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

March 30, 2011

Conservator Given Control of Mickey Rooney's Affairs (USA)

March 29, 2011

A conservator was given control of Mickey Rooney's affairs when it was discovered that $400,000 of the actor's money had gone missing from his bank account, Reuters reports.
Attorney Michael Augustine said he accompanied the 90-year-old actor to the banks when they found accounts were virtually depleted of funds.
The lawyer said in court papers, according to Reuters, that Rooney was so financially impaired, he only owns one pair of shoes and often wears the same clothes. Additionally, Rooney could not buy his wife flowers for Valentine's Day because, as he said to Augustine, “I have no money.”
Rooney has accused his stepson Christopher Aber and Aber's wife of bullying, intimidation, and holding back information about his finances.
A restraining order was granted against Aber, who has denied all the allegations.
Rooney gave an emotional testimony earlier this month before the Senate advocating for victims of elder abuse, urging lawmakers to make elder abuse a crime.

SOURCE:    The Third Age.com

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Non-English Speaking Australians at Higher Risk of Financial Elder Abuse, According to Study (AUSTRALIA)

29 March, 2011
New research reveals non-English speaking Australians are at higher risk of financial elder abuse due to their dependency on others for translation, transactions and services relating to the management of their finances. 
Diversity and financial elder abuse in Victoria is the fourth report of the Protecting Elders
Assets Study (PEAS) on financial elder abuse undertaken by Monash University and commissioned by State Trustees. 
Data was drawn from 76 survey respondents aged 65 – 100 who were surveyed on their
current and planned financial management strategies. Sixty two respondents were from nonEnglish speaking backgrounds, including Greek, Italian and Vietnamese cultures.
“The study found that non-English speaking participants, in particular the Italian and Vietnamese groups, relied heavily on their English-speaking children to manage their day-today financial affairs. These tasks include renting property, paying bills and engaging with
institutions such as banks, real estate agents and government departments on behalf of their parents,” State Trustees’ Managing Director Tony Fitzgerald, said.

“As was observed in previous studies with English-speaking participants, participants in this study were aware of instances of financial elder abuse, however believed it would be unlikely to happen to them. Sadly this commonly held belief among older Australians directly conflicts with past findings which suggest family members, in particular children, are the most common
perpetrators of financial elder abuse,” Mr Fitzgerald said.
The study also found that non-English speaking respondents were less likely to have prepared personal financial and legal documents, such as an Enduring Power of Attorney (Financial); a document that gives an individual or organisation the power to make financial and legal decisions on another person’s behalf should they become incapacitated. 

“Many older people from non-English speaking backgrounds avoid preparing an EPA because
they trust their family will know what to do in the event they lose capacity. However, they often
fail to fully appreciate the complexity of such a responsibility and the heavy burden it places on
their loved ones,” Mr Fitzgerald said.  
Mr Fitzgerald encourages older Australians to thoroughly explore their financial and legal options before making any firm decisions about the future management of their financial affairs. 

“In many cases older people are simply unaware about what services and products are available to them. If they choose to, individuals can outsource the future management of their financial affairs to a professional, helping to circumvent potential family conflict and financial mismanagement,” Mr Fitzgerald said.  


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March 29, 2011

New Hotline Launched For Victims Of Elder Abuse (CA. USA)

By Rachel Purdy, Bay City News

California seniors who are victims of domestic abuse can obtain free legal assistance through a new toll-free statewide number, officials said.
Victims over the age of 60 can call the California Senior Legal Hotline, where they will receive confidential advice on legal matters.
This program is designed to address a growing problem of domestic violence toward elderly people who experience stalking, physical or emotional abuse, threats, or neglect by a family member, spouse, partner, caregiver or cohabitant.
Callers can also be connected with local domestic violence programs so they can obtain additional support, officials said.
This hotline is possible because of a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice, according to the hotline.
The problem of domestic abuse toward seniors was highlighted during a recent hearing of the Senate Special Committee on Aging, where actor Mickey Rooney shared his story of abuse by a family member.
The hotline will be operated under the Sacramento-based nonprofit Legal Services of Northern California.
The toll-free number for seniors in need of legal guidance is (800) 222-1753. 
This is not an emergency line, and those who feel immediately threatened should dial 911, according to hotline officials.

