Disclaimer

**** DISCLAIMER

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

May 31, 2008

Trial for California Pastor Accused of Killing Elderly Man (USA)

Trial opens for Calif. pastor accused of killing elderly man
The Associated Press
Article Launched: 05/29/2008 02:02:11 PM PDT

MODESTO, Calif.—Opening statements are under way in the trial of a Central California preacher accused of causing a car crash that killed an elderly rancher to cover up the fact that he was stealing from him.

Fifty-seven-year-old Howard Porter is charged with murder in Stanislaus County Superior Court for the death of 85-year-old Frank Craig in April 2004.

Porter's attorneys say the pastor was a man of good character who sought to help the rancher, but that he happened to be a bad driver.

Prosecutors say it's not a coincidence that the two had a similar crash two years earlier that crippled Craig.

Porter faces a life sentence in prison without parole if convicted. He's also charged with attempted murder, theft or embezzlement from an elder adult by a caretaker and elder abuse causing death.

SOURCE: MercuryNews
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Woman Charged in Elder Abuse Probe (Ontario,Canada)

Richmond Hill woman charged in elder abuse probe

Richmond Hill
May 29, 2008 02:47 PM
By: Joe Fantauzzi, Staff Writer

A Richmond Hill woman has been arrested in connection with a probe into elder abuse at a Newmarket nursing home.

Between April and May, a personal support worker at the home physically assaulted a 77-year-old man by punching him in the abdomen, York Regional Police said.
The man did not suffer serious injuries.
Tuesday, a 65-year-old Richmond Hill woman was charged with two counts of assault.

Following the arrest, police have issue these tips to recognize different types of elder abuse:

• Physical Abuse: unexplained cuts, bites, bruises, burns or fractures;
• Emotional Abuse: withdrawal, depression, anxiety, fear of caregivers
• Neglect: poor hygiene, inappropriate or inadequate clothing, lack of safety precautions, unhealthy appearance;
• Financial Abuse: missing personal belongings, unusual withdrawals from bank accounts, forgery/fraud, theft by power of attorney.

If you want more information on senior’s issues, call Const. Kim Majlik, the York Regional Police senior’s liaison officer at 1-866-876-423, ext. 6697

SOURCE: TheLiberalNews
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Elder Abuse Survivors Network: Charities Seek Views (UK)

Charities seek views on creating elder abuse survivors network
Posted: 30 May 2008
By Mithran Samuel

Age Concern England and Action on Elder Abuse have launched a consultation on setting up a survivors network for older people who have been abused.
Action on Elder Abuse chief executive Gary FitzGerald said providing a voice for survivors "could not be more timely or warranted" given current government policy initiatives, such as the review of the No Secrets adult protection guidance and the dignity in care campaign.
The two charities were funded by Comic Relief for two years in 2007 to help set up a network, and the consultation paper draws on a year's research on what a survivors' network should look like, based on the views of older people and professionals.

Current support limited

It says "the small number of specific projects helping the survivors to cope with the consequences of abuse have been geographically limited and often struggled to get funds".
The paper says any network must be user-directed, culturally inclusive, open to the possibility of campaigning, flexible enough to accommodate people at different stages and able to provide enduring support and point people in the direction of practical help.

It suggests four models
  • unfacilitated self-help groups,
  • groups supported by a trained professional,
  • virtual groups and one-to-one support

though admits none fully fits the requirements laid out by survivors.


SOURCE: CommunityCareUK
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Excellent idea! Other EA prevention groups and governments should give thought to similar action. It is time that the victims of elder abuse be given more considerations. The end of an abusive situation, does not mean the end of victims sufferings.

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Elderly Agenda Falls on Deaf Ears (Australia)

By Mark Metherell, www.smh.com.au
Australia

May 22, 2008

The exclusion of aged leaders from a new social inclusion board has ignited claims the Rudd Government has ignored the single biggest group at risk of isolation - the elderly.

The absence of an ageing focus in Kevin Rudd's "working families" mantra is angering older Australians already upset at the lack of attention given to them at the 2020 summit and in the budget's failure to deliver a pension rise.

Yesterday the Prime Minister launched his Australian Social Inclusion Board which aims to bring together community leaders to "combat economic and social disadvantage".

The 14-person board includes community, business and religious leaders, and even TV footy host Eddie McGuire, but no identifiable representative of the aged community.

"Undoubtedly there is a gaping hole," Sol Encel, emeritus sociologist and researcher of ageing issues, says.

"The single biggest group facing inclusion problems are elderly single women. They are among the poorest and most isolated," Professor Encel says.

Earlier this year a Senate committee report raised the inadequacy of the $273-a-week single pension and stated that the capacity for older people on restricted budgets to engage in social and community activities "can be severely limited".

Professor Encel said he was surprised at absence of ageing issues at the 2020 summit. The Prime Minister had gone for the "middle years, middle class … but ageing seems to have been bypassed completely.

"That such issues were "low down the totem pole" was strange, given the attention state governments were devoting to the challenges of a greying population, he said.

Michael O'Neill, the chief executive of National Seniors Australia, said the Government's low-key treatment of ageing issues was stirring widespread discontent among older people.

Mr O'Neill said many seniors were "very angry" at being overlooked in the budget at a seniors meeting he attended in Woy Woy.

SOURCE: SMHNationalNews
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Training Workshops on Elder Abuse and Sexual Assault (Wyoming, USA)

WIND to Sponsor Training Workshops on Elder Abuse and Sexual Assault

May 29, 2008 -- The Wyoming Institute for Disabilities (WIND) at the University of Wyoming will sponsor a pair of training workshops to help raise awareness about elder abuse and sexual assault.

The free workshops, funded by a three-year grant from the U.S. Department of Justice, are designed specifically for statewide law enforcement officials.

The first workshop, July 31-Aug. 1 in Casper, is geared for detectives investigating crimes against the elderly. The second workshop, Sept. 9-10 in Lander, is for first responders to the scene of an alleged crime.

"This is a one-time opportunity for Wyoming's law enforcement community to take advantage of national-level training and materials to help the response, investigation and prosecution of crime against our elderly citizens," says Nance Shelsta, Wyoming Adult Protection Training project coordinator in Fremont County. "It's really enlightening and eye-opening training."

For more information or to register for the workshops, call Shelsta at (307) 856-9200 or
e-mail shelsta@wyoming.com, or call Deb Fleming, clinical professor in the UW Department of Medical Education and Public Health, at (307) 766-2719
0r e-mail dfleming@uwyo.edu.

WIND, part of the UW College of Health Sciences, provides teaching, research, information services and technical assistance to UW and the state.
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May 30, 2008

Elder Abuse: Perpetrator Pleaded Guilty (USA)

Elder Abuse Plea
Posted: 4:09 PM May 28, 2008
Reporter: Courtney Sisk

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- She was supposed to help those who can't take care of themselves, instead she admits to helping herself to their money.

Danielle Harvey pleaded guilty in Charleston Wednesday to felony abuse of the elderly.

Police say she forged 28 checks from her clients' accounts in less than a year. It totaled more than 24-thousand dollars.

Harvey will be sentenced in August.

For now, she's out on bond.

SOURCE: WSAZ
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Rising Neglect, Abuse of Elderly Worry DCF (Florida)

By Kate Santich Sentinel Staff Writer
May 28, 2008

Abuse and neglect of Florida's elderly have risen a dramatic 15 percent in the past year, prompting state leaders to call for increased training of investigators and greater vigilance by neighbors and family.

Bob Butterworth, secretary of Florida's Department of Children and Families, blamed much of the increase on the struggling economy. In tough times, he said, patience thins, tempers flare and "despicable" predators seek out the elderly for financial gain.

So far this fiscal year, the department has received nearly 49,000 reports from across the state, including about 4,050 from Orange, Osceola, Brevard and Seminole counties.

Reports involve seniors in nursing homes, assisted-living facilities, psychiatric centers and private homes.

"We find too many cases where the [adult] children have basically abandoned the parents," Butterworth said. His remarks came at the outset of the first statewide training sessions for investigators, being held in Orlando.

"We have laws that require parents to take care of their children, but no law requires the grown-up children to look after their parents," Butterworth said. "We see far too many cases where the family has parked Grandma in Orlando, and they still live in their nice house up North."

Recently, investigators in Central Florida responded to a call about an elderly Winter Park couple who no longer had drivers licenses. Not knowing where to get help, the husband and wife -- both in their 70s -- simply tried to ration the food they had left. They were down to a single package of hot dogs and two cans of chicken broth.

"We got them food immediately," said Margaret Borhman, an adult protective investigator for DCF. She also arranged for Lynx transportation so the couple could go grocery shopping, and she contacted their out-of-state children.

