more to do.

October 26, 2007

Elder Abuse and How to Report It

Elder Abuse and How To Report It, Prevent It

Florida Law requires that any person who knows, or has reasonable cause to suspect, that a vulnerable adult has been or is being abused, neglected, or exploited shall immediately report such knowledge or suspicion to the Florida Abuse Hotline on the toll-free telephone number, 1-800-96-ABUSE ( 1-800-962-2873 ). The TDD (Telephone Device for the Deaf) number for reporting adult abuse is 1-800-955-8770 . Vulnerable adults are persons eighteen and over (including senior adults sixty and over) who, because of their age or disability, may be unable to adequately provide for their own care or protection. The Florida Abuse Hotline accepts calls 24 hours per day, seven days a week. The Abuse Hotline counselor is required to let the person calling know whether the information provided has been accepted as a report for investigation.
Abuse may be physical, mental, emotional, or sexual. Neglect can be self-neglect or neglect by a caregiver. A caregiver may be a family member, an in-home paid worker, a staff person of a program such as an adult day care center or of a facility such as a nursing home, or another person. Exploitation means that a person in a position of trust knowingly, by deception and intimidation, obtains and uses or tries to obtain and use a vulnerable person's funds, assets, or property. This includes failure to use the vulnerable person's income and assets to provide for the necessities required for that person's care.
When you call the Abuse Hotline to make a report, have this information ready:

  • Victim's name, address or location, approximate age, race, and sex.

  • A brief description of the adult victim's disability or infirmity.

  • Signs or indications of harm or injury, including a physical description if possible.

  • Name, address, and telephone number of any possibly responsible person/ perpetrator.

  • Relationship of the possibly responsible person/perpetrator to the victim, if possible. If the relationship is unknown, a report may still meet requirements for investigation.
    As the reporter, your name, address, and telephone number. This information is never given out. The reporter may choose to remain anonymous.

The Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) is responsible for providing services to detect and correct abuse, neglect, and exploitation of adults. This must be done so as to place the fewest possible restrictions on personal liberty and constitutional rights. In other words, DCF cannot forcibly remove a competent adult from a situation he or she refuses to leave. Some elders are unwilling to leave an abusive situation or to press charges against family members. Only if the person is found to be mentally impaired enough that judgment and decision making are impaired can the worker intervene to protect the person against his or her will. Law enforcement takes the lead in all criminal investigations and prosecutions for abuse, neglect, or exploitation of a vulnerable adult by another person.

Groups most at risk for elder abuse include:

  • Older women are most commonly reported. Older men may be just as much or even more at risk but are less frequently reported.
    The higher the age, the greater the risk.
    Those who live with a caregiver or depend on someone for care and assistance.
    Physically frail or disabled.
    Confused, disoriented, or mentally impaired.

    The Area Agency on Aging of Pasco-Pinellas, Inc. (AAAPP) is a 501(c)(3) private non-profit agency serving seniors and their caregivers in Pasco and Pinellas counties in Florida

Source: Aging Care Florida

October 23, 2007

Protect Yourself Against Elder Abuse

While it is hard to estimate how many older persons are abused each year, one study suggests that 500,000 Americans are abused, neglected and exploited by family members and others. The study also estimated, however, that only about 16 percent of abuse cases are reported. The Senate Special Commission on Aging estimates that there may be as many as 5 million victims of elder abuse a year.
The study also found that domestic elder abuse has increased 150 percent.

In addition:
551,011 people, age 60 and over, experience abuse, neglect, and/or self-neglect in a one-year period.
· The perpetrator was a family member in 90 percent of cases. Two-thirds of the perpetrators were adult children or spouses.
Legislatures in all 50 states have passed some form of elder abuse prevention laws. Laws and definitions of terms vary considerably from one state to another, but all states have set up reporting systems. Generally, adult protective services (APS) agencies receive and investigate reports of suspected elder abuse.

