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.

October 31, 2008

Elder Abuse? Mt Martha Spinster's Estate in Court Battle- 3 (Melb. Australia

Betty Dyke alone and in squalor
By Norrie Ross
October 31, 2008


MILLIONAIRE spinster Betty Dyke was so desperate to end her days in her own home with her beloved animals that she gave neighbours $1.2 million to look after her.
But, less than 18-months later, she was found confused and demented, tangled in a fence on her Mt Martha property and covered in faeces and abrasions, the Supreme Court heard yesterday.
A friend of 30 years said the three neighbouring couples, who later inherited $5 million each in Ms Dyke's will, had done nothing to comply with the lonely old woman's wishes.

Judith Bailey, of Ballarat, became emotional as she described the appalling living conditions she found when she visited Ms Dyke in her run-down fibro farm house.

There were dog faeces and urine on the floor, the kitchen where the old lady lived was filthy and she prepared her meals on an old vinyl mat, where she also prepared food for her dogs and birds.
Ms Bailey said she was angry, because Ms Dyke had given Tim and Denise Knaggs, Robert and Sandra Allen, and Gary and Diane Smith more than $1 million from the sale of 8ha of land as an incentive to help her stay in her home.
Ms Bailey accused them of gross negligence, and said that when she visited Ms Dyke they were rarely around.

The court heard Ms Dyke never got her wish and she died in 2004 in a nursing home, aged 84.
"What did she give them the money for?" Ms Bailey said.

"She was not a fool. Betty was not a person who threw money around. What she wanted was to live in her house for the rest of her life. These people took $1.2 million and nothing was done."
Ms Bailey and her husband, John, a second cousin of Ms Dyke, and three charities are contesting wills made by the spinster in 1999 and 2001 that left the bulk of the estate to the couples.
They have asked the court to revoke probate and to grant probate on her original 1985 document.

It is claimed that because of her dementia, ill-health and over-use of painkillers Ms Dyke did not have the capacity to make the wills and was subject to undue influence from her neighbours.
The hearing continues today.

SOURCE: The Herald Sun
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Corrupt Lawyers, Judges and Elder Abuse

Lawyers, Judges and Elder Abuse
By Andrew Chadwick

There are reported cases of corrupt lawyers, judges who have “stolen” from elderly citizens.

Just yesterday, former Covington Probate Judge Philips was found guilty of stealing from the estate of Cary Douglas Piper. (see source)

Such lawyers and judges are supposed to be those who assist and help us. Instead, they betray the trust we place on them.

There must be more cases of this sort of betrayal. But what can be done?

The legal professionals and the body that governs them must take steps to restore public trust in their members.
Law makers must ensure that such cases are acted on swiftly. That is, all allegations must be taken seriously, and investigated.
There must be, in place, some kind of reporting system for such case. This should be well publicized.


There having been many cases involving guardianship and conservatorship, that must really be investigated. These cases have gone on for too long without resolution.

Just check out the following sites:

http://guardianshipabuse.blogspot.com/

http://elder-abuse-cyberray.blogspot.com/

http://ca.geocities.com/shenlee@rogers.com/guardianshipabuse/index.html


Attorneys and judges must be held responsible and “punished” for their misconduct.

Those cases of guardianship abuse must be STOP !

We must not forget that the victims are vulnerable seniors, who deserve our assistance. Robbing them (in whatever ways) in their twilight years is NOT ACCEPTABLE.


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Elder Care: Class Action Against Care Services Group (MI USA)

10 Minnesota Nursing Homes Named in Class Action Lawsuit Against Extendicare

Oct. 30, 2008

MINNEAPOLIS, Oct 30, 2008 /PRNewswire-USNewswire via COMTEX/ -- A class action lawsuit (Case #08CV5874) against long-term skilled nursing corporation Extendicare and its 10 facilities in the state of Minnesota [see list by city at end of release] was just filed in United States District Court, District of Minnesota, in Minneapolis.

Laura Bernstein vs. Extendicare Health Services, Inc. and Extendicare Homes, Inc. was filed on behalf of Bernstein and all residents who lived in a Minnesota Extendicare facility from Oct. 29, 2002 through Oct. 29, 2008.

Abridged
SOURCE: MarketWatch - USA
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Financial Elder Abuse: Man Charged (PA. USA)

Man bilked seniors, cops say
October 30, 2008
BY BARBARA MILLER

Of Our Lebanon County Bureau
A Palmyra man is accused of netting himself more than $83,000 by selling fraudulent certificates of deposit and mutual funds to senior citizens.

Scott Michael Powell, 49, of the first block of North Grant Street, who conducted business as SMP Financial Services of Palmyra, was charged Wednesday with fraud and theft by the state Attorney General's Elder Abuse Unit and Insurance Fraud section.

Powell is accused of targeting senior citizens, including those he contacted while presenting an insurance and investment program at a retirement community in Lancaster County, Attorney General Tom Corbett said.

Powell was arraigned before Lancaster District Judge David Miller and released on $25,000 unsecured bail. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for 9 a.m. Nov. 7 before Miller.

SUSPECT A PROBLEM?
· Elder financial abuse and other forms of fraud targeted at senior citizens can be reported by calling the toll-free Elder Abuse Hotline at 1-866-623-2137.


Abridged
SOURCE: The Patriot-News
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Financial Elder Abuse: Probate Judge Found Guilty (AL. USA)

Phillips guilty
Jury convicts on theft, ethics charges
By Michele Gerlach (Contact)
Andalusia Star-News
October 30, 2008

A jury of eight men and four women deliberated less than 40 minutes before finding former Covington County Probate Judge Sherrie Phillips guilty of theft by deception and ethics charges Wednesday afternoon.

Specifically, the jury found her guilty of:

• First-degree theft by deception, by knowingly obtaining unauthorized control of a check for $1.8 million or any proceeds of the check, which was the property of the estate of Cary Douglas Piper and/or the State of Alabama;
• As a public official — the probate judge of Covington County — intentionally using her official position for unlawful personal gain for herself or a family member, of a check for $1.8 million or any proceeds of the check.
Phillips faces a maximum penalty of two to 20 years of imprisonment and fines of up to $30,000 for each count, all of which are class B felonies. Judge Charles Price has set sentencing for Wed., Nov. 12.

Abridged
SOURCE: Andalusia Star News
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October 30, 2008

Elder Abuse? Mt Martha Spinster's Estate in Court Battle- 2 (Melb. Australia

Will witness tells of land theft fears
By Norrie Ross
October 30, 2008


THE wealthy spinster at the centre of a $15 million will dispute told a relative neighbours were trying to steal her land, a judge heard yesterday.

Colin Nicholson said that when he visited frail and elderly Betty Dyke in hospital, she became distressed and anxious, and repeated the allegation over and over.
"Aunty (Ms Dyke) said, 'They are trying to steal my land. They are trying to steal my land'," Mr Nicholson told Justice Peter Vickery.

"I said, 'Who is it?' And she said, 'It's the neighbours'."
He said he spoke to a nurse who confirmed that neighbours of Ms Dyke, his second cousin, had visited her and tried to get her to sign papers.

The dispute is over two wills, made in 1999 and 2001, that left the bulk of Ms Dyke's estate to Tim and Denise Knaggs, Robert and Sandra Allen, and Gary and Diane Smith. In a 1985 will Ms Dyke left most of her money to animal charities.
Each of the couples received $5 million after being granted probate on the 2001 will.
Russell Berglund, QC, for the three couples, asked Mr Nicholson why he did nothing if he believed the land was being stolen. He replied: "I had a naive approach. I couldn't understand how people could steal her land."

Mr Nicholson, of Mount Waverley, told the Supreme Court that a few years before her death, Ms Dyke sold 8ha of her farm, outside Mornington, for sub-division, and gave the couples the $1.2 million proceeds. She had told him she had to do it to "pay them off" for their help after she became increasingly frail.

Mr Nicholson said that by 1999 she was suffering dementia and did not understand she had given her power of attorney to Mrs Knaggs.

SOURCE: The Herald Sun
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Crimes Against Elderly: Man Charged (Melb. Australia)

John Andrew Kelsen admits bashing grandmother Rachel Williams, 91
By Katie Bice
October 30, 2008

A MAN has admitted bashing a Broadmeadows great-grandmother in her bed after committing six home invasions at the woman's home.

Rachel Williams, 91, suffered serious head and facial injuries after being assaulted by John Andrew Kelsen on August 13, last year.
The frail great-grandmother moved out of her Cooper St home after the attack and died a month later from heart failure.

In the Melbourne Magistrates' Court today Kelsen, 30, pleaded guilty to 32 charges including intentionally causing serious injury and aggravated burglary.
He is also charged over a series of other burglaries in the Broadmeadows area and the theft of food, cash and electrical items.

