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**** DISCLAIMER

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

October 31, 2011

Additional Charges Pending Against Man Charged with Abusing Elderly Mom (USA)

Additional charges pending against Saugus man charged with abusing elderly mom
By Thor Jourgensen / The Daily Item

A prosecutor said the son of an 86-year-old Saugus woman will face additional charges in District Court on Monday in connection with allegations in police reports detailing how Jeffrey Azarva slapped his mother and pulled her hair.

Arrested on Tuesday in Laconia, N.H., Azarva pleaded innocent in Lynn District Court on Friday to threatening to commit a crime and assault and battery on a person over 60 causing injury. He is being held in the Essex County House of Correction in Middleton without bail.

"Additional charges carrying even more substantial penalties are pending," Assistant District Attorney Lisa Core said in court Friday.

Judge Ellen Flatley, at Core's request, ordered Azarva returned to court on Monday.

Saugus police reports filed in court detail how officers and Greater Lynn Senior Services workers went to the 55 Saville St. home Azarva shares with his mother, Rosalyn Azarva, on Oct. 20 prepared to serve him an order for elder caretaker abuse.

A friend of Azarva's said Azarva had packed a bag earlier in the day and left the house with his mother without saying where he was going, according to the police report.

The report does not state where the Azarvas spent Oct. 20 through Oct. 25 when a nurse at a Laconia health clinic called police after questioning why someone who lives in Saugus sought help for his mother at a clinic there. Saugus Police had issued an alert for Azarva and his mother.

Police arrested Azarva and contacted Saugus police after taking Rosalyn Azarva to a Laconia hospital.

Court documents also detailing reports complaining about Rosalyn Azarva's care date back to January when an anonymous person claimed Azarva often left his mother at home alone and forgot to feed her and give her her medication.

A second report filed in June by a hospice worker stated that Azarva refused to give his mother pain medication. The police report also states Azarva describes his mother as suffering from advanced dementia and Alzheimer's Disease.

The report also stated that "on one occasion Mr. Azarva threatened to get his gun if anyone tried to take his mother away from him and place her in a nursing home."

Core stated in court that Azarva "admitted he would smack her face to get her attention and pull her hair to reposition her."

But William O'Shea, the attorney who represented Azarva at his Friday court appearance, said Azarva told him "he slaps (his mother) in a gentle manner" to wake her up and get her attention.

"He tells me he would move her head on the pillows," O'Shea said.

He said Azarva, who is listed as single and self-employed on police reports, has cared for his mother "his entire life."

The remark prompted Flatley to tell O'Shea: "I suspect she was once his caretaker."

O'Shea modified his statement to say Azarva has cared for his mother since 2004. He said Azarva and a nurse recently differed over the nurse's proposal to give Rosalyn Azarva morphine and blood thinning medication.

O'Shea said Azarva drove to Laconia to get his mother "evaluated" and left Saugus because "he was told by a care worker that he would be taken out of the equation."

Core said Rosalyn Azarva is in Union Hospital.


SOURCE:    ItemLive.com

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ELDER ABUSE PREVENTION (CANADA)

 OCTOBER 29, 2011
NEWSCENTRENORFOLK COUNTY 

Norfolk O-P-P want to remind seniors about a phone they can call if they are being abused in any way.
The line is available through the Ontario Network for the prevention of elder abuse.
If you are being abused in any way contact the safety line 24-7 at            1-866-299-1011 
About 1.6 million seniors in Ontario who have been abused in some way by people they trust. If you or somebody you know is the victim of abuse contact the support line immediately.


SOURCE:        CD989
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ELDER ABUSE: SEVEN WARNING SIGNS

 October 28th, 2011
Many of us have elderly parents or grandparents who may be susceptible to abuse. Here are some warning signs to consider:
(1) Deliberate isolation of an older adult which results in the caregiver having total control.
(2) Sudden appearance of previously uninvolved relatives claiming their rights to an elder’s affairs and possessions.
(3) Power of Attorney given or recent changes of Will when the person is incapable of making such decision.
(4) Sudden changes in bank accounts or banking practice, including unexplained withdrawals of large sums of money by a person accompanying the elder.
(5) Abrupt changes in Real Estate Deeds or other Financial Documents.
(6) Missing personal belongings such as art, silverware or jewelry.
(7) Placement in nursing home or residential care facility which is not commensurate with alleged size of estate.
An excellent way to protect against potential abuse is to have strong estate planning documents in place and open communication about the elder’s wishes and the contents of those documents with close family members. If you have a concern about a family member or close friend, call us for a confidential consultation.


SOURCE:     Cramer Law Center
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October 26, 2011

Homeless Seniors a Growing Trend

Homeless seniors a growing trend
Since 2008, a growing numbers of seniors are entering the shelter system. For many, it is the first time they have been homeless
By Cheryl Chan, The Province 
October 23, 2011

Gusway is a fortunate man, and a rare case, compared to most of Truong’s clients.
He is financially stable because of a decision 35 years ago to start saving money “because the only thing worse than dying young is outliving your money.” He made that possible by deciding, in the depths of his alcoholism and while living on the street, to clean himself up.
He is also a veteran and gets extra benefits from the federal government.
“He’s a very rare case,” said Truong. “He doesn’t have as many barriers as others.”
Many others are in a much worse position.
According to Seniors Vulnerability Report, a new study by the United Way of the Lower Mainland examining how vulnerable seniors are faring, homelessness among them is on the rise.
In 2002, only five per cent of the region’s homeless were 55 and older. By 2008, the figure had grown to 8.5 per cent and for the first time, agencies and shelters were reporting that seniors over 80 were entering the shelter system, said the report.
Senior Services Society executive director Kara-Leigh Jameson said the society used to receive about 15 to 20 of these referrals in Metro Vancouver each month. Now it fields about 25 a month.
“We are seeing more people around that age finding themselves homeless, some for the first time,” said Jameson, noting seniors face increasing costs in rent, property taxes and other living costs, often while stuck on a fixed income.
“When they’re in their 80s, they don’t have a lot of friends still living,” added Jameson.
“If someone never had children or siblings, their social networks are quite reduced, isolating them in the community, leaving them with no one to turn to.”
Truong said some of her clients who are over 80 struggle with mental-health issues such as dementia. Some are victims of elder abuse or financial abuse by family members. Some have been unexpectedly evicted by landlords and made homeless.
Many end up couch-surfing, in hospital or at shelters, which, with their noise, lack of privacy, limited hours and physical barriers, can be overwhelming and taxing to seniors, especially those who are newly homeless.
In 2006, the Seniors Services Society launched a temporary housing program, subletting 14 apartment units to homeless seniors while they looked for permanent housing.
“It preserves their dignity,” said Jameson. “It’s a safe place to go, without the label of a shelter.”
The apartments are always full. The program is set to expand by another 30 units next year with funding from the United Way and B.C. Housing.
Truong said private rentals are still the quickest way to house seniors permanently. Most of her clients qualify for a B.C. Housing subsidy called Shelter Aid for Elderly Renters (SAFER), which reimburses renters for a portion of the difference between 30 per cent of their income and the amount of their rent.
“That’s a life-changer for a lot of seniors,” she said.
For those who still can’t afford to make ends meet, even with the subsidy, the situation is more dire.
Despite efforts — about 4,300 new units for seniors have been created under B.C. Housing’s subsidized Independent Living program — more than 2,300 seniors are on the agency’s wait list this year, up from 1,946 in 2010.
The fact that there are already long wait lists now is a dire indication of the future, said Scott Graham of the Social Planning and Research Council of B.C., a province in which the number of seniors is expected to more than double between 2011 and 2035.
“It’s the canary in the mine,” said Graham, a research analyst who worked on the United Way report.
“We are still some ways out from the big emergence of the grey nation in its entirety, and if we are already seeing at this stage these incremental increases in the homeless population, I think there is cause for concern.”



