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

October 31, 2010

Probate Court Abuses Found Across the US

Probate Court abuses found across the U.S.
by Robert Anglen and Pat Kossan
Oct. 28, 2010

A federal investigation into elder abuse has found that Probate Courts nationwide are failing to protect vulnerable adults from exploitation by the guardians appointed to look after their health and finances.
In a report released Wednesday, the Government Accountability Office reported instances of abuse in 45 states, including Arizona, where courts failed to conduct background checks or monitor those it put in charge of an incapacitated adult.
"It is fair to say from the report that the administration of probate issues in states is spotty at best," said Ashley Glacel, spokeswoman for the Senate Special Committee on Aging, which requested the investigation. "The GAO is saying that there is a good-old-boy network with courts and judges in some states."
For years, the committee has been receiving a flood of complaints from "desperate people" who have lost their life savings or suffered physical abuse while under the protection of state courts, staff members and committee investigators say. Glacel said the committee wants to use the findings to push for additional training for guardians, judges and others involved.
Sen. Herb Kohl, D-Wis., committee chairman, is considering holding hearings next year.
Much of the GAO report mirrors findings by The Arizona Republic, which reported that the Maricopa County Probate Court has allowed the assets of some vulnerable adults to be drained to pay fees for lawyers and private fiduciaries who serve as guardians. The fees can add up quickly to tens of thousands of dollars, especially in cases involving family disputes. Judges, who approve the fees, seldom take significant steps to end the disputes or stop the billing.
An Arizona Supreme Court committee began meeting earlier this year to consider reforms in the probate system. Among initial proposals is requiring training for relatives who serve as guardians.
The GAO identified hundreds of allegations of physical abuse, neglect and financial exploitation by guardians in 45 states and the District of Columbia over the past 15 years. Investigators focused on cases where a judge appointed a family member, agency or private business as a guardian.
According to the GAO, guardians appointed and approved by courts in 20 cases stole $5.4 million in assets from 158 incapacitated adults. Investigators found the courts failed in three common areas:

- Screening for criminal convictions and significant financial problems. In four states where guardians are required to be certified, investigators were able to obtain guardianships using two fictitious identities, one with bad credit and the other with a Social Security number from a dead person. The states were Illinois, Nevada, New York and North Carolina.
- Overseeing guardians once they are appointed.

- Communication between state courts and federal agencies. If a federal agency or state court uncovers abuse by a court-appointed guardian, they rarely share that information, allowing the abuse to continue.
The report was compiled from cases that have already gone through the court system. Investigators said they couldn't determine whether the abuse was widespread and added that they could not find a single website, advocacy group or federal agency that compiles comprehensive information on the subject.

Nancy Swetnam, director of the Arizona Supreme Court's certification and licensing division, which regulates private fiduciaries in the state, said the GAO findings are not surprising.
"What it is saying is there are problems across that nation," she said. "That is very consistent with what we've been saying for many years now. There have been cases of abuse by licensed fiduciaries. Some of those people are sitting in prison. Unfortunately, there is also abuse by family members."
Arizona was the first state to require private, for-profit fiduciaries to attend training, get a fingerprint background check and a credit check before being licensed. Private fiduciaries also are subject to random audits. But no such standards exist for relatives.

Two Arizona cases detailed by the GAO underscore the problem.

- A Pima County court appointed Anita Heller's niece to manage her aunt's affairs as her guardian but failed to tell the Social Security agency when it discovered the niece was misappropriating money. The niece continued to receive over $18,000 in Social Security benefits in one year. The niece was later indicted and served probation for misappropriating more than $200,000 from her aunt's estate, which the niece used to give loans and gifts for her children.
- A Cochise County court appointed Lucrecia Pacheco's niece as guardian despite the fact that she twice filed for bankruptcy and had numerous convictions for writing bad checks. A judge appointed the niece over the objections of Pacheco's attorney and allowed the niece to sell her ranch. The court later found that the niece misappropriated $150,000, leaving her incapacitated aunt in danger of losing her housing and unable to pay for medicine. The court ordered restitution and damages of $596,165. In May, the guardian still owed $397,443.