SOURCE: The Herald Sun
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Elder Abuse: More Cases Reported (Ca. USA)

Elder abuse prevention agency to hold seminar on avoiding fraud
By DAN LEE
The Press-Enterprise
October 28, 2008

Senior citizen advocates are seeing an increase in the number of elder-abuse cases and scams targeting retirees during these difficult economic times, the head of an advocacy group said Tuesday.

Margo Hamilton, the Riverside County C.A.R.E. (Curtailing Abuse Related to the Elderly) Program's regional manager, said her agency has seen an upswing in identity theft and caregiver fraud.

"As the economy worsens and people get more desperate, they get more creative about how to take money from (other) people," Hamilton said by phone.
"Sometimes, unfortunately, our elderly population is more vulnerable. They need people to help them."

The C.A.R.E. Program, which started in Riverside County in 1997, helps elderly fraud victims navigate the legal and regulatory system to get their money back.
It also works with law enforcement agencies to investigate crime and prosecute the perpetrators.

Since its formation, the program has assisted 5,100 seniors and dependent adults and resulted in $239 million in court-ordered restitution from perpetrators, Hamilton said. Criminals have received four life sentences and a total of 716 years in prison, she said.

Authorities these days also are seeing "sweetheart scams," where women find elderly men with money and become the men's caregiver or new "best friend," Hamilton said.

Real-estate fraud is another area, with adult children getting power of attorney for their parents, putting their parents' property in their name and taking out a second mortgage on the house, she said.

The children then don't make payments on the mortgage, leading the bank to foreclose on the home and evict the parents, Hamilton said.

Abridged
SOURCE: Press-Enterprise - Ca. USA
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Elder Abuse: Tasmania Govt Accused of Failing on Elder Abuse Prevention (Tas. Australia)

BARTLETT GOVERNMENT FAILING ON ELDER ABUSE PREVENTION
Labor Fiascos a Higher Priority than Pro-Active Governance
By Cassy O'Connor MP
29th October 2008

(Media Release)
For Comment: State Parliamentary Offices of the Tasmanian Greens, (03) 6233 8300

The Tasmanian Greens today expressed their concern over the rising incidence of Elder Abuse in Tasmania and condemned the Bartlett Government for failing to provide specialist funding, and for failing to keep up with other Australian jurisdictions in developing effective and enforceable strategies to reduce Elder Abuse.

Greens Shadow Health spokesperson Cassy O’Connor MP said a recent forum on Elder Abuse at the Glenorchy Civic Centre heard that an estimated 3000 – 4000 Tasmanians are currently victims of Elder Abuse, and that this is expected to double to 6000 – 8000 cases by 2020.
“The Greens are deeply concerned that the current law and policy settings in Tasmania do not adequately protect our vulnerable elderly citizens from being beaten, neglected or exploited in their own homes, usually by their carers or family members,” Ms O’Connor said.
“Thousands of Tasmanians are currently suffering from physical and financial abuse yet the Bartlett Government seems to be too busy sorting out its own internal fiascos to ensure Tasmanian law and policies protect these most vulnerable Tasmanians.”

“The Government should stop concentrating on the debacles caused by its own Members and bring Tasmania into line with the rest of Australia in confronting this issue and ensuring better protection for senior Tasmanian citizens who deserve to feel safe in their own homes.”

Abridged
SOURCE: Green Org Tas. Australia
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Elder Abuse: Scam Cheats Local Seniors (Pa. USA)

Scam cheats local seniors
Crooked fiscal adviser picks wrong victim, state says.
By JANET KELLEY, Staff Writer

While the insurance agent was helping senior citizens with their retirement funds, prosecutors say, he allegedly pocketed more than $80,000 of their investment money.

But Scott Michael Powell, 49, of Palmyra, Lebanon County, picked the wrong senior citizen when he allegedly defrauded a 97-year-old Lancaster County woman last spring, officials said.The woman's son, it turns out, is a private detective and a retired deputy inspector general — the state agency that investigates fraud, waste and abuse of taxpayers' money.

When Jeff Fry looked into his mother's $24,000 "investment" last May, according to court documents, he immediately became suspicious and called Lancaster County detectives.Detectives searched Powell's home and business computer records, discovering a total of 11 people who had trusted Powell to invest their retirement money in phony certificates of deposit and mutual funds.

The case was turned over to the state Attorney General's Office because the victims, almost all of whom were senior citizens, were from several counties — four from Lancaster County, five from Dauphin County, and one victim each from Philadelphia, Lebanon and Cumberland counties.
This morning, Powell was charged by the state Attorney General's Elder Abuse Unit with participating in a corrupt organization, plus 11 counts each of theft by deception, insurance fraud, forgery and theft, all of which are felony offenses.

"This scheme targeted seniors across central Pennsylvania, selling thousands of dollars worth of fictitious investments to a list of unsuspecting victims in their 70s, 80s and 90s," state Attorney General Tom Corbett said in a prepared statement, announcing the arrest.

"With one of the largest senior populations in the country, financial abuse is a serious threat to older Pennsylvanians," Corbett said."The Attorney General's Elder Abuse Unit is dedicated to investigating and prosecuting criminals who exploit our seniors for their own personal gain."

Concerns about elder financial abuse, and of other forms of fraud targeted at senior citizens, can be reported by calling the Attorney General's toll-free Elder Abuse Hotline at 1-866-623-2137.

Abridged
SOURCE: Lancaster Online
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Elder Care/Elder Abuse: Be Careful Whom You Trust (Mo. USA)

Be careful whom you trust in Third Age
By ANN GOWANS
Monday, October 27, 2008

It’s a good thing to remember that legal instruments such as power of attorney, including health-care power of attorney, can become tools of manipulation, fraud and deceit. It is an unfortunate truth that getting hold of an older person’s estate and the authority to transfer their wealth into another person’s possession is a growing source of fraud and stealing that is being perpetrated against our oldest population.

Some say that the greatest transfer of wealth between generations in the history of the United States is unfolding, thus making many elders vulnerable to financial abuse, often unhappily involving those closest to them. Legal instruments such as the power of attorney and living trusts have become the tools of crimes against older people. Family members, as well as caregivers, often take advantage of vulnerable elders through undue influence. We are entering a time of uncertain financial futures for many midlife to aged folks. When people find that the holdings they thought they could count on for their future begin to evaporate, they cast about for a way to make that future more secure. Sometimes they look toward an elder.

As all of us watch our holdings slowly or quickly evaporate, we must be very attentive to whom it is we must ask to help us with chores or home care of all kinds and what kind of people we invite into our intimate society. More and more elders are not going to be able to afford the expensive care offered by an institutional setting, which usually offers some oversight regarding abuse of various kinds. This means that we will see thousands more old folks hire home care.
Be very sure whom it is you are bringing into your home or whom you are asking to come and take care of your loved ones. Look into their background and alert your bank, financial adviser, lawyer and the office of public administrator, if necessary, to ensure that all is well and your loved elder is in safe hands. Rocky times lie ahead, and vigilance is our best protection.

Abridged
SOURCE: Columbia Daily Tribune
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October 29, 2008

Mt Martha Spinster's Estate in Court battle (Melb. Australia)

Recluse millionaire suffered dementia: relative
29 Oct 08 @ 03:55pm
by MARK TESORIERO

ELDERLY Mt Martha recluse Elsbeth ``Betty’’ Jean Dyke suffered from dementia, a relative has told the Supreme Court.

Colin Nicholson, 59, of Mt Waverley, told the court that Miss Dyke would not have understood the documents she signed when changing her will , and that she didn’t understand what she was doing.

“My aunty suffered from dementia, from severe pain,” Mr Nicholson said.
“She overdosed on medication.”

Referring to Miss Dyke’s legal discussions with lawyers about changing her will, Mr Nicholson said: “I don’t believe she understood anything of their conversations.”

Defence counsel Russell Berglund, QC, asked Mr Nicholson why he didn’t say anything when Miss Dyke split the $1.26 million proceeds from the earlier sale of some of her land with neighbours Timothy and Denise Knaggs, Robert and Sandra Allen and Gary and Diane Smith.
Mr Nicholson said he believed the money had been given to the neighbours so Miss Dyke would be “looked after” later in life.

“If it ensured she had full private care and support in later years of life, it wouldn’t matter if it was $350,000 or $3 million,” he said.

Mr Nicholson’s mother was a first cousin of Miss Dyke.
Miss Dyke’s $15 million estate, which included the 17ha Sefton Grange property, is at the centre of an extraordinary legal dispute.

The changes to her original 1985 will effectively left her $15 million estate to the Knaggs, Allens and Smiths.

