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.

August 30, 2008

Elder Abuse: Verdict Sparks Call For Change to Law (USA)

Plug elder abuse loophole
Prosecutor Tim Barker is right that the law should be changed.

Daily Record/Sunday News
: 08/29/2008

State Attorney General Tom Corbett talks about his Elder Abuse Unit in 2006. State officials should close looppoles in elderly abuse system.
(YORK DAILY RECORD/SUNDAY NEWS-JASON PLOTKIN)

In our system of justice, it's difficult to question the wisdom of the jury -- 12 ordinary people charged with sifting through sometimes confusing evidence to determine the facts and apply the law. It is one of the cornerstones of our democracy.

But in the case of William and Frances Donahue, acquitted of murder last week in the elder abuse death of William Donahue's 87-year-old mother, Bernadette Leiben, the jury's decision was a shock to prosecutor Tim Barker.

Mr. Barker thought the facts of the case clearly supported a murder conviction. Mrs. Leiben had died a slow death, and the evidence presented at the trial indicated that the Donahues' neglect led to her demise. Mr. Barker argued that the Donahues' intent was to kill Mrs. Leiben and that the level of neglect pointed to that conclusion.

The jury found otherwise, deciding that the neglect did not indicate the specific intent to kill needed to support a murder conviction.

At first, the jury's decision -- to convict only Mrs. Donahue of misdemeanor involuntary manslaughter -- distressed Mr. Barker. It seemed, to him, like a very light penalty for causing the death of another human being.

But then, the more he thought about it, the more he realized that the system had worked and that the jury did its job, applying the law to the facts of the case.

The problem wasn't with the jury.

It was with the law.


Mr. Barker's ruminating over the verdict led him to conclude that there's a gap in the law and that it should be closed.

The law protects children from neglect that results in death, but is nearly silent on similar cases involving the elderly.

The state Legislature, more than a decade ago, recognized that neglect of children that results in death is a more serious crime than a misdemeanor. Lawmakers amended the law to make such cases a second-degree felony carrying a 10-year maximum sentence. That charge would be in addition to murder or manslaughter charges neglectful adults could possibly face in such cases.

That no such protection exists for the elderly seems like a serious hole in the law. Current elder abuse laws address only neglect by caretakers paid to care for the elderly -- not family members.

Elderly people who are dependent upon others for their well-being deserve the same protection under the law as children, who are also dependent upon others for their well-being.

As a matter of justice, it seems like a no-brainer.

It would make a lot of sense for one of our state legislators to make this proposal, to get the Legislature to close this gap in the law. Provide prosecutors with the same tools they use to protect our children to protect vulnerable senior citizens.

It just makes too much sense not to happen.

Call your legislator and ask them to make sure it does.

SOURCE: York Daily Record
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Elder Rights advocates have been calling for the change in the law to better protect our seniors for a while. This latest development is encouraging, however, we need a lot more people in every profession and every level of government to recognize this fact.

Furthermore, every country in the world should also wake up to this issue. Scanning the media from many countries, one would be led to believe that "Elder Abuse" only occur in the USA, UK and Canada. Of course, this is NOT true! Just that, those governments prefer to bury their collective "heads" in the sand.

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August 28, 2008

Elder Abuse by Family Members and the State? (USA)

By Andrew C

Family members are often the abusers of the elderly and vulnerable. However, these cases are not well publicized or taken seriously.

There are many reasons:

  1. Difficulty in getting the victim to testifiy; (lack of capacity or just his/her reluctance to “upset” the family member/abuser.
  2. Shame. Victims are often reluctant to report abuse because the mere thought of the shame that such a report would generate.
  3. Reluctance on the part of authorities to investigate, as such cases are often treated as “family matters or family dynamics”.
  4. Reporters of such cases (probably, another family member or a concerned friend of the victim) are often treated with suspicion.
  5. Further “abuse” by the system that was supposed to be protecting the elderly.

Let me just elaborate on points 4 and 5.

Reporters of Elder Abuse


“What is your hidden agenda?”

Yes, believe it or not, this is often said about reporters of EA. This has been the experience of the webmaster of the Frank Punito Case . Some visitors to this site, have emailed me about their own experiences on this issue.

Imagine the emotional upset of such accusations, plus the stress of trying to get help for the victim(s).

It is no wonder, many prefer to look the other way, when it comes to elder abuse cases.

The Legal System

It is not too much to expect the legal system of a country to protect the rights of the vulnerable elderly who had been abused.

Who should pay for the legal costs of “untangling” elder abuses by family members.

The abusers?

Often, it is the victim who has to pay for legal services.

What kind of society are we in nowadays?

We worked hard and have accumulated assets, so that we can be financially independent and not be a “burden” to society.

Peace of mind in old age? Not likely, especially, if you have been abused and the case has to go to court.

Legal costs, guardian and lawyer’s fees would make sure that you would be a bankrupt before they leave you in “peace”; or, would it be “pieces”.

Here is a desperate plea for help: (Just received, via email)

In March 2007, two brothers and a sister took our mother to an attorney To have her medical Power of Attorney revoked. She was declared of "sound Of mind and disposing memory", they took over her bank account, took her car and began emptying her home of clothing and personal effects. I was not aware of any of this until I arrived to pick her up and take her to her doctor’s appointment. While at my home police officers came to take her away. After speaking to her the decided against it. We went to the doctor where she was unable to pay her $15 co-pay. That's when we found out about the bank accounts. The next day police came again with the same result.

For the next week my mother, my older brother and I stayed on the road, going to the court house to get records of what was filed and attempting to get mom an attorney and get her back in court to free her from an Emergency Guardianship that declared her incompetent. These documents were drawn Up 5 days after she was declared "sound of mind and disposing memory". We got the emergency overturned and got mom back into her house and spent the next 15 months in court fighting for her right to stay there.

Now, we can't seem to get anyone to Prosecute. We have all the Records the history of events the evidence of the money stolen and the property removed. Do you have any suggestions on what we can do to get this prosecuted? The three siblings used moms money to fund the argument against her during the 15 months. The judge decided mom should pay all remaining legal fees and court costs because the siblings had filed bankruptcy. This just seems to be the crime that keeps on giving. All she wants is to live in her own home. She has in home care and manages quite well. Isn't this a crime?
What's wrong with these people?

Any help, suggestions would be wonderful. I'm running out of ideas.

(Note: Apparently, APS was contacted, but little was achieved)

If you can help this person, please email me. I will pass on the information.-----------------------------------------------------------------------

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Elder Abuse Research: Irish Centre to be Operational in September (Ireland)

National elderly research centre to be operational in September
By Mary Anne Kenny

The HSE has announced that the National Research Centre for the Protection of Older People is expected to be operational by September.

The Centre, which is part of the Elder Abuse Programme, will be located within the Department of Nursing Studies in University College Dublin. Its establishment was one of the main recommendations of the 2002 Government policy document, Protecting Our Future: The Report of the Working Group on Elder Abuse.

The Elder Abuse National Implementation Group was established by the Department of Health and Children in 2003 to guide the implementation of the report’s recommendations. The Centre will collate information in the area of elder abuse from the areas of health, social welfare, justice, finance and legal authorities. The HSE said that funding of €4.75 million has been allocated to implement the Elder Abuse Programme in full.

SOURCE: Irish Medical Times
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August 27, 2008

Elder Care: Minister Defends Strict Stance (Australia)

The federal Minister for Ageing has defended the government’s ‘strict’ approach to compliance monitoring in aged care.

Justine Elliot was speaking on ABC Radio in Brisbane after media reports had revealed that five of the nine Commonwealth-funded nursing homes currently under sanctions, are in Queensland.

“It's good to have a whole series of unannounced and announced visits right across the board, across the 3000 nursing homes,” she said.

“There's a very detailed system in terms of continuous checking and accreditation and investigation that occurs in our nursing homes and it needs to be a whole approach that we take.”

The Minister told the ABC’s Madonna King that she was committed to ensuring there were adequate systems in place to ensure the safety of older Australians living in nursing homes.

“That's why I've increased police checks for some of the staff working in nursing homes, why I've also increased the powers of the Aged Care Standards and Accreditation Agency,” said Mrs Elliot.

Abridged
SOURCE: Australian Aging Agenda
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Elder Care: Findings on Brighton Aged Care Released (Australia)

Findings on Brighton Aged Care released

The Aged Care Standards and Accreditation Agency has reduced the accreditation period for the Brighton Aged Care facility by one month after revealing that the home was non-compliant with 17 of the 44 expected outcomes.

Issues with the Adelaide-based home were first raised on 1 August when the agency conducted a full review audit at the facility.

