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

June 30, 2010

Alzheimer's Scourge Hangs Over Ill-Prepared Asia (ASIA)

29 Jun 2010

Source: Reuters

By Tan Ee Lyn


Asia's fast-ageing population will make up more than half of the world's dementia patients in 40 years, with China shouldering the biggest chunk.

With very few skilled nursing homes, daycare facilities or plans to build many more, health experts say the region is ill-prepared to cope with the sharp increase in patients needing such specialised and intensive care.

"Asia will bear the burden because of the ageing population in China ... figures in China will be tremendous," Dr. David Dai, coordinator of the Hong Kong Alzheimer's Disease Association.

"We are not prepared. The whole of southeast Asia is not prepared," gerontologist Dai said in an interview.

More than 35 million people suffer from Alzheimer's disease (AD) and other forms of dementia, a number expected to almost double by 2030 and pass 115 million by 2050, according to Alzheimer's Disease International (ADI) [ID:nN20262573].

Alzheimer's, the most common form of dementia, robs people of their memory and thought processes and, eventually, bodily functions.

In Asia, 13.7 million people had Alzheimer's or other forms of dementia in 2005. That is expected to grow to 23.7 million by 2020 and 64.6 million by 2050.

China alone will have 27 million sufferers by 2050 and India 16 million, according to ADI.


About 10 percent of those in their 70s can expect to have dementia, and 30 percent of those in their 80s.

"Everyone will experience this, every family. It is now common to live to your 80s," said Peter Yuen, director of the Public Policy Research Institute at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

Yuen, whose mother has Alzheimer's, told a recent AD symposium in Hong Kong that four years of daycare and two years of residential care in a general nursing home in Hong Kong would cost HK$540,000 (US$69,000) per patient.

But even that is an underestimate for 82-year-old Aw Bek-sum, whose children have had to fork out HK$15,000 (US$1,920) each month to take care of her since she was diagnosed with Alzheimer's four years ago. The sum covers daycare, visits to the doctor, a domestic helper and household expenses.

"It's devastating for families with AD patients. There is just not enough support," Yuen said

He proposes long-term financing or some form of pooled insurance for patients who are chronically ill so that services will be made available once the ability to pay is assured.


SOURCE:    AlertNet.Org


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Elder Abuse Called 'Hidden' Crime (ON.CANADA)

Fraction of cases reported, officials say

By Dave Battagello, The Windsor Star

June 16, 2010

Nearly one in 10 Ontario seniors has been a victim of elder abuse, a crime a senior's advocate said remains under-reported and largely hidden from public view.

World Elder Abuse Prevention Day was recognized in Windsor on Tuesday with a tree planting at City Hall Square attended by Mayor Eddie Francis and Warden Nelson Santos.

"We have a significant responsibility to ensure people have a safe place to grow," Santos said. "Not only is this a city and county issue, but we need to raise awareness and support on this across the country. We need to grow this tree, plant the seed for more awareness."

There were 215 reported occurances in Windsor in 2009 of elder abuse, but officials believe that's a fraction of the actual number of cases.

They believe the true number is up to 12,000 cases each year in Windsor and Essex County.

"Elderly abuse is under-recognized, under-reported and pretty much a hidden issue," said Deb Groen, a registered nurse for Bayshore Home Health and co-chairwoman of the area's Elder Abuse Resource and Prevention Committee. "People are afraid to report the abuse."

In addition to physical harm, seniors can fall victim to fraud, psychological abuse and neglect. Police say victims are often too frightened or embarrassed or fear retaliation if they tell anyone.

Insp. Joe Bachmeier of Windsor police recalled Tuesday a half-dozen seniors in small wartime homes on the city's west end who were convinced by scammers a few years ago they each needed to buy a new steel roof with a hefty $14,000 price tag.

"These guys were from an out-of-town company, set up here and went door-to-door," he said. "They convinced seniors the roof was so bad it was falling in. They fixed the roof, but it was steel. A shingle roof on those homes would be $5,000 or less."

Police only became aware and stopped the scam when a worker stole a purse from an elderly homeowner.

"We constantly have those stories where seniors are sold services they don't need," Bachmeier said.

Groen pointed to increasing family abuse incidents during these tough economic times.

"You see abuse of power of attorney or not understanding the rules," she said. "People think they can do whatever they want under power of attorney, but they cannot just take over mom's or dad's financial situation. They can assist, but are not entitled to their money or belongings."

Neglect is another disturbing trend, Groen said.

"They are left in long-term care facilities without support from family or in their own apartment without resources for food or clothing," she said

Her committee's mission is to provide education to service providers so they can better recognize signs of abuse and also speak in seniors' centres to educate the elderly and encourage them to report incidents to care workers, friends or family members.

Local and provincial police are also increasingly getting involved to help the elderly through workshops or educational sessions, said Tony Cristilli of the Ontario Provincial Police.

SOURCE:    The Windsor Star

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Aged Care Death Sparks CCTV Call (QLD. AUSTRALIA)

By Felicity Caldwell

29th June 2010

AN ELDERLY woman who was found dead on the floor of an Ipswich nursing home has prompted calls for better staffing and CCTV surveillance to keep watch over dementia patients.

A coronial inquest was launched after the mysterious death of Margery Frost, who was found lying on floor of her room at the Riverview Gardens Nursing Home on August 12 last year.

Ipswich Coroners Court was told the 85-year-old woman was blind, on oxygen and could not walk, but was found lying on the floor metres from her bed at 7.30pm.

A hoist was unusually pushed halfway into her room in Oak wing and Mrs Frost’s head was lying on the metal foot.

The two carers rostered to the wing that night told the registered nurse on duty they believed they had left the hoist in the corridor with the brakes applied.

Ipswich CIB plain clothed Senior Constable Steve Duller told the court police initially launched a homicide inquiry as “we thought something wasn’t correct in the way Mrs Frost was found”.

Coroner Donna MacCallum said she would not recommend criminal prosecution but there were issues the nursing home could address.

