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

June 30, 2008

India's Elderly Face Growing Neglect

India's Elderly Face Growing Neglect
By Tinku Ray, BBC News, Delhi
June 21, 2008
There are more than 70 million pensioners in India
In India's financial capital, Mumbai (Bombay), Laxmibai Laxmidas Paleja lies on a low cot with a thin sheet over her.
She's 92 and very frail and there are obvious bruises on her face. She also has swelling around her eyes, nose and mouth.
"My grandson and my daughter-in-law started abusing me. And they said, 'I'll kill you, I'll kill you'," she says.

"I'm old. I couldn't defend myself. I was bleeding all over. I've got bruises all over my body. Then they just bundled me in a car and dumped me here at my daughter's house."
Grandson Vinay Paleja denies the accusation.

"No, I never touched my grandmother. She hurt herself and I don't know why she's making these accusations against us."

While recovering at her daughter's house, Laxmibai Paleja says she now has nothing.
She agreed to sell her land and gold to pay for medical treatment for herself and her son. But none of the money was used for the purpose, she says.

The case will probably go to court, but getting to this stage takes a long time in India. Laxmibai Paleja may not even be alive by the time it is resolved.

Rising abuse
There has been a steady rise recently in reports of cases of elderly being abused, harassed and abandoned in India. Traditionally older people has been revered in India, signified by the touching of their feet by the younger generation.
Joint family systems - where three or more generations lived under one roof - were a strong support network for the elderly.
But more children are now leaving their parental homes to set up their own.
Sociologists say the pressures of modern life and the more individualistic aspirations of the young are among reasons why the elderly are being abandoned or, in some cases, abused.
Alarmed by what's happening to some of the elderly, the Indian government recently introduced a new law.

The Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Bill provides for up to three months' imprisonment for those who do not take care of their parents.
Court orders will also be used to force children to pay maintenance for their elderly parents.

Left to die
The problem is not confined to India's cities.
I travelled to the southern state of Tamil Nadu, to a town called Erode. Last year a 75-year-old grandmother, Chinnamal Palaniappan, was found on a rubbish dump just outside the town.

The government also hopes the new law will act as a deterrent.

But Matthew Cherian, chief executive of HelpAge India, says it is not going to prevent families from breaking up.
"You're not going to get back to the joint family system. We have to get into more and more old age homes.
"At HelpAge India, 30 years ago when we started supporting old age homes, everybody said this was a Western concept. Today everybody accepts this is not a Western concept, this is the reality."

SOURCE: BBC/South Asia

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Aging Population May Hurt Singapore Most

Ageing population may hurt Singapore most
By Bryan Lee, Economics Correspondent
June 26, 2008

SINGAPORE may suffer the most among Asian economies from an ageing population, with the average growth in economic output falling more than 40 per cent over the next 25 years.
A new research report from Swiss banking giant UBS found that the Republic is set to be the world's third- fastest ageing nation, as the proportion of those aged 65 and above will double to 20 per cent in 2020.

This is a problem because of the decliine in the proportion of people who are economically productive.

In Singapore, factors such as a relatively low birth rate and high-quality health care, which helps people live longer, contribute to the ageing population.

But the UBS report, using United Nations data, found that four of the world's 10 fastest ageing populations are in Asia. Japan is in the No. 2 spot, followed by Singapore, South Korea and Hong Kong.

Mr Simon Smiles, who wrote the report, also said that China and Thailand are ageing more rapidly than Spain, France, Britain and the United States.

Beyond economic growth, the greying of Asia's populations is also likely to hurt public finances as mandatory public pension plans may become inevitable.

Assuming a similar programme to that in Australia, the Singapore Government, for instance, may be saddled with an additional expense equivalent to 7.6 per cent of GDP, said Mr Smiles.

The Australian scheme pays out benefits equivalent to 25 per cent of the average wage for those eligible.

But there may be a silver lining for investors.

Hospitals, medical equipment makers and drugmakers should benefit, said Mr Smiles, as the elderly generally spend more on health care than younger people.

Life insurance and asset management firms should also get a boost from a growing need for wealth management for retirement.

Investors could even look at putting money in the business of death, said Mr Smiles, who cited Sydney-listed funeral service provider InvoCare as a potentially strong investment.

Copyright © 2007 Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. Co. Regn No. 198402868E

SOURCE: StraitsTimes

Yes, ageing population is becoming a much talk about issue, globally. Whilst economists would inevitably talk about investments etc; every levels Government must put in place plans to tackle the challenges now and in the near future.

Perhaps the government of each country should get into the "funeral service" market.

Seriously, we all should have some input on this discussion. This is everybody's issue! Unless you are certain you would not reach old age.

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June 29, 2008

Nurse Accused of Neglect of an Elderly Woman (UK)

Slough Observer
Published: Friday, 27th June, 2008 16:00

A nurse has been accused of failing to properly care for an elderly woman who later died at Wexham Park Hospital.

Arnel Garcia is charged with not making regular checks on an 89-year-old who went the Slough hospital with a broken leg following a car crash.

The 38-year-old senior nurse, of Slough, appeared before the Nursing and Midwifery Council’s (NMC) offices in London on Monday and Tuesday. The council heard that although Garcia was told the patient could be suffering from an infection in the leg, he did not assess her condition and failed to ensure his junior staff carried out hourly checks.

The elderly woman, who had been described as ‘very fit and chatty’ before an operation to insert a pin in her shattered thighbone in November 2004, deteriorated rapidly afterwards.

The hearing heard that a healthcare assistant set off a panic alarm when he realised that the woman was struggling to breathe, but Garcia was nowhere to be seen. Teresa Murphy, representing the NMC, said: “Mr Garcia, being aware that she needed hourly shifts, did not ensure that observations were taken, and in fact, after he started the shift at 7am, an observation of the patient was not made until 10am and then again not until 2pm.”

He is also alleged to have covered his tracks by altering the patient’s observation chart after the death by changing her blood pressure reading.

Garcia moved to England from the Philippines in 2001. A hospital spokeswoman said he no longer works at Wexham Park. Garcia denied failing to assess the patient’s condition or to ensure that observations were carried out and changing the observation chart.

However, he has admitted a charge of returning to the nurses’ accommodation while in charge on the ward, but denied that his fitness to practice is impaired.

All the witnesses were not able to attend so proceedings have been deferred until the next available time slot in October. The hearing continues.

SOURCE: SloughObserver

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Help Stop Abuse of the Elderly (Nth Ireland)

Help stop abuse of the elderly
By Seamus Lynch
[Published: Saturday 28, June 2008 - 14:42]

Three per cent of older people in Northern Ireland are experiencing abuse: financial, physical, emotional, sexual and neglect. Abuse against any individual must not be tolerated.
Our research shows that tackling child abuse is the issue that Northern Ireland's public would most readily support. Yet the majority have never even heard of elder abuse. Often ignorance of what elder abuse is means that abuse of vulnerable, older people goes undetected and unreported.
Following the news from Foyle Women's Aid that over half its occupants are women over 70, Help the Aged would encourage those experiencing abuse, or for those who think they know someone experiencing abuse, to request a copy of its leaflet: Putting a stop to the abuse of older people.
To obtain a copy call Help the Aged in Northern Ireland on 028 9023 0666 or email infoni@helptheaged.org.uk. All requests will be treated as confidential.

Seamus Lynch
Help the Aged in NI

SOURCE: BelfastTelegraph

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June 28, 2008

Critics Slam Dementia Tax (UK)

Critics Slam Dementia Tax

Thousands of people with dementia are being forced to pay large amounts for vital care, which is often poor quality, according to a new report published today.

Over two thirds of people with dementia are paying “Dementia Tax” for basic care such as help with washing, dressing and going to the toilet that they require as a result of their medical condition. The majority of people are paying at least £100 a week towards the costs of care, according to the Alzheimer's Society.

The charity says that the current system of means testing for social care is a tax on people with dementia whose care is deemed to be social care, rather than health care free on the NHS.

Dementia can be devastating for those who develop the illness and the families that care for them. There are currently an estimated 700,000 people in the UK with dementia, and this figure is expected to double in the next 30 years.

Alzheimer’s Disease, the most common type of dementia, is one of the biggest causes of disability in later life, ahead of heart disease, strokes and most types of cancer. Yet Alzheimer’s Disease is usually swept under the rug.