A fortnight later, the Department of Health and Ageing issued the facility with a Notice of Non-Compliance and a Notice of Required Action after departmental officers identified serious concerns with specific cases.

The home was subject to the initial review because it is operated by the Japara Group – the same company that runs the Kirralee facility in East Ballarat, which was found to be non-compliant with 33 expected outcomes last month.

The Japara Group took control of the Brighton facility in March, when the home’s former operator, Bresant Pty Ltd, had its approved provider status revoked.

A spokesperson for Japara told Australian Ageing Agenda that the home’s staff members are working hard to improve the quality of care.


The Minister for Ageing, Justine Elliot said in a statement that she would make no apologies for the tough measures taken.

“Older Australians in aged care deserve good care and any home failing will be dealt with,” she said.

“The welfare of the residents was the government’s primary concern and that is why the Aged Care Standards and Accreditation Agency and Department of Health and Ageing are monitoring the facility”.

The facility will need to re-apply for accreditation in November. It is expected that it will undergo an accreditation site visit in October.

Abridged
SOURCE: Australian Aging Agenda

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Elder Abuse and "Granny Law" (USA)

Man Arrested in Brooklyn Elevator Assault Will Likely Be First Defendant Affected
By Samuel Newhouse
Brooklyn Daily Eagle

BROOKLYN – Thanks to a new law, the suspect made infamous by security camera footage capturing his brutal elevator robbery that shocked Brooklynites will face stiffer penalties than he otherwise would have if he’d committed this crime just three months ago, says State Sen. Martin J. Golden (R-southern Brooklyn).

For those convicted of crimes against senior citizens, “Granny’s Law” will impose stricter sentences.

Abridged
SOURCE: Brooklyn Eagle
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Research Finds America's Elderly Suffering Abuse

Research Finds America's Elderly Suffering Abuse

A new study concludes that nearly 13 percent of America's aged citizens suffer some form of abuse. Specifically, nine percent of adults reported they have suffered from verbal mistreatment, 3.5 percent suffer financial mistreatment, and 0.2 percent suffer physical mistreatment. This data was reported in the latest issue of The Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences (Volume 63B, Number 4).

The research was conducted by a team headed by Edward O. Laumann, PhD, at the University of Chicago. The findings were based on the National Social Life, Health and Aging Project, which conducted interviews with over 3,000 community-dwelling residents aged 57 to 85.

"The population of the country is aging, and people now live with chronic diseases longer. So it's important to understand, from a health perspective, how people are being treated as they age," Laumann said.

Older adults who are physically impaired are particularly susceptible to abuse. This demographic is 13 percent more likely to experience verbal mistreatment than those without similar handicaps — although there was no evidence to suggest they suffer greater financial mistreatment.

The Chicago researchers also found that females were nearly twice as likely to report verbal mistreatment, but no higher level of financial mistreatment, than men; Latinos were about half as likely as whites to report verbal mistreatment and 78 percent less likely to report financial mistreatment; and blacks were 77 percent more likely to report financial mistreatment than whites.

Most elders reported that the mistreatment was perpetrated by someone other than a member of their immediate family. Of those who reported verbal mistreatment, 26 percent identified their spouse or romantic partner as the person responsible; 15 percent said their child verbally mistreated them; and 57 percent said that the mistreating party was someone other than a spouse, parent, or child.

A total of 56 percent of those who reported financial mistreatment said that someone other than a member of their immediate family was responsible. Of family members, children were mentioned most often and spouses rarely. Ex-spouses, in-laws, and siblings were all identified by some respondents as those responsible for mistreatment.

SOURCE: The Gerontological Society of America
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August 26, 2008

Elderly Man Hit with a Hammer by Son (Ca. USA)

Man who struck father with hammer pleads no contest to abuse charge

By Michael Manekin
San Mateo County Times
08/25/2008

REDWOOD CITY — A Foster City man pleaded no contest Monday to a charge of elder abuse with great bodily injury for striking his 81-year-old father on the head with a hammer to qualify him for admission to a nursing home.

Jayantibhai "Johnny" Patel, 57, made the plea in exchange for the withdrawal of one count of felony assault and a promise from a San Mateo County Superior Court judge that he would face no more than five years in prison, according to San Mateo County Chief Deputy District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe.

Patel's father, Naranbhai Patel, reportedly told a paramedic that his son had said, "You die," moments before striking him on the head on Oct. 6, 2007, prosecutors said.

But interviews with Jayantibhai Patel, his father and witnesses led prosecutors to believe that the Jayantibhai Patel truly believed that he was helping his father gain entry into a nursing home. A medical professional had told Patel that in order for his father to be admitted into a rest home, he would have to be ill or injured.

Patel's father's wounds required about six staples to close, according to the district attorney's office. Still, the elder Patel offered the equity in his home to post the $500,000 bail his son needed to get out of jail, according to family members.

A sentencing hearing will be held Nov. 7. The defense plans to put Patel's father on the witness stand to defend his son. Other family members will also speak on behalf of Patel's character in an effort to reduce his punishment to probation, Wagstaffe said.

SOURCE: San Mateo County Times
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Elder Abuse: Chatsworth Woman Arrested (

Chatsworth woman arrested in elder abuse case

Her mother, 85, was found in bed covered in her own waste. She died 11 hours later.
By Victoria Kim
Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
August 25, 2008

A Chatsworth woman was arrested on suspicion of elder abuse after authorities found her 85-year-old mother, who later died, covered head to toe in her own waste, a Los Angeles police spokeswoman said Sunday.

Belinda Feldman, 54, was arrested at the home she shared with her mother. Elise Glatstein died 11 hours after authorities took her to a hospital.

Police went to the house in the 21900 block of Dupont Street on Saturday after receiving a call about Glatstein.

Officers found her in her bedroom in "very poor condition," Officer Karen Smith of the Los Angeles Police Department said. Glatstein appeared to have been left in her own urine and feces for an extended period, Smith said.

Smith said there were no signs of physical violence.


County coroner's officials said the cause of death had not been determined.

Feldman was released on $50,000 bail.

SOURCE: Los Angeles Times
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August 25, 2008

Elder Abuse: Nursing Home Patient Died Before Case could go to Grand Jury (Tx. USA)

Nursing home patient who may have been abused died before case could go to grand jury

By DEANNA BOYD
Sun, Aug. 24, 2008


FORT WORTH — Seated across from a Fort Worth police detective one February afternoon last year, Elaine Doores, a retired biology professor diagnosed two years earlier with Alzheimer’s, struggled to find the right words.

Her choices were childish, but they suggested a horrific crime.

"He has hurt me a lot. Every time he bathes me. He puts things in me.  . . . He had sex with me more than once. It’s all the time in the bath."

The 68-year-old woman’s statement set in motion an investigation that led to the arrest of Donald Gene Shelby, a certified nursing assistant at the James L. West Alzheimer’s Center, just outside downtown Fort Worth, where Doores had been living.

Shelby, who remains free on bail, has denied any wrongdoing, and his attorney, Mark Daniel, said his client passed a polygraph test. On June 6, Doores died — her case still not having gone to the grand jury.

Her daughter says the district attorney’s office stalled in handling the case.

Kristin Pitt understands that because of her mother’s illness and a lack of physical evidence, a grand jury could deem the case weak and decline to indict Shelby.

"They sat on it while the victim got worse," Pitt said. "That’s the disservice they did to my mom and my family."

She believes that prosecutors dealing with victims who have dementia or Alzheimer’s should try to present the case to a grand jury without delay.

"To not even give a standard time frame of taking it to a grand jury is ridiculous," Pitt said. "Push it forward so that these individuals can try to protect themselves, because they’re very vulnerable."

Deputy District Attorney Greg Miller said he has looked into the case.

"We should have presented it to the grand jury probably in late 2007 or early 2008," Miller said. "This case, regrettably, wasn’t addressed in a timely manner, and we have taken some in-house steps to ensure that situations like this do not occur in the future." He said the case will go to a grand jury soon.

Difficult cases
Paul Greenwood, a deputy district attorney over the Elder Abuse Prosecution Unit in San Diego, said sexual assault cases involving Alzheimer’s patients at nursing homes can be difficult to prosecute.

Depending on the extent of their illness, victims can be ruled incompetent. Even if a victim can testify, jurors may have a "built-in bias" regarding the credibility of a victim who has a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s or dementia, Greenwood said.

And because victims can be reluctant to immediately report the assault for fear of their attacker, the chances of having physical evidence in the case can be greatly reduced, he said.

"Of all the cases I have prosecuted — in the hundreds over the last 12 years — the kind of case that presents the most problems is allegations of sexual assault in a facility where probably the only witness of the crime is the victim herself," Greenwood said.

Still, he said, prosecutors should strive to proceed with such cases as quickly as possible.