The court was told residents with dementia who were not violent and did not wander away from the Salvation Army nursing home were allowed to walk the corridors.

While it was not known how Mrs Frost came to be lying on the ground, Ms MacCallum said there was a suggestion a resident with dementia may have been involved.

Ms MacCallum said better storage of hoists, possibly secured with chains to the wall or with “beepers” to alert staff when the brakes were off could be investigated.

She also asked if low-risk or frail dementia patients left to wander the halls could be better monitored with a CCTV system or checked on every 15 minutes – both of which would require more staff.

While being questioned by coroner’s assistant Sergeant Kevin Carmont, registered nurse Paula Johnstone admitted more staffing would be helpful in an “ideal world”.

“In my opinion we could do with more staff,” Ms Johnstone told the court.

Nursing manager Pamela Woolgar said at the time the number of carers was slightly under the industry bench mark but now it was over.

Since the incident staff have been ordered to store hoists in alcoves in the wings’ corridors and an extra carer has been assigned to each wing.


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Campaign Against Elder Abuse (QLD. AUSTRALIA)

29th June 2010

IT may seem disgusting, but all over Queensland people are abusing elderly people.

But a recently launched poster campaign is aiming to put a stop to it.

Whether it's stealing money from an older person, threatening them, or not getting them proper medical care, 750 cases of abuse have been reported in the past year.

But most cases go unreported and Community Services Minister, Karen Struthers, said she hoped the new poster campaign would raise public awareness about the issue.

The four different posters show four different elderly people in abusive situations.

“These are really humiliating and harmful forms of abuse,” Ms Struthers said.

$75,000 was spent on the campaign, which will be rolled out at public places such as libraries, schools, hospitals and community centres in the coming weeks.

Ms Struthers said she wanted to remove the stigma around elder abuse.

“We want people to have conversations about it and deliver the message that elder abuse, like any other form of violence in our society, will not be tolerated,” she said.

“Most importantly we want people to take action. We all need to act as one against domestic and family violence and we all need to act as one against elder abuse.”

If you or someone you know is being abused, you can call the elder abuse assistance hotline on 1300 651 192.

SOURCE:    The Satellite.com.au

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June 26, 2010

More than 33,400 Old People Suffer Neglect and Abuse in Bolivia

 (June 14, 2010)

(Article in Spanish)

The Ombudsman of Bolivia, Rolando Villena, reported that more than 33,400 older persons in the country suffer neglect and abusive conditions in Bolivia. Villena said the Ombudsman institutions will address this issue through efforts to raise awareness, through various means including volunteering, educational programs, and cultural events that help draw attention to abusive situations.

SOURCE:   Global Action On Aging

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National Insurance Employee Suspected of Stealing Money from the Elderly (ISRAEL)

Israel: National Insurance Employee Suspected of Stealing Money from the Elderly (June 16, 2010)

(Article in Arabic)

A police spokesperson issued a statement to media saying that authorities suspected that a staff member of the National Insurance Institute in Nazareth stole money from older persons. Apparently he withdrew the amounts from the funds of widows applying for retirement benefits after the death of their husbands, pocketing hundreds of thousands of shekels.

SOURCE:    Global Action On Aging

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China: 80-year-old Man Sued His Daughter due to Homeownership Conflict

(June 19, 2010)

(Article in Chinese)

In 2002, Mr. Liu asked his daughter to help him purchase an apartment in Nanjing, China. However, when Liu decided to sell the apartment in 2009, he found his daughter was listed as the property owner on the real estate license. Liu sued his daughter and vowed to "fight till the end."

SOURCE:   Global Action On Aging

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5 Charged In 2008 Retirement Home Fire (USA)

By  Henry K. Lee, Chronicle Staff Writer

June 25, 2010

Five owners or operators of the Vallejo retirement home where three residents died in a 2008 fire have been charged with criminal violations, authorities said.

The fire started accidentally when a spark from a cigar that Robert Bennett, a resident of Casa de Vallejo, had been smoking near an oxygen cylinder ignited the tank's oxygen, investigators said. Bennett, 68, and two other residents, John Argente, 74, and Harold Fortune, 61, died

The retirement home's warning system was disabled for repairs two months before the Aug. 15, 2008, fire, a Vallejo Fire Department report found. It was still not operating when the fire broke out, so no alarm sounded when the flames spread.

Solano County District Attorney David Paulson said his office has filed charges against five officials of Vallejo Housing Partners, which owns the building at 1825 Sonoma Blvd.: Ruben Islas, Jules Arthur, Martha Islas-Enriquez, Jeremy Turner and Michael Hagigeorgio.

Islas and Arthur own the company, and Islas-Enriquez is CEO. Turner is the director of construction management and Hagigeorgio was the project manager for the fire-alarm installation.

Each has been charged with two counts of manslaughter, two counts of elder abuse causing death and one count of elder abuse for displacing the 117 other residents, Paulson said.

The fire caused an estimated $6 million in damage. The 89-year-old retirement home housed low-income senior citizens who had vouchers from the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development.


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Elderly Account for 33 Percent of Suicides

By Lee Hyo-sik, Korea Times

June 11, 2010
South Korea

One out of every three Koreans committing suicide is a senior citizen, with a growing number of the elderly here taking their own lives due mainly to financial difficulties and illness.

The Korean Association of Senior Welfare Centers said Friday that senior citizens aged over 61 accounted for 32.8 percent of those who committed suicide here in 2009, up sharply from 19.4 percent in 1999 and 10.3 percent in 1989.

The center said an increasing number of the elderly are killing themselves as more of them live on their own in line with rising life expectancy and the splintering nuclear family structure. Additionally, many suffer from economic strain as they did not save enough money for retirement and combined with a range of terminal illnesses, they are prompted to take own lives.

"We will launch a campaign at Tapgol Park, a favorite hangout among seniors, to increase the awareness about the seriousness of suicide among the elderly, as well as to offer them support so they can consider alternatives to ending their lives. We will hold an anti-suicide campaign and stage performances and other events to stress the importance of life," the center said.

