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**** DISCLAIMER

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

March 31, 2008

Elder Abuse Prevention: Local Community Project (USA)

By Gene Rector Elizabethtown
Saturday, March 29, 2008 7:37 PM CDT

Addressing elderly abuse

I am excited to share an opportunity to serve the vulnerable citizens of our region. A Local Coordinating Council on Elder Abuse (LCCEA) was formed out of a need to develop a network of services and resources for our elder abuse victims, family members and caretakers.
In 1998, Kentucky recognized the need to enhance services for elderly victims of abuse, neglect and exploitation, and the statewide Elder Abuse committee was created.

One of the committee’s major goals is to address the issues of prevention, intervention and agency coordination of services on a local level through interaction with local groups or entities that directly or indirectly provide services to the elderly.

The LCCEAs are the most practical and functional methods to bring all the community partners together to form a coordinated multidisciplinary response to elder maltreatment.
Every community professional who provides services to elders plays a key role in identifying and addressing maltreatment. Organizers envision our local council to include direct service staff, law enforcement, abuse survivors and other advocates and interested citizens. Our LCCEA serves Hardin, Meade, LaRue, Grayson, Marion, Nelson, Breckinridge and Washington counties. Meetings, which are open to the public, will be at 9 a.m. on the fourth Thursday of the month at the Lincoln Trail Area Development District, 613 College Street Road, Elizabethtown.
Learn more about promoting elder abuse prevention by contacting the Adult Protection Unit at the Cabinet for Health and Family Services’ Salt River Trail Region. Call 766-5099 and ask for Michele Bowman or log on to http://chfs.ky.gov/dcbs/dpp/eaa

In order to make Social Security solvent, how about if the government entities that “borrowed” from Social Security paid back their “loans” with interest. It must be in the multi-billions. It would at least extend its life considerably.

SOURCE: newsenterpriseonline
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A great idea to involve members of the community. The organizers should be congratulated on this effort.

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'Granny's Law' likely to Become N.Y. Law Soon (USA)

Hudson Confidential: 'Granny's Law' likely to become N.Y. law soon
March 26, 2008
By Michael Randall

We've had Megan's Law and Amber's Law and all sorts of other laws named for the people who inspired them.
Now it looks like we're about to get "Granny's Law" here in New York State, according to state Sen. William Larkin, R-C-Cornwall-on-Hudson.

Larkin and the Senate Majority Conference first introduced this law last year after the brutal, headline-grabbing Queens attack on 101-year-old Rose Morat, who was on her way to church. The same suspect beat and mugged 85-year-old Solange Elizee 30 minutes later.
Larkin said Granny's Law will make a physical attack on someone 65 or older, by someone who is more than 10 years younger than the victim, a felony. Currently such an attack is a misdemeanor.
"It is an absolute shame that these attacks had to take place to make us aware of this problem with the law," Larkin said.
Since it's now passed both the Senate and Assembly overwhelmingly, we'll go out on a limb here and predict that, even with all the other distractions in his first couple of weeks on the job, Gov. David Paterson will find time to sign this into law real soon.

Abridged
SOURCE: recordonline
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Murder, Scam, Informant and Elder Abuse (USA)

THE INFORMANT AND THE SCHEME: A Plot That Failed
By ALAN MAIMON/REVIEW-JOURNAL

Las Vegas jurist falls apart after ensnaring several people. But the police's handling of an informant in a failed investigation of the plot is under scrutiny.
POLICE: CRIMES BY INFORMANTS NOT TOLERATED.

Edward Gould, a Las Vegas man who helped police track a plot to bribe a judge in 2006, found out the limits of that tolerance. Gould, who had worked with police on previous investigations, was charged with crimes that authorities said he committed during a period of time in which he was working with police.

GRANDMOTHER'S HOUSE
Six months earlier, Mortensen, with the help of Long, had wrested ownership of a beach home on California's Central Coast from Mortensen's ailing grandmother, Doris Cossovel.
The four-bedroom house in San Luis Obispo County had belonged to Cossovel since 1961, but Mortensen saw it as his rightful inheritance.
Aug. 8, 2007: Long pleads no contest to conspiracy to commit elder abuse. He is fined $2,000.


Abridged
SOURCE: lasvegasreviewjournal
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A web of intrigue that span a number of years. Posted here as another case of elder abuse and a 'sense of entitlement' felt by the abuser.

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'Elder Abuse Calls for Your Attention'

By Jane Glenn Haas, BradentonHerald
March 22, 2008

We don't think weak and dependent old people are worth much.

For every government dollar spent on child-protective services training, only four cents is allotted for adult-protective services programs.
We have federal laws to protect animals but no federal law against elder injustice, just "information" centers.
Elder abuse just isn't a table topic for most people, says Mary Twomey, head of the University of California-Irvine Center for Excellence focus on elder abuse and neglect.

We like to imagine our elders as "sweet old ladies" or "old men who are bad drivers." Yet many are simply frail people totally dependent on someone who can care for them or rob them of their treasure and their dignity.

Geriatricians, psychologists, social workers, long-term care ombudsmen gathered in Newport Beach , Calif. , recently for the second international conference on ways to recognize - and stop - elder abuse.
The outcome was a call for Elder PEACE - Protection, Education, Advocacy, Collaboration, Eradication - a movement supporters hope will inspire a national audience.

"Aging boomers are already making a difference," says Rebecca Guider, director of adult services and assistance programs for Orange County , Calif. "They are more educated about their rights; less likely to put up with abusive situations."

Abridged

SOURCE: bradentonHeral
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March 30, 2008

Cultural Issues and Elder Abuse

Cultural Issues and Elder Abuse

Certain societal attitudes make it easier for abuse to continue without detection or intervention. These factors include the devaluation and lack of respect for older adults and society’s belief that what goes on in the home is a private, "family matter." Certain cultural factors, such as language barriers, make some situations more difficult to distinguish from abuse or neglect, and it is important not to ignore abuse by attributing the cause to cultural differences. However, before reporting abuse, anyone working with older people should be sensitive to cultural differences and not mistake these for abuse or neglect. Definitions of what is considered "abuse" varies across diverse cultural and ethnic communities.

Lack of respect for the elderly may contribute to violence against older people. When older people are regarded as disposable, society fails to recognize the importance of assuring dignified, supportive, and nonabusive life circumstances for every older person.

The idea that what happens at home is "private" can be a major factor in keeping an older person locked in an abusive situation. Those outside the family who observe or suspect abuse or neglect may fail to intervene because they believe "it’s a family problem and none of my business" or because they are afraid they are misinterpreting a private quarrel. Shame and embarrassment often make it difficult for older persons to reveal abuse. They don’t want others to know that such events occur in their families.

Religious or ethical belief systems sometimes allow for mistreatment of family members, especially women. Those who participate in these behaviors do not consider them abusive. In some cultures, women’s basic rights are not honored, and older women in these cultures may not realize they are being abused. They probably could not call for help outside the family and may not

Elder abuse, like other forms of violence, is never an acceptable response to any problem or situation, however stressful.

SOURCE: APA.org
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It is quite common to see a "melting pot" of cultures in major cities; the importance of such awareness cannot be over-emphasized. However, when basic human rights violation occurred what are our alternatives?
Must be just my ignorance, as I have not come across advice or writings on how to deal with such cases. Perhaps, it is a well-guarded secret, that is only available to the privileged.

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Nursing Homes and Unmet Standards (Canada)

Concerns drop over long-term care; Issues remain with ministry website
By Susan Gamble

There's been a slight drop in the number of concerns found in Brantford and Brant County nursing homes but, for the second year in a row, Hardy Terrace tops the list of local homes with problems.

What The Expositor says, Page A13

Last year, an analysis of a website developed by the Ministry of Health showed that Hardy Terrace in Mount Pleasant, had 29 unmet standards at the facility. The provincial average was 3.54 unmet standards per home.
This year, the facility was almost as high with 24 unmet standards compared to the provincial average of 3.32.

All of those statistics are found on the ministry's public reporting website. But what isn't on the website is that Hardy Terrace is currently under "enhanced monitoring," a process that sees ministry staff frequently visiting the facility to ensure it's working toward complying with ministry standards.