"I think with all elderly victims, time is of the essence," Greenwood said. "It’s not healthy to delay decisions."

Abridged
SOURCE: Fort Worth Star Telegram
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Elder Abuse: Trial Sparks Proposal for New Law

Trial sparks proposal
Local officials suggested toughening up elder-abuse laws.
By RICK LEE
Daily Record/Sunday News

08/24/2008

Prosecutor Tim Barker's wheels started turning after a York County jury's acquittal Friday of William and Frances Donohue in the murder by neglect of William Donohue's elderly mother.

Barker conceded Friday evening the jury's decision to convict Frances Donohue of misdemeanor involuntary manslaughter rather than murder in the the death of 87-year-old Bernadette Leiben caused him some distress.

But after discussing the result with District Attorney Stan Rebert and others, by Saturday Barker had new focus.

Barker said he applauded the jury for its decision because the "jury came back with a conviction. They acknowledged something was wrong here."

Now Rebert and Barker intend to make a proposal to the state Legislature to ensure the commonwealth's elders have the same protections as its children.

"There's a gap in the law there that Tim picked up on," Rebert said Saturday. "That's a major problem."

Rebert said enacting similar laws already in place for child abuse crimes and applying them to elder abuse crimes "would lessen the chances as to these compromise verdicts." He said it would be up to the Legislature to determine if sentences for those crimes would be mandatory.
More than 10 years ago, the legislature enacted laws making the neglect of a child that results in death a second-degree felony punishable by a maximum of 10 years in state prison. That charge is in addition to the murder or manslaughter charges that likely would also be filed in such a case.

"Unlike child abuse cases, we don't have the array of felonies that can be filed in elder neglect cases," Barker said Saturday. "There needs to be a mechanism in place to increase the penalties."

"The facts in this case were legally sufficient to support a murder charge and to go ahead and charge manslaughter or reckless endangerment would have been inappropriate," he said.

The state's existing negligence statute as it pertains to elders focuses on caretakers who are financially compensated for providing care.

"When you have other duties to care, we have a big hole when it comes to neglect of an elderly person," Barker said.

"And our office believes this case is a prime example of why we need felony manslaughter and felony neglect statutes to cover these situations," he said.

EXCERPTS FROM THE DONOHUE TRIAL (please go to source)

Abridged
SOURCE: York Daily Record
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Elder Care and Elder Abuse: Evicting the Elderly (IL. USA)

08/22/2008

Moving a parent or sibling into a nursing home is emotionally and financially difficult. Keeping them there may be getting even harder.

The Wall Street Journal reports that increasing numbers of frail and sick residents are being forced out of nursing homes across the country. In some cases, they're asked to leave because they are difficult or expensive to care for. It violates federal law for a nursing home to evict residents for those reasons.

In other cases, the Journal reported, patients are sent packing because Medicaid, which covers the cost of their care, pays nursing homes less than other insurance.

No one tracks the number of elderly residents in nursing homes or assisted care centers who are evicted each year. But the number of formal complaints filed with the federal government about what's called "discharge practices," which include evictions, rose to 8,500 in 2006 — double the number in 1996.
Such allegations have become the second most frequent type of complaint against both nursing homes and assisted-living centers, although the number of complaints is relatively low, compared to the number of people receiving care in the nation's 16,500 nursing homes and 39,500 assisted-living facilities.

"It's happening [evictions] very often," said Richard Cavanaugh, who heads Missouri's long-term care ombudsman office in St. Louis. "Staffing is the biggest problem nursing homes face. Very often, we hear them say that this [patient] is taking up too many of our resources."

Federal nursing home standards are enforced by state health department inspectors who investigate complaints and conduct nursing home inspections. In Missouri, that oversight too often has been lax.

Evicting frail, elderly nursing home residents can be just as deadly as neglect or abuse. Without adequate government oversight and increased consumer education, the number of tragedies is sure to grow.

Abridged
SOURCE: Collinsville Herald
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Centralia Nursing Home Listed in Class Action Suit (Wa. USA)

Centralia Nursing Home Listed in Class Action Suit

A class action lawsuit was filed in King County Superior Court Thursday against a company that owns 15 Washington nursing home facilities

Posted August 22,
By Aaron VanTuyl
For The Chronicle

A class action lawsuit was filed in King County Superior Court Thursday against a company that owns 15 Washington nursing home facilities, including one in Centralia.

Extendicare Homes, Inc., a subsidiary of Milwaukee-based Extendicare Health Services, owns Riverside Nursing and Rehabilitation Center at 105 Alexander Street in Centralia and is now the subject of a suit that claims customers are lured in with false advertising and charged for services that are not provided.

Extendicare officials, in a prepared statement released this morning, said the suit has not yet been evaluated and has been referred to company lawyers.

The class-action suit has been filed by The Garcia Law Firm of Long Beach, Calif., and Stritmatter, Kessler, Whelan, Coluccio of Seattle on behalf of all Washington citizens who resided in one of the company’s Washington facilities from July 1, 2004 to July 1, 2008.

A press release about the suit, sent by the Garcia Law Firm said the complaints also allege that Extendicare keeps budgets so tight that appropriate staffing cannot be provided and residents don’t get the care they need.

“Basically, we believe that Extendicare’s corporate strategy and policy is to maximize profits at the expense of the elderly and vulnerable people it claims to serve,” said plaintiff attorney Stephen Garcia. “We all know that there is a direct correlation between elder abuse and staffing levels. In my opinion, the Extendicare facilities in Washington are elder abuse cases waiting to happen. It’s just a matter of whose parents or grandparents are going to be the victims.”

Jared Elliott, Extendicare’s vice president of Western Operations, said the company has not yet had time to evaluate the complaint.

“This is a class action lawsuit, which implies that all residents within the facility during the timeframe specified would have been equally impacted by any and all deficiencies the facilities received in any given survey,” he said, in the response release. “There are approximately 189 requirements that each facility must meet. These deficiencies are typically isolated to just a few residents and do not impact most residents in the facility.”

Riverside, according to the initial press release, was cited for 32 deficiencies in 2007 and 11 in 2006 by the state Department of Social and Health Services. According to the 88-bed home’s Web site, it is a provider of long-term skilled nursing care and short-term rehabilitation solutions.

Abridged
SOURCE: Centralia Chroniclehttp://www.chronline.com/story.php?subaction=showfull&id=1219427455&archive=&start_from=&ucat=1
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August 23, 2008

Elder Abuse and Elder Care (USA)

According to the web site for the Department of Health and Human Services, one in six Americans are over 60 years old. As the baby boomers age, that proportion will increase. The numbers will put a stress on the organizations that are designed to care for our oldest citizens. This is not something that can be denied any longer.

A variety of online sites indicate that many of the American Senior Community is victims of economic fraud. Many individuals seem to think that it is appropriate to take the life savings of the elder citizens of this country and leave those citizens at the mercy of the government or other people.

Many seniors have no family who are able to care for them and the seniors are sent to nursing homes to live out their last days. Many of these nursing homes have appropriate oversight and the staff has been known to abuse the elderly residents. The abuse varies but can include physical abuse, physical neglect, verbal and emotional abuse and medical neglect.

Nursing homes are not the only known abusers found in the American Senior Community. Seniors who live in the homes of other relatives have been found to be abused in much the same way as seniors in nursing homes. Even though it would seem that living at home would make a senior more secure, many families can not cope with the difficulties of a senior relative and allow their frustrations to be taken out on their relatives.

If the American Senior Community is to live well in their golden years, many people believe that the government needs to make some adjustments. The Older Americans Act (OAA) has provisions to help those families that care for an older relative. Medicare and an Ombudsman (people who investigate claims of abuse against the elderly) will need to be strengthened. It is possible that these programs are satisfactory as they are today, but, given the expected increase in the population of the American Senior Community, these programs will need to be augmented.

Abridged
SOURCE: Senior Citizens Life


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August 22, 2008

Financial Elder Abuse: Man Indicted on Fraud Charges (Ca. USA)

Man suspected of defrauding Rancho Mirage woman of nearly $500,000
Desert Sun Wire Service
August 20, 2008

A man was indicted today on federal fraud charges for allegedly emptying the retirement accounts of a near-blind 91-year-old woman for whom he was supposed to be caring four, authorities said.

Federal grand jury in Riverside indicted John Glenn Merrill, 39, on four counts each of mail and wire fraud in connection with a month-long scheme in which he allegedly stole $498,000 from the victim, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.Merrill, who is described as a Riverside resident, moved in with the victim in April at her home in the 800 block of Island Drive in Rancho Mirage, where the defendant lived rent-free in exchange for assisting the elderly woman, who suffers from impaired eyesight due to macular degeneration, authorities said.