In Arizona, relatives appointed as fiduciaries are required to submit an annual report on the well-being of the ward and an accounting of the ward's finances. At Maricopa County Superior Court, an accounting office reviews the financial reports. Most states, including Arizona, have no system of oversight to make sure the ward is being well-cared for once a court appoints a relative or private fiduciary as guardian.

SOURCE:    The Arizona Republic

Thank you for the reporters of this report.  

This is overdue, and is not a problem confined to the US.  Information received from Australia, has also highlighted cases, where the Guardianship Board decisions on vulnerable elderly; have found to be wanting.

It is difficult to understand, how the very organization set up by law to protect the elderly, is itself - the abuser. How that particular authority could refused second opinions on the capacity of the case-subject and continues to put the person under administration is beyond belief.

More will be posted on this case in the near future.

.................... Andrew


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October 28, 2010

Don't Forget the Elderly When They Need Your Care

Don’t forget the elderly when they need your care
26 OCTOBER 2010

The hate love relationship that often exists between the media and the politicians appears to be yet continuing occasionally gathering momentum especially when some officious law enforcing officer decides to act with high handed efficiency and the naturally irritated press takes umbrage and various political parties decide that this is a glorious opportunity or them to add their critical dismay!
While this situation provides for amusement, criticism or irritation depending on the political stance of the readers another factor that is a fairly common source of amusement is the continuing concern among ministers and deputy ministers to gain brownie points especially since soon it will be November and chances are that when the President takes oath for a new term of office he may decide to appoint others to positions of ministerial importance.
As elders become more physically frail, they’re less able to stand up to bullying or fight back if attacked. They may not see or hear as well or think as clearly as they used to, leaving openings for unscrupulous people to take advantage of them. Mental or physical ailments may make them more trying companions for the people who live with them. Many elders are abused in diverse ways by their own family members and, most often in their own homes where abusers are apt to be adult children; other family members such as grandchildren; or spouses/partners of elders. Institutional settings especially long-term care facilities can also be sources of elder abuse. Abuse of elders takes many different forms, some involving intimidation or threats against the elderly, some involving neglect, and others involving financial chicanery. Often aged parents are pressurized to write their wills especially the house they live in, in favour of the adult child who often with his family is living with them, and when that is done a certain metamorphosis takes place in the attitude of the adult child and his family.
It is difficult to take care of a senior when he or she has many different needs, and it’s difficult to be elderly when age brings with it infirmities and dependence. Both the demands of caregiving and the needs of the elder can create situations in which abuse is more likely to occur. Furthermore these issues are more compounded when financial constraints prevent proper or necessary health care for the elderly.
Would it not be possible for the government to make some arrangement with the Ceylon Insurance Corporation  to take a small percentage from the monthly pensions of government servants to cover the  health costs needed when they fall sick. This will reduce any burden that their children will have to bear and also make the elderly less vulnerable to neglect . Furthermore, since it is mandatory for all private sector companies to pay EPF. The same system can be worked out in association with the Insurance corporation. Moreover since now great publicity is being given to Farmers and Fishermen’s pensions and moves are being made even to have a pension scheme for the self employed,  providing a health coverage for all pension holders with suitable and graduated premiums will enable the elderly to have more security and less neglect in their old age.
Essentially what is needed to help the elderly is to set up an Authority  with the assistance and the expertise of organizations  like Helpage so that the elderly feel that they are recognized for all the services they have given to society in the best years of their lives.

SOURCE:  The Daily Mirror, UK


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Helena Trial Begins in Felony Elder Abuse Case (USA)

Helena Independent Record
October 26, 2010

A bench trial began Monday in District Court here in the case of Arthur. L. Heffelfinger, who is facing a felony charge of exploitation of an older person by common scheme.