Borhman's personal caseload has increased by a third in the past year, but as with her co-workers, she has no additional staffing to help do the job.

Butterworth acknowledged the department was simply going to have to work harder. Legislators gave DCF no additional money this year and at one point even proposed cutting positions.

"It's tough," Butterworth said. "We were able to get most of that [the proposed cuts] back, but we will have much higher caseloads for our investigators. We have to do it. There's just no other way."

SOURCE: OrlandoSentinel
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Candidate to Succeed Judge Intend to Restart Elder Abuse Taskforce (Michigan)

Teter makes his case to council
By JOHN EBY / Dowagiac Daily News
Wednesday, May 28, 2008 11:26 AM EDT

Former Cass County prosecutor Scott Teter of Edwardsburg made his case before Dowagiac City Council Tuesday night to succeed Judge Paul Deats, retiring after 29 years.

Teter and his opponents, former Dowagiac resident Dale Blunier of Edwardsburg and Paw Paw attorney Stacey Rentfrow of Marcellus, will be appearing together at Silver Creek Township Hall, 32764 Dixon St., at 7 p.m. Monday, June 16, according to County Commissioner Ed Goodman.

Teter transferred to Cox's elder abuse financial exploitation unit, which investigates health care fraud.

"About a year and a half ago," he said, "I handled the largest Medicaid fraud case in Michigan's history and collected back for our taxpayers $52.5 million. Since I went I've collected about $105 million. I think one of my strengths is being able to take a look at problems that have been going on and taking a creative approach to solving them."

"Elder abuse is still the most under-reported crime in the country," Teter said. "Sadly, that woman in Mason Township (Margaret Bosworth, 85) was my neighbor. I grew up across the street from her. She was murdered, they believe, because of financial exploitation. She finally stopped giving them money and they killed her. Somewhere along the line, if we had been more effective in dealing with the underlying financial exploitation, I don't know if she'd be alive, but we would have done everything we could. I had an elder abuse task force going when I left. It has not continued, but it needs to be restarted because that problem's not going away."

Abridged
SOURCE: DowagiacNews
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May 29, 2008

Elder Abuse: Son Sentenced (Nova Scotia Canada)

Justice for Mrs. Bell
Elderly woman died before son pleaded guilty to assaulting her
By STEVE BRUCE Court Reporter
Wed. May 28 - 6:00 PM

If Allan Muir Bell thought his mother’s death last summer at age 98 meant he was legally off the hook for abusing her six months earlier, he soon learned otherwise from the prosecutor.

“Defence counsel contacted me and asked if the charge was going to go away,” Crown attorney Melanie Perry said in an interview this week with The Chronicle Herald.

“And I said, ‘No, it’s not going away. We’re just as intent on prosecuting this as the day we got this.’ ”

Then, just as his provincial court trial on a charge of assault causing bodily harm was to get underway last Friday, the 53-year-old Dartmouth man pleaded guilty to the lesser offence of common assault. He was sentenced to 18 months’ probation with counselling.
Evelyn Bell died last August from unrelated causes.


“The Crown takes reports of elder abuse very seriously,” Ms. Perry said. “When we get a case like this, it’s not going to be something that we’re going to put to bed because the victim passes away.

“Our elderly need to be protected and we’re going to do everything in our power to make sure that happens. We’re going to see justice for them, regardless of whether they’ve passed away or not.”

On the morning of Feb. 24, 2007, police were called to Dartmouth General Hospital to investigate a report that an elderly woman had been assaulted overnight by her intoxicated son at her house on Micmac Drive.

During his 18 months on probation, Mr. Bell must undergo counselling for substance abuse, mental health and anger management. He’s not allowed to consume alcohol or drugs and is prohibited from having any weapons.

Judge Murphy also ordered him to provide a sample of his DNA to a national offenders databank.

Ms. Perry said prosecutors are seeing “more and more cases like this, and it’s not just physical abuse of the elderly. It’s abuse of power of attorney, taking them for a ride, taking their money, that sort of thing.


“If there’s one segment of the population that needs to be protected, it’s the elderly.”

Abridged
SOURCE: TheChronicleHerald
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Plans to Close Nursing Home Halted (UK)

Court ruling over plans to move residents from home
By Karen Westcott

PLANS to close a nursing home have been halted after a judge imposed an interim injunction on any further action at the site.

Stockton Borough Council has been ordered not to remove any more residents this week from its last remaining nursing home, Parkview, after relatives of one resident took legal action over the closure.

Lawyer Yvonne Hossack, who specialises in community care cases, has been brought in by the family of 101-year-old nursing home resident Sarah Rutter.
The widow has lived at the home, in Thorntree Road, Thornaby, near Stockton, for five years and her family believe a transfer to another site may prove detrimental to her health - or could even prove fatal.

They have claimed that decision to close the home was taken without proper consultation and without a clinical oversight and knowledge of the risks involved.

Ms Hossack said: "My clients feel that what the council is doing is dangerous."
But Sean McEneaney, head of adult operational services for the council, said it had worked very closely with all of the residents, families and carers to secure the best possible outcomes.

"Regrettably, this action has now prevented a planned move this week for one resident who was due to rejoin three former Parkview residents in their new home.

Abridged
SOURCE: TheNorthernEchoUK
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May 28, 2008

Pledge to Residents as Nursing Home Fails (Melb. Australia)


By Siobhain Ryan
May 27, 2008

MORE than 100 aged care residents face an uncertain future after their Melbourne nursing home went into administration.

Ageing Minister Justine Elliot yesterday made the announcement that Bridgewater Aged Care Service at Roxburgh Park had appointed an administrator last Friday.

"Residents and their families can be guaranteed that they will receive appropriate care and their bonds will be protected," Ms Elliot said.

"We guarantee residents are looked after and their families have peace of mind."
Ms Elliot acknowledged residents might have to be moved to other homes in Melbourne
.

The crisis comes weeks after the Rudd Government's budget angered the aged care sector.

SOURCE: TheAustralianNews
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UPDATE: Care Home Pensioners 'Left Dying in their Chair' (UK)

Care home pensioners ‘left dying in their chair’
May 20 2008 by Daily Post

A NURSE claims she was branded a “troublemaker” after she raised fears about standards of care in a nursing home, an employment tribunal heard yesterday.
Sarah Lees says she was so worried about the way residents were treated at the Abbey Dale House nursing home in Colwyn Bay that she called police.
She walked out from her job as nurse in charge at the home in Princes Drive last May, after making a raft of allegations.

Claiming constructive dismissal at the tribunal in Abergele yesterday, Miss Lees said matters came to a head in May, when she says two elderly residents had not been changed.
Two carers “reluctantly” changed one woman, she said, but she claimed the other resident, a man, was left unchanged and his room smelled of urine and faeces.

Miss Lees, from Denbigh, said she also noticed one stroke victim had been given a piece of cake and not had his drink thickened, both of which she says could have caused him to choke.
She eventually called police last spring, alleging two deaths at the home had been “mis-managed” as staff and GPs were not informed before the undertaker arrived.
Ms Lees had worked at the home for almost four years.

Police informed the local coroner about Miss Lees’s fears that proper procedures to report the deaths had not been followed, the tribunal heard.
And in turn the coroner, notified the Care Standards Inspectorate for Wales (CSIW).
But when home owner Clive Nadin found out he “ranted and raved”, Miss Lees told the tribunal.

When the CSIW was notified by the coroner, Miss Lees said Mr Nadin accused her of being a “troublemaker and faultfinder” and other members of staff then “blanked” her.
Asked by Mr Lee Bronze, for Mr Nadin, why she had never reported any examples of abuse, Miss Lees replied: “When somebody’s pad is not changed – isn’t that abuse?”
The hearing continues and representatives of the home are due to appear as witnesses.

Abridged
SOURCE: DailyPostUK

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The above was posted on 26 May 2008. I've just received the following update from the owner of that nursing home.

"I am the owner of Abbey Dale House Nursing Home in Colwyn Bay, North Wales. I employed a nurse, Sarah Lees, who subsequently left my home, and made a number of allegations against me, 3 other nurses, and 5 care assistants at my home. All of the allegations were investigated independently by the Care & Social Services Inspectorate Wales (CSSIW), and NO evidence whatsoever was found to support ANY of her allegations.

The home has subsequently been inspected by the CSSIW, and the report is extremely complimentary. It is available on the CSSIW website. I also have a copy of the Investigation report conducted by CSSIW, that clears the home entirely.

Subsequently to this, she has worked at another home, where she made allegations against two nurses.

Miss Lees is now under investigation by the CSSIW herself. She has been dismissed from at least two homes that we know about at present.