SOURCE:   The SFAppeal.Com


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Committee on Ageing Launches New Seniors Information Hub (AUSTRALIA)

RDCOTA launches new seniors information hub
28 Mar, 2011

REDLANDS District Committee on the Ageing (RDCOTA) recently launched its Seniors Information Plus service.

Seniors in need of information about seniors' issues, including legal matters, elder abuse, care facilities, funeral plans, counselling or other issues, or who need help to contact or respond to a business or government department, can seek help through Seniors Information Plus.
RDCOTA president Tony Christinson said the service, which was run by trained volunteers, did not provide the actual information, but did provide comprehensive advice on where to find information and how to access it, including providing relevant forms where possible.
"Our research showed we needed an information hub like this in the Redlands," Mr Christinson said.
"There is no other face-to-face venue offering this kind of thing.
"Most places rely on telephone or Internet contact and some seniors don't cope well with that."
RDCOTA former president Ross Wiseman, who was the organisation's president when a seniors information hub concept was first proposed three years ago, agreed.
"The need for this hub arose first and foremost from the move of RDCOTA from its previous premises at the back of the (Redland) hospital to the current RDCOTA building," Mr Wiseman said.
"On moving here, we quickly became aware of the number of people 'just dropping in' for information or advice on all sorts of things concerned with the care of seniors."
Mr Wiseman said his research at the time had shown the complexity of information about seniors' issues, in particular aged care, often presented a challenge to older people.
"A major issue was about electronic information being unsuitable for seniors; from computers (and) accessing information on the Internet to automatic reply telephone systems that confuse most of us," he said.
"It was clear that many seniors just want someone who will give them the time so that they can explain in detail what their circumstances are.
Mr Wiseman said another issue for older people was telephone help lines.
"There are a range of them and many seniors are confused by such complexity and are not sure who to ring for what," he said.

The RDCOTA Seniors Information Plus service is open during RDCOTA office hours, 9.30am to 2.30pm, Monday to Friday.
To access the service, contact the RDCOTA office - 3488 0680 - to make an appointment.

SOURCE:    The Bayside Bulletin

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CCTV Captured Carer Stealing from Man, 71 (UK)

CCTV pictures captured carer stealing from man, 71, she was supposed to be helping
A care worker stole cash from a 71-year-old man she was supposed to be helping.
The victim's son became suspicious when it became apparent money was sometimes missing after Maxine Singh had visited his father's Wigston home.
The pensioner kept the cash in the pockets of a jacket hanging on a door.
And when his son installed a covert camera focusing on the jacket, it captured footage of Singh rummaging through the pockets and taking money.
Tara Kelly, prosecuting at Leicester Crown Court on Friday, said the pensioner had a variety of health problems and at the end of 2009 engaged the assistance of carers, arranged through social services with private company, Home Call.
She said Singh – who has previous convictions for theft and fraud and received a suspended jail sentence in 1989 – was one of the carers who regularly visited.
The son estimated about £600 was unaccounted for, but Singh claimed in interview she had taken about £100. The 51-year-old grandmother was charged only with the thefts that were captured on the son's CCTV camera.
Footage of Singh rummaging through the pockets and taking cash was shown in court.

SOURCE:    This is Leichestershire, UK

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March 25, 2011

Seniors in Singapore Opt for Non-Legal Approach for Family Support (SINGAPORE)


As Asian countries adopt more Western traditions, filial duties toward grandparents have begun to fall apart and families have become smaller, nuclear units. Consequently, many older adults are in need of assistance. Singapore has dealt with the problem with the Maintenance of Parents Act, which legally obligates children to help their parents during their golden years.

While it is possible to bring the matter of aid to court, it seems that many parents are opting for a less confrontational approach. ChannelNewsAsia.com reports that the number of conciliation cases between families has risen to 15 times the number of similar cases last year.

"We would like very much that these maintenance issues be resolved among family members, and the way to do that is conciliation," Khoo Oon Soo of the Office of the Commissioner for the Maintenance of Parents, told the news provider.

In fact, under new changes that were enacted this month, it is no longer possible to initially bring the issue up on legal grounds. The first step of every family will now be conciliation.

This is slowly becoming a senior citizen policy that other countries are looking to for inspiration - this year, China has drafted a legal amendment that requires children to provide both physical and mental care for their parents, according to the BBC.  