SOURCE:     The Province
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Dementia Led to Tragdy (CANADA)

Tina Palmer's 88-year-old aunt wandered out on a winter's night and froze to death. She still feels it could have been avoided.

By Sam Cooper, The Province 
October 23, 2011

Tina had been trying to get Etty help in a care home due to dementia.
Three days before Christmas, 88-year-old Etty Bassani walked out of her Abbotsford home wearing only a house coat and slippers. The overnight temperature on Dec. 22, 2008, was about -15 Celsius. Bassani, a former nurse, lived alone and weighed just under 90 pounds. Dementia had slowly, inevitably, overpowered her mind. She had poor eyesight, a weak heart and couldn't remember more than two minutes into the past. She wandered around for several hours and was later found frozen to death in her driveway.
Tina Palmer, Bassani's niece, has never forgotten that night. She's struggled with the "senseless, tragic death" of Bassani for years and after reading about elder abuse and neglect in The Province's Boomerangst series, decided to share her story.
"Would anyone leave a five-year old child alone and tell people that child has a right to be at risk?" Palmer wrote. "I loved my aunt . . . I was only trying to get help, but I was made to feel like a pariah by so many people. My only wish is that someone else doesn't go through what I did."
In an interview, Palmer explained that after she pressed Fraser Health repeatedly, telling them Bassani was at danger living alone in a large house, a cognitive assessment was completed. Bassani didn't fare too well, according to Palmer, but was judged to have enough capacity to live in her own home.
"It was always the same story: 'She's got a right to be at risk,'" Palmer said. "After she died, I called and said, 'I came to you guys for help and you didn't listen to me and this is what happened.'"
Len Palmer, Tina's husband, says Bassani's situation was complicated by a struggle among some people to gain control of her affairs.
"Some people took advantage of her, and my wife was outraged, but every time she tried to do something, she ran into a wall," he said. "Any normal person could see Etty was not capable of looking after herself . . . but [officials] were acting like we were some sort of villains, like you're trying to get your aunt committed and all this sort of stuff."
The issue of consent to care and mental capacity is extremely complex, elder law expert Krista James says, although B.C.'s law is simple: a mentally capable person has a right to live at risk.
"When someone from the health authority goes out, they are assessing at that time," James said. "It sounds like there was a change in capacity since the most recent assessment [in the Bassani case.]"
Roy Thorpe-Dorward, spokesman for Fraser Health, said since the Bassani case was not active, files were locked away and the authority could not review documents to make a direct response to questions by The Province's deadline.
Leanne Lange, clinical specialist in adult abuse and neglect for Fraser Health, could not comment directly on Bassani's case.
She said Fraser Health plans to adopt a standard assessment framework in 2012, and acknowledged that perhaps the province could adopt one assessment standard, as some critics suggest. But judgments will always be complicated, Lange said, and officials must strive to respect rights and support people to stay in their homes, since it can be detrimental to remove a dementia sufferer from familiar surroundings.
"We do the best we can and things do evolve very quickly," Lange said. "The cases are grey and complex. They are family-dynamics-based, and financial stuff is happening."
In another case, 91-year-old war veteran Clark Bertram allegedly fell victim to a care aide who was originally contracted through Vancouver Coastal Health to provide home care for Bertram's wife. That contract ended in 2003, but the woman then made a private contract to clean Bertram's Richmond home for him, says his daughter, Anne Rideout.
Rideout found out in 2005 her father had "loaned" his housekeeper $6,000. She warned him to be careful, but Bertram insisted the woman was his "friend" and Rideout deferred to his judgment. Later Rideout learned her father, whose dementia was worsening, had given the housekeeper enough for her new car purchase.
In January 2011, Rideout visited her father and found $4,000 in $100 bills on his table. He told her it was the last money from his safe. She fired the housekeeper, changed the locks and filed complaints with Coastal Health and the police.
Up to $65,000 had been taken from her father's account in "gifts," Rideout alleges. But the kind-hearted war vet did not want to press charges.
"The officer said, 'Unfortunately, this is a grey area because there was no crime committed in the eyes of the law,'" Rideout said. "She didn't hold a gun to his head."
Rideout says her father eventually offered a sheepish confession.
"He knew all along that he was being manipulated, but she did it in a kind way."
Coastal Health spokeswoman Anna Marie D'Angelo confirmed the "care aide" continues to be employed, but said: "We did get this complaint and investigated, and this care aide was not our employee and this gentleman was not our client at the time of these allegations . . . this would be a police matter."
D'Angelo added that no concern had been raised about the individual during her employment, and that the allegations only came to Coastal Health's attention this year, six years after the events.
Provincial ombudsperson Kim Clark has suggested that in her upcoming report on home care for seniors, she will recommend that all gifts from clients to staff be reported and authorized.
Rideout says the care-aide incident forced her father to face his vulnerability and he is now happy in a Richmond care home.
© Copyright (c) The Province

SOURCE:       The Province
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October 25, 2011

Colorad Advocates Push Mandatory Reporting Law for Elder Abuse (USA)

Colorado advocates push mandatory reporting law for elder abuse
By Sara Burnett
The Denver Post
10/24/2011