Abridged
SOURCE: brantfordexpositor
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Please go to source for more important information.
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March 29, 2008

Nursing Home labelled "Worst" Ever, by Inspector - (UK)

Manager of care home struck off

Bamburgh Court Care Centre is now under new management.

The manager of a Tyneside care home labelled the "worst" ever seen by an inspector has been struck off the nursing register.

Ann Rigby, 50, admitted misconduct while in charge of Bamburgh Court Care Centre, South Shields in 2004.

Dementia patients had to sleep on dirty mattresses on the floor while faeces was smeared on the wall, the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) heard.

The family of Martha Bentham, 91, who died at the home, welcomed the ruling.

Daughter Maureen Crozier, 70, of Cleadon Village, said: "This will not bring our mother back but it will be a warning to other carers and managers.

"It should put the wind up them because no other family should have to go through what we had to go through."

Mouldy food

Her sister, Fran Dodds, 62, of Cleadon Village, South Shields, said: "There are other people to blame and we're not quite finished yet.

"We are going to see if we can get anyone else before a tribunal."

Anne Kelly, NMC committee chairman, said after ruling on Friday: "It is apparent that the state of affairs was appalling both in terms of the state of the physical premises and the care of the residents."

The panel also heard rooms and corridors were poorly-lit and a pervasive smell hung in the air, as mouldy food was left to rot in cupboards.

The home was billed as a specialist care centre, split into one unit for dementia patients and another for the elderly.

But inspector Darren Hobson called it the "worst" home he had visited.

An improvement notice was served immediately and the manager suspended in June 2004. Rigby eventually resigned through ill health in November 2004.

She did not attend the London hearing but admitted by letter six counts of failing to ensure the home was maintained and cleaned and failing to provide adequate nursing care.

SOURCE: bbcUK
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Background Checks for Home Caregivers (California)

Law allows background checks for seniors’ caregivers
Friday, March 28, 2008
By NATALIE HOFFMAN
Register Staff Writer

California has taken a step forward in preventing seniors from getting fleeced by those who would take advantage of them. Senate Bill 692, authored by state Sen. Roy Ashburn, R-Bakersfield and signed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger earlier this month, will enable seniors to request California Department of Justice background checks for home caregivers who assist them with personal and domestic care duties like bathing and housekeeping.

Nancy Schulz, program manager of the Napa County Public Authority — which maintains a registry of In-Home Support Services caregivers who serve low-income seniors — said IHSS caregivers are already subject to a California Department of Justice background check. But she said the new law will target about 3,000 non-IHSS Napa County caregivers who are not subject to the same scrutiny.

According to prosecutors and senior advocates, the elderly are vulnerable to former convicts who view the growing in-home care industry as an opportunity to find easy marks for financial crimes. They are pleased about the new law, but say more needs to be done.

Abridged
SOURCE: napavalleyregister
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Second Possible Case of Elder Abuse - (Kansas City, USA)

Police investigate second possible case of elder abuse
By CHRISTINE VENDEL
Posted on Fri, Mar. 28, 2008 10:15 PM
The Kansas City Star

Kansas City police questioned a woman Friday after her 77-year-old mother was taken to a hospital covered with her own waste and suffering large bed sores.

It was the second case of possible elder abuse that police have investigated within two weeks. Police released the 56-year-old daughter from custody Friday, pending further investigation.
Relatives took the 77-year-old woman to a hospital March 19. She had pneumonia, a severe blood infection, an ulcer on her tongue and a large bruise on her knee. She also had bed sores that police think were caused by “prolonged exposure” to her own waste, according to a police report.


Abridged
SOURCE: kansasStar
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The Abandonment of Elderly Parents and Cultural Values

Abandoning Elderly Parents: An analysis
By Andrew Chadwick

It is extremely sad when society has to enact laws to punish people who abandoned their elderly parents. Even countries like China, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore and India, where filial piety or respect for older people was once taken for granted, are jolted by increasing number of elder abuse cases and abandonment of elderly parents at nursing homes.

What is filial piety?

In somewhat general terms, filial piety means to take care of one's parents; not be rebellious ; show love, respect and support; display courtesy; ensure male heirs, uphold fraternity among brothers; wisely advise one's parents; conceal their mistakes (though some schools advocate pointing out and correcting their mistakes); display sorrow for their sickness and death; and carry out sacrifices after their death.

Reasons for this “phenomenon” in Chinese families:

Younger generation of Chinese are less adherent to traditional principles of filial piety. (A Review on Elder Abuse in Chinese families- sagepub)
Adult children are caught in caring dilemma. The stress of caring for their own family and the caring of elderly parents.
Parents are often in a different state, or country.

Many do not feel that they are responsible for the care of their elderly parents. Poor family relationships are often quoted as a reason.

A breakdown in family relationships, should not be used as an excuse for elder abuse. There can never be a justifiable excuse for elder abuse.

Abandoning Elderly Parents

This issue is extremely controversial; when adult children quote breakdown of relationships as a reason for their abandoning their parent(s).

The effect of abandonment of elderly parents may not be that obvious when there are social services that will take care of the ‘abandoned parents’. However, in countries where there are little social services to assist these elderly, then it becomes a crucial issue for all – government and the general public.
How do we treat people who abandoned their parent(s) at a bus-stop or other public places?

In places, like China, India, Singapore and other countries that has a strong tradition of respect and care for the elderly, the increasing number of elderly parents abandoned on the street or nursing home, is a real and frightening development.

China is looking into revitalizing the Confucian teachings of ‘filial piety’ in their education system. Perhaps this will work. We must not forget that in the ‘70s the ‘one child policy’ has resulted in that ‘one child’ being spoilt and often, self-centered.

In recent years, many have migrated to other countries. This is not only in China. So how can we expect these adult children to care for their elderly parents?


Who should be responsible for the care of the elderly?

In countries where there are only minimal social services, the care of the elderly are expected of the children. For example, in Singapore there is (since 1995) a Parents Maintenance Act, that the elderly (over 65) can apply, through the court/tribunal, for maintenance from their children if they are not able to maintain themselves.

The alternative, of course, is for a government to tax its citizens more, so as to be to provide those essential services for looking after the elderly.

What about first world countries like the USA and UK?

How should these countries deal with the neglect and abandonment of elderly?

If the government has to look after these ‘abandoned’ elderly, there will be less money left for other social services or infrastructure maintenance and developments.

Increasing the tax levy is often not a good move for many governments.

Ensuring that ‘Respect and Care’ is inculcated in education system is perhaps a good move.

Drugs and Technology can be blamed for watering down the traditional family values.

How many family have a proper dinner at the end of the day? By that I mean really sit around the table. Many families just have their own plate of food and sit in front of the TV! No proper discussions or eye-contact with each other.
Entertainment is a greater priority than family interactions.

Drug addicts live in a different world, especially when they are high on substance. The rest of their waking hours are spent on finding money for the next hit. Obviously, elderly parents are only seen as the ‘cash cows’. Yes, they are as a source of money for these drug addictions. Therefore, what hope have we got in relying on these people to look after their aging parents?

We can see from this simple analysis, that it is a massive problem. Tackling the culture of the ‘me-first’ people and prevention of the abandonment of the elderly is one BIG, BIG problem - One that cannot be solved easily.

A multi-disciplinarian and multi-agencies approach is required; Easier said than done, of course. But, if we do not start looking for solutions now, we will reach the crisis point very soon.

FINDING SOLUTIONS
This is a challenge for all governments, and professionals with interest in this area.
The findings from studies done many years ago, are still relevant today. However, whilst funding of more researches is of course, welcomed, we must make sure that the follow-on actions flow through. How many reports from researches/studies/inquiries are left to gather dust?
Researches are pointless without actions on the recommendations.


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An Aging Population is Transforming the Family - (China)

China’s New Empty Nest

An aging population is transforming the family
Although they live in a nation of 1.3 billion people, Wu Shaoqiu and his wife are lonely. Their son now lives in Canada, their daughter in France. "We need to have someone stay and talk with us from time to time," says Wu, 75, a retired bureaucrat from China's Hubei province.


