Disclaimer

**** DISCLAIMER

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

November 30, 2011

Senior Citizens Warned of Common Scams and Reminded to Report Elder Abuse

This time of the year, many seniors are particularly vulnerable to “Elder Abuse” and scam artists who prey on our senior citizens.  Citizens are encouraged to report Elder Abuse immediately. 

If you or someone you know has been the victim of Elder Abuse please call the San Diego Police Department at             619-531-2000      . If you suspectthat you or someone you know has been the victim of Elder Abuse please call Aging and Independent Services for the County of San Diego at      800-510-2020    (Free Call) 
The following examples from the San Diego Police Department highlight scams regularly perpetrated against Senior Citizens.  You are encouraged to share examples with all the senior citizens you know.
The Grand Parent Scam
There are several versions of the “Grand Parent” scam.  In the most common version the victim will receive a call from an unknown person who will immediately say “Grandma” or “Grandpa” after the victim answers the phone. The victim will reply, “Johnny” or Janie” (the name of their grandson or granddaughter).  The caller will reply, “Yes it’s your Grandson Johnny.”  The caller will explain they are in trouble while visiting another country.  The most common countries are Canada, Mexico, Jamaica, and Spain.  The caller will claim to have been arrested and/or in jail, involved in a vehicle accident or experiencing a medical emergency and they need money wired to them urgently.  The caller will ask the victim not to contact other family members because they are embarrassed.  The caller will ask for the money to be wired in the name of an unknown third-party.  The amount to be wired can vary from $500.00 to $50,000.00.  The largest amount wired from San Diego to China was $130,000.00.  The caller said he needed emergency surgery. The hospital would not perform the procedure without a “bond” to cover the expense since the imposter did not have medical insurance in China.
What can I do?
The victims in these scams have all sworn the caller sounded just like their loved one.  The first thing you should do after receiving such a call is make a telephone call to a “good” phone number you have for your grandson or granddaughter.  If you cannot reach them call your grandson or granddaughter’s parents to confirm they are indeed out of the country before you wire any money.  Because;
Once the money has been wired and received, the money is gone!



The “International Lottery” Scam
Another common telephone scam is the “International Lottery” scam.  The caller will inform the victim they have won a substantial amount of money from the lottery of Jamaica or Canada.  The victim will be instructed to wire money to cover the “taxes” associated with the prize.  The amount can range from $1,500.00 to $15,000.00. Usually the prize is worth anywhere from one to four million dollars.  If money is sent, the victim will begin receiving multiple calls asking for more money to be sent to cover additional taxes, fees, and/or insurance.  In reality, the victim has not won any prize and will never see any of their “winnings”.  And just as the “grandparent” scam; 
Once the money is wired and received, it’s gone!
What can I do?
Before you send any money remember this, “If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.”  Also, did you know it is against federal law to participate in an international lottery?  The reason, the Federal Trade Commission says most foreign lotteries are likely to be scams and U.S. citizens send an estimated $120 million a year to foreign countries on the prospect of obtaining instant wealth.  Scammers have turned to the telephone because federal law enforcement officials intercept and destroy millions of foreign lottery mailings every year.

If you or someone you know has been the victim of Elder Abuse please call the San Diego Police Department:             619-531-2000      .
If you suspect that you or someone you know has been the victim of Elder Abuse please call Aging and Independent Services for the County of San Diego:                    

            800-510-2020  



(Please go to SOURCE for more information)

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November 28, 2011

Neglect and Abuse of Older People is Widespread (EU)


I am happy that there is now a website that Europeans, who are concern about Aged Care, Elder Abuse and Family Issues; can now get more information from that site.  You can also subscribe to their enewsletter. An example:

Improving older people's access to care counselling (Austria, Lithuania, Poland)

Care counselling The Austrian Red Cross is coordinating a two-year project to identify and test a range of access methods to different care services in three countries (Austria, Lithuania and Poland) to increase the opportunities for older people to use support services. The project is called 'Improving access to community services for older people living at home' and is being carried out by seven partners in the three participating countries.  (from the latest enewsletter)

Elder abuse:

Older people in Europe are vulnerable to poor treatment, neglect and abuse, according to a survey presented by the European Commission today. Almost half (47%) of people across the EU consider the phenomenon to be widespread in their country – and the challenge is only likely to increase as Europeans get older. A high-level EU conference in Brussels will today offer policy makers and experts an opportunity to discuss the quality of care for frail elderly people and pool ideas on preventing elder abuse.
"Each of us faces the possibility of becoming dependent on the help of others when we get older, and currently we cannot be sure that we will be treated with dignity," said Vladimír Špidla, EU Social Affairs Commissioner. "Member States are starting to support the carers and relatives better through training and guidance, they have started to protect the elderly by creating support groups and telephone hotlines and are creating transparent and patient-oriented monitoring systems for the quality of long-term care. I welcome this and at the same time much more needs to be done all across Europe! "
As Europeans live longer, the share of the EU population aged over 80 is due to increase three- or four-fold to 12% by 2050. More and more people will depend on the care of relatives or professional carers and be vulnerable to neglect or even abuse. But while abuse can take many different forms – ranging from physical to psychological – it is more often the result of an inability to cope on the part of stressed and overburdened carers than intent to exploit or harm vulnerable older people.
Although the perceived risk of elder abuse varies among EU countries, protecting the dignity and fundamental rights of the frail elderly is becoming a major challenge for societies across Europe.
Today's conference aims to raise awareness of the need to tackle elder abuse and to trigger an open debate at European level on the best ways of dealing with the problem. It will present information on the prevalence of elder abuse, look at the causes and risk factors related to it and examine possible strategies for tackling it through prevention.
Further information:
Special Eurobarometer survey on health and long-term care in the EU
http://ec.europa.eu/public_opinion/archives/ebs/ebs_283_en.pdf
Conference: Protecting the dignity of older persons – the prevention of elder abuse and neglect (including Discussion paper: What can the European Union do to promote dignity in old age and to prevent elder abuse?)
http://ec.europa.eu/employment_social/spsi/elder_abuse_en.htm
Video News Release: Protecting the dignity of older people



................ Andrew
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November 25, 2011

Commission Finds 'Systematic' Failure in Elderly People's Care (UK)

Commission finds ‘systematic’ failure in elderly people’s care
23 November 2011 

Elderly people who receive home care are seeing their human rights breached by care workers, a new report by the Equality and Human Rights Commission has found.
There is evidence of “systematic failure” in the provision of care and shocking cases of treatment which breached human rights, including the theft of money, “unfounded” health and safety concerns and a chronic disregard for older people’s privacy and dignity, the report has claimed.
Examples include a woman left stuck on the toilet in her bathroom because the care worker was too busy completing a checklist of tasks to help her, elderly people with dementia going hungry because they could not find meals “hidden” by their carer in the fridge, and a starving lady who had to beg for her own food money to be spent.
It questions commissioning practices that are too dependent on a rigid checklist of tasks rather than asking what the client actually needs, and says some old people are reluctant to complain because they fear repercussions.
Only half of the 1,250 older people, friends and family members surveyed expressed satisfaction with home care provision, which is set to be cut back in many regions because of budget constraints.
One in three local authorities have already cut back on home care spending and another one in five plan to do so over the next year.
It demands the government close the human rights loopholes to ensure elderly people are protected from mistreatment.
The Commissioner for the Equality and Human Rights Commission, Baroness Sally Greengross, said: “The emphasis is on saving pennies rather than providing a service which will meet the very real needs of our grandparents, our parents, and eventually all of us.
“Most of us will want to carry on living in our own homes in later life, even if we need help to do so. When implemented, the recommendations from this inquiry will provide secure foundations for a home care system that will let us do so safely, with dignity and independence.” 
Labour leapt on the findings of the report, saying the Government was “out of touch”.
The Shadow Minister for Care and Older People, Liz Kendall, said: “This important report shines a light on the too often invisible experiences of older people receiving care at home.
“It reveals a service stretched to the limit and older people denied the dignity and respect they deserve.
“Despite all the evidence of the growing crisis in care, the Government is cutting funding for older people’s social care by £1.3bn in real terms this Parliament.
“They are clearly out of touch with what’s really happening on the ground.”
The General Secretary of the National Pensioners Convention, Dot Gibson, called for urgent reform to improve the pay, training and qualifications of care staff.
“Older people need greater legal protection from abuse and neglect otherwise the horror stories in this latest report will simply continue,” she said.
Charities agreed with another recommendation of the report, that local authorities and the government needed to more effectively monitor home care practice.
“There needs to be greater public scrutiny over a service delivered behind closed doors to some of the most vulnerable older people in our society,” said Age UK director Michelle Mitchell.


