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

February 26, 2010

Scams Preying on Elderly: Beware of 'Storm Chasers' (USA)

Beware of 'storm chasers'
February 25, 2010

We've learned from experience that if an offer seems too good to be true, it probably is too good to be true.
That's good advice for area homeowners to keep in mind as our record-setting snowfall continues to melt and the damages it left behind become evident.
Washington County District Attorney Steve Toprani recently issued a warning about "storm chasers" -- con men who go door-to-door in search of suckers to listen to their repair scams.
The DA said these unscrupulous thieves tend to operate as "out-of-town" handymen who search through neighborhoods for visible storm damage, then offer quickie repairs, often at great discounts. Of course, once the scammers are paid, the work is either done shabbily or not done at all.
"Unethical and designing individuals may use the immediate need for home repairs as a way to scam our county's residents," Toprani warned. "Residents scammed by storm chasers face more than embarrassment. The financial loss can be devastating."
If you have suffered storm damage, there are many ways to find reputable contractors. Demand references from prospective workers and check them out thoroughly. Call your local chamber of commerce or the Better Business Bureau. Also, Pennsylvania offers a free service to verify contractor registration through the Attorney General's Office at 1-888-520-6680.
Toprani plans to aggressively pursue and prosecute these "storm chasers" -- vowing to sic the Elder Abuse Unit on anyone who preys on a resident over age 60 -- but the law can't catch everyone.
The best defense against scammers is an informed and responsible public. "Buyer beware" is always a sound consumer policy, especially in the wake of a major storm.

SOURCE:     The PittsburghLive


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Advocate To Shed Light On Elder Abuse in Beth Am Talk (USA)

Advocate to shed light on elder abuse in Beth Am talk
by janet silver ghent, correspondent
February 25, 2010

In the late 1960s, when Linda C. Kramer was a public health nurse in Philadelphia, she discovered elderly men and women confined to their beds, lying in their own filth, nearly starving to death because no one was cleaning or feeding them properly.
“The families of these elders were keeping their parents or grandparents barely alive, with no quality of life, only to continue to collect the older person’s Social Security or welfare checks,” says Kramer, whose desire to advocate for the elderly led her to become an attorney specializing in elder law and estate planning.
“I know these situations still exist today. The primary difference is that now we have laws to protect the frail elderly.”
Last year, Kramer, who lives in Los Altos, attended a Santa Clara County program on the role of faith communities in responding to the mistreatment and neglect of elders. Among 200-some attendees, Kramer was one of just two Jews.
Concerned about the need for the Jewish community to address such issues, she spoke to Rabbi Janet Marder at Congregation Beth Am in Los Altos Hills, where she is a member. On Tuesday, March 2, Beth Am will host “The Jewish Response to Elder Abuse and Neglect: Shedding Light on a Critical Community Issue.” The free community event is sponsored by Beth Am Women.
Kramer will moderate a panel that includes Marder; Judge Mary
Ann Grilli of the Santa Clara County Family Court and a Beth Am member; Lettie Ordone of the Santa Clara County Adult Protective Services; Donald Moody of the Santa Clara County Public Guardian/Conservator’s Office; and Kimberly Conners of the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office.
When Kramer graduated from law school 23 years ago, she found that “it was politically correct to be a child advocate, but there were very few advocates for the elderly. I decided I wanted to do what I could to support older adults and to protect them when they became vulnerable.
“It may also have been a self-serving action — after all, I’m getting older myself and want systems in place to protect me.”          
“One of my clients,” she recalls, “told me that her son, his girlfriend and their teenage son moved in with her, saying that they wanted to help her. They then proceeded to relegate her to a small back bedroom, where she was forced to live while they took over the house. She could only come out for meals and to go to the bathroom. They verbally abused her on a regular basis, saying she was stupid and old and crazy.”

Her client refused to ask for help. She was afraid to get the police or Adult Protective Services involved for fear that she would never see him again.

“The Jewish Response to Elder Abuse and Neglect: Shedding Light on a Critical Community Issue” takes place at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 2, at Congregation Beth Am, 26790 Arastradero Road, Los Altos Hills. For information, contact Linda C. Kramer at (650) 941-8600.