Older adults can take the following precautions to help keep themselves safe from abuse:

· Maintain a social life. Stay in touch with old friends and neighbors if you move in with a relative or change your address. Have a buddy outside the home check in with you at least once a week. Invite friends to stop by your house even if they only stay for a brief period.
· Stay open to opportunities. Make new friends. Continue participating in community activities.
· Retain control over your telephone and mail. If your mail is being intercepted, discuss the problem with postal authorities.
· Organize your belongings so you can keep track of everything. Make sure others are aware that you know where everything is kept.
· Try to be in control of attending to your personal needs. Keep regular appointments with your doctor, dentist, barber or hairdresser.
· Maintain financial control. Arrange to have your Social Security or pension check deposited directly to a bank account in your name.
· Maintain legal control. Obtain legal advice about possible future disability, including powers-of-attorney, guardianships, or conservatorships. Be sure to keep records, accounts, and property available for examination by someone you trust, as well as by the person you or the court has designated to manage your affairs. Review your will periodically. Only give up control of your property or assets at a time when you decide you cannot manage them.
· Be sure to ask for help when you need it. Discuss your plans with your attorney, physician or family members.
Other precautions to take to prevent elder abuse:
· Don't live with a person who has a background of violent behavior or alcohol or drug abuse.
· Don't leave your home unattended, or if you do, don't leave signs that you are not home. Don't leave notes on the door; if you must be away for a long period, notify the police.
· Don't leave cash, jewelry or other valuables.
· Don't accept personal care in return for giving the caregiver transfer or assignments of your property or assets unless a lawyer, advocate or another trusted person acts as a witness to the transaction.
· Don't sign a document unless someone you trust has reviewed it, and don't allow anyone to keep details of your finances or property management from you.
Last Reviewed on 12 Oct 2005

Last Reviewed By: Catherine Shu

· National Elder Abuse Incidence Study
· Adult Protective Services
· Elder Abuse Center

Article from Psychology Today


Visitors from UK, Australia, New Zealand, please check sidebar for links to where you can get more information and support.

Reporting Elder Abuse - Not an Easy Task

It is very strange that opposing parties looking at the same situation can come up with totally different conclusion.

In reporting elder abuse cases, it is often extremely difficult to get proof that abuses occurred to someone who lives in a private home.
It is definitely easier to prove physical abuse and blatant neglect than to try to prove subtle neglect and emotional/psychological abuse.

Don’t get me wrong. I am not trying to stop or discourage people from reporting, but just to share some experiences with others.

It might be easier if I take a case to demonstrate that caution must be exercised in reporting elder abuse.

The Frank Punito Case (pls. note that that is not the person’s real name)is one that comes to mind. Documentary evidence, of different media, were apparently in the hands of the author of that site. The victim’s permission was obtained before the site was put up. Furthermore, I was informed that witnesses testimony could be acquired, if needed.
However, that site owner/author has been strongly criticized recently.

To quote the author of that site:

“The main reason for the site is that it is an unbelievable case. Furthermore, in spite of all the proofs and testimonies available from the victim and witnesses, no one could help.
The abusers have the legal “trump card” called “Enduring Power of Attorney”.
Frankly, nobody really cares because the case was also bound up in a property settlement.”

(There must be changes in our laws to better protect older persons in our society. )

The sad thing about this case is that, the property settlement is over and Frank has been “removed” from the abuses. Now everyone expected the victim to just carry on as though nothing ever happened. Instead of giving support to the one who reported the case, there are those who said that the story should not be told and left on the site.
There were accusations of “an agenda” and “lies and deceits”.

A challenge by the author of that site, for the accuser to indicate which parts of the site are “lies and deceits” has not been responded to up till now.

What is ‘Emotional and Psychological’ Elder Abuse?

Simply put, it is:
Name-calling, "Silent treatment", Intimidate or threaten the individual; invoke fear or mental anguish; cause emotional pain or distress.

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)


As you can see from the above, that it is extremely difficult to report a EA case of that category.

  • Be prepared to be criticized;
  • Make sure you have the facts right;
  • Make sure you have the victim's permission and support to reveal the facts;
  • Make copies of documentary evidence;
  • Videos and photos are great ways of keeping records and evidence.
  • Ensure you have the support of others. You cannot do it alone!

Remember, it can be a thankless task. But, please do not be discouraged.

I am helping to publicize this growing global problem because I strongly believe that we have the right to be treated as human beings - with respect and dignity. Any forms of abuses in our old age is not acceptable. Any forms of abuses are NOT acceptable!

I will continue, for as long as possible, to highlight and disseminate information on this issue.

Please give your support to others who are in the same situation. We must be united in this cause -- empowering older persons with information.

