Disclaimer

**** DISCLAIMER

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

July 31, 2010

Elder Abuse and Neglect - Recognise the signs

When one thinks of abuse, you envision one person physically hurting another, like we hear all too often in domestic violence situations. Unfortunately, abuse comes in many forms: physical, financial, medical and emotional and all too often, the signs of abuse are overlooked or ignored. In general, we also tend to think of those abused in terms of “groups” – young or middle-aged Americans – however it has been reported that older women (67 percent) are far more likely than men (32 percent) to be victims of abuse and a little more than half (53 percent) of the abusers are female. 

Elder abuse and neglect is a reality for far too many of our seniors today. It is our responsibility as a society to recognize the warning signs, to intervene and to help educate others about how to report and reduce the incidence of this crime.
When a family member or partner carries out elder abuse, it is considered a crime. According to the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) www.nces.aoa.gov , “Elder abuse is intentional or negligent acts by a caregiver or ‘trusted’ individual that lead to, or may lead to, harm of a vulnerable elder.” 

While some abuse is done by strangers and non-related caregivers, sometimes abuse problems are hidden and occur within the family, often by a victim’s own children. As an elder law attorney, I know how easy it is for elderly clients to be victims of physical and financial abuse. Nine out of ten times, the abuse is perpetrated by their caregivers, members of the victim’s family. Often, the elderly client is afraid to stop the abuse for fear that the child-caregiver, for example, will abandon them. At our law firm, our attorneys address the legal and non-legal issues. We spend alone time with our elderly clients and ask direct questions in an effort to help empower them.
The U.S. Census Bureau projects that by 2025, 62 million Americans will be 65 years of age or older. With the aging of the population, it is the responsibility of everyone to be aware of the signs of elder abuse and to become advocates.
Warning signs of elder abuse as provided by the Senior Umbrella Network™ include:
  • Depression, Fear, Anxiety, Isolation
  • Unexplained, Untreated Bruising
  • Noticeable Change in Behavior
  • Self-Neglect, Filthy Clothing and Bedding
  • Dehydration / Malnourishment
  • Under or Over Medication – Substance Abuse
  • Physical Indicators of Sexual Abuse / Sexually Transmitted Diseases
  • Living Conditions Not Commensurate with Financial Situation
If you are being abused or suspect elder abuse, there are a number of organizations and resources available to you to get help. Please visit our website for more information –www.VJRussoLaw.com.



Together, we can help reduce the incidence of elder abuse by listening to our seniors and their caregivers, educate others on how to recognize and report elder abuse and intervene when you suspect elder abuse is taking place.

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July 30, 2010

Abuse of Adults up by Two-thirds (UK)

Abuse of adults up by two-thirds
29 July 2010

SHOCK new figures reveal the number of cases of suspected abuse against vulnerable adults has rocketed by more than 60 per cent in a year.
In Hartlepool, the number of suspected abuse cases between March 2009 and March this year rose from 123 to 195, a rise of 63 per cent.
Physical abuse accounted for 83 suspected cases and neglect 76, with the vast majority of referrals coming from the social services department, care homes and nursing homes.

There was also 13 alleged cases of both financial and sexual abuse.
Civic chiefs say they can't say for sure whether the problem is getting worse, but they claim that people are more confident about reporting suspected abuse.

Council officers say there has been an increase in staff training and awareness and an improved complaints procedure with cases being referred more quickly.
Labour councillor Ged Hall discussed the rise, which was outlined by the town's vulnerable adults protection committee, at a meeting of his adult and public health services portfolio.

The majority of the alleged perpetrators of abuse were other service users, 77, and paid carer or health workers, which made up 76 of the cases.
Pamela Simpson, the council's strategic lead for safeguarding and vulnerabilities, said: "Care homes continue to be the most common locations of abuse and or neglect. "The perpetrators of abuse have been for the most part other service users or paid carers."

The council's social services department was the main source of referrals with 68, followed by care home providers with and without nursing, both with 27.
Vulnerable adults over 65 with physical disabilities accounted for 77 cases, while people over the age of 65 with mental health problems accounted for 49 cases.

The number of cases of suspected abuse against adults aged between 18 and 64 with learning disabilities doubled to 24.

Coun Hall said: "The statistics reflect that were people are becoming more aware of issues then there is a rapid response to that.
"We don't really know whether it is getting worse so to speak, but what it does show is that people are more confident in coming forward."
The portfolio holder heard that links with GP practices had improved and there was an increased complaints procedure in place.
Care homes are also quicker to report suspected cases of abuse against vulnerable adults than before.

Coun Hall added: "There has been a lot going on in terms of trying to raise awareness among staff and in terms of working with partners.
"I note the increase in referrals and the increase in workload and I hope that the work load will not have too much of an impact on staffing levels."


SOURCE:   HartlepoolMail, UK
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July 29, 2010

Arcata bank employee arrested on charges of embezzlement, elder abuse

Arcata bank employee arrested on charges of embezzlement, elder abuse
Times-Standard
07/28/2010

By Allison White/The Times-Standard

A Northern Redwood Federal Credit Union employee was arrested Tuesday for allegedly embezzling more than $100,000.

Elliot Shane McCarl, 32, of McKinleyville was booked into the Humboldt County jail on suspicion of embezzlement and elder abuse after an audit and an investigation was completed this week, according to an Arcata Police Department press release.

The credit union first discovered discrepancies in the account balances of at least five customers around July 5, and immediately launched an audit and then notified APD on July 9, said Detective Sgt. Todd Dokweiler. McCarl allegedly transferred money from about five bank customer accounts to his personal account over a roughly one-year period.