Heffelfinger, a former broker with KMS Services Inc., has admitted he operated a $2.02 million Ponzi scheme but denies the exploitation charge.
Heffelfinger, 63, who had an office in Clancy, is accused of taking about $390,000 from a woman in her 90s who suffered declining health and cognitive impairment and lived in a Helena nursing home.
Lynne Egan, deputy securities commissioner for the state of Montana, testified about when Heffelfinger initially admitted to the scheme in September 2009.
"He said that he had been doing bad things and they'd got out of hand," she said in Judge Kathy Seeley's court.
Egan said Heffelfinger seemed very concerned with one victim in particular, the elderly woman in the nursing home, Mary Parr. She said he had taken nearly all of Parr's money.

Parr was substantially older than his other victims, whose average age was about 70 years old, according to Egan. Parr died in October 2009.
In July, Heffelfinger pleaded guilty to two felony charges of operating a pyramid promotional scheme and theft by common scheme. Heffelfinger admitted he operated the scheme from February 2001 to September 2009 in Lewis and Clark, Jefferson, Broadwater, Missoula, Lake, Judith Basin, Gallatin and Ravalli counties. He also said he used his clients' investment money for his personal use.
In a settlement agreement, KMS, a Seattle-based securities firm, agreed to pay about $975,000 in restitution to Heffelfinger's victims. The firm also agreed to pay a total of $50,000 in fines and investigative costs to the state.
Heffelfinger used about $739,724 of the money for himself and an estimated $917,777 to conduct the Ponzi scheme, according to court documents.

SOURCE:    The Missoulian


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Elder abuse: A Growing Beat (USA)

Elder abuse: A growing beat
With a new elder-abuse unit, St. Paul police focus attention on a rapidly growing category of crime, cases which are often difficult to investigate.
Star Tribune
October 25, 2010
It wasn't the ordinary crime investigation when Sgt. Mike Wortman reported to work early last week: A small, tidy room at a St. Paul care facility, an elderly woman lying in bed, a few questions about the way her daughter has been administering her medicine.
But then Wortman's new job isn't the ordinary crime beat: He's St. Paul's first full-time police investigator dedicated to Crimes Against the Elderly.
The unit was formed last month after years of an alarming increase in such crimes. Because perpetrators of elder abuse and similar crimes are prosecuted under general statutes that don't specify age, concrete statistics are hard to come by. But in St. Paul, police say they handled 77 cases of financial crimes against the elderly in 2008, up from 46 in 2006. All crimes against the elderly in St. Paul rose 14 percent from 2007 to 2008, said Assistant Police Chief Kenneth Reed.

SOURCE:   The StarTribune


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Woman Accused Of Elder Abuse (GA. USA)

October 25, 2010

Police said a woman who used to run a Gwinnett County assisted-living facility stole at least $10,000 from a man who was under her care.
Veronica Martin, 39, turned herself into the Gwinnett County Jail on Friday, on a charge of elder abuse.

Channel 2 Action News obtained documents showing a Georgia Adult Protective Services worker discovered signs that something was wrong during a routine visit in September 2009.

The documents show the 79-year-old man's monthly rent ballooned from $1,000 to $3,500 a month. Investigators worked with the man's bank to find out if there was any wrongdoing.

"The investigation showed that she had access to his records and she posed as a family member, gaining access to his records and his money," said Cpl. Edwin Ritter of the Gwinnett County Police Department.
"The investigator was able to show that she was responsible for at least $10,000," Ritter added. "He's missing up to $50,000."



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October 24, 2010

Elders Warned of Rising Crime

October 22, 2010

DA tells seniors they must be vigilant

Warning that more elderly residents are falling victim to crime, Bristol County District Attorney Sam Sutter urged an audience of senior citizens and their caregivers to be more vigilant for all forms of abuse, including scams by strangers, unscrupulous insurance companies and the neglect and coercion of some relatives.

"Crimes against elders are rising and they're rising because the elder population is rising," Sutter told the annual elder abuse prevention conference Thursday sponsored by the Attleboro TRIAD.

More than 100 people gathered at the LaSalette Shrine Welcome Center to hear Mary Richardson, the former WCVB-TV Chronicle anchor and current liaison for Caritas Health Care, lead a discussion about the dangers faced by the elderly community.