According to the Ministry of Health and Welfare, a total of 12,858 Koreans committed suicide in 2008, up 5.6 percent from the previous year.

It translates to 26 individuals per every 100,000 here voluntarily ending their lives, the highest among the 31 OECD member countries.

SOURCE:   The Korea Times


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June 23, 2010

Essex DA: Be aware of Signs of Elder Abuse (USA)

June 22, 2010

The following is a press release from the Essex District Attorney's Office:

With scams targeting the elderly making national news, Essex District Attorney Jonathan W. Blodgett called on communities to pay closer attention to the signs of elder abuse.

While District Attorney Blodgett applauded national coverage of a ponzi scheme that targeted senior citizens and warnings about possible scams related to the Medicare “donut hole” coverage, he suggested that elder abuse needs to receive the same attention. “We must always be vigilant about scams, especially those that target the elderly. In addition, I am urging everyone to be aware of another crime against our seniors, abuse by family or caregivers,” Blodgett said.

According to the US Department of Justice, the best available estimates indicate that between 1 and 2 million Americans over age 65 have suffered abuse and that for each reported case, there are about 5 more cases that remain unreported. Victims are often too ashamed or afraid to report the crime or may be reluctant to report a person on whom they depend for their care. For these reasons, Blodgett is encouraging all members of the community to be aware of the signs of elder abuse. “There are many ways in which seniors are abused or neglected. By recognizing potential abuse, we may be able to help someone, whether they are our neighbor, acquaintance, patient, or customer,” Blodgett said.

Senior citizens can be abused physically, emotionally, sexually, or financially. Signs of abuse include unexplained bruises, unattended medical needs, poor hygiene, unusual weight loss, sudden change in financial situation, unexplained withdrawal from normal activities or unusual isolation from friends. Massachusetts General Law (Chapter 19A, Section 18) requires specific people (Council on Aging directors, health care professionals, police and other public safety officials) to report elder abuse. However, anyone who suspects abuse is encouraged to report it to adult protective services by calling the Massachusetts Elder Affairs’ 24-Hour Hotline at 1-800-922-2275. All reports are confidential.

“Many services are available to victims to help end the abuse. However, if the abuse is not reported, victims may suffer needlessly,” Blodgett said.

SOURCE:    Boston.Com

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The Color of Money: Look For signs of Fraud Against the Elderly (USA)

The Color of Money: Look for signs of fraud against the elderly



June 22, 2010

When we talk about the aging population in the U.S., the conversation is often focused on who will take care of the physical needs of millions of seniors.

But there's a growing threat we also need to make our concern -- fraud of the elderly.

One out of every five Americans over 65 -- that's 7.3 million seniors -- has been victimized by a financial swindle, according to a newly released survey by the Investor Protection Trust, a nonprofit education organization.

This survey is particularly troubling when you consider that more than a third of people over 70 have some form of memory impairment, according to a 2008 published study by a national team of university researchers. Cognitive problems make seniors more vulnerable to fraud.

Stealing from seniors adds up to more than $2.6 billion a year, according to a report released last year by MetLife's Mature Market Institute, the insurer's research organization.

"With the present state of the economy, older Americans are at a greater risk than ever of having their financial security threatened," said Sandra Timmermann, director of the institute.

For each case of elder fraud reported to authorities, an estimated four or more go unreported, according to MetLife. Family members and caregivers are the perpetrators in 55 percent of the cases.

To catch the thieves, the Investor Protection Trust has joined forces with a number of organizations to create the "Elder Investment Fraud and Financial Exploitation" project. The organizations involved include the North American Securities Administrators Association, the National Adult Protective Services Association, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the National Area Health Education Center Organization and the National Association of Geriatric Education Centers.

The project centers on teaching medical professionals and adult protective services workers to identify the red flags that a senior is being financially abused.

Using a grant from the Investor Protection Trust, clinicians and geriatrics faculty from the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston have developed a "Clinician's Pocket Guide" with questions and checklists. To download the short brochure, go to www.investorprotection.org.

To help direct professionals who may not know how to broach this topic, the pocket guide suggests saying: "We find that some older adults worry about money; may I ask you a few questions about this?"

Here are a few questions:

•Who manages your money day to day? How is that going?

•Have you given power of attorney to another person?

•Do you have a will? Has anyone asked you to change it?

The guide lists resources and where to report suspected abuse.

The elder-abuse project was field-tested in Texas, where several cases went to trial and resulted in convictions.

The more seniors are scammed out of their money, the greater the financial burden to care for them will fall to the government.

So watch out for the seniors you know, especially if you begin to see signs of mental loss. Report any suspected abuse. This is your business.

SOURCE:     TimesDispatch


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June 21, 2010

Elder Abuse - Invisible Victims (MA. USA)

Bristol Elder Services observes the fifth annual World Elder Abuse Day


GateHouse News Service

Jun 19, 2010

Elected officials and senior citizen advocates commemorated the fifth annual World Elder Abuse Day at Bristol Elder Services last week.

The program was sponsored by the Southeastern Alliance for Elders, whose mission is to prevent elder abuse through community initiatives. Several in attendance wore purple ribbons to show their support for ending elder abuse.

There have been 1,394 reported cases of elder abuse in Bristol County in fiscal 2010, an increase of 50 cases from the prior year, said Lisa Ouellette-Kurowski, protective supervisor for Bristol Elder Services.

Ouellette-Kurowski detailed the plight of “Mrs. B,” an 84-year old whose 50-year old unemployed son was living with her. Mrs. B was hospitalized with a fractured hip and told officials she fell. Red flags were raised when her son was adamant she return home rather than go to a rehabilitation facility. After a second hospitalization, Mrs. B disclosed that her son was abusive toward her when he was drinking. An examination revealed multiple fractures that had healed.

Fearing for her safety, Mrs. B opted to enter a rehab facility and decided to stay there. While she was rehabilitating, her son gained control of her finances and drained her bank accounts.

“The staff at Bristol Elder Services can help a senior in such a situation,” said Ouellette-Kurowski. “They are going to meet with her, do the initial assessment and allow her to make decisions for herself.”