”Typically, I think bank employees are trustworthy,” Dokweiler said, and it was other bank employees who noticed the discrepancies and looked into them. During the audit, the credit union went over all McCarl's transactions -- it appears that McCarl allegedly picked people who seemed “inattentive in their banking practices” or were elderly, Dokweiler said.
McCarl has worked for the credit union for nearly three years, according to the APD. His bail was set at $119,000.

The manager of Northern Redwood Federal Credit Union, which is located on Giuntoli Lane in Arcata, was unavailable for comment by Times-Standard deadline.

Dokweiler said he was unsure if the bank would be investigated for the incident, but said such an investigation would not be through the APD


SOURCE:     The TimesStandard
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Take A Stand Against Elder Abuse




Abuse of elderly people increases annually as hired caregivers face the increasing responsibility of larger numbers and fewer staff. Circumstances never justify wrong and unlawful actions and responses. However, few people understand that their loved ones might be experiencing the unfair and illegal actions of those assigned to give care. Understanding the situation being experienced and potential actions for recourse will empower you and your loved one to know what to look for, how to prevent, and what you can do in the case of improper actions by caregivers.

In doing so, you will be fighting back against an epidemic taking the country by storm. Personal injury attorneys provide resources you need to fight back against wrongful personal injury to the elderly. Personal injury to the elderly takes place in a numerous settings. If left unattended in private homes, caregivers can exploit the elderly resident by several means.

Neglect often arises out of such situations. A caregiver focused on personal comforts and enjoying a few television shows might neglect the basic needs of the elderly person. Such things as care at meals at the proper time and facilitating appropriate bodily functions in a timely manner might go by the board. With the increased needs of the elder person receiving care, increased potential for personal injury by a careless caregiver exists.

Personal injury lawyers will assist you in evaluating the circumstances of suspected personal injury and advise you regarding proper, lawful, and right actions to take in defense of your loved one. Private homes do not provide the only venue in which personal injury to the elderly might occur. Sadly, improper care can occur while an elderly parent or grandparent is under the care of a relative. Personal inconvenience often spurs the caregiver to offer less than adequate care or, worse, to inflict harm to the relative under their care.

Visiting often and noticing the mood of the elderly under care can provide hints regarding what might be taking place. Do not avoid or ignore warning signs. Ask open ended questions and find out what is going on when the elderly family member is alone with the caregiver. At the slightest indication of personal injury, contact an attorney and find out how to stop the personal injury.

Nursing homes and other extended care facilities also create an atmosphere in which personal injury might occur. These facilities provide the benefit of a little more accountability, but due to often being understaffed, personal injury can happen at these places as well. When employees are in one-on-one situations, the potential exists for taking advantage of elderly person receiving care. Rough handling while bathing or dressing and undressing, not being fed properly, and failing to respond in a timely manner to a request for help all constitute situations leading to personal injury.

Your elderly loved one does not have the capability to stand up for their rights on their own. Physical limitations inflict a psychological feeling of helplessness that leads allowing personal injury to go unaddressed. Become an advocate for an epidemic affecting tens of thousands of elderly people each year. Contacting a personal injury lawyer is a step in the right


SOURCE:   ArticleSnatch
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Fall-River-grandmothers-family-charged-with-elder-abuse (USA)


By Kevin P. O’Connor
Jul 27, 2010

An 80-year-old woman is on life support at St. Anne’s Hospital, the victim of neglect so severe it nearly killed her and left her with bedsores deep enough to expose tendons, a prosecutor alleged.

For that, the woman’s daughter, son-in-law and three grandsons were arraigned Tuesday, charged with permitting injury to a disabled person. The prosecutor asked for bail of $100,000 cash for each person.

If the woman dies, the charge will be upgraded to manslaughter, the prosecutor said.
“This has to be one of the most egregious and horrible cases of elder abuse anyone has ever seen,” prosecutor Steven E. Gagne argued at the arraignment. The family, essentially, was letting the woman rot to death in her chair, Gagne alleged.

Karen Cabral, 49, and her husband Duarte Cabral, 51, as well as their sons, Corey Cabral, 21, Keith Cabral, 28, and Scott Cabral, 24, all lived in a second-floor apartment on Lonsdale Street along with Karen Cabral’s mother. Karen, Duarte and Cory Cabral were the principal care takers, Gagne alleged.

All five were arrested Monday night following an investigation by Fall River Police and the State Police. Bail was set at $20,000 cash or $200,000 surety for Karen, Duarte and Corey Cabral. Bail for Keith and Scott Cabral was set at $5,000 cash or $50,000 surety.

Police began the investigation Saturday after paramedics, called by the family, brought the woman to St. Anne’s Hospital and doctors saw her condition, Gagne said.

“It was immediately apparent to them that (the woman) was the victim of appalling neglect,” Gagne said.


Abridged
SOURCE:    The Herald News
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July 24, 2010

Epidemic of Nursing Home Abuse Endangers Seniors

23 Jul, 2010

New York Brain Injury Lawyers Articles

This week, the New York Times reported that 90 percent of all nursing homes have been cited for violating federal health and safety standards. Even worse, 94 percent of all privately-owned facilities were cited for such violations. It is clear that nursing home abuse and neglect has become an epidemic, and anyone with a loved one in a nursing home needs to be aware of this issue.

Nursing home residents’ rights are guaranteed by the federal 1987 Nursing Home Reform Law. The law requires nursing homes to “promote and protect the rights of each resident”. Yet, as the New York Times recently made clear, nursing homes are not doing enough to protect their residents.