After years of advocating for the elderly, Charles Carter can rattle off the horror stories with ease.
An 84-year-old Denver woman allegedly killed by the adult son she supported.
A Greeley caregiver charged with stealing from a 101-year-old woman to buy gas, clothes and drugs.
A Colorado probate-court system that state auditors twice in the past six years have said fails those it is intended to protect.
Yet Colorado remains one of four states that do not require social workers, physicians and other occupations to report suspected or evident elder abuse to police or adult protective services, according to the American Bar Association's Commission on Law and Aging.
The laws in other states have been credited with identifying and helping to stop elder abuse, and the only other states without one are New York, North Dakota and South Dakota.
So Carter, an 82-year-old former lobbyist from Littleton, is working to get a mandatory- reporting law for at-risk adults passed when the state legislature reconvenes next year.
"I just can't understand why people are so blind to this," Carter said. "Once you get into adulthood, if you lose your mind ... you can be as vulnerable as any child."
Carter has a strong ally in First Judicial District Attorney Scott Storey, who said he too has been doing research and is "motivated to get something done" on the issue in 2012 or 2013.
"Elder abuse is about 20 to 25 years behind child abuse," Storey said. "We have a mandatory-child-abuse (-reporting) statute. We should have a statute for elder abuse."
Carter has attempted to get a mandatory-reporting law for all at-risk adults — not just the elderly — through the legislature multiple times over the past 13 years. Typically, the bills have been killed in legislative committees. In 2005, a bill made it to Gov. Bill Owens' desk but was vetoed.
Crime underreported
Opponents say the law would result in bigger caseloads for an already-overloaded Adult Protective Services and that Colorado's cash- strapped budget can't handle the extra cost. Others, particularly caregivers, worry that they may be unfairly accused of crimes they didn't commit.
Storey doesn't buy either argument.
"What is the cost to an individual who has somebody abusing them?" he asked.
In February 2010, Storey's office started an elder-abuse unit. In its first year, the unit prosecuted about 35 cases; roughly two-thirds of those were financial crimes, with the remainder being physical and sexual abuse, Storey said.
Among those cases were two women charged with stealing from residents at an Arvada senior living center, a man who took $10,900 from a Wheat Ridge couple for roofing work he never did and a man convicted of attacking an 82-year-old man in a movie-theater bathroom and stealing his credit card.
The attacker, who was convicted in August, told police he focused on the man because he used a cane.
The unit has shown that elder abuse is underreported and underinvestigated, Storey said.
He also has learned that trained investigators with expertise in elder abuse are able to distinguish between injuries caused by normal aging, such as bruises, and those that are the result of abuse.
Jane Walsh, the deputy district attorney in charge of the Boulder County DA's Community Protection Division, agreed.
"The expertise is there to know what it is when you see it," Walsh said.
Boulder County District Attorney Stan Garnett said he also supports the idea of mandatory reporting for elder abuse or neglect but noted "the devil is in the details."
Caseloads already large
Dora-Lee Larson, executive director of the Denver Domestic Violence Coordinating Council, said she supports the law, as long as it is accompanied by funding so caseworkers have the resources to meet expanded need.
In fiscal year 2010-11, Adult Protective Services received 10,846 reports statewide and opened 4,481 new cases. Caseworkers had an average caseload of 31 per worker statewide; in the 10 largest counties, it was an average of 34 cases per worker. The national recommended standard is 25, according to the Colorado Department of Human Services.
DHS spokeswoman Liz McDonough declined to comment on the potential legislation because a bill has not been drafted.
But Walsh said there seems to be no good explanation for why Colorado doesn't have a mandatory-reporting law when almost every state does.
"It's clearly working in 46 other states," she said. "So what's so different about Colorado that we couldn't do it here?"


SOURCE:      The Denver Post
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Abuse in Later Life (USA)

Submitted by Inside Hubbard House

October 24, 2011

Elder abuse, like other types of domestic violence, is extremely complex. Every year, it is estimated that 2.1 million older Americans are victims of physical, psychological, and other forms of abuse and neglect. However, abuse to elders is a crime that often goes unreported - statistics show that only one out of every 14 cases is reported to authorities.
WHAT IS ELDER ABUSE?
Elder abuse is defined as any knowing, intentional, or negligent act by a caregiver or any other person that harms or poses a serious risk of harm to an older adult. In approximately 90 percent of cases, perpetrators of abuse in later life are family members.
TYPES OF ELDER ABUSE
Physical abuse  Use of force to threaten or physically injure a vulnerable elder
  • Emotional abuse  Verbal attacks, threats, rejection, isolation, or belittling acts that cause or could cause mental anguish, pain, or distress to a senior
  • Sexual abuse  Sexual contact that is forced, tricked, threatened, or otherwise coerced upon a vulnerable elder, including anyone who is unable to grant consent
  • Exploitation  Theft, fraud, misuse or neglect of authority, and use of undue influence as a lever to gain control over an older person’s money or property
  • Neglect  A caregiver’s failure or refusal to provide for a vulnerable elder’s safety, physical, or emotional needs
  • Abandonment  Desertion of a frail or vulnerable elder by anyone with a duty of care
WHO IS AT RISK?
Elder abuse can occur anywhere – in the home, in nursing homes, or other institutions. It affects seniors across all socioeconomic groups, cultures, and races.
DID YOU KNOW?
  • Research shows that elders who have been abused are more likely to die earlier than those not living with abuse, even in the absence of chronic or life-threatening conditions.
  • Several studies show that the rates of elder abuse rise as the age of the victims rises.
  • About 48 percent of substantiated cases of abuse involve older adults who are not physically able to care for themselves.
  • Elder sexual abuse consists of non-consensual sexual contact of any kind including non-physical contact such as forced viewing of pornography, forced listening of sexual accounts, and sexual exploitation.
  • Victims of elder sexual abuse are most often females over 70 years of age who are totally dependent or functioning at a low level.
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO IF YOU SUSPECT ELDER ABUSE?
  • If you or someone you know is in a life threatening situation or immediate danger, call 911.
  • Report your concerns – remember, most cases of elder abuse go undetected - don’t assume that someone has already reported a suspicious situation. To report suspected elder abuse, neglect, or exploitation in Florida:
    1. (800) 962-2873       (For suspected elder mistreatment in the home).
    2. (800) 453-5145       (For suspected elder mistreatment in the home, TDD/TTY access).
    3. (888) 831-0404       (For suspected elder mistreatment in long-term care facilities).
    4. For other states’ reporting numbers, visit the National Coalition on Elder Abuse website or call the Eldercare Locator at (800) 6771116.
*Information and statistics from National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, www.ncadv.org , and the National Center on Elder Abuse, www.ncea.aoa.gov.  
If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship please call the Hubbard House 24-hour domestic violence hotline at             (904) 354-3114       or             (800) 500-1119      . Hubbard House can help.