October 20, 2007

Aged Care Issues - Australia

Wanted! Policies for sustainable, quality aged care
[Thursday, 18 October 2007]

Evidently Australia is awash with money – 34 billion dollars worth of tax cuts coming our way soon. Then there is all the money spent on tax-payer-funded political advertising – more billions.
Yet, with all this bounty, we still cannot afford to give many of our citizens the end-of-life care that they should have. Week after week we hear the stories of aged-care staff who are so stretched that they are unable to provide quality care for their residents. Or we hear from distressed family members who recount how the system is failing their loved ones.
Current government policy is to limit investment in public aged care and to shift money over to the private sector. Clearly corporations are seeing aged care as a cash cow (otherwise they surely would not be in there). The ‘looming aged care crisis’ is getting plenty of mentions and there is much talk of the need for introducing bonds for those in high-care facilities. And all the time the bonds for residency in low-care homes are getting higher and higher.
On the other hand, financial advisers are starting to warn people that all those savings currently going into superannuation funds, may end up in an aged-care bond as there is no upper limit on the size of the bond. At this time, the only restriction is that residents must be left with $33,500.
What a mess it all is. Who to believe? One thing is for sure - there is a great need for more accountability as to just where the aged-care dollar is being spent.
The Council on the Ageing has come up with a five point plan featuring preventative health care and policies to keep people at home as long as possible. No-one can argue with either of those. But in the end, some people cannot remain at home. They require full-time nursing care – more than can be provided at home. And so we need sustainable funding arrangements that will see humane, quality aged care prevail; ones that that don’t end up with staff and residents being squeezed to the limit in order for profits to be made out of the ill and dying.
Neither of the major parties has come up with any answers to the aged-care funding dilemma. Shame on them both. One day this current crop of politicians and bureaucrats will become old too. And who will speak for them then?
With election day coming up soon in Australia, it is a shame that we have not heard much about actions from both major parties.
The above article echos the concern of all of us. Please visit the website Aged Care Crisis for more information and discussions on this issue.

Elder Abuse - Yet Another Case

Mason siblings plead guilty to elder abuse
Last Updated: 7:18 pm Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Mason siblings plead guilty to elder abuse
MASON - A Mason brother and sister both pleaded guilty Oct. 9 in the Warren County Common Pleas Court to not properly caring for their 63-year-old disabled father.
Shelia Gray, 40, and Shawn Gray, 37, were each charged with one count of failing to provide for a functionally impaired person, a fourth degree felony.
An emergency medical squad responded to a call for assistance on May 17 at a residence in Mason to find the victim with bedsores on his body and extremely poor hygiene.
The victim was wheechair-bound and dependent on his children for his care.
The defendants face up to 18 months in prison and a $5,000 fine.
Sentencing will occur in approximately 30 days.
If there was a law cover 'Duty to Care' would this deter children neglecting their parents?

October 19, 2007

Elder Abuse - Who Really Cares?

Elder Abuse the silent "Crime of the Century". Yet, just like the public attitude to child abuse all those years ago, no one wants to talk about it.

When a clear cut, physical or sexual abuse case in care facilities, is given publicity by the media, the public and the government will take notice.

Unfortunately, the majority of cases of Elder Abuse happened in the victims' homes. No one wants to talk about those cases.

Especially, if the victims are not in any government care facilities or care packages. They are invisible victims.

Often, anyone who is brave enough to expose such cases are not given any support.

Take the Frank Punito Case - The person who put up the information on the site :

has now been accused of "lies and deceits" and having "an agenda".

Furthermore, the webmaster of that site has been accused of doing harm to the victim and his children(the abusers).

It shocked that webmaster, because this is one case where the documentary evidence have been overwhelming, and provided by the victim. Obviously, as far as the accusers are concerned, the event is in the past. The victim should just get back with his children, and just start over.

What about the victim's needs for counselling? What about his mental health?

Even his own relatives accused the webmaster of standing in the way of reconciliation between the victim and his children.

This is just one of the cases known to me that resulted in this way.

Should we bother to speak up for victims of elder abuse?

I can tell you from my own experience, and that of associates in this fight for justice for those victims -- If you are not strong enough to stand the thankless job - DON'T TRY!

It can be heart-wrenching and frustrated. Be prepared to face accusations of ALL-SORTS.

I salute all workers for the cause of promoting the awareness and prevention of all violence and abuses.