SOURCE:    The JWeekly.com

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February 24, 2010

Woman Arrested On 38 Counts of Financial Elder Abuse (CA. USA)

Woman Arrested On 38 Counts Of Financial Elder Abuse
February 22, 2010

A 48-year-old Santa Rosa woman has been arrested on suspicion of embezzling thousands of dollars from an elderly South San Francisco woman who was in her care, South San Francisco police said Monday.
On Friday, Niumai Lawanivalu voluntarily went to the South San Francisco Police Department and gave police a statement regarding her alleged embezzlement from an 83-year-old woman who suffers from dementia, police said.
After Lawanivalu gave her statement, police arrested her on suspicion of 38 counts of financial elder abuse. She is being held in county jail on $1.2 million bail.

Copyright 2010 by Bay City News. 


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Elder Abuse: The Growing Concern (MI. USA)

Feb 23, 2010

Holland, MI

An estimated one in 10 adults over age 60 are abused every year, the National Institute of Justice estimates. The grim truth is most of the perpetrators are family or friends of the victim.

“It’s usually someone who is taking advantage of the trust and also taking advantage of the vulnerabilities,” Michigan state trooper Nate Grant said. “Preying on someone’s financial situation.”
Local prosecutors offices don’t keep statistics specific elder abuse cases, but that doesn’t mean it’s not an issue in the Holland area and elsewhere.

“The one thing you don’t want to do is put your head in the sand and pretend this thing doesn’t exist, because this is happening all across the country,” said Bob Blancato, national coordinator of the Elder Justice Coalition.

Many older adults are also afraid to report abuse, according to Allegan County Chief Assistant Prosecutor Marge Bakker.

They might be reliant on the perpetrator for their independence, or they might just not know who to tell.

“We definitely want to stop this,” Bakker said. “We’re hoping we can connect with seniors to tell them there are resources here for them.”

Even when elder abuse cases are reported, they’re often difficult to investigate. For example, if children are charged with taking care of their parent, it’s common to share a bank account so the children can eventually make funeral arrangements.

Once that happens, the temptation grows to start taking money out for personal use, maybe even thinking of it as an early inheritance, Bakker said.

“It is difficult because you have to sort through those trust issues and get to the facts,” Grant said. “You have to prove that these people are being taken advantage of.”

The investigations can be time consuming, even when advocates help the victim.

“Like most of us, the elderly don’t keep the best records, so pouring through records is really very difficult to do,” Bakker said.

But the very things that make uncovering elder abuse difficult make it important.

When someone can’t work up the nerve to contact police, Bakker suggests starting with a familiar face.

“I think seniors are afraid to contact the police right away,” he said. “So they could start by telling someone that they know, maybe a banker or someone at their church.”

To report elder abuse or neglect, call Adult Protective Services Hotline at 1-800-996-6228.

SOURCE:    The Holland Sentinel,MI, USA

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February 23, 2010

Easy Access to Much Needed Private Nursing At Home (UK)

Enabling patients and their families easy access to much needed private nursing at home
Banstead UK,
Leading provider of high quality healthcare staff, Team24 has launched www.Click4Privatenursing.co.uk. This innovative website is designed to provide high-quality private nursing information, advice and services to patients, their families and healthcare providers across the UK.
As a central source of information, the new Click4privatenursing website details all the different private nursing services that Team24 can provide. This enables visitors to the site to quickly and efficiently establish their nursing requirements and find information on how Click4Privatenursing can help meet their domiciliary care and private nursing needs.
By providing such vital support, information and care, Click4Privatenursing directly responds to a growing trend and preference to care for loved ones at home and is designed to ensure that such a choice is a positive one.
Robert Stiff, Managing Director of Team24, decided to develop Click4Privatenursing after his mother-in-law was diagnosed with dementia.
"Following my mother-in-law’s diagnosis my family and I were suddenly facing the stark reality of what it really means to become a carer. Without adequate support the dramatic impact of illness on patients and their home carers is isolating and desperately hard. We found it difficult to find qualified support, advice and care. Significantly, with a diagnosis of dementia, a patient's family is usually responsible for the majority of care.
"This realisation meant that I was determined that Team24 should create bespoke service to address this huge social issue. Click4Privatenursing will make it easy for families and healthcare providers to access private nursing services and understand how these nursing services can help them when they need it most."

Responding to the increased demand for private nursing care at home, in a care home environment or for those seeking to live as independently as possible, Click4Privatenursing provides services including: Private home care, Respite care, Live-in care, Disability and Mental Health and Dementia care. 
For further information, contact: Abigail Harrison or Karen Wright, aharrison@thebluedoor.com or kwright@thebluedoor.com, 01252 899969.