The will is being challenged by Julie Anne Nicholson, Judith and John Bailey and charities the Lort Smith Animal House, the Blue Cross Animal Society and Deaf Children Australia. Miss Dyke lived alone, never married and had no immediate family when she died, aged 84, in May 2004.
The plaintiffs’ action centres on arguments that Miss Dyke was not mentally fit when she made changes to her wills.

The trial continues before Justice Peter Vickery.

SOURCE: Mornington Peninsula LEADER

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Elder Abuse: Senile Grandma Video, Teen Sentenced (Fl. USA)

Teen sentenced to 18 months for posing senile grandmother in 'Gangstas' video

By SUSAN SPENCER-WENDEL
Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
October 28, 2008

WEST PALM BEACH — An 18-year-old who sheriff's office investigators say coaxed his senile grandmother into posing in a Gangstas & Thugs video pleaded guilty this morning to abuse of an elderly person and other crimes.
Michael Alfinez's grandmother, then 85, can be seen in the video shouting curse words and making statements such as, "This is for all the pigs" and "I'll shoot you," while waving around a semi-automatic pistol.

Alfinez of Lake Worth pleaded guilty to the elder abuse charge, as well as shooting into a building and discharging a firearm from a vehicle. He made no other comment as he entered his plea.

In exchange, Alfinez was sentenced to 18 months in a youthful offender facility, followed by three years probation, said Assistant State Attorney Greg Kridos.

Abridged
SOURCE: Palm Beach Post Fl. USA


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Financial Elder Abuse or Will Scam (Melbourne, Australia)

Will scam claims are 'pure fantasy', says lawyer
Kate Hagan
October 28, 2008

THE family of an elderly Mount Martha woman who left her $15 million fortune to her neighbours were disgruntled because they were left out of her will, a court has been told.
Russell Berglund, QC, said Elsbeth "Betty" Dyke was fond of the neighbours, who looked after her for the last 20 years of her life, and wanted to help them. "Miss Dyke was a formidable woman who knew what she wanted and took steps to ensure she got (it)," he said.

Miss Dyke, a spinster who suffered dementia, lived alone on her 17-hectare property with her dogs and exotic birds until she moved into a nursing home in 2002. She died in 2004.

Mr Berglund said Miss Dyke's relative, Julie Anne Nicholson, considered the Mount Martha land as her family's inheritance and became upset when she found Miss Dyke had left them nothing.
Mrs Nicholson told the Supreme Court yesterday that neighbours Tim and Denise Knaggs had formed a "business venture" with the late solicitor Brian Kollias, who prepared Miss Dyke's 2001 will.

In a letter to Mr Kollias after Miss Dyke's death, Mrs Nicholson wrote: "You have … helped people steal our land. That land belongs to our family."
Asked in court if Mr Kollias was part of a grand conspiracy to defraud her family of the property, she responded: "Exactly."

Mrs Nicholson said Mr Kollias had orchestrated a "scam" by confusing Miss Dyke with constant questions about her will and falsely telling her she was leaving most of her estate to charity.


Mr Berglund said Mrs Nicholson's theory was "pure fantasy" and she did not have "one iota of evidence" to back it up.

Mrs Nicholson is challenging the will along with Miss Dyke's friends John and Judith Bailey, the Lort Smith Animal Hospital, the Blue Cross Animal Society and Deaf Children Australia.
In her will Miss Dyke left $5 million each — close to her entire estate — to neighbours Timothy and Denise Knaggs, Robert and Sandra Allen, and Gary and Diane Smith.

The case continues.


Abridged

SOURCE: The Age

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I've the following questions:


  • With all the wealth, how was this poor lady treated; and who looked after her the last few years of her life?
  • Did the lawyer, who prepared the last will, took measures to ensure that there would not doubt about the woman's mental capacity? And, did he take steps to ensure that there were NO 'Undue Influence'.

Simple, but fair questions. With aging population affecting many countries, there should be uniform approaches and safe-guards, that lawyers are required to do; when called upon to prepare documents e.g. will and/or power of attorney.

AC
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Crimes Against Elderly: Man, Fiancee Arraigned in His Parents' Death (NJ USA)

Man, fiancee arraigned in his parents' deaths
October 27, 2008

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. (AP) _ Middlesex County prosecutors say a South Brunswick man strangled his parents in their trailer home, then used their credit cards to buy his fiancee an engagement ring after she helped him bury the couple in a nearby park.

Michael A. Maltese, 20, and his fiancee, 19-year-old Nicole Taylor, pleaded not guilty during an arraignment Monday before state Superior Court Judge Frederick DeVesa. Both were represented by court-appointed public defenders.

Maltese was arrested Friday and charged with murder, while Taylor was accused of conspiracy to commit murder. Both also were charged with theft of the credit cards and hindering apprehension. Maltese is being held in the county jail on $2 million bail, while Taylor remains there on $1 million bail.

Besides buying the ring after the Oct. 8 slayings of Michael J. Maltese, 58, and his wife Kathleen, 53, the suspects also used the stolen cards to buy food, hotel accommodations and sporting goods, Prosecutor Bruce Kaplan said.

Kaplan said Maltese strangled his parents with his hands, but the prosecutor declined to say if the alleged thefts were the motive for the slayings. The couple's bodies were found Saturday buried in a shallow grave several miles from their South Brunswick home.
Michael A. Maltese and Taylor had been living in his parents' home since August. Authorities said he and another family member filed a missing persons report with South Brunswick police on Oct. 17, telling them his parents were last heard from on Oct. 10. Police became suspicious of Maltese's account, and he was charged on Oct. 18 with giving authorities false information and released without bail. Authorities say the parents, who ran a trucking company, originally were from Perth Amboy and had moved to the trailer park two years ago. Besides their son, they also had two daughters.

SOURCE: NewsDay
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Financial Elder Abuse? $15 Million Fortune and Claims of "Undue Influence" (Melbourne, Australia)

Friends and neighbours who Betty made rich
By Kate Hagan
October 28, 2008

AN ELDERLY Mount Martha spinster with dementia was pressured by neighbours to cut charities from her will and leave her $15 million fortune to them, a court has been told.
Elsbeth "Betty" Dyke lived alone on her 17-hectare property with her five Pomeranian dogs and exotic birds before she died, aged 84, in May 2004.

In a will made in January 2001, she left $5 million each - her entire estate - to neighbours Timothy and Denise Knaggs, Robert and Sandra Allen and Gary and Diane Smith.

But that will is now being challenged in the Supreme Court by charities, friends and a distant relative of Miss Dyke, who claim the neighbours exercised "undue influence" to persuade her to change it in their favour.

Abridged
SOURCE: The Age (Australia)
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An interesting case! Will keep a look-out for the verdict.

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October 28, 2008

Elder Abuse: Intergenerational Program to Raise Awareness (Winnipeg, Canada)

Elder abuse affects up to 10 per cent
By: Scott Gibbons
October 27, 2008

The numbers are startling - between four and 10 per cent of Canadian adults 50 years and older experience one or more form of abuse or neglect.

Provincially, between 6,000 and 10,000 older Manitobans are affected by elder abuse, but only one in five cases comes to the attention of those who can help.

"It's probably a much bigger problem. That's just the tip of the iceberg," said Susan Crichton, the elder abuse consultant with the Manitoba Seniors and Healthy Aging Secretariat.
The province is holding its first-ever conference on elder abuse today and tomorrow. It has attracted 300 delegates from the health-care, law enforcement and senior advocacy fields from across the province and Canada.

Abuse comes in many forms - financially, physically, sexually and psychologically - at the hands of a family member, care-giver or a stranger. Victims often don't report it out of fear of retaliation, abandonment, family loyalty and embarrassment.

Crichton said the majority of calls to the province's senior abuse line are about financial abuse - a senior's life savings is gone - but it often doesn't end there. And at the heart of it is a need for power and control.
"It's rare that it's just one type of abuse," she said.

Sgt. Robert Cooke, the head of the RCMP community policing services for Manitoba, has made the issue one of his top priorities.

Now they're placing a strong emphasis on educating the public, he said, including holding police-academy style sessions where seniors are 'recruits.'
As well, the police are working with Girl Guides of Canada -- they can earn a merit badge for work done with seniors -- to help instill a positive image of the elderly with younger generations, Cooke said.

The secretariat also has been working with children to promote healthy inter-generational relationships, Crichton said.

The walls at the conference were covered with posters made by young Manitoba students. Most focused on a 'seniors are cool' theme.
"Ageism is a big factor,"
she said.

The event continues tomorrow at the Victoria Inn.
For Manitobans needing help or advice, they can call the seniors abuse line: 1-888-896-7183 or 945-1884.