Merrill took advantage of the woman's near-blindness by having her unwittingly sign documents that listed him as a joint account holder on her investment account, valued at $500,000, according to U.S. Secret Service Agent Brenton Gee, who investigated the case.In an affidavit in support of a criminal complaint against Merrill, Gee said that in May and June, the defendant withdrew approximately $498,000 from the victim's investment account -- virtually all of her life savings -- and deposited the money into a USAA bank account.

According to Gee, Merrill had opened the account listing the victim as a joint owner -- without her knowledge.Within days of transferring the initial sum, Merrill closed the account and redistributed the funds to other bank accounts the defendant alone had access to, Gee said.

The victim uncovered the alleged fraud after Merrill left her home in late June, authorities said.

The Riverside County Sheriff's Department first investigated the matter as a possible case of financial elder abuse, but turned the investigation over to federal agents when evidence of interbank monetary transfers surfaced.

Merrill was tracked down in Oregon, where he was arrested July 23, according to U.S. Attorney's Office spokesman Thom Mrozek.

Federal agents were able to recover $487,500 of the victim's savings, which should be returned to her soon, Mrozek said.

Merrill is in custody and scheduled for arraignment next Wednesday, according to Mrozek.

If convicted on all charges, Merrill faces a maximum sentence of 160 years in prison, Mrozek said.

SOURCE: The Desert Sun
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August 21, 2008

Scams Target Elderly, Warn Postal Inspectors (USA)

Postal inspectors warn of scams against elderly
'Snail mail' still snares victims who are easy targets

By TOM JACKMAN
Washington Post
Aug. 17, 2008

WASHINGTON — The envelope declared that the 90-year-old man in suburban Fairfax County, Va., had won $2.5 million in a sweepstakes, and that he needed to send in only some small "fees" and "taxes" to collect. When the man from Jamaica kept calling to tell him that he needed to cover a few "costs" to collect the jackpot, the man thought that was reasonable. And he sent money.

When the man's children tried to intervene, saying it was a scam, he went around them.

At one point, at the children's request, U.S. postal inspectors intercepted an envelope bound for Jamaica. Inside: a cashier's check for $18,000.

The children said they think they have stopped about $40,000 from being sent by their father. The 90-year-old is not being named here because he is the victim of a crime and because investigators do not want others to prey on him.

The children have since obtained power of attorney over their parents. "It's sad," one of their children said, "but if we had not stepped in, I believe they would be totally broke right now."


Unsuspecting 'winners'
Inspector Jeanne Graupmann has a thousand stories just like this.

From a set of hidden offices behind the suburban regional post office, Graupmann and about two dozen other investigators for the U.S. Postal Inspection Service track fraud from around the world that involves the mail and winds up in Northern Virginia.

The office also investigates mail theft, identity fraud, mortgage fraud, dangerous mailings and other crimes involving the Postal Service.

When it comes to fraud, it would seem that e-mail scams are the latest favorite of criminals. But many of those scams require victims to send money through the mail. And scam artists have learned that good old "snail mail," particularly advertising a jackpot in a sweepstakes or lottery, still snares plenty of unsuspecting "winners."

Those most often targeted are elderly, Graupmann said.

Abridged
SOURCE: Houston Chronicle
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Elder Abuse and Crimes Against Seniors (De. USA)

Seniors find no one is free from being victim
About 5 million affected, but only 84 percent report

BY TERRI SANGINITI AND GINGER GIBSON
THE NEWS JOURNAL
AUGUST 19, 2008

Growing up in Wilmington's Little Italy section, Mary Aiello recalled how people came together in hard times and looked after each other.
But times have changed.

Now 84, Aiello worries about crime and other dangers brought on by a new set of hard times and lack of values.

No one is free from becoming a victim of crime, she said.

Sunday afternoon, a 92-year-old New Castle man became a crime victim when he was knocked unconscious from behind shortly before 3 p.m. while delivering some eggplants to an elderly friend in the 200 block of Schafer Blvd. near New Castle.

County police spokesman Cpl. Trinidad Navarro said when the man regained consciousness, he found his car keys and 2006 silver Chrysler Town & Country minivan missing.

It's estimated that at least 5 million seniors are victimized each year, yet 84 percent of the incidents go unreported.

Adult Protective Services investigates domestic elder abuse only, which accounts for 95 percent of elder abuse in Delaware, Williams said.

"A lot of times, an older person is afraid to report it," Williams said. "They are ashamed or fear retaliation. They fear their family might put them in a nursing home."

The state's Division of Long Term Care Residents Protection investigates abuse in nursing homes and other facilities, such as the incident reported to police Sunday afternoon at a Seaford nursing home.

Sharon Merriman-Nai, with the National Center on Elder Abuse, said in cases where a senior citizen is attacked during a crime, it takes them longer to recover, and when they are exploited financially, they cannot rebound financially.

But she said there are no statistics substantiating that seniors are at more risk for crime.

Abridged
SOURCE: The News Journal - De. USA
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Proposed Law Requires Children to Take Care of Elders (Phillipines)

Proposed law requires children to take care of elders
08/19/2008

MANILA, Philippines — A pending bill in the House of Representatives aims to stop the neglect of the elderly by requiring the young to take care of their elders.

House Bill 4771 seeks to address the growing problem of neglect and abandonment of the elderly by their descendants or children.

"There are cases where elderly members of the family like parents, who are admittedly in the twilight of their lives, are neglected and left to fend for themselves. There are even instances where they are abandoned by their own children without any means of support," bill author Rep. Cynthia Villar, who chairs the House Committee on Higher and Technical Education, said in a statement on the House of Representatives website

She said such situations are lamentable, considering that the country's statutes contain provisions and policies indicating respect of one's parents and the elderly.

Villar cited Article 15 Sec. 1 of the Philippine Constitution, which provides that the State recognizes the Filipino as the foundation of the nation.

The provision said "the family has the duty to care for its elderly members but the State may also do so through programs of social security."

Likewise, Villar said Article 195 of the Philippine Family Code provides that legitimate ascendants and descendants are obliged to support each other.

The bill requires that children should maintain and support their father or mother and other direct descendants who are in need of support.

In the event that an elderly member appears to be in need, the bill provides that he or she shall by himself or herself or through a representative of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), file a petition in court for maintenance and support from any or all his or her children.

Abridged
SOURCE: GmanNews TV
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August 20, 2008

Financial Elder Abuse Alleged By Retired Composer (Ca. USA)

Famous Russian composer claims in a lawsuit that he was duped into buying a Santaluz home.
By KELLY BENNETT
Voice Staff Writer
Aug. 20, 2008

In 1981, Russian musical composer Vladimir Shainskiy won the USSR State Prize, an honor bestowed for achievements in sciences and arts.

Twenty-six years later, Shainskiy found himself enmeshed in what his attorneys call a "swift and calculated swindle" in San Diego. It all started when an Armenian woman, a stranger, claimed to recognize the composer in a mall in Carmel Valley. She and her husband befriended him, her husband saying he was the son of a KGB vice minister, all to curry favor with Shainskiy to the point that he unwittingly surrendered control of his finances to the husband and a web of associates, his attorneys say.

At the end, Shainskiy, who'd never had a mortgage in his life, was left holding $1.2 million in mortgage debt in late 2007. He faced unaffordable loan payments on not only the condo he'd previously owned outright but also a house in Santaluz, a North County subdivision, sold to him by the man's son at an inflated price. His bank accounts had been tapped; his mental state was in shambles.

The story of this case, as outlined in court documents, yields a look through the lens of real estate at a high-drama tale of family, finances and the sometimes tenuous ties of cultural kinship.

Shainskiy, retired and 82 years old, has now alleged he was taken advantage of because of his age. He claims in a lawsuit that a group of associates duped him into the purchases, fraudulently securing exorbitant mortgages on his behalf, without his knowledge.

Shainskiy went to Russia to join his wife on Aug. 14 for three weeks. Before he did, Vartan had him split some of the joint bank accounts he had with his wife for the purpose of buying his son's house on Via Monteverde, the suit alleges. He doesn't remember signing the purchase papers for the Via Monteverde house, nor does he remember signing the power of attorney a few days before he left, according to the suit.

But with that power of attorney, Vartan allegedly conspired with his sons so that Shainskiy would pay $1.299 million for Andrew Vartani's house -- a total of $100,000 more than the asking price. The suit alleges that Michael Vartani used his broker's login to the Multiple Listing Service to change his brother's asking price to a range of $1.299 million to $1.399 million, to cover the fact that they were charging Shainskiy the extra amount.