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March 24, 2011

Governor Strengthens Kentucky Laws to Protect Vulnerable Seniors (KY. USA)

Beshear strengthens Kentucky laws to protect vulnerable seniors
From the KPA News Content Service

 March 23, 2011

Gov. Steve Beshear Wednesday signed into law two bills aimed at better protecting adults and seniors from abuse and exploitation.
“Protecting vulnerable seniors from exploitation and abuse must be a priority for all of us, and it is a priority of mine,” Beshear said in a press release. “Today, with these new laws, we take a step forward in safeguarding our seniors.”
House Bill 52 prevents people who abuse or neglect vulnerable or elderly adults from benefiting from their deaths and bars people convicted of felony abuse or exploitation of an adult from serving as that victim’s guardian, executor or power of attorney. The measure also establishes a trust fund to provide funding for programs combating elder and vulnerable adult abuse.

House Bill 164 will make it easier and more efficient for adults and seniors needing a guardian when more than one state is involved.
The bills were part of Beshear’s larger “Safeguarding our Seniors” initiative to keep at-risk adults and the elderly safe and healthy.
“House Bill 52 closed a loophole in the current law and will prevent anyone who abuses or neglects an elderly person or vulnerable adult from benefiting financially from those actions,” Rep. Joni Jenkins of Shively said. She sponsored the legislation.
Beshear also repeated his commitment to include funding for an adult abuse registry in his 2012 budget proposal, even though the legislature did not create such a registry this session, according to a press release from the governor's office.

“We will keep working to establish an adult elder abuse registry for the Commonwealth,” Beshear said. “It’s the best way to identify perpetrators when adult or elder abuse has been substantiated, but doesn’t reach a criminal level, and it’s the right thing to do.”
Last year, Gov. Beshear ordered a multi-agency review —coordinated by CHFS — that resulted in a comprehensive report on the Protection of Nursing Home Residents. The cabinet has implemented many recommendations included in the report, and has revived the Elder Abuse Committee to continue the vital collaboration between agencies and stakeholders to enhance efforts to protect Kentucky’s seniors. The multi-agency review followed a Lexington Herald-Leader investigative series about nursing home abuses in Kentucky.

The state also joined the national Elder Investment Fraud and Financial Exploitation Prevention Program, in which states work with medical professionals to detect cases in which older Americans either are being scammed or are in danger of being ripped off by an investment con artist, the press release said.

SOURCE:    TimesLeader


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State Insurance Commissioner Attacks Fraud Against Elderly (USA)

Dave Jones attacks fraud against elderly

By Anita Creamer

Mar. 23, 2011

State insurance commissioner Dave Jones will be the keynote speaker at a national summit aimed at preventing the financial fraud of older people. The conference, scheduled in San Francisco on March 31, is sponsored by the Elder Financial Protection Network.
Other speakers include Philip Marshall, grandson of wealthy New York socialite Brooke Astor. Concerns over her care when she had Alzheimer's disease led to a widely publicized elder abuse prosecution.
Panels include discussions of financial abuse scams, as well as how baby boomers can protect their assets as they age.
The conference takes place at the Mission Bay Conference Center at UC San Francisco.
For more information, go to www.bewiseonline.org or call (415) 956-5556.


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Elderly Victimes of Abuse Often Use Alcohol or Drugs, Study Says (USA)