The survey of over 2,300 people with dementia and their carers found that people with dementia living in care homes are hit the hardest, with over half of people paying over £300 a week towards their care.

And two thirds of people caring for a person at home pay for vital care too, with one in three paying over £50 a week. The biggest cost was for help with personal care such as eating, washing or using the toilet.

life savings to pay for this, simply because of the way his illness is classified.”
Health Minister Ivan Lewis has outlined proposals to provide more help for people with dementia, as he launched the first ever National Dementia Strategy. To find out more about the plan, Click Here.
Angela Clayton-Turner cared for her husband for nine years before finally relinquishing him to a care home. She spoke to Keepthedoctoraway.co.uk about her experience as a carer and how her relationship with her husband changed. To read the interview, click here: Living with Alzheimer’s: A Carer’s Story.
Recently, best-selling author Terry Pratchett pledged $1million – around £500 000 – to UK charity the Alzheimer’s Research Trust, in a bid to help find a cure for the devastating disease, with which he was diagnosed in December 2007. To read more, Click Here.

SOURCE: KeepTheDoctorAway

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Achieving Justice - Supporting Victims (UK)

Achieving Justice - Supporting Victims
7th July 2008 Ort House Conference Centre, London

Action on Elder Abuse is running a major conference on abuse, criminal justice and supporting victims in London in early July. As policy makers and practitioners increasingly locate their work within a criminal justice context, this conference poses the questions:

  • How do we ensure justice for victims of abuse?
    Can we put victims of abuse at the centre of the criminal justice
  • How do we support victims of these crimes effectively?
  • Do we need greater clarity of roles and responsibilities within this

Discussing the often complicated relationship between abuse, safeguarding systems, policies and procedures and the criminal justice system: This conference is a must for professionals working with older people, Safeguarding staff and staff from criminal justice agencies.

A full, detailed programme and booking form will be available shortly, but to register your interest and request a booking form, please contact Daisy Goodstien on daisygoodstien@elderabuse.org.uk, or call us on 0208 765 7000.

SOURCE: ElderAbuseOrgUK

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June 27, 2008

Anti-Psychotic Drugs Prescribed for Dementia: FDA Request Boxed Warnings (USA)

FDA Requests Boxed Warnings on Older Class of Antipsychotic Drugs

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today exercised its new authority under the Food and Drug Administration Amendments Act of 2007 (FDAAA) to require manufacturers of "conventional" antipsychotic drugs to make safety-related changes to prescribing information, or labeling, to warn about an increased risk of death associated with the off-label use of these drugs to treat behavioral problems in older people with dementia.

"It is important that health care professionals and consumers have the most up-to-date drug safety information," said Thomas Laughren, M.D., director of the FDA's Division of Psychiatry Products in the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. "The prescribing information for all antipsychotic drugs will be updated to describe the risk of death in elderly patients being treated for symptoms associated with dementia."
neurological side effects such as involuntary movements or "tics."

Neither class of antipsychotic is FDA-approved for use in the treatment of dementia-related symptoms, which can include forgetfulness, poor memory, and an inability to recognize familiar objects, sounds, or people. The drugs are FDA-approved primarily for the treatment of symptoms associated with schizophrenia. The decision to use antipsychotic medications in the treatment of patients with symptoms of dementia is left to the discretion of the physician. Such use is often called "off-label" use and falls within the practice of medicine.

Abridged (News Release)

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Law 'Will Ban Age Discrimination' (UK)

Law 'will ban age discrimination'
By Sue Littlemore
Social affairs correspondent, BBC News

The government is to bring forward new legislation to outlaw all forms of age discrimination, the BBC has learned.

Equalities Minister Harriet Harman is expected to announce the plan on Thursday as part of a package of measures in an Equalities Bill.

The proposals, which are to be adopted across England, Wales and Scotland, will also include policies to tackle the gender pay gap.

Campaigners have long argued that prejudice based on age is widespread.

Age discrimination in the workplace has been illegal since 2006, but the new legislation will tackle more widespread forms of age-related prejudice.

Goods and services

Travel, health and motor insurance is also expected to be included, where cover is simply withdrawn beyond a certain age or is prohibitively expensive.

David Clark, 76, from London, has campaigned for action against age discrimination through the charity Help the Aged.

He told the BBC that when he was 75, he was told the cost of travel insurance for a two-week holiday to America would be £175.

However, he had to postpone the trip and had turned 76 when he wanted to resume planning for the journey.

"This time, the same insurance was going to cost me £831," he said.

"None of my circumstances had changed, including my health. The only difference and reason for the increase was that I was now over 75."

The Association of British Insurers denies its members are unfair in their policies.

It argues that they do not discriminate against older people, but simply take account of risk.

However, groups such as Help the Aged challenge that.
But new laws and regulations often meet resistance from employers, organisations and individuals, who resent what they see as the state meddling in their business.

The moral case for eradicating discrimination in all its forms is easy. The new Equalities Bill will have to do something much harder.

To be successful, the bill must not just promote policies based on knowing what is right, but policies which will inspire action that works as well.



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June 26, 2008

Help for Victims of Elder Abuse (Vic. Australia)

New help for seniors who suffer abuseVictorian seniors who suffer any form of abuse, mistreatment or neglect will get help from a free and confidential new telephone service thanks to $2.6 million in Brumby Government funding.

Senior Victorians Minister Lisa Neville said the Seniors Rights Victoria service would provide support and advice to older people suffering abuse, as well as raising awareness of the prevalence of elder abuse.

The 1300 368 821 hotline will begin taking calls from 10am tomorrow (Monday, April 28) and will be open Monday to Friday from 10am to 5pm.

Attorney General Rob Hulls said with the support of Victoria Legal Aid, the new service would provide strong legal backing to prevent and respond to incidents of abuse. “As with victims of family violence and sexual assault, older people can find it difficult to voice complaints about abuse, especially if it involves a family member,” Mr Hulls said.

Anyone seeking assistance or information about elder abuse can phone Seniors Rights Victoria on 1300 368 821.

SOURCE: AlpVictoria

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Help for Victims of Elder Abuse (Qld. Australia)

Help and Information on Elder Abuse

Elder Abuse Prevention Unit, ph: 1300 651 192, provides a statewide confidential telephone information, support and referral service for anyone experiencing abuse or witnessing the abuse of an older person. Phone from 9am-5pm, Monday-Friday for the cost of a local call.

Victims Counselling and Support Service, ph: 1300 139 703, provides a range of free support services to victims of crime and their families 24 hours a day.

Crime Stoppers, ph: 1800 333 000, is a 24-hour telephone hotline for members of the public to provide anonymous information about criminal activity.

Seniors Enquiry Line, ph: 1300 135 500, provides information and referals for seniors on a range of issues.

DV Connect is a 24-hour Domestic Violence contact for men and women.Women's Line: 1800 811 811,Men's Line: 1800 600 636.

Office of the Adult Guardian, ph: 1300 653 187, helps people with impaired decision-making capacity by acting as their decision-maker in certain circumstances, being an advocate, and giving advice about decision-making on behalf of adults with impaired capacity. It also investigates allegations of physical and financial neglect or abuse.

SOURCE: QldPolice

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Suspect in Slayings of family had Mental-illness History (Az. USA)

Suspect in slayings of family had mental-illness history
By Lily Leung and Michael Kiefer
The Arizona Republic
Jun. 25, 2008 12:00 AM

A 26-year-old man suspected of shooting his parents and younger brother Monday night has a long history of mental illness, substance abuse and brushes with the law, court documents state.Sheriff's deputies took Virgil M. Togstad III of Wittmann into custody, and he was booked on three counts of first-degree murder. According to booking documents, detectives said they "were able to smell a moderate amount of alcohol coming from his breath" when Togstad was interviewed after the shootings occurred.
However, Togstad said he had not been drinking and had not done any drugs within the past 72 hours, according to the court documents.The incident began Monday when Maricopa County sheriff's deputies received a call that a man was attacking his family. They arrived about 7:30 p.m. in the 21000 block of West Hovey Avenue, where they found three bodies: one inside the home, one near a doorway and another on the lawn. Togstad immediately surrendered and said, "Maybe I shouldn't have wasted my family," among other

Togstad had an uneventful childhood but was thrown out of high school in the 11th grade for possessing drugs, according to court records. Tests performed by probation officers in 2001 showed that he had a reading ability below sixth-grade level.He started receiving Social Security disability payments in 2001 because of severe migraines. Court records also show that Togstad spent time in jail for a 2001 drunken-driving charge and in 2007 assaulted his mother with a knife. A neurological exam showed abnormal brain waves and the examining physician suggested that Togstad was epileptic.

