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

November 28, 2008

Elder Protection: Community Input on Legislation to Protect Seniors (Macau)

Social organisations give opinions on legislation to protect elderly people
26 November 2008

Officials from the Social Welfare Bureau (IAS) visited seven community service organisations this month to obtain their opinion on legislation to protect senior citizens.

The organisations included Obra das Maes, the Macau Women's General Union, Caritas Macau, the Macau General Union of Neighbourhood Associations, Santa Casa da Misericorida of Macau, Tung Sin Tong Charitable Society, and also the Macau General Union of Workers Associations.

The officials introduced to the two associations the government's initial viewpoints about the legislation to protect elderly people in Macau, including improvement of the current regulations and at the same time setting out what kind of responsibility and measures families, society, non-government organisations and public departments should pursue when securing and facilitating rights for senior citizens.

President of Obra das Maes, Lam I Tou, agreed that the legislation should be outlined in the form of a "framework law".
Her members were also concerned about whether the law would include punishment for people who abandoned or abused elderly people, improve hospice care, and accelerate waiting times for clinic services.

The first stage of the public construction about the legislation will end at the end of this month. The consultation paper can be viewed on the IAS homepage at http://www.ias.gov.mo/.

SOURCE: Macau Daily Times News

Click for Updates, More Cases and Resources

Elder Care and Protection: Government Committed to Improvement (Australia)

26 November 2008

Minister for Ageing, Mrs Justine Elliot said she was committed to working in partnership with the aged care industry, unions and staff to improve the protection of the 170,000 older Australians living in Australia’s almost 3,000 aged care homes.

“My main priority is to protect our older Australians and I make no apologies for taking tough action,” Mrs Elliot said.

“The vast majority of nursing homes have dedicated and hard working staff committed to improving the safety and quality of residents in aged care homes – I want to work in partnership with them.

”Mrs Elliot’s remarks follow the release of the annual report into the Operation of the Aged Care Act, which was tabled in Federal Parliament yesterday (November 25).Section 63-2 of the Aged Care Act requires the Minister to present the annual report to Parliament by November 30.
The Australian Government has introduced a number of measures to improve the care and protection of frail and aged Australians. They include:

  • An extension of compulsory police checks for all staff working in Australia’s aged care homes -supervised and unsupervised. (This will be implemented by changes to delegated legislation from 1 January 2009 which follow passage of amendments to the Aged Care Act by the House of Representatives last night (November 25). It is now before the Senate.)
    An increase in the number of nursing homes visits by Aged Care Standards and Accreditation Agency to 7,000 visits including 3,000 unannounced ones;
  • Record funding into aged and community care – with more than $41.6 billion being invested by the Rudd Labor Government over the next four years. (On average, over the next four years, the Federal Government will provide up to $41,500 a year for every nursing resident in Australia.)
  • A number of training/employment initiatives to improve and up skill the quality of nurses and personal care workers in nursing homes; and
    The Department of Health and Ageing’s Complaints Investigation Scheme - 1-800- 550- 552
For more information, contact Mrs Elliot's office on (02) 6277 7280

SOURCE: Dept. of Health and Ageing (Australia)

Click for Updates, More Cases and Resources

Elder Care: Despair Forces Aged Care Nurses to Quit (Australia)

Despair forces aged care nurses to quit
By Grant McArthur
November 28, 2008

CONCERN for the welfare of nursing home residents are driving many aged care nurses out of their jobs, and almost a third are thinking about quitting the profession.
Aged care nurses have told Melbourne University researchers they are "emotionally exhausted" and suffering from excessive workloads, cost-cutting, hostile environments and competing demands in the workplace.

The study of 1000 registered nurses, in conjunction with the Australian Nursing Federation, found aged care homes needed to drastically improve training and human resource management.

Assoc Prof Leisa Sargent said the biggest cause of stress was the fact the nurses could not provide adequate care to residents due to cost-cutting by their employers.
"The staff aren't being able to provide the care they want to, and believe is their duty to give," she said. "They can't give the care they want because they are spread too thin and they also perceive that management don't care about the residents.

"They are reducing the quality of the food to save money, portion sizes, turning off the airconditioning to save money, turning down or off the heating.

"Those that are most skilled and can move are moving out of aged care into acute care or other forms of nursing where they feel they can make a meaningful contribution."

SOURCE: The Herald Sun

Click for Updates, More Cases and Resources

November 27, 2008

Elder Abuse in Nursing Home: Whistleblower in Trouble (UK)

Whistleblower nurse could be struck off for Panorama exposé of appalling abuse of elderly patients
By Daily Mail Reporter
25th November 2008

A nurse who exposed appalling neglect of the elderly at an NHS hospital began a fight to save her career today.

Margaret Haywood, 58, faces a series of disciplinary charges over a secret film she made for a BBC Panorama programme.
If a Nursing and Midwifery Council panel finds against her, she could be struck off the nursing register.

The veteran nurse was hired to help investigate concerns about the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton.

She and reporter Shabnam Grewal gathered evidence of failures to give even basic care to frightened and dying elderly patients.
One was left to die alone while others spent hours in their own filth or with nothing to drink. Some were in agony from a lack of pain relief.

Rachel Birks, for the NMC, said Haywood worked 28 shifts between November 2004 and April 2005 while secretly filming for Panorama.
She said: 'She had not sought consent from the patients involved when she filmed them and the NMC's case is that from patient charts and records she would have been able to provide documentary makers with the contact details for patients and their families.'

The Royal Sussex County Hospital, which then had the lowest rating of zero stars and an £8million deficit, had received a number of complaints before filming started.

The panel heard a senior nurse deny that pensioners were victims of neglect.
But Philip Kemp, a lead nurse in professional standards, admitted care was 'substandard' and that management knew patients were going without food or drink.
The hearing continues

SOURCE: The Daily Mail UK

Click for Updates, More Cases and Resources

Man Pleaded Not Guilty to Murder, Elder Abuse (CA. USA)

By Matthew Rodriguez
November 26, 2008

NORTH COUNTY COURTS – A 29-year-old man was arraigned yesterday on murder and other charges in connection with an assault on a Carlsbad hotel clerk during a robbery Nov. 16.
The woman, who initially refused treatment, was found dead of heart failure the next day on her houseboat.

Brian Lefler, 29, pleaded not guilty in Vista Superior Court yesterday to murder, robbery, elder abuse, kidnapping for a robbery, and false imprisonment of an elder by violence. He faces 25 years to life in prison if convicted, prosecutor Summer Stephan said.
Carlsbad police said that about 4 a.m., Lefler went into the Tamarack Beach Resort, where Barbara Novelich, 67, was working as a clerk.

“He proceeded to punch her in the face so hard that he caused three fractures,” Stephan said. Lefler pulled Novelich under a desk, stole $300, demanded the keys to her car and drove away, Stephan said.

SOURCE: San Diego Union Tribune


Click for Updates, More Cases and Resources

Elder Abuse: A Major Problem (MI. USA)

Elder abuse: a major problem
By: Jessica Puchala

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) - Elder abuse is a major problem in our country. Experts say 2.1 million older Americans are victims of physical or psychological abuse.

Ninety percent of elder abuse is committed by someone the victim knows - ususally a family member. According to the Bureau of Justice statistics, people over the age of 80 are two to three times more likely to be abused or neglected.

WZZM contacted the Gerontology Network about Tuesday's abuse case in Muskegon. They say many people struggle and become vulnerable when they start losing their independence.
Lynn Kahns, the Clinical Director of the Gerontology Network says, "It can be very sad when you are alone and you can't ambulate safely and you can't take care of your own needs. It's very frightening. People can just shout out and cry for help or they can just shut down and not cry for help, but either way it's sad."

The Gerontology Network encourages people to watch out for their elderly neighbors and call their office if they think someone might need help. You can reach the Gerontology Network at (616) 456-6135. For more information click here to visit their website.

SOURCE: WZZM - Grand Rapids,MI,USA

Click for Updates, More Cases and Resources

Pair Admit to Cremating Elder in BBQ Pit (CA. USA)

Pair admit to cremating elder in barbecue pit
By ASHLEY GEBB - MediaNews Group

RED BLUFF -- A mother and son accused of cremating their 84-year-old mother and grandmother in their Corning backyard in December changed their pleas to guilty Tuesday morning before their preliminary hearing.

Kathleen Theresa Allmond, 50, and Tony Ray, 30, pleaded guilty to one count of felony grand theft of personal property and a misdemeanor charge of disposal of human remains outside of a cemetery, according to a press release from the Tehama County District Attorney's Office.
They are set for sentencing Dec. 22. They each face a maximum of three years and six months in jail.