Elderly victims of abuse often use alcohol or drugs, study says

Contact: Sherri McGinnis González
University of Illinois at Chicago

Victims of severe traumatic elder abuse are more likely to be female, suffer from a neurological or mental disorder, and to abuse drugs or alcohol, according to research published in the March issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.
"Past studies have shown that alcohol abuse by the perpetrator plays a substantial role and is strongly associated with physical abuse," says Lee Friedman, assistant professor of environmental and occupational health sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago and lead author of the study. "Our findings indicate that alcohol abuse among the victims may be an important contributing factor as well."
Twenty-nine percent of abuse victims in the study tested positive for alcohol, compared to 13 percent of controls.
Local researchers examined medical record data at two Chicago-area Level I trauma units from 41 cases of elder abuse and compared them to a random set of other over-60 patients between 1999 and 2006.
The researchers found that elderly victims of physical abuse suffered more severe injuries than their non-abused counterparts. They also suffered disproportionately from pre-existing medical conditions such as heart disease, dementia and Alzheimer's disease, mental illness and alcohol abuse.
All the key measures of injury severity -- length of hospital stay, treatment in an intensive care unit, assisted breathing, injury severity scores, in-hospital case fatality rates -- were higher in the abuse cases, according to the researchers, and are associated with long-term adverse outcomes.
In the study, 20 victims of abuse returned to the environment in which the abuse occurred. In the majority of cases, the perpetrator had been arrested, but 17 percent of the victims expressed a desire to return to the perpetrator and not to press charges.
Eighty-five percent of the perpetrators were family members or intimate partners. In most cases, the abuse was not identified until after the admission process or several days into hospitalization.
The failure of medical staff to properly identify abuse victims and contact adult protective services in the majority of cases shows that clinicians need to better understand elder abuse, Friedman said.

The research was funded by a grant from the Retirement Research Foundation. Co-authors are Susan Avila and Dr. Kimberly Joseph of the John H. Stroger Hospital of Cook County and Kathy Tanouye of Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, Ill. Friedman's work on the project predated his joining the full-time faculty at UIC.
For more information about UIC, visit www.uic.edu

SOURCE:    The Eurekalert

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March 21, 2011

Elder Abuse: A Hidden Epidemic (AUSTRALIA)

Produced by Karin Adam

Ninety-year-old veteran actor Mickey Rooney appeared before the United States Senate Committee on Ageing this month, revealing years of alleged abuse by his stepson. The former Hollywood star says he was deprived of medication, food and access to his own finances. Elder abuse often occurs behind closed doors and it is surprising who is hurting the older people in our community. Karin Adam investigates this hidden Australian epidemic ... Interviewed: Les Jackson, coordinator of Lifeline's Elder Abuse Prevention Unit in Queensland; Lillian Jeter, former director of the Elder Abuse Prevention Association and trainer of residential care professionals.

Elder Abuse Response service contacts in Australia: Qld: Lifeline's Elder Abuse Helpline 1300 651 192 or (07) 3250 1836;
NSW: The Aged-care Rights Service NSW 02 9281 3600;
VIC: Seniors Rights Victoria 1300 368 821; ACT: Elder Abuse Information and Referral Phone (02) 6205 3535
Sth Aust: Aged Rights Advocacy Service (08) 8232 5377
WA: Advocare 1800 655 566 or (08) 9479 7599 http://www.advocare.org.au;
NT: Aged and Disability Rights Team 1800 812 953 or (08) 8982 1111 http://www.dcls.org.au

SOURCE:    The Wire.Org

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Carers Took 1Million Pounds From Frail Relatives (SCOTLAND)

The vilest thieves in Scotland? Carers £1m from frail relatives
By Marion Scott, Sunday Mail

A former social work boss claims greedy relatives steal £1million a year from elderly family members.

Ex West Dunbartonshire Council social work director Tim Huntingford said: "As shocking as that figure sounds, studies indicate it's just the tip of the iceberg.
"Abuse of the elderly is a taboo subject, something we don't want to believe is going on under our very noses.

"But there are as many as 33,000 cases a year in Scotland which come to the attention of local authorities. And if the public were more aware of what to look out for, I think there would be thousands more."
Last month, a TV ad to raise awareness about abuse of elderly people prompted 425 calls to a free helpline.

Huntingford, chair of Renfrewshire's Adult Protection Committee, said: "We've heard of cases where elderly relatives believe they're going into a care home for respite then their homes are sold out from under them.
"In the last two years, local authorities across Scotland have taken out 42 court orders banning relatives and carers going near their victims, often elderly parents or grandparents.
"In one family, elderly parents were living in filthy conditions, starving and afraid, cared for by their son and daughter who both had drink and drug problems.
"Victims don't want to tell on their own family members."
The elder abuse free confidential hotline number is 0300 777 6520.

SOURCE:    The Daily Record, UK


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Mickey Rooney Speaks Out On Elder Abuse (USA)

By Richard Griffin/Columnist
Mar 20, 2011

During my early adolescence, my favorite movie actor was Mickey Rooney. In between the years 1938 and 1944 he made an amazing 13 Andy Hardy films. These movies thrilled me; each time I could hardly wait for the next one to appear.
My friends and I saw these movies at the old Paramount Theater in Newton Corner, identifying with Mickey as we watched him deal with the social adventures of teenagers, not entirely different from our own.