"Many more seniors today I think are alert and are aware. They know a scam when they see one," Richardson said. "Although it still happens."

Richardson said the elderly have the right not to be pressured, not to be bullied, and the right to make their own decisions about their life and their finances. 
Assistant District Attorneys Paul Machado and Silvia Rudman touched on some of the laws protecting the elderly and ways to prevent victimization.

"There's often a combination of neglect and financial benefit," Rudman said. "There are some laws that have been created because we have become acutely aware of how seniors have become taken advantage of."

Those laws include reckless endangerment and assault and battery of an elder person, she said.

"It can be avoided if you reach out to your community. It can be avoided if you make sure that your loved ones have regular care," Rudman said.

Lucilia Prates, a representative from the Senior Medical Patrol addressed health care fraud, and stressed the importance of reading Medicare statements to look for fraudulent charges.

"Health care errors cost billions of dollars - your dollars, your tax dollars," Prates said. "Massachusetts has been designated as one of the top 18 states where fraud is committed in the health care system." 
Speakers stressed that preventing crimes against the elderly begins with awareness. Knowing about a scam ahead of time can help seniors avoid becoming victims.

Registrar of Probate Gina DeRossi spoke of important legal issues involving living wills and knowing the limits of granting the power of attorney.

Sutter said a 10 percent cut in his office's budget has reduced his ability to fight abuse.

"For law enforcement, it's trying to do the same job with less resources," he said.

"I learned that there is only so much you can do with less," Sutter said. "The more we can prevent crime the more we can save money on prosecuting crime."

SOURCE:    The Sun Chronicle

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October 23, 2010

Carers Jailed For Attachk on Patient in Residential Home (Scotland, UK)

22 October 2010

A carer at an Edinburgh residential home who hit a 79-year-old dementia patient on the head has been jailed for four months.
The city's sheriff court heard that Valerie Stone, 49, also lost control on a separate occasion and shouted aggressively at the patient, Roy Brown.
Sheriff Deidre MacNeill QC said: "I cannot get away from how serious this is."
But she added the sentence had been reduced to reflect Stone's guilty plea.
At an earlier hearing, fiscal depute Aidan Higgins told the court Stone, who is morbidly obese and has mobility problems, had "particular difficulties" with Mr Brown as well as struggling generally in her job at Bupa-run Braid Hills Nursing Centre.
Struck out
Mr Higgins said Stone had hit Mr Brown as she and a colleague helped him to get out of bed one morning.
He said: "As they were trying to get him to his feet he seemed to fall forwards and seemed to lose control of himself and lose his balance.
"It would appear that the accused thought that he was lunging at her and it appears she thought she would get in first and she struck out and hit him forcefully on the head.

The one saving grace is she is no longer employed and will never be employed again in that position ”
Ross GardnerDefence solicitor
"The colleague who was with her shouted in shock and said 'what on earth are you doing?' and 'that is completely out of order'.
The accused replied 'he was going to hit me first'."
The fiscal depute added that carers were expected to be able to cope with dementia patients, who could be unpredictable.
Mr Higgins also described how on another occasion Stone had been helping Mr Brown in his room when she became very angry.
"This was observed by a colleague and she seemed to lose control and started screaming and shouting at him," Mr Higgins said.
He added that management were not told about the offending behaviour until January this year.
He said that as soon as managers were informed Stone was suspended and police informed.
Stone admitted ill-treating or neglecting Mr Brown under the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) Act 2003.
The offence happened on two occasions between 1 July and 30 November 2009, at the Liberton Drive home.
'Real stain'
Defence solicitor, Ross Gardner said: "She knows this has been seen as a serious matter.
"Although she was not defenceless, the patient was.
"The one saving grace is she is no longer employed and will never be employed again in that position.
"She is unlikely to work again given her health difficulties."
Mr Gardner added that the offence was a real "stain" on Stone's character and that community service was not an option due to her health.
A letter from Stone's doctor was previously read out in court which highlighted the high levels of stress she had suffered.
The letter said she had been given anti-depressants which had not helped and had also suffered from morbid obesity.