SOURCE:    Jacksonville.Com
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Joint Committee to Host Informational Briefing on Elder Abuse and Financial Exploitation (HAWAII)

Joint Committee to Host Informational Briefing on Elder Abuse and Financial Exploitation
by Kimberly Marcos
October 24th, 201
HONOLULU, HAWAII

A joint House and Senate Committee on Human Services will hold an informational briefing on elder abuse and financial exploitation on Thursday, October 27 at 1:00 p.m. at the Hawaii State Capitol, Conference Room 329.
The briefing will address consumer protection issues involving Hawaii's seniors, including elder abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation, as well as the proposed HB1123, introduced during the 2011 legislative session, which would require a durable Power of Attorney (POA) to be signed by two witnesses not related to the POA and acknowledged by a notary public, an effort to defend seniors against financial exploitation by caregivers.
Rep. Kymberly Pine (District 43 – Ewa Beach, Iroquois Point, Puuloa) who helped author HB1123 stated, “We should also look into possibly ensuring that the second signer is someone experienced in elder financial exploitation and would know whether a person is being coerced or is in the proper state of mind to make financial decisions.”
The committee will also review the state's ability to address the needs of the elderly and review recommendations for stronger policy and public responsibility to adequately address elder abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation.  The briefing will cover policy to ensure quality long-term healthcare for the elderly with a focus on aging in place and community-based healthcare.
“Abusers often target elderly men and women who live alone and have family on the mainland or on other islands,” said Rep. Pine.  “The victim and his or her family may not even realize the crime is occurring until it’s too late.  Hawaii needs stronger safeguards, tougher penalties and education to protect our seniors from these perpetrators.”
“Our state is graying faster than any state in the union,” said Rep. John Mizuno, Committee Chair (District 30 – Kalihi Valley, Kamehameha Heights, Moanalua, Fort Shafter).  “Hawaii’s seniors have contributed to our communities for decades – it’s imperative that we now protect them and their families from this kind of suffering.”
According to the Executive Office on Aging, by the year 2020 one in four Hawaii residents will be age 60 or older.
Family caregivers, volunteer and private caregivers, case managers, case management agencies, community care homes (foster homes), and Adult Day Care Centers under the purview of the Department of Human Services (DHS) will present information of their role in the long-term healthcare continuum for the elderly in Hawaii and provide recommendations on improving healthcare and services for the elderly.
In addition to victims of elder abuse, many important organizations have been invited to participate in this briefing, including: State Department of Human Services, Adult Protective Services (DHS), Community Ties of America (DHS), State Executive Office on Aging, AARP, Long-Term Care Ombudsman, Honolulu Police Department (HPD), Ohana Health Plan, Evercare Hawaii, Healthcare Association of Hawaii, Adult Foster Homes/Care Homes under purview of DHS.  All case managers and case management agencies under DHS, other individuals or organizations related to caregivers, case managers, care home operators, and adult foster home operators.


SOURCE:     The Hawaii Reporter
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October 23, 2011

Ex-Teacher Guilty of Elder Fraud (USA)

Record Staff Writer
October 22, 2011

LODI - A former coach at Jim Elliot Christian High School has been convicted of taking more than $250,000 from elderly investors, according to the San Joaquin County District Attorney's Office.
Larry Cunningham Kimble, 55, could face between eight to 10 years in prison for his actions from 2007 to 2009, according to Stephen Taylor, deputy district attorney for San Joaquin County. Kimble was found guilty Thursday afternoon after a monthlong jury trial, Taylor said. Kimble's business, MT2Y, LLC, sold light bulbs and health care management programs to investors. Many of his schemes took place in the homes of his victims, Taylor said.
Kimble was convicted of elder abuse, securities fraud and six separate counts of residential burglary, The first-degree burglary charges were pursued by the prosecution because Kimble went into investors' homes with the intent to defraud them, Taylor said.
"What we want everybody to know is that California has special protections for people in their home," Taylor said. "You can't go into a house with the intent to commit evil. It's a burglary. It doesn't matter if you have appointment."
The prosecution's case centered on an elderly couple Kimble met at The Home Church on West Lane, Taylor said.
The wife, who uses a wheelchair for mobility, and her husband, who is legally blind, invested more than $270,000 in the business, according to the prosecution. The money was spent on overseas trips, domestic vacations, Kimble's salary and other expenses, Taylor said.
"I argued the business was a sham from Day 1," he said.
Although a guilty verdict has been returned, Taylor said the people who invested in the business will not recoup their money.
"Unless that money is hidden in an account somewhere, it's gone," he said.
Kimble was taken into custody after Thursday's session and is being held without bail at San Joaquin County Jail.
The basketball coach at Jim Elliot Christian High School from 2003 to 2008 did not testify during the trial.
He was represented by the public defender's office. His attorney, Jennifer Perkins, declined to comment on the verdict and did not say if she would file an appeal.
Kimble is scheduled to appear in court for sentencing on Dec. 12.
Taylor said the case highlights the need to protect seniors who can be vulner-able to scams in their own home.
"People think burglars only break into homes and wear masks," Taylor said. "But they also can ring the doorbell and have iced tea with you."


SOURCE:    The RecordNet

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October 11, 2011

Carer Recognised With Award (UK)

10th October 2011

A group of specialist homes in the South-east for people with an acquired brain injury (ABI) has presented a coveted award to a Redhill carer.
George Abraham, a senior carer at Acorn Court in Redhill, has been presented with Enable Care's Heart of Gold Award.
The Heart of Gold Awards, which were launched by Enable in 2009, are nominated by residents, relatives, co-workers, suppliers and social workers.
Their aim is to thank employees for their continued care and compassion.
Malvindar Singh, Redhill ABI unit manager, said: "All of our colleagues have a heart of gold and perform an exceptional job of making the lives of all the residents more comfortable and enjoyable on a daily basis.
“George is a very deserving winner of this award.
“The residents love spending time with him, and he always makes sure they have a great time."
George has been a senior carer at Acorn Court ABI unit since June 2011 and received many nominations for the award.
He was presented with an etched glass plaque and an Armani watch in a ceremony at the care home by director Keith Hawley and home manager Monica Prosser.
A spokesman for Enable Care said previous Heart of Gold Award winners have proved to be inspirational ambassadors, encouraging colleagues to provide the highest levels of care and dedication to their residents and the home.
Enable Care provides services for people with complex medical and physical needs and slow rehabilitation through a range of stimulating activities and recreational opportunities.


SOURCE:    Redhill and Reigate Life
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October 10, 2011

Nursing Assistants Arrested for Abusing Patients (CA. USA)

October 8, 2011

Santa Barbara Police arrested two men who worked as nursing assistants at the Central Coast Nursing Center following allegations of elder abuse that include sexual battery. [KCLU]

Brian Michael Watt, 29, of Ventura, and Hugo Batalla Rendon, 32, of Santa Barbara were arrested in connection with separate incidents, prosecutors said. Watt is charged with three counts of elder abuse including sexual battery on an institutionalized victim stemming from a September 2010 incident. Rendon is facing four misdemeanor battery charges for acts that allegedly occurred in May of this year.
On August 25, 2011, following allegations of abuse from a volunteer who had visited residents of the facility for 28 years, the nursing home was no longer permitted to operate under its old license “because of serious violations related to quality of care and actual harm to patients,” according to the California Department of Public Health.[SantaBarbaraIndependent]

The residents weren’t turned out into the streets as Compass Health took over immediately. However, in line with the former owners following Edmund Finucane, 70, allegations of abuse, Compass Health is not permitting Finucane to visit residents of the nursing home as he has he has done for almost three decades, the Santa Barbara Independent said.