SOURCE: TheArizonaRepublic

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How to Report Elder Abuse and Elder Neglect in NJ (USA)

Posted by Amber Watson-Tardiff

Filing a report with the State of New Jersey in the event of nursing home neglect is the first step in pursuing a claim for elder abuse. The process is very simple and extremely helpful if you have considered taking legal action against the facility.
How It Works
When you call the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services, a representative will discuss and document any problems or issues you are having with the particular nursing home facility. Based on your information, an investigator will be sent to the facility within ten (10) days to investigate the claim. The investigator will then review the patient’s chart, interview other patients in the facility and observe the general living conditions. Based on their findings, the investigator will issue a letter stating the nursing home was either deficient or not deficient in their care according to state/federal laws.

How Does Filing a Report Help My Legal Case?
A report from the state detailing the neglect or abuse experienced by your loved one is a credible piece of evidence in proving your case. The report may also uncover abuse or neglect that the family was not aware of at the time they made the claim.

Contact the NJ Department of Health And Senior Services:
To file a report, call 1(800) 792-9770 .
Follow the prompts and press one (1) to file a complaint against a nursing home, hospital or assisted living facility.


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Help for Victims of Elder Abuse (USA)

By Rebecca Fialk, RN, JD
Elder Abuse SpecialistT

he Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Center for the Prevention of Elder Abuse at The Hebrew Home at Riverdale, the Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Center in Riverdale, New York, founded by the Hebrew Home in partnership with the Weinberg Foundation as the nation’s first comprehensive elder abuse shelter in the nation, was established to fill a critical gap in direct services available for victims of elder abuse. The Weinberg Model has proven to be replicable in communities nationwide, providing a missing link in the community-based response to elder abuse while it promotes community awareness.

he Weinberg Center has provided emergency shelter and services for victims of elder abuse in the greater New York area, and has provided an aggregate stay of 7,175 shelter days for victims of elder abuse. The Center offers victims a safe haven, emotional support, psychological counseling and healthcare, as well as legal advocacy and representation for. The program has trained over 11,000 healthcare personnel, legal, law enforcement and other professionals as well as clergy, homecare workers, doormen and numerous other community groups and individuals who have frequent contact with the elderly.


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June 25, 2008

Elder Abuse on the Rise in Florida

Posted: 5:23 PM Jun 23, 2008
Reporter: Roman Lillie

Florida is a popular destination for retirees. But in the sunshine state, the department of elder affairs says it has received 42,000 reports of abuse and neglect already this year. That's up nearly 15% from last year.
"They're becoming more and more common as our society ages. And a lot of it is care-giver related," says Elder Law Attorney Twyla Sketchley.
Experts say it's common for caregivers who work with people with dementia or other mental illnesses to become frustrated. But for some, the frustration turns to abuse. And sometimes there's a financial incentive.
"There's usually a motive for keeping someone captive or for physically harming them. The physical harm can be used to take their social security check or pension check. Physical harm or the threat of physical harm can cause someone to give over a bank account," adds Sketchley.
But new legislation will double the jail time for assault on an elderly person taking the offense from a second degree felony to first degree.And taking max jail sentences from 15 years to 30 years behind bars.

Officers say when it comes to catching the crooks there are sometimes red flags.
"There's checks written in large amounts to a person that's a care giver. That's a sad situation but a lot of times that's the person closest to them that's giving the care is maybe the one doing the most harm," says Detective Todd Chaires of the Leon County Sheriff's Office.

The bill will also require police to have special training to help officers spot elder abuse.
Officials say elder abuse is extremely under reported, so anyone who suspects a senior is being abused or if you are being abused yourself, you can contact the Department of children and Families at 1-800-96- ABUSE


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June 24, 2008

Aged Care: More Robots? (Japan)

Japanese companies rush to get robots into homes
Updated Sat. Jun. 21 2008 10:02 PM ET
CTV.ca News Staff

Four of Japan's leading technology companies have joined forces in an effort to transform modern robotics and shape the future.

The companies are getting together to fend off emerging competition from South Korea. But their engineers and designers also have the loftier goal of getting robots into hundreds of thousands of homes around the world so they can help out with everyday activities.

Japanese scientists say future generation robots will be able to clean up, take out the trash, or even care for an elderly parent. Robots are currently out of reach for many people because of prohibitive costs, but designers predict there will come a time when they will be commonplace.
The Japanese companies -- Tmsuk, ZMP, VStone, and Business Design Laboratory Co. -- want to get 30,000 robots into Japanese homes within five years. What's driving research in Japan is that 20 per cent of the population is over the age of 65.

So, it's not surprising that robots are seen as way to care for the aged and replenish the work force. In countries like Canada -- where there aren't enough caregivers to meet demand -- robots, even rudimentary ones, could turn out to be a big seller.

SOURCE: CanadianTV

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June 23, 2008

Fraud Experts Pinpointed Streets Targetted by Scammers (Scotland)

By Iain S. Bruce, Technology Editor

FRAUD EXPERTS have pinpointed the Scottish streets being targeted by organised crime in a £170million identity theft spree.
Using cutting-edge computer modeling technology, researchers at the credit reference agency Experian have analysed the details of 10,000 identity crimes to identify the 10 areas in Glasgow, Aberdeen and Edinburgh where residents are most at risk of falling victim to Scotland's fastest-growing crime.

"Identity fraud is rising at an alarming rate," said James Jones, Experian's senior fraud expert, "largely because it is increasingly being practised by highly organised and professional criminal groups.
"We have plenty of evidence to show that gangs involved in drug trafficking, people smuggling and even terrorism have recognised the potential gains to be had from this type of crime and are now routinely targeting private individuals.

The Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland (Acpos) has joined experts in warning Scots to be aware of the risk of identity fraud. While recognising that this type of crime represents a growing issue, the service claims that it is pursuing multiple initiatives designed to combat the problem.
An Acpos spokesman told the Sunday Herald: "We are working together with a range of partners to ensure that the threat of fraud is tackled. The Scottish Police Service has a range of responses to all aspects of crime including fraud and any recommendations as to how these can be improved will be carefully considered. All aspects of fraud are carefully monitored and investigated."

SOURCE: TheSundayHeraldUK

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Senior's Missing Mail Leads to Fraud Charges of Nurse (Fl. USA)

Senior's missing mail leads to fraud charges against nurse
By Molly Moorhead, Times Staff Writer
In print: Sunday, June 22, 2008

DADE CITY — Ruby Dudley's guardian grew alarmed when her bills and bank statements suddenly stopped arriving in the mail. So Karen Patterson, who had been hired to manage the 88-year-old's affairs, began digging.

She discovered the mail was being forwarded to an address on Lake Avenue — the home of Marius Cheatum, a nurse at the Edwinola, the assisted living facility that Dudley calls home.Dade City police took over and found a trove of loot at the house.

Dade City police Detective Joe Conrad said he discovered more than $5,000 in fraudulent purchases on Dudley's credit cards. There were more than a dozen ATM withdrawals for another $5,000, he said. Cheatum had a debit card issued in her name on Dudley's account, Conrad said.

Cheatum, 46, is charged with numerous counts of credit card fraud, possessing a stolen credit card and writing a worthless check.

She stayed in jail from her arrest May 9 until last week, when she posted $24,513 bail. Her arraignment is set for later this month. She has pleaded not guilty.

SOURCE: TampaBaydotCom


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Ocala PD Addressing Elder Abuse (Fl. USA)

OPD addressing elder abuse, scams
By E. DOUGLAS BEACH Special to the Star-Banner
Sunday, June 22, 2008 at 8:30 a.m.

Older Floridians living in the Marion County area would be wise to attend the elder safety workshops mentioned in a June 16 Star-Banner report.

The Ocala Police Department is providing a valuable public service by hosting these workshops on Wednesday, June 25, and Aug. 28. Community-based workshops focusing on elder abuse and exploitation awareness, as well as services that help victims, are a great way to protect local seniors.

(E. Douglas Beach is secretary of the Florida Department of Elder Affairs.)