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Police Issue Warning For Telephone Scam (MA. USA)

Abington police issue warning for telephone scam
October 21, 2010
By Kaitlyn Foti
Staff Writer

Abington police are warning residents against an ongoing telephone scam. The scam, dubbed the “grandchild in distress” scam by police, mostly targets the elderly.

“They will typically get an elderly person on the phone, without knowing the grandchild’s name, and talk the victim into providing the name,” said Abington Deputy Chief of Police John Livingood.

The caller frequently uses tactics such as asking “do you know who this is?” or saying “it’s your favorite grandson,” Livingood said, which confuses the victim into saying a name.

The caller then pretends to be that grandchild and tells the victim that they are in an emergency and desperately need money sent to them.

“This isn’t just now happening, but we’ve had a couple in the last couple of months,” Livingood said.

“It is a crime we’ve seen for a couple of years now, but I’ve seen a little increase recently.”

Livingood gave warning signs of phone calls that could be a scam, including callers requesting money, claiming to be a relative in Canada or other foreign location, insisting on “secrecy,” sometimes claiming they don’t want to bother or embarrass the rest of the family. Livingood said residents should also be wary if the caller is pressuring for a quick response, has an unfamiliar voice and requests that money is sent by wire transfer.

“Ask the person their birthday, something that only the legitimate grandchild would know. That’s the sort of thing that I would recommend,” Livingood said.

The scam isn’t exclusive to the elderly, but they are the main target of the scam. Whether the elderly residents who live alone or at a retirement community does not matter, Livingood said.

“I have examples of both. Folks aren’t insulated from it living in a retirement home. As long as they have a phone they can get one of these calls,” Livingood said.

The callers usually request several thousand dollars, claiming that they’ve been in an accident, got stranded or are in some kind of trouble while traveling in Canada or another country. Livingood said that whether or not residents fall victim to the scam, they should call police and file a report.

“Contact us if it happened in Abington Township and we will attempt to follow up on it. It’s a little difficult because almost always this money is going to a foreign country,” Livingood said.

“It would be beneficial for us to know that and file a report.”

Police said those who have been a victim of the “grandchild in distress” scam or would like more information or a presentation on “Scams and Cons” to contact crime prevention officer Sgt. Pat Molloy at 267-536-1070. 

SOURCE:    The Montgomery News


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Elderly Women in Better Hands With Biological Daughters: Study (JAPAN)

Elderly women in better hands with biological daughters: Study
 By Misty Harris, Postmedia News

Think your mother-in-law will be the death of you? Turns out, it's more likely the other way around.
A four-year study from Japan finds elderly women under the care of a daughter-in-law are twice as likely to die as those whose caretaker is a biological daughter. Writing in the journal BMC Geriatrics, the researchers describe this as a "survival penalty," and theorize that the higher mortality risk is partly due to the strained relationship a mother can have with her son's wife.

Deborah Merrill, a Clark University sociologist cited in the paper, says it likely comes down to differences in intensity.

© Copyright (c) Postmedia News

SOURCE:     The Vancouver Sun

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Unsanitary Conditions Result in Elder Abuse Charges

MPD: Unsanitary conditions result in elder abuse charges
OCTOBER 21, 2010

A 22-year-old Planter Court man is accused of elder neglect for failing to care for his ailing wheelchair-bound mother, according to Murfreesboro Police.
David S. Williams, of 2403 Planter Court, was arrested by Murfreesboro Police Detective Wayne Lawson Wednesday on one count of adult neglect. Lawson reported Williams, the legal caretaker for his mother, had let the conditions of his mother’s home deteriorate to unsanitary and unlivable.
“(The mother’s) living area was covered in urine and human and animal feces, there was no running water in the residence and the toilets were overflowing with feces,” Williams reported. “The sinks were full of trash and the bathtub was full of trash and other waste.”
Murfreesboro Police spokesman Kyle Evans told The DNJ that detectives learned Williams was taking his mother to a nearby truck stop and rest area to bathe her in the restroom. Detectives received an anonymous tip earlier in the month that led to the investigation.
“She was receiving social security benefits and investigators are looking into how that money was being spent,” Evans told The DNJ, adding the case has strengthened the resolve of the department to investigate elder abuse cases.
“Detectives Wayne Lawson and Tommy Roberts will be investigating more cases of elder abuse and neglect,” he said. “They will continue investigating child abuse cases as well. Our youngest and our oldest are our most vulnerable and are the ones we are going to be looking out for much more.”
Williams was booked into the Rutherford County Adult Detention Center Wednesday. A hearing in the case is pending.