Assistant District Attorney Silvia Rudman, representing Bristol County District Attorney Sam Sutter, said her office is dedicated to keeping seniors safe.

“The district attorney’s office believes that protecting our elders is one of our highest priorities,” said Rudman.

Rudman said district attorney’s staffers have been touring area Council on Aging facilities and speaking to clients about their rights.

Bristol County Sheriff Thomas Hodgson mentioned several programs in his office that take a proactive approach to fighting elder abuse. Hodgson said several local communities have formed triads, which involve partnerships between the Councils on Aging, police departments and the sheriff’s office. The “Are You Okay” program arranges for daily calls to 180 seniors to check on their well-being, and Project Lifesaver provides tracking bracelets for dementia sufferers. Local police are notified if the wearer wanders away from home, and the person is typically located within 30 minutes.

“All of us in government are committed to partner with you, marshal our forces and take care of the elderly in our community,” Hodgson told the Bristol Elder Services staffers in attendance.

Fall River Mayor Will Flanagan and New Bedford Mayor Scott Lang presented proclamations to Bristol Elder Services for their dedication to working with local seniors.

Copyright 2010 The Taunton Gazette. Some rights reserved

SOURCE:      The Taunton Gazette


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94 Percent of Elder Abuse Cases Go Unreported (TN. USA)

Family members commit most abuse


The News Examiner

June 20, 2010

It is crucial to report elderly abuse because it helps authorities save victims. That’s one issue Gallatin Police Department Sgt. Bill Vahldiek emphasized at the Gallatin Senior Citizens Center in observance of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on Tuesday, June 15.

Only 1 in 23, about 4 percent, of elderly-abuse cases are reported, according to the latest data from the Tennessee Commission on Aging and Disability.

“It really helps the investigation if someone who notices the abuse reports it,” Vahldiek told seniors. “Because a lot of times, the victim is not going to call because they’re afraid.”

In many cases, the victims live with someone close who controls their access to the outside world, along with finances, meals, medication and everything else.

“They don’t know what’s going on,” Vahldiek said. “They know it’s a close friend or a family member who’s doing it to them, and they don’t want to believe it’s happening. And they start blaming themselves, and they don’t ever report it. And that’s when being a friend becomes so important.”

Most abusers are family members

Because more than two-thirds of perpetrators are family members, outsiders rarely notice any alarming signs of wrongdoing and the abuse continues, the commission on aging and disability reports.

“Whenever we suspect elderly abuse, we’ll talk to the neighbors, anybody around, who’s not necessarily direct family unless the family’s reporting it,” Vahldiek said. “The family would know best, but often the family are the ones doing it, so we need to rely on friends.”

Friends and neighbors would usually notice if a senior has strange bruises, cuts and bumps, or if the senior’s normal day-to-day routine changes.

“I’m talking about all of a sudden they’re not taking care of themselves; they’re not cleaning up after themselves; they’re overmedicated, undermedicated; they’ve got medical conditions that nobody has taken them to the doctor to see,” said the officer, who moved to Tennessee to watch over his aging great-aunt and grandmother.

Incidents can take place at elders’ homes or retirement facilities, where reported cases also have revealed workers “dragging patients by the hair or by the arm.”

“That’s flat-out abuse and assault,” the sergeant said. “(Abusers) can be criminally charged for that and they can be put away.”

Abuse includes neglect

Although involuntarily rough-handling, grabbing, pushing and shoving might not appear to be serious, such action can hurt elders and should be prevented.

“Grandchildren are the worst about that, but they don’t really intend to, especially when they’re 8 or 9 years old,” Vahldiek said. “Parents need to get them straightened out.”

Neglect is another type of abuse that elders experience. Dehydration, malnutrition, bed sores from improper care and lack of physical activity when “shut in a room with a TV” can all be considered neglect, Vahldiek said.

And the list does not stop there, senior center Director Nona Yates said.

“A lot of seniors are going without things they really need like the interaction with people,” Yates said. “(Caregivers) are not taking proper care of them, checking on them and taking them to the doctor.

“I quit my job and moved in with my parents to take care of them till both of them passed. And people just don’t do that anymore. They don’t take care of their own. And they need to realize they’ll be seniors one day, and who is going to take care of them?”

Beware of con artists

Vahldiek also warned citizens against financial abuse through fake telemarketers. He advised elders against giving out any personal information, such as Social Security and drivers’ license or bank account numbers over the phone, Internet or by mail in response to one-time, act-now offers, lotteries and giveaways.

“Con artists are almost as much an expert in human behavior and psychology as a psychologist,” the sergeant said. “If it was a real lottery, you’d already know that you’ve won. If they’re a legitimate business, they’re not going to ask for all that up front or care if you take a few days to check them out with the Better Business Bureau.”

SOURCE:   The Tennessean

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June 18, 2010

Experts Gather to Mark World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (Melb. Australia)

16 June, 2010

Aged care industry leaders who gathered in Melbourne for World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on 14 June have called on the community to help protect seniors.

Sue Hendy, chief executive officer of the Council on the Ageing Victoria (COTA), said financial, psychological and emotional abuses are the most common forms of abuse against older people in Australia.

“It is a shocking fact that, in the majority of cases, the abuse is perpetrated by family members. These are the people elderly Victorians are most dependent on and powerless to resist or fight,” said Ms Hendy.

“People need to recognise actions that constitute elder abuse and how to respond to them.”

To mark World Elder Abuse Awareness Day the group of eminent academics and practitioners presented workshops on current issues including elder abuse in culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities, elder abuse and family violence, abuse of men and working with older people in a legal setting.

Ms Hendy said elder abuse is insidious and often follows incremental increases in abusive behaviour such as emotional bullying and blackmail.

“Putting pressure on mum to sell her house or threatening to isolate dad by withdrawing contact with the grandkids; family squabbles can progressively constitute elder abuse,” she said.

The Victorian government recently announced recurrent funding for Seniors Rights Victoria for a further four years. Seniors Rights Victoria is the advocacy and legal service central to the state government’s elder abuse prevention strategy.