The National Center on Elder Abuse estimates at least one in 20 nursing home patients has been the victim of negligence and or abuse, though it concedes that the number is probably higher. According to the National Center’s study, 57% of nurses’ aides in long-term care facilities admitted to having witnessed, and even participating in, acts of negligence and abuse. Data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that nursing home neglect played role in the deaths of nearly 14,000 nursing home patients between 1999 and 2002.

The New York Times report detailed a study conducted by the inspector general of the Department of Health and Human Services. According to the inspector general, more than 1.5 million people live in the nation’s 15,000 nursing homes. To participate in Medicare and Medicaid, facilities must meet federal health and safety standards. These programs cover more than two-thirds of nursing home residents, and cost taxpayers more than $75 billion per year.

According to the inspector general’s report, in the past year, poor nursing home conditions were the subject of 37,150 complaints. Of those, 39 percent were later substantiated by inspectors, and at least 20 percent involved the abuse and neglect of patients. What’s more, 17 percent of nursing homes had deficiencies that caused “actual harm or immediate jeopardy” to patients, the report said.

About two-thirds of the nation’s nursing homes are owned and operated by for-profit companies. Non- profit organizations own 27 percent, while government entities own and operate 6 percent. Of the facilities owned by non-profits, 88 percent were cited for violations, while 91 percent of government-run institutions received citations. According to the report for-profit nursing homes averaged 7.6 deficiencies per facility, while not-for-profit and government homes averaged 5.7 and 6.3, respectively.

To protect a loved one living in a nursing home, it is important to understand what constitutes nursing home abuse and how to spot it. The most common type of nursing home abuse is neglect.
 
Abridged
SOURCE:      NewYorkBrainInjuryLawyers

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Nampa twin sentenced to probation for neglecting 92-year-old mother (USA)

: 'I did what my mom wanted'



A Nampa man speaks out about his elder-abuse case after being sentenced to probation and 30 days.


BY KRISTIN RODINE


Copyright: © 2010 Idaho Statesman


07/23/10


David Nicks speaks lovingly of his mother, a fervent NASCAR fan who crocheted dozens of hats for charity and was determined to avoid doctors and nursing homes.


But all the public knows about Verda Nicks is the emaciated, immobile 92-year-old whom Nampa police found Nov. 17 in sheets covered with feces, urine and flies, sparking an elder-abuse investigation officials called the most appalling they had ever seen.


On Thursday afternoon, a judge sentenced 56-year-old David Nicks to three years probation and a month in jail for felony abuse or neglect of a vulnerable adult. His jail term will be postponed until after his conviction is appealed. His identical twin, Danny, awaits sentencing on an identical charge Aug. 27.


Judge James Morfitt noted that David Nicks has no criminal record beyond two drunken driving convictions and poses no apparent danger to the community.


"My biggest concern is that he shows no remorse," the judge said.


"I didn't do anything wrong, so what's to be remorseful of?" Nicks told the Idaho Statesman a few minutes later. "I don't think any of this should've happened at all. I did what my mom wanted me to do."


HELPING OUT OR LEGAL CARETAKERS?


The twins grew up in Nampa, then went their own ways in the 1970s, serving in separate branches of the military and raising families.


"Then we got divorced within three months of each other, and we've been together ever since," David said.


"That was in '96," Danny added. Cautious because his sentencing is still pending, Danny spoke little during the interview but frequently filled in gaps in his brother's sentences.


The twins were living near Eugene, Ore., where they built "street rods" and other custom cars, when they visited their mother in 2003 and noticed she was barely eating.


So they gave up their business and moved back to Nampa, David said, "just because she needed help and no one else in the family would help."


The twins lived in a fifth-wheel trailer behind their mother's rented home on 7th Avenue South, cooking for her, doing her shopping and taking over the garden that she loved but couldn't work in anymore, they said.


Their statements that they took care of their mother led to the charges against them. Although their attorneys said they were not Verda Nicks' "caretakers" under Idaho law, the prosecution, judge and jury disagreed.


And Morfitt rejected David's argument that he was just following his mother's wishes.


"At some point in time, a person who has an elderly parent to care for has to make decisions," he said. "I doubt she wanted to be in that condition.


"And even if she expressed that view, you had the obligation to do what was necessary for her well-being."


That verdict sends a chilling message to people who try to take care of aging parents, defense attorney Bill Schwartz said, noting that Verda Nicks had other children who lived nearby but did nothing to help her and were not charged.


"If you do nothing, you're better off than if you do something," Schwartz said. "He did a horrible job, I'll agree to that. But it wasn't because of intention."


David said he believes his mother would be alive today if authorities had not removed her from her home.


"She told me if she was ever in a nursing home she'd will herself to die, and that's what she did," he said.


Verda Nicks died Dec. 26, but her sons are not accused of causing her death.



SOURCE:   IdahoStatesman.Com
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Elder Abuse in New Jersey (USA)

When people consider elder abuse they often think of strangers taking advantage of or physically harming the elderly.


July 23, 2010


24-7PressRelease


When people consider elder abuse they often think of nameless strangers taking advantage of or physically harming or neglecting the elderly. However, it is becoming increasingly more common that the perpetrator of the abuse is a beloved family member of the abused.


The reasons for taking advantage of or neglecting an elderly relative are many, from wanting cash and preserving an inheritance to needing money for bills and expenses. However, it is not always those with nefarious motives that end up abusing or neglecting the elderly. Gwen Orlowski, director of the New Jersey Division of Elder Advocacy, notes that even relatives "with the best intentions" may end up "mistreating their love ones unintentionally through frustration or exhaustion."


Orlowski also noted that only a few cases are reported to New Jersey law enforcement because "many incidents don't rise to the level of a crime."


What can be done to protect the elderly from relatives who seek to take advantage of them or harm them? For one, New Jersey social service agencies can seek to have an offending relative's power of attorney or guardianship rights removed.