The pair was arrested after the Tehama County Sheriff's Department was called out to do a welfare check on 84-year-old Ramona Allmond.

Investigators soon learned Ramona Allmond died in December 2007 and was left lying on her bedroom floor for about a week until her daughter and grandson decided to cremate her in a concrete cooking pit in her.

SOURCE: Enterprise-Record - Chico,CA,USA
I am sickened by this story. What category should we tag this as?


Click for Updates, More Cases and Resources

Elder Abuse: Case 'one of the worst' (MI. USA)

Police say case of elder abuse one of the worst they've ever seen
November 25, 2008

MUSKEGON, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - A heart-breaking story is developing in Muskegon, a case of elder abuse that Muskegon Police are calling one of the worst cases they've ever seen.
Police uncovered the abuse when someone called 911. When they showed up to the house in the 1600 block of Hoyt, they found an 85-year-old woman covered in filth.

Police say they had some trouble getting into the house, but when the finally did, they saw something they've never seen before.

Inside the house, police say they had to wrestle through piles of garbage and debris to get to an 85-year-old woman who hadn't moved from the couch in weeks, she was covered in her own feces and her own urine.

"I've been in my career around a couple of things like this," said Chief Tony Kleibecker of the Muskegon Police, "for me this is the worst where someone was actually still alive."
Police say the strangest part was finding the woman's 50-year-old son and and live-in caretaker at the home.

The house has been condemned, the woman is in bad shape but expected to survive, her son has been arrested and charged with elder abuse.

"Nobody should have been left in those conditions, nobody," said Chief Kleibecker. "I wouldn't leave an animal in those conditions, let alone a human being, let alone your mom."
Muskegon Police say they are not releasing the name of the woman or her son yet, but the son is expected to be arraigned sometime Wednesday afternoon.


Click for Updates, More Cases and Resources

Elder Care: Care Homes Law 'needs urgent reform' (UK)

Care homes law 'needs urgent reform'
By Joshua Rozenberg
26 Nov 2008

Care homes, day centres and home care are provided by social services departments to older people, people with learning disabilities, physically disabled people and those with mental health problems, among others. The law relating to these provisions -- and the people who provide them -- is known as adult social care law.

It's an area that's in urgent need of reform, according to the Law Commission. The current law is a confusing jumble of conflicting statutes enacted over a period of 60 years. It contains outdated language and discriminatory concepts. The Government's law reform advisers say that the law can cause distress to some of the most vulnerable members of society.
But before coming up with provisional recommendations, the commission wants ministers to agree the scope of its review. It has therefore published a list of the areas that may require revision.

"The current framework is unfairly and inconsistently applied across the country and we would like to see this changed so that disabled people are able to access the services they need and have the same freedom in their choice of home location as non-disabled people.”
First published November 26, 2008.

SOURCE: The Telegraph UK

Click for Updates, More Cases and Resources

Elder Abuse: District Sued by Landowners for Alleged EA (CA. USA)

District sued by landowners for alleged elder abuse
By Rowena CoetseeEast County Times

A Brentwood-area man is suing Liberty Union High School District, claiming his elderly sister has suffered financial and emotional abuse because the district is trying to take their family's property without proper compensation to build another high school.

The lawsuit involves 38 acres of farmland near the intersection of Sellers Avenue and Delta Road, the site where the school district plans to put a fourth high school.

The allegations of elder abuse are the latest wrinkle in a dispute that's dragged on for more than two years as the two parties wrangle over the property's value.

John Geddes and his 71-year-old sister, Jerilee Geddes Apo, had the parcels in an unincorporated area of the county appraised at $13 million, a figure based on the likelihood that the city of Brentwood eventually will annex the land and develop it for industrial use.

SOURCE: Tri-Valley Herald

Click for Updates, More Cases and Resources

November 26, 2008

Elder Care: Operation of Aged Care Act 2007-2008 (Australia)

Release of annual report – Operation of Aged Care Act 2007-2008
25 November 2008

The Minister for Ageing, Mrs Justine Elliot today released the annual report into the Report into the Operation of the Aged Care Act 2007-2008.

Currently, there are some 2.8 million Australians – about 13 per cent of the population – aged 65 and over. This number is expected to triple in 40 years.“Australia has the world’s second longest life expectancy and the Australian Government is responding to the challenge of an ageing population,” Mrs Elliot said.

Quality, complaints and compliance

During 2007-08 the Aged Care Standards and Accreditation Agency conducted 5,244 visits to homes, with 3,105 visits being unannounced. In this same period the Department undertook 3,127 visits to homes, of which 1,145 were unannounced.
The Accreditation Agency identified 46 homes (1.6 per cent) that had some non-compliance in relation to the 44 accreditation standard outcomes.

The Aged Care Complaints Investigation Scheme (CIS) referred 1,770 matters to the Accreditation Agency, 62 to Nurses’ Registration Boards, 53 to the police; 33 to the Coroner; 27 to the Health Care Complaints Commission and 13 to the Medical Practitioners Board.
Twenty-two percent of the referrals to the Accreditation Agency requested a support contact or a review audit of a nursing home.
During 2007-2008, the Department of Health and Ageing applied sanctions against 14 providers, issuing 15 Notices of Decision to Impose Sanctions and issued 75 Notices of Non-Compliance.

The CIS received 11,323 contacts between July 1, 2007 and June 30, 2008 of which 66 per cent were able to be investigated as these related to approved providers’ responsibilities under the Aged Care Act 1997 (the Act).
The most common issues reported to the CIS in order were: Health and Personal care (3,106 cases), physical environment (1,598 cases), consultation and communication (1,496 cases), personnel (1,255 cases) and 1,117 cases relating to alleged abuse.

Alleged Reportable Assaults
There were 925 notifications of alleged reportable assaults.
Of those 725 were recorded as alleged unreasonable use of force and 200 were alleged unlawful sexual contact:
For more information, contact Mrs Elliot's office on (02) 6277 7280

Download PDF of Report from Department of Health and Ageing

Click for Updates, More Cases and Resources

Grants to Support Comprehensive Approach to Addressing Elder Abuse (USA)

OVW FY 2009 Enhanced Training and Services to End Violence Against and Abuse of Women Later in Life Program

Recognizing that individuals who are 50 years of age or older who are victims of elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation, including domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking, face unique barriers to receiving assistance, Congress created the Enhanced Training and Services to End Violence Against and Abuse of Women Later in Life Program (Elder Grants Program.) In Federal Fiscal Year 2009, OVW plans to fund projects that will support a comprehensive approach to addressing elder abuse in their communities. Theses projects will provide training to criminal justice professionals, governmental agency staff and victim assistants to enhance their ability to address elder abuse, neglect and exploitation in their communities; provide cross training opportunities to professionals working with older victims; develop or enhance a community coordinated response to elder abuse; and provide or enhance services for victims who are 50 years of age or older (hereinafter older victims or elder victims).

State governments County governments City or township governments Native American tribal governments (Federally recognized) Native American tribal organizations (other than Federally recognized tribal governments) Nonprofits having a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education
January 28, 2009

Visit http://www.ovw.usdoj.gov/docs/elder-solicitation2009.pdf or contact Janice Green Program Specialist Elder Solicitation E-Mail OVW.Elder@usdoj.gov.

SOURCE: Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority

Click for Updates, More Cases and Resources

Elder Abuse Charges to Come (MN USA)

Elder abuse charges to come
By Sarah Stultz
Austin Daily Herald
November 24, 2008

The Minnesota Attorney General’s Office no longer will be assisting the Freeborn County Attorney’s Office in prosecution against the four teenagers allegedly involved in abuse at the Good Samaritan Society nursing home of Albert Lea, according to a news release issued Friday by Freeborn County Attorney’s Office.

According to the release, the Minnesota Department of Health and Human Services disqualified four teenagers allegedly involved in the abuse from working at any licensed or unlicensed care facility in Minnesota, and “three of the suspects have challenged the maltreatment findings and the administ disqualifications.

“Because the allegations raised in the civil proceedings are very troubling, the Attorney General’s Office intends to vigorously represent the Department of Health in the contested administrative litigation,” it continues.
The Freeborn County Attorney’s Office is recovering the criminal investigative files from the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office and is assessing the situation, according to the release.

Charges and petitions will be filed in Freeborn County District Court and those teenagers charged will be notified by mail of the charges.