Abridged
SOURCE: Voice of San Diego
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Authority De-Registers 'Dangerous' Care Home (UK)

CSCI de-registers 'dangerous' care home
19/08/2008

A care home has been told by a High Court judge that it must hand over the responsibility for the health and welfare of its residents to the local social services and primary care trust.

This follows urgent action taken by CSCI after serious concerns emerged about the safety and welfare of people living at the Alton Centre care home in Knuston Spinney, Wellingborough, Northamptonshire.

CSCI carried out an inspection at the home on Wednesday 6 August looking at nutrition and hydration, wound care and the management of medication and medical conditions. Standards were so poor that inspectors considered there was a serious and immediate risk to the life, health and well-being of the residents.

The Commission advised the company that owns the care home, Active Care Partnership Ltd, a subsidiary of the Southern Cross Healthcare Group Plc, of its concerns but was not satisfied with their response.

As a result, the Commission obtained an urgent court order from a magistrate on Thursday 7 August to cancel the registration of the Alton Centre.

Northamptonshire County Council and Northamptonshire Teaching Primary Care Trust sent in a team of nurses and carers to work with and supervise the home’s own staff in caring for the 28 residents, who have physical disabilities and need nursing care. The council and the PCT have also been keeping relatives informed of the situation.

Subsequently, Active Care Partnership Ltd made an application to the High Court to try to overturn the urgent cancellation order. At a hearing on 14 August His Honour Judge Ousley ordered that the primary care trust and the county council would manage and supervise the care and health needs of the residents until the outcome of an expedited appeal by the company against CSCI’s decision to apply for the cancellation order.

The appeal has been made to the Care Standards Tribunal, an independent body. The hearing is scheduled to begin during the week commencing Monday 1 September.

Abridged
SOURCE: Caring Business - London,UK
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Elder Abuse: Facing The Challenges (UK)

We must face up to challenges of elder abuse
By GARY FITZGERALD
18 August 2008


NEARLY 350,000 older people are abused each year in the UK, often by members of their own families, according to a new report.

But this UK-wide study has also revealed another startling result: elder abuse in Scotland is the second highest in the UK at 4.3 per cent, compared with six per cent in Wales, 3.9 per cent in England and three per cent in Northern Ireland.

And more victims are men than women, a situation not seen in other UK nations.The study of the Abuse and Neglect of Older People, funded by the English Department of Health and the charity Comic Relief, has identified that, overall, four per cent of older people face abuse by family, care staff and neighbours, and very often the impact of the abuse upon them is serious or very serious. Conservative estimates suggest that over 105,000 face neglect, 86,500 have property or valuables stolen, and a staggering 42,500 are sexually assaulted or abused. One-fifth of all theft is perpetrated by domiciliary care workers.The scale of elder abuse is staggering, particularly when you realise the research did not include people in institutions or care homes, or people with dementia. This is the hidden abuse of UK society, exposed comprehensively for the first time.

However, we need to understand better what is happening in Scotland. Consequently, we are now calling upon the Scottish Government to fund further research into this issue, to discover why so many older people are likely to face abuse in Scotland, and why it is most likely to be older men.

The abuse of older people is blight on our society and there is a duty on all of us to face up to the challenges posed by this report. The four governments of the UK must now begin to give the same level of priority to the abuse of adults as we see with children. At the end of the day, we hurt just as much at 78 years as we do at eight years of age.

Gary FitzGerald is chief executive of Action on Elder Abuse. The charity is hosting a conference on elder abuse in Edinburgh on September 17.

SOURCE: Scotsman News

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Elder Abuse: Most Cases Caused Within Family (New Zealand)

18.08.2008
By Jamie Morton

Victims' family members are causing the majority of elder abuse, a new Wairarapa co-ordinator says.

Cheryl Watson, appointed as elder abuse and neglect prevention co-ordinator by the Wairarapa Organisation for Older Persons last month, said nationally relatives caused 79 per cent of elder abuse.

Statistics also showed that even while the victim was in residential care, family members were still responsible 69 per cent of the time.

Mrs Watson's role, which had been out of commission for a year, was to both assess cases of abuse in the region and raise awareness of the issue.

She said many people were unaware what elder abuse was.
It could include neglect and psychological abuse, physical abuse or taking advantage of a victim for financial gain.

Having been in the job just over eight weeks, Mrs Watson already had a case of financial abuse on her books.


"We have one where a family member has borrowed a significant amount of money for their business, which hasn't worked out. No repayment of the loan has taken place.

"Unfortunately, it sometimes happens that a older person's life savings will be used up by a family member. They'll ask: 'Can you help me out?' then when all the money's gone, they'll say 'sorry, I can't do anything about it'."

Another case involved psychological abuse between a husband and wife.

"A lot of cases are also the result of carer stress. This is where someone who might not have the necessary skills goes into caring for an elderly person, and ends up becoming abusive."

She said client referrals came from "all walks of life. Abuse gets reported by family members, police, doctors and sometimes the victim."

The next step is to visit the client, assess if abuse is occurring and if necessary bring in the appropriate services to stop it.
Mrs Watson said it could be an embarrassing ordeal for the victim, which is a main reason why only 16 per cent of elder abuse and neglect is being reported nationwide.

"We are only seeing the tip of the iceberg."

Abridged
SOURCE: Wairarapa Times Age


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Elder Abuse: Nurse Assistant Faces Abuse Charge (Mo. USA)

Nurse assistant faces abuse charge with probable cause affidavit
By Jeff Lehr
August 18, 2008

A former employee of a Carthage nursing home is accused of striking an elderly resident in the groin and face, and forcing water into his nasal passages and lungs through his oxygen tubing to the point of choking him.

The incident allegedly took place on or about April 14, 2007, at the Carthage Health and Rehabilitation Center, according to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.
A investigator with the department looked into the matter earlier this year, and a felony charge of second-degree elder abuse was filed against certified nurse assistant Dennis A. Rowe, 38, 17655 Isaac Road. Rowe is scheduled to appear Sept. 11 at a preliminary hearing in Jasper County Circuit Court.

Second-degree elder abuse is a Class B felony in Missouri, punishable by five to 15 years in prison.

Dean Dankelson, Jasper County prosecuting attorney, said it was his understanding that the male employee who witnessed the alleged abuse reported it either directly to the state or through his employer.

Abridged
SOURCE: Joplin Globe
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August 19, 2008

Guidelines for Detecting Emotional Nursing Home Abuse (Ga. USA)

Guidelines for Detecting Emotional Nursing Home Abuse
New York, NY

8/18/2008

(TransWorldNews)

The IQ Nursing Homes website now features information about emotional nursing home abuse and how to detect this devastating form of elder abuse. Emotional nursing home abuse, also known as mental abuse, is a major cause for concern because it is difficult to detect and can leave residents mentally disturbed. Victims of emotional nursing home abuse may be reluctant to report the emotional abuse they are experiencing out of fear that the abuse will worsen.
Nursing home residents have a right to be treated with respect, dignity, and compassion. Unfortunately, these rights are violated when nursing home employees emotionally abuse residents. Emotional nursing home abuse can take the form of any act that results in suffering, anguish, emotional distress, or psychological disturbances in residents. When nursing home employees engage in verbally and emotionally abusive behavior, such as humiliation, harassment, threats, deprivation, intimidation, manipulation, and degradation, nursing home residents suffer greatly. Involuntary isolation and unwarranted restriction of activities also can also qualify as emotional abuse.


Although the signs of emotional nursing home abuse may be less obvious then those of physical abuse, there are still some symptoms that family members and friends of nursing home victims should be aware of. Victims of emotional nursing home abuse may show signs of depression, anxiety, disorientation, constant agitation, sudden dementia, and confusion. Bouts of insomnia, mood swings, and low self-esteem may also serve as indicators of emotional abuse. Unusual behaviors (such as rocking, sucking, or biting) or a sudden shift to a non-communicative, withdrawn demeanor are additional signs of emotional abuse in nursing home residents.



Visit http://www.iqnursinghomes.com/ to learn more about signs of emotional nursing home abuse and the proper steps to take if nursing home abuse is suspected. View nursing home deficiency ratings to find the safest nursing home in your state.


IQ Nursing Homes offers a free nursing home abuse case evaluation form on their site, which will be reviewed by a qualified nursing home attorney within 36 hours. Nursing home employees who have witnessed abuse can report it anonymously. IQ Nursing Homes has partnered with nursing home abuse lawyers and nursing home negligence law firms throughout the country with the goal of putting a stop to the victimization of the elderly. By holding abusive staff members accountable for their actions and making it financially devastating for nursing homes to allow abuse to occur, the pattern of nursing home abuse can be put to an end.