The Ocala Police Department workshops on safety for senior citizens will be held 1:30-3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, June 25, and again 1:30-3:30 p.m. Aug. 28 at OPD headquarters, 402 S. Pine Ave. in Ocala. For more information call OPD's victim advocates at 369-7139.


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Elder Abuse: Safe Haven Vital (Toronto, Canada)

Safe haven for abused seniors vital to aiding their escape

Pat's Place is the first refuge in Ontario to offer elderly a reprieve, and chance to plan a new future
Jun 17, 2008 04:30 AM
By Noor Javed Staff Reporter

Anna, 71, had put up with it for years – her husband's yelling, his abuse and his unpredictable rage. Until one day, it became too much to handle, so she called the police and they took him away. But Anna was afraid he would return, so scared that she would remain vigil at her window all day watching for signs of him.

After days of suffering, she came to Family Service Toronto with her sister to seek help. While they offered her counselling and support, counsellors felt that what Anna really needed was a safe place away from her home to recover.

Seniors facing abuse will now have such a place with Pat's Place, a "safe haven" for those trying to escape harm, said Lisa Manuel, manager of seniors and caregivers support services at Family Service Toronto.

"There has never been a place where an older person can get away to gain a bit of that emotional distance that is so necessary to escape such situations," said Manuel.

Family Service Toronto has dealt extensively with elder abuse over the past decade – physical, emotional, financial, sexual, as well as medication abuse, and neglect.

"About half of the clients we work with now are older people experiencing abuse," said Manuel.

Research suggests that 4 to 10 per cent of seniors over the age of 60 in the city of Toronto face abuse, but many in the field believe the number is much higher, since many cases of abuse go unreported.

Pat's Place, which will be open as of Sept. 1, will not be a shelter in the traditional sense. Rather, it will be an unstaffed and fully-furnished apartment in a safe and confidential area, where a senior can live rent-free for up to 60 days. During that time, the person will receive counselling, and will be helped to create a long-term plan. "Pat's Place is like another tool in our tool box of options," Manuel said.

The project, which is funded by the Rotary Club, is modelled on a similar one in Edmonton. It will begin with just one apartment, but will be expanded if need be, Manuel said. The one in Edmonton has grown from two apartments to seven in just a few years.

"There is clearly a need for it here," she said. "We're going to start small and just go from there."


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Elder Abuse: Half of Russian Immigrant Population are Victims (Israel)

Israel: About Half of the Russian Immigrant Population are Victims of Elder Abuse (June 17, 2008)
(Article in Russian)

In conjunction with the World Elder Abuse Awareness Day held on June 15, the Israeli government issued a report revealing elder abuse among the Russian immigrant population living in Israel. Nursing homes are becoming "traps" for older persons as personnel severely abuse them, rob them, and take their personal belongings. However, only 10 percent of the abused elderly file a police report for fear of revenge attacks.

SOURCE: GlobalAgingOrg


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Elders Suffer Domestic Violence (Spain)

Spain: About 60,000 Elders Suffer Domestic Violence (June 13, 2008)
(Articles in Spanish)

It is surprising that .8% of the Spanish older persons have endured mistreatment from family members during the last year. About 5% of the caretakers admit that they are guilty of mistreating the older person.
During 2006, there were 2,401 elders and 789 caretakers. Adult children are to blame for 60% of the abuse cases. Many victims suffer from physical problems and chronic diseases.

SOURCE: GlobalAging

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June 21, 2008

Review Ordered for Dementia Drugs (UK)

David Batty and agencies
Thursday June 19, 2008

The government today ordered an immediate review into the use of antipsychotic drugs to calm the behaviour of people with dementia.
The drugs, also known as neuroleptics, have been labelled a "chemical cosh" by dementia charities and older people's campaigners, and some have severe side-effects, which include strokes and even death.

The review will be completed before the publication of the first national dementia strategy in October.

The practice of prescribing the drugs, such as risperidone, is widespread in nursing homes with around 60% of patients receiving them. But clinical evidence suggests they do more harm than good, and are prescribed more to contain behaviour rather than treat a condition.
There are an estimated 570,000 people with dementia in England - 700,000 in the whole of the UK - and the government expects that to more than double to 1.4 million in the next 30 years.
The strategy, announced by the health minister, Ivan Lewis, is intended to improve dementia care across England.

A study funded by the Alzheimer's Research Trust and published in the Public Library of Science Medicine in April found that long-term use of antipsychotic drugs led to significant deterioration in the thinking and speech of dementia patients. For most, the drugs had no long-term benefit at all.
Other campaigners welcomed the announcement of the dementia strategy, but warned it needed significant extra investment.

SOURCE: TheGuardianUK


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Nursing Home Ratings System Online By Year's End (USA)

Nursing Home Ratings System to be Online By Year’s End
Date Published: Thursday, June 19th, 2008

A new nursing home rating system should be up and running on the Medicare Website by the end of this year. The new site will employ a 5-star system to rate nursing homes based on government inspection results, staffing data and quality measures. It is hoped that the new ratings systems will act as an incentive to encourage nursing homes to improve quality, and to stem the high rate of nursing home abuse and neglect that endangers so many residents.

There are 16,400 nursing homes with over 1.5 million residents nationwide. Unfortunately, the quality of many nursing homes is questionable - according to a recent report by the General Accounting Office, approximately one-fifth of all nursing homes were cited for serious deficiencies last year.

The National Center on Elder Abuse estimates at least one in 20 nursing home patients has been the victim of negligence and or abuse, though it concedes that the number is probably higher. According to the National Center’s study, 57% of nurses’ aides in long-term care facilities admitted to having witnessed, and even participating in, acts of negligence and abuse. Data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that nursing home neglect played role in the deaths of nearly 14,000 nursing home patients between 1999 and 2002. Even when the consequences are not fatal, nursing home negligence robs victims of a sense of security and their dignity.

Information on nursing home quality can be tough to come by for families in the process of selecting a facility for a loved one. The new ratings use information on a facility’s staffing level, the number of patients with bed sores, violations and other data that shed light on the quality of care. It may also include information such as whether a nursing home provides care to patients with dementia or those on ventilators.

Earlier this year, the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services added the identities of so-called Special Focus Facilities — nursing homes that rank in the worst 5% to 10% for inspection results in a given state - to the Nursing Home Compare database on its website. These homes were selected for stepped-up scrutiny by regulators. The list includes about 130 facilities.
Consumer advocates are pleased that Medicare has committed to providing families with a tool they can use to find a quality nursing home, but stress that the site will only be useful if it is easy to use. Ease of use is one of Medicare’s major goals for the site, and the agency will be accepting public comments in July and August on the site and its contents.

One patient advocate also told The Wall Street Journal that the new nursing home ratings will rely too much on information furnished by the facilities themselves, which may make them inaccurate. ” Too often, nursing facilities report that residents are doing much better than they really are and that they have more staff than they really have,” Toby S. Edelman, senior policy attorney with the Center for Medicare Advocacy said. “Relying on nursing homes to describe accurately how well they are doing — and reporting that information as fact — just doesn’t make sense.”

SOURCE: NewsInferno

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June 20, 2008

Elder Abuse: Grandmother Assaulted in Car ParK (USA)

Woman Accused of Elder Abuse over Parking Space
Jun 18, 2008 9:57 pm US/Pacific

STOCKTON (CBS13) ― A woman was arrested after assaulting an elderly woman outside of a doctor's office, according to the Stockton Police Department. The violent altercation was reportedly sparked over a handicap parking stall.

The 71-year old woman, who did not wish to be identified, said she was taking her grandson to the doctor's office in May when she noticed a car parked in a handicap-reserved space that was not supposed to be.

"It's unfair to these older people, besides myself, that have to look around for a parking space," she said.

The grandmother decided to take a picture of the license plate. According to authorities, that's when 26-year-old Susan Baker came out of the doctor's office to confront her.

"She put her baby down and then she came at me with both hands," the grandmother said. Baker allegedly threw the camera to the ground and struck the victim, knocking her down.

Baker then reportedly picked up the camera and drove away, still shouting insults. Police caught up with her on June 12, crediting information from multiple witnesses for her eventual arrest.

Susan Baker is facing several felony charges, including elderly abuse.

The grandmother was shaken up, but not seriously injured.

(© MMVIII, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.)