In 2006 he spotted an ad in the local paper, offering to introduce empty-nesters to adult women willing to be "adopted." Wu liked an executive named Fang Fang and brought her home to meet his wife. "She brought a bunch of flowers … she called me 'Papa' and my wife 'Mummy'," Wu says. Fang Fang soon joined the family—and introduced two other women whom the elderly couple took in as well. On weekends and holidays all three women, who are in their 40s and married, visit the couple to cook and clean, and maybe play cards or surf the Web. "I consider them my real daughters now," Wu says.


Going into a nursing home is still considered vaguely shameful. The China National Committee on Aging recently unveiled a plan to establish a nationwide home-care system by 2010, but simply finding enough facilities and trained nurses will be hard.

Authorities are trying to educate young Chinese about the need to care for their parents. The Education Ministry has supported a resurgence of Confucian studies, which promote respect for elders.


Abridged
SOURCE: newsweek
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March 28, 2008

Cautious Welcome for Elder Abuse Research - (UK)

Cautious welcome for elder abuse research

Action on Elder Abuse (AEA), the charity focusing upon the abuse of older people, has welcomed the announcement that Comic Relief and the Department of Health are to collaborate in further research into the nature of elder abuse, but has expressed the hope that this research will lead to tangible outcomes for older people.

£2 million is being invested on the research. “The announcement that further research will be conducted into the abuse, neglect and lack of dignity of older people within institutions is obviously to be warmly welcomed,” said Gary FitzGerald, chief executive of AEA. “We need to understand the factors that influence poor practices or abusive behaviours, and we are pleased that the new research will include people who lack capacity and will focus upon institutional settings.”

The charity is awaiting details of the proposed research and is consequently tempering its enthusiasm for this major investment with a cautious desire to ensure that the research achieves meaningful outcomes for older people facing abuse. “We are conscious that the Prevalence Study results launched last June 2007 have yet to deliver changes in practice or further work to understand the key messages that arose,” said FitzGerald, “so we will be scrutinising this proposal to satisfy ourselves that the funding is being put to the best possible use; after all £2 million is a lot of money and research is only of use if it leads to change.”

The UK 2007 study into the prevalence of abuse and neglect of older people undertook research into elder abuse within people’s own homes, and did not include institutions or people who lacked the capacity to answer questions. That research has been used in Scotland to help prepare for implementation of the Adult support and protection (Scotland) Act 2007. AEA says there is no evidence that the reseach, which cost £600,000, has yet been used to effect change within the other three UK nations.

SOURCE: ppmagazineUK
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Any funding for research into Elder Abuse should be welcomed. However, we must be aware that often reports from researches are shelved, or allowed to gather dust. Reports and recommendations from researches MUST be followed up with appropriate actions. Without follow-through actions, the exercise is futile!

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Elder Abuse: Human Rights Act to be Extended for Better Protection (UK)

Law changed to protect elderly people paying for own care

· Human Rights Act to be extended to combat abuse · Residents will have right to appeal to adjudicator
John Carvel, social affairs editor
The Guardian,
Thursday March 27 2008

This article appeared in the Guardian on Thursday March 27 2008 on p10 of the UK news section. It was last updated at 00:14 on March 27 2008.

The government will extend the Human Rights Act to protect up to 300,000 people who have been placed by local authorities in privately-run residential and nursing homes, the Guardian can reveal.
Older people's charities have campaigned for the move after a law lords ruling last year that the act did not apply to privately-run homes. Charities argue the legislation would give residents greater protection against suffering malnutrition and give them greater rights, such as the right to a family life.
Legislation extending the Human Rights Act is one of three new measures to combat the abuse of older people in care homes and NHS hospitals that will be launched by the government today.

Abridged
SOURCE: theguardianUK
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Elder Abuse in Long Term Facilities: Wolk Bill to Increase Reporting (USA)

Panel approves Wolk bill to increase reporting to elder abuse

California Political Desk
March 27, 2008

SACRAMENTO–Legislation by Assemblywoman Lois Wolk (D-Davis) to help local district attorneys investigate and prosecute elder abuse cases that occur in long-term care facilities was unanimously approved by the Assembly Public Safety Committee.

"Every year hundreds of cases of physical abuse in California nursing homes and assisted living centers, including potential felonies such as assault, rape, and sexual molestation, are reported to state licensing agencies, but not to local law enforcement," said Wolk. "This bill builds on the ombudsman reporting system now in place and makes sure with a simple cross-report that the most serious cases are brought to the immediate attention of local law enforcement, before evidence is lost or destroyed, or witnesses forget key details, making it impossible to prosecute the criminals committing these horrible crimes."

Abridged
SOURCE: californiachronicle
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Elder Abuse Awareness: Increase in Reporting (Canada)

By Ginette Petitpas-Taylor
A Woman's view
Published Thursday March 27th, 2008

Elder abuse is a universal problem that has only recently come out of the shadows. It can be physical or sexual assault, emotional abuse, failure to provide adequate food or care and financial exploitation. The victims are often frail and vulnerable, depending on others to meet their most basic needs. The abusers may be the care givers, often family members. Self-neglect is also a problem.

In New Brunswick, Adult Protection Services receives and investigates reports of suspected elder abuse, neglect and self-neglect and doesn't distinguish between them in their statistics. Moreover, because financial exploitation is not currently recognized as abuse in the province's Family Services Act, the Department only steps in if there is also neglect or physical abuse, sexual, or emotional abuse.
Improved intervener training using the updated provincial Adult Victims of Abuse Protocols and heightened community awareness has probably contributed to this increase in reporting. Just imagine how the numbers would climb if there were more outreach services and mandatory reporting of senior abuse and neglect.

Abridged
SOURCE: timestranscriptcanadaeast

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March 27, 2008

New Helpline to Report Elder Abuse - UK

Know an endangered elderly person?

Do you know of an elderly person in Hertfordshire at risk from harm?
Concerns over the possible abuse of elderly people in their own home can be reported by the victims, their families or carers in total confidence via a special helpline to be trialled in Hertfordshire.

Hertfordshire County Council has teamed up with the charity Action on Elder Abuse and three home care agencies to provide the service in Watford, Three Rivers and Dacorum.
The scheme will initially run as a six-month pilot scheme.


Rosanna Thirlow, from Action on Elder Abuse, said: "This helpline tackles the major problem of how vulnerable people may complain safely and without fear.
"It gives service users, families, friends and care workers a safe and protected way of speaking out, knowing there is a genuinely independent charity overseeing the process and guaranteeing a response."


The helpline number of 0808 8088141 is due to start on April 14 for six months.


Abridged
SOURCE: watfordobserver
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Carers Group Seeks New Members - UK

Support group seeking new members
By Steve Mather

A SUPPORT group for carers of people suffering from dementia is seeking new members to come forward and join.

Shipmates Carers Group has been running for more than two years and it offers help and support to people who care for others at home, in care homes, hospital or in a nursing home.

The aim of the group is to provide a place for comfort, information, friendship, ideas and support during difficult periods. The development of the Shipmate's programme was based on the ideas and needs of its members with the name coming from the view that everyone is in the same boat.' Formal and informal meetings take place in Shipston at the Horseshoe Pub and St Edmund's Church Hall to allow people to share similar experiences.
For more information about membership and meetings please contact either Barbara Smith, volunteer co-ordinator, on 01608 662433 or the South Warwickshire Alzheimers Society Branch on 01926 888899.


SOURCE: cotswoldjournalUK
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March 26, 2008

Elder Abuse and Neglect Conference - (Ashtabula, USA)

Protecting seniors from abuse
First county Senior Conference to teach about elder abuse, neglect

By MARGIE TRAX PAGE - Staff Writer - mtrax@starbeacon.com
Star Beacon

Martha Gillespie knows the danger involved with being a senior citizen.
As program administrator for the Ashtabula County Department of Job and Family Services (ACDJFS). But for all Gillespie’s work, her most heartbreaking cases involve elder abuse.

Gillespie, with the support of ACDJFS, the Ashtabula Senior Levy Advisory Board and the Ashtabula County commissioners, is planning the first Ashtabula County Senior Citizen’s Conference April 18 at Kent State University — Ashtabula campus.

The conference will focus on elder abuse prevention with keynote speaker San Diego Deputy District Attorney Paul Greenwood. Greenwood has been featured on CBS and NBC news programs as he brings national attention to the growing problem of elder abuse, Gillespie said.

For more information or to register for the conference call Gillespie at (440) 994-2027.