Elder Abuse Prevention and Awareness programs are still new. We will have to face a lot more in years to come, before Elder Abuse Advocacy is given the recognition and attention it deserves.

October 17, 2007

Elder Abuse - Another Story

The following is the transcript of the Joan Story.
(courtesy of Help the Aged Org. UK)

This is a true story.
Joan said:
“He was a volunteer. He used to pick me up and take me to the local day centre every week.
He was kind and I trusted him. I looked on him as a friend.
“After about a year, he changed. He became quite nasty. He verbally abused me. He told me if it wasn’t for him nobody would look after me.
“Then he said me he wanted power of attorney, but I didn’t know what that meant. So I put him down as next of kin and left him in charge of my money. But he took my pension. He had everything.
“He had my front door key because he used to do my shopping for me. But then he started to come and go whenever he felt like it. He used to wait until I’d gone out and then let himself in and jump out at me. It was very upsetting.
“Then he started to pester me, telling me I had to ‘do something for him.’ He put his hand on my breasts, and put his hand up my skirt. He tried to kiss me and put his tongue in my mouth. I felt so ashamed but I couldn’t stop him. I was helpless, I was scared of what he’d do next.
“This went on for a number of years and there was nothing I could do to stop him. Until one day I broke down and told my friend what had been going on. She contacted a social worker
straight away.
“It turned out he’d done this to a number of women, but as nobody had reported him so he thought he could get away with it.”
He did.
After 3 years of abuse, he was only fined £450.
Your donation will help stop this happening again.


If you are a UK resident and are worried about elder abuse of yourself or someone you know, please visit the Help the Aged Org or Call the Action on Elder Abuse helpline on Freephone 0808 808 8141

Elder Abuse Caught on Tape

Report from Good Morning America (GMA) on 16 October 2007

Silent Epidemic of Abuse Occurs Because Too Many Cases Go Unreported
Anastasia Olouch, a caretaker seen beating 90-year-old John Taylor in a shocking hidden-camera video, escaped to her native Kenya last month.
The chances of her being captured are slim. But the problem of elder abuse isn't going away anytime soon.
There are currently 1.6 million elderly Americans who are cared for by nursing home assistants, and that number is expected to reach 5 million over the next 20 years.
Having someone else look after aging parents is a tough decision to make, and is made even tougher by fact that one of four nursing homes has been blamed for the death or serious injury to a resident each year, according to government figures.
"There are many forms of elder abuse. Physical abuse is certainly one. Verbal abuse is another," said Elinor Ginzler of the American Association of Retired People.
If You See It, Say Something
According to estimates by the National Center on Elder Abuse, between 1 million and 2 million Americans aged 65 or older have been abused, mistreated or exploited by a caregiver -- whether a relative or paid health aide.
Experts say there could be many more unreported cases.
"For every one case of elder abuse that is reported there are as many as four that go unreported," said Bob Blancato of the Elder Justice Coalition.
Many people are afraid to speak up, or they simply don't recognize signs of abuse, even when it is right in front of them, as an ABC News "Primetime" investigation revealed.
For its series on ethical dilemmas, "Primetime" set up a scenario using two actors in a local park.
For two days, hidden cameras recorded the reactions of passersby as an elderly, wheelchair-bound man was screamed at and even struck by someone who appeared to be there to take care of him.
Out of more than 100 potential witnesses, 75 of them kept walking without saying a word.
"It points to a certain level of denial that is rampant in this country about the issue of elder abuse," Blancato said.
The ones who did intervene used a variety of methods, from calling 911 to directly confronting the abuser.

Thought I should post this item. Elder Abuse is not a pleasant topic to write or talk about. However, if we want to inform the public and politicians that it is wide-spread and needs changes regarding care and protection of the elderly; we must continue to highlight this issue.
For those who need more information, please check the links in the sidebar.

October 16, 2007

Elder Abuse Site Accused of "Lies and Deceit"

The webmaster of the site that exposed the Frank Punito Case (http://inthenameofthemother.com/) has been accused of having a hidden agenda and causing harm to the victim and his children.

According to that webmaster, all information posted on that site have been verified by documents and were approved by the victim.

The accusations were made by "a close caring friend" of the family. Obviously, that person cannot be a close caring friend of the victim.

The webmaster of that site has now posted a response and added that documents will be published in the near future, to support information on that website.

For all those who know the case by now, please log on and contact the webmaster to give your support.