The names will be made public at the time of the charges. The Freeborn County Court Administrator’s Office will establish dates and times for the first appearances in court.

SOURCE: Austin Herald (MN USA)

Click for Updates, More Cases and Resources

Human Rights Abused in Social Care and NHS (UK)

Human rights abused in social care and NHS
24 November 2008
By Daniel Lombard

Vulnerable people are continuing to suffer inhumane treatment in social care and health services, according to a report marking the tenth anniversary of the Human Rights Act.

The British Institute of Human Rights has highlighted cases across the UK where service users felt professionals breached fundamental rights to dignity, privacy, and social inclusion.

Degrading Treatment
In a London nursing home, older people were forced to use wheelchairs regardless of their mobility, while a long-term patient in a mental health hospital was almost denied his wish to marry his partner.

Act 'can change lives'
In the other cases, advocates and consultants raised concerns that key rights were being violated, and the decisions were reversed.

SOURCE: Community Care UK

Click for Updates, More Cases and Resources

Elder Abuse: Charities and Private Agencies Seek Law on Adult Safeguarding (UK)

Coalition launched in response to consultation on No Secrets
25 November 2008
By Paul Stephenson

Fifty-five organisations from the statutory and voluntary sectors including Action on Elder Abuse, Mind and Voice UK came together to launch a campaign to push for legislation on adult protection this week.
The campaign has been formed in response to the government's consultation on reviewing the No Secrets guidance on vulnerable adults.

Safeguarding framework
Action on Elder Abuse chief executive Gary FitzGerald said: "The consensus is that there needs to be a legislative framework for adult protection. I have yet to find any organisation that disagrees with that."

In the consultation document, the Department of Health said it was open-minded on the case for legislation, but warned a bill was unlikely to be introduced until 2011 at the earliest.

The consultation, which was launched last month, closes at the end of January.

Organisations believe legislation is needed to:
  • Improve interagency working through a duty to co-operate and share information.
  • Give social workers and other professionals the right to enter homes where abuse is suspected.
  • Strengthen adult safeguarding boards.
  • Tackle underfunding of adult protection by giving it greater priority
SOURCE: Community Care UK

Click for Updates, More Cases and Resources

November 25, 2008

Elder Abuse in Spotlight (AZ. USA)

Elder abuse in spotlight
Arizonan's tragic death occurred same year Phoenix shelter opened
By Jana Bommersbach
Nov. 17, 2008

Nobody would look at beautiful, successful Loretta Bowersock, mother of Arizona's "domestic diva" and co-founder of Terri's Consign & Design, and think of her as a domestic-violence victim.

Yet in December 2004, Arizona was shocked at the tragedy of Loretta's "disappearance" and subsequent belief that she was buried somewhere in the vast Sonoran Desert around Phoenix.

This was not a typical murder story. Not from where it happened, to how it happened, to why it happened to someone you would never dream it could happen to. As the Arizona media covered the story with great attention and concern, nobody could know the story behind the headlines was just as horrifying as a dead 69-year-old woman who was feared to be a coyote's evening meal.

Terri Bowersock searched for 13 months to find her mother, helped by friends, strangers and winter visitors who were touched by the tragedy.
In the meantime, Terri discovered another heartbreak. Loretta - trim, fit, living in a lovely Tempe home, hands covered with diamonds, always dressed to kill - had been suffering from mental, financial and exploitive abuse from her boyfriend of 18 years, Taw Benderly.

The year Loretta died, more than 4,900 cases of suspected elder abuse were reported in Maricopa County, and experts already knew an awful secret: Senior citizens are the fastest growing category of domestic-abuse victims - and Arizona is in the vanguard.

However, Phoenix has the nation's first shelter for elder victims, called DOVES, which opened, ironically, the year Loretta died, in 2004. Its slogan is chilling: "The golden years should not be black and blue."


Click for Updates, More Cases and Resources

Elder Abuse and Violence Against Women (SE Africa)

No country for old women

In medieval Europe they drowned suspected witches. In south-east Africa today, the killers use machetes

Sukumuland in Tanzania is a traditional and conservative area where reliance on spiritual belief is ingrained into the fabric of daily life. Belief in witchcraft and faith in the rhetoric of traditional healers are manifested in the persecution of older women for events without rational explanation - HIV/Aids deaths, infertility, drought and crop failure. The standing of older people in the community, largely based on age and wisdom, is being eroded as urbanisation and migration have led to the abuse and neglect of older people by their relatives. An increase in violent attacks has left others fearful that they will be next and asking: "Why should I be violated at this age by a child that I made grow?"

Villages along the shores of Lake Victoria have encountered escalating numbers of murders: mostly older women, who have been accused of witchcraft. The only global network striving for the rights of disadvantaged old people, HelpAge International estimates that as many as 1,000 witchcraft-related killings occur in Tanzania annually. Complaints of abuse in both Tanzania and Mozambique are confirmed by the UN Committee on the Convention on the Elimination of the Discrimination Against Women (Cedaw).
The reasons for these killings are complex. Tanzania and Mozambique remain two of the poorest countries in the world with over 50% of the population living below the locally defined poverty line.

Leonard Ndamguba from HelpAge International's Mwanza office explained that unlike other crimes, violence against older women is not just tolerated but accepted.

But attitudes to the recording and reporting of elder abuse by local and national authorities are changing.

The number of killings has reduced in areas where work is being done to prevent them but reporting allegations of witchcraft remains highly controversial and often dangerous. A journalist who did not want to be named told me: "We avoid these stories because they are just too difficult to investigate properly."

SOURCE: The Guardian UK
Add a cultural component to the complex issue of Elder Abuse; we then have an almost impossible task to prevent the abuse and to assist the victims. No excuse for inaction, though. It is no wonder that many countries just would not look into elder abuse or just pretend it is not in their country. This is the reality!

Click for Updates, More Cases and Resources

November 24, 2008

Elder Abuse/Scams: How to Avoid Grandparents Scams (MI. USA)

Grandparents lose $33,000, urge caution of new scam
by Susan K. Treutler
The Muskegon Chronicle
November 23, 2008, 6:57 AM

GRAND HAVEN — It started with a phone call from someone they thought was their teenage grandson.

As the story went, he was in Canada with friends. He'd been caught fishing without a license. He needed $3,000 to pay the fine. And, by the way, he said: Please don't let his parents know he was in trouble.

What followed was a series of phone calls — up to five or six a day over a six-day period — from "police," describing their "grandson's" escalating troubles.
Before it was over, the elderly couple had wired $33,000 of their life savings to Canada, money they don't expect to ever see again.

The grandmother said she has heard that scammers get names of potential victims from places like family tree sites on the Internet.

The people on the phone were concerned, helpful and convincing, she said. One of the scammers effectively impersonated her grandson. On another occasion, they said they were agents of the Internal Revenue Service.

How to avoid falling for it:
Grandparents who receive urgent calls, allegedly from their grandchildren, should immediately call another family member or the grandchild directly using his or her home or cell phone number to verify their whereabouts.
Do not call the number the caller has given to you.

Do not offer any information. If the grandchild says something like "this is your favorite grandson," ask: "Which one?"

Use a trick question, like 'How's your sister?' If your grandson doesn't have a sister, you will know immediately the call is a hoax.

Never give out personal identifying information such as bank account or credit card account numbers to anyone you do not know and never send money to an unknown account or entity.

When in doubt, Ottawa County Sheriff's Department officials recommend you call your local law enforcement agency for information.


Click for Updates, More Cases and Resources

Elder Abuse: What You Can Do About EA (OK. USA)

What Can You Do About Elder Abuse
By Jean W

Don't start with the scepticism -- the numbers on elder abuse will blow you away. And without getting too graphic, the forms of elder abuse would knock the wind out of you. (Here is just one of many stories about elder abuse in Oklahoma.) What can be done? Read the op-ed piece in today's Oklahoman by Shirley Cox entitled "Movement needed on elder justice bill." Then contact Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn who is - again - blocking passage of a good bill with wide Congressional support. (He loves to put a "hold" on bills; it is his "m.o.")US Senate Bill 1070, the Elder Justice Act, would create a collaborative, nationwide effort to research, identify, treat and prosecute abuse against the elderly. It's focus is on prevention. And since women out live men at alarming rates, this is a women's issue. This isn't a bridge to nowhere - this is your mother, aunt, grandma, neighbor - maybe you some day. Urge Senator Coburn to lift his hold on and to vote for passage of Senate Bill 1070. Click here to send him an email. (It's a total waste of your time but you'll feel better for having done it.)