Abridged
SOURCE: starbeacon
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Elder Abuse and Harassment Over Property (India)

Elderly in Delhi face harassment over property
By Rashme Sehgal

New Delhi, March 24: Every second elderly person in Delhi faces harassment over property or knows another senior who does. Delhi’s elite, who live in south Delhi colonies where property rates have skyrocketed, have the highest number of property-related harassment cases in the national capital.
South Delhi has registered 41.6 per cent cases, followed by central Delhi with 20.8 per cent cases. Fifty per cent of these harassment cases are being inflicted on parents by their children or children-in-law.

The survey pointed out that a majority of those living with their children are facing intense pressure to either sell off their property, or to transfer the ownership to their sons or daughters.

If they refuse, they are subjected to physical injury, verbal abuse and, in extreme cases, food is denied to them. They are kept in forcible isolation and are not allowed to meet their friends and relatives. Nor are they allowed to walk outside or receive phone calls.

Abridged
SOURCE: howrahIndiaNews


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Bill Seeks to Deter Mortgage Scammers - (Iowa, USA)

Bill seeks to deter mortgage scammers
Legislative briefs
From Register staff and news services

March 25, 2008

Scammers that target families who face mortgage foreclosure in Iowa would face roadblocks under a legislative proposal that was approved Monday by the Iowa House.

Foreclosure consultants are people who, for a fee, offer to stop, postpone or in some way help families who face losing their homes. The problem is that, in some cases, scammers charge unreasonable fees.House File 2653 would set limits on consultants and would forbid them from accepting pay until after all services are performed.

The bill passed the House unanimously. It now goes to the Senate.

Abridged
SOURCE: desmoinesregister
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March 25, 2008

Elder Care and Nursing Homes - Australia

SOCIETIES should be judged by how they look after the old, the young and the sick.
In Australia, the elderly have been out of sight, out of mind for too long.

We live in an ageing country. The number of people 70 and over is set to double in the next 20 years, posing great challenges for governments and individuals.

The issue of elderly care is one all of us will have to confront sooner or later.
The days when close-knit families looked after their ageing parents and grandparents in the family home are sadly becoming a dim memory.
Many people will end up in a nursing home or an aged-care facility, either through choice or the lack of an alternative. It's vital that these vulnerable members of our community are not forgotten.

Nursing homes should be held to the highest standards of care. It's disturbing to discover that many fail the test.
Almost 4000 breaches have been reported in the past six months, according to a federal government agency.


They range from serious sexual assaults to breaches of personal dignity in care.
This report was previously kept under wraps, presumably to protect the reputation of the industry and to avoid raising the alarm of relatives.
This is understandable, but nevertheless completely wrong.
Conditions in nursing homes should be a matter of open debate, not pushed under the carpet as a taboo subject. There needs to be more scrutiny, not less, to ensure the pressure is on to maintain standards.

We stand condemned as a society if we allow the elderly to be shuffled off to a home and forgotten after the doors close

Abridged
SOURCE: dailytelegraphAus
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March 24, 2008

Elder Abuse and Carer Issues

Elder Abuse and Carer Issues
By Andrew Chadwick

Carer’s fatigue and shortage of staff in nursing homes have been cited as a cause of elder abuse in some studies.

How can we solve these problems in our attempts at elder abuse prevention?

Whilst we welcome any additional funding to the aged care sector, we must not lose sight of other related issues that must address. These include:

Making sure that there are sufficient staff in nursing home;
Training of careers must include elder abuse prevention; and what the community regards as elder abuse;
Proper channel of communication for “whistle-blowers”; confidentiality and safeguarding of reporters of elder abuse in nursing homes.

What about carers who look after family members in their own homes?

These carers often took on the responsibility of caring for loved ones at home, out of love must be given assistance and respite for their stressful care duties.
Government must realize that these carers are saving the public lots of money, by not sending the loved ones to state-run hospitals or nursing homes.
Enabling these carers to have “time off”. Government should set up facilities that can take over those cares for a few days.

Support for Dedicated Carers

We only hear or read about carers who abuse the elderly. We must not forget that there are many carers who are working extremely hard in their jobs. They are the unsung heroes who often give more then is required in their jobs. These same carers often suffer personal consequences e.g. depression. They become depressed because they cannot no matter how hard they worked, they cannot improved the situation in nursing homes that are under-staffed.

How about a ‘Carers Day’: a day to honour those dedicated carers?

Another important question that should be posed here:

Do we value our older persons/seniors enough, to work towards elder abuse prevention and better elder care?


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Govt. Move to Help Provide 2500 New Beds in Nursing Homes (Australia)

22 March 2008

JE08/21

The Federal Government today announced it will deliver on its election commitment to provide $300 million in zero real interest loans for aged care providers to build or expand aged care beds in areas of “high need”.



The plan is expected to create 2,500 permanent residential aged care places in areas of “high need” such as regional and “undersupplied” areas. This is about finding new ways to get proven providers – through low cost finance – to establish aged care services in areas where they were previously unlikely to invest. It is also about preparing Australia for the challenges of the 21st century and our nation’s long-term needs.


Federal Cabinet recently approved the delivery plan of the zero real interest loans.


Abridged

SOURCE: healthdeptAus

--------------------------------

Every bit of funding on aged care helps. Many countries are facing the problem of increasing number of older persons, requiring a whole range of social services. Increasing the number of beds in nursing home is only one measure to tackle the problem.

More must be done to ensure that there are sufficient carers in nursing homes. Shortage of staff is often found to be a contributing factor to elder abuse in nursing homes.


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Guardianship Abuse: Another Case (USA)

How an unwanted guardianship cost a firefighter his freedom and his fortune

By Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman
March 22, 2008

Norman Baker is an American hero who has been detained against his will for more than two years.

  • His “crime”: owning too much property.
  • His sentence: a court-appointed guardianship on the brink of costing him everything he spent his life building.
  • His rights in this case: virtually none, significantly less in many ways than an actual law-breaking criminal.
  • His future if this continues: long-term de facto imprisonment, followed by abject poverty, if he has anything left at all.

A retired firefighter who once helped save a child's life, Norman Baker is not suspected of terrorism. He has never been charged with any statutory infraction, and has never been in any kind of trouble with the law. But he has been stripped of his right to vote and access to his own assets, which appear to have been in excess of $1 million as little as three years ago.

Until he was placed in a nursing home against his will by the court-appointed attorney he is trying to reject, Norman Baker owned and managed two dozen rental properties, many of which he designed and built himself. He also owned a 33-acre farm, with four horses, an array of tractors and other heavy farm implements, a carefully preserved century-old barn, a restored farmhouse from which he drew steady rental income, and a 3,000-square-foot brick home, which he also designed and built.

Abridged
SOURCE: freepress
-------------------------
Please go to source for more details, and information on how you can send support letters for Norman.
-----------------------------------------

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March 22, 2008

Injunction Expanded in Elder Abuse Lawsuit (USA)

Injunction expanded in elder abuse lawsuit

By REBECCA BLANTON
Register & Bee staff writer
March 21, 2008

CHATHAM - A woman being sued by her father is barred from selling or transferring any of his real estate until the suit is resolved.

Pittsylvania County Circuit Court Judge Charles Strauss has issued an order expanding the temporary injunction that was granted on Feb. 22 against Emma and Bobby Doss.

The couple is being sued by Moncie Lee Doss, who claims Emma, his daughter, and her husband held him against his will for two years, drugged him and sold off his property after gaining power of attorney over his affairs.

Abridged
SOURCE: registerbee
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Three Arrested in Elder Abuse Case (USA)

Three arrested in elder-abuse case
By MARK MORRIS The Kansas City Star
Posted on Fri, Mar. 21, 2008 10:48 AM

Kansas City police arrested three people Thursday during an elder-abuse investigation in which an elderly woman had been allowed to lie in her own waste for several years.
Police spokesman Rich Lockhart said firefighters called police when they answered a call to the home of Hazel L. Byes, 85, in the 5700 block of Forest Avenue Thursday evening.
“They reported that her condition was potentially life-threatening as a result of not being moved and lying in her own waste for several years,” Lockhart said.

Abridged
SOURCE: kansascitynews
------------------------------
Hard to believe, but it happened!