SOURCE:    Journalism.co.UK

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Judge Approves Continuance In Broitzman Trial ( USA)

By Sarah Stultz | Albert Lea Tribune
February 22, 2010

Freeborn County District Court Judge Steve Schwab on Friday approved a continuance in the Brianna Broitzman jury trial because of a scheduling conflict with the homicide trial against Chad Jamie Gulbertson starting April 12.
In a written order about the decision, Schwab said the Broitzman case will be continued and scheduled for a trial by jury “as early as possible.” The date has not yet been set.
Prior to the order, both trials had been set to start the same day.
The order stated the scheduling for Broitzman’s trial will be contingent upon an anticipated change of venue motion by her lawyer, Larry Maus.
Schwab said Maus had no objection to the requested continuance.
With the motion approved, the jury trial for the Gulbertson case will begin April 12 in Rice County, with the Broitzman case likely this summer.
Broitzman, 20, is one of two young women accused of elder abuse of residents at Good Samaritan Society of Albert Lea. She faces 11 charges ranging from fifth-degree assault, criminal abuse of a vulnerable adult, disorderly conduct and mandatory failure to report suspected abuse at the nursing home.
The charges stem from alleged incidents at the nursing home from January through May 2008.

SOURCE:    The Albert Lea Tribune


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Elderly Residents Need More Nurses (AUSTRALIA)

22 Feb 2010

The aged care sector needs an injection of funds because the hard working nurses and personal carers workloads are becoming unmanageable, said Australian Nursing Federation Acting Federal Secretary Lee Thomas. 

"Residents are forced to wait long periods for care and this situation will only worsen as the population ages." 

"As part of the Because We Care campaign, the ANF has a four point plan to address these issues and ensure Australia has a high quality aged care sector. 

"Firstly, we need to halt the exodus of Registered and Enrolled nurses from aged care and ensure our nursing homes have the right mix of staff to get the job done by introducing a minimum staffing ratio. 

"Secondly, we need to lift skill levels across the board, from nurses to personal carers by ensuring there is a minimum qualification requirement and a well structured career path for nurses and personal carers. 

"Thirdly, to get more people into the industry and to hold onto the excellent staff we already have, we need to increase pay. 

"And finally, we need make sure that any extra funding from the Federal Government flows through to aged care staff so they can deliver the best care possible - that means proper acquittal processes for aged care funding," 

SOURCE:    Medical News Today


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Talking About Your Grandma's Generation (AUSTRALIA)

Talkin' about your grandma's generation
22 February, 2010

It was a cartoon that summed up the feeling of a group of seniors sitting around a table at a meeting in Brisbane last week.
Published in regional Queensland, it showed the Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan riding a senior citizen, hitting him with a riding crop and saying: "And one more thing. You seniors will have to stop bludging off the rest of us!''
The group sitting around the table, representing 280 organisations in this state alone, hadn't lost their sense of humour.
But across Australia, and in the lead-up to this year's federal election, they're now preparing to draw a line at how the rest of the nation views them.
Step one begins today, when they release an appeal to politicians and the media to take specific words out of our vocabulary; words they believe are inciting a sense of blame, painting seniors as a laughing stock, and a big group of ageing bludgers.
Oldies, mouldy oldies, grumblies, grumpies, fugglies, fuddy duddies, geriatrics, the olds, the really olds, lost it, past it, and doddery are the 12 words or phrases they are focusing on.
The seniors' roundtable decided it was this list that helped blow an ill-wind in their direction, and their campaign to have them stopped is strategically placed in the run-up to this year's state and federal elections.
Mark Tucker-Evans, chief executive of the Council on the Ageing, says the nation's aged are now being seen as a "burden'' and risk being "blamed'' for economic decisions made by the Government.
He's right. The Rudd Government has been creating that perception, and the media perpetuating it, by linking the ageing of our population to potential cuts in services.

Some seniors also believe that the current blame-game debate is partly behind the increased number of calls to elder abuse units over the past year.
Certainly, much of the language used is not generated by ill-will. Some of it is just old-fashioned terms, now considered politically incorrect. For example, even the Council on the Ageing used to be called the Old People's Welfare Council.