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Seniors Learn to Prevent Attacks, Money Scams

By Leonard Sparks
Helen Kwasinowicz normally walks close to buildings and keeps her car doors unlocked when out shopping.
The 92-year-old is now rethinking those habits after sitting through a three-hour forum held Wednesday morning to educate Sullivan County seniors about defending themselves from physical attacks and protecting themselves from emotional abuse and financial scams.
"You take everything for granted, that everybody's honest," said Kwasinowicz, who lives in the hamlet of Willowemoc. "But they're not."
The forum, organized by TRIAD, an organization dedicated to preventing elder abuse and violence against seniors, drew about 50 seniors to the Ted Stroebel Center in Monticello. Speakers included District Attorney Jim Farrell and representatives from Cornell Cooperative Extension and Friends and Advocates for Mental Health.
"The whole point is prevention of any kind of abuse and the improvement of the quality of life," said Bonnie Lewis, coordinator of TRIAD, a program of Cornell Cooperative, in collaboration with the Sullivan County Office for the Aging.
Awareness of surroundings is the best safety strategy, said Pete Tweed, former Monticello Parks and Recreation director, during his 30-minute presentation on safety and self-defense.
Suggestions also included walking in the middle of sidewalks to avoid surprise ambushes from people hiding in alleys or between parked cars. Seniors should also lock car doors when out shopping and park in well-lit areas, he said.
Should a confrontation occur, he said, seniors should either try to talk themselves out of the situation, run or scream. Yelling "fire" is particularly effective, he said, because other people are more likely to respond.
"Some people say it's against the law," he said. "But saving your life is not against the law," he said.
He also demonstrated techniques for fighting back, all requiring little strength. They included low kicks to the knee and using thumbs to impair attackers' eyes. He also showed seniors an easy way to dislocate an assailant's wrist.
"This is important, especially to seniors who are not as agile and don't have the strength that a younger person has," said Ernest Danenberg, 89, who lives near Monticello with his wife, Thelma Flaxman, 87.

SOURCE:    The Record Online

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Hospice, Social Services and Nursing Homes Provide Services for Elders (USA)

Hospice, Social Services and nursing homes provide services for elders
By Callie Jones, Journal-Advocate staff writer

Adult protective services, hospice and nursing homes were among the topics discussed at a presentation at Northeastern Junior College on Tuesday, part of the “Takes More Than Love” series.
NJC and Sterling Federal Credit Union are sponsoring the series, which wraps up next week with a presentation on “Social and Recreational Opportunities.”
This week, Betty Zimmerman, supervisor for Logan County Social Services Adult Protective Services program, spoke about the program for at-risk adults.
An at-risk adult is someone who is: Unable to protect themselves; unable to perform or arrange for services that will help them protect their health and safety; and/or lacks sufficient understanding or lacks the capacity to make or communicate decisions that keep them safe and healthy.

If someone has a concern about someone else they can call Social Services and ask them to assess that person to see if they need some help.

To avoid financial abuse:

• Watch out for people who are eager to manage or take control of your finances;
• Don’t sign documents giving control of your finances to someone else without checking with a family member or someone you trust;
• Don’t commit large summons of money to anyone without talking to someone else first;
• Make sure that friends and relatives check on you frequently to make sure you’re okay;
• Don’t allow yourself to be isolated from friends, family or other people in your community;
• Consider direct deposits for any of your monthly income;
• Have your bank statements sent to you and someone else so they can check for unusual activity;
• Always have someone review documents you don’t understand when you’re asked to sign something.
When Social Services gets a referral they will contact the adult that was reported and ask them questions to see if that person understands what’s going on. If they don’t understand what’s going on then Social Services will probably contact a trusted family member and explain the situation. 