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Nursing Home Accused of Causing Patient's Death (Va. USA)

Nursing home accused of causing patient's death
Created: Tuesday, 17 Jun 2008, 9:45 PM EDT

WILLIAMSBURG, VA. (MyFox Hampton Roads) -- "Tell me about your mom."

Those five words were MyFox Hampton Roads' first question to Bob Wiggins. Through the tears that immediately filled his eyes, Bob Wiggins said, "My mother, she was always a giving person throughout her life."

Lorina Ann Wiggins is gone. She lost her life on March 28 of this year. Her son Bob says some of the pain comes from believing she should not have died.

"I know my mother's 83 years old but she still, to be honest with you, she would've been alive," he said.

Lorina Wiggins was a resident at Ruxton Health of Williamsburg. A week before she died, Bob Wiggins says he demanded staff members send her to the hospital.

He explained what he saw in her room on March 20: "I went over to her, uncovered her leg and saw a bandage that was about two inches down from her knee all the way down to her ankle... It looked like a child who had been out playing in the yard with a pair of white socks on, dirty, nasty looking. That's what it looked like," he said.

The next day at Sentara Williamsburg hospital, Bob Wiggins says he saw what was under the bandage. "I'm looking down, I'm seeing bone coming through my mother's ankle bone and her tendon and her leg," he cried.

Wiggins called the police, and the Virginia Department of Health. He says doctors told him his mother was very ill... that Lorina Wiggins was about to die.

Wiggins' attorney is preparing to file a civil suit against the nursing home.

As far as a criminal case: the Williamsburg - James City County Commonwealth's Attorney Nathan Green told MyFox Hampton Roads his office is still investigating. Medical records were sent to an independent physician in Northern Virginia. Green said it is not clear when that part of the investigation will be complete, but "at this point there is nothing that leads me to believe criminal charges are warranted."

SOURCE: MyFoxHamptonRoads
The details of the case are just unimaginable and horrible. Please go to Source for more details.
It is inexcusable that now and again, terrible cases of neglect and abuse occur in Care Homes. No wonder many rather be at home and face the emotional/psychological abuse from family members than to go to a care home.
Majority of nursing homes or care factilities are doing a great job in looking after the frail seniors. It is really up to operators of those homes to come up with positive image-building campaigns. At the moment, we only get the horrible cases reported. --- AC

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Path Toward Prevention of Senior Abuse ( USA)

Path toward prevention of senior abuse
06/18/2008, 10:10 am
By Hayley Graham Health and Environment Reporter

With a wave of baby boomers advancing in age, more senior citizens than ever may experience elder abuse.
Local experts say increasing awareness of elder abuse is key to prevention and intervention. To educate people worldwide on the abuse and neglect of seniors, the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse set last Sunday as World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.

There were 9,500 cases of elder abuse reported in Illinois in 2007, up from 9,191 in 2006, and the number of 2008 reports is projected to be higher. Kimberly Parker, spokeswoman for Illinois Department of Aging, said the growth is attributed to improved public awareness.
Both Kankakee and Will counties accounted for around 130 of those cases.

The number of reported cases is also expected to rise with the increasing population of seniors. By the year 2030, nearly one in five Americans will be 65 and above.
But even with the increasing number of reports, only one in seven cases of abuse are actually reported, Parker said.

"The most important message to convey is that there is help available for older adults who need assistance as well as for stressed caregivers," Parker said in an e-mail message.
Elder abuse is sometimes just thought of as physical, but the most prevalent form of abuse is financial exploitation, which is reported in nearly 60 percent of all cases in Illinois. Emotional abuse and passive neglect are both reported at a rate of about 40 percent, and about 20 percent of cases involve physical abuse.

Mary Frye, director of the Case Coordination Unit for the Senior Services Center of Will County, Inc., which investigates reports of elder abuse, said seniors are vulnerable in the sense that they trust others when they need their help.

Unlike working with abused children, seniors have to give permission for the Senior Services Center to intervene because they are adults. This can become even more challenging when the alleged abuser is related to the victim, which is the case 75 percent of the time, according to the Illinois Violence Prevention Authority.

SOURCE: DailyJournal


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Elder Abuse: New Booklet Helps Identify Types of Abuse (UK)

Dementia Abuse Booklet Available
Entry for June 17, 2008
Dementia Abuse Booklet Available

The Alzheimer's Society of the UK and the group Action With Elder Abuse have put together a new booklet that focuses on "possible abuse in the dementia care environment".

Launching this new educational booklet on June 15th, which is World Elder Abuse Day, the information describes why people with dementia are vulnerable to abuse and identifies all types of abuse, including neglect, financial and psychological.

The booklets may be very useful to dementia support groups and can be ordered in packs of 50 from the Alzheimer's Society, which serves England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Alzheimer's Societyhttp://www.alzheimers.org.uk/site/index.php
The Dementia Caregivers Toolboxhttp://nurturingnuggets.typepad.com/the_nurturing_nuggets_blo/2008/06/my-entry.html#more

SOURCE: Blog360

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Attorney Honored for His Work to Curb Elder Abuse (Ky, USA)

Cohron honored for his work to curb elder abuse
The Daily News
Tuesday, June 17, 2008 11:43 AM CDT

Warren County Commonwealth’s Attorney Chris Cohron was selected as prosecutor of the year by the Kentucky Elder Abuse Council.Cohron was honored Friday in Frankfort at the Capitol Rotunda by Attorney General Jack Conway. The award was part of an event for the fourth annual Kentucky Elder Abuse Awareness Rally, in conjunction with June being National Elder Abuse Awareness month.

“It was an honor to present Chris with this award,” Conway said. “It’s a testament to his skill as a prosecutor, his commitment to victims and his desire to protect those who can’t protect themselves. I applaud Chris for his pursuit of justice and I enjoy working with him to help keep Kentucky families safe.”Cohron’s work in Warren County includes fighting elder abuse. He serves as a member of the Warren County Elder Abuse Council and his office has successfully prosecuted several elder abuse cases, according to a release from the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services (of which the elder council is a part).

Cohron earned the award based on his commitment and dedication to protecting the elderly from perpetrators and for being recognized as Outstanding Commonwealth’s Attorney in 2007, in part for his work in fighting elder abuse, according to the release.


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June 19, 2008

Elder Abuse: 85 Per Cent Occurs in the Home (Ireland)

85% of Elder Abuse Occurs in the Home

Many elderly people are being abused in their own home, a seminar in Cork was told last week in advance of World Elder Abuse Day which took place on 15 th June 2008.

Elder abuse includes physical, sexual, emotional/psychological abuse, neglect, financial/material manipulation and discrimination. While it can occur anywhere, early analysis of alleged elder abuse received by the HSE in 2007 indicates that most abuse occurs in the home by family members:

85% occurs in the home
3% in an acute hospital setting
4% in private nursing homes
4% in relative’s homes
3% in public continuing care units
1% in boarding/lodging facilities.
82% is carried out by family members.

“It is a matter for society as a whole to protect vulnerable people. Every person in society has a responsibility in this regard and should notify the appropriate services when abuse is suspected,” said Con Pierce, Dedicated Officer for Elder Abuse, South Area.

If anyone, or an older person themselves, has a concern in relation to abuse of an older person they can contact, in complete confidence, the Senior Case Worker in their Local Health Office who will investigate every case. The HSE Information Line - 1850241850 - has details of all HSE Local Health Offices


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Kentucky AG Announced 9 Indicted for Elder Abuse (Ky, USA)

Office of the Attorney General
Attorney General Conway Announces Indictment of 9 for Alleged Abuse at Adult-Care Facility
Press Release Date: Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Contact Information:
Allison Gardner Martin Communications Director 502-696-5651 (office)

Attorney General Jack Conway today announced that nine individuals have been indicted in connection with a pattern of abusive behavior against different adult residents of Community Presence, Inc., an adult-care facility located in Carter County.
Each of the individuals is charged with abuse of an adult, unlawful imprisonment, and wanton endangerment in the first degree. Each of the defendants could face up to 20 years in prison if convicted.
Investigators with the Office of the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud and Abuse Control Division initiated an investigation in cooperation with the Grayson Police Department after the suspicious death of a resident at Community Presence. In addition to charges relating to the resident’s death, the investigation uncovered a dangerous pattern of abuse endangering the lives of various residents at the facility.
The following individuals have been arrested: Earl Pelfrey, 29 ; Glada Miller, 28 ;
Regina Stevens, 33 ; Todd Gribbin, 38 ; Ira Griffith, 27 ;Karl King, 45 ; Matthew Wilburn, 22
Click here for pictures.