In 2007, there were 2,249 cases of abuse, neglect or exploitation of the elderly. In 2008, the number climbed to 2,492. David Ricci, the coordinator of New Jersey Adult Protective Services, expects the number to grow even further when the total number of cases for 2009 is counted. While these numbers may include more than strictly abuse by a relative, elder abuse appears to be a growing issue in New Jersey.


Nursing Homes and Assisted Living Facilities


Elder abuse can take many forms and can generally be defined as doing or failing to do an act that results in the risk of harm or harm of an elderly person. Abuse can be sexual, emotional, physical, exploitation or neglect. While elder abuse and neglect happens at the hands of loved ones, abuse and neglect also occur in nursing homes and assisted living facilities.


In New Jersey there is a difference between nursing homes and assisted living facilities. New Jersey provides nursing home residents with a Bill of Rights to protect their safety and prevent abuses. Assisted living facilities are bound by a separate set of regulations, which are similar yet distinct from the statutes governing nursing homes.



Abridged
SOURCE:   24/7 PressRelease 
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July 21, 2010

Elder Abuse in Europe

20 Jul 10 in Ageing Demographics


By Virginia Nuessle


The European Commission and the National Center for the Protection of Older People in Ireland collaborated to produce a background paper looking at elder abuse in Europe from 1975 and on. The paper,Elder Abuse in Europe , serves as a guide Elder Abuse in Europeto better understand and tackle elder abuse both on a national and an international level.


IAHSA is interested in learning about programs that help prevent elder abuse and/or provide services to elderly who are victims of abuse. Please send information on such programs to iahsa@aahsa.org.


PLEASE GO TO SOURCE TO DOWNLOAD THE PAPER


SOURCE:    Global Ageing Network

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Nursing Home Closed After Abuse and Neglect (USA)

by Levin & Perconti
Another nursing home is being closed amid continuous examples of substandard care, dangerous negligence, and unabashed elder abuse reports First Coast News. The Glenwood Nursing Center in Arlington, Florida is being shut down by the state’s Department of Health, in a rare move spurred by repeated examples of inadequate care by the nursing home staff members.


The one hundred residents in the home will be relocated and nursing home administrators may be fined $25,000 on top of the closure after state officials conducted an unannounced visit to the home earlier this year. Investigations during the visit revealed unsupervised and dangerous facility. Residents were falling at an alarming rate; there were several instances of resident on resident abuse and many examples of dangerous resident wandering. One patient was actually able to leave the facility and reach the next county before he was recovered.


State officials explain that the nursing home administrators were well aware of many of the problems at the facility but simply chose not to fix them. It is one thing for an unavoidable accident to occur at a facility, but it is a totally different matter when those in charge of the facility knowingly allow dangerous situations to persist.


Our Chicago nursing home attorneys at Levin & Perconti applaud all decisions which better protect the vulnerable seniors in our nursing homes. Too often, dangerous facilities like Glenwood are allowed to continue operations, harming more and more elderly residents. A strong message needs to be continually sent to nursing home administrators, medical staff, and other assistants, that inadequate care will never be tolerated. Friends and family of nursing home residents are often a key source in providing information that holds negligent nursing homes accountable. If you have any suspicions about inadequate care at a nearby facility, be sure to contact our office or a similar office to learn more about your options.

SOURCE:    Levin Perconti Blog

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Most Senior Citizens Unaware of Laws Against Elder Abuse (INDIA)

July 21, 2010

Awareness about laws, policies and programmes of the government against elder abuse is low among the elderly in the country as only 33 per cent ...

BY JOAO SOUSA M
NT NETWORK

PANAJI: Awareness about laws, policies and programmes of the government against elder abuse is low among the elderly in the country as only 33 per cent of the elderly are aware of the existing laws and programmes against elder abuse, states a study report on elder abuse in India carried out by Helpage India.

The study, however, points out that among the elderly who are aware of the laws, policies and programmes, almost 88 per cent are aware of the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, while 56 per cent of the elderly are aware of the national policy on older persons, 67 per cent are aware of the Protection for Women against Domestic Violence Act.

The study says that awareness about the law enforcing agencies is low as only 18 per cent of the elderly are aware of the laws as close to 38 per cent of the elderly perceive the role of police and lawyers as non-supportive in tackling abuse.

The study titled ‘Report on elder abuse in India’ was carried out across the country by Helpage India through Sigma Research and Consulting. It further states that around 26 per cent of the elderly did not know about the role of the law enforcing agencies in controlling elder abuse with more than 27 per cent of the elderly are of the view that the police are not equipped to handle cases of elder abuse. The major measures to be taken up by the law enforcing agencies, as suggested by the elderly, include ‘giving protection’ and ‘carrying out home visits’. The elderly also suggested that the police should assist them in getting maintenance from the children under the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, the study states.

‘Having steady cash flow’, ‘making adjustments within family’ and ‘having own property to reduce economic dependency’ are some other measures suggested by the elderly to control elder abuse.

Speaking to The Navhind Times, the director of Helpage India, Mr Dattaprasad Pawaskar said the scene in the state is no exception and there is a relatively higher elder abuse in Goa and the figures are quite similar to that in the national survey.


SOURCE:    GOA NEWS
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Illinois Governor Pat Quinn Battles Financial Elder Abuse with New Law

July 19, 2010

by Steven J. Malman
Governor Pat Quinn signed into a law a bill designed to protect seniors from Illinois elder financial abuse. Under the new law, financial institutions must play a stronger part in identifying and reporting this type of fraud.

Per Senate Bill 3267, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation and the Illinois Department on Aging must put together training standards for employees of financial institutions that directly interact with clients. Part of that training will teach them how to recognize signs of financial abuse and the steps they should take to report the exploitations.