SOURCE:    The Journal Advocate


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Sentencing Today in Alber Lea Abuse Case (USA)

Sentencing today in Albert Lea abuse case
October 22, 2010

By Sarah Stultz
Staff Writer

The first of two young women who pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct by a caregiver in the elder abuse case at Good Samaritan Society of Albert Lea is scheduled to be sentenced today in Freeborn County District Court.
The sentencing for Brianna Marie Broitzman, 21, is expected to begin at 11 a.m. Sentencing will be by Freeborn County District Court Judge Steve Schwab.
Broitzman is one of six young women who faces charges tied to allegations of abuse of residents at the nursing home from January through May 2008. She and co-defendant Ashton Michelle Larson have been charged as adults.
Broitzman faced 15 counts ranging from fifth-degree assault, criminal abuse of a vulnerable adult, criminal abuse of a vulnerable adult involving sexual conduct, disorderly conduct by a caregiver and failure to report suspected abuse.
However in August, she pleaded guilty to three counts of disorderly conduct by a caregiver as part of a plea agreement. The plea was classified as an Alford plea, in which a defendant asserts innocence but admits the prosecution has enough evidence to convict, usually for more severe charges.
Under the agreement, Broitzman pleaded guilty to the three counts, in exchange for the remaining charges to be dropped. The three counts represented three victims.

SOURCE:     The Austin Daily Herald


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October 22, 2010

Tassie's Ageing Problem (Tasmania, AUSTRALIA)

UP to 28,000 Tasmanians will be diagnosed with dementia in the next 30 years, warns a leading geriatrician.
Dr David Dunbabin, a clinical leader at the Aged and Rehabilitation Clinical Network, said researchers needed to develop innovative forms of care to avoid future over-crowding in nursing homes.
He said about 7000 Tasmanians now have dementia.
The Tasmanian Dementia Research Network was launched at the Menzies Research Institute yesterday and aims to connect carers, researchers, support groups and government organisations to improve care for the increasing number of dementia suffers.
Wicking Dementia Research and Education Centre co-director Professor Andrew Robinson said dementia was likely to become the most significant health problem in the western world.
He said Tasmania was an ideal location for dementia studies because of its stable, ageing population.
"It means we can follow people and access networks over a long period," he said.
He said Tasmania was also a good place to trial programs that could eventually be rolled out nationally.
Prof Robinson said carers were the unsung heroes of dementia treatment.
Stress and high burn-out rates in carers of dementia suffers was well documented.
About 250,000 Australians have dementia, and the figure is expected to jump to 1.1 million by 2020.
Dr Dunbabin said the Tasmanian Dementia Research Network would allow researchers to connect with people at the "coalface" of dementia care, and carers' observations would contribute to ongoing studies.
The Wicking centre received a $5000 grant from the University of Tasmania Community Engagement Grant scheme to facilitate meetings for the new research network.

SOURCE:    The Mercury


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October 21, 2010

Only $50,000 left in estate for Tennessee Children's Home

Executor accused of raiding funds
OCTOBER 14, 2010

Only about $50,000 remains of a nearly $800,000 estate left in a will to the Tennessee Children's Home.

The former executor wrote $100,000 in checks to himself, invested in Iraqi dinar, and lost $340,000
after investing in Hanover Corp., an investment company later revealed as a Ponzi scheme, said Bill Alsup, 
development director at the home for abused, neglected or delinquent boys.
Now, Alsup and others with the home fear they won't be able to find Daryl Bornstein to hold him
 accountable for the estate left by retired Metro firefighter Raymond Simmons, who died in 2006.
"That money would have been helpful, especially considering what we're doing," 
Children's Home President Brian King said, explaining that the home's antiquated facilities need to be 
rebuilt. King said the board would look at its options.

SOURCE:   The Tennessean


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Senior Crime Busters and Financial Planning

Who's Afraid of Probate, Senior Crime Busters and Financial Planning
Senior citizens face many legal issues unique to their ages and situations.