In my mind, it is only fair that both sides of a case are aired. I would be grateful if you would publish the contents of this e-mail on your blog."

Clive Nadin
Proprietor
Abbey Dale House

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Another Elderly Couple Killed in Delhi (India)

Indo-Asian News Service
New Delhi, May 26, 2008

Delhi Police's claim of having made the capital safe for senior citizens was proved hollow when an elderly couple was on Monday found murdered in their home in south Delhi with the prime suspect, their domestic help hired only this month, missing.

The bodies of Ashok Goel, 65, and his wife Lata, 61, were found lying in a pool of blood in their home in C-Block in Neeti Bagh at around 11 am.

Their daughter Pooja tried to call them up in the morning. As nobody responded, she called up some neighbours who found the house locked from inside. Sensing foul play, her husband Ashish informed police.

“We found the Goel couple dead in their house. Their throats were slit with a sharp-edged weapon,” Deputy Commissioner of Police HGS Dhaliwal said.

According to police officials, Lata's body was found in the drawing room and Ashok's body was found on the way to their bedroom.

Last year, 16 senior citizens were killed in the capital and the toll is 12 this year so far.

Seeing the rising rate of crime against the senior citizens in the capital, Delhi Police last year launched a service wherein the elderly can register with their local police station. In return the police make house calls, inspect their homes, advise them on security arrangements and verify the background of their domestic help.

Abridged
SOURCE: HindustanTimes

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Fraud Against Older Adults Grows in State

Con artists try to cajole or bully financial information from elderly

By Liv Osby • HEALTH WRITER
May 27, 2008

The first time Greta Mills' mother was the victim of a scam, it cost her $1,200. The second time ran her $900.

Now the 80-year-old is so fearful of scammers that she says she'll never give financial information over the phone again.

"They sound so serious. And they scared me to death," says Virginia White, who shared her story in the hopes it will keep others from becoming victims.

Senior citizens like White are often easy prey for con artists who cajole or bully them into turning over personal financial information or otherwise get them to pay for something they're not going to get.

In fact, 6,000 complaints were lodged with the state Department of Consumer Affairs last year, and that represents just the tip of the iceberg because many people are too embarrassed to report that they've been duped, says Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer.

Bauer's Office on Aging has just launched a task force on senior fraud.

  • DON'T BECOME A VICTIM
    Never give Social Security, credit card or bank account numbers to anyone over the phone.
  • Never click on emails purportedly from banks -- they could be fishing for your personal information.
  • If you get a call from someone claming to be from a bank or the Social Security Administration or Medicare or even a phone company, hang up and call the agency directly to find out if the call was legitimate.
  • Don't put outgoing mail in your mailbox.
  • Review your bank and credit card statements carefully for false purchases or withdrawals.
  • Check your credit report regularly.

If you've been scammed, report it to the Department of Consumer Affairs at 1-800-922-1594 or the Lt. Governor's Office on Aging at 1-800-868-9095.Source: AARP and Office on Aging

Abridged
SOURCE: GreenvilleOnline
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May 27, 2008

Elder Abuse: We All Have a Role to Play (Wales, UK)

‘We all have a role to play protecting the vulnerable’
May 26 2008

by Our Correspondent, Western Mail
Deputy Minister for Social Services Gwenda Thomas explores how we can all make a difference and overcome the challenge of elderly abuse
As with anything, the first step towards tackling a problem is to recognise that the problem exists. Like child abuse, or domestic abuse, it is only when we face up to the realities that we can do something about it.

In recent years there has been a growing awareness and better understanding of the abuse of older and vulnerable people, although it should be acknowledged that systematic and structured approaches across Wales to address this are still at a relatively early stage of development when compared to the arrangements that exist for child abuse.

I know that all too often older people and their families may not be fully aware of arrangements that exist to protect vulnerable adults and of the help and support that can be available.

Tackling adult abuse is not just a matter for the Welsh Assembly Government, service providers, statutory authorities, regulatory bodies or the police to deal with. All citizens and organisations have a role to play in protecting vulnerable adults from abuse whenever and wherever it occurs.

I know too that the Commissioner for Older People has a particular interest in protecting older people from abuse as she recently addressed an Elder Abuse Seminar organised by Age Concern Cymru. The Welsh Assembly Government’s own focus has to be those areas falling within our devolved powers and responsibilities.

We have also actively supported the UK Government in developing and implementing non-devolved measures such as the establishment of the list of people who are unsuitable to work with vulnerable adults and accordingly banned from such work.

However, we will not be complacent in fulfilling our adult protection responsibilities. Earlier this year, I established an Adult Protection Project Board to consider and report on the effectiveness of our adult protection policies to ensure that they are appropriate and robust.
I shall report on the outcome of the work of this group when its tasks have been completed.

Abridged
SOURCE: ICWalesNews
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Hospitals 'Push Elderly into Unsuitable Homes' (NSW, Australia)

May 26, 2008

NSW public hospitals are putting pressure on families and social workers to place elderly patients in unsuitable aged care facilities, an inquiry has heard.
"We think that the policy that the patients have to accept the first available bed is inadequate," Blacktown Hospital acute team social worker Claudia Graham told the Special Commission of Inquiry into Acute Care Services in NSW Hospitals today.
"I often hear people say (of an aged care home), 'I wouldn't put my dog in there'.
"My understanding is the pressure is coming from hospitals," she said.
Ms Graham said it was distressing for elderly patients to share a room with strangers in Sydney aged care facilities.

Social workers were under pressure to tell families to accept the first available bed, she said.
"It is not a social worker's role, it should be handled at a higher level."
Ms Graham said in her experience, 30 per cent of aged care patients died within days of being told they were going to a nursing home after being treated in hospital.
She said elderly patients should be offered more home care, and their carers should be offered respite.

"Social workers feel like they're the meat in the sandwich," she told the inquiry at Westmead Hospital.

"So much of our time is taken up with paperwork, placing people in aged care."

SOURCE: TheAustralian
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NOTE:
Special Commission Of Inquiry Into Acute Care Services In NSW Public Hospitals
19 March, 2008


North Coast Area Health Service Chief Executive, Chris Crawford is extending an invitation to staff and members of the public to attend the Special Commission of Inquiry being held on the North Coast, in Coffs Harbour and Port Macquarie.

The Inquiry is travelling around NSW visiting rural, regional and metropolitan hospitals and holding a series of public hearings where individuals, including health system staff, are encouraged to come forward to present material. At these hearings, the Commissioner is interested in receiving information of relevance to the Inquiry's terms of reference: in particular, the problems facing NSW public hospitals and the solutions that could be implemented to address those problems.

Any person wishing to obtain further information in relation to the public hearings, or wishing to speak with an Inquiry Officer on a confidential basis, can contact the Inquiry at the address below.

Acute Care Services Inquiry
Level 6, 299 Elizabeth Street, Sydney NSW 2000
PO Box A4 , Sydney South 1235

Email: acutecare.inquiry@agd.nsw.gov.au

SOURCE: nchasNSWgov


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May 26, 2008

Care Home Death (UK)

Care home death: 'Nobody should die in such a terrible, cruel way'
By David Harrison
Last Updated: 1:53AM BST 25/05/2008

A culture of 'wilful neglect' led to Peter Giles's death in a care home – and it was not an isolated case. A fundamental change in the system is needed, says David Harrison.
Ken Giles is staring at a photograph of his brother. In the picture Peter Giles is in soldier's uniform, standing to attention, holding the Sword of Honour awarded to him as the most promising recruit to the Army Catering Corps. He looks proud, ambitious, a man with a bright future.

But today Ken is struggling to understand how his brother was allowed to die, lying unconscious, sweating and dehydrated, wearing soiled clothes, in a care home. "Nobody should die like that," says Ken, as we talk at his home in Poulton, Lancashire.

"When a relative goes into a care home you expect them to do just that: care for and look after that relative. Care home? Peter was in a Nobody Cares home."

Last week Ken and his wife Sue, both 56, were at Preston Crown Court to see Kathleen Vitturini, 62, the owner of Abbeycroft care home in Blackpool, jailed for six months for her "wilful neglect" of Peter.
Ken is still angry at the appalling way his brother was treated by untrained and uncaring staff who, he says, were "always smoking and drinking tea", and a boss who was never there, except when there was money to be collected.

"We were told that they refused to feed him unless he came down in the lift on his own, which he couldn't do. When we were away they were giving him hardly anything to eat or drink. My sister Pat and daughter Kirsty went in to see him and told staff that he was becoming dehydrated. They said they would sort it out but they did nothing.

Abuse of the elderly is Britain's secret shame. No one knows the exact scale of the problem, but a report from Help the Aged last year claimed that 500,000 elderly people in the UK were suffering some form of physical, emotional, sexual or financial abuse.