Our Chicago elder financial abuse lawyers are here to fight for the compensation owed to our clients for their financial losses caused by elder abuse. It is important that you discuss your case with an experienced law firm that handles elder financial fraud and Chicago nursing home neglect and abuse.

During the fiscal year 2009, Illinois received over 6,200 reports of possible Illinois elder financial abuse cases. Yet financial institutions reported just 3% of these incidents. Nationally, according to a 2009 MetLife study, each year there may be up to 1 million victims of elder financial fraud in this country alone. Many victims are women in their 70’s and 80’s that may be isolated, cognitively impaired, or too trusting. Elder male seniors suffering from Alzheimer’s or dementia are also at risk of becoming victims of elder financial fraud.

It is an act of elder abuse to take financial advantage of seniors by stealing money from them, investing their money in stocks and other financial instruments that are too high risk for them, or financially exploiting them in any other way.


SOURCE:    Chicago Nursing Abuse Lawyer Blog
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July 20, 2010

Elder Abuse: 'Family secret' could be impacting mom's health




Elder Q&A


Rosanne DiStefano


July 19, 2010


Q: I was watching television the other day and saw an ad for a new show about family secrets. I am ashamed to admit I was raised in an environment which could be one of the features. As long as I can remember my father has been verbally and emotionally abusive to my mother and all my siblings. He was never physically abusive so there weren't visible signs for people to notice. I thought when my parents got older things might change, but it seems worse since my mother has had medical problems. I am convinced the stress at home is impacting her health. How do I convince her to finally do something about the situation?


A: The odds aren't particularly in your favor since this has been a lifelong pattern of abuse on your father's part and submissive behavior with your mother. None of you should ever have had to endure the abuse and there is no excuse for your father's treatment of his family. It appears you and your siblings have gotten as far away as possible and have formed healthy relationships in your own lives. Your mother on the other hand never was able to break the cycle for many reasons.


This is a time for you to rely on professionals to try and make an impression on your mother. You are far too close personally to the situation; leave this up to individuals who have experience working with victims of abuse on all levels. The first step is to make a report to the local protective service agency or to the Elder Abuse Hotline 800-922-2275 (nights/holidays/weekends). It is important to understand their ability to initiate positive changes will be largely up to your mother's willingness to allow the intervention. Protective Service workers can't force themselves into the situation without your mother agreeing to their involvement. It seems strange to an outsider that someone in an abusive relationship would refuse help but it happens all the time. The abuse is a lifestyle your mother has been exposed to for a long time, it is not going to change overnight.


The advantage to having professionals working with your mother is their focus will not only be on what is best for her but also on looking to find the help your father so desperately needs. Not knowing how many times you have spoken with your mother about the abusive environment or if this was something never discussed, it will be helpful if you express your concerns for her well-being but do not overtly pressure her or make her feel guilty for remaining with your father all these years. It is going to take time to break through all of the layers of family dysfunction.


While there may be reasons for your father's behavior, there are never excuses for abuse. This is a bigger problem in our community than most people realize and there are many families with secrets.


Are you struggling caring for an older relative, friend or neighbor? Our staff is available for no cost consultations in the home, office or community setting. We can make this an easier experience for all involved.



SOURCE:  Eagle Tribune
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Passalacqua Given Leadership Award at Elder Summit (USA)

July 19, 2010

Sonoma County District Attorney Stephan Passalacqua received the Visionary Leadership Award at the Elder Protection Summit in Petaluma last month.

The award was presented by Jenefer Duane, the founder and CEO of the Elder Financial Protection Network, and recognized Passalacqua’s efforts to raise awareness about elder protection issues.

The summit, held June 21 at the Petaluma Community Center, was the seventh in a series of educational conferences held across the county over the past two years. The sessions, designed by Passalacqua and his Elder Abuse Prevention Task Force, provide information and resources to seniors — and people who have seniors in their lives — about how physical and financial abuse can be avoided.

Some 75 people attended the summit, and received detailed information on a variety of elder abuse and protection issues, including neglect, physical and psychological aspects of elder abuse, financial scams, safety issues, in-home care options, trends in fraud committed against the elderly and cases currently being prosecuted by the district attorney’s office.

“Our seniors are among our most vulnerable citizens, and it is critical that we protect them,” Passalacqua said. “I sincerely appreciate the recognition of the contribution these summits make in helping reduce the financial, physical and emotional abuse of the elderly, who make up about 18 percent of our county’s population.”

“I share this (award) with the many people who have helped to make them possible.”


SOURCE:     Petaluma360
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July 16, 2010

$29 Million Nursing Home Abuse Verdict Upheld (USA)




July 15th, 2010


A Superior Court judge in Sacramento just upheld a $29 million verdict in a nursing home abuse case. The Sacramento Bee said that the “strongly worded ruling” involved a verdict against a nursing home company related to the 2005 death of a senior patient.


Judge Roland Candee rejected Horizon West Healthcare’s arguments seeking a new trial or “significantly reduced damages” in a case involving Frances Tanner, 79, a retiree who worked for the FBI and the IRS, said The Bee. Tanner suffered from mild dementia when she moved into Colonial Healthcare. Seven months later, following a fall and an undiagnosed hip fracture, she was dead due to an infected bedsore, said The Bee.


Candee said the evidence presented was “overwhelming” and “devastatingly powerful” and held up the verdict and damage awards against Horizon, which owns 33 nursing homes located, for the most part, in Northern California, wrote The Bee. Testimony revealed Horizon illegally under staffs its sites and conducted business “based, time and again, predominantly on a concern for the bottom line” and not on sympathetic patient care, wrote Candee, quoted The Bee. The jury’s obvious intent was to “discourage future wrongful conduct” by its $28 million punitive damage award, added Candee.