Abridged

SOURCE: TransWorldNews





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Awareness Key to Stopping Elder Abuse (Co. USA)

Aging Well: Awareness key to stopping elder abuse

Former Adult Protective Services supervisor suspects cases are going unreported in Routt County
By Tamera Manzanares
18 August 2008

Vickie Clark, new director of the Routt County Department of Human Services, recently was surprised to learn that only six referrals regarding possible abuse of at-risk adults were made in the county in the last year.

“When people ask me why … I’m going to guess that part of it is a lack of awareness to what the issues are and the resources that are available,” she said.
Clark, a former supervisor of Adult Protective Services in Mesa County, noted that all the reports turned out to be situations of self-neglect. However, she suspects there are more possible adult abuse cases in Routt County that are not being reported.
Her experience has shown that referrals typically increase as the public becomes more conscious of elder abuse problems. She hopes expanding adult protection and abuse awareness programs will help bring to light any other instances of adult mistreatment or self-neglect.

Who is at risk
Elder abuse is any intended or careless act that causes harm or serious risk of harm to an older person. It includes physical, mental and sexual abuse, financial exploitation, neglect, abandonment and self-neglect, according to the National Center on Elder Abuse.

Elder abuse can happen to anyone, but certain factors can make a person more vulnerable. These include illness, frailty, physical disability, mental impairment such as dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, and living with or depending on a person with a history of mental illness, hostility or alcohol or drug abuse.

While some abuse occurs in long-term living facilities, most cases involve abuse in the home by family members, old or “new” friends or service providers in a position of trust, according to the American Psychological Association.

Although there are extreme cases of elder abuse, most situations are more subtle, making the difference between interpersonal stress and abuse sometimes difficult to discern.

Every state has laws dealing with elder abuse, neglect and exploitation. Colorado statutes require enhanced punishments for crimes against at-risk adults.
Recognizing and reporting elder abuse.

Referrals of possible elder abuse to APS typically come from medical staff and community groups, concerned individuals and members of the criminal justice or government communities.

Preventing abuse
Competent older adults can take steps to prevent themselves from being mistreated. These include staying busy and engaged in life, cultivating a strong network of family and friends, and taking care of themselves to stay as independent as possible.
Older adults also should refuse to allow anyone to add their name to the person’s bank account without their consent and should never make financial decisions under pressure or sign over money or property to anyone without getting legal advice, according to recommendations from the National Center on Elder Abuse.

To report abuse locally
Referrals are confidential and
can be anonymous:
Moffat County Social Services:
■ 824-8282
Routt County Human Services:
■ 879-1540

Abridged
SOURCE: Steamboat Pilot
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An excellent article. Please go to source for more details.

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August 18, 2008

Elder Abuse Unreported (Ky. USA)

Elder Abuse Unreported

By Tracy Breton

The Providence Journal
August 16, 2008

Doctors in almost every state are required by law to report suspected elder abuse of their patients. But hardly any of them do, even if they fear that their silence may subject an elderly person to continued abuse at the hands of a caregiver.

Physicians report just 2 percent of the elder abuse and neglect cases recorded each year by state protective service agencies, according to medical and legal experts and recent articles published in medical journals. One study, published in 2005 in a journal focusing on geriatric medicine, said that the actual figure may be even lower.

The lack of physician reporting is a huge problem, experts say, because as the elderly population continues to grow and doctors become ever more pressed for time in meeting the demands for care, more elder abuse will go undetected.

Doctors are often the only people outside an elderly victim's home who have contact with the victim. If they don't blow the whistle, who will?

"I think we have an ethical responsibility, a moral responsibility and we're shirking it," said Dr. Laura Mosqueda, director of geriatrics at the University of California-Irving College of Medicine, who is co-director of the school's Elder Abuse Forensic Center. "If you see signs that a person may have been abused, you need to ask: 'Has anybody hurt you? Are you afraid of anybody? How did this happen?' If the explanation doesn't fit with what you see, you need to probe further."

Every year, an estimated 2.1 million older Americans are victims of physical, psychological or other forms of abuse, according to the American Psychological Association. Congress said the number could be closer to 5 million. Most of the abused or neglected elderly live in the community -- not in nursing homes or assisted-living facilities -- and 90 percent of the time, the perpetrator is a family member, most often an adult child or spouse, according to the National Center on Elder Abuse.

In another study, published in 2006 in The Journal of the National Medical Association, a majority of the Michigan doctors surveyed said they were unable to recognize key risk factors for elder abuse, were not routinely screening seniors for abuse and were unfamiliar with signs of family violence. They also said they were unclear about how to report suspected abuse.

Dyer, of the University of Texas, said that when doctors do report mistreatment of an elder, it is most often "actual physical abuse." They are less likely to report elder neglect or financial exploitation. "Doctors need to be made aware that if they have a suspicion of financial exploitation, patient abuse or neglect, they must report," she said.

"Doctors need to become better educated when dealing with elderly patients," said Brown's Besdine, who has trained more than 90 doctors for careers in geriatrics. "Most of the abuse occurs in the process of giving care to needy, frail older people who are not easy to take care of." Oftentimes, he said, the abuse is committed by a family member who is stressed out and strikes out verbally or physically out of exhaustion or frustration.

Abridged
SOURCE: Kentucky Post
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Elder Abuse: 'Curse the Wicked Children' (Malaysia)

Curse the wicked children
Sunday August 17, 2008
By Nazreen

I WAS aghast and upset by
Throw momma from the train (Fit4Life, Aug 10) about the recent “trends” of children abusing their (elderly) parents.

It seems more often than not, the abuse is carried out by (adult) children or caregivers who demand power over their ailing and elderly parents. In fact, as reported, those who “depend on the elder for financial assistance” are at higher risk of being the abusers.
Clashes and disputes over wealth and money are just one of the trigger factors for the abusers.
However, some of the cases are swept under the rug, partly due to the parents’ unconditional love for their children. And indeed, just like other abuse cases, the parents are often “hesitant and feel shameful” to report these “mistreatments”.
It just saddens me as I know that most parents would go the extra distance to defend and care for their children; there’s no doubt in my mind that my parents would make the journey to hell and back to ensure my safety and wellbeing.

My father, who is a senior police officer, once told me about a mother who begged and even bowed at his feet, wailing and pleading for the release of her son who was detained for illegal racing. His father had to sell his car and his wife’s jewellery to make bail for their son.
And what did the son do to pay back for his parents’ sacrifices? He broke into people’s houses, stole money from his siblings and slapped and kicked his mother and sisters when they couldn’t provide food for him to eat.

I shudder at the loss of family values; even the local dramas are showing scenes of parents being abused by their children, and there seems to be more of “Si Tenggangs” now, than ever before. Unfortunately, unlike the Tenggang legend, none of these parents’ abusers are turned into stones, although they deserve it.
Nazreen, Mersing

SOURCE: Malaysia Star
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Family Sues Nursing Home (Montana, USA)

Family sues nursing home over death
August 16, 2008
By JESSICA MAYRER
Chronicle Staff Writer

On June 13, 2007, nursing home staff found 87-year-old Doris Rowe unconscious and bleeding from her head after a fall. She died a day later, from a cerebral hemorrhage - after her fourth documented fall during a 35-day stay at Evergreen Bozeman Health and Rehabilitation.

“They took 62 years of my life away from me in 12 hours,” her husband, George Rowe, said about the 103-bed nursing facility his family claims caused his wife’s death.

George Rowe and the couple’s three children filed a civil lawsuit in Gallatin County District Court on July 23, seeking a jury trial and unspecified damages in a claim that blames Doris Rowe’s death on inadequate and untrained staff.Evergreen’s lawyers, Jason Smith and Julie Lichte, refused to comment on the case, citing patient privacy concerns.

“We respect the privacy of the resident,” Smith said.

But in court documents, they’ve argued that the Rowe family has no right to a jury trial, and should be held to an arbitration agreement signed by George Rowe before admitting his wife into the home’s care.As it stands, a district court judge has said the Rowe case may go forward.

The lawsuit is the latest in a string of challenges for Evergreen Health and Rehabilitation in Montana.

The company manages 58 nursing facilities across the West, including several in Montana.

Common concernsStaffing shortages are a concern across the country for long-term care facilities.

Montana regularly identifies two nursing facilities at any given time as “special focus,” or having multiple red marks against them. Currently, of 92 facilities statewide, Evergreen Missoula and Evergreen Livingston have the most checks against them.

Harrington said more oversight and stricter staffing standards are necessary for senior care facilities, otherwise this scenario will continue playing out across the country.

“The public is in denial,” Harrington said. “They don’t think that they’ll ever have to go to a nursing home.”