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February 21, 2010

Redding Man Swindled Elderly in Real Estate Scam (CA. USA)

Redding Man Swindled Elderly in Real Estate Scam
February 19, 2010
By  Ryan Sabalow
 A 43-year-old Redding man has been charged with grand theft, financial elder abuse and other crimes after he convinced people to trade him items for $7 million worth of property he didn’t own, police said today.
Anthony James Garceau was arrested last week in Bend, Ore. on a warrant charging him with financial elder abuse, theft by false pretenses, grand theft and vehicle theft.
Redding police investigator Eric Little said that Garceau swindled an elderly victim into giving him a car in exchange for property that Garceau didn’t own.
“Garceau also attempted to obtain several other items belonging to the victim in the fraudulent deal,” Little said in a statement.
The victim’s name wasn’t released.
Investigators served a search warrant at Garceau’s Redding home on Feb. 11, but he wasn’t home.
Investigators believe Garceau fled to Oregon after he learned of the search, Little said.
He was arrested Feb. 13 in Bend. He was booked into the Shasta County jail Thursday, where his bail is set at $100,000.
Investigators suspect Garceau has swindled Shasta County victims as far back as 2004, and there also may be additional victims in Oregon and Texas, Little said.
Anyone with information is asked to call Redding police investigators at 225-4214.



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Elder Abuse Seminar Highlights Awareness (OH. USA)

February 18, 2010

Educating professionals on what they can do to stop elder abuse was the focus of a meeting held Thursday at the Crossroads Aquatics Center. 

Andrea Hills, director of rehabilitation services at the Crossroads Community Hospital Rehabilitation Center, said she believed staff members would benefit from the in-service program.

“It’s something we need to be aware of to protect the patient first and foremost,” Hills said. “We want to make sure we do what’s right and what’s right for the patient who may not know what to do.”

“In Illinois, elder abuse occurs every 7 minutes and of those reports only one in 12 are reported,” noted Tracy Barczewski of the Illinois Department of Aging. “We try to get out to groups to give them more information about it.”

According to information from Barczewski, the main reason cases are rarely reported is that most elder abusers are family members.

“And an older person does not want it turned in,” she said. “The average age of a person being abused is 82 to 83 years-old. As a person’s health detoriates, you guys are the ones seeing more things and reporting it. Abuse doesn’t start at 82 — it’s just that no one is around them to report it.”

In 2009, there were about 150 cases of elder abuse reported, information states, and in the five-county region served by the Midland Area on Aging, almost 320 cases total were reported. Types of elder abuse include physical, emotional, sexual, confinement, passive neglect, willful deprivation and financial exploitation. Barczewski said emotional abuse and financial exploitation were the highest forms of elder abuse.

“Usually if there’s one, there’s another,” she said. “It’s not just physical abuse or sexual abuse — it’s mostly a combination.”

About 70 percent of elder abuse victims are female, Barczewski said, and 30 percent male. However, caseworkers must also respect the Right of Self Determination of the victim — meaning a client may refuse an assessment or all services and interventions.

“The bottom line is they’re in charge of their case,” Barczewski said. “Sometimes if there are multiple reports, they will finally do something.”

For more information about the Illinois Department on Aging’s Elder Abuse and Neglect Program, you may call 800-283-4070.


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Scammers Prey On Local Elderly (USA)

By: Christen Craig

Police are trying to figure out who robbed an 87-year-old Marion woman. Those close to her say two women got into her home, and then took advantage of her.

For many seniors, it's important to live on their own, but one Marion women has been stripped of that independence. Her family says she became a target for abuse. While family members want her identity withheld, they are telling her story so other families will know the indicators.

It all started with a visitor at the door. A woman and child asking for cash for a cab. Tom Mann says his mother-in-law is a generous person, so no surprise she helped out.

"I think she asked for $30 she said I'll give you $10 and also gave an ice cream cone to the child," Mann said.

A week later, the same woman came back, this time with a friend.

"The other one while my mother-in-law was distracted went into her bedroom and took her money," Mann said.

They got away with her wallet and several hundred dollars, and even stole her phone receiver so she wasn't able to call for help. The next day her receiver was found in a neighbors yard. Mann believes this proves his mother-in-law was targeted. 


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Man Stabs Dad For Cutting Off Support (CA. USA)

The Associated Press

Prosecutors say a Santa Ana man stabbed his father because the 80-year-old refused to continue paying his son's rent.
The Orange County district attorney's office says 43-year-old Milorad Olic was charged Thursday with attempted murder and felony elder abuse. Prosecutors did not release the father's name.
Prosecutors say the two men were looking for an apartment for Olic on Monday when they got into an argument.
The elderly man said he didn't want to financially support Olic, as he had for 18 years, and Olic allegedly stabbed the elderly man several times in the face and in his mouth.
The father is in critical condition at a hospital. Olic fled on foot but was arrested later outside his apartment building.