Free seminars for older people on financial literacy and safeguarding finances will be held around Melbourne and Victoria throughout the year, through a partnership with Office of Senior Victorians and Victoria University.

Seniors Rights Victoria has a website (www.seniorsrights.org.au) and hotline (1300 368 821) for people, especially in Victoria, experiencing abuse or for those wanting to seek help for someone else.

National Seniors Australia chief executive, Michael O’Neill, commented “Financial, psychological or physical, elder abuse can range from withdrawing money from grandma’s account without her knowledge to changing her Will”.

A new Monash University report conducted for the Victorian Trustees Office has found the average victim of elder abuse is around 80 years old, many of whom have dementia.

Backing the Queensland Government’s, Act as One Against Elder Abuse, community awareness campaign, launched in Brisbane yesterday, seniors were calling on other states to follow suit.

“A national information campaign on what constitutes elder abuse would go a long way towards tackling what is currently a shameful, silent problem,” said Mr O’Neill.

“We also need a consistent approach to elder abuse across all states and a strengthening of existing measures in nursing homes.”

SOURCE:     The Aged Care Guide, Au


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Four to 10 Per Cent of Seniors Suffer Abuse, Says Minister

Four to 10 per cent of seniors suffer abuse says minister

Raising awareness during World Elder Abuse Day

By Glen Hallick

Four to 10 per cent of seniors suffer abuse says minister

Raising awareness during World Elder Abuse Day

June 15 marked the fifth anniversary of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.

At the Carman Active Living Centre seniors came out for a barbecue lunch and to hear messages about elder abuse.

Joining a near full house was Minister of Healthy Living, Youth and Seniors Jim Rondeau who said between four and 10 per cent of seniors are abused in some way.

"It's important to be aware of issues and it's important to recognize to be aware that you can take action," Rondeau said. "If you hide a problem you can never take action."

The minister, who was on hand to read the proclamation for World Elder Abuse Awareness day, noted there were 60 events across the province, like that at the ALC, bringing to light what he called "a hidden issue."

"We've learned that most often the abuser is an adult child, a spouse, a loved one, a service provider, neighbours, or friends. And this is awful because it's people that we trust, people that we love, people that we have a relationship with," Rondeau said.

"A number of years ago there were no safe suites. There were no programs [before] we had a consultant full time who looks after providing support for people who phone in. We didn't have a contract with the [Manitoba Society of Seniors] to provide support throughout the province," he explained.

Rondeau said the elder abuse prevention programs aren't government-run but are delivered through partnerships such as with MSOS and other senior citizen organizations.

For instance the local area has an elder abuse awareness committee that is chaired by Mary Heard, the RHA Central's director of health services in Carman. She spoke after a video depicting elder abuse was shown.

"That video was hard to watch," she said as it highlighted the various forms of elder abuse.

"It's hard to believe that happens to people, and don't want it to happen. We hope that it doesn't happen, but we do know it is happening," she said and emphasized there have been cases of elder abuse in Carman.

"I do encourage people to turn to someone who they trust and they feel that they can get guidance. Our goal is to make Carman an abuse free community."


Elder abuse is defined as an action by a persons in a position of trust that causes harm to an older person. The different types of such abuse are: physical, sexual, psychological, financial, and by neglect.

There are several ways to prevent abuse - by staying sociable, having a buddy system, having friends come for visits, and participating in community activities. Other means of prevention include having your own phone, posting and opening your own mail, and having direct deposit for your bank account.

Should you or someone you know is a victim of elder abuse, you can call toll-free, 1-888-896-7183.

SOURCE:     The Carman Valley Leader

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June 17, 2010

DHSS Presents Elder Abuse Information In Slater

June 15, 2010

Marshall Democrat-News

Visitors at Slater Senior Center were given a helping hand in combating elder abuse today, Tuesday, June 15.

Christine Thorp, of the Department of Health and Senior Services in Marshall, presented information on types of abuse.

"There are many different types of abuse," Thorp said. "There is emotional abuse, financial exploitation, and neglect," she continued.

In addition, seniors' and disabled persons' medications are sometimes at risk of theft if they can be sold for profit.

The DHSS receives approximately 85 reports of abuse, neglect, or exploitation per day. It received nearly 31,000 reports statewide in the last fiscal year. There were 170 situations specific to Saline County.

Some of these reports are simply a matter of differing standards of living. Thorp said roughly 10 percent can be traced to family members or concerned neighbors who feel an elderly person's home is not an adequate living situation.

"Everybody has the right to make their own choices," Thorp said.

An example given was if an elderly homeowner had ants in their home, a niece might feel the living conditions were inappropriate. As long as the resident is aware of the situation, it can be dealt with.

"Self-determination and the right to make your own choices are understood by the State of Missouri," Thorp said. "I look to see how I can help someone still live at home with dignity and respect."

Lucy Brandon, a coordinator of Slater Senior Center, agreed. Both the federal and state governments fund the center.

The senior center, as well as Thorp's office, works with residents to install grab bars in showers and ramps. They are committed to assisting elderly citizens with staying as independent as possible.

"Our state money has been cut back this year. But if the money's there, then we can get to putting equipment in homes," Brandon says.

A representative from Missouri Lion Eye Research Foundation is scheduled to be at Slater Senior Center Monday, June 21, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Anyone over the age of 60 is welcome to come by for a free glaucoma test.

If abuse is suspected, even without proof, the Elder Abuse Hotline number is 800-392-0210.
© Copyright 2010 Marshall Democrat-News.

SOURCE:     Marshall News

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June 16, 2010

Quebec Commits $20 Million to Fight Elder Abuse (CANADA)

Quebec commits $20 million to fight elder abuse

By Cheryl Cornacchia, Montreal Gazette

June 14, 2010


Quebec will spend $20 million over the next five years on a wide range of new programs and social services aimed at fighting elder abuse, a prevalent but hidden social problem that remains largely taboo.