SOURCE: The Oklahoma Women Network Blog
Thank you Jean. I trust more will go to the given links above. How many years has the US Senate Bill 1070, the Elder Justice Act; being on the "For Discussion/Debate" rounds?


Click for Updates, More Cases and Resources

Elder Abuse: Public Need to be Aware of Signs (TX. USA)

Adult Protective Services representative tells Kiwanians about signs of elder abuse
November 22, 2008

Katrina Wall of Adult Protective Services is doing her best to educate the public that elder abuse is everyone’s business. Wall was the guest speaker at the Terrell Kiwanis Club earlier this month about the agency’s role and how to detect and prevent abuse among the elderly and those with disabilities.

According to Wall, the number of Texans 65 and older was 2.2 million in 2005. As that number continues to rise, so do the problems associated with their care since almost half of them have a disability.Wall said Adult Protective Services job is to investigate allegations of abuse, neglect and exploitation of the elderly or adults with disabilities.

Wall said the number of cases filed with the agency has increased dramatically within the last few years with more than half of those involving neglect, most of which are self neglect.

Wall said community members needs to be aware of signs that might indicate a situation of abuse, neglect or exploitation. Indicators usually fall into four categories: physical signs, behavioral signs, caregiver signs and financial exploitation signs.

Anyone who suspects abuse, neglect or exploitation is encouraged to report it to the texas Abuse Hotline at 1-800-252-5400 or online at https://www.txabusehotline.org. For life threatening emergencies, call 911.

SOURCE: The Terrell Tribune

Click for Updates, More Cases and Resources

Elder Care and Abandoned Seniors (Ecuador)

Ecuador: Nursing Home Needs Help (November 15, 2008)
(Article in Spanish)

Seventeen older persons are residents at Carmen Ruiz Echeverria nursing home, in a small town in Ecuador. Most of these older adults came to the home because they were left by their children or care givers to fend for themselves and were found wandering the streets searching for food. Currently, the home is seeking help so that they can continue to give the people meals and provide other assistance as needed.

SOURCE: Global Aging Org

Click for Updates, More Cases and Resources

Elder Abuse: Abuse a Silent Footprint (SPAIN)

Spain: Abuse, a Silent Footprint
(November 9, 2008)
(Article in Spanish)

Approximately 5% of older persons in Spain suffer from some type of abuse, most of which is not reported. When older people do not carry physical marks on them, people tend to believe they are well. However, many are suffering from negligence in their own homes. The abuse of older persons affects all types of people in different socio-economic levels. Experts believe that the best solution to this problem is to inform the public, as well as professionals in the medical field, how to detect this silent phenomenon that is affecting older persons.

SOURCE: Global Aging Org

Click for Updates, More Cases and Resources

Elder Abuse: Where to Get Help if EA is Suspected (USA)

Where To Get Help If Elder Abuse Is Suspected

If alleged abuse occurs in the community, reports of the abuse may be made to Adult Protective Services or Law Enforcement. If the alleged abuse occurs in a residential care home or nursing home, reports of the abuse may be made to Law Enforcement or the Long Term Care Ombudsman Program. In case of emergency and/or immediate attention is required, call 911. Degree of emergency will determine the way abuse should be reported, defined as follows:

When Elder Abuse Is Reported; Department of Human Services/Adult Protective Services, Law Enforcement, and the Long Term Care Ombudsman Program, as the primary agencies with a mandate to receive reports of elder abuse, will investigate and take action to correct or remedy the situation, with the consent of the alleged victim. Any action taken is guided by the principles of the least restrictive intervention and an individualis right to self-determination.


Click for Updates, More Cases and Resources

Elder Abuse: Trial to go Forward Despite Death of Victim (OH. USA)

Abuse trial to go forward despite death of victim
By Lauren Pack
Staff Writer
November 22, 2008

The trial of a West Chester Twp. woman accused of elder abuse will go forward, even though the alleged victim has died.

Abena Afrakomah, 57, a Ghana native, is charged with one count of assault, a fourth-degree felony, for allegedly hitting and pinching Josephine Crawford at her Middletown home. Crawford, 75, who had owned and operated Dixie Heights Beauty Shop and the Iron City Inn, died Wednesday, Nov. 19, at Atrium Medical Center in Middletown. Afrakomah is not charged with causing her death.

Afrakomah is scheduled to stand trial before Butler County Common Pleas Judge Keith Spaeth on Dec. 3.

"It should not affect the trial," said Butler County Prosecutor Robin Piper, noting Crawford previously testified about the alleged crime during a preliminary hearing in Middletown Municipal Court.

Spaeth ordered a competency evaluation by a forensic psychologist. Following a hearing Sept. 18, Afrakomah was found competent to stand trial.

SOURCE: Middletown Journal

Click for Updates, More Cases and Resources

Movement Needed on Elder Justice Bill (OK. USA)

Movement needed on elder justice bill
POINT OF VIEW Elder Justice Act

November 22, 2008

The number of older Americans and Oklahomans is growing at a rapid pace, and so is the national problem of elder abuse, neglect and exploitation.

Consider this: According to the adult protective services division of the Department of Human Services, each year thousands of adult Oklahomans suffer abuse, neglect and exploitation by family members and other caregivers. States such as Oklahoma need help.

Congress is considering comprehensive legislation to provide that help. After 25 years of congressional hearings on elder abuse without any federal legislative response, the Elder Justice Act (S.1070) could be a new, comprehensive endeavor to detect and prevent that abuse effectively.

SOURCE: NewsOK.com - Oklahoma City


Click for Updates, More Cases and Resources

November 22, 2008

Elder Abuse Awareness and Prevention (Ma. USA)

Advocates focus on protection of eldersBish Center conference focuses on prevention
By Lisa D. Welsh
Telegram & Gazette Staff

PAXTON— An elderly mother helping out her son, a lawyer helping himself to a Brookfield man’s millions and an older gentleman with a Ph.D. who won the prize of a lifetime were cases of elder abuse — one fictitious, two very real — highlighted during a conference on elder abuse at Anna Maria College’s Molly Bish Center for the Protection of Children and the Elderly yesterday. “As we gather together and think of ways to protect elders there’s an equally large group somewhere else in the world thinking of ways to scam them,” said David Tuttle, director of the Molly Bish Center, which has adopted the elderly in its mission of “protecting the most vulnerable among us.” It was the center’s first event that focused entirely on elder abuse and prevention.
To report incidents of elder abuse or for more information the statewide Elder Abuse Hotline is available 24 hours a day at (800) 922-2275.

SOURCE: Telegram and Gazette (Ma. USA)

Click for Updates, More Cases and Resources

Elderly Abuse Down, But.. (Singapore)

Elderly abuse down
By Melissa Sim
Nov 20, 2008

WHILE new statistics show that the number of elderly abuse victims fell slightly last year to 170, experts say the figure is likely to be just the tip of the iceberg.

Doctors and help groups for the elderly fear the actual number could be up to 10 times as many, because most seniors keep things like physical abuse, neglect and psychological torment to themselves.

General manager of the Singapore Action Group of Elders (Sage) Phua Kok Tee said it remained a challenge to convince the elderly to 'spill the beans'.
Often they rely on their abusers, including sons and daughters, for support and fear reporting mistreatment will cut off that lifeline.

Dr Phua Dong Haur, a consultant in emergency medicine at Tan Tock Seng Hospital, said senior abuse is under-reported.

In a recently published paper, Dr Phua noted that his hospital's emergency department fielded 27 suspected cases of mistreatment over a one-year span starting in 2005.
An earlier study, in which seniors reported abuse themselves, tallied just 17 cases over 31/2years.

International studies also show that 70 to 90per cent of abused seniors do not report being mistreated.

Dr Phua cited the recent case of a 68-year-old man who was admitted to the hospital's emergency department.

The man's son had beaten him with a ruler, leaving him with bruises.
But the victim did not want to involve his son and rejected help from medical social workers.
Physical abuse is just one aspect of mistreatment. Some seniors fall victim to sexual abuse, emotional and psychological mistreatment and neglect, among other things.

SOURCE: Straits Times Singapore
Click for Updates, More Cases and Resources

November 21, 2008

Elder Abuse: Couple Pleads Guilty (Ca. USA)

North County couple pleads guilty to elder abuse
By Matthew Rodriguez
November 19, 2008

VISTA – A North County couple has pleaded guilty to elder abuse for leaving an 84-year-old man with Parkinson's disease in a van while they gambled at a casino.
The man's former caretaker, 49-year-old Tessie Magan, pleaded guilty to felony elder abuse Nov. 3 for her role in the Oct. 18 incident. Magan, who remains in custody at the Las Colinas Detention Facility in Santee, faces up to four years in prison.