Let all elder abuse blog- or website- owners be warned. Unless you have documentary evidence, you are taking a risk!
But, I think we know better. The only "agenda" we all have, is the firm belief that all human beings are entitled to be treated with respect and dignity. Elder Abuse is NOT accepted in any shape or form.

October 12, 2007

Elder Abusers Gave Excuses - Part 2

Elder Abuse Aftermath

What happens to victims of elder abuse once they have been “rescued” from their abusive environment? I believe that if the victims are under the care of Adult Protective Services or other government care facilities they would be cared for in some ways. However, if they are living in their own homes and are still physically and mentally capable there are no help for them.

Do they ever get over the abuses – especially, if the abusers were members of their own families?

The Frank Punito Case is one that I have details and documentary evidence. The 77 year old man in this case, is struggling to go on with whatever is left of his life.

The reasons the abusers gave for their abusive actions, surely would nauseate most of us.

One of the reasons the abusers gave was "..... we feel sorry for the old man, but we did what we did because he has a lady friend, X..."

For those who are not familiar with the case, just take a look at the video first

Now, Frank's friend X, has made a statement regarding the citing of her, as an excuse for the abusers' actions. Her Statement

These 2 elder abusers "got away". There were no repercussions, except for the fact that their father no longer wishes to see them. Not a big deal for them, because they never bothered to keep in contact with their father or cared about him!
This is another case, where the abuses occurred in a private home, and no one were able to intervene or assist the victim.
Through the astute actions of the victim's friend, videos and documentary evidence of the case were made/collected. If this was a child abuse case; the abusers would have been prosecuted and jailed!
Society MUST take actions now to ensure that its older citizens are protected from such injustice. Please visit the Frank Punito Website and leave a comment to encourage this victim.
(Just type 'Frank Punito' in your browser to get there)

October 10, 2007

Elder Abuse - Know Your Rights

Every person-every man, woman, and child-deserves to be treated with respect and with caring.

Every person-no matter how young or how old-deserves to be safe from harm by those who live with them, care for them, or come in day-to-day contact with them.
Older people today are more visible, more active, and more independent than ever before. They are living longer and in better health. But as the population of older Americans grows, so does the hidden problem of elder abuse, exploitation, and neglect.

Every year an estimated 2.1 million older Americans are victims of physical, psychological, or other forms of abuse and neglect. Those statistics may not tell the whole story. For every case of elder abuse and neglect that is reported to authorities, experts estimate that there may be as many as five cases that have not been reported. Recent research suggests that elders who have been abused tend to die earlier than those who are not abused, even in the absence of chronic conditions or life threatening disease.

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. (my emphasis)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.

Source: American Psychological Association


Researches around the world has echoed the same thing. The majority of elder abuse cases are in private homes. Only 1 in 5 are reported. Often the victims of elder abuse are reluctant to report for fear of "withdrawal of help or affection" from the abusers.

If you think you or someone else has been abused please check out sidebar links here to get more information about where and how you can get help.
Do not put up with abuses. You have the right to be treated with dignity and respect.

October 8, 2007

Elder Abuse - Neglect of Aged an 'Outrage'

Neglect of Aged an 'Outrage'

By Thomas Walkom, The Star.com Canada October 4, 2007

The Ontario government is helping to break its own laws when it lets nursing homes leave elderly residents lying for hours in urine-soaked diapers, according to a legal opinion prepared for the Ontario Federation of Labour.

Federation president Wayne Samuelson says he has sent letters to all major party leaders warning that unless whoever wins next week's election moves quickly to clean up the problem, the OFL will "pursue any and all legal recourse."

"It's absolutely outrageous," he said in an interview.

"People shouldn't have to end up in these situations. If these were kids in a child-care centre, there would be outrage."

Written by Toronto lawyers Mary Cornish and Jo-Anne Pickel, the 29-page brief concludes that most nursing homes in the province violate laws, regulations and binding contractual obligations that require long-term care institutions to keep patients "clean and dry" and "promote their dignity and independence."

They say the so-called 75 per cent rule, whereby a diaper is changed only after it is three-quarters full of urine, contravenes the province's human rights code against discrimination on the basis of age, disability and sex (elderly women suffer from incontinence more than men). And, they say, it may also violate the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Nursing home administrators who insist that staff leave immobile residents festering in their own urine could also be charged with professional misconduct, they say.