Report Abuse

Abridged
SOURCE: The Bozeman Daily Chronicle
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Elder Abuse: The Hidden Tragedy (Va. Canada)

See no evil

The hidden tragedy of elder abuse: Between four and ten per cent of seniors experience some type of neglect or abuse, whether it is emotional, physical, sexual, or financial, according to Canadian researchers. And more often than not, when an elderly person is victimized, it's by someone they trust.

By Manisha Krishnan, North Shore News
Sunday, August 17, 2008

Respect your elders.

It's a lesson that most of us were taught at a young age, and it seems simple enough to understand: your parents take care of you, and you, in turn, are there to look after them later in life. It's not uncommon; around 95 per cent of Canadian seniors live at home, and 80 per cent receive care from friends and family.

The problem is, it's not always care that they receive.

Between four and ten per cent of seniors experience some type of neglect or abuse, whether it is emotional, physical, sexual, or financial, according to Canadian researchers. And more often than not, when an elderly person is victimized, it's by someone they trust. Because of this, the reality is many cases of elder abuse go unreported, due to fears of retaliation and the loss of relationships.

In Canada, 13.6 per cent of the population is aged 65 and over, and with a provincial average of 14.6 per cent, B.C. is considered one of the oldest regions. It's a fact to be celebrated, as people now have longer life expectancies than ever before, but it also means abuse and neglect are experienced by a growing segment of our population.

Many victims turn to the police. So many have gone to the Vancouver force, in fact, that the department established an elder-abuse unit last year. Talking to the officers on that team gives some insight into the nature -- and scale -- of the problem.

"The majority of what we're dealing with is spouses and children," said Detective Anna Grigoletto, a member of the unit. The team doesn't deal with stranger-crime because it wouldn't be able to handle the workload, she said.

© North Shore News 2008

Abridged
SOURCE: North Shore News
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An excellent articale. Please go to source.
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August 17, 2008

Elder Abuse: Man Arrested for Rape and Assault of 94-Year-Old Woman (Ca. USA)

PALO ALTO: MAN ARRESTED FOR 2002 RAPE AND ASSAULT OF 94-YEAR-OLD WOMAN

PALO ALTO (BCN)
Fri, 15 Aug 2008

A 40-year-old man has been extradited to the United States and placed under arrest for the 2002 beating and rape of a 94-year-old woman in a Palo Alto assisted living center, Palo Alto police announced today.

On May 10, 2002, police responded to a senior assisted living center after a resident reported she had been beaten and raped by an intruder, agent Dan Ryan said. Originally a man who lived down the street was arrested for the crime, but further investigation cleared him of the crime.

Evidence allegedly linked the crime to Roberto Cruz Recendes, who was living in Palo Alto at the time of the crime, but had since fled to Mexico, Ryan said. Mexican law enforcement officials detained him and Recendes was extradited to Los Angeles on Wednesday.

Recendes has been charged with one count of sexual assault during the commission of a burglary and one count of elder abuse with great bodily injury, according to Ryan. He is being held in the Santa Clara County main jail without bail.

(© 2007 The Associated Press.)

SOURCE: CBS 5
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Protecting Wealthy Senior Clients From Caregivers and "Friends" - (Pa. USA)

Protecting Wealthy Senior Clients--From Caregivers and "Friends"

By Celia Clark
August 13, 2008

Oftentimes, estate planners and elder law attorneys are faced with the challenge of trying to protect an aging client who is gradually descending into dementia or becoming emotionally needy, making him vulnerable to unscrupulous caregivers, friends and relatives. Typically, while the client is still in full control of his mental functions, he wants to ensure that his testamentary plans won't be changed if he later becomes vulnerable. But he’s equally adamant about not stripping himself of control over his assets unless he's certified as incapable of managing them (that is to say, completely disabled).

These competing desires create a serious dilemma: If the client retains the power to revoke or amend his estate plan, when he becomes vulnerable a third party might exert undue influence to persuade him to make changes contrary to his original (and presumably true) intentions. But depriving him of such power when he’s vital frustrates his desire for autonomy. Also, irrevocably transferring the client's control to a fiduciary may create difficult gift tax issues.

It Happens

This general scenario is, unfortunately, all too common. The NewYork Times reported on one such instance on December 24, 2007,recounting the tale of an elderly man's struggle with vulnerability. An engineer by training, 73-year-old Robert Pyle was accustomed to complete
control over his affairs. However, when his wife died, he became withdrawn and seemed depressed--that is, until he met and befriended Wendy, a young neighbor and struggling single mother. Pyle encouraged her to get a menial job and began driving her to work every day. Over the next eight years, Pyle became increasingly generous, spending more than $650,000 to provide for Wendy. Too embarrassed to explain the situation to his family, he borrowed money until he was forced to sell his home and move in with his stepdaughter. Pyle eventually filed suit under a California statute designed to protect seniors from elder abuse. He sued his mortgage brokers and banks, claiming they had defrauded him in helping him obtain loans they knew he could not afford. According to the Times, these types of lawsuits often settle. Sharon Merriman-Nai of the National Center on Elder Abuse told the Times: "Figuring out how to protect senior citizens from victimization, even when it's caused by their own mistakes, is one of the biggest issues facing us right now...[but] we also have to figure out how to balance our desire to protect vulnerable seniors with their rights to autonomy."

Because of Pyle's unusual lawsuit, his story found its way into the press, but there are many similar situations that remain unpublicized. Pyle is one of many seniors whose situation emphasizes the seriousness of becoming vulnerable later in life.

We recommend that financial advisors and estate planners let their clients know the senior trust is an option permitting them to balance the goals of autonomy with protection of the estate.

The preceding newsletter was adapted from an article in the June2008 issue of *Raymond Zeitoune, an associate at the Law Offices of Celia R.Clark, PLLC, assisted in research for this article.
Copyright © 2008 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc

Abridged
SOURCE: Insurance News Net
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Elder Care and Budget Cuts (Ca. USA)

Unfair risk to vulnerable populations
By JOHN HOPKINS
08/16/2008

It is no secret that elder abuse is one of the fastest growing crimes, according to the June newsletter of the Congress of California Seniors.

California has more than 4 million senior citizens. In 20 years the population of those over 65 will at least double. Adult Protective Services was implemented to protect elderly and dependent adults from abuse. It is estimated that at least $78 million would be needed to fund this program (same newsletter).

In 2007, a $12 million increase in funds over current funding of the program passed the legislature, but was vetoed by the governor. Current funding levels are less than 50 percent of what is required to meet these needs.

However, the Governor's budget calls for a 10 percent funding decrease, further reducing the program's funding level.

Elder abuse is somewhat different from other forms of abuse because it is often very personal. The perpetrator will likely know the victim. Abusers are many times more confident that control of the victim might be easy.

Elder abuse most often involves family members. This means it's more likely that seniors are even more reluctant to report the abuse and seek help.

Cuts in Adult Protective Services funding would simply encourage continued abuse. Elders may not realize that they have been victimized, since they likely do not understand the law as it applies to their particular situation.
In the face of expected growth in seniors it would seem that now is not time for funding decreases in the Adult Protective Services program.

Abridged
SOURCE: Enterprise Record

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Elder Care: Be Informed of Available Services (Ca. USA)

Help for Topanga Seniors
By Lynn Dickhoff

It is often said that growing old is not for sissies. Many of the 1.4 million seniors, 60 years and older, who live in Los Angeles County find it takes a lot of effort to keep up with daily activities and needs under the best of circumstances. It becomes an added challenge when one lives in Topanga due to the isolated nature of the area. With a few phone calls, or clicks of a mouse, a wide range of programs can be accessed. A good starting place is with the Department of Public Social Services (DPSS). Information about their In Home Supportive Services can be obtained by phone at 1-(888)-944-4477 or online at www.ladpss.org. DPSS's goal is to enable eligible persons over 65, legally blind or disabled adults and children to remain safely in their home.

In Home Supportive Services can help with household chores, personal care, protective supervision, paramedical services and accompaniment to medical appointments. Community and Senior Services (CSS) also offers a wide range of services for frail seniors 60-years and older, plus disabled individuals and spouses in the same home. They can put you in touch with Congregate and Home Delivered Meals, Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy, Alzheimer's Day Care Resource Center, Effective Nutritional Health Assessment and Networks for Elderly.

Abridged
SOURCE: Topanga Messenger
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Elder Abuse: The Trial Continues - More Evidence (Pa. USA)

Prosecution lays out case against Donohues
Daily Record/Sunday News

08/15/2008

The commonwealth slogged through sheaves of bank loans, deeds and mortgages Friday morning in the elder abuse murder trial of William and Frances Donohue.

Using those documents, prosecutor Tim Barker laid the foundation for his argument that the Donohues used the power of attorney to sell property they owned in Maryland with William's elderly mother, Bernadette Leiben; used the proceeds to buy a 32-acre horse farm in Airville in their names; and then let the 87-year-old bedridden Leiben die from neglect in May 2004.