Michael Yates, 37, and Robert Thompson, 52, have been indicted and are currently negotiating terms to turn themselves in to investigators.

The individuals will be arraigned on August 4, 2008 before the Carter County Circuit Court.

In January, the same Grand Jury indicted Brandon Starostka and Matthew Bortles on manslaughter charges after the death of Michael Price at the adult-care facility last year. That case is currently being prosecuted by the Medicaid Fraud and Abuse Control Division, in cooperation with Carter County Commonwealth’s Attorney David Flatt.
The investigation continues and additional indictments are likely.

Citizens are urged to report suspected fraud or elder abuse by calling the Attorney General’s tip line at 1-877-ABUSE TIP (1-877-228-7384

SOURCE: KentuckyGov

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Elder Abuse: What the Experts Said (AARP International)

(To mark the 3rd World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, AARP International organized a Online Forum June 1 to June 16)

Expert Q & A sessions from Israel, Italy, Japan, Sweden and the United Kingdom.
Throughout the world, abuse and neglect of older persons has been largely under-recognized or under-treated as an unspoken problem. Today, it is increasingly being seen as an important problem but may also be likely to grow as many countries experience rapidly aging populations. Similar to other types of violence, abuse of the elderly includes physical, financial, sexual and psychological abuse, as well as neglect.

Online dialogue is to promote a better understanding of abuse and neglect of older persons by facilitating a global discussion among key national experts to raise awareness of the cultural, social, economic and demographic processes affecting elder abuse and neglect. Be sure to visit www.aarpinternational.org/weaad08 from June 1 through June 16, 2008 to read insights shared by experts and raise your own questions on policy issues related to elder abuse.

(Please go to source to read what the experts said at the forum)
SOURCE: AARP(International)


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Long Term Care: New Law Provides More Options (Tenn. USA)

updated 1:52 p.m. ET June 18, 2008

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Those in search of care for a family member will no longer have a nursing home as their only option. (Go to Source for Video)

The governor signed the long-term care bill into law Wednesday that will give patients and their family more choices.


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June 18, 2008

Financial Elder Abuse and Murder: Trial Of A Pastor (Kansas City, USA)

Porter trial update: Craig feared for life, wanted 'justice'
Tuesday, Jun 17, 2008

"If I die for any reason, except in my bed, you make sure justice is done."

That was the marching order Frank Craig delivered to a friend, only two weeks before his death, according to telephone technician Paul Harvey, who testified this afternoon during a murder trial in Stanislaus County Superior Court.

According to Harvey, the elderly rancher was suspicious of former pastor Howard "Doug" Porter in the months before his death, so much so that he feared for his life.

Craig also believed that Porter had stolen his money to build a four-home
family compound known as "Rivendell" in La Grange, so Harvey told his friend to get a lawyer or call the Sheriff's Department. But Craig had an independent streak, so he said he would clean things up himself.
"I said, 'Well Frank, why don't you call your lawyer or call the sheriff?' " Harvey recalled. "He said, 'No. I got myself into this mess. I'll get myself out of it."

Two weeks later, Craig was dead, having drowned in the Ceres Main Canal after his truck, driven by Porter, ran off the road. It was the second catastrophic collision involving Porter and Craig, as Craig had been crippled in a 2002 collision when Porter's truck ran off the road and slammed into a tree.

Porter is on trial, having pleaded not guilty to murder, attempted murder, theft or embezzlement from an elder by a caretaker and elder abuse causing death. The district attorney's office alleges that Porter stole $1.1 million from Craig, then staged the two truck crashes to cover his tracks.

Porter, who walked away from both wrecks, has been held without bail since his arrest Nov. 27, 2006. He faces life in prison if convicted of the stiffest charge.
Harvey said he didn't contact the authorities, though Craig's fateful words rang out in his mind after his death. Word of the alleged conversation circulated among friends of Craig, prompting investigators to contact Harvey, who also was an acquaintance of Porter.

SOURCE: KansasCityNews

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Government of Canada Taking Action to Address Elder Abuse

Jun 16, 2008 14:15

(Marketwire - June 16, 2008) - The Honourable Marjory LeBreton, Leader of the Government in the Senate and Secretary of State (Seniors) announced plans to launch a national awareness campaign on elder abuse in a keynote speech at a conference marking World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) 2008.

"Seniors from all walks of life are vulnerable to elder abuse, and it's happening in communities across Canada. We want everyone to know that it cannot and will not be tolerated and that help is available," said Minister LeBreton. "A substantial portion of the $13 million allocated over three years to elder abuse in Budget 2008 will support an awareness campaign planned for launch on October 1st, the International Day of Older Persons."

In addition to an advertising campaign, the Government of Canada will develop information tools to help frontline professionals in the health, financial and justice fields deal with incidents of elder abuse.

Canadian research indicates that between four and ten percent of older adults experience some kind of abuse or neglect. According to recent Government of Canada public opinion research on elder abuse, 96 percent of Canadians think most of the abuse experienced by older adults is hidden or goes undetected. And, thinking about seniors they know personally, 22 percent of Canadians say a senior they know might be experiencing some form of abuse. Sixty-seven percent of Canadians think older women are more likely to be abused than older men.

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day Conference, June 16-17, 2008

This year, INPEA, in conjunction with the Canadian Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse, has organized World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. The objective of the WEAAD conference is to raise national and international awareness of elder abuse, provide a forum to showcase Canadian initiatives to combat elder abuse, discuss innovations and best practices from around the world and exchange information.

The Honourable Marjory LeBreton, Secretary of State (Seniors), will address conference participants on June 16 and outline the steps the Government of Canada is taking to combat elder abuse. On June 18-19, Human Resources and Social Development Canada (HRSDC) will host an Expert Roundtable Forum on Elder Abuse. In addition, HRSDC has partnered with the Province of Ontario to conduct a federal/provincial/territorial-sponsored forum on the financial abuse of older people (June 19-20).

Advertising campaign announced to create awareness of elder abuse

For more information, please contact

Human Resources and Social Development Canada
Media Relations Office 819-994-5559


Office of the Secretary of State (Seniors)
James Maunder 613-943-0756

SOURCE: MarketWire

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DeKalb County Fights Growing Elder Abuse Problem - (Atlanta)

Created: Monday, 16 Jun 2008, 5:58 PM EDT

ATLANTA (MyFOX Atlanta) -- It's a growing problem that often goes unreported. Elder abuse includes everything from financial scams to physical abuse.

DeKalb County has found a new way to fight back.

Flossie Mae Grier almost lost the east Atlanta home she's lived in for 40 years after being scammed by a predatory lender.

It's embarrassing, you feel like you've been taken you have been taken and you feel that way which is not a good feeling," said Flossie Mae Grier.It's a story that's not uncommon.

"They feel like we don't know anything but we do but we do get in trouble sometimes," said Grier.It's not just financial scams but also physical abuse. DeKalb County's district attorney learned that firsthand when her father was mistreated in a nursing home.

"Even the basic things of having his teeth brushed everyday those things were not done," said DeKalb District Attorney Gwen Keyes Fleming. So there are cheers for a program called Valeri. The goal is to bring all law enforcement in DeKalb County together to fight elder abuse."It's a one stop shop everything can be handled and the left hand can know what the right hand is doing," said DeKalb's Solicitor-General Robert James, Jr.

Deklab officals hope valeri will not only help seniors who've been abused...but encourage more seniors of families to come forward and report problems.

Story contents produced by FOX 5 Atlanta WAGA

SOURCE: MyFoxAtlanta

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Joint Effort to Combat Elder Abuse (NY USA)

Soares, Equinox combat elder abuse
Posted at: 06/16/2008 04:39:55 PM

ALBANY - The Albany County district attorney and a domestic shelter are teaming up to do something about the abuse of the elderly.

Only about five percent of senior citizens who are abused speak up. Most cases fly under the radar because seniors don't talk about it, especially when the abuse is at the hands of a relative.

It was six months ago when Albany paramedics found a 78-year-old woman dead in her bed at a home on Crestwood Court. Police say Beth Adams starved to death. Her daughter, Carol Adams, cared for her. She faces charges including manslaughter and endangering the welfare of an elderly person.