Her husband, Donnie Magan, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor elder abuse. He is free on his own recognizance. According to court records, he faces up to a year in jail.
They are scheduled to be sentenced in Vista Superior Court Dec. 4.

Authorities said the couple took the 84-year-old Pacific Beach man to the Valley View Casino in Valley Center about 4 p.m. Oct. 18.

The man was found by a security guard about 5:30 p.m. in the van on the fifth floor of a six-level parking garage, authorities said.
When firefighters arrived, authorities said, they broke a window to rescue the man, who was unconscious.

SOURCE: San Diego Union Tribune

Click for Updates, More Cases and Resources

Elder Abuse: Caregiver Charged with Sexual Assualt (Wi. USA)

Caregiver charged with sexually assaulting nursing home patients
Nov 19, 2008
Wisconsin Dells

(WKOW) -- from WI Dept. of Justice: Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen announced Thursday that a criminal complaint was filed Tuesday in Columbia County charging 49-year-old Kurt Johnson of Rio with three counts of second degree sexual assault stemming from his employment at Golden Living Center in Wisconsin Dells.

According to the Department of Justice's criminal complaint, Johnson was employed as a certified nursing assistant responsible for the care of patients living in the Dementia/Alzheimer's unit of the facility.

On three separate occasions in September and December 2007, Johnson was seen by three separate co-workers to be fondling the breasts of female residents.
One of the residents is incapable of communicating or showing reaction, however, another resident was seen trying to physically resist the assault.

The case was investigated by the Wisconsin Department of Justice's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and is being prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Eric Defort.


Click for Updates, More Cases and Resources

Financial Elder Abuse: Estate Looting - 'A Must Read'

Estate looting of the rich and famous (and how it can happen to you)
Estate Looting of the Rich and Famous (and How It Can Happen to You)
By Lou Ann Anderson
November 18, 2008

The legal profession is not generally well regarded. A particularly heinous sub-culture surrounds the probate industry in which lawyers and select clients (wannabe heirs, disgruntled family members, etc.) use probate venues and/or estate planning instruments (wills, trusts, guardianships) to perpetrate Involuntary Redistribution of Assets (IRA) actions – or more simply put, to loot assets of the dead or disabled/incapacitated.

IRA actions found in high profile cases often parallel the looting acts perpetrated on estates of far less value. These high profile cases can establish precedents - both good and bad - that impact people at all levels of the economic spectrum. It’s important to understand these “infamous” cases as similar scenarios could play out in your life.

The idea that executors would change a will to include otherwise omitted heirs is cause for concern. Per news reports, this move was approved by the New York Attorney General as well as a judge. It established a precedent for disregarding the final wishes of a decedent and jeopardizing inheritance rights of named heirs. This legal point is now likely to surface in other probate disputes as rationalization for discounting clear intentions expressed in a will. It happened to Leona, it can happen to you.

Now, estate assets once thought to be yours or your prospective heirs may not stay that way due to speculative efforts of disgruntled family members or others perceiving some “entitlement.” Widespread exposure of this problem is critical. No inoculation for Involuntary Redistribution of Assets exists, but as we always say, forewarned is forearmed.

Why then would a judge blatantly choose to disrespect a person’s final wishes?

Regardless, though, an ugly personality isn’t grounds to usurp basic property rights including final distribution of one’s assets.

SOURCE: Estate of Denial Blog

Yet another great article from Lou Ann. I strongly recommend a visit to the original source.
A frightening senario but true. Can we ever learn from those cases cited in this article?
More importantly, can we do anything to ensure that our wishes and instructions will be carried out; without interference from disgruntled family members and their lawyers and judges?

Click for Updates, More Cases and Resources

Elder Care: State Program Cuts Will Affect Services (Ca. USA)

State program cuts are a life-or-death matter
By Margaret Nesbitt (Contact)
November 19, 2008

Hank Lacayo, longtime president of the Congress of California Seniors, surveyed the crowd gathered at the Derby Club in Ventura.

There were many things that concerned these seniors. The state budget showed huge fiscal problems, and many senior programs were to be cut drastically. Seniors are living longer, and the aging baby boomers are on the horizon. Presently, there are 4.5 million seniors in California, and about 500 of them were in this hall, anxiously waiting for some good news. It did not look as though they were going to get it.

Seniors, ready to spend their golden days free of worry, were being faced with cuts of all kinds.
Victoria Jump, director of the Ventura County Agency on Aging, stressed the fact that "seniors were a powerful voting bloc and needed to use their power as a united voice."
Anyone who visits a nursing home on a regular basis knows of the many problems encountered by the residents. They are often a lonely voice not heard by anyone.
The Long Term Care Ombudsman program has efficiently and quietly been there to hear their complaints and concerns. Members visit these facilities regularly and follow the complaints until they are resolved. The program will have drastic cuts and will not be able to operate as efficiently.

Elder abuse is a particular concern of Adult Protective Services. What will happen to reports of abuse if there is not enough staff to investigate? There is a good chance that many of these cases will end up in miserable and painful deaths.

SOURCE: Ventura County Star Ca. USA
Unfortunately, in today's climate of economic downturn; we will be seeing more of such reports not only in the US, but also many other countries will be tempted to do the same. As I mentioned in an earlier post -"Elder Abuse: The First Cut is the Deepest" -- Those in government, must remember that seniors make up a powerful voting bloc. Do not ignore us!


Click for Updates, More Cases and Resources

November 20, 2008

Elder Abuse: Three Honored for Protecting Elderly (OR. USA)

Three honored for protecting elderly
Gazette-Times reporter
18 November 2008

Area women helped stop elder abuseThree local women are scheduled to be honored today at a banquet in Keizer for helping to protect senior citizens from crime, physical abuse and other dangers.

Patricia Coke of Corvallis, Helen Davidson of Bellfountain and Cynthia Janes of Corvallis will receive recognition from the Oregon Everyday Heroes Campaign, which was created in 2005 by the Governor’s Commission on Senior Services.

“It’s neat there’s a group trying to expose this problem in society,” said Coke, whose mother has been the victim of theft three times while living in assisted living facilities. “It’s much more rampant than anybody believes. … You look around and you wonder, ‘How many people have had it happen to them?’”

The campaign, which includes numerous government agencies as partners, tries to increase public awareness and reporting of elder abuse.

Davidson was a victim of elder abuse this year. On Sept. 19, she received a frantic phone call from a man she believed to be her grandson. She wired him $5,300, purportedly to get him out of jail. She learned two days later that she’d been scammed.

The Bellfountain resident agreed to be interviewed by the Gazette-Times regarding the crime, and that helped prevent two other people from falling prey to con artists, according to the Oregon Everyday Heroes Campaign.
“I’ve been made a fool of, but your getting the story on the front page did stop some others,” Davidson said. The newspaper article led to other media accounts, including television reports.

Last winter, Coke’s unofficial investigation led police to arrest a worker who was stealing from residents at Stoneybrook Assisted Living in Corvallis. Coke’s mother had $25,000 in jewelry taken from her, so Coke, a Corvallis retiree, turned detective. She visited pawn shops in Corvallis, Albany and Lebanon to help police track down the jewelry.

Cynthia Janes is the manager of the meal site and Meals on Wheels program at the Corvallis Senior Center. She is being honored for keeping seniors safe in communities. Janes keeps tabs on seniors above and beyond the call of duty. She watches out for those who are increasingly frail, disabled or at risk of abuse.

SOURCE: Corvallis Gazette Times- OR,USA
Congratulations to Patricia Coke, Helen Davidson and Cynthia Janes! Thank you for your efforts. I hope more will follow your examples.

Elder Abuse is gross violation of Human Rights. It is a growing crime. More must be done to increase awareness and every little bit helps.
Click for Updates, More Cases and Resources

Crimes Against Elderly: Man and Elderly Mother Bashed (NSW Australia)

Man, elderly mother bashed at home
November 20, 2008

A MAN and his elderly mother have been bashed by intruders at their home in Sydney's south-west.

A 40-year-old man was inside his home on Birdwood Road, Georges Hall, at about 11.30pm (AEDT) on Wednesday when he heard a knock at the front door.

He opened the door and was confronted by three unknown men, who forced their way inside the house and assaulted him, punching and kicking him to the head and body.
During the incident, the man's 71-year-old mother came to his assistance but was also struck in the face by one of the intruders.