SOURCE:      The Yorkshire Post
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Lack of Respect for the Old is the Real Problem (UK)

Lack of respect for the old is the real problem
Underlying lack of funding is ageism: old people are mistreated because they are loathed
24 NOVEMBER 2011

You're in hospital and your oxygen tank leaks, soaking your pyjamas and the bed. No one comes to help until your daughter arrives, when one of the nurses says: "Oh, no! What's he done now?" You visit your mother in a care home and find that she's in nappies, even though she's not incontinent. She tells you that she complained to the staff but they accused her of making trouble and – she believes – punished her by leaving her on her own in a wheelchair in a side room.
Yesterday's report claiming that the elderly are routinely abused in their own homes should come as no surprise, because they are routinely abused in public. Both of the examples above are among hundreds of similar stories that have been posted on Gransnet since we launched in May this year; our members are of the generation that is caring for elderly parents and they are often subject to ageism themselves. One member, helped up the ward by a physio following an operation, was asked: "Do you use a stick at home, dear?" To which she replied, through gritted teeth: "No, at home I use a bicycle."
The Equality and Human Rights Commission report follows similar revelations highlighting widespread mistreatment of the elderly in hospitals; plus a series of alarming bulletins from the Care Quality Commission on abuse in hospitals and care homes. This all adds up to an epidemic of casual cruelty. If children were being physically hurt, emotionally taunted, stolen from and starved by adults who were supposed to be looking after them, there would be outrage. As it is, we mutter about carers being overworked and underpaid and shrug over budget cuts and the state of the economy. It's as if, deep down, we accept that abuse of the elderly is always with us.
Of course, the money matters. If care workers had more than 15 minutes to spend on a visit, they could undoubtedly do their jobs better. Following £1.3bn of cuts, their schedules are stretched to tearing point (and, let's face it, their time was never valued highly in the first place). Cuts are manifestly making neglect more likely.
But it's not all about money. A teacher who manhandled and pushed a child or humiliated him about his failings would never get away with blaming a heavy workload. Underlying lack of funding is a deeply ingrained ageism: old people are mistreated because old people are loathed in our culture and caring for them is seen as something faintly degrading. Ageism is widespread and almost invisible, and its most casual, innocent forms lay the ground for pernicious cruelty. Everyone who makes a casual ageist remark, despises someone for not being young, or fears growing old (which is not the same thing as dying) is a little bit culpable of these acts of violence and disdain.


SOURCE:     Independent.co.uk

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Merit for Raising Elder Abuse Awareness (AUSTRALIA)

24TH NOVEMBER 2011

South Australia’s Aged Rights Advocacy Service (ARAS) is one of many organisations taking action against elder abuse.
ARAS was awarded a Certificate of Merit from the 2011 Australian Crime and Violence Prevention Awards for its achievement with the ‘Our Actions’ project in raising awareness on safe-guarding the rights of older people.

Chosen to implement the Department of Families and Communities initiative, titled ‘Our Actions to prevent the abuse of older South Australians’, the project outlines the SA government’s commitment to improving the safety and wellbeing of older South Australians.
Some of the ‘elder abuse awareness activities’ included in the ‘Our Actions’ project included:
  • ‘There’s no excuse for abuse’ slogan which was tested on various audiences of older people and used throughout the campaign. The slogan was also used on the radio and throughout written materials.
  • Brochures were developed which included up-to-date information about legal safeguards for safe directives and the Pocket Guide, handed out  by aged care providers to consumers, was a small, discreet brochure to raise awareness of what abuse is and what could be done to prevent it.
  • Education for aged care staff was another initiative which brought about the publication of the Abuse Prevention Train the Trainer Kit. With 22 training sessions held, the Kit was aimed at Home and Community Care (HACC) service providers to educate their staff about how to identify abuse. More sessions will be held next year.
  • The Council of Aboriginal Elders of SA also collaborated with ARAS on a poster, brochure and radio advertisement for the prevention of abuse on Elders.

SOURCE:     TheAgeCareGuide
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November 24, 2011

Woman Charged after Sending Her 76 Year-old Mom on Bus to Las Vegas By Herself

November 21, 2011
PORT WENTWORTH, Ga. (WSAV) --
A Port Wentworth woman is charged with elder abuse after police said she sent her mom, who has Alzheimer's and dementia, on a cross-country bus trip by herself.
Port Wentworth Police arrested Audrey Pearson on Friday.
Investigators believe Pearson bought her mother, Marcia Pope, 76, a one way ticket to Las Vegas and let her take the bus from Savannah alone on Wednesday.
Police said Pope requires constant supervision due to her condition.

Pope's other children called police Friday to report her missing after she called them from an unknown area code, said Detective Steven Holmes of Port Wentworth Police.
Detectives immediately found out from Greyhound officials that Pope had made it from Savannah to Atlanta but when the bus arrived in Denver, Colorado, investigators found she was not on the bus as scheduled.
Police said the trip includes several stops and requires changing buses three times.

Investigators then tracked her credit card purchases and found she had used her card at the Greyhound station in Dallas, TX, to buy another ticket to Las Vegas. Port Wentworth Police called Dallas Police, who found Pope safe at the bus station and took her to a hospital.
Pearson was arraigned Monday afternoon.