SOURCE:    The Cal Coast News
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Ten Warning Signs of Elder Financial Abuse

Ten Warning Signs of Elder Financial Abuse
Oct 07, 2011
By: Stephen A. Mendel, Estate Planning Attorney

According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, elder financial abuse or exploitation impacts over 2,000,000 Americans each year, and it is one of the fastest growing crimes committed against persons age 65 and older. If this abuse continues, this situation will grow significantly as the baby boomers begin reaching their senior years.  Seniors, family member and caregivers should be on the lookout for these signs:

1. Sudden changes in a senior’s bank account or banking practices, particularly in the account balance and if there are numerous transfers.
2. Uncharacteristic and unexplained withdrawals of large sums of money by a senior or someone acting under a senior’s power of attorney.
3. Large credit card transactions or checks written to unusual recipients, like salespersons, telemarketers, or “cash.”
4. Abrupt changes in a senior’s will or other financial or estate planning documents; the transfer of a senior’s assets to a family member or acquaintance without a reasonable explanation.
5. Complaints of stolen or misplaced credit cards, valuables, checkbooks, or checks from the Social Security Administration, pensions or annuities.
6. Seniors who appear nervous when accompanied by another individual, or who give far-fetched explanations of why they need money.
7. Sudden increases in debt or inexplicable credit card transactions.
8. A person accompanying a senior who bullies the senior into making a withdrawal, or who does not allow the senior to speak for him or herself.
9. New signatories added to a senior’s account or newly formed joint accounts between a senior and another individual.
10. Possible forged signatures on financial transactions, documents for transfer of assets, or new applications for items like credit cards.
An elder law attorney is well versed in the issues facing today’s senior citizens, and can also help you put estate planning tools in place that can reduce the risks of your or your loved ones becoming victims.
The Mendel Law Firm, L.P. is a member of the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys


SOURCE:    The Mendel Law Firm
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October 7, 2011

Man Phones Elders, Grabs Credit Card and Banking Info (CANADA)

Inuktitut con artist preying on Baffin elders
October 05, 2011
Man phones elders, grabs credit card, banking info
NUNATSIAQ NEWS

An Inuktitut speaking man is telephoning elders in the Qikiqtaaluk region of Nunavut and attempting to acquire personal credit card and banking information from them, the Qikiqtani Inuit Association said in a news release issued Oct. 5.

“Elder abuse is not acceptable and must not continue. I urge the caller to stop such crime and I urge people in the communities to come forward if they have any information about the person making these calls,” QIA president Okalik Eegeesiak said.
To effect his scam, the man claims the elder will receive a compensation cheque for the 1950s-era dog slaughter.
The man then asks his mark to turn over “personal information” needed to process the payment, such as banking and credit card information.
No dog slaughter compensation program exists in any region of Nunavut.
“If you do receive such a call, it is a scam, do not give out your information,” the QIA said.
The QIA says people who receive such calls should:
• do not give out personal information;
• get as much information as possible from the caller, such as name, address and phone number; and
• notify the RCMP and give them the information.


SOURCE:      The Nunatsiaq News
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Seniors Should Communicate Wishes (CANADA)

By Frank Matys
Oct 06, 2011

ORILLIA  -
Communication with family is key to avoiding hardship and heartbreak as seniors age, a local audience heard recently.
Making known your wishes regarding medical care and other issues that may arise later is healthy for parent and child alike, says Inga Thompson. 

"If you know you are struggling with something, put it out on the table," said Thompson, Central East regional consultant for the Prevention of Senior Abuse Network Simcoe County. "Be proactive."
A voluntary network with representatives from agencies across the county, the organization raises awareness of elder abuse and measures to prevent it.

Orillia SALT (Seniors and Law Enforcement Together) Advisory Committee hosted a presentation by the group at the Royal Canadian Legion.
Thompson focused on a range of issues, including the challenges seniors and their loved ones can face when a serious medical condition such as dementia arises.
"You can have a caregiver who becomes abusive because they are frustrated or you can have a senior who lashes out," she added.

Broaching such subjects early on, before those problems emerge, can help ease the burden later.
Thompson encourages people to use the so-called "70/40" rule when deciding whether to have those discussions - discussions that grown children may be reluctant to have.

In other words, if you are 70, or your child is 40, "you should talk to them."
Subjects can run the gamut from how a parent wants end-of-life care handled to finances to "simple things like, you like tea rather than coffee," Thompson said. "If you have had a stroke and you can't talk, they should know that. Sometimes your friends know more about you than your kids do."

Thompson stressed that decisions should always be made in the elderly person's best interest.
The next Seniors Safety event takes place Oct. 27 at the Legion at 1 p.m.
The topic is accident support services: what you need to know about car accidents and collision reporting.


SOURCE:      The Simcoe
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Two Convicted in Neglect of Elderly Woman (USA)

2 convicted in neglect of elderly woman
Oct. 6, 2011
SALISBURY



 Two family members of a Fruitland bedridden woman were convicted of vulnerable adult neglect during a Wicomico County Circuit Court bench trial this week.
The victim's husband, 85-year-old George Wilbur Baker, and her granddaughter, 27-year-old Michelle Lynn Hundley, are facing the state's maximum penalty of 10 years on the charges.
They are expected to be sentenced Dec. 2.
"I was grateful to Judge (David) Mitchell that he took the time to listen to all of the evidence, go through the medical records of the victim and to come up with what I believe is the appropriate verdict in this case," said Joel Todd, the prosecutor and a Wicomico County senior assistant state's attorney assigned to elder abuse cases.
Baker and Hundley were charged after the victim, 83-year-old Mary Jane Baker, was admitted to Peninsula Regional Medical Center in January 2010. Medical staff at the hospital reported she was malnourished, neglected and suffered from multiple sores from her shoulders down to her feet, according to court documents. She weighed about 60 pounds at the time, according to prosecutors.
After reports of neglect by medical personnel, Baker stayed in the hospital for a week before she was moved to a nursing home, according to court records.
The victim returned to the hospital March 3, 2010, for unknown reasons, where she died six days later.
The autopsy report showed Baker died of natural causes, according to prosecutors.
Baker and Hundley are two of four family members charged with neglecting the victim. Her daughters, Amy Jane Davis, 56, and Sherry Lynn Mundy, 63, were charged with similar violations.
The family members who were charged were living with the victim in the 400 block of West Main Street and assumed responsibility for her care, according to charging documents.
All four family members were indicted on similar charges in March 2010; however, the state decided not to pursue the charges in May after the Mary Jane Baker died.
More recently, Davis pleaded guilty to abuse of a vulnerable adult in September during a Circuit Court hearing. A sentencing hearing is scheduled for mid-November.
Mundy is scheduled to go to trial Oct. 24
Despite the charges and allegations of neglect, the public defense attorney for Baker and Mundy said the victim's family kept her alive.
"Her husband slept on the floor near her bed for years," said Arch McFadden, the deputy public defender for the 2nd District. "He wanted to be near her in case she needed something in the middle of the night.
"I would be concerned about a chilling effect on people accepting the elderly in their home during the final stages of their life. Ms. Hundley and every member of the family used the best info they had to take care of Mary Baker."
George Baker and Hundley were released on $1,000 bond each, that was previously posted, while waiting for a sentencing hearing scheduled for Dec. 2.
Evidence against them included photographs of the victim when she arrived at the hospital in January 2010, according to the prosecutor. The photos showed the elderly woman in frail condition and permanently bent in the fetal position, Todd said.
"In the 26 years I've been prosecuting, at the time I saw these pictures, these are the worst photographs I have ever seen," Todd said.