 He did well with other films, too. His versatility as an actor, singer and dancer made him one of Hollywood’s most enduring stars. The Andy Hardy movies were only some of the more than 200 films he made in his long career.
At age 91, Rooney is one of the rare actors still living who played leading roles in the films I saw as a boy.

 My reason for calling attention to Mickey Rooney is his appearance this month before a congressional committee in Washington, D.C. It would have been heartwarming to report he came there to receive a medal in honor of his film achievements. Instead, he presented himself for a much more sober reason.
The testimony he gave to the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Aging had nothing to do with the satisfactions of living to be old, but rather with one of its hazards. He told the legislators about how he had been robbed of his savings.
“I was unable to avoid becoming a victim of elder abuse,” he said.
The worst part of it was the identity of the person who stole his money. It was not a stranger but rather a close family member. In falling prey to a relative — in his instance a 52-year-old stepson — Rooney is typical of a disturbingly large number of older people. 

Rooney described the emotional impact of the theft. “You feel scared and disappointed,” he said, “and can’t believe it’s happening to you. You feel overwhelmed. You’re afraid about criticism from your family and friends.”

This famous man went on to label what happened to him as “emotional blackmail.”
In gripping testimony, he added: “It came out of nowhere. It started with something small but it was rather sinister. For years I suffered silently. I was told to shut up and be quiet; you don’t know what you’re talking about.”
He finished with this counsel to his age peers: “You are not alone and you have nothing to be ashamed of. You deserve better. You deserve the right to control your life. To end the cycle of abuse, do not allow yourself to be silenced. Tell your story. Above all, have hope and faith.”

Thanks to YouTube, I have watched Mickey Rooney presenting his case. His poise and his confident speaking impressed me. He knew what he was talking about.
Financial exploitation of elders takes place much more frequently than most Americans realize. Older people frequently prove vulnerable to the unscrupulous who see in them targets for easy money.

SOURCE:      The Daily News Transcript

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March 18, 2011

Sunnyvale Nursing Home Employees Charged With Elder Abuse (USA)

Sunnyvale nursing home employees charged with elder abuse
By Alia Wilson, Sunnyvale Sun
Three Sunnyvale nursing home workers were arrested by state agents March 2 on suspicion of elder abuse after officials reported that one worker allegedly grabbed the genitalia of an Idylwood Care Center resident and two others did not report the abuse to authorities.
Arnold Samson, 27, of San Jose has been charged with multiple acts of elder abuse and battery, according to the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office. Ryan Tan, 22, of San Jose and Ricardo Martinez, 50, of Saratoga are charged with having knowledge of the abuse and not reporting it to authorities as required by law.
Samson, Tan and Martinez were arrested at their homes Samson was held on $25,000 bail and Tan and Martinez on $5,000 bail in Santa Clara County Jail. All three were released on bail on March 3.
Staff from the Sunnyvale nursing home facility could not be reached for comment.
In late January, agents from the state Bureau of Medi-Cal Fraud and Elder Abuse received an allegation of sexual misconduct from the Department of Public Health's Licensing and Certification Division. A staff member reported that one of the Idylwood residents was complaining to him about being grabbed in the "private area" over several days by one of the certified nursing assistants, according to a news release from the attorney general's office.
As the employee was in the process of questioning the resident, he said he saw Samson grab the resident's genitalia and make a crude
comment. The employee reported the abuse immediately and Samson was suspended.
The news release also stated several staff members whom agents interviewed said Samson had grabbed and pulled on the testicles of the same resident and made crude comments on other occasions as well as threatened to touch the resident's private parts in attempt to "torment him."
In an interview with agents, Tan allegedly admitted that he had seen Samson threaten the resident several times. Tan also allegedly told agents that he watched Samson grab the man's private parts while the resident was sleeping "in order to get a rise out of him."
"The failure to report the abuse is just as offensive and reprehensible as the abuse itself," Attorney General Kamala Harris said in a statement. "As a mandated reporter, caregivers are bound by law to report anyone they see commit abuse or are told an abuse has occurred. We want to send a clear message to facility caregivers around the state that if you fail to report abuse, we will come after you."
The district attorney's office asks residents with information about potential abuse at the Idylwood Care Center to contact special agent Kristin Mansfield of the Department of Justice at 925.520.6408.
To report cases of elder abuse, call the Bureau of Medi-Cal Fraud and Elder Abuse hotline toll-free at 800.722.0432 or visit ag.ca.gov/bmfea/reporting.php