Abridged
SOURCE:     The NewsInferno
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UC-Irvine Center Shines Spotlight on Elder Abuse (CAL. USA)




July 15, 2010


by Stephanie Stephens, California Healthline Regional Correspondent


On any night in Orange County, a child or woman may suffer abuse, neglect or exploitation, while down the street a vulnerable elder endures mistreatment by a caregiver or other person in a trust relationship.


The situation involving the child or female will attract the most attention, but elder advocates are encouraged that there is growing awareness of elder abuse, particularly with the national health reform law addressing elder abuse issues and the observation of World Elder Abuse Day last month.


"We say elder abuse is 20 years behind both domestic violence and child abuse," said Mary Twomey, co-director of the Center of Excellence on Elder Abuse & Neglect. The geriatrics program at UC-Irvine's School of Medicine houses the center.


"Elder abuse is finally getting the attention it deserves. People don't like to talk about getting old and about crimes against older people," Twomey said.


Celebrating five years of operation, the first-of-its-kind center -- established with a grant from the local Archstone Foundation -- has become a central, statewide source of technical assistance, best-practice information, multidisciplinary training, research and policy issues.


The Colors of Abuse


Unprecedented research from UCI's geriatrics experts examines the issue of inflicted elder bruising, often considered an unpleasant, misunderstood subject. "That information is answering basic questions for the first time in the field," said Twomey.


The three studies, under the direction of UCI gerontologist Aileen Wiglesworth, show that the cause of bruises can be remembered by most seniors, even those with memory disorders. A bruise can be almost any color on the day it appears, and it's nearly impossible to tell the age of a bruise by its color.


"The study to identify bruising patterns in older adults subjected to elder abuse is an important tool for law enforcement, Adult Protective Services and the (state's long-term care) ombudsman to protect our most vulnerable seniors," said Lynn Daucher, director of the California Department of Aging. "I am particularly proud that this effort has originated in Orange County."


The time for increased awareness of elder abuse has come, according to Carol Mitchell, program manager for Orange County Adult Protective Services. She said reports received by APS increased by 188% from 1994 through 2009. They continue to steadily increase, up from almost 4,000 in 1999 to nearly 7,000 last year. There were approximately 700 reports in both April and May this year.


"There is more awareness, and times are really hard for some people," said Mitchell. "People are calling; people are reporting."


Experts estimate that for each incident reported, five others are not. Nearly two million older Americans are abused each year, and studies show that between 2% and 10% of the nation's older adult population experiences abuse, neglect, financial exploitation or self neglect each year.


Abuse occurs in private homes, as well as commercial institutions. The most common type of abuse reported is self neglect, the failure to provide for one's own care. Individuals abused by others are most likely to have been neglected or financially abused, or both. The vast majority of abusers are relatives of the victims. The incidence of elder abuse increases significantly with age, with those ages 85 and older six times more likely to be suffering from abuse than those ages 65 to 69.



Abridged
SOURCE:   CaliforniaHealthLine
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Elder Abuse - Reset Button (UK)

Reset button


15 July 2010


The issue of safeguarding adults at risk of abuse has gone very quiet over the last month, partly because we have been keeping our collective mouths shut and partly because other issues have dominated the wider political agenda. Silence however hasn't been through any sudden lack of interest on our part, but because we were assessing the impact of the change of Government and where adult safeguarding fits into the new scheme of things,


Of course, it would be easy to say that things could not have become any worse with a new Government than we experienced under the previous administration. The last eighteen months for adult safeguarding, and for us as the primary Third Sector voice on the subject, were not easy. Our written submissions to DH were invariably marginalised - we submitted one of the most comprehensive documents possible to the No Secrets Review and it was very obviously ignored - and our contributions to meetings were often treated with disinterest, to the point where it became pointless to attend events other than to keep the flag flying. And, of course, a major hit for AEA was when DH refused to provide any further funding for the charity, presumably on the basis that, if they couldn't shut us up, they certainly weren't going to give us funding to effectively subsidise what we were saying. We have no doubt that the decision had nothing to do with the quality or content of our proposals and everything to do with what had gone wrong with the Government, and perhaps with a civil service who had stopped giving the Government any advice that they (the civil servants) judged might not 'fit' with what Ministers wanted to hear.


How far Labour had traveled, and what a sad route they had taken, from the days when they published the elder abuse prevalence study and committed to the Review of No Secrets, a document that they had originally introduced back in 2000. And there is no doubt that we might have held a very different view on their ultimate track record if Ivan Lewis had not been replaced by Phil Hope - one of the many actions taken by Gorden Brown for what seems to have been personal rather than sound political reasons. And we could no doubt be forgiven for viewing somewhat cynically the observations of one ex-Labour Minister at last months National Pensioner's Convention who agreed that what was needed was Adult Protection legislation. Yeah, right! Perhaps she should have said that two months ago to her (now unemployed) former colleague when he was Minister of State for social care.


So, where do we go from here? Well, someone who we trust significantly on this matter suggested recently to us that the General Election should be considered a 're-set button' when it comes to safeguarding in general, and also to the debate on safeguarding and personalisation.


We agree. And we're pushing that button because, for adult safeguarding and elder abuse, and despite the dire financial challenges facing the country, the Coalition Government still offers a much better chance to have grown-up discussions on these matters, and achieve strong foundations for adult protection, than was ever likely to be the case with the Brown Government and Phil Hope. And we look forward to that.