The offenders left the house when the woman shouted out to her husband to call the police.
The man and woman were both treated at Bankstown Hospital for facial injuries.
Police want anyone with information about the attack to contact Bankstown Police Station or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

SOURCE: The Herald Sun

Click for Updates, More Cases and Resources

Elder Abuse: Be Alert ! (Ottawa, Canada)

College needed to keep track of support workers

Personal support workers should be regulated by a college, just like doctors and nurses, says the owner of a local health care workers' organization.

Last week, a 53-year-old personal care worker was charged with assault with a weapon for allegedly hurting an elderly man in her care.

David Waghorn, who owns Selection Health, which supplies health care staff to hospitals and nursing homes, said the profession needs a regulatory body to keep track of personal support workers who've been in trouble.

"I let a personal support worker go one week, they're working for my competition the next. There's nobody overseeing them," he said yesterday.

Waghorn said he hates to hear about elder abuse, but he's not surprised by it.
The job of caring for the elderly is demanding and often thankless and people who do it are prone to burnout. That's why he offers his staff flexible schedules and regular "sitting shifts" where they sit for hours with one patient. Staff in some nursing homes are overworked and frustrated, he said.

"When it starts to get into that, it's time to switch careers," he said.

More people are being charged with elder abuse because everyone's talking more openly about the problem, said elder abuse Det. Brenda McGillivray

"We investigate an awful lot of incidents of elder abuse," she said.


"Everyone needs to be alert to the signs of abuse because seniors don't often report it. It's usually a family member, friend or neighbour who calls police.

"There are often complex issues involved, family dynamics, guilt and shame," McGillivray explained.

Many seniors are reluctant to speak up because they don't want to see their care-giver get in trouble.

SOURCE: The Ottawa Sun

Click for Updates, More Cases and Resources

Elder Abuse: Victims Often Blame Family Members

Victims of elderly abuse blame family in majority of cases

By Eilish O'Regan
Health Correspondent
November 11 2008

Older people who complain of mistreatment or abuse are most likely to point the finger of blame at a relative, particularly a son or daughter.

There were 600 complaints about alleged elder abuse between January and May this year, and 93pc claimed it happened in their own homes, according to new figures released yesterday.
When asked who the alleged perpetrator was, 39pc blamed a son or daughter, 20pc implicated a spouse, and 12pc made the allegation against another relative. And 56pc were living in the same house as their alleged abuser.

A similar trend was apparent last year, showing most abuse occurred in the home. The figures showed 85pc happened in the elderly person's house; 3pc in an acute hospital setting; 4pc in private nursing homes; 4pc in a relative's home; 3pc in public homes for the elderly; and 1pc in boarding/lodging facilities.

The 2007 statistics indicate that a family member is most likely (82pc) to abuse an elderly relation, followed by a carer (6pc), neighbour (4pc), and other patients (1pc). Another 7pc is accounted for other groups in society.

The HSE has advised anyone who is being abused to talk to a GP, public health nurse or garda, or contact the HSE Information Line on 1850 341850 for more information.
- Eilish O'Regan Health Correspondent

SOURCE: Independent.IE (Ireland)

Click for Updates, More Cases and Resources

Elder Abuse and Neglect: Who to Charge in this Case? (Singapore)

More seniors get public aid
74 put on plan after it was extended to folk whose children can't support them
By Theresa Tan
Community Correspondent
Nov 20, 2008

MADAM Lim Kim Eng, 88, has eight daughters and a son, but would rather not talk about them.
Her son, a cabby, used to give her $200 a month but is now in Malaysia hiding from his debtors, and she has lost touch with her daughters.

The widow was earning $400 a month as a cleaner until 14 years ago, when she was deemed too old to work.

To survive, she turned to scavenging for cardboard and empty drink cans to sell, but had to stop when she was hit by a car and hospitalised for a few months.

Relief came in August, when she finally got on the Public Assistance scheme. She gets $330 a month. Families of five or more get a maximum of $1,100 a month.

Up till the middle of this year, she would not have qualified for this sum of money. Public assistance was specifically for destitute Singaporeans who were permanently unable to work and have little or no family support.

Read the full story in The Straits Times today.

SOURCE: The Straits Times (Singapore)
This post is included for general information. Where are this poor woman's children? Why can't they look after their elderly mother?
In a western society -- someone would be held responsible and charged for elder neglect.
May be the authority in Singapore are unable to locate any of the 9 children to charge them under the Maintenance of Parents Act (Chapter 167B).
Click for Updates, More Cases and Resources

Elder Care: Killer Gastro Plagues Aged (Vic. Australia)

Killer gastro plagues aged
By Ben Packham
November 20, 2008

NURSING home residents and hospital patients are more likely to die of gastric illnesses in Victoria than in any other state.
Figures seen by the Herald Sun show a staggering 531 gastro outbreaks in aged-care facilities and hospitals last year infected 9130 Victorians, with 58 of them dying.
New South Wales had 8678 cases and 14 deaths, according to Department of Health and Ageing figures.

Poor hygiene is the cause of many of the deadly outbreaks.
Standards are so bad at many nursing homes the Federal Government has developed a new kit to help cut the number of outbreaks nationally.

It includes instructions on hand washing and the use of surgical masks when dealing with infected people.

"Nursing home residents are often very vulnerable and frail, that's why a gastro outbreak can be dangerous," said agedcarecrisis.com spokeswoman Lynda Saltareli.
In one of the worst Victorian outbreaks in recent times, five residents died at the Broughton Hall aged-care facility in April 2007.

The Camberwell home failed 12 out of 44 basic standards when checked by aged-care auditors, including infection control.

Ms Saltareli said poor staff training ensured rapid transmission of the illness in nursing homes.
"Nursing home staff need to be better versed in basic disease management practices," Ms Saltareli said.

"I had a letter from one woman, the daughter of a resident, who took in a bottle of Dettol to the desk, and the staff said, 'Gee, we haven't even got any for ourselves'," she said.
But Aged and Community Care Victoria defended the industry's performance.

"Aged-care providers have an outstanding record in containing and managing highly infectious diseases such as gastro," ACCV chief Gerard Mansour said.

A spokesman for the Victorian Department of Human Services said the state had good surveillance and reporting systems to guard against the highly contagious illness.
He said a strain of norovirus, which causes most viral gastroenteritis cases, hit the state last year.

SOURCE: The Herald Sun (Vic. Australia)

Click for Updates, More Cases and Resources

Elder Care: Sector Heading for Home Closures (UK)

Heading for home closures

ByNicola Williams and Trish D’Souza

Closing care homes is never easy, but there are legal pitfalls which can be avoided, claim Nicola Williams and Trish D’SouzaIn the current financial climate, there is pressure on councils to achieve efficiency savings at the same time as improving standards of care. As part of the process, this may involve closing residential and nursing care homes, and moving residents to modernised accommodation – hopefully, with improved standards of care. So, how can local authorities go about this?

Consult, consult, consult
Local councils are under a duty to consult before making a final decision about altering service provision.

Effective outsourcing Last summer, the case of YL v Birmingham City Council and Others [2007] 3All ER 957 came before the House of Lords.

The claimants in this case argued that, where a public function was contracted out by a public body, obligations under the Human Rights Act 1998 automatically became the responsibility of the commercial or voluntary sector entity which took over responsibility for the provision of those services. The Lords rejected this argument. However, there have been several attempts to revive this argument in different contexts, including a section in the Health and Social Care Act 2006 (section 145(1)) which has the effect that care home providers will become susceptible to claims of violation of a service-user’s human rights as if they were themselves a public body for that purpose. At the time of writing, there is no date set for the coming into force of this section.

SOURCE: LocalGov - London,UK

Click for Updates, More Cases and Resources

Elder Care: Burdened Care Sector Looks Outwards for Help (Japan)

Japan's Burdened Care Sector Looks Outwards for Help
By Yuki Oda / Tokyo
Nov. 19, 2008

Tsuneto Nakamura is an ambitious young man who jumped into Japan's booming care-service industry at 24. Given the nation's aging population, Nakamura thought caring for the elderly had a lot of room for growth, and much to teach him. "There's so much we can learn from these experts at life," he says. "I enjoy that.

"But recently, as manager of the Yokohama branch of a major Japanese nursing-care service company, Nakamura's enthusiasm has started to wane. His staff provides its elderly customers with 24-hour at-home care, helping them eat, bathe, and use the bathroom.