"This family was on someone's radar," District Attorney David Doares said.

But no one came forward, and Soares says that's the problem.

"It's so hard to report it to authorities when it's somebody you love or somebody who has a lot of power over you," explained Kathy Magee with Equinox.

Equinox and the district attorney's office are collaborating to combat this problem. Equinox's elder abuse project will work to educate people who work with elders and provide case management. Magee says they already have a case load of 10 victims.

In addition, the district attorney's office and police formed an advisory council. They want to make it easier and more comfortable for senior citizens to report abuse anonymously.

Some ideas are to train postal workers to look for warning signs of abuse when delivering mail and bank workers to pay extra attention to senior citizens' bank accounts for any dramatic changes.


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Adult Social Care Law 'Confused and Chaotic' - (UK)

Adult Social Care Law 'Confused And Chaotic', UK
Article Date: 16 Jun 2008 - 3:00 PDT

Help the Aged has welcomed the Law Commission's decision to undertake a thorough review of the law governing Adult Social Care. Head of Public Affairs at Help the Aged, Kate Jopling, said:'Some of the most vulnerable people in our society rely on our care and support system to maintain their quality of life. There are about 1.75 million clients of adult social care services in the UK, and the numbers are rising everyday. Expenditure on these vital services is approaching 20 billion a year. 'But the law surrounding adult social care is at best confused, at worst chaotic and totally impossible for most lawyers even to understand!

'We very much welcome the Law Commission's decision to review this vital area of law. Most people come up against the care regime in a crisis and the system is a nightmare of complexities 'Law reform should sit alongside broader social care reform, which needs to make the whole system more transparent. 'We must ensure the system provides fair and accessible support for all who need it.'

Notes 'Right care, Right deal' is the new national campaign launched to build public awareness and support for the need for brave and innovative solutions for the social care system. With the Government indicating that social care is an urgent political priority, and in advance of the expected green paper later in 2008, the campaign combines three of the UK's largest charities working with and for older people and their families and carers, and will urge the government to renew its vision for the future of social care in England. Visit http://www.rightcare.org.uk/

SOURCE: MedicalNewsToday

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June 17, 2008

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day: Australian Minister's Statement

Minister for Ageing Statement on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day
15 June 2008

Australian Minister for Ageing, Mrs Justine Elliot took the opportunity on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day to remind older Australians that they are entitled to the full protection of the law whether in their homes or nursing homes.

Mrs Elliot said her focus as the minister responsible for aged care was to ensure that older Australians in residential aged care received their rightful protection to a safe and secure environment.

Last year, Aged and Community Services Australia also released policies and procedures to assist their members on elder protection. “I am proud to support the aims of World Elderly Abuse Awareness Day and want to work in partnership with aged care providers to protect frail older Australians,” Mrs Elliot said.

“The Federal Government takes the care and welfare of senior Australians very seriously - and we are always looking at ways to improve and enhance protection for the elderly. “Increasing awareness about the mistreatment of the elderly is an important step in the prevention of such abuse.

From 1 July 2008, the Aged Care Standards and Accreditation Agency has been instructed to undertake a record 7000 announced and unannounced visits to aged care homes across the nation to ensure compliance with quality standards.
Other measures the Australian Government has taken to strengthen the protection of residents in aged care homes include:

  • Expanding the requirement for staff to undergo police checks;
  • Strengthening the powers of the Aged Care Standards and Accreditation Agency - the independent agency which accredits aged care facilities;
  • Requiring clinical staff to check on actual residents in a facility as a part of their investigations; and
  • Reviewing the Aged Care Act to close loopholes and/or make improvements to quality in aged care.

Elder Abuse Prevention, advocacy and information telephone: State and Territory

ACT Elder Abuse Prevention Information Line 02 6205 3535
NSW – Seniors Information Service – 13 12 44
NT - NT Health Services - 08 8999 2809
QLD – Elder Abuse Prevention Unit 1300 651 192 or 07 3250 1955
SA - Aged Rights Advocacy Service - 08 8232 5377 or 1800 700 600
TAS – Department of Health and Human Services - 03 6233 8514
VIC – Seniors’ Information Victoria 1300 135 090
WA – Advocare Inc - 08 9479 7566 or 1800 655 566
For more information, contact Mrs Elliot's office on (02) 6277 7280


SOURCE: HealthGovAustralia


It is great to note that the government has in place protective measures for the elderly in care facilities. However, it is disappointing to note that the Minister did not outline any awareness program or measures to help those abused in the general community.

Apart from "horror stories" put out by the media regarding abuses in nursing homes, there is very little awareness of elder abuse in the general community. Most researches (from around the globe) reported that majority of elder abuse occurred in private homes.

Where are the awareness campaigns or programs to highlight the plight of these "invisible" and forgotten seniors?



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New Advice Launched to Tackle Dementia Abuse (UK)

Monday, 16 Jun 2008 09:10

New advice has been launched to help care workers identify potential abuse of people with dementia.

The guidance, produced by the Alzheimer's Society and Action on Elder Abuse, is geared towards workers in the dementia care environment.

It explores why people with dementia can be particularly vulnerable to abuse and identifies types of abuse that might not be so recognisable, such as neglect, financial and psychological abuse.

As people with dementia are often not able to communicate that they are being abused the booklet provides advice on how to raise concerns and where to access support.

One method featured is Body Maps, where a person can make a note of physical signs of abuse on a map of the body and hand it over to social services in order to help them with an investigation.

"This booklet provides essential, practical advice for anyone working with people with dementia in the care environment," said Alzheimer's Society chief executive Neil Hunt.

"We want to ensure that carers can recognise the signs of abuse and take appropriate, immediate action to stop it."

Gary FitzGerald, chief executive of Action on Elder Abuse, added: "Providing support for care workers often working in difficult circumstances is a vital part of tackling abuse and poor practise.

"We urge all of those who provide, purchase and commission care services to ensure widest possible distribution [of the guidance]."


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Tougher Laws Needed on Elder Abuse - (Ireland)

[Posted: Mon 16/06/2008]

Tougher laws are needed to outlaw elder abuse and protect vulnerable adults of all ages, according to Age Action Ireland.
Speaking on World Elder Abuse yesterday, Age Action chief Robin Webster acknowledged the work of the 32 elder abuse officers appointed last year by the HSE.

However, he said a more comprehensive package of measures was needed to tackle elder abuse.
Age Action says the substantial workload facing the HSE elder abuse staff is evidence of the scale of the problem in Ireland.

Figures released by the HSE shows that they had dealt with 523 cases of elderly abuse during the first four months of 2008, compared to 923 for all of 2007, although many of the elder abuse officers did not take up their posts until late in the year.
The campaign group says between 14,000 and 24,000 older people may have been abused in the Republic of Ireland.

Mr Webster said Age Action had real concerns that the law is not there to protect vulnerable adults of any age.
Legislation is also needed to establish the rights to core services for older people and to impose duties on statutory bodies to provide services.

SOURCE: IrishHealth

Protecting Elderly From Predators (Barbados)

June 9, 2008

The call from Clayton Springer of the National Assistance Board (NAB) for legislation to protect the elderly from financial abuse, including theft of their assets and raiding of their bank accounts even by relatives, brings back into sharp focus an ongoing problem in our society.

In almost every district in our country it is common to have cases where older family members with financial assets can find themselves being abused by friends and relatives who on the face of it claim that they are "looking after" the old people. Not many of these cases reach our courts, mainly because the old people might be too scared to let it be known how they are being treated. Then, too, there is the fear of loneliness. In a number of cases those abused have no one else to turn to as family. They tolerate abuse ironically reasoning that in any case when they make their demise, the very abusers will be the ones to inherit what they leave behind. But at the same time, those who stand to benefit behave the way they do because they are impatient because the old ones are still around and cannot wait to get their hands on their financial assets.

It is indeed a sad commentary where we are concerned since the older members of the society are often more vulnerable to bad treatment, to the extent of being dropped off and abandoned at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH).

Many a sad tale has been told of old people who realised too late that those they trusted in these cases cleaned them out or came near to doing so. Again, not many of these cases end up in court in Barbados. However, in countries like the United States and Britain where large sums of money are removed by relatives from the accounts of older people without their permission, the State intervenes, sometimes through the alertness of the banks handling the accounts, to protect the elderly victims from more fraud. It is often found that filial caring and love are not always enough to overcome the love these relatives have for the love of money --- money belonging to the old people.