SOURCE: Winnipeg Free Press
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What a marvellous move ! I've posted before on the importance of intergenerational programs to promote awarness of Elder Abuse. Youngsters must be taught the value of senior citizens. Ageism must be eradicated. What better campaign than one that involves young people in spreading the word. Ageism is not acceptable.
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Scams Targetting Elderly (Japan)

Elderly targeted in TV fraud / Victims duped into handing over cash for analog-digital conversion
The Yomiuri Shimbun

Hundreds of elderly people have been duped into parting with inflated cash payments to have their TVs "adjusted" to gain access to terrestrial digital broadcasts as the nation moves closer to pulling the plug on analog broadcasting in July 2011.

The rash of such fraud cases can be partly attributed to an insufficient dissemination of information on the planned transition from analog to digital broadcasting.

According to the Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry and the National Consumer Affairs Center of Japan, there have been hundreds of cases in the past few years in which victims have been asked to cough up fees by people falsely identifying themselves as electrical appliance store employees or corporate staff in charge of terrestrial digital TV broadcasting.
In some cases, the victims received letters purporting to be from the ministry or TV broadcasters telling the recipients they would receive a subsidy for the conversion work if they paid a commission into a designated bank account.

Following the recent spate of fraud, the ministry is now accepting inquiries about terrestrial digital services at its Consultation Center for Terrestrial Digital Television Broadcast. To use the service, call (0570) 07-0101, or (03) 4334-1111 from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays and until 6 p.m. on Saturdays, Sundays and national holidays.

SOURCE: The Daily Yomiuri - Osaka,Japan


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Elder Neglect and Isolation: A Call for Respect of Seniors (India)

Respect your elders. Value their experience
6 October, 2008
By Itzmecharu

SENIOR CITIZENS of India are being alienated - either in their own homes or in exclusive homes, called euphemistically, ‘old age homes’. Sons and daughters live with their parents until they start a family. Once they start a family, they start treating their parents as ones from another family.

The resultant separation has two dimensions to it. One is physical separation and the other is emotional separation. Indian law provides for the son or the daughter to acquire a new ration card once the son or daughter gets married. The ration card so issued keeps out the names of the parents. This is the first instance of separation.

The second is emotional separation, arising from the daughter-in-law ill-treating her in-laws. The son, instead of raising his voice to her, moves the parents to an old age home. If the couple is working abroad, the aged parents are moved to old age homes to ensure their safety.

The desire for nuclear family on the part of the young couples results in the alienation of the parents. For the youngsters, the immediate issue is their personal lives and not taking care of their aged parents. Youngsters must realise that they are what they are only because of their parents and other elders.At a certain point of time, the teens begin to believe that they are capable of leading lives on their own. The attractive salary packages the youngsters are able to command even at the beginning of their career leads them to believe that they are superior to the previous generation. But in the process, they miss out on the positives that the emotional bonding between the two generations can bring about.
Youngsters must understand that the number of years they have been on this planet (or their age) is at best equal to the experience of the elders, in terms of the number of years. They must value the suggestions of their elders since such suggestions are culled from valuable experience. During childhood, parents make us comfortable by showering love, care and affection on us. They provide moral, economic and emotional support to the children. But once the children take off, they leave their parents in the lurch. Factors such as modernisation, westernisation and globalisation lead our youngsters to lose their faith in the joint family system. Globalisation has led to our elders leading a lonely life. The ill-informed youngsters blindly fall for globalisation and insult the parents – the very people who have made the youngsters what they are.
Youngsters must understand that they will become old too; the next generation may treat them the same way they treated their own parents. Father is the role model for the child. If a young father ill-treats his father, the child, having witnessed it at close quarters, will treat its own father the same way, once it grows up.

My dear youngsters please do not forget that what goes around comes around. Respect your elders. Value their experience. Share their feelings. Lend a helping hand to them. Remember, you are what you are, because of them.

SOURCE: MeriNews

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Respect for the elderly has been, till recent times, the norm in many Asian cultures. 'Filial Piety' is not a familiar term to many youngsters of these countries.
Modern life-style is blamed for the 'disappearance' of such a valuable influence. In countries like India and Singapore, legislation was enacted to protect elderly parents. (Parents Maintenace Act). It is sad to see the necessity of such a move.

Will better respect for the elderly, prevents elder abuse?
AC.
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Elder Abuse: Call for Public Support in Petition for Change (UK)

Support move against elderly abuse
27th October 2008
By Readers' Letter

The abuses facing some older people are finally but slowly coming to public attention, usually through publicity about care homes. We now reluctantly accept that financial abuse, emotional abuse, physical and sexual assault, and neglect can be a regular experience for some of our elders.

But we have yet to recognise that the majority of such abuse actually happens in people’s own homes, often perpetrated by those whom elderly people trust to support and protect them. And sadly, this includes some neighbours, friends and family members. A Government report last year suggested that the extent of elder abuse within our communities is at least four per cent, affecting over 342,000 older people across the UK.

But if you or a loved one have experienced abuse, where do you go to seek outside help and assistance? Unlike the situation in care homes, nursing homes or domiciliary care (home help services) where there are legal standards and inspectors, there is no similar legal system to provide you with protection if you organise your own care or if the abuse comes from a family friend.
Instead, there are systems organised under guidance issued to local authorities in 2000 (called No Secrets in England and In Safe Hands in Wales).

Earlier this year the Scottish Parliament recognised that guidance could not provide the framework to protect adults at risk of abuse.

It introduced legislation to ensure action could happen when someone experienced abuse. But elsewhere in the UK the Government remains undecided and unsure.

I am therefore asking for your help. Please support Action on Elder Abuse and sign our petition at www.elderabuse.org.uk which calls for legislation. Please write to your MP and tell him/her that you support the need for legislation (a draft letter is available on our website when you sign the petition). Gary FitzGerald, Chief Executive, Action on Elder Abuse .

To sign petition Click Here

SOURCE: Bolton News
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October 27, 2008

Elder Abuse: Reports Increasing, Experts Say (

A crying shame
October 26, 2008
New Bedford Standard Times

Elderly abuse reports increasing, experts say Exploitation or outright abuse of the elderly is on the rise across the state, and experts say the number of potential victims is growing just as an economic downturn is leaving government and nonprofit groups strapped for cash to combat the problem.

With the elderly population poised to grow dramatically over the next decade — by almost 50 percent, the state predicts — agencies committed to helping people over 60 are scrambling to provide for their growing number of clients.

"We've already started to see younger and younger elders" as baby boomers inch their way into the age range of what is considered elderly, said Jennifer Dias-Rezendes, director of crisis services for Bristol Elder Services in Fall River. At her agency, anyone 60 or older is an elder, making them eligible for assistance from the agency's Protection Department, which helps seniors deal with neglect and abuse.

As the reporting agency for the approximately 100,000 elders in 23 communities in the Greater New Bedford, Fall River, Taunton and Attleboro areas, Bristol Elder Services receives reports of abuse from those bound by law to report it, including physicians, social workers and police officers.

According to the agency, the number of elder abuse reports it has received has jumped. From July 2006 to June 2007, there were 1,500 reports to the agency, Ms. Dias-Rezendes said. From July 2007 to June 2008, that number rose to 1,635. The rising trend continued into the first quarter of fiscal 2009, which includes July, August and September 2008. During this time, 475 reports were received, up from 408 for the first quarter last fiscal year.

Elder abuse is on the rise statewide, as well. According to the Executive Office of Elder Affairs, there were 11,503 elder abuse reports and 3,713 newly confirmed cases of elder abuse in fiscal 2005, the latest figure available at the agency's Web site. Both figures represent increases of more than 16 percent compared to fiscal 2004.

In October 2006, Elaine Romero, 66, of Bourne was found dead on a neighbor's porch after being repeatedly stabbed. Her husband, William Romero, 71, is charged with the crime. According to a spokesperson from the Cape and Islands District Attorney's Office, the case has not yet gone to trial.

Abuse can take on many forms, although it is legally defined by the Executive Office of Elder Affairs as an act or omission that puts an elderly person at risk of harm.

The elderly can be abused physically, mentally, emotionally or sexually. They can be exploited financially or face neglect from a caretaker, which are both legally considered abuse. In 2005, federal mandates added self-neglect to the list of incidents that must be reported by certain professionals. Since then, self-neglect numbers have been factored into statistics of elder abuse, accounting for 49 percent of the reports Bristol Elder Services received in fiscal 2008.

As the elder population increases, reports of abuse likely will rise, as well.

SOURCE: AARP Bulletin

Crimes Against Elderly: Woman Slain; Son Held (Ca. USA)

77-year-old woman slain; son held

UNION-TRIBUNE
October 25, 2008

CHULA VISTA – A 77-year-old woman was killed in her Chula Vista home Saturday night and her son was arrested in connection with her death, police said. Preliminary reports show she was stabbed.