SOURCE:      The Mercury News


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Suspect Elder Abuse? Be Sure to Report It (USA)

By Herb Weisbaum
Mar 15, 2011

We rarely hear about it, but financial abuse of the elderly is a serious and growing problem. Mickey Rooney put a spotlight on the crime when he testified before Congress recently.

We know elder financial abuse it widespread and growing, but no one really has a handle on how much money is lost this way.

The best figure we have is $2.6 billion a year -- that's based on a report done in 2009 for MetLife. The report also said only one in six cases is ever reported, so this $2.6 billion dollar is conservative. And with the recent recession, fraud experts say the problem has only gotten worse.

Who's committing the crime? It can be a staff member at a care facility who's able to cozy up to a resident to get jewelry, money or power of attorney.

It can be family members who believe they're entitled to inheritance before their parents or grandparents pass away.

It could be a stranger. Con artists also prey on older people, because as a group they control a tremendous amount of this country's wealth. 

Elder abuse is a community-wide problem that can only be solved when people get involved. It really will take a village to deal with this. 

If your suspect elder abuse, report your concerns. Most cases of elder abuse go undetected. Don't assume that someone has already reported a suspicious situation. 

Contact your local adult protective services agency or prosecutor's office or police department. The people committing these crimes need to be caught and punished.

SOURCE:      PineWS Wire

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Home Care's Booming, and So Is Regulation (USA)

Home Care's Booming, and So Is Regulation
As services for seniors expand, entrepreneurs are preparing for more scrutiny from regulators
March 17, 2011

As the first baby boomers turn 65 this year, entrepreneurs see opportunity. The number of companies providing home health care or services such as assistance in dressing, bathing, and cooking increased by more than 50 percent in the past decade, U.S. Census Bureau data show. Now regulators are scrambling to catch up with the growing industry.
Home-care companies aren't regulated in about two dozen states, and just a handful require licenses for companies that provide nonmedical services. Today the industry faces a hodgepodge of inconsistent rules that advocates say puts vulnerable people at risk of financial exploitation or physical abuse. In states that require licensing, many operators ignore regulations because the costs of complying are high and the risk of getting caught is low, people in the industry say.
Advocates of home care say it is more compassionate and less expensive than nursing home care. More than 45,000 companies offered home health care or other aid in 2008, including 2,800 small outfits that pay franchisers for a brand name, training, and support, researcher Frandata estimates. They're targeting a $55 billion market that will surely grow as the number of Americans 65 and older increases by 79 percent in the next 20 years, to 72 million, according to Census projections.
A report by the Senate Special Committee on Aging notes that "addressing elder abuse in home-based care settings is becoming a growing concern." Much of the worry centers on how thoroughly companies vet workers before sending them into people's houses. The Senate report says that after seven states began requiring comprehensive background checks for caregivers in institutions and private homes, 4.3 percent of the 220,000 applicants were disqualified because of a history of serious crimes. Some 92 percent of nursing homes employ at least one worker with a criminal conviction, according to a Mar. 1 report by the U.S. Health & Human Services Dept. Not all crimes preclude workers from employment.

SOURCE:      Business Week

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March 3, 2011

Mickey Rooney Tells Senate Panel He was a Victim of Elder Abuse (USA)

Mickey Rooney tells Senate panel he was a victim of elder abuse
By Tom Cohen, CNN
March 2, 2011

Washington (CNN)