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Elderly Woman Abandoned Near Bus Stand (India)

Old and ill, left to die on the street by her two sons

Vijaita Singh, Hindustan Times
Email Author
New Delhi, March 03, 2008

A 75-year-old woman was found abandoned near a bus stand in Patparganj area in East Delhi on Sunday morning. The woman, suffering from breathing problems and a fractured arm, lay writhing in pain on the roadside till passersby called the police.

Ram Pyaari, the victim, said that she was often beaten up and denied food by the elder of her two sons, Govind and his wife Sonia. They are living in Trilokpuri.

Her younger son Sonu, who is unemployed, brought the elderly woman to the Patparganj bus stand and left her there.

“Sonu told me that he is going to fetch money from Uttam Nagar. With that money he would send me to Rajasthan where my daughter lives. I have been lying here since morning as he has not returned,” said Ram Pyaari, crying hysterically.

Abridged
SOURCE: hindustantimes
-----------------------------------------

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Study Highlights Financial Elder Abuse (France)

(Article in French)

Financial abuse: forced sale, fraud, diverted legacy,… Fiapa denounced!
Senior News
March 17, 2008

France While a young couple has been arrested in Paris for various assault, theft and violence against the elderly, a survey by the International Federation of Associations of the Elderly (Fiapa) denounced financial abuse suffered by Many older… A problem too often underestimated.

Admittedly, these are extreme financial abuse and violent, but when it comes to targeting the elderly, some thieves, but also some relatives, are creative… Flights, fraud, abuse of trust, misappropriation of inheritance… list of misdeeds is long and creativity crooks limitless

In France, the emergency number 3977 can give advice to victim

SOURCE: seniorsactu
----------------------------------------

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Law to Protect Elderly (Chile)

(Article in Spanish)

The Chile Board of Representatives has adopted a law to protect older persons. It includes methods of protection against violence within families. Until now, there was only a law to protect women, children and those who are handicapped, with no attention to those who were aged.

SOURCE: globalaging
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Violence Against the Elderly: Mandatory Jail Sentence (Israel)

Knesset okays mandatory jail sentence for violence against the elderly

By Shahar Ilan, Haaretz Correspondent
25/02/2008

The Knesset plenum on Monday approved an amendment to the penal law that calls for a mandatory jail sentence for anyone convicted of attacking the elderly. The amendment stipulates that if a judge wants to avoid handing down a prison sentence, he would have to submit a written justification.

The amendment was approved in its second and third readings.

The new law stems from a long line of initiatives aimed at cracking down on assailants that target the elderly. One of the foremost among these initiatives was one proposed by MK David Rotem (Yisrael Beiteinu) who suggested penalizing perpetrators with a mandatory jail term of ten years for assaulting an elderly person, and 20 years for causing egregious harm to an elderly person.
The maximum penalty for causing harm to an elderly person was raised to five years from three years. The maximum penalty for causing egregious harm remains seven years.

Abridged
SOURCE: haaretz
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Budget Allocate More for Elderly (Quebec, Canada)

Special Care Afforded to the Elderly (in Quebec)

By Hubert Bauch, Gazette
March 14, 2008
Canada

In a budget with no big winners, seniors, at least, came out somewhat ahead.

Measures for the elderly in the provincial budget include tax breaks and increased funding for services to seniors.
The new measures will add $1 billion to government spending on seniors' programs over the next five years. Of that, $35 million a year will go toward an increase in the tax credit for home-support expenses, which the budget boosts to 30 per cent from 25 per cent for people over 70.

When these measures are fully implemented, an elderly couple living at home with one income of $25,000 would get a $3,300 benefit by 2011, for example.The government also will spend an additional $80 million to step up the development of home-support services for the elderly.

Abridged
SOURCE: digitalcalgaryherald
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March 21, 2008

Woman Arrested in Alleged Elder Abuse Scam (USA)

Riverside police arrest woman in alleged elder abuse scam

10:00 PM PDT on Wednesday, March 19, 2008
By JESSICA LOGAN The Press-Enterprise

A 34-year-old woman was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of stealing from a 79-year-old Riverside man who police said she had talked into proposing marriage, a news release from the Riverside Police Department stated.

Nina Costello of Perris befriended the 79-year-old man. She promised to help him do "Christ's work," the release stated.

The man, recently widowed, lived in a federally subsidized apartment on Social Security, the release stated.
The woman convinced the man to furnish her home where she told him he would eventually live and buy her a car, the release stated.

The woman used the victim's credit to buy about $80,000 worth of property including a 2007 Chevrolet Tahoe, furnishings and an engagement ring that police found at a pawn shop, the release stated.
Costello and Thompson were arrested on suspicion of theft by false pretenses and elder abuse.

Abridged
SOURCE: pressenterprize
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Elder Abuse Awareness: Vital Key to Prevention

Elder Abuse Awareness: A Key to Prevention

By Andrew Chadwick

20 March 2008

We should recognize the fact , that if public awareness on Elder Abuse is raised, it will go a long way in reducing elder abuse.

If we could get the following messages out:

  • That Elder Abuse is Violation of Basic Human Rights;
  • Elder abuse is not tolerated in any language or form;
  • Elder Abusers will be exposed, or punished.
  • Emotional/Psychological Abuses of the Elderly is also, NOT Accepted.

"Elder Abuse is a single or repeated act, or lack of appropriate action, occurring in any relationship where there is an expectation of trust that causes harm or distress to an older person”. (WHO)

The United Nations, International Plan of Action on Ageing:
The statement includes a set of Eighteen Principles for Older People, covering independence, participation, care, self-fulfillment and dignity. Principle 17 states:
Older persons should be able to live in dignity and security and be free of exploitation and physical or mental abuse.

Even the elderly, has the right to live out their twilight years in peace, security and dignity.

A great percentage of elder abuse cases involved family members – spouses, or adult children. If potential abusers know at the outset, that elder abuse is NOT Acceptable in our society, and that if they abused their spouse or parent(s) they risk prosecution or exposure; they will not be so blatant in their actions.

These messages should be given more prominence in “awareness” campaigns by governments.

Unfortunately, many countries have not done much regarding ‘awareness campaigns’. Often, these same governments would rather set up ‘inquiry’ or ‘studies’ on the issue. Reports from these inquiries or studies are then allowed to ‘gather dust’. No action will be seen for a long time. Perhaps, hoping that the issue will just go away.

In a way, elder abuse is a ‘dying issue’. Wait long enough, the victims just pass on. In most cases, the victims of elder abuse die ‘before their time’. Not many can cope with the stress of being abused, especially, by their own spouse or adult children. However, the problem does not go away.

With the ‘tsunami of Baby-boomers’ joining the seniors rank, the problem will just be compounded.

Let us urge our own government to take immediate action, towards better protection of our seniors. Start with raising public awareness of Elder Abuse.


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AG Shuts Down Mortgage Scam Artists (LA, USA)

Attorney General Brown Shuts Down Mortgage Scam Artists
View Attachments
March 18, 2008

08-019 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (916) 324-5500

LOS ANGELES—California Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. today shut down Lifetime Financial, Nations Mortgage, Greenleaf Lending, Virtual Escrow, Olympic Escrow and Direct Credit Solutions, accusing the predatory lending companies of pushing homeowners into “illegal and unconscionable loans.”
Yesterday, the Los Angeles Superior Court, at the request of the attorney general, froze all the companies’ real estate and bank accounts and enjoined them from engaging in further predatory practices. The freeze order also included expensive cars and millions of dollars in private real estate owned by Eric Pony. Brown also seeks an estimated $20 million in penalties and restitution.

THE SCAM
Lifetime Financial, Nations Mortgage and Greenleaf Lending operate predatory lending schemes to cheat homeowners by promising unrealistically low mortgage payments and then switching them to loans that do not match the original agreement. Telemarketers lure consumers by telling them that they are preapproved for a fixed rate loan of 5% to 6% which could lower monthly payments by hundreds of dollars.
Other fraudulent and unlawful practices include the following:
• Offering thousands of dollars in cash back without disclosing that the money would be used to cover high fees
• Falsely promising to reimburse prepayment penalties from the victim’s current lender
• Pressuring victims to sign inaccurate loan documents by promising to correct excessive fees
• Failing to provide copies of signed documents
• Forging victims names and signatures on loan documents
• Falsifying income information on loan applications and creating fake references
• Refusing to honor written demands to cancel loans.