The nature of the abuse varies widely. At one extreme there are cases of physical violence: old people, many suffering from degenerative diseases, are punched, kicked, sexually assaulted or shaken violently, leading in the worst cases to their death. It seems unbelievable that it goes on and can go unnoticed by others, often unreported and unpunished.

The Government knows that the care system has to be changed and is preparing to launch a consultation with a view to reforming the nature, quality and funding of care for the elderly.

It is too late to save Peter Giles. But Ken and Sue hope that the sentence meted out to Kathleen Vitturini will send a warning shot across the industry.

"We can't bring Peter back," he says. "But we hope that the jail sentence will help to prevent others dying at the hands of the very people who are supposed to look after them."

Abridged
SOURCE: TelegraphUK

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Caring for Alzheimer's Sufferers (NSW Australia)

Caring for someone whose mind is failing
BY CAITLIN ANDREWS

23/05/2008 11:06:00 AM

CARING for someone with Alzheimer’s is tough, but Muswellbrook’s Yvonne Wright is one of those special people who took on the role when her father was diagnosed with dementia two-and-a-half years ago.

For the past few years Ms Wright has had to witness the saddening degenerative process of Alzheimers disease as her father’s health and memory has gradually deteriorated.
As the disease has taken hold day by day week by week the small things in life have become a challenge.
“It started out in small ways when Dad wasn’t quite able to walk down the street and do his shopping and banking,” Ms Wright said.
In the last year, the disease has sped up and finally taken over the Muswellbrook man’s independence.

“To see my dad go downhill breaks my heart,” Ms Wright said.
With a phone call every day and visiting every second day for the past 12 months, Ms Wright said the biggest issue was ensuring her father was taking his medication consistently.

Ms Wright expressed the gratitude and respect she and her family have for the Muswellbrook Aged Care team, the Upper Hunter Dementia Advisory Service, Hunter Integrated Care and the staff at Murravale Hostel.
“They have all been wonderful, I can ring them at any time and discuss anything with them and they have provided support and information,” she said.
“I have the utmost respect for all of them, you have to be a very special person to work in aged care and with dementia because it can be very trying.

The Upper Hunter Dementia Advisory Service is located at Muswellbrook Community Health Centre in the Nurses Home building.
Daisy Dementia Advice and Information Service operates from Monday to Friday between 8am and 4.30pm.
A free service, Daisy provides information, advice, education and support to patients, families and carers in the Upper Hunter region.
For more information contact Celeste Bond or Susan Baumhammer on 6542 2707.


Abridged
SOURCE: MuswellBrookNews
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Senior Care Worker Charged withThefts (Washington Country)

Senior care worker charged with thefts caught on tape

06:00 PM PDT on Thursday, May 22, 2008

By WAYNE HAVRELLY, kgw.com

Quanecka Thompson, 23, was arraigned on five counts of theft, one count of burglary and one count of criminal mistreatment.

Washington County Investigators say Thompson was caught taking money from a purse inside the Regency Park assisted living facility. Turns out that purse belonged to the Washington County Sheriff’s Department and officers were watching her on hidden camera.
Investigators say she took the bait twice.
Some residents at Regency Park told us they were missing money in recent months and were shaken to learn one of the trusted employees at their facility may have been stealing from them.
Financial crimes against seniors are a growing problem but, most cases still go unreported.
“Usually there is an initial reluctance by the victim to go public because there might be some embarrassment”, said assistant Washington County District Attorney Kevin Barton.
Senior abuse investigators say there's also reluctance to report these crimes because they usually involve a trusted family member, or a caregiver.

“Theres that whole issue of do i want to put a mark on my family. But you have to, because at some point someone has to stop it..someone has to step in and say this has gone on long enough and we have to make it end now,” said Senior abuse investigator Kevin Harper.
Washington County Investigators say officials at Regency park fully cooperated and actually helped set up the sting operation.

Our seniors spend a lifetime creating nest eggs and far to often, they lose those nest eggs when they need them most.
Thompson’s trial is scheduled for June 9th.

SOURCE: KGWnews



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Elder Abuse Conference (Paxton USA)

PAXTONArea{smallbox}The Elder Abuse Prevention Conference will be held from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. May 29 at Anna Maria College’s Zecco Performing Arts Center, 50 Sunset Place, Paxton. The conference provides law enforcement, social workers, clergy, senior center directors and other mandated reporters of abuse and neglect with the opportunity to understand how a team approach can address this growing issue.

Keynote speaker will be Michael Festa, secretary of the state Office of Elder Affairs. Continuing education credits are offered. The event is hosted by the college, the Molly Bish Center for the Protection of Children and the Elderly and Worcester County Elder Abuse Roundtable. For more information, contact Brittany Crompton at bcrompton@annamaria.edu or at (508) 849-3257.

SOURCE: TelegramDigest

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May 24, 2008

Budget Recognition for Older People Welcomed (New Zealand)

Budget recognition for older people welcomed
Thursday, 22 May 2008, 5:45 pm
Press Release: Age Concern

Age Concern New Zealand media release

Budget recognition for older people welcomed

"We welcome the recognition of older people in this year's Budget," Ann Martin, chief executive of Age Concern New Zealand says.

"Older people tell us that their major concerns are income, health, housing, safety and being able to participate in their communities. There are some initiatives to improve all of these in the Budget.

Abridged (Please go to source for more details)
SOURCE: ScoopNZ
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Financial Elder Abuse: Four Suspects Arrested (Cal. USA)

Four arrested on suspicion of elder abuse
Desert Sun wire services • May 22, 2008

A raid was carried out Wednesday on a Palm Desert accounting firm where employees are accused of cheating elderly clients out of thousands of dollars, authorities said.

In the morning raid, Riverside County sheriff's investigators seized documents and arrested employees and other individuals affiliated with David Winnings Corp., a firm offering the services of certified public accountants, at 44-331 Monterey Ave., according to the sheriff's department.

The suspects are identified as Cathedral City residents David Winnings, 45, Petra Washington, 53, Dayanna Watts, 36, and Indio resident Doris Urbina, 27, according to the sheriff's department.

Sheriff's Lt. Craig Ammons said an investigation of the company began in March, when an elderly Coachella Valley resident complained to the sheriff's department about alleged irregularities in financial statements he had received after doing business with the firm.

"After we received the initial complaint, we started the investigation, and then we identified other victims," Ammons said.

Five or six people - all over 65 years old - were identified as possible victims of fraud, he said.


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Help Stop Elder Abuse by Reporting It (PA. USA)

Published: Thursday, May 22, 2008 8:30 AM EDT

Elder abuse can take many forms — neglect, financial abuse or verbal, physical and sexual abuse. Thanks to local advocates, efforts have increased to make the community aware of this underreported problem.

Last year, caseworkers in the Schuylkill County Office of Senior Services investigated more than 200 cases of abuse against persons over age 65.

In an effort to call attention to the problem, members of the Schuylkill County Elder Abuse Task Force distributed hundreds of silver ribbons at local malls, businesses and senior centers for this week’s observance of Elder Abuse Prevention Week. People were asked to wear the ribbons in a show of support.

To learn more about elder abuse and its prevention, call the Office of Senior Services at 622-3103.

As fliers distributed with the silver ribbons state, “Elder abuse is not OK. It hurts us all.’’

Source: RepublicanHerald
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May 23, 2008

Nurse Admits to Pensioner Neglect (Wales)

Nurse admits to pensioner neglect
May 22 2008 Media Wales

A QUALIFIED nurse who admitted wilfully neglecting an elderly woman days before her death was given a conditional discharge today.

John Alder, 52, pleaded guilty to the charge, on the basis that he failed to give 84-year-old Gladys Thomas her correct medication after her regime was changed.
Earlier this month, eight other carers and nurses at the Bryngwyn Mountleigh Residential Home in Newbridge, were cleared of wilful neglect during a trial when the prosecution dropped the case.

Miss Thomas was suffering from fractured bones and extensive bruising when she was admitted to the Royal Gwent Hospital, Newport, in October 2005, but it was decided there was no evidence she was physically abused.

Newport Crown Court heard the hospital had decided on a new medical regime for the pensioner, who suffered from severe mental and physical problems.

Alder, who regularly worked 12 hour days at the home, did not realise this however, and she was given the wrong doses of drugs for a week before being readmitted to hospital.

Sentencing Alder, who has since resigned as a nurse and now works in a factory for the minimum wage, Judge Roderick Denyer QC said he had not physically harmed Miss Thomas or deliberately neglected her.
He told Alder: “I acquit you of any positive desire to do any harm to Gladys Thomas at all.