SOURCE:      DelmarvaNow
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Licensed Fiduciaries Are Working Hard to Combat Elder Financial Abuse (USA)

Licensed Fiduciaries Are Working Hard to Combat Elder Financial Abuse - A $3 Billion A Year Problem
Oct. 6, 2011
SACRAMENTO, Calif (BUSINESS WIRE)

Elder financial abuse strikes one in four seniors in the United States and costs more than $3 billion annually according to a recently released study. The Professional Fiduciary Association of California (PFAC) is working hard to combat this problem and was instrumental in the original passage of the 2006 Professional Fiduciaries Act, which established the Professional Fiduciaries Bureau (PFB), a license and disciplinary body that oversees abuses and regulates the profession.
"Just recently, three licensed fiduciaries exposed a case where an unlicensed caregiver was taking financial advantage of an elderly woman, Donna LeBoeuf, who is suffering from early stage dementia," said Norine Boehmer, CLPF, President of the Professional Fiduciary Association of California. "Thanks to professional fiduciaries Lori Hefner, David Hanks and the late Kathaleen Radke, who wrote a complaint to the Contra Costa County District Attorney and other local agencies on behalf of the victim, the caregiver has now been charged with four felonies and one misdemeanor count of financial elder abuse and is currently awaiting trial."
While LeBoeuf was saved from financial ruin, many other seniors aren't so lucky. The key to stopping elder financial abuse is to be an advocate for loved ones. Know who you are working with and make sure they are licensed. Before signing over Powers of Attorney or hiring a fiduciary to make day to day decision, important questions should be raised, such as:
-- Are you licensed in the State of California? If so, please provide a copy of your current license
-- How long have you been practicing, and what is your background and expertise in the field?
-- What is your specialty?
-- What is the amount of assets under your control?
-- Can you provide me with a resume and references?
Consumers can learn more information about the profession, including what to look for when choosing a fiduciary, a referral list of licensed fiduciaries, code of ethics, complaint forms and licensure in California, by visiting www.pfac-pro.org . For additional licensing information, visit the Professional Fiduciaries Bureau website, at www.fiduciary.ca.gov .
SOURCE: Professional Fiduciary Association of California



SOURCE:     Market Watch.Com
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Woman Told She Would Be Chopped With Chainsaw (USA)

Woman Charged With Attempted Murder Disappointed By No-Contact Order
INDIANAPOLIS
October 6, 2011

A woman charged in the beating and binding of a 68-year-old woman told the victim she would chop up her body with a chainsaw, according to court documents released on Wednesday.
Alice Howe, 48, pleaded not guilty Wednesday to attempted murder and other felony charges, days after a 68-year-old woman was found bound, gagged and duct-taped from head to toe, police said.
The victim may have died were it not for neighbors and the landlord hearing her banging on walls, 6News' Derrik Thomas reported.
According to court documents, Howe told the victim that she would kill her and bury her behind the apartment building in the 2400 block of Bluff Road and that no one would notice because no one cared about her.
"To say you're going to chop somebody's body up and bury them, I think that's an evil, evil, evil person," said neighbor Donna Dye.
Howe was dismayed in court when a judge told her she could not have contact with the victim.
"I love her. She is my roommate," Howe told the judge.
Prosecutors said Howe lived rent-free in the woman's apartment, was the sole beneficiary of her life insurance policy and had the power of attorney over all the victim's financial matters.
"I cannot imagine a love that would beat on such a fragile woman and leave her alone to die over a period of days," said Marion County Deputy Prosecutor Barb Trathen.
Prosecutors told the court that Howe is a danger to the community and requested that her bond be raised to $100,000. The judge increased the bond to $20,000.
Investigators said they want to interview Howe's 75-year-old boyfriend.


Copyright 2011 by TheIndyChannel.com


SOURCE:     The Indy Channel News
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October 5, 2011

Challenges for Senior Citizens (PAKISTAN)

Challenges for senior citizens
By Shireen RehmatullahFrom the Newspaper

SENIOR citizens in Pakistan have recently become visible. Until about two to three decades ago, their lifespan was around less than 60 years.
They have long enjoyed the love, affection and respect of their children and grandchildren. All their needs were met by their families. They were therefore invisible. But now things are beginning to change.
According to World Bank statistics, the world’s population of the elderly has been steadily increasing since 1948 due to declining fertility and increasing life expectancy. The world’s elderly population (60 years and older) reached 251 million in 1950 and 488 million in 1990. It will reach 1,250 million in 2025 — an increase of 146 per cent. Most of the current and future increase will take place in the developing world, in Asia and South Asia in particular. South Asia will experience a dramatic increase in its elderly population by nearly nine times between 2010 and 2025 when life expectancy will increase to 75 years for men and 82 years for women.
In Pakistan, the elderly population is estimated to be 7.2 million and is steadily increasing to about 10 per cent of the population. By the next decade it is expected to rise to about 15 per cent of the population. This means a heavier burden on the younger generation who are duty-bound to care for them. It also means an additional burden on the exchequer. More nurses and medical personnel will be required to care for the elderly.
The western world has vigorously addressed the problem of the elderly since a long time, according to their cultural needs.
This has largely resulted in establishing homes for the elderly who are unable to look after themselves. Almost every city and town in the West has such homes in the public and private sectors. The challenge which faces our society now is to find ways and means of providing adequate care to the elderly within the cultural and traditional pattern of our family structures.