Abridged
SOURCE: agcalifornia
--------------------------
For more information go to source for the full media release.

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Elder Abuse Seminars in April 2008 (NY, USA)

County Police Hosting Elder Abuse Seminars

Posted by Westchester.com
Wednesday, 19 March 2008

White Plains, NY - Physical or emotional abuse; theft or other fraud; mental illness or neglect. Some of Westchester’s senior citizens face these harsh realities after a lifetime of hard work.

In the effort to protect the county’s most vulnerable seniors, the Department of Public Safety has organized a series of seminars on elder abuse for police officers in Westchester. The training seminars, which begin today at the Westchester Police Academy in Valhalla, will help officers better identify vulnerable seniors and other adults who may be victims of crime or neglect, sometimes at the hands of their caregivers.

Topics to be covered include: a review of related criminal law; investigation and interview strategies for elder abuse cases; identifying at-risk behaviors and indicators, and referrals to outside agencies.

“Elder and Vulnerable Adults: Abuse and Other Issues” is a day-long seminar that is a joint effort of the Department of Public Safety, the Westchester District Attorney’s Office, the Westchester Department of Social Services, the Westchester Department of Senior Programs and Services, and Family Services of Westchester. Sessions will be Apr. 2, 16 and 30.

Abridged
SOURCE: westchestercom
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Elder Abuse: Courage to Speak Out (UK)

Courage to speak out about abuse

By Richard Mennear

INCREASING numbers of people are blowing the whistle on those that abuse vulnerable people.As reported in the Mail last week, a recent report shows the number of allegations of abuse against vulnerable people aged up to 99 in Hartlepool has risen from 63 to 146 in just 12 months. Abuse reports doubled in year - Mail, March 8

Coun Hall said: "When I looked at the statistics it was something that alarmed me, however, just because the number of reports is on the increase it doesn't mean that we have a bigger problem."I think it shows that there is more awareness and people are more comfortable speaking out. "All that helps to contribute to a culture were people don't feel that they will be victimised and targeted if they do report abuse and that applies to relatives and neighbours.

Abridged.
SOURCE: hartlepoolmail


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Nursing Homes Residents Given Too Much Sedatives (Australia)

By DAVID KILLICK
March 19, 2008 12:00am

ELDERLY people in Tasmanian nursing homes are given sleeping tablets at a much higher rate than their interstate counterparts, a new study has found.

Half of the state's nursing-home residents are prescribed benzodiazepines, compared with about one third of residents interstate. The University of Tasmania is carrying out a project to radically cut benzodiazepine use after research by PhD student Juanita Westbury uncovered the high rate of prescribing. Professor Gregory Peterson of the university's School of Pharmacy said the use of benzodiazepines was associated with an increased risk of falls and hip fractures and a reduced quality of life. "There's data from Sydney showing perhaps 35 per cent of residents are on benzodiazepines and in Tasmania it's more like 50 per cent -- it's quite a bit higher," he said.

While much of the use of the drugs was medically necessary, they were sometimes over-prescribed. "It's for sleeping or they are sometimes used perhaps to control behaviour with dementia which they're not really recommended for," Prof Peterson said.
"The idea is to try to improve practice here -- to try to reduce it. "The biggest issue with these sedative drugs is the risk of falls and therefore hip fractures and therefore quality of life, it's one of the greatest dangers. "They're well known to be the greatest risk factors in causing falls in older people." The solution was informing health professionals about different approaches, he said. "It's largely an educational focus on GPs and nursing home staff and also carers and relatives because there probably is an element of that too where relatives don't want to see their mother or grandmother distressed or with abnormal behaviour or aggressiveness," Prof Peterson said.

Eight researchers will work on an 18-month project to cut the rate at which benzodiazepines are prescribed in the state's nursing homes. Tasmania dominated the latest round of federal pharmaceutical research funding with four out of 12 projects approved nationwide attracting almost $730,000.

SOURCE: themercury
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March 20, 2008

Lack of Confidence in Elderly Care - (Ireland)

Lack of confidence in elderly care

Posted: Tue 18/03/2008
by Deborah Condon

Irish people are the least optimistic in Europe about their chances of receiving the appropriate level of care in old age, a new survey by the European Commission (EC) has shown.

According to the findings, Irish people are also the least likely to have discussed their own possible future care needs – just 9% have considered this.
The survey found that there is a widespread perception among Europeans that dependent older people are becoming victims of abuse by people who are supposed to look after them. In fact, more than half of Europeans and one-third of Irish people feel that older people are subject to abuse by relatives or professional carers.
Furthermore, 43% of Irish people feel that institutions such as nursing homes provide insufficient standards of care. A further two-thirds feel that dependent older people are at risk of psychological abuse - such as verbal abuse, humiliation and a lack of dignity – or at having their personal items stolen or their money mismanaged.

The EC also highlighted the fact that the frail elderly are a ‘highly vulnerable group’ of people.

"Each of us faces the possibility of becoming dependent on the help of others when we get older and currently we cannot be sure that we will be treated with dignity," said EU Social Affairs Commissioner, Vladimír Špidla.

However he added that EU member states ‘are starting to support carers and relatives’ through training and guidance.“They have also started to protect the elderly by creating support groups and telephone hotlines and are creating transparent and patient-oriented monitoring systems for the quality of long-term care. I welcome this and at the same time, much more needs to be done all across Europe”, Mr Spidla added.

Abridged
SOURCE: irishhealth
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Burglars Jailed for Killing 82 year old (Wales, UK)

Burglars jailed for killing spinster, 82
Mar 19 2008 Western Mail

TWO burglars were jailed yesterday for the manslaughter of an elderly victim.
Maira Roberts, an 82-year-old spinster, died a day after she was confronted and robbed of a credit card and lottery ticket at her home.
Thieves John Roberts, 43, and Nathan Williams, 18, admitted the manslaughter of Miss Roberts.

Abridged
SOURCE: icWales
--------------------

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Grandparents Barred From Seeing Grandchildren (Wales,UK)

Welsh children denied access to grandparents
Mar 19 2008
by Rhodri Clark, Western Mail

AROUND 50,000 Welsh children may be being denied access to their grandparents because of the breakdown of family relationships, new figures reveal.
Family solicitors say many grandparents accept the loss as a fact of life, without realising they can take steps to try to establish contact.
For most children in Wales, spending time with granny or grandad is a basic and enriching part of growing up.

It is estimated that nearly two thirds of all childcare is now provided by grandparents, who are therefore estimated to save more than £250m every year in Wales.
The figures, from Age Concern and the Grandparents’ Association, illustrate the big disparity between Wales’ army of hands-on grandparents, and the many people barred from seeing their grandchildren

Abridged
SOURCE: icWales
--------------------------
What about cases of grandparents, who could not bring themselves to see their children or grandchildren, after the trauma of being abused by them? The abusers, obviously, did not value the role their parents or grandparents can play in their lives.

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Seniors Told How to Stop ID Theft (USA)

Seniors told how to stop ID theft
by Mark Morey
Yakima Herald-Republic
PUBLISHED ON Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Bank notices that look like junk mail could actually be an alert that your account's address has been changed to somewhere in the Cayman islands, so it's important to check before throwing out the envelope, said Bruce Heiser, an assistant branch manager with Citi Smith Barney in Yakima.

Most of all, people who suspect they are victims of identity theft or other fraud shouldn't wait -- because the problem will only worsen.
"If a situation does develop, confront it right away. Don't be embarrassed," Heiser said, noting that even major financial institutions have been hit by security breaches.

Abridged
SOURCE: yakimaherald
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Medicare, Medicaid Managed Care Gets Scrutiny for Fraud (USA)

Medicare, Medicaid Managed Care Gets Scrutiny for Fraud
By Theo Francis

As the government increases the private sector's role in delivering Medicare and Medicaid services, new kinds of fraud are cropping up that are harder to spot, more complicated to prosecute and potentially more harmful to patients. Now, regulators are belatedly ramping up scrutiny of the managed-care industry, which has grown to cover more than 37 million state and federal beneficiaries.

Managed-care fraudsters profit by, among other means, shortchanging patients or physicians to cut costs while collecting preset fees from the government. They might refuse to enroll unhealthy people, skimp on paying doctors or deny patients care.