SOURCE:     ElderAbuseAdultProtection blog
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July 15, 2010

Group Sets Voluntary Standards for Home Elder Care (USA)




By Michael Morton/Daily News staff


The MetroWest Daily News


Jul 14, 2010


As children and grandchildren increasingly seek aides to look after elderly loved ones at home, a state trade association is rolling out new, voluntary standards for members providing those services.


The dues-based association, the Boston nonprofit Home Care Alliance of Massachusetts, says the new program will help residents find quality care for both elderly family members and relatives with disabilities.


"If I'm going to give care of a loved one over to someone else, I have to have absolute trust in that entity," said Pat Kelleher, the alliance's executive director. Her group has more than 170 members statewide, with a sizable portion in MetroWest.


Locally, the population of residents 75 and older was measured at nearly 26,000 in the 2000 Census, but that number is expected to grow to more than 40,000 by 2030, according to data from the MetroWest Community Health Care Foundation.


The foundation has formed a commission to study how senior citizens can stay in their homes while remaining safe and healthy. There are at least 650,000 residents taking care of loved ones in Massachusetts, according to the National Family Caregivers Association.


While 70 percent of Home Care Alliance member business comes from state and federal programs supporting both long- and short-term care, the remainder comes from relatives looking to fill coverage gaps themselves because of limited program benefits and insurance restrictions.


Given the aging population, privately funded care is the fastest growing part of members' business, Kelleher said, but it has not been as closely regulated as the services funded by public programs.


"It's sort of an emerging marketplace in general," she said. "There are so many folks trying to figure this home care thing out."


That led the alliance to consult with members as well as look at state and federal regulations and guidelines for national home care franchises.


The new standards cover areas such as recognizing and reporting elder abuse, ensuring services and costs are clear to customers up-front, and establishing procedures for clients to report problems with aides. Home care agencies already have to pass suspicions of abuse, neglect or theft by their employees to the state.


The standards are voluntary, but they will earn agencies a special certification, which the organizations can then tout in promotional materials. Certifications will also be posted on the alliance website, thinkhomecare.org. Certification is free for members and $400 for outside agencies.


Larry Levine, co-owner of Home Care Assistance in Wellesley, helped develop the standards and said he looks forward to implementing them.


"The peace of mind of our patients and their family members is necessary to our work," he said.


Copyright 2010 The MetroWest Daily News.

SOURCE:    MetroWestDailyNews
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July 14, 2010

How to Deal With Elder Abuse


By Alison Lyke, eHow Contributing Writer


Elder abuse is a huge issue -- an average of 750,000 is reported annually, according to HelpGuide. Risk factors include dementia and other mental issues, social isolation, and a tendency for violence in the elder herself. You should investigate and report elder abuse when you suspect it. Your elderly loved ones count on you to protect them when they cannot protect themselves.


1. Step 1


Look for general signs of abuse. It is not always easy to tell if an elderly relative or friend suffers from abuse at the hands of a caregiver. Dementia complicates the issue. Frequent arguments between the elderly person and the caregiver, and changes in the elderly person’s overall personality and behavior, are potential signs of elder abuse.


2. Step 2


Determine the type of abuse. Signs of physical abuse include bruises and broken bones. Emotional abuse often leads to what appears to be sudden dementia or an increase in mental impairment. A neglected elder might lose weight, have untreated physical ailments and live in unsanitary conditions. Unanticipated changes in the elder’s finances or strange modifications to wills suggest financial abuse.


3. Step 3


Identify abusive caregiver(s). Your elderly loved one might have many caregivers, making it hard to determine who the abuser might be. The caregiver’s personality and attitude can give some clues. Abusive caregivers can have issues with stress, depression, drugs and alcohol, which can be indicated by erratic or strange behavior. Sometimes caregivers don’t mean harm, the level of support needed might go beyond their capabilities.


4. Step 4


Contact Adult Protective Services (APS) or Eldercare. Both of these organizations have systems to help you deal with elder abuse. The National Adult Protective Services Association (NAPSA) has member states with local and regional APS chapters. Eldercare is a public service of the Department of Health & Human Services’ U.S. Administration on Aging. Eldercare’s locator uses your zip code or city to list government aging agencies in the area.


5. Step 5


Cooperate with APS or Eldercare administration, social workers and police. Give as much accurate information as possible. Encourage your elderly loved one to speak with investigating agents about what has happened. Agencies use this information to resolve the situation and prosecute the abuser if necessary.


6. Step 6


Prevent future abuse. Pay attention to your elderly loved one so you will be able to spot any sudden changes in his demeanor. Get involved the moment you suspect abuse. Finally, educate yourself, family members and caregivers about the symptoms and consequences of elder abuse.






Tips & Warnings


• Elderly people without caregivers can neglect themselves. Eldercare provides social workers for this situation.

• Beware of caregivers who try to explain away signs of abuse -- they should be as concerned as you are. A caregiver’s refusal to let you visit with your elderly loved one is unacceptable and a possible sign of abuse.

REFERENCE:

American Psychological Association: Elder Abuse and Neglect

HelpGuide: Elder Abuse and Neglect


SOURCE:     eHow.co.uk
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July 8, 2010

Inquiry Into Aged Care Arrangements - Invitation to Interested Parties (AUSTRALIA)

Public inquiry - Caring for Older Australians



The Productivity Commission invites interested parties to register their interest in an inquiry into Australia's aged care arrangements.