Full-text: Global Action on Aging

As kids, we were often told to learn from our own mistakes or that of others.
Why, then, do governments around the world not learn from others? I believe the above report may be mirrored in many other countries. Politicians, community groups and other groups - let us be united in the fight for Ageing with Dignity - NOW. Do not wait till you are helpless!

October 7, 2007

Elder Abuse - Another Research Paper (Australia)

Perceptions of elder abuse among Australian older adults and
general practitioners

This report investigates and compares perceptions of elder abuse by general practitioners (GPs) and older people. The results suggest that GPs tend to view all types of abuse scenarios as less severe when compared to the groups of older adults. In addition, "caregivers saw scenarios as less severe than other groups of older people."

“To conclude, although it has become axiomatic in many studies to state that additional research is needed, this is definitely the case in the area of elder abuse in Australia. One neglected area is the complex web of dependency and fear that influences the acceptance of mistreatment by an older person in order to protect a relationship with the abuser. (my emphasis) Further studies of the risk factors of abuse, the determination of the most effective methods of assessment and the efficacy of intervention programs are all important. Whether the introduction of mandatory reporting of elder abuse, proposed in the wake of public disclosure of sexual assaults in a Victorian residential care facility, will be an effective intervention remains to be seen. The present results highlight the complexity of the perceptions of elder abuse among older adults themselves, and the differences of these perceptions from those of GPs. Such findings as these highlight that it will only be through extensive research and discussion on the topic of elder abuse that the difficulty of defining the problem and obtaining answers to other related questions will be resolved.”

Full-text: From GAA

Yet another report published, filed and will be forgotten in time.
Governments around the world MUST take actions. At least get the local populations informed about the growing problems. Older persons need to be informed of their elder rights and where they can get assistance.

October 5, 2007

Growing Old at Home - An Inspirational Story

A Grass-Roots Effort to Grow Old at Home

By Jane Gross, New York Times
August 14, 2007

On a bluff overlooking the Potomac River, George and Anne Allen, both 82, struggle to remain in their beloved three-story house and neighborhood, despite the frailty, danger and isolation of old age. Mr. Allen has been hobbled since he fractured his spine in a fall down the stairs, and he expects to lose his driver’s license when it comes up for renewal. Mrs. Allen recently broke four ribs getting out of bed. Neither can climb a ladder to change a light bulb or crouch under the kitchen sink to fix a leak. Stores and public transportation are an uncomfortable hike.So the Allens have banded together with their neighbors, who are equally determined to avoid being forced from their homes by dependence. Along with more than 100 communities nationwide — a dozen of them planned here in Washington and its suburbs — their group is part of a movement to make neighborhoods comfortable places to grow old, both for elderly men and women in need of help and for baby boomers anticipating the future.
“We are totally dependent on ourselves,” Mr. Allen said. “But I want to live in a mixed community, not just with the elderly. And as long as we can do it here, that’s what we want.” Their group has registered as a nonprofit corporation, is setting membership dues, and is lining up providers of transportation, home repair, companionship, security and other services to meet their needs at home for as long as possible. Urban planners and senior housing experts say this movement, organized by residents rather than government agencies or social service providers, could make “aging in place” safe and affordable for a majority of elderly people. Almost 9 in 10 Americans over the age of 60, according to AARP polls, share the Allens’ wish to live out their lives in familiar surroundings.Many of these self-help communities are calling themselves villages, playing on the notion that it takes a village to raise a child and also support the aged in their decline. Some are expected to open this fall on Capitol Hill; in Cambridge, Mass.; New Canaan, Conn.; Palo Alto, Calif.; and Bronxville, N.Y. “Providers don’t always need to do things for the elderly,” said Philip McCallion, director of the Center for Excellence in Aging Services at the State University of New York at Albany. “There are plenty of ideas how to do this within the aging community.” Although not a panacea for those with complicated medical needs, the approach addresses what experts say can be a premature decision by older people to give up their homes in response to relatively minor problems: No way to get to the grocery store. Tradesmen unwilling to take on small repairs. The isolation of a snowy winter. As these small problems mount, sometimes accompanied by pressure from adult children, experts say, the elderly homeowner is caught off guard. Remaining at home without sufficient help is frightening. But moving to an assisted-living center is often an overreaction that can be avoided or postponed.

Full text: HERE


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