The Donohues are charged with first- and third-degree murder and criminal conspiracy. Their trial continues today in the York County Judicial Center.



SOURCE: York Daily Record


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Crimes Against Elderly: Second Alleged Victim dies (USA)

Second Victim in Oakland Elderly Beatings Dies

ASSOCIATED PRESS
August 14, 2008

BERKELEY – A second alleged victim of an Oakland man accused of robbing and beating elderly people in Berkeley has died.

Police say 93-year-old Tchang Hoang died July 28 in China, where his relatives had sent him after the January attack. He had been in a coma for several months.

Jahton Green will stand trial beginning Monday on robbery and elder abuse charges.
Police say Green waited outside grocery stores and senior centers to rob elderly people, and he beat three of them between November and January.
Despite the death of Hoang and another man, authorities say Green may not face any murder charges. That's because Hoang's family declined to have an autopsy, and prosecutors didn't have enough evidence to show that 78-year-old Robert Whitman died as a result of the attack.
Whitman died of a stroke after testifying at Green's preliminary hearing.

SOURCE: San Diego Union Tribune
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August 15, 2008

Crimes Against Elderly On the Rise (Singapore)

More elderly fall prey to robbers, thieves

ELDERLY folks are increasingly the "soft targets" of robbers and thieves, according to the police's half-year report card, which shows a 25 per cent spike in such crimes against the silver-haired.

Other areas of concern include rising phone scams and opportunistic thefts from parked vehicles.

Statistics for the first six months of this year released by police on Wednesday showed that overall, the crime situation in Singapore is pretty much under control, with only a marginal 1 per cent rise, or 16 more cases, over a year ago - from 16,189 to 16,368.

But an area of growing concern to the police is the rising number of elderly people - those over 60 years - who are falling prey to criminals.

Specifically, robbery and snatch theft targeting elderly victims rose 25 per cent between January and June.

Police said 145 elderly fell prey to robberies and snatch theft, against 116 in the first half-year in 2007.

Generally, elderly victims were robbed at common areas of HDB estates in the day when they were alone going about their daily routine.

Police have arrested three serial offenders responsible for at least 40 cases of robberies and snatch thefts committed against elderly victims.

Seventy elderly were also cheated of valuables like handphones and jewellery in various scams. The figure was 62 a year ago.

Phone scams
A total of 180 people were cheated of a total of $2.4 million by phone scammers, who made random cold calls to try their luck on the unsuspecting public.

The culprits have varied their modus operandi and resorted to new tactics.

For example, some victims were persuaded to make advance payments to claim a prize in lucky draw and lottery.

The scammers now use SMS to inform the victims that they have won in lucky draws.

There were also cases where the culprits claimed that the victims have won luxury cars in lucky draws and asked to transfer money as administrative fees.

The conmen also cheated 21 victims of about $322,000 in the first six months, using the "kidnap hoax" which first surfaced in August last year.

They would call the victim and claim that one of their family members had been kidnapped. The conmen would then demand that the victim transfer a sum of ransom money to them, failing which the 'kidnapped' family member would be harmed.

Some of the cheats also used the pretext that the alleged kidnapped family member failed to service illegal loan repayments or acted as a guarantor for these loans.

Some of the racketeers even impersonated Supreme Court or police officials and accused the victims of involvement in criminal offences such as money laundering. They would then ask the victims to make money transfers via remittance houses to close the investigations into their offences. Fifty-two people were cheated of about $1.6 million by this ruse.

SOURCE: Straits Times Singapore

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Elder Care: Cost Expected to Rise (UK)

Cost of caring 'will hit £60,000' as a generation is forced to dip into savings to support ageing parents
By Beth Hale
15th August 2008

Rising care costs mean a generation may have to eat into their own savings to support ageing parents, says a report.

Research by the Saga group gives a stark warning that pensioners and their children are unprepared for the financial burden of long-term care.
It says millions of men and women who have dipped into the 'Bank of Mum and Dad' may become the 'Bank of Sons and Daughters'.

The cost of care is already between £25,000 to £30,000 a year and is expected to double in the next 20 years
Just one in ten children surveyed had discussed what they would do if their parents' health failed later in life.

And half of them dramatically underestimated the fees. Care homes already cost between £25,000 and £30,000 a year.

But Saga forecasts the figure will double in the next 20 years, reaching £60,000, because residential and nursing home charges are rising faster than inflation.

It means the inheritance may have to be plundered, or else children may have to raid their savings to ensure an elderly parent is looked after.

Abridged
SOURCE: Daily Mail UK
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Elder Care: Carer Not Guilty of Neglect (UK)

No neglect in woman's care
9:42am Wednesday 13th August 2008

An elderly Falmouth woman who was strapped to a wheelchair and force-fed by her carer was not a victim of neglect, ruled a coroner this week.

Hilda Joyce Foster, 76, known as Joyce, died at Eschol nursing home in Portscatho in September last year, following a period of respite care at the home.

She suffered from dementia and had been cared for by her son Dale Foster and his girlfriend Jacqueline Emberson following a stay in hospital in May last year.

Miss Emberson was Mrs Foster’s main carer and looked after her at Mr Foster’s home in Merrill Place, Falmouth.

Doctor Alison St John, consultant pathologist at the Royal Cornwall Hospital, said Mrs Foster, pictured above, died from pneumonia, but she had also been suffering from extreme malnourishment, bedsores and her toenails were too long.

Questioned as to whether these could be signs of neglect, Dr St John said: “Any one of these things on their own is not significant, but if all three are present it raises the question.”

Coroner Andrew Cox said any shortcomings in the care of Mrs Foster fell a long way short of neglect but highlighted the need for greater communication between carers as he recorded a verdict of death by natural causes.

Detective constable Alan Jordan confirmed there would be no criminal prosecution.

After the inquest, Miss Emberson said she was happy with the coroner’s verdict but was “distressed” by the claims of neglect that were made.

Abridged
SOURCE: Falmouth Penryn Packet
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August 14, 2008

Elder Abuse: Still a Big Problem, But.. (Sas. Canada)

By Julia Textor
Sun Media
Tuesday August 12, 2008

Abuse can happen to people of all ages, genders and even to animals. But, did you know that a survey done by Statistics Canada in the late 90s found that seven per cent of all older people experienced elder abuse?

Elder abuse is defined as any action or lack of action that is harmful to the health or well being of an older adult. This can include physical, emotional, sexual and financial abuse as well as neglect and the misuse of an older person’s medication and prescriptions.

Potential abusers can often be close family members such as adult children, grandchildren, a spouse and extended family.

Shame, embarrassment and fear instilled in victims of elder abuse may keep them from breaking free of their situation.

But there is help out there.

The Seniors Association of Greater Edmonton’s (SAGE) Safe House is a living facility for seniors who are being abused to escape to.

“They can stay with us for 60 days and we provide them with all of their needs from food to helping them in whatever area they need,” said Bernice Sewell, SAGE’s director of operations.

The SAGE Safe House is the only one of its kind in Canada, providing seven individual apartment-style units to allow privacy and comfort.

Not only are the physical needs of the individuals met, but registered social workers also give support and offer solutions to each person in each unique situation.

“We assist them in looking at all aspects of their life that the abuse has touched,” Sewell said.

If an older person thinks they might be in an abusive situation, he or she is encouraged to call the SAGE Safe House where an intake officer will assess the situation and determine if it is appropriate for that person to stay in the residence.

The Seniors’ Abuse Help Line is also available 24 hours a day to provide support over the phone.

“If a senior was to call (the help line) even just to get support, (the counselors) would tell them about the safe house,” Sewell said.

Potential residents are encouraged to visit the safe house before making a decision to get a feel for what it is like.

“They’ll sometimes think about it for a little while before they come in,” she said. “It is a difficult decision to make.”

“When they first come to stay they may be a little frightened, but once they understand that the support is there for them and they get to live in their own really nice apartment for a while, it gets better.”

Once a resident is settled in, counseling and support sessions begin and resolutions to the abusive situation are searched out.

“They can make whatever decisions they choose and we certainly don’t try to sway them at all,” Sewell said.

“We give them information, we help them learn and we give them support.”

The average length of stay in 2007 was about 40 days, but if the issues cannot be faced within 60 days, the stay can be extended.

Sewell added about 88 per cent of seniors who have gone through the Safe House program have gone on to live safer lives.

The SAGE Safe House program has been running for the past eight years.

If you are living in an abusive situation or if you know someone who might be, call the Seniors’ Abuse Help Line at 780-454-8888 or the SAGE Safe House at 780-702-1520 for support and information.

SOURCE: Fort Saskatchewan Record
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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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