In undertaking the inquiry, the Commission will develop options for further structural reform of the aged care system so it can meet the challenges facing it in coming decades. In particular, the Commission will:


• examine the social, clinical and institutional aspects of aged care in Australia, building on the substantial base of existing reviews into this sector


• address the interests of special needs groups


• develop regulatory and funding options for residential and community aged care (including the Home and Community Care program)


• examine the future workforce requirements of the aged care sector


• recommend a path for transitioning from the current regulatory arrangements to a new system that ensures continuity of care and allows the sector time to adjust


• examine whether the regulation of retirement specific living options should be aligned more closely with the rest of the aged care sector


• assess the fiscal implications of any change in aged care roles and responsibilities.


In the course of the inquiry, the Commission will consult widely with older Australians, their carers, aged care providers, government agencies and other interested parties.


Contacts


Jill Irvine (Administrative matters)


Ph: 02 6240 3223


Stewart Plain (Other matters)


Ph: 02 6240 3219


Fax: 02 6240 3311


Email: agedcare@pc.gov.au


Freecall: 1800 020 083


Further information


Productivity Commission Inquiry into Aged Care - Joint media release from the Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Ageing (external link)


About the public inquiry process



SOURCE:    The Productivity Commission, Australian Government
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Senior Homes Fire - Five Firm Officials Enter Not Guilty Pleas (USA)

Five San Diego firm officials enter not guilty pleas to charges stemming from Casa de Vallejo fire



Defendants charged with manslaughter, elder abuse


By Tony Burchyns / Times-Herald


07/07/2010


FAIRFIELD –


Five officials of an affordable housing company pleaded not guilty Tuesday morning to criminal charges stemming from the 2008 Casa de Vallejo fire that killed three people.


Appearing in Solano County Superior Court Commissioner Barbara James' courtroom were Amerland Group co-founders Jules Arthur, 44, and Ruben Islas, 41; Martha Islas-Enriquez, 38, chief executive officer of Vallejo Housing Partners; Michael Hagigeorgio, 32, project manager for the building's fire alarm system; and Jeremy Turner, 31, director of construction management.


The five are either executives or managers at the company that owns the building that housed the seniors home.


Solano County District Attorney David Paulson in June charged each with two counts of manslaughter, two counts of elder abuse causing death and one count of elder abuse, naming 119 victims.


A preliminary hearing will be set in August. Each defendant faces a maximum punishment of 18 years in state prison if found guilty on all of the charges.


Three residents died in the Aug. 15, 2008 blaze that revealed inoperable fire alarms in the historic Sonoma Boulevard building. The early morning fire also displaced 117 tenants.


The defendants, all of San Diego, appeared with separate attorneys. None would comment after the brief hearing. They were arrested June 23 and 24 in San Diego County and have posted the $250,000 bond set for their release.


Those who died in, or immediately following, the eight-alarm fire were John Argente, 74; Robert Bennett, 68; and Harold Fortune, 61.


An investigation revealed that Bennett, a sixth-floor resident, sparked the blaze while asleep in his room with a lit cigar. Bennett was on a medical oxygen tank at the time, authorities said.


The probe also found that the 136-unit building's fire alarms had been disconnected two months earlier during rehabilitation work on the structure.


In 2005, the Vallejo City Council approved the owners' application for $10 million in state bonds to acquire and rehabilitate the residential rental facility.


For the owners to be eligible for the funding, the building had to be occupied, in part, by low-income


SOURCE:    Times Herald
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July 6, 2010

Elder Abuse Attorney Discusses Ways to Choose a Caregiver (USA)

Elder Abuse Attorney Discusses Ways to Choose a Caregiver



Many of us are faced with the decision at some point in our life to put a loved one in a long term care facility or the hire a private caregiver to take care of them in the privacy of their own or even our own home. The decision is never easy and never one that we want to make. Most of us would like to be able to provide all the care our loved one needs without help from other caregivers. The reality, however, is that many times we just can not do it alone. As the population of seniors in America grows exponentially, so do the care options available for them. Sadly, the incidents of elder abuse have also grown in number over the last few decades. Estimates are that well over a million elders are physically, mentally, emotionally or financially abused every year in the United States. So what can you do as a family member or loved on to try and prevent your loved one from becoming the victim of elder abuse, or if the worst happens and you suspect they have been abused what can you do?


When hiring an in-home private caregiver try the following tips:


1. Always get references and contact them before an interview


2. Do a thorough interview of the applicant with prepared questions


3. Check academic records


4. Do a criminal background check


5. Introduce the applicant to your loved and watch the interaction


6. After you have hired the caregiver, stop in at unexpected times to see how your loved one is being cared for.


When considering a long-term care facility, consider the following tips:


1. Check with local and state regulating agencies for complaints that have been filed against the agency.


2. Ask about the credentials of the staff and the patient to staff ratio.


3. Make an unscheduled visit and ask to tour the facility.


4. Talk to some of the patients and get a feel for how they are treated.


5. Talk to some of the staff and physicians to get an idea of what their philosophy of care is.


6. After you have placed your loved one in the facility, continue to make unscheduled visits.


After you have made a decision to hire a caregiver or place your loved one in a long-term care facility, watch your loved one closely for signs of abuse. These can be physical signs such as bruising, restraint marks or unexplained injuries or they can be more subtle psychological signs such as withdrawal or a change in behavior or personality.


If you suspect that your loved one has suffered any type of elder abuse, whether it be by a private caregiver or a long-term care facility, contact a lawyer immediately. Abuse, neglect or mistreatment of an elder may be the grounds for an elder abuse personal injury lawsuit. Contact an experienced California elder abuse attorney to find out what you can do to hold the caregiver or facility responsible for any abuse your loved one has suffered. An elder abuse attorney is available to answer any of your questions and would be happy to give you a detailed evaluation of your case.


SOURCE:     ElderLaw - Phoenix Blog
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Any Charges Reported on this blog are Merely Accusations and the Defendants are Presumed Innocent Unless and Until Proven Guilty.

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