In a recent study conducted by the Senior Citizens Welfare Trust, it was revealed that 98 per cent of the elderly population prefer to stay with their families rather than be admitted to homes. The emotional and social satisfaction of being with their children and grandchildren cannot be replaced by the barren atmosphere of homes managed by strangers.
However much we may discourage building homes for seniors, the need for a few still remains unfulfilled. These are the elderly whose children leave them in Pakistan while they go abroad for a better future. There is enough evidence to prove that the children send money to take care of their needs. Yet they need suitable accommodation with assisted living. For them, a condominium-style of building complex is the answer.
No doubt the government cannot do everything and civil society must share some of the responsibilities of caring for senior citizens. Yet some of the services fall within the exclusive purview of the government. Healthcare is one of them.

Studies have shown that children do not abandon their old parents, except when faced with long-term chronic sickness such as dementia, paralysis or Alzheimer’s disease which create an enormous financial and emotional burden. The increasing economic dependency created by the chronic illnesses of the elderly and the rising cost of living prevents children from caring for their parents as much as they would like. For this reason, every government and private hospital should have a geriatric ward where long-term care can be given to the elderly suffering from age-related diseases which cannot be treated at home.

All the elderly do not have to be admitted to hospitals. They can be cared for at home by their families. For them subsidised medicines and home care may be arranged.

Resources from zakat funds should be made available to help indigent families take care of their elderly parents. This will help senior citizens to remain with their families, as is expected in our culture.
Unlike in the West, in our country there is no retirement age or benefits for all citizens. So people keep working for as long as they are able to. People who do retire find themselves lost. Amongst them are teachers, nurses, engineers and craftsmen. It is necessary to mobilise them and use their skills and experience for nation-building.

All over the world, senior citizens are encouraged to join as volunteers in social and philanthropic activities. The field is wide open — social work in hospitals, emergencies, slums, child care, etc.
Loneliness is another problem which seniors suffer from. Their need to share their thoughts with companions of their age group and indulge in useful recreational activities needs to be satisfied. For this purpose, we need to establish day-care services where seniors can avail of library facilities, recreation programmes and organise social functions. Health education, first-aid training, free medical and eye check-ups should also be on the books.
These are some of the challenges which the government and society have to face jointly. This requires political will and an urgent need to plan for the future. At present these problems of the elderly may seem unimportant. But waiting until they become unmanageable will be foolish. The time is to take action now before it becomes too late.

Every year we observe the International Senior Citizens Day by holding seminars, walks and meetings. This is not enough. We must do something concrete which would have long and lasting benefits.
The writer is the president of the Senior Citizens Welfare Trust, Sindh.


SOURCE:    DAWN.COM




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Cases of Elderly Abandoned by Poor Families on the Rise (INDIA)

By R Sivaraman, TNN
Oct 4, 2011
MADURAI:

 In the twilight of their lives, they have been abandoned in hospital by relatives who are either unable to care for them or don't want to shoulder responsibility.

Octogenarian S Vellaimmal, a resident of Manchanaickanpatti on the outskirts of Madurai, can barely remember any thing. Her daughter is alive but has left her at the government owned Rajaji Hospital, say the staff. The case of M.Vasantha (75) of Madurai is similar. So is that of Damodharan (60) of Valliyur, who is bed-ridden and has lost his vision and speech. They were all in hospital for a month and after their relatives could not be traced, were shifted to an old age home.
M Gopalakrishnan, a Red Cross activist, said the trend of aged people being abandoned in hospitals by families, who admit them into outpatient wards and depart on the sly, is clearly on the rise.
"Since 2008, we have rescued 127 unknown patients. Either we reunite them with their families if they remember them or we are forced to admit them to an old age home. Last week we rescued seven old people and sent four of them to an old age home," he added.

A Harikrishnan, another activist, said relatives who accompany old people to the hospital often leave after submitting fake addresses. "In many cases, the children of these old people are steeped in poverty," he said.
Dr Prahadeesawaran, resident medical officer of Rajaji Hospital said: "The abandonment of elderly people is a headache for us. It is painful to note that their sons themselves bring them by auto and leave them in outpatient wards on the sly. We recently caught a person who tried to leave his parent. When we nabbed him, he claimed he was a passerby and had found the old person and brought him here. "
"Most of them are found in a starving condition. If they are sick we put them in the casualty ward and we try to give maximum medical support," and later shift them to either reunite them with their children or send them to an old age home," Dr Pragadeesawaran said.

Fr. R.V. Thomas Rathapillil, Founder, St. Joseph's Hospice, Dindigul which runs the old age home laments that while the country is on the one hand becoming richer on the other hand the poor are becoming poorer and perhaps driving them to the desperate act of abandoning their parents in this manner. He feels the new menace is a result of the booming economy which has a flip side to it. "The poor can not accomodate their sick parents in their home and only the rich or relatively better off can afford to support their elderly," he observed.


SOURCE:     The Times of India

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'Son of Elvis' Accused of Abusing Elderly Dad with Lit Cigarette (USA)

'Son of Elvis' accused of abusing elderly dad with lit cigarette
By Kevin P. Connolly and Susan Jacobson
 Orlando Sentinel
October 3, 2011

A 46-year-old DeLand-area man who claims to be the son of Elvis Presley is accused of abusing his elderly father with a lit cigarette, an arrest report shows.
Tracy Gerard Chapman was arrested Friday on a charge of elder abuse, the Volusia County Sheriff's Office said today.
Deputies say he burned his 82-year-old father, Jack Chapman, on the back of his neck after the father told him to stop talking badly about another in Kansas, the report states.
Tracy Chapman told deputies that he burned his father — who is partially disabled because of a stroke — because his father called him an obscene name, a deputy wrote.
Tracy Chapman also insisted that he was the son of Elvis, according to the report. Tracy Chapman told the deputy that his claim "has always caused him trouble in the past," the report states.

The deputy wrote that Chapman "was somewhat delusional [but] otherwise appeared to be in control of his faculties and able to provide oral statements of what had occurred."
Jack Chapman also told investigators that his son has hit him in the past and had most recently struck him in the left leg a couple of weeks before he was burned, according to the report. A deputy found no signs of injury anywhere other than Chapman's neck.
The cigarette-burning incident happened Sept. 26 or 27, but it wasn't reported to law officers until Thursday, when Jack Chapman told his son in Kansas about it, the report shows.
Tracy Chapman is being held in the Volusia County Branch Jail.