Abridged.
SOURCE: wallstreetjournal


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March 19, 2008

Seminar on Preventing Elder Abuse (Augusta, Kan. USA)

Preventing elder abuse

By Staff reports
Augusta Gazette
Tue Mar 18, 2008, 09:39 AM CDT

Augusta, Kan. - Every year an estimated 2.1 million older Americans are victims of physical, psychological, or other forms of abuse and neglect.

Butler County’s Prevention of Elder Abuse, Neglect, and Exploitation (PEANE) Committee is providing a two-day seminar titled “Identifying, Prosecuting, and Preventing Elder Financial Abuse” March 27-28.

The seminar will be held in Augusta at the First United Methodist Church, 2420 N. Ohio.For more information and to reserve your seat contact Melody Gault at the Butler County Department on Aging 775-0500 or 1-800-279-3655

Abridged
SOURCE: augustagazette
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Elder Abuse Charges as State Breaks Up Alleged Fraud Ring (USA)

State breaks up alleged sub-prime fraud ring
By Marc Lifsher and Andrea Chang
Los Angeles Times Staff Writers
March 19, 2008

State and local prosecutors said Tuesday that they had shut down a mortgage fraud ring that allegedly victimized thousands of seniors and others, some of whom lost their homes.

The San Bernardino County district attorney's office arrested five people and were waiting for two more to surrender to face charges of conspiracy, grand theft and elder abuse as part of a crackdown on alleged sub-prime mortgage lending scams with the California Department of Justice.

Abridged
SOURCE: latimes
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How Should Insidious Elder Abusers be Treated- A Society's Dilemma

Elder Abusers – Society’s Dilemma
By Andrew Chadwick

How should society deals with proven elder abusers?


Let us first look at some definition and types of elder abuse.

What is elder abuse and neglect?

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)

How should we deal with elder abusers?

If a respectable member of a community has been found, through irrefutable evidence, to be an elder abuser; can we then excuse the person because he/she is an excellent judge, lawyer, doctor psychologist, managers etc?

Or, are we to discount the ‘irrefutable evidence’ as ‘false’ because we just cannot accept that such a person is capable of doing the unthinkable ‘crime’?

These questions are posed because it seems that many elder abuse cases, especially those that did not hit the headlines of major media outlets, are ignored; for the the following reasons:

· that the elder abusers are holding respectable jobs!

· Disbelief: “They couldn’t have done that.” I know the person well.

· It’s just family dynamics.

We should really ask ourselves that question again.

Are we to excuse or ignore elder abusers because of their positions in society?

Clever Elder Abusers Do Not Leave Evidence.

They abuse their elderly parent(s) or close family members, in such a way that the are no obvious signs of the abuse. How do we detect emotional, psychological abuse and neglect?

How do we deal with elder abuse cases where by the inaction of the abusers, the victims suffered distress and mental anguish for a lengthy period of time. (e.g. the Frank Punito Case)

Then again, even if there were clear evidence; the victim of this kind of elder abuse often remain in the abusive situations, because:

They are ashamed that their “own flesh and blood” could do that to them.
The victims are afraid to speak up because they are afraid that it might give the abusers an excuse to put them in a nursing home.
They are afraid that they will lose all contact with the abuser, a close family member.

Even if they reported the abuse, what can we do?

Society went through similar "soul searching" period, many years ago. Now, there are definitive actions taken, if a child abuse case comes to light.
With Elder Abuse, however, we still cannot agree on how the more insidious elder abusers should be treated. Many just do not want to even acknowledge the problems.
However, the 'head-in-the-sand' approach is not acceptable.

My own view on this is that; when human rights are violated, the abusers must be called to bare the responsibility and some consequences.
--------------------------------------------------
The questions posed in this posting are truly difficult to address. Hopefully, something can be worked out in the near future.
I intend to post some cases that did not 'hit the headlines', but are just as disturbing.

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Action on Crimes Against Seniors - Mumbai, India

Mumbai to reopen cases of crime against senior citizensMumbai:The Mumbai police have decided to review unsolved murder cases involving senior citizens in the city. This decision follows a media report on the large number of unsolved murder cases involving seniors — 60 out of 175 between 1996 and February 19, 2008.

Meanwhile, police stations have been asked to prepare the list of domestic helps, servants and even milkmen who go into housing societies in their jurisdiction. “Earlier, housing societies had to furnish such details but now the police will visit buildings and prepare the list,” Prasad stated.This decision was taken as many murders involve servants, drivers, watchmen or those who frequent the societies, said Prasad. “We want to check if they have criminal records and keep tabs.”
© Copyright 2008 HT Media Ltd.

Abridged.
SOURCE: msnNews

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Seniors: Errors in Taking Medication can be Lethal

More prescriptions, greater confusion
Medications improve the lives of seniors, but errors in taking them can be lethal

By Tanika White
Sun reporter
March 9, 2008

Ida Canapp insists she would take her five medications and two vitamin pills every day, whether or not a nurse's aide came to her Parkville home to monitor her.But her niece, Renee Gowland of Monkton, knows this is the dementia talking. "She wouldn't take them. Or she wouldn't know if she was taking the a.m. or the p.m. [doses].

"At 82, Canapp is energetic, hospitable and fiercely independent - with the help of Aricept, a drug that tempers the effects of mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease. But Canapp, who also has diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure, and who takes a daily antidepressant, is like many older people with chronic health problems: She has difficulty keeping up with her many medications.

Medication mismanagement among seniors is a growing problem in the United States. Some experts estimate that half of all seniors mismanage one or more of their medications, and seniors are twice as likely to end up in emergency rooms because of drug safety issues.

"About 23 percent of nursing home admissions is due to mismanagement of medications," said Joan Chang, medical director at Good Samaritan Nursing Center. "What we're seeing is that because people don't have that social support, they don't have the means or ways of getting their medication taken appropriately, so they have to go to some kind of assisted living, where someone is there to help."

Abridged.
SOURCE: baltimoresun
-----------------------------
For carers, especially family members who cares for their elderly parents, it is important to note the implications of this issue. Please go to Source site to view the entire article.

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March 18, 2008

Research in 2006: Resident Violence in Canada "Out of Control"

Researchers: Resident violence in Canada "out of control"
March 12, 2008

Aides in Canadian nursing homes are being assaulted by residents at "appallingly" high rates, according to university researchers. Physical attacks were made daily against nearly half of workers surveyed, their studied revealed."Our research shows that the level of violence in Canadian long-term care facilities is appallingly high," said Albert Banerjee, the lead study author and a doctoral candidate in sociology at York University. "Violence is a constant and ongoing part of working in Canadian long-term care facilities. This situation ... is out of control."

A Canadian government spokesman said staffing levels have improved and resident/family complaints have dropped, since 2006, which was when the survey was performed. Canadian facilities average just less than 3.5 hours of nursing care per resident per day, according to a spokeswoman.

SOURCE: mcknights
----------------------------
The survey was apparently done in 2006. What is the situation now?


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Senate Budget to Include $160 Million for Elder Abuse Prevention (USA)

Senate budget to include $160 million for elder abuse prevention
March 17, 2008

The Senate has set aside funding in its fiscal year 2009 budget resolution for a national system of background checks to keep those with abusive and criminal histories out of nursing homes and long-term care facilities.

The Senate approved an amendment for the funding last week, but the money, which would total $160 million, will only be available upon the Senate's passage of the Patient Safety and Abuse Prevention Act of 2007 (S. 1577). The act would set up a comprehensive nationwide system of background checks for long-term care workers.

Both the Senate and House passed nonbinding budget resolutions late last week. The two bodies plan to reconcile their plans this spring.
"The current system of state-based background checks is haphazard, inconsistent, and full of gaping holes," said Senator Herb Kohl (D-WI), Chairman of the Senate Special Committee on Aging and primary sponsor of the background check legislation.