The victim was identified as Francisca Ramos, said Chula Vista police Lt. Scott Arsenault. Her son, George Ramos, 42, was taken into custody.
The woman's daughter called police about 5:45 p.m. and said her mother was dead and that her brother was alone inside the home on Tamarack Court near Olive Avenue, Arsenault said. She told police several distraught family members were standing outside.
Arsenault said George Ramos has a history of violence toward police and his family, including his father, and was involved in an elder abuse case in 2005. He also has a history of alcohol and drug abuse, Arsenault said.

George Ramos was trying to leave the property when police took him into custody, Arsenault said. The city's Crimes and Violence Unit is investigating.

SOURCE: San Diego Union Tribune
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A heinous crime. Please go to source to read 20 comments.
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October 25, 2008

Elder Abuse: The Government Still Trying to Convince (France)

France: Elder Abuse: the Government Still Trying to Convince
(October 17, 2008)


(Article in French)


Elder abuse is still a taboo subject, according to the president of Alma Paris, a French organization dealing with elder abuse prevention. The phenomenon is therefore largely unknown, despite the recent interest taken by the government. Furthermore, the borders of the term 'abuse' are blurred. It may include a way of speaking to older people as well as physical violence. Unexpected inspections in home care facilities may provide greater control, but elder abuse remains hard to detect and even harder to eliminate, primarily due to the current lack of staff and to the vulnerability of older people who cannot always be transferred to another residence.


SOURCE: Global Aging
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Unfortunately, there are many more countries who still avoid this issue. It is as though elder abuse does not exist in these countries. But, we all know that they exist. Victims are often reluctant to report the abuses they suffered in the hands of carers and/or family members.


Let me reiterate: In many developed countries, there are laws to protect animals , but no laws to specifically protect seniors. How many family members, who had abused a parent(s), uncle, aunty etc., "got away" - unscathed !


Andrew C


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Financial Elder Abuse: State Kicks off Task to Protect Seniors (

By Colleen Jenkins
St. Petersburg Times
October 7, 2008

State Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink, center, listens to Alice Bouchard, 94, of New Port Richey talk about how she became a victim of fraud. “They take the life of the elderly,” Bouchard says. “If your money is all gone, what are you going to do?” Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink kicked off her new "Safeguard Our Seniors" task force Monday, pledging to find better ways to protect the elderly from financial fraud.

Three elderly women sat around a table with Sink at the Hillsborough State Attorney's Office, sharing heartbreaking stories of how they got duped out of their savings. As they lost tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars on inappropriate investments, their insurance agents made thousands in commissions.

Bonnie Madden, 81, of Port Richey said her insurance agent, Randolph Kahl-Winter, hugged and kissed her each time she visited his office and called her his "second mom." "I figured he knew what he was doing," she said. "So anything he said, I believed him." Through a series of misrepresentations, including inflating Madden's net worth and forging her signature on an annuity application, Kahl-Winter generated $52,000 in commissions, state officials said. The Department of Financial Services recovered almost $300,000.

These "bad actors," as Sink calls them, leave their victims feeling foolish and deceived. The state permanently revoked the insurance license of the man who earned more than $140,000 in commissions by selling Alice Bouchard, 94, about 30 annuities over six years. Officials helped recoup some of the more than $300,000 she lost to penalty fees and surrender periods that would have kept her money locked up until she was 100. But the New Port Richey widow remains angry. "They should go to jail and stay there for a long time," she said. "They take the life of the elderly.

If your money is all gone, what are you going to do?" Colleen Jenkins can be reached at cjenkins@sptimes.com or (813) 226-3337

Abridged
SOURCE: Global Aging
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Although this is a older article, I thought it is still interesting, as we look at some of the cases. We just cannot be complacent about this issue.

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Elder Abuse: Preventioh Month Highlights Growing Problem (OR. USA)

Elder Abuse Prevention Month Highlights Under-Reported but Growing Problem
Salem-News.com
Oct-23-2008

Anyone witnessing or suspecting abuse of those populations is asked to call the toll-free Abuse Hotline: 1-800-232-3020.

(SALEM, Ore.) - Elder Abuse Prevention Month activities highlight an under-reported but growing problem.

During Elder Abuse Prevention Month, state officials are focusing on the fact that elder abuse is a growing problem nationally and in Oregon, but very few abuse cases are ever reported. National studies estimate that 3-5 million seniors age 65 and older nationwide have experienced abuse, but only one in five abuse cases is reported.

“No type of abuse should be tolerated, but elder abuse is an under-reported crime because people do not know how to recognize the signs, and they don’t know how to report it when they do see it,” says James D. Toews, Oregon Department of Human Services assistant director for seniors and people with disabilities.

“We have to raise awareness of elder abuse and ways to report it before we can hope to prevent it.”

Signs of elder abuse include physical injuries, emotional or behavioral changes, a decline in self-care, and changes in financial status. For a complete list, see oregoneverydayheroes.org/Signs.html. Oregon law defines elder abuse as physical injury not caused by accident, neglect leading to harm, abandonment, intentional infliction of physical pain or injury, unwanted sexual contact or the inability to consent to sexual contact, and threatening to take or taking money or property.

SOURCE: Salem-News.Com


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Elder Abuse: Couple Charged; Left Ill Senior in Van

Couple charged with elder abuse; left ill senior in van while they gambled

By Matthew Rodriguez
UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER
October 23, 2008

NORTH COUNTY COURTS – A North County couple has been charged with felony elder abuse for allegedly leaving an 84-year-old man suffering from Parkinson's disease in a van while they gambled at a casino.

A security guard at the Valley View Casino in Valley Center spotted the man in the vehicle Saturday and called authorities, said Steven Carver, a deputy district attorney.
Firefighters had to break a window to rescue the man, who had been in the van about an hour-and-a-half and was unresponsive, Carver said. The man was taken to a hospital, where he stayed overnight before being released.

The couple, Donnie and Tessie Magan, pleaded not guilty Wednesday in Vista Superior Court to one count each of felony elder abuse. The couple, who live in the Rancho Bernardo area, face up to four years in prison if convicted, Carver said.
Donnie Magan, 48, was released on his own recognizance. Tessie Magan, 49, remains in Vista jail on $50,000 bail. Neither the Magans nor their attorney could be reached for comment Thursday.

Carver said Tessie Magan worked as the man's caretaker. On Saturday, he said, she offered to take him to her house for a barbecue. The couple then drove to the Valley View Casino, arriving there about 4 p.m., Carver said. The man was found in the van about 5:30 p.m.
The couple's next court date is Nov. 3. A preliminary hearing is scheduled Nov. 5.

SOURCE: Sign on San Diego
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Elder Abuse: Nursing Home Under Scrutiny (Australia)

Nursing home back under scrutiny after sexual abuse claims
By Jonathan Dart
October 24, 2008

THE Aged Care Commissioner has been ordered to reopen an inquiry into allegations of abuse at a Central Coast nursing home.

Members of the Federal Government's reference group into sexual assault at aged-care homes called yesterday for tougher screening of prospective workers, after two staff at the Peninsula Village home at Umina Beach were sacked amid allegations of sexual abuse.
The Herald yesterday reported that a third complaint was lodged against the home in July last year outlining claims of physical abuse.

Susanne Matthews said her 84-year-old mother, who has dementia, was slapped by a nurse in 2005. A Department of Health report on the incident found the home had not breached its duty of care.

The Ageing Minister, Justine Elliot, has asked the Aged Care Commissioner, Rhonda Parker, to reopen the inquiry.

Ms Elliott said: "I recognise that this must be a very difficult time for the residents and their families as these are very serious allegations. But … my main priority is the safety and welfare of residents. They always come first."

Ms Matthews welcomed the inquiry and said it would allow her family to obtain "closure". "We've cried our eyes out," she said. "We have been so stressed for four years … We're so happy that something is finally being done for Mum - we can be at rest that now it's being addressed."
The Department of Health also conducted an unannounced site visit at the nursing home to check whether the necessary police checks had been made on staff, as required under the Aged Care Act.

Under new legislation effective from July 1, all aged-care facilities are required to undertake the checks on all staff members.

But Maria Attard, a member of the Government's Sexual Assault in Disability and Aged Care Action Strategy panel, said existing laws need to be tightened to provide extra protection for residents.

"There are lots of incidents that you don't find out about and some that don't satisfy the burden of proof in court," Ms Attard said. "A lot of women with dementia are just not trusted because people don't believe you could sexually assault someone with a disability."
The chairman of Peninsula Village, Darrell Pannowitz, said he was pleased with the department's site inspection.