Copyright © 2011, Orlando Sentinel


SOURCE:     The Orlando Sentinel

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American Seniors Need More Safe Havens from Abuse

10/4/11

National President and CEO, Volunteers of America

At one point, "Emma" considered living on the streets rather than remaining in a family environment she found threatening. The 70-year-old spent her life caring for others, including a husband who suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and became increasingly abusive. Her home life became even more stressful when her daughter experienced financial difficulties and moved in. Emma found herself being treated as the child by her daughter, with threats of conservatorship frequently voiced.
Unfortunately, stories like these are all too common... and often examples of senior abuse are much more severe. On a recent trip to Sacramento, I was introduced first-hand to the rising need among the frail elderly to have access to safe places where they can escape abusive situations. Leo McFarland, Volunteers of America's chief executive in the region, showed me their new Senior Safe House -- a residential home providing shelter and support for abused seniors who previously had been showing up at homeless shelters.
These seniors have included Emma, as well as others, like "Beverly," a retired Army nurse who recently experienced abuse from her daughter and sought a safe place to stay. But almost as shocking as these stories is the fact that the Sacramento Senior Safe House is one of only a handful of places nationwide established specifically to help older people escaping abusive situations.
Opened in 2009, the facility has six bedrooms for seniors referred by Sacramento County Adult Protective Services and other partners. Previously, these seniors were moved into places like motels and hospitals that were under-equipped to meet their needs and didn't provide adequate safety. While this scattershot approach would seem unthinkable if we were talking about abused children or other vulnerable groups, it continues to be the accepted norm when it comes to helping abused seniors in most communities.
While we all would agree that elder abuse is dreadful and should be stopped, we have failed to dedicate the necessary resources to actually combat it in an effective way. In March 2010, Congress passed the first comprehensive federal elder abuse prevention law. This was an important victory for those of us advocating on behalf of seniors, but more than a year later, the law is now pointless because no money has been dedicated to enforce it.

To this day, elder abuse remains the only form of family violence for which the federal government provides virtually no resources. What resources are dedicated come from cash-strapped cities and states. Abused dogs and cats in our society receive more attention and money.
By many measures, elder abuse in this country is getting worse. According to a recent National Institute of Justice study, almost 11 percent of people ages 60 and older (5.7 million Americans) faced some sort of elder abuse in the past year. A 2009 study estimated that 14.1 percent of non-institutionalized older adults nationwide had experienced some form of abuse in the previous year. A 2009 report by the MetLife Mature Market Institute and the National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse estimates that seniors lose a minimum of $2.5 billion each year from financial exploitation.

Several factors point to the number of these abuse cases growing significantly in the coming years. First, America's population is aging rapidly, with the number of people over the age of 65 expected to double over the next two decades. Second is the economy. During the annual observance of World Elder Abuse Day held in June, Kathy Greenlee, head of the federal Administration on Aging, acknowledged a link between the increase in abuse cases and the recent economic downturn. A final factor is an overall trend toward providing care for seniors at home or in community-based settings. While this trend shows great promise and responds to the desires of seniors, is also moves care into private settings where abuse can more easily take place.


Abridged
SOURCE:    The Huffington Post
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Elder Abuse in Our Midst (NEW ZEALAND)

The Southland Times, Editorial

04/10/2011

OPINION: Let's not obsess about comparisons. Southland has the highest rate of reported elder abuse in New Zealand, but what really matters here is not whether this means we're the cruellest abusers, or the most diligent guardians when it comes to confronting a problem that's emerging only slowly from the shadows.
Nor should we dismiss the report because it turns out that only 18 of the 33 Age Concern centres nationwide report elder abuse.

We should look, instead, at what we do know. Which is that in the year to June, 74 of the 104 cases reported to Age Concern's Invercargill base, covering Southland and Queenstown, were confirmed as abuse.
Ugly. And there's scant comfort to be taken that it wasn't, for the most part, naked physical violence. Less than 2 per cent of the cases were of physical violence (Never laid a hand on her, your honour ... ).
Some 38 per cent were from the psychological abuse and neglect categories (His alertness comes and goes, your honour, and his needs really are simple...).

And look. Sixty per cent of the southern cases were financial abuse. Money and assets unjustly stripped by others, because they can, often in a calculated and sustained way. This can easily be portrayed as greed, justly so in many cases, although in others it may represent offenders succumbing to economic stresses of their own.
From the cases Grey Power Southland president Geoff Piercy has been called into, the financial abuse is often exerted through the misuse of power of attorney.
The betrayal of elder abuse is all the more hurtful because, in so many cases, it is less the work of some poorly paid resthome staffer as that of people's own family. Nationally, family are to blame for four out of five cases. In the south, last year, it was nine out of 10.
This in turn leads to a great deal of reluctance from the victims to complain, or to have a bar of any prosecution. This isn't just because of loyalty, or a sense of shame, either. Some family members haven't been above the emotional blackmail of linking acquiescence, or at least silence, to access to grandchildren.
Nationally, barely more than one third of abusers are primary caregivers. Up to half are adult children. And 65 per cent to 70 per cent are women.

You would struggle to find anyone who argues with the often quoted statement that how we treat our elderly is one of the tests of our fundamental decency, and health, as a society. Living up to that declaration requires many things, not the least of which is a willingness to collectively act on their behalf.
And these figures send out a strong message that we can't turn away on the basis that someone has family, so they'll be looked after as a result. By no means can this mean that the rest of us can wade fearlessly into other people's family life; but neighbourliness and friendship count for a lot.
It's not only at a one-on-one level that we can help, either. Just bearing in mind the particular vulnerabilities of the aged can open many avenues to be helpful. Kudos, in that regard, to Trudy Allison, who went public over a nasty little computer scam (an Indian-accented caller claiming to be a Microsoft analyst, needing access to home computers to fix a serious problem). You would like to think that very few people would fall for such a hoax, but Miss Allison rightly figured that the elderly might be more at risk, so she went public on that basis.



SOURCE:    STUFF.CO.NZ
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October 3, 2011

Modesto Woman Convicted of Elder Abuse (USA)


Modesto woman convicted of elder abuse

By Rosalio Ahumada
Sep. 30, 2011

A 46-year-old Modesto woman was convicted Tuesday and sentenced to seven years in prison for hitting her 91-year-old live-in boyfriend with a two-by-four after an argument between the couple in April.
Amy Lynne Dunlap was convicted of elder abuse in the death of Robert Palacio Jr. Her charge had an enhancement for personally inflicting great bodily injury on a person older than 70, the Stanislaus County district attorney's office reported.

Court records show that Dunlap initially was also charged with inflicting corporal injury on a spouse or cohabitant and assault with a deadly weapon or force likely to cause great bodily injury. Dunlap, however, pleaded only to the elder abuse charge during a pretrial hearing Tuesday.
Admitting to causing great bodily injury on someone older than 70 is considered a "strike" under the state's "three strikes, you're out" law.

Dunlap was dating Palacio and living with him. The couple argued April 14 at their home.
Afterward, Palacio had been in the attic, trying to avoid Dunlap. Prosecutors said Palacio was climbing down a ladder from the attic, when Dunlap struck him on the head twice with the piece of wood.
Palacio suffered two cuts on his head: one above his left eye and the other on top of his head.
Prosecutors said Palacio was never released from a Modesto hospital following the treatment for his head injuries. He died April 25 of atherosclerotic heart disease.



SOURCE:    ModBee.com
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