He told him: “I have no doubt that’s a major source of unhappiness for you.”
Giving him an 18-month conditional discharge, Judge Denyer added: “Your life has been wrecked, quite frankly.”



SOURCE: ICWales

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Elder Hotline Prompts Flood of Calls (Canada)

Elder hotline prompts flood of calls

By: Nelia Raposo

May 21, 2008 02:37 PM

Abused seniors can call a dedicated distress line and talk anonymously to another senior about their problems thanks to a partnership between two local social services agencies.

“There is no agency in Peel dealing specifically with elder abuse,” Paddy Ramsingh, the executive director of Family Services of Peel, said yesterday. “Seniors are a very proud, fiercely independent population but even they can be victims of abuse.”

The first initiative of its kind in this community, Peel Elder Abuse Support Program’s hotline is operated by Distress Centre Peel volunteers who can refer callers to free counselling services provided by Family Services Peel.

In its first few months, about 40 people have accessed the service and most are calling about financial abuse, Ramsingh said, adding that publicizing the service has been a challenge.

The hotline telephone number is 905-278-3141 .
It operates from noon to 8 p.m., seven days a week.

The most common form of senior abuse is financial where an adult child will use power of attorney to suit their needs rather than the parent’s, Gerger explains. Other forms of abuse can range from neglect to physical violence. They received a call where a senior was being deprived of food, Gerger said.

SOURCE: MississaugaNews
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Elder Abuse: Sex Offender Faces Assault Charges (Michigan)

Convicted sex offender, Jeffery L. Rosencrants, faces sexual assault charges against stepmother with Alzheimer's disease
by Bryn Mickle The Flint Journal
Wednesday May 21, 2008, 10:00 AM

RICHFIELD TOWNSHIP, Michigan -- A convicted sex offender is suspected of sexually assaulting his elderly stepmother who suffers from Alzheimer's disease.

Jeffery L. Rosencrants, 41, is expected to be arraigned today on four counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct with a vulnerable adult, charges that carry the possibility of life in prison.

The alleged assaults began after Rosencrants moved into his father's Richfield Township home when he got out of prison in September, police said.

Rosencrants spent 12 years in prison for third-degree criminal sexual conduct involving children, police said.

An investigation by the Genesee County Sheriff's Department revealed that Rosencrants allegedly began having sex with his 68-year-old stepmother even though he knew she suffered from dementia related to her Alzheimer's disease.

The father threw him out of the house and called police in March after he found Rosencrants sleeping in his wife's bed.

A recent study of Michigan and 18 other states showed 1 percent of adults 60 and older are sexually abused, said Pickell.

"This is the first time (the county elder abuse task force) has had a case of sexual exploitation," said Pickell.

The task force was formed last year to deal with crimes against the elderly in Genesee County.

Abridged
SOURCE: MLive
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Disabled Young People in Nursing Homes (Australia)

Steering committee needed to establish group home
21/05/2008 9:16:00 AM

Cowra Special Needs Services (CSNS) recognises a need for supported accommodation services in Cowra as they believe the community, clients and carers would benefit greatly.

CSNS and assisting carers have been lobbying for a young persons group home and want the community to know how much it would mean to them if Cowra was able to build one.

Carers Julie Eddy, Therese Taylor and Jan Jordan believe a group home is the best option.
“Young people end up in nursing homes and they can not reach their full potential there. They need to be constantly stimulated and surrounded by peers.
“We all worry that if something happens to us, then what will happen to our children,” Ms Eddy said.
Ms Taylor said a group home would give “independence and make a great difference to everyone.”
Newly appointed CSNS manager Michelle McAllister says one of her aims in the position is to get a group home in Cowra.

In February this year, CSNS stepped up its efforts and is now calling for all interested carers and members of the community to join a steering committee to see this project come to fruition.
There are different types of supported accommodation and one size does not fit all. For people with high needs a group home situation with overnight staff is the most appropriate model and for others with less intensive needs, drop-in support is all they may need to maintain independent living in the community.

CSNS would like feedback from interested members of the community who can assist in this community development project. Please contact Michelle McAllister on 6342 6842 or email
specialneeds@westnet.com.au

SOURCE: CowraYourGuide
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Nursing Home Chief Jailed Over Patient's Death (UK)

By Lucy Cockcroft
Last Updated: 10:56AM BST 21/05/2008

A nursing home manager who failed properly to feed a former soldier who later died in an "appalling" catalogue of neglect has been sent to prison for six months.
Kathleen Vitturini was supposed to be in charge of caring for Peter Giles, but instead she allowed the 57-year-old Parkinson's disease sufferer to lose two stone in just 10 days.

Mr Giles, who also had mental health problems, suffered a "rapid deterioration" and died from pneumonia and septicaemia contracted during his stay at the Abbeycroft Care Home in Bispham, Lancashire.

Vitturini, who ran the home, was arrested when a coroner who examined Mr Giles was so concerned about his appearance that he contacted police.

The 62-year-old was originally charged with manslaughter, but the Crown Prosecution Service agreed to accept her guilty plea to the lesser charge of wilful neglect at Preston Crown Court.

Andrew Moran QC, prosecuting, said: "Many obligatory standards had been breached by the defendant and the staff.

The judge, Mr Justice Stephen Irwin, said: "Those who profit from and manage residential homes for the vulnerable, the old or the sick – it's with those people, such as you, where the buck stops.

"Those who are wilfully negligent with serious consequences should expect to go to prison. That is the message which should go out today."

Abridged
SOURCE: TelegraphUK
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Elder Care: Fuel Increases Forcing Carers to Quit (UK)

Fuel increases forcing carers to quit
By Alex Love

CARERS in the Cotswolds feel they may have to quit their jobs over rocketing fuel prices.
Many fear the move could mean their older patients are forced to move into nursing homes.
Annie Cox, community carer for a private company, said a car was vital for the job and while she receives a fuel allowance it no longer covers the spiralling prices.

Mrs Cox, 52, told the Standard: "Fuel goes up on an alarmingly regular basis, I'm finding it hard to keep up. We need to keep our cars on the road in order to do our jobs."
The increase coincides with oil companies announcing record profits.

Mrs Cox, who has clients between Lechlade and Meysey Hampton, said many colleagues had already quit to take up jobs in nursing homes.
"It will be the elderly, the sick and the most vulnerable who will suffer most," she added.
"Why should they be made to suffer because of the greed of the fat cats who appear to hold this country to ransom?"
The effects of the increasing costs also worried Christina Snell, chief executive officer for Age Concern Gloucestershire: "We would be concerned if the rising fuel costs resulted in the quality or availability of care being reduced," she said.

Abridged
SOURCE: WiltsGlosStandard


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Pensioners Unhappy with Budget 2008 (Australia)

Grey Power Rising
By Stephen Lunn
May 20, 2008

IT took Wayne Swan just 24 words in last Tuesday's budget speech to utter the catchphrase Labor has relied on so heavily to wrest power from John Howard and in policy-making since.
And the first dozen words were little more than scene-setting rhetoric. "This budget is designed to meet the big challenges of the future," Swan began. "It is a budget that strengthens Australia's economic foundations, and delivers for working families under pressure."

Six months into the Rudd Government's first term and the "working families under pressure" mantra is already wearing thin for some voters who feel they are being left on the fringes by Kevin Rudd's heavy focus on assisting low and middle-income two-wage families with kids.

One of these groups is a stirring political giant, the 1,952,686 Australians who receive the age pension.

Josephine Simsa, 72, is a Melbourne widow living on the single pension of $273.40 a week and about $50 a fortnight in rent assistance for her supported accommodation run by the Catholic church. Her husband of 47 years died five years ago.

She is one of about 570,000 people, 70 per cent of whom are women, who receive the full single age pension. She doesn't accept the Prime Minister's and Treasurer's assurances that they care about her and other pensioners, believing politicians "think they can get away with it".

Pensioners are making their voices heard more effectively than in the past. A vocal and passionate demonstration in Melbourne last Friday was led by a couple of angry female pensioners who stripped down to their bras and men to their undies to make the point that they weren't prepared to be overlooked.

Today, the civil action will continue with a rally in Brisbane. One person attending today's rally, Val French, president of Older People Speak Out, says it was "very, very disappointing" that the Treasurer ignored her organisation's two-year campaign for a hike to the base single pension.

Anecdotally, baby boomers are worried Government inaction will shift the burden to them to take care of their ageing parents' welfare.

Abridged
SOURCE: TheAustralian
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Urgent Action Against Age Discrimination (UK)

Take action against age discrimination

In 2007, Gordon Brown promised he would deliver: 'No discrimination on the basis of race, gender, sexuality, age, or faith. And no discrimination against the disabled.'