The issue of elder abuse was raised by more than 4,000 individuals during public hearings held in 2007 on Quebec's aging population, Quebec's minister responsible for seniors Marguerite Blais said at a news conference in Montreal on Monday.

Elder abuse is most often committed by a trusted friend or family member and can take many forms, from physical violence to sexual abuse, psychological manipulation and financial abuse, Blais said.

Among the more than 40 new measures announced Monday and expected to come online in the coming months: a province-wide elder abuse help/referral line; French-and English-language television commercials on the issue; a university research chair to improve understanding of the issue; and a network that will connect elder abuse services across the province.

The provincial government's five-year action plan will draw on resources in 13 different provincial ministries, including public security, health and social services, justice and the public curator's office to deal with the various forms of elder abuse, Blais said.

In 2009, there were 1.2 million Quebecers over the age of 65, representing 14.2 per cent of the total population. By 2031, the population of seniors is expected to reach 2.3 million and make up 25.6 per cent of the population.

© Copyright (c) The Montreal Gazette

SOURCE:   The Montreal Gazette

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Freedom From Elder Abuse (AUSTRALIA)

Freedom from elder abuse


Communities, governments, and providers across the globe will unite to stand up for the rights of older people on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) today.

This year’s WEADD, initiated the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse, aims to raise the awareness of the problem and initiate positive change.

Throughout Australia, the most common form of abuse against an older person is estimated to be financial, outranking the prevalence of emotional, physical or psychological abuse.

Coordinator of the Queensland-based Elder Abuse Prevention Unit, Les Jackson, confirmed that financial abuse is the form most experienced by his unit’s users.

Figures from the unit’s helpline indicate that more than $18 million was exploited from older people involved in the 98 telephone reports that stated a dollar figure, this financial year.

Mr Jackson estimates that this amount, although massive, does not represent the true extent of the problem as most cases of financial abuse go unreported.

“Older people’s houses are a prime target,” Mr Jackson said.

“It doesn’t take much to get that average [financial abuse figure] up if there is a farm or property or shares that are being targeted.”

He said that the culprits are most often those who the older person trusts most, like a member of their family or a close friend.

“Everyone tends to trust family and that is why it is fairly common.

“This problem costs taxpayers a whole amount of money. Older people who are being abused are usually unhealthy and their conditions are a lot worse [than others]. Police resources are involved and other service workers pick up the pieces."

As a result, elder abuse “is not an older person’s issue but it is the whole community’s issue”.

Elder abuse has been recognised by the United Nations International Plan of Action as a public health and human rights issue.

Chief Executive Officer of Council on the Ageing Victoria (COTA), Sue Hendy, stressed the need for people to be able to recognise what actually constitutes elder abuse and to understand that there is help available.

“When people are vulnerable, they can’t get access to help,” said Ms Hendy. “That’s why a day like today is really important.”

“Elder abuse is not acceptable. Individuals should rethink their ideas if they are contemplating it. Other people should become aware [of the issue] and act on the older person’s behalf to say that what is going on is not right.

“We have a very ageist society…I think we need a much bigger campaign and understanding of this problem. Older people need to understand that there is a place to come to receive help.”

The Office of Senior Victorians and Victoria University run, in partnership, free seminars on financial literacy and safeguards for older people throughout Victoria during the year.

For help, call Seniors Rights Victoria’s hotline on 1300 368 821 or EAPU’s helpline on 1300 651 192 (outside Queensland dial 07 3250 1836).

SOURCE:    The Australian Ageing Agenda


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Community Focuses on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (CANADA)

Community focuses on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

June 14, 2010

Elder Abuse Awareness Day is coming up on June 15. Now in its fifth year in Revelstoke, it originally started in Australia in 1997 to prevent abuse towards elderly people. The abuse is considered “invisible,” which puts elderly people in harsh situations, and people around them have a hard time noticing the abuse. The awareness day was established in order to prevent abuse and educate people to recognize and respect elderly people.

British Columbia has been supportive towards elderly people who are in need of such help. B.C. is the only province that has a specialized prevention unit within the legislation. There are many local units that can help elderly people throughout communities across B.C.

The Revelstoke Community Response Network (RCRN) has been educating and helping people since 2004. They are organized by 60 local citizens working towards the prevention of abuse.They don’t get involved in the actual abuse cases, but they provide prevention and awareness as their main focus.

“It’s good to have a day to raise awareness,” says Mengia Nicholson, co-ordinator at RCRN. “And educating people is very important.”

Abuse towards elderly people includes a variety of things. It can be withholding mail, identity theft, physical and mental abuse, neglect, self-neglect, financial abuse, scams, as well as sexual abuse. Nicholson believes that scam mail has been sent around Revelstoke, and some people may have been affected by it.

“We are aware of the issues in regards to the scam, and we are told that scams have occurred in Revelstoke,” Nicholson said.

The RCRN has been helping out elderly people in the community for six years, providing awareness and information in regards to elderly abuse. The RCRN isn’t the only group that helps elderly people, however.

“There are many resources out there,” says Nicholson. If any elderly people need help, they can receive information, counselling and support by calling supporting groups such as B.C. Centre for Elderly Advocacy and Support and People In Need. All the information and telephone numbers can be found in a brochure provided by the RCRN. The brouchure can be found at various places throughout Revelstoke such as the Greyhound bus depot and the Recreation Centre.

Revelstokians can also support elderly people within the community. If citizens notice any form of abuse towards an elderly person, they can call Community Living BC, or call 911 for an immediate emergency response. Confidentiality is critical in these kinds of issues.

As a part of raising awareness towards elderly abuse, the RCRN is going to give a public presentation on Wednesday, June 16 at the Seniors’ Centre starting at 3 p.m. The presentation will focus on issues such as safety and resources for elderly people.

“The community can save elderly people by being aware and stepping in to solve the problem,” says Nicholson. “Prevention is needed.”


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Elder Abuse: An Age-Old Problem (IRELAND)

June 15, 2010


IT IS estimated that up to 5 per cent of older Irish people are victims of elder abuse, although some advocates for the elderly believe this figure represents only the tip of the iceberg and that the actual extent of abuse still remains hidden in this country.