SOURCE:   The Mercury News

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February 19, 2010

Man Left to Live In 'Horror Film' Conditions (NJ. USA)

Man left to live in ‘horror film’
18 February 2010

SHOCKING images from inside the home of a recluse have cast serious doubt over the council’s ability to take care of its most vulnerable tenants.
The pensioner, a mental health patient whose family have asked not to be named, has lived alone in Hampstead, refusing contact with friends of family for more than 25 years.
Neighbours said they had made more than 1,000 complaints to Camden Council about the smell coming from his council bedsit since he was placed there in 1984.
But no social worker or housing officer has gained entrance to the property despite serious concerns he could not take care of himself.
The extent of the living conditions have only come to the attention of the Town Hall after he was taken to the Royal Free following a serious car accident in November.
Neighbours found he had been living in rotting conditions, without any heating, radio, television or phone. They have compared the scenes to “a horror film” and called for the council to improve its service to vulnerable tenants living in street properties.
Monika Caro, who has lived next door to the man since he moved there, gained entry and was met by an overpowering stench and the wreckage of a life failed by the social care and housing system.
SOURCE:    Camden New Journal


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Fox 5 Special: Elderly Abuse (USA)

FOX 5 Special Elderly Abuse
17 Feb 2010
Reported By: Deidra Dukes
Edited By: Leigha Baugham
Caregivers can be hired to help care for the elderly, but authorities say some help themselves to their clients' life savings instead. Some of these caregivers commit the ultimate betrayal and some pay for their crimes with prison time.
"My aunt developed Alzheimer's, I needed extra help at home," said Eleanor Flanagan of her aunt Frances Lindsey.
Lindsey's family turned to caregiver Felicia Harvey in 2006, when their then 87-year old aunt needed around the clock care.
"People are hard to find you feel like you can trust like that," said Flanagan.
Flanagan said she knew Harvey well, since she had once cared for her own mother. Flanagan said she was thrilled when Harvey agreed to care for her aunt. "We really trusted her, she was like family."
Nearly a year after Harvey took the job, the elderly woman's family made a devastating discovery. Thousands of dollars were missing from Lindsey's account.
"We were stunned when I first found the evidence on the bank statements. I thought the bank made a mistake. It honestly never crossed my mind that Felicia would do that. I just did not want to believe it," recalled Flanagan.
Flanagan said Harvey admitted to the family and Gwinnett County authorities, that she stole over $17,000 dollars from Lindsey over a seven week period in 2007.

Harvey admitted to investigators how she duped the elderly victim into giving her access to her account.

Flanagan's aunt died last year. She never recovered any of the stolen money.
There are steps the elderly can take to reduce their risk of being victimized.
·         Make sure you always receive and review your bank and credit card statements and check the accounts for unusual activity.
·         Stay on top of the household finances.
·         Make sure your caregiver is licensed and bonded, so you have a better chance of getting your money back if you're victimized.
·         Have a criminal background check completed.

SOURCE:    My Fox Atlanta

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Worried About Elder Abuse? (New Zealand)

East And Bays Courier

People concerned about elderly friends or relatives being abused or neglected are being encouraged to act.
Statistics from Age Concern show that more than 70 percent of elder abuse and neglect cases are committed by family members.
Home Instead Senior Care, which has an office in Meadowbank, says that for many the thought of intentionally taking advantage of an aged relation, especially a parent who has cared for them as a child, is difficult to imagine.
The reality, however, is that elder abuse and neglect are still very much present in New Zealand.
More than 961 seniors reported abuse via Elder Abuse and Neglect Prevention Services in the year up to September 2009.
The overall issue is one that Home Instead Senior Care, a provider of non-medical home help and services for older people, is keen to highlight.
General manager Neil Farnworth says increasing awareness of elder abuse is an important tool to support the elderly.
Mr Farnworth says that while the statistics are worrying enough the greater concern is cases of abuse and neglect that go unreported.