SOURCE: NationNews


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Efforts to Protect Elder and Raise Awareness (Kentucky)

June 14, 2008
(June 13, 2008)

Actor and Kentucky native William Mapother is leading a state and national effort to protect elders in a new public awareness campaign for the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS).

Gov. Steve Beshear has declared Friday Elder Abuse Day in Kentucky. It is also World Elder Abuse Day.

At the rally, Mapother and elder abuse prevention advocates from across the state gathered to celebrate successes and recommit to preventing elder abuse.
Mapother, who has starred in TV’s “Lost” and movies such as “World Trade Center,” “Magnolia” and “In the Bedroom,” recorded both Kentucky-specific and national television and radio spots at a Louisville production studio while visiting his family last fall.

“Of course I was mindful of elder maltreatment, but when I became involved with this campaign, I was genuinely shocked at its magnitude and complexity,” Mapother said.
“We are thrilled to have a nationally known Kentuckian of William’s success to lead the campaign against elder abuse and neglect,” elder abuse specialist Kimberly Baker said. “William is a deeply caring and honest person, and his genuineness really shows in the PSAs.”

Baker said Mapother was very involved with the production from the start. “Because he’s a seasoned actor, he had great ideas for refining the scripts. It was phenomenal to use that expertise to improve the project.”
CHFS has sent the PSA to the state’s television and radio stations along with a letter signed by Secretary Janie Miller.

Council Against Maltreatment of the Elderly (CAME). CAME received $500 for its continuing public awareness activities.
CAME is part of the state’s network of Local Coordinating Councils on Elder Abuse (LCCEAs) that cover 115 counties. LCCEAs provide elder abuse education and outreach at the local and regional levels depending on the needs of the communities. Kentucky has the nation’s only network of such councils, which involve advocates from CHFS, law enforcement, volunteer agencies, businesses and all areas of the community.

To become involved with your community’s LCCEA, contact state LCCEA coordinator Baker at (502) 564-6852 or kimberly.baker@ky.gov


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June 16, 2008

Elder Abuse Should Not Be Ignored (Australia)

by Jing Li

June 2, 2008

BETWEEN 100 and 200 thousand elderly Australians have suffered abuse yet only 30 cases were reported last year, according to the Aged Care Assessment Teams(ACAT) study.

“The elderly are some of our society’s most vulnerable members, especially those suffering dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Physical, psychological, financial or sexual neglect or violence, which takes advantage of this vulnerability, is all forms of elder abuse,” said Mr. Brian Herd, Administration Support officer of The Elder Abuse Prevention Unit (EAPU) in Queensland.

“Many find it hard to admit that the perpetrators of elderly abuse can be, and often are, those closest to the person, whether their professional or personal carer, their family or trusted friends. Elderly people may also feel isolated from society or live alone, making them easy prey for abusers.”

Denise Bradley, a clinical nurse of Ozcare on Aged care, said she also heard some senior people were neglected or abused in nursing home, such as bedsores, pressure sores, cuts, bruises, burns, or fractures, which are extremely terrible.

“I think the government should enforce mandatory police checks for residential aged care workers, and better training on abuse detection, that should be an effective measure for protect the elderly,” she said.

Cassandra Clark, a Family Law Specialist of ABKJ, said: “Those responding to abuse or violence in this aged group will often experience reluctance on the part of the old people to seek action against an abuser, particularly when the abuser is a family member such as their adult son or daughter. This reluctance may be due to shame or guilt or may be the natural desire of a parent to keep their child out of trouble with the law.”

“However, there are a number of complex issues that can impact on individual’s willingness to seek assistance.”


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INTEL Launches Online Coummity for Family Carers and Nurses (UK)

INTEL launches online community to connect family carers and nurses in the UK

ConnectingForCare.co.uk Brings Together the Carer Community, Resources and Shared Experiences to Improve Healthcare and Quality of Life for Carers, Patients and Families

12 June, 2008

With a goal to assist carers in the United Kingdom, Intel Corporation today unveiled ConnectingForCare.co.uk, the first online community of its kind for family carers, community and district nurses, healthcare assistants, social care workers and others to share information and provide emotional support to one another, filling a void in today's healthcare system.

Developed by Intel, in collaboration with Counsel and Care, The Princess Royal Trust for Carers and The Queen's Nursing Institute, ConnectingForCare.co.uk uses the Internet to build a sense of community among carers through interactive forums, personal profiles and links to the latest research or treatments. The forums will allow carers to engage with one another at any time, ultimately leading to better coordination of care between the various groups.
ConnectingForCare.co.uk provides various ways for carers to interact with one another. Highlights include:
  • My Connections: a page where carers can create a personal profile and join a variety of networks based on their specific needs and interests. Carers can directly connect with others within their networks to share stories, tips and support.
  • Forums and message boards where carers can discuss issues or concerns and pose questions to the community - linking carers to each other in an active dialogue 24 hours a day.
  • Information centres on a range of chronic diseases and conditions where carers can search for information and connect on health-specific topics. Within these centres, users can add comments and link to the latest research and resources on caring for individuals with specific conditions, including Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, diabetes, COPD and heart failure.
  • Spotlight on: a section where users can publicly honour carers who have touched their lives. Patients, loved ones and fellow carers can use this feature to recognise carers and share their stories.
Abridged (Please go to source for more details)
SOURCE: HealthCareRepublic

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24,000 Older People Are Victims of Abuse in Their Own Homes - (Ireland)

24,000 Older People Are Victims of Abuse In Their Own Homes
June14, 2008
By J. P. Anderson

AS FEW as one-in-20 elderly victims of abuse report their attackers even though the majority of that abuse is taking place in their own home.
The statistics were revealed in a number of seminars taking place around the country to mark World Elder Abuse Day tomorrow. Among the events was the Uncovering Elder Abuse seminar organised by the Health Service Executive in the Silversprings Hotel in Cork yesterday. Participants heard that elder abuse comes in a number of forms including physical, emotional and psychological.

The HSE has said it was difficult to determine the exact scale of the problem in Ireland, but research elsewhere indicated between 3% and 5% of older people living in the community suffer abuse at a given time.
That would mean that of the country’s 480,000 people who are over 65, up to 24,000 are the victims of abuse.

In Galway, delegates were told that the vast majority of those suffering abuse, at least 70%, were women and that 83% of the abuse was taking place in the person’s own home. Bridget McDaid, elder abuse officer in the HSE West said 23 senior case workers with specific responsibility for responding to concerns of elder abuse are now in place nationally.

SOURCE: IrelandSpacesLive


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Elder Care: Home Care Service (New Zealand)

Home Care Service Reflects Changing Needs

Press Release: Home Instead Senior Provider
5th June 2008

Doubling Of Home Care Service Reflects Changing Societal Needs For Elderly
The doubling in growth of a home care franchise service for the elderly in six months reflects changing societal needs says New Zealand franchisor Neil Farmworth.
In just six months, Home Instead Senior Care has achieved its year-end target of six franchised offices across the country namely Hamilton, Tauranga and Auckland and more recently Kapiti, Palmerston North and Christchurch. Further growth is expected during the latter part of 2008 with a total of 25 new franchise offices, anticipated by 2009.

Home Instead Senior Care provides non-medical home care for senior citizens, from companionship and meal preparation to 24-hour incontinent care, transportation, shopping and light house keeping. The company was established in the USA 14 years ago and is now a network of over 800 independently owned and operated franchises spanning four continents and eight countries including Japan, Portugal, Australia, Ireland, the UK and more recently, New Zealand.

According to Statistics New Zealand, the 65 plus age group is projected to make up over one-quarter of New Zealand’s population from the late 2030s, compared with 12 percent in 2005. The largest increases in the 65 plus age group will occur in the 2020s and 2030s when the large births recorded in the 1950s and 1960s move into this age group. Already kiwis aged 65 plus have more than doubled from 200,000 in the 1970s to over half a million in 2005.

New Zealand rest homes charges average $750 and upwards while Home Instead Senior Care’s fees vary from between $50 to $300 per week. The cost of buying a Home Instead franchise is $35,000 which covers a substantial start-up kit for a new office, one weeks training in Hamilton and ongoing franchise support. This business offers a rewarding and meaningful career helping people in need.


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