"The three assessors held an exit interview with our CEO, which was very complimentary," he said. "In the five years or so that I've been a member of the board there has never been any case of neglect or abuse found against the village."

SOURCE: Sydney Morning Herald
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October 24, 2008

Elder Abuse: Power of Attorney Can Provide Peace of Mind (On. Canada)

Power of attorney can provide peace of mind for seniors worried about the future
2008-10-23
By Mary Riley

Canadian law holds sacred a person's right to decide what happens to their body or property. At the core of a multitude of legal issues is consent - 'who gives consent to whom, and for what.'
Robert Solomon, a law professor at the University of Western Ontario, was the keynote speaker at a workshop on elder abuse, held in Oakwood on Thursday (Oct. 16).

The workshop, put on by the Haliburton Kawartha Lakes Elder Abuse Prevention Network, was attended by health-care professionals, police officers, social service groups and others who work with seniors.

Professor Solomon covered a variety of legal issues that apply to working with the elderly. He emphasized the importance of consent and competency under the law, and how the legal definitions affect those who work in health care and social services.
Power of attorney can be a useful tool for seniors who are worried about physical or mental incapacitation. It gives someone else (known as the 'attorney') the power to act on a person's behalf.

Literature published by Community Legal Education Ontario defines the three forms:
  • general power of attorney for property, (only while you are mentally capable; it ends if you become incapable); (Under the law, property includes money and personal possessions as well as real estate.)
  • continuing power of attorney for property (allows your attorney to continue to act for you if you become mentally incapable) and,
  • power of attorney for personal care; a separate type that covers decisions about health care, medical treatment, housing, diet, clothing, hygiene and safety.

For more information, visit the Ontario Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse website at http://www.onpea.org/ or call (705) 745-4100.

Abridged

Source: Kawartha Media Group

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Lawyers who assist in drawing up durable power of attorney for elderly clients, should be trained to look out for "undue influence" by the 'attorney'.

There are cases where a DPA was used to abuse a third party. Just look at the
Frank Punito Case . There currently NO assistance to the victim of such cases.

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Financial Elder Abuse: Cops Watch Elderly at ATMs (Japan)

October 24th, 2008

Elderly people using cell phones at automatic teller machines in banks, convenience stores, and train stations are being questioned by police in Japan during a month-long nationwide anti-scam campaign.

The October effort is to prevent senior citizens from becoming victims of phone swindles. In one kind of scam, con artists call the elderly, convince them that a family member – usually a son – is in trouble, and money is needed to settle the matter. Often the swindler convincingly poses as the desperate son.

Scammers had instructed seniors to withdraw cash at the bank and bring it to a specified location for the handover or wait at home for the money to be picked up.
When bank tellers started to become aware of the fraud, they began asking senior citizens about large withdrawals at the counter. Subsequently, the fraudsters started sending the elderly to ATMs, either to withdraw cash, or to electronically transfer funds from the ATM to the swindler’s acccount, all the while giving their targets instructions via cell phone. Victims were sometimes told to send the cash by postal packet or express delivery service.


But the Yomiuri Shimbun reports senior citizens have been conned during the anti-scam campaign. The paper says that of 94 scams reported as of mid-October, 16 incidents transpired at ATMs under police watch. The swindlers got away with almost 17 million yen, and one victim gave 2.98 million yen to the con artists.

The newspaper said the MPD is looking for effective ways for police and bank staff to communicate with pensioners to ensure sure they do not become victims of a scam.
SOURCE: Lets Japan

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Financial Elder Abuse: A Growing Problem (UK)

Abuse of vulnerable adults 'a growing problem'
by Joy Dunbar
FinancialAdviser
October 23, 2008

Financial abuse of vulnerable adults is a growing problem, according to a new government report.

The Safeguarding Adults consultation report published by the department of health states that financial institutions are raising concerns informally with the police about unusual financial transactions on vulnerable people's accounts. This could be the tip of the iceberg and financial abuse may be more widespread than reported incidence suggests the department of health said.
It added that many offences go unreported and are often committed by family members or informal carers and due to the sometimes vulnerable mental or physical condition of the victim, difficulties arise in obtaining admissible evidence.

The report said the department of health is consulting banks, building societies, the British Bankers' Association and the FSA. It said that organisations could be encouraged to "share information" if they suspect financial abuse of vulnerable adults. It said: "Financial abuse appears to have increased steadily and to have diversified. Is there a need to explore the most common types and most effective responses?"

Lesley McLeod, executive director of communications and press secretary to the chief executive at the BBA, said: "We have a panel that looks at access to finance for various groups, one of those groups looks at issues that older people have, not specifically elder abuse. We have in the past offered member banks guidance on what to do if you feel that someone is being coerced into taking money out of their account and it give it someone. We are more than happy to work with our member to improve services to older people."

SOURCE: FT Adviser - London
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Elder Abuse: Maine's Criminal Justice System Responds to Rise in EA Cases (ME. USA)

Maine’s Criminal Justice System Responds to the Rise in Elder Abuse Cases with Intensive Professional Training
10/23/08

PORTLAND, Maine (October 23, 2008)
Each year, older adults in the State of Maine are victimized approximately 14,000 times according to the Office of the Maine Attorney General, and some 84% of those incidents go unreported. Victims are often unable to report the crime, make a safety plan for themselves or are too afraid to tell someone.The Elder Justice Training Partnership implements a statewide effort to better equip criminal justice professionals who work with seniors. The EJTP training team will deliver an intensive two-day training, Elder Abuse Training for Law Enforcement in Portland, October 29-30, 2008.The training in Portland is the fourth of six trainings held Statewide. The previous sites included: Topsham, Presque Isle, and Wells. Future training sites include: Hampden and Augusta.

For more information about the Portland training or about the Elder Justice Training Partnership, please contact Sharon Herrick, Project Coordinator: sharon.herrick@voanne.org

SOURCE: MaineToday.com
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Elder Care: Police Checks for All Nursing Home Staff (Australia)

Aged Care Police Checks - In Place As Early As January 1

The Australian Government plans to introduce police checks for all nursing home staff – as early as January 1, 2009.

On March 1, 2007, the previous Government introduced the current police checks system that only applied to staff with unsupervised access.On February 21, 2008, Minister for Ageing, Mrs Justine Elliot announced that police checks would be extended to all staff regardless of whether they have supervised or unsupervised access to residents. This would affect staff of accredited aged care facilities, and those delivering community care packages for example Extended Aged Care at Home (EACH) and EACH Dementia.

A police check for aged care staff will be a national requirement obtained from State/Territory Police, the Australian Federal Police or through direct application to CrimTrac – the agency which is used by all police jurisdictions to obtain information on an individual’s criminal history.

Since February, there has been extensive consultation. The Aged Care Consultative Committee, aged care associations and providers, peak bodies, unions and government departments, including the Australian Federal Police have all been consulted.During the consultation process, industry groups indicated to the Department of Health and Ageing that many providers already have all employees under go police checks.

More than 116,000 people are employed as direct care workers (nurses, personal carers and allied health workers. (Source: National Aged Care Workforce Census and Survey February 2004)Last week (October 16), the Minister for Ageing, Mrs Justine Elliot introduced the Aged Care Amendment (2008 Measures No 2) Bill 2008 into the Federal parliament. The police checks would occur under the Accountability Principles of the legislation.“This is about protecting the most vulnerable members of our society – the frail and aged,” Mrs Elliot said.

“The Australian Government is committed to ensuring older Australians in nursing homes and hostels receive quality care in a safe and secure environment.“This is about preventing people with serious criminal convictions working with frail and aged people.”

Source: DOH
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October 23, 2008

Elder Abuse in Nursing Homes: Hidden Cameras on Trial (NY. USA)

Hidden cameras to monitor nursing homes
By Henry L. Davis
NEWS MEDICAL REPORTER

Calling it a deterrent against nursing home abuse, State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo announced Tuesday that his office will use hidden camera technology in Western New York to expose and prosecute mistreatment of residents.

Hidden cameras have been used by the attorney general’s office in four cases already, resulting in 26 convictions of nurses, nurse’s aides and a nursing home owner.

Earlier this month, four nursing home workers were charged with falsifying records and endangering a resident at a Medford facility. In May, Highgate LTC Management LLC was fined $15,000 and barred from the nursing home industry because of patient neglect, following a criminal conviction at a facility in Cortland.

“This is in many ways a double crime,” Cuomo said at a news conference in Buffalo.
“It’s the abuse of elderly people, disabled people, people in nursing homes,” he said. “And many of the facilities are paid for by taxpayers. We have taxpayer- financed abuse.”