Yet age discrimination still exists.

Over the last year thousands of people have called on the Government to ban age discrimination as part of the Just Equal Treatment campaign.
Now we need your help to demand that Gordon Brown makes age discrimination illegal as part of the forthcoming Equality Bill.
Get involved now and help us protect the rights of today's 12 million older people and those of future generations.

Please send an email to your MP to forward on to the Prime Minister

It will take just a matter of seconds and will have a real impact!

SOURCE: HelptheAgedUK

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Michigan: Locals Held in Statewide Senior Scams (USA)

By MIKE FORNES
Tribune Staff Writer

CHEBOYGAN - Two Cheboygan County residents have been named as part of a state-wide investigation into financial scams and thefts from elderly relatives. Sheryl Ann Baxter, 53, of Mackinaw City, was arraigned in Cheboygan County 89th District Court in connection with a charge of embezzling more than $1,000 but less than $20,000 from a vulnerable adult - a five-year felony.

Jeffrey Allen Gerou of Wolverine was also arraigned in Emmet County 90th District Court on the same charges.

Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox has charged 12 individuals from throughout the state with felonies for exploiting seniors. Another 85 cases remain under investigation.

Taking advantage of seniors is terrible enough, but financially exploiting your mom, dad, aunt or uncle is despicable,” Cox said. “This project combines the power of state and federal law enforcement to investigate and prosecute those who would financially exploit our most vulnerable senior citizens.”

The joint effort is named Project $CAMS (Stop Crimes Against Michigan Seniors), a statewide criminal enforcement initiative to protect residents of nursing homes from financial exploitation. The project, designed to cover all of Michigan's approximately 420 nursing homes and their population of over 40,000 residents, identifies potential financial exploitation of nursing home residents by identifying residents with past due payments. The project's start-up phase includes West Michigan, Northwest Michigan and the UP.

In every case the perpetrator was a relative. Some of the felony charges filed resulted from the following:

  • A daughter did not make payments to the nursing home in which her parent lived, incurring more than $2,200 in past due bills. Staff at the nursing home had to buy the resident shoes, provide spending money for outings, etc.
  • Another son stole over $1,600 to primarily cover gambling debts.
  • A resident's daughter stole over $2,000. She had four prior financial felony convictions.

Financial exploitation of senior citizens is one of the fastest growing crimes in America. It is estimated that as many as 5,000,000 seniors are victimized annually. This problem is compounded by the fact that only one in 100 instances of victimization is typically reported. In addition, nursing home residents are the most vulnerable and the least likely to be able to detect and/or report it.

SOURCE: CheboyganNews

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Kansas Senior Citizens Need More Protection

BY ATTORNEY GENERAL STEVE SIX

Since taking office, I have made serious efforts to identify underserved areas in our state and the individuals or groups that need additional assistance or protection. I have focused on Internet crime and consumer protection, because there was a lack of resources and focus being directed to those areas.

Working with the Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation Unit in my office, I have identified other Kansans who often are underserved: senior citizens. Seniors often become the victims of scams or other abuse.

During the unit's first year, we made a disturbing discovery. Financial exploitation or fiduciary abuse of the elderly is not always viewed as a crime. In fact, many people do not realize it is against the law.

We must do all we can to protect our most vulnerable citizens from financial abuse and exploitation. And we must attack this problem on many fronts.

My office partnered with the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services and the Kansas Bankers Association to develop guidelines for identifying financial abuse. The guidelines will help bank staff and those working with seniors and their finances determine if they are being exploited. The new guidelines will be available soon and will help banks make the proper reports to law enforcement in a timely fashion.

Our education and prevention efforts will reduce the amount of elder abuse and financial abuse that occurs in Kansas. But even with significant prevention efforts, these crimes will still occur. When they do, law enforcement must be ready to hold the perpetrators accountable.

SOURCE: KansasDotCom


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Son Sentenced for Fatal Beating of Father (Norwalk, USA)

Whittier man receives 15 years to life
By Ruby Gonzales
Article Launched: 05/20/2008 01:05:27 PM PDT


NORWALK- A Whittier man will be serving 15 years to life in state prison for beating to death his elderly father during an argument two years ago.
William Boyd Miller III, 45, was sentenced Tuesday for the Aug. 31, 2006 second-degree murder of 64-year-old William Miller II who used a walker and an oxygen tank.

Norwalk Superior Court Judge Robert J. Higa called it a sad case.

He also gave Miller eight years for one count of elder or dependent adult abuse resulting in death but stayed that sentence.

Miller's attorney, Lawrence R. Young, argued a lifetime of abuse from beatings with a belt as a youngster to verbal abuse heaped upon Miller and his wife by the father culminated in an explosive altercation between the two men.

He said both men also drank.
Young said Miller took care of his father for 15 years. When he married and brought his wife home, Young said the elder Miller rejected her and forced her and his son to live in the garage.


SOURCE: PasedenaStarNews
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It amazes me that people allow relationship to go thus far. If the son and father did not get along and had strong issues between them -- Why can't they keep away from each other?
A tragic case.
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May 22, 2008

Splitting Elderly Couples in Care Homes (UK)

Abuse Charity Strongly Welcomes The Government's New Guidance On Splitting Elderly Couples When Placing Them In Care, UK
Article Date: 20 May 2008 - 4:00 PDT

Action on Elder Abuse, (AEA) the leading specialist charity focusing upon the abuse of older people, has welcomed today's announcement that the Government is to issue guidance to local authorities restricting them from splitting married elder couples when placing them in care. Gary FitzGerald, Chief Executive of AEA, said "For many older people, the experience of giving up their own homes to go into a care home is a difficult and traumatic one. But it can be made intolerable if they are also forced to part from their loved partner. In today's Britain this should not be an option."

Action on Elder Abuse is a national charity which aims to protect, and prevent the abuse of, vulnerable older people. It does this by raising awareness of the issues, encouraging education and by giving information and support to those in need. It has the only national freephone helpline dedicated to this cause and callers may ring from Monday to Friday between the hours of 9.00am and 5.00pm on 080 8808 8141 from the UK or 1800 940 010 from the Republic of Ireland for confidential support and information.
Action on Elder Abuse


SOURCE: MedicalNewsToday
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Dignity in Elder Care Campaign: Support from Chat Show Host (UK)

Chat show host says dignity should be at heart of care services
Posted: 20 May 2008
By Mithran Samuel

Michael Parkinson was today unveiled as the figurehead for the government's campaign to ensure older people are treated with dignity by health and social care services.
The chat show host, who has been appointed as national dignity ambassador, helped Ivan Lewis launch a tour today to raise the profile of the care services minister's dignity in care campaign, which will run until November and cover every English region.

Parkinson said he hoped to use his role to "ensure the issue of dignity moves to the heart of all NHS and care services".

Dignity test for services
Lewis said: "I want the NHS and social care services to apply a simple test - if it wouldn't be good enough for my mum and dad why should it be good enough for someone else's?"

Welcome from sector
Today's announcements were welcomed by older people's charities.
Counsel and Care chief executive Stephen Burke (right) welcomed today's announcements. He said: "Many older people are still enduring intimate personal care on mixed-sex wards and are rushed home from hospital without appropriate planning. And we constantly hear of older couples who are given no option but to face the pain of separation from a spouse when they have to go into a care home."
Action on Elder Abuse chief executive Gary FitzGerald said: "We have seen too many situations where very old and very frail people, who have lived together for decades, have been parted in the final years of their lives. This is plain wrong.”

SOURCE: CommunityCareCo



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Son Charged in Death of Mother (PA, USA)

Son charged in death of mother taken from Pa. nursing home
By Associated Press,

May 19, 2008

ORWIGSBURG, Pa. (AP) — A man whose mother died the day after police say he kidnapped her from a nursing home has been charged in her death.Robert Netchel, 58, of Mount Carmel, was accused of forcibly taking his mother from the Schuylkill Center Nursing Home near Pottsville last month. He was arraigned Friday on charges including involuntary manslaughter, kidnapping and unlawful restraint.Stress from the incident directly resulted in the death of 83-year-old Ruth Netchel on May 1, according to an autopsy by forensic pathologist Dr. Richard Bindie.

Defense lawyer Sud Patel said he had not seen the medical records that led Bindie to the finding of cardiogenic shock.“Mr. Netchel will tell his side of the story at the appropriate time,” Patel said. “However, we’re not going to make any comment on it today. What everyone needs to keep in mind is there are always two sides to the story, and we expect that we’re going to have a chance to say what really happened that day.”

Three nursing home employees saw Netchel take his mother out of the home on April 30 with some medical equipment still attached to her, police said.