He says elder abuse and neglect could be physical, psychological and emotional, sexual, financial and material, or neglect.
Abuse is more commonly inflicted upon women – of those being abused or neglected up to 70 percent are women.
Home Instead Senior Care has produced a short presentation to share with community groups that can be used in conjunction with copies of the Social Development Ministry’s booklet Take The Time – Value Older People.
It is hoped that the presentation and handout will raise awareness within the community.
Anyone concerned about an elderly relative or neighbour’s safety should contact their nearest Elder Abuse and Neglect Prevention Service operated by Age Concern or call the police directly if the situation is an emergency.
Home Instead Senior Care team members are available to speak to community groups about elder abuse and neglect.
For more information call the Meadowbank office on 528-4476 or go to www.homeinstead.co.nz

SOURCE:    Stuff.Co.NZ

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Seniors Urged To Avoid Census Season Fraud (GA. USA)

Submitted by the Georgia Department of Human Services
February 17, 2010


The Department of Human Services Division of Aging Services is urging older adults to be vigilant over the next few months to avoid criminals who are masquerading as legitimate Census Bureau workers. Cyber-criminals and scam artists are looking for any available opportunity to steal money and personal information. With the 2010 U.S. Census process beginning, these criminals are taking advantage of the census-taking event to separate older adults from personal information that thieves can use to empty bank accounts.

To avoid the scams, here is what older adults need to know. Census forms will be mailed to households with a return-by date of April 1, 2010. From April through July, census workers will knock on the door of every household that did not return its census forms.

If an individual comes to the door, look for someone who has a badge (with a Department of Commerce watermark and expiration date), a letter from the Census Bureau Director on official letterhead, and a handheld device or computer. If you have any questions regarding the person’s identity, call the Regional Census Center at 1-800-923-8282 to confirm that the visitor is an employee.

The Census Bureau might ask for basic financial information such as a salary range. It will not, however, ask for Social Security, bank account or credit card numbers. Employees of the U.S Census Department can never ask for money or donations, enter your home, or tell you that you owe money to the government, even if you do.

There have already been reports of scam artists posing as Census Bureau workers in Georgia. In January, homeowners in middle Georgia’s Crawford County reported people going door to door, posing as Census Bureau workers, and requesting social security numbers. Census workers may contact you by telephone, by mail, or in person at home. They will not contact you by e-mail. Do not click on a link or open any attachments in an email that is supposedly from the US Census Bureau. If you do receive an e-mail or find a Web site that you suspect is falsely representing the Census Bureau, forward the e-mail or Web site URL to the Census Bureau at ITSO.Fraud.Reporting@census.gov.

If anyone posing as a census worker asks for any personal information, is aggressive, or tries to intimidate or coax you, you have the right to refuse to give information. If you feel uncomfortable in any way, end the conversation immediately and call law enforcement. Then report the matter to the Census Bureau Call Center at 1-800-923-8282.

For more information about elder abuse prevention, the public may call the Georgia Department of Human Services, Division of Aging Services at 1-866-55-AGING (552-4464) or visit http://www.aging.dhr.georgia.gov

SOURCE:   NorthWestGeorgia.Com


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Age Abuse Funds Fall Short (New Zealand)

Age abuse funds fall short
By HANNAH NORTON - Manukau Courier

Some seniors are continuing to suffer financial, emotional and physical abuse because of a lack of government funding to help prevent it happening, says Age Concern Counties Manukau.
Executive officer Wendy Bremner is backing Age Concern New Zealand's plea to the government for funding to prevent elder abuse in this year’s Budget.
Senior Citizens Minister John Carter announced in December that the government has no money for further elder abuse and neglect prevention services.
Ms Bremner says Age Concern Counties Manukau is grateful for the funding it receives from the Social Development Ministry but it’s only the tip of the iceberg.
"We can only deliver a service that capacity allows," she says.
"And referrals to elder abuse are growing at an alarming rate."
Her staff came back from a brief Christmas break to find 24 referrals already waiting, she says.
And the cases of abuse also tend to be a lot more complex than in previous years.
"They are often a combination of financial and psychological abuse.
"Issues such as sibling rivalry, distribution of inheritance and changes of power dynamics within families are becoming more prolific."
Two qualified social workers paid for 50 hours work a week between them try to cover the area from Kaiaua and Awhitu to parts of Otahuhu.
"It’s just not enough," Ms Bremner says.
"We seem to be constantly struggling for the operational costs of delivering the service, like petrol."
Social workers offer the elderly person information, advice and tools for change but never force people to take action, she says.
"You’re entitled to be in charge of your own life, no matter what age you are."
Age Concern national president Lix Baxendine says it’s appalling that vulnerable older people in areas with significant senior populations like Manukau aren’t getting the support they need from the government.
"Elder abuse and neglect prevention teams get at least two new cases of abuse every day.
"But they could do more if they weren’t handicapped by funding shortfalls."

SOURCE:   Stuff.Co.NZ

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

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