The initiative involves placing a hidden video camera in resident rooms, with the permission of families or legal representatives but without the knowledge of the nursing home. The video can be monitored in real time to stop abuse if it is occurring and used as evidence to make a case at trial.

Abridged
SOURCE: Buffalo News - NY, United States
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Elder Abuse: How to get Help (TN. USA)

How to get help if there's elderly abuse
Oct 22, 2008
By DON DARE
6 On Your Side Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE)

Each year, tens of thousands of elderly Americans are abused in their own homes, in relatives' homes or in facilities responsible for their care.
As seniors become more physically frail, they're less able to stand up to bullying or to fight back if attacked. Plus, they're not likely to talk about abuse.
Every year, an estimated 2.1 million older Americans are victims of physical, psychological, sexual or other forms for abuse and neglect.
General signs of abuse include:
Frequent arguments or tension between the caregivers and the elderly person.
Changes in personality or behavior in the elderly person, such as fear or becoming very quiet.
Most of the time, the abuse will happen at home, although not necessarily a nursing home.
"The most recent statistics that I have is that 85 percent of the alleged perpetrators are related to the victim. That brings up another problem, fear. Older adults who are frail are afraid of losing whatever support they have, so they don't want to report it. So we really don't know how prevalent this is," explains Deborah Herzel, chairwoman of Elder Watch.

If you or someone you know has been abused, hurt, frightened or someone has taken something from you, call one of these numbers:
Adult Protective Services at (865)-594-5685
Family Violence Helpline at (865)-521-6336

On Wednesday in Knoxville, area police, health care workers, social workers, attorneys and medical personnel will attend a workshop on elderly sexual assault and other forms of abuse.

SOURCE: WATE.com - Knoxville,TN,USA
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Crimes Against Seniors: Police Warn Seniors (Canada)

VPD warn seniors about recent attacks and scams
October 21 2008
By Sonia Aslam
VANCOUVER (NEWS1130)

Vancouver Police say crime against seniors in the city has gone up 4 per cent in the last year, and today they outlined a number of recent incidents--including one against the mother of a VPD media relations officer.

Last Wednesday the 82-year-old mother of Constable Tim Fanning was at home when a man knocked on her door and offered to clean her windows. She allowed him to do the work, but when he came back the next day and offered to do more cleaning, she said no and he left. However, that same night she woke up to find the suspect standing in her livingroom. She coaxed him to leave, yet he returned for a third time at 3 am and was standing on the back deck.
Fanning says thieves and con artists are preying on seniors like his mother, who grew up during the Depression and are more willing to help their 'fellow man'. "If someone came knocking on your door during those years and offered to work, you'd pay them to work because they probably had a family to feed. That sort of mentality has carried on--not just for my mother--but for seniors who lived through those tough times."

VPD officers investigated, and Ronald Feenstra, 48, has been arrested and is now facing charges of break and enter.

Abridged
SOURCE: News1130 - Vancouver
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October 22, 2008

Elder Abuse Prevention Month Activities Highlight an Under-reported Problem (Oregon, USA)

Elder Abuse Prevention Month Activities Highlight an Under-reported But Growing Problem
21 Oct 2008

During Elder Abuse Prevention Month, state officials are focusing on the fact that elder abuse is a growing problem nationally and in Oregon, but very few abuse cases are ever reported. National studies estimate that 3-5 million seniors age 65 and older nationwide have experienced abuse, but only one in five abuse cases is reported. "No type of abuse should be tolerated, but elder abuse is an under-reported crime because people do not know how to recognize the signs, and they don't know how to report it when they do see it," says James D. Toews, Oregon Department of Human Services assistant director for seniors and people with disabilities. "We have to raise awareness of elder abuse and ways to report it before we can hope to prevent it."

Signs of elder abuse include physical injuries, emotional or behavioral changes, a decline in self-care, and changes in financial status.

For a complete list, see http://www.oregoneverydayheroes.org/Signs.html. Oregon law defines elder abuse as physical injury not caused by accident, neglect leading to harm, abandonment, intentional infliction of physical pain or injury, unwanted sexual contact or the inability to consent to sexual contact, and threatening to take or taking money or property.

Anyone witnessing or suspecting abuse of those populations is asked to call the toll-free Abuse Hotline: 1-800-232-3020.
DHS and Area Agencies on Aging provide protective services and investigate reports of suspected abuse. They determine if abuse has occurred and work with law enforcement when a potential crime may have occurred.
DHS investigated 12,897 allegations of abuse of elderly or physically disabled Oregonians in 2007 and substantiated more than 4,200, a 5.5 percent increase over 2008. Based on national trends, the actual number of cases of elder abuse in Oregon may have been much higher. Elder Abuse Prevention Month activities, held in conjunction with national efforts by the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA), are designed to raise that awareness and help Oregonians understand how to help this vulnerable population, Toews says.

DHS will hold an all-day open house on elder abuse prevention Oct. 22 in the lobby of its Salem headquarters, 500 Summer NE. Partners in the event include the Office of Investigations and Training (serving persons with developmental disabilities), the Governor's Commission on Senior Services, Oregon Everyday Heroes (http://www.oregoneverydayheroes.org) and the Oregon Senior Financial Abuse Coalition. Public Service Announcements on elder abuse, produced by NCEA and featuring William Mapother ("Ethan Rom" on Lost), are available here.

"Our staff do an excellent job of identifying these situations and providing assistance, but they need help from the public," says Toews. "As Oregon's population ages, this type of abuse is bound to increase unless we all become more aware of the signs of abuse and more willing to report or prevent it." Oregon Dept of Human Services

SOURCE: Medical News Today (press release) - UK
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Elder Abuse: Pensioners Need Protection (UK)

Pensioners 'need protection' against abuse
20 October 2008

Older people who are vulnerable to abuse are given less legal protection than pets, a charity supporting the elderly has warned.

Action on Elder Abuse (AEA) is calling for the government to address the issues about abuse in nursing homes and money being stolen.

The charity says two-thirds of elderly people who suffer are subject to physical abuse and theft in their own homes at the hands of family, neighbours and friends.
Gary FitzGerald, Chief Executive of the AEA, said legislation is needed to ensure that protection works effectively.

"The Government introduced the Animal Welfare Act so it is not unreasonable to ask why they cannot do as much for adults experiencing abuse," he added.

A review was launched in the House of Lords this week to discuss how to improve the protection of elderly people and prevent them from becoming victims.
In other news today, AEA revealed it will form a campaign together with the charities Mind and Voice UK to shape the legislation brought in by the Government.

©Adfero Ltd

Abridged
SOURCE: Charities Aid Foundation (UK)
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Elder Abuse and Elder Care: Views Sought Re Protection of Seniors (UK)

VIEWS SOUGHT ON CHANGES TO PREVENT ABUSE OF ADULTS IN CARE SYSTEM
October 17th, 2008

Local authorities and health service professionals are being asked for their views on whether changes need to be made to measures to protect vulnerable adults from all forms of abuse in the care system. Under the existing ‘’No Secrets’ guidance councils, the police and the NHS work together to safeguard vulnerable people but now the Government wants to know what improvements could be made.

Care Services Minister Phil Hope has launched a consultation process to ensure the current guidance has kept up with changes in the social care system, particularly the new emphasis on choice and personal care and with changing forms of abuse. Specific questions which the Government wants answered include whether there is now a need for legislation.

Mr. Hope said there needed to be a greater focus on prevention as well as more emphasis on protecting people from abuse in the commissioning of services and support and increased empowerment of people to determine how they wished to be safeguarded.

Abridged
SOURCE: Public Net
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Elder Abuse: Nursing Home Staff Sacked for Alleged Sexual Abuse (Australia)

By Kate Benson
Medical Reporter
October 22, 2008

TWO staff members at a Central Coast nursing home have been sacked for allegedly sexually assaulting women in their care.

One elderly resident, who suffers dementia, had her nightie lifted and her breasts inapprop-riately handled in an alleged assault at the Peninsula Village nursing home, at Umina Beach, five weeks ago.

The Herald understands the staff member was developmentally disabled and was working at the home under a government-funded employment scheme, but the nursing home refused to confirm this.

In a separate incident, another resident was allegedly assaulted vaginally about two weeks ago. Police confirmed yesterday that they were investigating both cases but were yet to lay charges.

The care manager at Peninsula Village, Melissa Dempsey, confirmed two staff were sacked immediately over the alleged assaults to "ensure there was no further risk to our residents". A manager had also been suspended.

"An allegation was made against a staff member working in the nursing home," Ms Dempsey said. "It was deeply concerning to the staff, management and the directors of our organisation, which has only two reasons for being, namely the care and welfare of our residents.