Unfortunately, Nakamura's predicament is an increasingly common one in Japan, where the turnover rate in the nation's large care-giving sector hit just over 21% in 2007. It's a part of Japan's long struggle to manage its aging population. Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare (MHLW) research projects that the Japanese population over 65 will grow to 32 million in six years, or over 26% of the population, and the Ministry says about half a million additional caregivers will be needed to take care of them.

Help may be on the way. The troubled industry got a small boost in August, when 204 Indonesian professionals — mostly experienced nurses — arrived to work at over 100 Japanese care centers and hospitals as part of a new economic agreement between Japan and Indonesia.

With the global problem of ageing population; we must learn from the experience of Japan. It is a problem that needs planning before it reaches 'basket-case' status.
Admitting foreign workers is a contentious issue for many; yet, it appears inevitable for many countries. That suggest a change in public opinion. Government that ignore planning for increasing demands for age care services, have themselves to blame when the 'crunch' comes.
Click for Updates, More Cases and Resources

Elder Care: Knife Attacks May be Tied to Pension Scandal (Japan)

Knife Attacks in Japan May Be Tied to Pension Scandal

By Blaine Harden and Akiko Yamamoto
Washington Post Foreign Service
November 19, 2008

TOKYO, Nov. 19 -- Bureaucrats here have infuriated the Japanese public by losing millions of government pension records. This week, someone with a knife and a willingness to kill appears to be hunting them down.
Riddled with stab wounds, the bodies of Takehiko Yamaguchi, 66, and his wife, Michiko, 61, were found Tuesday morning in their home in a Tokyo suburb. Takehiko Yamaguchi was head of the Health and Welfare Ministry's pension division when the national pension system underwent a major record-keeping overhaul in 1985.
On Tuesday evening, Yasuko Yoshihara, 72, wife of former pension bureaucrat Kenji Yoshihara, 76, was stabbed in the chest by a man who came to her home in Tokyo claiming that he worked for a parcel delivery service, police said.
En route to a hospital, she said that her husband, who was not at home when the attack occurred, "may be a target and is in danger," according to Japanese news media. Kenji Yoshihara's tenure as head of the Social Insurance Agency in the mid-1980s coincided with the botched computerization of Japan's pension records.
Millions of those records have since gone missing, outraging the elderly and contributing to the resignations of two prime ministers.
The mess continues, and many Japanese fear they might not receive full pension benefits when they retire.

SOURCE: Washington Post

Click for Updates, More Cases and Resources

November 19, 2008

Elder Abuse: Galt Man Arrested on Suspicion of Robbing Grandmother (CA. USA)

Galt man arrested on suspicion of threatening, robbing grandmother
By Layla Bohm
News-Sentinel Staff Writer
November 18, 2008

A Galt man is behind bars after allegedly forcing his grandmother to take money out of her bank account for him and then threatening her.Christopher Blach, 23, was arrested at gunpoint Saturday night after police found him at his grandmother's house pounding on the front door.Blach, who is on probation for a felony drug conviction in March, is jailed on $90,000 bail. He is being held on suspicion of robbery, kidnapping, elder abuse, making threats and destroying a phone line.

SOURCE: Lodi News-Sentinel - Lodi,CA,USA

Click for Updates, More Cases and Resources

Elder Abuse: Backing for Survey into EA (Wales, UK)

Wrexham-based AM backs survey into abuse of the elderly

19th November 2008

By Laura Hughes

A WREXHAM-BASED AM is giving her backing to a nationwide survey into abuse of the elderly.

Eleanor Burnham, Welsh Liberal Democrat AM for North Wales, has sponsored the launch of Age Concern's "Advocacy Counts 2" survey into elder abuse, which took place at the National Assembly for Wales.

Age Concern's survey highlights the lack of advocacy services for older people in Wales as well as the need for proper training in issues relating to elder abuse and rights.

Miss Burnham said: "As a former home care manager and the daughter of older parents who lived into their nineties, I am extremely proud to be associated with Age Concern Cymru and its work. Older people are often fiercely independent but many will also need help of some kind. In this technological age the human links that used to bind people together have been eroded.

Advocacy helps fill that void by acting on behalf of older people to ensure they are getting what is rightfully theirs and that they are being treated with respect."Gwenda Thomas AM, deputy minister for health and social services, officially launched the survey.

SOURCE: Evening Leader - Wrexham,Wales,UK

Click for Updates, More Cases and Resources

Elder Abuse: Former Senator Indicted on Charges (NC. USA)

Webster Surrenders

November 18, 2008

(Source: Times-News)
By Roselee Papandrea, Times-News, Burlington, N.C.

YANCEYVILLE -- Former state Sen. Hugh Webster surrendered to the Caswell County authorities Monday after he was indicted last week on charges of embezzlement and elder abuse.
Prior to turning himself in at Caswell County Sheriff's Department at 9:30 a.m., Webster, 65, held a news conference in front of the Caswell County Courthouse. He was released from custody at 10:30 a.m. under an unsecured $25,000 bond. Webster, a Republican, told a small group of supporters and the media Monday morning that the charges against him are politically motivated.
Copyright (c) 2008, Times-News

SOURCE: IStock Analyst

Click for Updates, More Cases and Resources

Research Realities: Health and Care Services for Older People (UK)

A study to support the National Service Framework for Older People
18 November 2008
By Alison Petch

The research

Title: Health and Care Services for Older People: overview report on research to support the National Service Framework for Older People
Author: Janet Askham
The NSFOP set out eight key standards focused on: rooting out age discrimination person-centred care intermediate care general hospital care stroke falls mental health and health promotion. The report identifies six key principles which underpin these standards. Five of these are used as the focus for summarising the findings from the variety of studies. An indication of the headlines for each of these areas is given further detail, together with a broad outline of each study and its key findings can be found in the report, while those who have an interest in a particular study can access the individual report specific to that study.
There should be no discrimination in health and social care services.

Older people with health and care needs specific to old age should have services from professionals who are trained in the care and treatment of older people .

Older people with health problems should be helped to manage their own conditions, to regain independence and to remain living in the community.

Older people with complex needs should receive integrated and long-term care services

The DH report is available here
Alison Petch is director of Research in Practice for Adults.

SOURCE: Community Care UK
The Report will be Linked in the Sider-Bar of this blog under "Reports and Researches on Elder Abuse".


Click for Updates, More Cases and Resources

Elder Abuse: Carer Exonerated of Shouting at Resident (Scotland)

Shouting charge against care home nurse not proven

17 November 2008

CHARGES against a nurse accused of twice shouting aggressively at a patient suffering from dementia have been found not proven.

Luisa Smith, 58, was said to have taken away the care home resident's emergency alarm and replaced it with a pressure mat.

When the resident complained about the removal of the buzzer, colleagues of Mrs Smith claimed they heard the nurse shout at the resident for a full four minutes.

The alleged incident happened at Braeside House in Edinburgh in January 2006, and as a consequence of the complaint Mrs Smith was sacked from her position.

"The panel have considered the working relationships within the home and have found there was an undercurrent of rumour within the home. "The panel has not been convinced the charges have been proved.

SOURCE: Edinburgh Evening News

Click for Updates, More Cases and Resources

Elder Abuse: Carers Told to Stop Restraints (Netherlands)

Care workers told to stop tying up patients
Carers ill-informed about alternatives to restraint
by Mike Wilcox

An official report published today says that seven people died in the Netherlands between June 2007 and May 2008 after being restrained by carers. The Health Care Inspectorate (IGZ) carried out spot checks on 86 nursing and care homes after news of the seven deaths surfaced. It concludes that mentally disabled residents and those suffering from dementia are too often being sedated, locked in and even tied up.

Carers often resort to such measures to stop patients doing themselves harm, but the treatment can actually lead to mental and even physical injury. RestraintsThe IGZ report, Care for Freedom, particularly criticises the use of 'Swedish restraints', used to tie patients to beds or chairs. The restraints are described as inhuman and not belonging in the modern world. The report calls for the restraints to be banned by 2011.

Carers are often ill-informed about alternatives to restraint, and have come to view freedom-limiting options as routine. They no longer see secure units, locking some patients in their homes, sedation and enforcing strict daily routines as curtailing people's freedom.

SOURCE: Radio Netherlands WorldWide

Click for Updates, More Cases and Resources

November 18, 2008

Legal Issues on Elder Abuse: A Workshop (Melb. Australia)

Legal Issues on Elder Abuse (Australia)

A Workshop for Aged Care Professionals
Join Lillian Jeter and David Davis at the Hotel Bruce County, 445 Blackburn Road, Mount Waverley, Victoria on Tuesday 17 February 2009 or on Wednesday 18 February 2009 as they deliver this joint workshop of relevance to aged care and other related professionals.