SOURCE: TheSentinelOnline
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Attack on Grandmother: Man Found Insane (Cal. USA)

Man found insane at time of attack to receive treatment

by Elizabeth Larson
Tuesday, 20 May 2008

LAKEPORT – On Monday a Lucerne man who was found insane when he attempted to kill his grandmother nearly three years ago received an eight-year sentence.

Jason Kaluna Fugit, 36, will go to the Napa State Hospital where he will receive treatment for his mental illness, said his defense attorney, Stephen Carter of the law offices of Carter and Carter.

Fugit, who worked as an equipment operator, was charged in 2005 with attempted murder, kidnapping and robbery for the attack on his 78-year-old grandmother at her Lucerne home, said Carter.

According to Carter, Fugit tried to kill his grandmother because he thought she was involved in treasonous acts along with the government, which he believed was persecuting him.

Deputy District Attorney Rachel Abelson, who prosecuted the case, argued for the upper term of 11 years, disagreeing with a proposal for a lesser term put forward by Lake County Probation, said District Attorney Jon Hopkins.

“We agreed that he was insane,” Hopkins said.

Arguing before Judge Arthur Mann on Monday, Carter made the case that the law recognizes that the early plea and the mental illness were mitigating factors that should reduce the sentence. He also argued for some of the sentence to run concurrently.

Mann sentenced Fugit to eight years. Because of his mental health issues, Fugit is being sent to Napa State Hospital, where his family can visit him. Because there is usually a waiting list for the Napa hospital, Carter said Fugit will remain at the Lake County Jail until there is an opening.

Abridged
SOURCE: LakecoNews

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Senator Hatch Urges Passage of Elder Justice Act (USA)

Hatch Urges Passage of Elder Justice Act
May 21, 2008
by Lara Jones

(KCPW News) More than 76 million baby boomers will move into their golden years over the next three decades. Speaking from the Senate floor yesterday, Orrin Hatch asked his colleagues to protect seniors from financial scams and physical abuse by passing his Elder Justice Act before the 110th Congress adjourns later this year:

"The purpose of our legislation is to make changes in the law so we have more precise numbers on how many seniors are being exploited financially, being neglected or being physically or mentally abused," Hatch said. "

In Utah alone, my home state, the money that people have lost due to these types of scams has quadrupled over the last three years. And while many of these operations have addresses in the U.S., they typically originate overseas."
Approximately 44 million Americans are age 60 and above. The Elder Justice Act would assist the federal government in collecting data on the number of seniors being abused. Hatch's bill has 28 co-sponsors in the Senate, while a House version sponsored by Rahm Emanuel (D-IL) has 113 co-sponsors.

SOURCE: KCPW
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May 21, 2008

Human Rights Commission to Address Elder Abuse (Palm Springs)

The Palm Springs Human Rights Commission is hosting a forum titled, ?The Good News About Elder Abuse in Riverside County.? The forum will be held at 6 p.m., Thursday, May 22, in the City Council Chamber.

While typically elder abuse and good news are not used in the same sentence, the forum is designed to share the "good news" about how organizations are working together to create a safety net for seniors and dependent adults, and to support the investigation and prosecution of elder abuse in Riverside County.
The forum will feature three speakers:
Mark Sellers, Regional Manager for Riverside County Adult Protective Services. He will provide an overview of adult services programs, abuse recognition and reporting.
Detective Merrit Chassie with the Palm Springs Police Department. She will discuss investigation of elder abuse, current criminal trends and how to report elder abuse to police.
Kristen Seebart, Deputy District Attorney with the Office of the District Attorney?s Elder Abuse Unit. She will discuss prosecution trends and statistics, working with the Curtailing Abuse Related to the Elderly (C.A.R.E.) Team and the future of Elder Abuse Collaboration.

For those unable to attend the May 22 forum, it will be broadcast on Palm Springs Community Television, Channel 17.

The mission of the Human Rights Commission is to promote and protect the diversity of the community and to improve human relations through education and community awareness. The Commission holds its business meetings at 3 p.m. on the second Monday of each month in the Large Conference Room at Palm Springs City Hall. More information about the upcoming forum or the Human Rights Commission is available by calling 760.323.8255 .

SOURCE: MyDesert

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Financial Elder Abuse: Stopping Scammers

SENIORS: Stopping scams
For often-targeted seniors, detecting a con artist starts with going back to school

By MARY BETH SCHWEIGERT / New Era Staff

Joyce O'Brien can't save your life.

But she can save your life savings.

First you have to go back to school.

O'Brien, a community liaison in state Attorney General Tom Corbett's new Elder Abuse Unit, leads free seminars packed with tips to avoid the most common scams targeting seniors.

The program, called Senior Crime Prevention University, addresses an age-old adage.

"If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is," O'Brien says.

" ... We've got victims who've lost their entire life savings."

Pennsylvania is fertile ground for scam artists. Fifteen percent of the population is over age 65 — the third-highest in the nation.

"Actually, everyone is targeted," O'Brien says. "But it seems like more seniors fall victim to scams."

Here are some of the Attorney General's best tips for stopping scammers.

• Beware of someone who comes unsolicited to your door and offers to fix a problem.

• Look for a company name on the person's shirt or truck. It's a sign of legitimacy. And who wouldn't want free advertising?

• Ask for the person's full name, phone number and address. Be suspicious of someone who offers only a P.O. Box.

• Beware of a contractor who offers a discount for using "leftover materials," or because you're a senior citizen.

• Get at least three estimates for any work to be done.

• Check out a company with the Better Business Bureau or the Attorney General's Office. Ask for and contact references.

• Get a signed contract with an exact price, scope of the work, a start and end date, and the company's name, address and phone number.

• Have a trusted person review any agreement before you sign it.

• Pennsylvania's "cooling off rule" gives you three days to change your mind about goods or services sold to you in your home.

• Beware of "Mr. Nice Guy." Someone who appears over-the-top friendly may have shady motives.

• Don't let anyone talk you into buying something you don't want. If someone makes you uncomfortable or keeps talking after you say no, close the door or hang up.

• The Do Not Call list is your first line of defense against telemarketers. Make sure you're on it.

• If you are on the list and a telemarketer calls you, report them to the Attorney General's Office. If the company is fined, you'll get $100.

• Don't give your credit card, bank account or Social Security number to people you don't know.

• Remember, you have to enter a contest to win.

• If you've won a legitimate prize, it won't cost you anything to claim it.

• Be especially wary of someone who's in a hurry to get your money — i.e. asking you to wire it or offering to send a courier.

• If someone tries to get you to make a quick decision, ask them to send information, and you'll think about it. Legitimate offers will be around long enough for you to do the research.

• Listen carefully when a "charity" calls. Unscrupulous companies sometimes make up bogus names that sound like real charities.

• Don't change your estate plan without consulting a trusted attorney — even if someone offers you a "free" lunch.

• Keep a whistle by the phone. If nothing else works, blow it directly in a persistent telemarketer's ear.

ASK YOURSELF


• Do I really need this product, prize or service?

• Can I afford to lose any money?

• Does this sound too good to be true?

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HATE TO HANG UP?
Here's what to say. Then put down the phone.

• "I do not respond to telephone solicitations. Please do not call me again. Goodbye."

• "Send me information. I will call you back after I check with the Office of the Attorney General's Charitable Trust and Organizations Section. Goodbye."

• "If you want an immediate answer, my answer is no. Please don't call me again. Goodbye."

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HELPFUL PHONE NUMBERS

• The new state Elder Abuse Hot Line protects seniors and takes action against people who harm them. Call (866) 623-2137 .

To place your number on the Do Not Call list, call (888) 777-3406 , or visit nocallsplease.com.

Registration is free, but you must re-register every five years. Some callers are exempt, like charities, political parties and veterans' groups.

To check out a telemarketer or charity, call the Office of the Attorney General's Charitable Trusts and Organizations Section, (800) 441-2555 .

To schedule a free Senior Crime Prevention University seminar, contact Joyce O'Brien, 787-9716 or senioruniversity@attorneygeneral.gov.

Abridged
SOURCE: LancasterOnline
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Former Firefighter convicted of Elder Abuse of Mother (LA, USA)

The Associated Press
Article Launched: 05/16/2008 08:50:26 PM PDT

LOS ANGELES—A former Los Angeles firefighter has been convicted of the second-degree murder of his mother, who was found lying in a pile of filth at her home and covered in sores and maggots.

The district attorney's office said in a Friday statement that 43-year-old Anthony Aaron Domio, a firefighter from 1986 to 2001, should have known how to give proper treatment to his 68-year-old mother.

Elanie Celestin Domio was found by another son in February 2006 in her South Los Angeles home. She died of sepsis of the blood a few hours later.