The news comes days after a Federal Government decision to force all nursing home staff to undergo police checks from January. Under existing rules, only staff who have unsupervised access to residents need police checks, but Lillian Jeter, a spokeswoman for the Elder Abuse Prevention Association, said the changes would not make any difference to patient safety.

"Only those who have been caught will have a criminal record and there are many people out there with predatory and abusive behaviours who have never been caught, or have been let off without a conviction recorded," she said.

Ms Jeter, a former police commander, said patients with dementia were particularly vulnerable. "If you don't know what it is going on, that you are being assaulted or who is doing it to you, it makes you even more of a victim. What if this was your mum or your grandmother? This is simply horrendous."

SOURCE: Sydney Morning Herald (Australia)
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Elder Care: Home Services Stopped Without Notice (Kyneton/Mildura, Australia)

Doors close on clients
21/10/2008

DOZENS of clients needing home care have been left up in the air after Bendigo service provider Chancery House closed its doors on the weekend.

Chancery House Services in Wills Street covered a region from Kyneton to Mildura.

It provided home care, attendant and cleaning services for patients unable to look after themselves because of age, illness or accident.

But carers who contacted The Advertiser have expressed alarm that although some casual staff were told of the closure on Sunday, clients have been left in the dark.

“We had one elderly woman sitting in her nightie wondering why no one had come to serve her breakfast,’’ one carer said.

“She eventually had to phone her own daughter to come.

“The real problem here is that no provision has been made for the clients, and many of them have suffered strokes or have to be spoon fed and are not capable of looking after themselves.’’

Chancery House did not return calls and no reason has been given for the abrupt closure.

There has been no indication of how many clients are on the lists.

Source: The Bendigo Advertiser
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Elder Care Crisis (Australia)

Extra funding eases plight of nursing homes

By Mark Metherell
October 21, 2008

THE federal Minister for Ageing, Justine Elliot, has announced an increase for aged-care training after a survey found many nursing homes battle to break even financially.

Up to 7700 training places will be provided over four years for aged and community care workers, costing $41 million, she says.

But aged-care leaders say the Government is ducking the challenge of future capital funding needs for nursing homes, citing a survey that found nursing homes average a return on investment on new single-bed rooms of just 1.1 per cent.

The Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, said the Government supported the "extraordinary" service given by Australia's 2.5 million carers when he launched Carers Week yesterday, when Mrs Elliot announced $12 million for more respite services for carers.

However, critics warn that without a financing revamp Australia will fail to meet surging demand for care of the aged.

Mrs Elliot has stood by the Government's refusal to ease the ban on accommodation bonds on high-care nursing home residents, which, critics say, is needed to provide the capital for more beds.

She said the Government was providing $300 million in no-interest loans for more nursing homes in needy areas, and overall was providing record levels of funding, which will average $41,500 a year for each resident by 2011. This is a $5500 rise in real terms since 2003-04, government figures show.

However, an expert on the economics of nursing homes, Warren Hogan, said that under present policies, which limit the sources of capital for high-care nursing home beds, the supply of places for residents needing nursing care will deteriorate.

Professor Hogan produced a report on aged-care financing for the previous federal government in which he recommended extending accommodation bonds. The bonds are levied on residents in low-care hostel-type institutions but not in those providing full nursing care after an outcry over the issue in the late 1990s.

The research into nursing home finances by the survey company Grant Thornton came at a critical time for demographic change in Australia, Professor Hogan said. The aged care system needed to be overhauled to ensure "quality, equitable, efficient and sustainable care".

The chief executive of Aged Care Association Australia, Rod Young, said a nursing home in Victoria had closed and others were in trouble because of financial difficulties. "Significant reforms are essential. If not … more providers will have to close."

SOURCE: The Sydney Morning Herald (Australia)
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October 21, 2008

Elder Abuse: Let Us Not Forget the 'Silent Majority' (International)

The Forgotten Majority
By Andrew C

We have been, and are still receiving an ‘avalanche’ of reports on Financial Elder Abuse.

Let us not lose sight of those who have been or are still been abused in the privacy of their own home. Many of these cases, I’m referring to here, are NOT reported.
Those reasons can range from ‘not wanting to sever relationship with a son, daughter’ to a sense of powerlessness.

These are the ‘voiceless’ who deserve our attention.

Yes, there are many other ‘pressing issues’ that we all are facing, at the moment. But let us not forget the ‘silent majority’ in the unsavory business of elder abuse.

Firstly, I would like to make a quiet plea for more to be done, in helping victims of Elder Abuse in their own home. That is, those who have been abused by family members or trusted home-carers.

In many of such cases, the victims have less rights and assistance than abused animals.

My own experience - There was no one I could report to or get assistance for a victim.
If that victim was an animal, I could ring up the RSPCA and expect to get action and help.

Is this not ridiculous? Many countries have yet to enact laws to protect victims of this type of elder abuse.

It is against the law to abuse an animal, but not if one abuse one's parent.

Admittedly, these cases are often complex, even for experts in law enforcement agencies, gerontologists, psychologists and other interested professionals. Let us not allow this to deter us from acting in the prevention of this sort of elder abuse.

Secondly, something must be in place to Prevent this injustice done to vulnerable seniors.

According to various researches and reports; people are living much longer. What you help to put in place now, to ensure safety from elder abuse; may one day be used to assist you.

Let us not be complacent.

Elder Abuse is violation of human rights. For those who try to cite family dynamics as an excuse. Think again. There can be NO justification for elder abuse.

Let the message be clear to all. Elder Abuse is not acceptable in any language or form.

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Financial Elder Abuse: Ex-councillor Jailed (Wales, UK)

Ex-councillor defrauded mum and stole from son
Oct 20 2008
WalesOnline

A FORMER councillor defrauded his 82-year-old mother and stole from his own son in a £275,000 campaign of dishonesty and deceit.

Philip Charles Brown, 55, who once served on Mid Glamorgan County Council following a period with Cynon Valley Borough Council, admitted a grave breach of trust towards people his lawyer described as his ‘nearest and dearest’.

He was yesterday jailed for three-and-a-half years.

Cardiff Crown Court heard how:

  • He emptied his son’s bank account of £20,000 behind his back, causing his house to be repossessed.
  • Left his pensioner mother facing demands for £68,000 for a loan he took out in her name
  • Saw his wife face eviction from the family home after he forged her signature on a £168,000 mortgage
  • And borrowed more cash in the name of his brother-in-law, a man who had helped him out when he was first in financial trouble

Brown intercepted letters and bank statements to the family which would have rung alarm bells before eventually fleeing South Wales for a London hotel leaving what a judge said was a trail of misery and uncertainty in his wake.

Abridged
SOURCE: Wales Online
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Elder Abuse: Man Jailed (Ca. USA)

Citrus Heights man jailed on financial elder abuse and other charges
October 21, 2008

On September 2, 2008, an elderly couple was contacted by a man posing as a contractor who offered to repair their damaged roof. After two hours of work, the contractor demanded $1,900.00 for the repairs. The victims did not think this amount was reasonable and did not want to pay but did anyway because they felt "intimidated" by the male. They reported the incident to the Rocklin Police Department.

Michael Marks, 38 years, of Citrus Heights was arrested for burglary, theft, financial elder abuse, conspiracy, vandalism, and operating without a contractor’s license and is being held at the Placer County Jail.

Marks has previous complaints against him with the State of California Consumer Affairs-State Contractors Board for doing construction while not being a licensed contractor and has been fined in the past for violations.
Anyone that may have been victimized by Marks is asked to contact their local police department or Contractor’s State License Board at 916-255-2924.

SOURCE: Rocklin Today


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October 20, 2008

Financial Elder Abuse: Learn to Stop Scammers (Wa.DC USA)

Speaker helps seniors avoid identity theft
October 19, 2008

The Frederick County Department of Aging raises awareness about issues affecting the community and this month is hosting a series of hour-long meetings called Tuesday Talks.
This past week's meeting focused on identity theft and fraud, offering ways to prevent the "perfect crime," as referred to by guest speaker Fred Burton, a certified fraud examiner with 47 years of experience in security and intelligence systems.

Burton told the group that more than 30.4 million identities have been reported stolen since January, many of them involving the elderly.

"The crime is relatively easy and risk free," he said. Once a thief gains access to any form of a person's identity -- such as a social security number, birth date, address or driving records -- they can take out a loan, write checks and run up credit card bills in that person's name.

He told the audience they should invest in a shredding machine, particularly one that offers a cross-cutting feature. He also advised against putting credit card bill payments in their mailboxes, instead, take those payments to the post office.
Otherwise, "you're really just saying, 'Here I am, thief. Come get me.''

Copyright 2008 The Frederick News-Post.

Abridged
SOURCE: The Frederick News Post
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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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