Click for Updates, More Cases and Resources

November 17, 2008

Financial Elder Abuse: Former College Trustee Guility (Seattle, USA)

Former college trustee guilty of bilking woman out of $150,000
After deliberating less than a day, a King County Superior Court jury convicted Tom Delanty, a former Whitworth College trustee, of bilking an elderly woman out of $150,000 while he worked as her self-appointed financial adviser.

By Nancy Bartley
Seattle Times staff reporter
November 15, 2008

A former Whitworth College trustee was convicted Friday of bilking an elderly woman out of $150,000 while he worked as her self-appointed financial adviser.
It took the King County Superior Court jury less than a day to reach its verdict.
Tom Delanty, 52, of Tulalip, quickly left the courtroom on his own recognizance after the verdict was read, convicting him of 26 out of 28 counts of first- and second-degree theft and of abusing the trust of a vulnerable person.
When he is sentenced Dec. 12, Delanty could face nearly four years in prison.
Minutes after the verdict was read, Susan Boyer, the daughter of the victim, Nancy "Betty" Huegli, was on the phone to her mother, now 92 and living in a Gig Harbor retirement home.
"Mom! Mom!" she cried. "We got him. He's guilty!"

One of the jurors, who refused to give his name, said the guilty verdict came easily.

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

SOURCE: The Seattle Times


Click for Updates, More Cases and Resources

Elder abuse: Innovative Approaches to Addressing EA (NSW Australia)

Innovative approaches to addressing elder abuse - seminar


International expert Professor Laura Mosqueda MD will share her experience in the field of elder abuse and neglect at a free seminar hosted jointly by The Benevolent Society, the Australian Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse, the Australian Association of Gerontology NSW Division and the Aged & Community Services Association NSW and ACT.

Professor Mosqueda is Director of Geriatrics at the University of California, Irvine School of Medicine. She is co-director of the UCI Center of Excellence in Elder Abuse and Neglect

The seminar will be of interest to anyone working with older people who needs to be aware of the issue of elder abuse, including aged care and health care providers, social workers, lawyers and police.

Monday 24 November, 2008 2.30pm-4.30pm

Lecture Theatre 1, Clinical Sciences Building (opposite car park, near Gate 3)
Hospital Road Concord NSW

Parking available ($5.00) or take bus number 458 or 459.

Please RSVP by 20 November to Carly Fitzsimons on 02 9339 8077

Carly Fitzsimons
02 9339 8077


Click for Updates, More Cases and Resources

Elder Abuse and Elder Care: Ten Innovative Fixes (Canada)

TEN innovative fixes for what ails us
By Judy Steed

Special to the Star

Judy Steed's public policy recommendations to solve problems plaguing the current system:

1. PROBLEM: In Canada, "bed blockers" – older people stuck in hospital, ready for discharge, lacking the home support they require – occupy 5,000 hospital beds and consume $200 million annually. They clog emergency departments and expand wait times for others.

SOLUTION: Hospitals in Denmark eliminated bed blockers by creating a stiff incentive to get elders moving. Municipalities are required to pay for those who stay in hospital past discharge dates. That got communities working to move seniors on – to rehab or home care.
In Canada, even hospitals agree that community care is the answer. "I'm CEO of the Ontario Hospital Association and we think the solution is in the community," Tom Closson told me when he was CEO of the University Health Network. An effective long-term home care system is the answer, he says – only then will seniors discharged from hospitals and nursing homes be diverted from emergency departments.

2. PROBLEM: There are 216 geriatricians in Canada – most not working in their speciality full time – serving a population of 4.3 million seniors. That's a ratio of 0.00005:1.
There are 10 times as many pediatricians – 2,247 – serving a population slice (children) that's roughly the same size.

SOLUTION: There are four options: One, provide family doctors with more geriatric training. Two, set up Seniors Wellness Clinics at all hospitals, with geriatric specialists doing full assessments of medications, nutrition, exercise. Three, increase student grants to encourage more students to enter the field. Four, increase pay for geriatricians.
The Ontario government announced a raise earlier this fall which geriatricians hail as a positive step, but at $330,000 a year, they are still paid less than other high-profile specialties.

3. PROBLEM: Overmedication. At least $1 billion is spent annually on drugs seniors should not take, according to Dr. Michael Rachlis.
The World Health Organization estimates that 50 per cent of prescriptions are not needed and may be harmful – amounting to $8 billion a year of wasteful, possibly dangerous spending in Canada.

SOLUTION: Doctors should have access to an electronic prescribing system to monitor prescriptions.
An electronic model has been adopted by most Toronto hospitals, and should be available across Canada.

10. PROBLEM: Experts estimate that at least 10 per cent of seniors – a figure that's considered a low estimate – are subjected to abuse and have nowhere to turn.

SOLUTION: Require the mandatory reporting of abuse of older adults (just as it's required for the abuse of children) and provide more safe havens like Toronto's Pat's Place, where seniors can, with support, stabilize their lives.


SOURCE: Toronto Star - Ontario, Canada
An excellent article. Please go to source for full-text and more information about the writer.
Those in power to do something to fix the system in their own country, should take note of the great work by Judy. Many countries are facing similar problems regarding elder care and elder abuse prevention. Let us not 're-invent the wheel', but exchange ideas so we can better protect the elderly.

Click for Updates, More Cases and Resources

Elder Abuse: Carers Deserve Our Understanding and Help
By Andrew Chadwick

There are those carers, in nursing homes, who have unspeakable desires to hurt their charges. These cases, naturally horrifies us and are given the publicity they deserve, in the media.

Lesser known facts:

  • majority of the elder abuses are committed by family members (son, daughter or spouse);
  • trusted friends, neighbours or home-service providers exploit their charges

    Family carers.

    Often a son or daughter has to care for one or both parents, even though they may have a family of their own to take care of. This situation cannot be easy, as often stress and tension make life most difficult for the family carer.

    If these carers were given assistance by government or their local community, things could be very different. In most cases, a break period or respite from their care duties can really make a great difference to the carer and their charges.

    There should be every reason for those in government to ensure that these family carers are given all the assistance possible. Politicians should also be aware that these family carers are saving the public a lot of money.

    A few recent studies have also found that the elderly do much better at home than in a nursing home. (See Spotlight on EA earlier Post)

    Denmark has set a great example on assisting elderly to stay longer at home, instead of shunting the elderly to a nursing home, as soon as a need for care arises.

    Carers in Nursing Homes

    Majority of these carers are often underpaid, and overworked. They may also have to tackle difficult residents. These ‘difficult residents’ are, in most cases, those who are suffering from Alzheimer’s or dementia.

    Are the carers trained to tackle these cases? If not, why aren’t they given the training? Is it another case of “funding” or “profit before people” scenario.

    It is my view that most carers are doing great jobs of looking after the elderly. They are usually the type with great compassion for their charges.

    We must, therefore, give them all the assistance required for them to do their job. That is, remove all the obstacles to their own well-being and job satisfaction.

    Surely, that’s the least we can do.


Click for Updates, More Cases and Resources

Plight of the Elderly and Abandonment (Malawi)

Alleviating the agonies of old age
By Perege Gumbo

The respect Malawi`s elderly once enjoyed in the society is being soured by the twin pressures of poverty and HIV/AIDS, according to a recent report, and the government is introducing social grants to alleviate the burden they carry.

In the past, the elderly in Malawi used to depend on the economic and social support of their children and the community. With increased socio-economic difficulties and changing family ties, children fail to look after their ageing parents,`` says the Social Protection and Ageing in Malawi report, by Zifa Kazeze, formerly of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA). ``Similarly, communities are failing to provide for the needs of the elderly. The plight of the elderly is made worse with the direct and indirect effects of HIV and AIDS.``

The plight of the elderly A 2003 study by the development ministry and the University of Malawi found out that although most people viewed the elderly in a positive light, some regarded them as witches or wizards, while 48 percent of respondents knew about or had heard of some abuse of old people.

"If you look at statistics, a majority of people who have been accused of witchcraft are women – and not men. In general, women are historically more vulnerable to violence due to their traditionally subordinate position in most cultures. " Mwakasungura says elderly people were also being abandoned by their children, who migrated from the rural areas to live and work in the towns and cities and did not remit money.

SOURCE: The Guardian

Click for Updates, More Cases and Resources


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

Search This Blog