Domio faces up to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

(Copyright Associated Press)

SOURCE: MercuryNews
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May 20, 2008

Benoit Bill Protecting Elder Abuse Victims Signed into Law (Calf. USA)

Benoit Bill Protecting Elder Abuse Victims Signed into Law
Posted: May 17, 2008 09:32 AM

KESQ.com News Services
A Coachella Valley lawmaker's bill to protect elder abuse victims was signed into law Friday by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Assemblyman John J. Benoit, R-Bermuda Dunes, said AB 1158 authorizes the use of two-way video conferencing technology in the courtroom to examine sick and infirm witnesses.
"I applaud the governor for signing this bill into law, as well as my colleagues for standing up for elder citizens and protecting them against those who prey on the vulnerable," Benoit said. "Today's action is a much-needed victory for elders who may relocate or unexpectedly fall ill after being victimized."

The bill -- which was passed unanimously in the Assembly and state Senate -- will take effect Jan. 1, according to Benoit's office.

SOURCE: KESQ
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May 18, 2008

Elderly in Long-Term Care Suffer Depression More Than..

ScienceDaily.com

May 9, 2008

Elderly in a long-term care setting are more likely to be prescribed antidepressants and to self-report depression compared to those in a home-health care setting, according to a study by social work students at Indiana State University.

Elderly in a long-term care setting are more likely to be prescribed antidepressants and to self-report depression compared to those in a home-health care setting, according to a study by social work students at Indiana State University.

Jodi Shapuras and Lindsay Egan, undergraduate students in the social work program at ISU, conducted the research at their internships as part of a senior-level field practicum class.

“We actually hypothesized that the long-term care patients would utilize antidepressants more and would self-report depression more,” said Egan of Terre Haute, Ind. “When an individual moves to a long-term care facility, they undergo a tremendous amount of changes. They are no longer able to live independently and are relying on others for care, and this greatly affects how they feel about themselves and the world around them.”

Abridged
SOURCE: ScienceDaily
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May 15, 2008

Seniors' Anger at Budget Snub - Australia

By Stuart Fagg,

ninemsn Money
May 15, 2008

Pensioners have lashed out at the Government after being left out of Wayne Swan's inaugural budget this week.

While the budget did contain some measures to support seniors — such as an increase in the utilities allowance and the retention of the $500 seniors bonus — many pensioners felt shunned by the Treasurer.

Michael O'Neill, chief executive of National Seniors Australia, said that the Government's failure to increase the base pension rate had made pensioners — particularly those dependent on the single age pension — more vulnerable.

"Older people are an integral part of the Australian working family — they're not separate," O'Neill said. "They've done a lifetime of the nine-to-five slog and daily commute and now as grandparents they're providing childcare and helping their children into their first homes. Even at the best economic times, living on the meagre single age pension was difficult."

Single age pensioners receive just $273 per week while grappling with rising fuel, food and health costs.

Contributors to ninemsn Money's post-budget debate agreed. "Being on a disability pension (due to no fault of my own) and having paid taxes until I was unable to work, I find it disgusting that the aged and disabled have once again been forgotten," wrote Battler of South Australia.

Realist of Sydney added that many seniors are already going without due to financial hard times. "For all those who think that helping the pensioners to maintain an appropriate level or standard of income is a bit of a rort, remember that they are the ones who have worked all their lives and already paid their taxes and educated today's working generation," Realist wrote. "Most going without what are considered today to be necessities or must-haves."


Abridged

SOURCE: NineMsn
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Comments Received:


In Australia many of our seniors are living in poverty as the Aged Pension barely meets the rising costs of living. Despite a phenomenal federal budget surplus, upon unveiling the new budget last night the Australian Government virtually ignored the plight of the elderly. These people have worked their lives, contributed to the success of our nation, supported Australia with their taxes. This is how they are treated when in need? If the leaders of our country cannot show respect for elders what hope is there for the rest of the country? I am ashamed to be an Australian today.Thanks for letting me vent. Great post, keep up the great work you do! from Kelleigh.

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I agree with all the above comments. The government has not addressed many issues concerning seniors in this country. How can they talk about budget and concerns for families. Just because seniors are in a certain age group, should not mean that they are "disposable"; or have somehow "removed" from the family.

There have been inquiries into seniors issues and various recommendations have been submitted. When will we see those recommendations implemented? Perhaps, the government will start an Inquiry into how to implement those recommendations regarding Aged Care, Pension etc... More delaying tactics and "head-in-the-sand" attitude will not rid the country of these pressing issues.

......Andrew

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Elder Abuse: Violation of Human Rights



Unfortunately, the abusers of the vulnerable seniors often have their own special brand of excuses.

They are absolutely wrong. To abuse a senior, be it a charge of the carer or a relative, is a violation of the senior’s human rights.

Why should the elderly be treated differently? They should have the same rights to care, welfare and respect. They should be able to live out their twilight years in peace, safety and dignity.

Therefore, any act that deprives the elderly of his/her assets, freedom, welfare and dignity is a violation of his/her Human Rights.

Why should we care?

Old age is the inevitable stage, the majority of us will reach eventually. Anything you do now, to ensure that the Human Rights of the elderly is preserved, is also an act that ensures that your own rights are NOT violated when you reach old age.

Physical abuses are easily detected or recognized. It is the emotional/psychological abuses that are harder to detect and to report.

Emotional or psychological abuse is the infliction of mental or emotional anguish or distress on an elder person through verbal or nonverbal acts.
Unfortunately, many of these sort of elder abuses are committed by adult children or relatives of the elderly. For obvious reasons, victims of such abuses do not want to report the abuses.
It is time we all take a closer look at these sorts of elder abuse and work towards awareness and prevention programs.
Elder abuse is a complex issue that no single individual or organization can tackle without help from governments.
Everyone of us should help to spread the news – Elder Abuse is a Violation of Human Rights.
REMEMBER 15 June: World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

More information from International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse

Posted by Andrew

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May 14, 2008

Elder Abuse: More Help for Victims and Reporters of EA (Vic. Australia)

Council on the Ageing (COTA)

SENIORS RIGHTS ADVOCACY

Seniors Rights Victoria (SRV) is a free service that has been established to help prevent elder abuse and safeguard the rights, dignity and independence of older Victorians.

The service was launched by Minister for Senior Victorians, Lisa Neville on 27 April 2008. It provides :

o telephone information and referral
o advocacy and support
o legal services
o community and professional education

Contact details: 1300 368 821 between 10am and 5pm (Mon-Fri)

People who are concerned about abuse or neglect that is affecting them or someone they know can call Seniors Rights Victoria on
1300 36 8821.

For further details click here
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Care for Ageing Baby Boomers: Brilliant Proposal? (UK)

Despite the baby boomers ageing, we can afford to care
This generation is going to be expensive. But a voluntary, late-in-life or after-death payment scheme ticks every box

Polly Toynbee
The Guardian,
Tuesday May 13 2008

Every year that passes, the crisis in social care threatens to crash into the political headlines. It hasn't quite yet, but the desperate state of the old and their carers is a gathering thundercloud. Gordon Brown yesterday began a public consultation, saying care was "at the heart of our ambition for a fairer Britain". Indeed, it raises deep equality questions. It's the right subject at the right time, as each party's manifesto will offer a remedy that reflects their true political nature.
Every day there are scandals hidden away in private: the old man struggling alone to wash, feed and dress his wife who has Alzheimer's, the mother in her 70s caring for her 50-year-old disabled son, the old woman sinking into degradation on her own while a council judges her needs insufficiently "critical". It's probably happening to someone in your street right now. Polls show most people blithely expect care to be there and to be free - but everyone discovers another truth when they need a care service. Then they find services vary wildly in a postcode lottery while the lottery of life decrees whether care costs eat up a family's last savings.

Reality started to bite once the all-powerful baby boomer generation began caring for its parents. By the time they need care, demands will explode. They, the have-it-all generation, always had it good (and that includes me). Sixty years ago, the new free NHS brought them into the world, as child benefits and the Butler education act were followed by new plate-glass universities to educate them. Their teenage years dominated the cultural scene - and oddly still do. They have the last good occupational pensions. Already, 85% of people between 54 and 70 own their homes as wealth is sucked up the age ladder, leaving the young struggling harder than they ever did. There are now more people over 65 than there are children - and they will live long. Look at this: the over-60s own £932bn in property, and the shortfall for care is just £6bn.

James Lloyd of the International Longevity Centre has produced an ingenious social insurance scheme the Department of Health is studying with enthusiasm. The joy of this scheme is that it is voluntary: payment only applies to the over-65s, when people really are thinking about care, and people can choose how they pay.

Abridged
FULL-TEXT FROM: GuardianUK
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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.

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