Grimacing with emotion, entertainment legend Mickey Rooney implored a Senate committee on Wednesday to stop what experts call chronic emotional, physical, sexual and financial abuse of elderly Americans by family members and other caregivers.
The 90-year-old Rooney told the Senate Special Committee on Aging that he was abused by a family member who took control of his life, and described feeling "scared, disappointed, yes, and angry."
"You can't believe that it's happening to you," Rooney said. "You feel overwhelmed."
Rooney has filed a restraining order against his stepson and stepdaughter, claiming both emotional and financial abuse.
The committee's hearing brought attention to what experts call chronic elder abuse in America. Rooney said Congress should pass a law to make it a specific crime.
"I'm asking you to stop this elderly abuse. I mean to stop it. Now. Not tomorrow, not next month, but now," he shouted from the witness table. Pass legislation and send it to be signed into law by President Barack Obama, he urged, so that the nation can say "it's a crime and we will not allow it in the United States of America."
Following the hearing, committee Chairman Sen. Herb Kohl, D-Wisconsin, introduced legislation that would create an Office of Elder Justice within the Department of Justice to help coordinate law enforcement response to elder abuse.
According to a report by the Government Accountability Office, more than 14% of noninstitutionalized older adults experienced some form of elder abuse in 2009. The report cautions that number may be lower than the reality because many instances of elder abuse are underreported.
"For years I suffered silently. I didn't want to tell anybody. I couldn't muster the courage and you have to have courage," Rooney said Wednesday. "I needed help and I knew I needed it. Even when I tried to speak up, I was told to shut up and be quiet."
The GAO report found that many Adult Protective Service programs at the state level have growing case loads and dwindling resources. The elder population of the United States is expected to grow by 60% over the next 25 years.
Other witnesses detailed the depth of the problem.


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March 2, 2011

Elder Abuse: A Growing Dilemma in an Aging Population (CANADA)

CBC News
Mar 1, 2011

As the baby boom generation ages, Canada is becoming an older country. According to Statistics Canada, eight million of us will be over the age of 65 by 2031. That's nearly 25 per cent of the population.
What's more, a growing number of those in this age bracket are reporting that they are the victims of abuse.
In 2007, Statistics Canada reported that the overall rate of police-reported violence against seniors increased by 20 per cent between 1998 and 2005.
Seniors are the least likely demographic to suffer violent crime, but they are most at risk of suffering violence at the hand of a family member.
For those over 65, 47 out of every 100,000 women were violently assaulted by a family member, according to 2005 statistics. For men over the age of 65, the figure was 36 cases per 100,000 population.
The biggest perpetrators of violence against seniors were adult children (15 per 100,000 cases) or a current or former spouse (13 per 100,000).
Elder abuse can take several forms. Among them:
·         Neglect: Signs include unkempt appearance, broken glasses, lack of appropriate clothing as well as malnutrition, dehydration and poor personal hygiene.
·         Physical Abuse: Signs include untreated or unexplainable injuries in various stages of healing, limb and skull fractures, bruises, black eyes and welts.
·         Psychological/emotional abuse: Watch for changes in behaviour (emotional upset/agitation resulting in sucking, biting, rocking), withdrawal or non-responsiveness.
·         Economic/financial abuse: Watch for sudden changes in bank accounts or banking activity, and major changes to legal documents such as powers of attorney and wills.
The RCMP suggest that the strongest indicator that an elderly person is being abused is that he or she will tell someone.
In the wake of the recent case of a 68-year-old Toronto woman who was allegedly left alone in an uninsulated garage during the winter by her son and daughter-in-law, an advocacy group for seniors called on the federal government to do more to prevent elder abuse.
The group, known as CARP, wants changes to the Criminal Code to punish elder abuse and hotlines to make it easier for seniors to report problems.
"CARP is on the record calling for more services to support families dealing with the physical and mental challenges of their loved ones to help prevent tragedies like this one, and intervention agencies and services to provide a comprehensive response to a significant social problem," Susan Eng, the vice-president of advocacy for CARP, said.
"At some point, the heavy hand of the criminal law needs to be invoked, as it has been in this case, and legislative changes may be necessary to reflect society's values and abhorrence of such a situation."
Most provinces and territories already offer some form of seniors' helpline — but there is no national 24-hour hotline dedicated to helping seniors who are the victims of abuse, similar to rape crisis lines.
CARP would also like to see:
·         The Criminal Code to be modified to include "duty to report" provisions modeled on requirements to report suspected cases of child or spousal abuse.
  • ·A provision in the Criminal Code for crimes against the elderly that provide increased penalties, similar to tougher penalties that can be imposed for hate crimes.

·            A new criminal office of Elder Abuse Victim.
·         Support services and elder shelters.



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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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