Managing debt in retirement—a hot topic for senior citizens—wasn't even on the radar screen 10 years ago.  Now that, and new issues such as Internet-based identity theft and 401Ks, are among the concerns facing today's older residents. 
Some have been created by the current economic climate, others by the new world of social networking.
Those topics and perennial issues such as estate law, financial planning, navigating the medical system and wills and trusts draw consistent interest, says attorney Steven A. Schurkman, a principal member of Keane & Beane law firm in White Plains and author of Elder Law Q&A: Answers to Questions About Estate and Financial Planning, Health Care Planning and Elder Abuse.
Gary S. Brown, Esq., the Director of Communications and Policy Research with the New York State Consumer Protection Bureau, says he knows things have changed because of the reaction he got at a recent workshop for Hudson Valley seniors.
"A few years ago, when I would ask how many people in the room use computers, no one raised their hand. Now, more hands than not go up," Brown says.
 Brown wants seniors who use the Internet to be aware of identity theft—and wants them all to shred documents.
In addition to phone safety and charities fraud, he singles out the new  "grandson scam," a con aimed at the elderly where a caller claims to be a relative—usually a grandchild—and asks to have money wired immediately to take care of an emergency. Don't be taken in by anyone on the phone or on email, he says.
 He and other legal and financial experts recently talked about these issues at Senior Law Day at the Westchester County center in White Plains, legal and financial experts were on hand to provide free advice to an estimated 250 seniors at the 11th Annual Senior Law Day Oct. 14 at the Westchester County Center in White Plains. 
Each year, new elder law topics are added to a growing list of workshops determined by the needs of the elder community. Changes to tax and power of attorney laws and New York's new Family Health Care Decision Act were two new topics and were addressed by workshops entitled "How the New Tax Laws Will Affect You and Yours" and "What Happens If I Can't make Medical Decisions?"
Westchester Commissioner Mae Carpenter —who has served the county's seniors for the past 31 years— is a rock star among the seniors she champions.
In addition to her message of empowerment, she always repeats her mantra: "A failure to plan is a plan to fail." 

SOURCE:   Scarsdale.Patch.com


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Advocating An Interfaith Response to Elder Abuse

Written by Mary Beth Hislop - Town Crier Staff Writer  
20 OCTOBER 2010
It’s no big secret that America’s citizens are aging. During the 1900s, the U.S. population 65 and under tripled, while those 65 and above increased eleven-fold – from 3.1 million in 1900 to 33.2 million in 1994.
The numbers supplied by the Foundation for Health in Aging aren’t any big secret to Adult Protective Services, which estimates that the nation’s 65-and-older populace will double to 70 million – one in five people will be a senior citizen – by 2030. That same age group will double in California by 2020.
And it’s no big secret that many of the elderly will require assistance with daily-living tasks. If the statistics hold, between 1 million and 2 million of them will be victims of elder abuse each year. The big secret is that 90 percent of the abusers are family members. Worse, one in five cases isn’t reported. It’s a number that shocks Betty Malks.
“This is a crime,” she said. “This is the crime of the 21st century. Elder abuse is increasing all over the world. And people are getting older all over the world.”
As director of Santa Clara County’s Department of Aging and Adult Services for 12 years, Malks knows the numbers only too well.
Today, Malks is project director for Protecting Our Elders, a Santa Clara County Mental Health Department program that focuses on educating interfaith communities about elder abuse.
With more than 700 congregations in the county, it’s an approach with promise, according to Los Altos resident Margriet DeLange, a gerontolologist and the program’s community organizer.
To report a suspected case of elder abuse, call Santa Clara County Adult Protective Services at (800) 414-2002.
“(The phone line is) manned 24/7,” Malks said. “And we have live people answering the phone.”
In most cases, the agency investigates reports within 24 hours, with an understanding of and respect for seniors’ rights to self-determination.
“We do whatever we can to keep (seniors) in the home,” Malks said, “and get the perp out.”
For more information, call 269-2589 or visit www.protectingourelders.net

SOURCE:    LosAltosOnline


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