SOURCE: mcknights
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Neglect and Abuse of Older People is Widespread, say Europeans

Neglect and abuse of older people is widespread, say Europeans

Reference: IP/08/452 Date: 17/03/2008

IP/08/452

Brussels, 17 March 2008

Neglect and abuse of older people is widespread, say Europeans


Older people in Europe are vulnerable to poor treatment, neglect and abuse, according to a survey presented by the European Commission today. Almost half (47%) of people across the EU consider the phenomenon to be widespread in their country – and the challenge is only likely to increase as Europeans get older. A high-level EU conference in Brussels will today offer policy makers and experts an opportunity to discuss the quality of care for frail elderly people and pool ideas on preventing elder abuse.
"Each of us faces the possibility of becoming dependent on the help of others when we get older, and currently we cannot be sure that we will be treated with dignity," said Vladimír Špidla, EU Social Affairs Commissioner. "Member States are starting to support the carers and relatives better through training and guidance, they have started to protect the elderly by creating support groups and telephone hotlines and are creating transparent and patient-oriented monitoring systems for the quality of long-term care. I welcome this and at the same time much more needs to be done all across Europe! "

As Europeans live longer, the share of the EU population aged over 80 is due to increase three- or four-fold to 12% by 2050. More and more people will depend on the care of relatives or professional carers and be vulnerable to neglect or even abuse. But while abuse can take many different forms – ranging from physical to psychological – it is more often the result of an inability to cope on the part of stressed and overburdened carers than intent to exploit or harm vulnerable older people.

Although the perceived risk of elder abuse varies among EU countries, protecting the dignity and fundamental rights of the frail elderly is becoming a major challenge for societies across Europe.

Today's conference aims to raise awareness of the need to tackle elder abuse and to trigger an open debate at European level on the best ways of dealing with the problem. It will present information on the prevalence of elder abuse, look at the causes and risk factors related to it and examine possible strategies for tackling it through prevention.

Further information:
Special Eurobarometer survey on health and long-term care in the EU

What can the European Union do to promote dignity in old age and to prevent elder abuse?

http://ec.europa.eu/employment_social/spsi/elder_abuse_en.htm
Video News Release: Protecting the dignity of older people

http://www.tvlink.org/
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It is very difficult to obtain any information on Elder Abuse Prevention or Seniors Care Options, from many EU countries.
Perhaps, it is seen as an "embarrassing issue". Hopefully, we will get more information after the conference on 17 March 2008 in Brussels.
Elder Abuse is a global problem. Studies, researches have been done in various countries. They all "echoed" the same message: Elder Abuse is under-reported, and is a growing global problem. It is a problem that requires a multi-disciplinarial and multi-agencies approach. There are no "quick fixes"; but ignoring the problem now will not only make the problem greater, as the "tsunami of Baby Boomers" join the ranks of "the elderly" group.
Actions must be taken NOW!
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Identiity Theft Case: Police Inaction Angers Victim

Police inaction angers victim of identity theft
Sonu Munshi, Tribune
March 17, 2008 - 1:35AM

Going by the string of gas purchases and ATM withdrawals on her recent bank statements, it would appear that Irma Judson is a plastic-savvy Mesa resident who loves to drive about town.

But the dusty, beat-up yellow Mercury sedan parked outside the 84-year-old’s residence clearly shows years of being rarely used. And Judson didn’t even know she owned a debit card.

When a good Samaritan neighbor figured something was wrong and contacted police on Judson’s behalf requesting them to look into the matter, the police’s apparent disinterest left him hapless.

Abridged.
SOURCE: eastvalleyTribune
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March 17, 2008

When Our Elders Are Abused, We All Lose (USA)

Restoring The Circle: When our elders are abused, we all lose

Movie Reviews/Articles - Movie Reviews
by Mary Bowannie
Albuquerque, New Mexico (NFIC)

Kathryn Harrison has seen much in her 78 years as a tribal member and retired chairperson of the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde Community of Oregon. But one thing she never thought she would see is the abuse of elders across Indian Country.

Elders make up and reinforce the cultural foundation and connection to traditions that make up a tribal community. So why is Indian Country hurting those we revere, those we seek out for knowledge and a connection to who we are as a people?

The answers are many and complex. Now a video is available which addresses the issue of elder abuse in Indian Country. Restoring the Sacred Circle: Responding to Elder Abuse in American Indian Communities is a new training video which debuted at the National Indian Council on Aging conference in September in Albuquerque.

Abridged
SOURCE: indiancountrynews

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Father and Daughter Face 95 years for Fraud

Paul Gunter and daughter Zibiah face 95 years for fraud
The Times
March 15, 2008
Jacqui Goddard in Miami and Adam Fresco, Crime Correspondent

After allegedly conning British pensioners out of $70 million (£35 million), Zibiah Gunter, 25, had no reason to suspect that her world was about to come crashing down.

Hours later Ms Gunter’s sunny outlook probably changed when she was visited by special agents from US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), who arrested her after a joint investigation with the US Secret Service, US Attorney’s Office and City of London Police.

According to the criminal complaint, the Gunters have been charged with conspiring to commit and committing substantive acts of mail fraud, wire fraud, securities fraud and money laundering. They are due to appear in court in Tampa on Monday.

ICE alleges that most of the proceeds were directed into two private companies that have substantial property holdings in central Florida.

Abridged.
SOURCE: timesonline

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Timely Warnings About Fraudsters (UK)

Boiler rooms, phishing and evil twins: how the fraudsters make millions
By Fran Yeoman and Jonathan Richards

Times Online
March 14, 2008

The internet has created a host of new ways for fraudsters around the world to separate us from our cash.

“Boiler room” frauds of the kind allegedly devised by Paul Gunter and his 25-year-old daughter Zibiah can earn millions of pounds for the criminals behind them.

They take their name from the rented spaces from where salespeople make their telephone calls and target their victims.

"Phishing" scams involve internet-based criminals sending out e-mails, purportedly from banks, advising the victim that their account details need to be checked. The victim is then directed to a website — apparently that of their bank — where their account details and password are captured by the criminal.

Abridged.
Read more from SOURCE: timesonline
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The scammers and fraudsters are working hard at relieving us of our hard-earn assets. They often target seniors. It is happening all over the world. BEWARE!


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How to Treat Elder Abusers: A Social Dilemma

Elder Abusers – Society’s Dilemma
By Andrew Chadwick

How should society deals with proven elder abusers?

Let us first look at some definition and types of elder abuse.

What is elder abuse and neglect?

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)

How should we deal with elder abusers?

If a respectable member of a community has been found, through irrefutable evidence, to be an elder abuser; can we then excuse the person because he/she is an excellent judge, lawyer, doctor psychologist, managers etc?

Or, are we to discount the ‘irrefutable evidence’ as ‘false’ because we just cannot accept that such a person is capable of doing the unthinkable ‘crime’?

These questions are posed because it seems that many elder abuse cases, especially those that did not hit the headlines of major media outlets, are ignored; for the the following reasons:

  • that the elder abusers are holding respectable jobs!
  • Disbelief: “They couldn’t have done that.” I know the person well.
  • It’s just family dynamics, we cannot interfere.

We should really ask ourselves that question again.

Are we to excuse or ignore elder abusers because of their positions in society?

Clever Elder Abusers Do Not Leave Evidence.

They abuse their elderly parents or close family members, in such a way that the are no obvious signs of the abuse. How do we detect emotional, psychological abuse and neglect?

How do we deal with inactions or neglect by family member(s) that led to distress and mental anguish of the victim for a lengthy period? (e.g the Frank Punito Case)

Then again, even if there were clear evidence; the victim of this kind of elder abuse often remain in the abusive situations, because:

  • They are ashamed that their “own flesh and blood” can do that to them.
  • The victims are afraid to speak up because they are afraid that it might give the abusers an excuse to put them in a nursing home.
  • They are afraid that they will lose all contact with the abuser, a close family member.

Even if they reported the abuse, what can we do?

The questions posed here are not easy to answer. It took a long, long time before society acted on the prevention child abuse and put in place various services to assist the victims. Victims of child abuse are often given counselling and therapy to help them cope with the trauma of child abuse.

In cases of elder abuse, where there are no such services to help the victims, how do they recover from the trauma and life-destroying experience of elder abuse?

For many victims of elder abuses, there can never be "recovery"; as their early demise will see to that. Therefore, the is no justice for them no matter what happen to the abusers.

Action from society? "Put the issue into the "too-hard-basket"!

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I will be posting some cases of elder abuse 'that did not hit the headlines', shortly. Visitors to this site can then judge for themselves, and may be join me in seeking more assistance for those victims.


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

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