Internationally renowned expert in elder abuse and self-neglect, Prof James O’Brien has just spent a six- month sabbatical in Ireland with Prof Des O’Neill at the Department of Medical Gerontology at Trinity College Dublin, investigating the largely unidentified problem of elder abuse in Ireland.

While the results of the research project, entitled Elder Abuse in Ireland Within an International Context, have not yet been published, O’Brien says there is no doubt from a preliminary analysis of the findings that elder abuse is a problem in this country.

“I think that perhaps elder abuse is definitely below the radar for the vast majority of the public. It’s hard to imagine it exists but it certainly does and we need to use whatever resources we can use to better address it,” he says.

Prior to 2002, elder abuse in Ireland was not fully recognised as a problem that warranted special action, policies and framework.

However, that changed with the publication of Protecting Our Future: Report of the Working Group on Elder Abuse . Des O’Neill, a consultant geriatrician at Tallaght hospital chaired the Elder Abuse national implementation group, which was disbanded earlier this year.

Although the policy, Protecting Our Future, has made significant advances in the area of elder abuse in Ireland, O’Brien warns that this work is still at a relatively early stage and needs to be supported and expanded.

“I felt the establishment of the national implementation group was a promising start. The document produced by the working party was very good and the idea of having senior case workers strategically placed throughout the country was clever. However, Ireland can’t afford to let the momentum lag on this work,” he says.

O’Brien returned to his post as professor of geriatrics at the University of Louisville, Kentucky earlier this month after what he describes as a “fantastic” sabbatical at Trinity College. A native of Thurles and a UCD graduate, O’Brien has been a major figure in researching and developing awareness of elder abuse and a related subject, self-neglect, in the US.

With a grant from Atlantic Philanthropies, he took the six-month sabbatical to work with Des O’Neill surveying Ireland’s response to elder abuse, working with GPs, lawyers, the HSE elder abuse services, geriatricians, old age psychiatrists, public health nurses and the financial sector.

He explains: “I sort of had this bias that GPs, particularly in Ireland, were in an advantageous position to detect elder abuse. In contrast with the US, many GPs in this country still do home visits and given that most abuse is perpetuated by family members, I felt having access to the home was probably key.”

The research involved an initial survey of GPs around the country which O’Brien believes will produce some interesting observations. This initial study spawned another survey of public health nurses and senior case workers who investigate allegations of elder abuse.

“It would appear that the prevalence of reporting is increasing as people become more aware of elder abuse and the public health nurses play a major role here.”

A further survey questioned geriatricians and old age psychiatrists about their experiences in dealing with patients who self-neglect, another area of interest for O’Neill.

The results of all this work will be published later this year and he highlights the importance of getting the data out as soon as possible, given the lack of research in this area.

In a recent research project published in the Journal of Elder Abuse and Neglect, O’Brien and O’Neill looked at the incidence of elder abuse in Ireland, the UK, Canada, Australia and Israel.

O’Brien remarks: “Each country had its own variants, but the consistent observation was that elder abuse does exist in all of these countries, no country is immune. It is estimated that anywhere between 2 and 10 per cent of individuals over the age of 65 have been victims in the past year.”

The most common form of elder abuse in Ireland, according to O’Brien, appears to be psychological abuse followed by neglect and financial abuse.

This is in contrast to the US where neglect is the main form of abuse of the elderly and self-neglect represents a large proportion of this.

“Probably the toughest form of elder abuse to detect is financial abuse and we have been working with the Law School at Trinity to try to research any publications dealing with this form of abuse. It’s an area that gets blurred quite easily,” he says.

“If a child is taking money from a parent, it’s difficult to determine how much is being given willingly or how much is being stolen as no parent wants to report their own child.”


The Protecting Our Future report defined elder abuse as: “A single or repeated act or lack of appropriate action occurring within any relationship where there is an expectation of trust which causes harm or distress to an older person or violates their human and civil rights.”

It identified six forms of abuse: physical; sexual; psychological; financial or material; neglect and action of omission; and discriminatory abuse. Self-neglect was not included in the working group’s terms of reference.

SOURCE:    The Irish Times

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June 14, 2010

Self-Neglect the Most Common Form of Elder Abuse

Self-neglect the most common form of elder abuse

By Prue Salasky

June 12, 2010

There's no typical victim of elder abuse. Every case is different, says Barbara Stewart, supervisor of Adult Protective Services in Hampton. "You can't generalize. Each case is handled individually." But there are common contributing factors to a problem that's growing as people live longer. Peninsula resident Eva Gaskins, 96, was at risk on several counts: her advanced age, dementia, and isolation — she has no immediate family. Two cousins believe that she was exploited by more than one caregiver, resulting in her losing all her possessions and landing in a nursing home, a situation they say Gaskins was determined to avoid. Her case is currently under investigation.

Gaskins' case is among more than 15,500 allegations of abuse reported to the state in 2009, a 9 percent increase over the previous year. (It's believed that at least as many cases go unreported.) Virginia recognizes the dangers and its Adult Protective Services division has outlets covering every community to support and advocate for those who aren't able to fend for themselves. Last year, it found well over half of the allegations to be substantiated.

However, contrary to popular perception, most do not stem from caregiver abuse, but from what APS labels as "self-neglect." That's when an older person, either through mental or physical infirmity, is no longer able to take care of themselves effectively. Likewise, most occur in an adult's own home and not in an institution. "Sometimes it's a very gradual thing. It gets to a point where they're really not meeting their needs," says Teresa Carter, who supervises the APS unit for Newport News Human Services."Often, it's the neighbors who notice first — perhaps the yard used to be neat but it isn't being kept up." At the Peninsula Agency on Aging, whose work complements that of APS, Sharon Brandau, director of social work, says that, "It's more common than people think. Often a home-delivered meals volunteer will notice." That's one reason Carter emphasizes the importance of on-site visiting. "You need to see in order to assess," she says, advising concerned long-distance family members to have someone check on a loved one if they're not able to themselves.

Self-neglect takes several forms, from poor nutrition and inadequate hygiene to allowing unsanitary household conditions. "It's the most common thing we investigate," says Carter. "They're not able to take care of their needs; sometimes it's for physical reasons and sometimes dementia." Another problem is that the individual must want to be helped. "You can't just remove an adult from the home, as you would a small child," says Stewart. "You have to explore the options. Sometimes family comes forward or neighbors. We try to protect the individual. We have lots of resources." These include nutrition-based services, adult day care or foster care, and guardianship assistance. One of APS' most-used resources for keeping seniors in their homes is its companion program, which provides aides to help with housework, shopping, cooking and laundry. The program has just had its budget slashed. For localities throughout the state, this means fewer hours that they can allot companions to needy seniors, a low-cost alternative to nursing-home care.

Call the 24/7 Adult Protective Services hot line at 1-888-832-3858. (If it's an immediate emergency, dial 911.) Those reporting on behalf of someone else can remain anonymous. Social Services will send someone to the home within 24 hours to ascertain the person's condition and safety. APS serves those 60 or older, or incapacitated adults over the age of 18.

In Hampton, call 728-2120; in Newport News, 926-6329.

Another source of information, particularly helpful for out-ot-town relatives, is the website padrn.org, the Peninsula Aging and Disability Resource Network.

SOURCE:     TheDailyPress

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June 11, 2010

Proclamation Raises Awareness of Elder Abuse (TN. USA)

Bredesen Proclamation Raises Awareness of Elder Abuse

by WDEF News 12

June 9, 2010

Nearly 9,500 reports of adult abuse, neglect and/or financial exploitation were reported last year to the Tennessee Department of Human Services’ Adult Protective Services (APS) unit. The number of reports has grown 23 percent in just five years.

To raise awareness of this crime, Governor Phil Bredesen has proclaimed June 15 “Elder Abuse Awareness Day” in Tennessee. The Department of Human Services and Commission on Aging and Disability are also working to promote a better understanding of abuse and neglect of vulnerable adults.

“Abuse and neglect of our elderly and vulnerable adults is a serious and often unspoken problem that affects thousands of people in Tennessee,” said DHS Commissioner Gina Lodge. “The governor and our state agencies are working together to alert the public that this is a crime which, by law, must be reported.”

APS counselors assisted 11,000 individuals last year. More than a third of the cases involved neglect by others. Of these, the perpetrator was related to the victim 90 percent of the time and was the spouse or the adult child of the victim.

DHS and the Commission on Aging and Disability are partnering with the Tennessee Vulnerable Adult Coalition (TVAC) to stem the growing problems of abuse – whether physical, sexual or emotional – neglect, and financial exploitation of elderly and vulnerable adults.

There will be visual reminders the night of June 15 as well. The State Capitol will be illuminated in purple from June 11 through June 18 as part of the World Elder Abuse Awareness Day campaign. The Sudekum Planetarium pyramid at Nashville’s Adventure Science Center also will shine with purple light. Purple was chosen as the “awareness color” when the international event was launched in 2006.

For a list of all Elder Abuse Awareness Day events across the state, please visit the TVAC website at www.tvaconline.org.

For more information on elder abuse, visit www.tn.gov/humanserv . To report abuse or neglect of a vulnerable adult, call APS toll free 1-888-APS-TENN (1-888-277-8366).


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Events to Focus on Elderly Abuse (USA)

Local organizations are holding events next week to focus on elder abuse.

The Area Agency on Aging 8 and the O'Neill and Belpre Senior centers will hold programs to focus on elder abuse on June 15 during World Awareness Day.

Also, Home Helpers Direct Link is sponsoring an elder abuse awareness day June 15 from 1-7 p.m. at Parkersburg City Park.

Residents are being asked to wear purple on June 15 to commemorate the day, and the Agency on Aging will hold a balloon release at around 12:30 p.m. following lunch and a brief program.

Abuse of elders takes many different forms, some involving intimidation or threats against the elderly, some involving neglect, and others involving financial exploitation. Raising awareness of elder abuse and neglect is a challenge and no effort is too small.

"Throughout the world, abuse and neglect of older persons is largely under-recognized or treated as an unspoken problem," said Rick Hindman, director of the Area Agency on Aging. "Unfortunately, no community is immune from this issue. Ohio's Area Agencies on Aging remain concerned that for every one case that does get reported, five others go unreported."

June 15 recognizes the significance of elder abuse as a public health and human rights issue. The first awareness day in 2006 involved several hundred organizations and governmental bodies at international, national, regional, local, community and neighborhood levels, in every continent in the world.

Speakers, refreshments, door prize drawings and a balloon release will take place at City Park, according to a press release.

Reports state 13 percent of older adults are abused and mistreated, often by someone they trust, said Home Helpers. Home Helpers has partnered with the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse to bring elder abuse to the forefront of social concerns and aid its prevention by raising awareness, educating people and encouraging them to report suspected abuse immediately, the group said

SOURCE:    News and Sentinel

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June 10, 2010

Bozeman Man Charged With Elder Abuse After Allegedly Punching Father (USA)

June 8, 2010

By JODI HAUSEN, Chronicle Staff Writer

A Bozeman man is being held on $10,000 bond after his 75-year-old father reluctantly admitted to police that his son punched him in the eye Friday night.

Randolph Bennedict Stein, 43, appeared "agitated and upset" that police came to his home on North Fifth Avenue around 7 p.m. Saturday after a neighbor reported hearing someone yelling there, according to the charging document.

The man's father, who is on oxygen, told police his son had been yelling at him but could not say why. When police asked the father about the bruise under his left eye, he looked away and told them "he had an accident."

The victim, who is "several inches shorter ... and approximately 100 pounds lighter" than his son, told police he is dependent on his son to care for him. He eventually told police what had allegedly happened.

Stein was charged with elder abuse and is being held at the Gallatin County Detention Center.

SOURCE:     Bozeman Daily Chronicle

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