SOURCE:     WSAV.COM
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Trial Dates Set for Attorney Charged in Elder Abuse Case (USA_

Trial dates set for Forest Grove attorney charged in elder abuse case
November 21, 2011, 2:00 PM    

Trial dates have been set for the Forest Grove attorney and formerNorth Plains Municipal Court judge charged in an elder abuse case inWashington County Circuit Court.
 A grand jury indicted Robert Andrew Browning, 66, on seven counts of first-degree criminal mistreatment Sept. 9.

On Monday, Circuit Court Judge Rick Knapp set Browning's trial in the case for March 13, 2012.

Forest Grove police said the charges stem from the elder abuse of Browning's mother-in-law. The Oregon Department of Justiceinvestigated the case and is prosecuting it in state court.

Court records show Browning posted $14,000 bail in September. He appeared in court Monday wearing jeans, a blue button-down shirt and green jacket.

Amy Jeanine Moore, a former secretary at Browning's law firm in Forest Grove, was also charged in September with one count of first-degree theft, one count of credit card fraud and five counts of aggravated identity theft. 
Police said Moore's charges stem from her use of a credit card that belonged to a deceased client of the law firm. Transactions using the credit card occurred in June and July 2010, police said, about a year after the client had died.

According to court records, Moore pleaded guilty last week to first-degree theft and one count of aggravated identity theft. She's scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 1. 


SOURCE:      The Oregon Live

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November 23, 2011

Old and Forgotten, Africa's Elderly Face More Problems

Old and forgotten, Africa's elderly face more problems
16.11.2011

As Africa's population grows, so does the number of older people. Traditionally, extended families have taken care of elderly members but that's now changing, meaning aging Africans are facing new problems.
 Recently, the newly formed non-profit Bonn-based group Alten Hilfe Afrika (Elderly Help Africa) held its first benefit event to raise funds to help the elderly in Africa. Lucy Schnurpfeil, a Ghanaian healthcare assistant for the elderly, set up the organization in order to provide some of the service she offerss in her work in Germany.
She aims to train volunteer healthcare assistants who, working with a local hospital in her hometown Wenchi, will visit the elderly in their homes and ensure that they are receiving the care they need.
But as her husband Martin explains, convincing people that elderly in Africa are in need of help is no easy task. The major preconception is that they live happily with their extended families.
"Everybody is just focusing on children, which is important, but old people also need to be rewarded," Martin Schnurpfeil told Deutsche Welle.
UN MDGs leave out the elderly
The United Nations Population Fund estimates that around 50 million people above the age of 60 account for around five percent of Sub-Saharan Africa's population. In the past, most of them turned to their families for help but that practise is becoming less widespread.
And because, as Nairobi-based Isabella Aboderin, Regional Africa Chair of the International Association of Gerontology and Georiatrics (IAGG), told Deutsche Welle, very few countries have pension systems set up to support the masses of Africans who worked on the land, that makes them vulnerable.
"There is virtually nothing, and with the exception of South Africa perhaps, there are no formal systems in most other countries," Aboderin said.
And development policy debates tend to marginalize issues related to the elderly, she added, noting that the Millenium Development Goals (MDGs) focus on women and children. Aboderin says that what's needed is evidence on how the elderly are contributing to development.
"We need national level evidence," she said, "not just problems but the extent to which older people still contribute to the economy and civic life."
Grandparents taking care of millions of orphans
The contribution of the elderly to development is especially important in countries with a high HIV/AIDS prevalence, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
"Many older people head what are called skip-generation households where the middle generation has died or become very sick from HIV/AIDS," said John Beard WHO Director of Ageing and Life Course.
Around 30 percent of older women in Sub-Saharan Africa head skip-generation households, according to the WHO. In some countries, the figures are even higher. More than four out of ten orphans are cared for by their grandmothers in Tanzania, and in Zimbabwe it is around six in ten. UNAIDS estimates both countries have more than two million AIDS orphans.
Still, most of them have no access have a pension, and less than one in ten is receiving access to treatment for manageable diseases like hypertension and diabetes.  
Lack of political will biggest hurdle
The German Development Cooperation (GIZ) has recognized the well-being of the elderly as a growing issue. Since 2005, GIZ has offered consulting on social security policy as part of its development consulting.
Having elderly who have a source of income in the form of a pension would contribute to development especially when they need to step in to take care of orphans. However, few tangible results have been achieved in Africa at this point.
"Old age protection is a very young sector with the government development cooperation," Christian Pfleiderer GIZ Head of Social Protection Section told Deutsche Welle, noting that the organization's activities also depend on the political agenda in those countries.
Isabella Aboderin hopes the issue will gain momentum during and after the IAGG's first regional congress on aging in October 2012. The event will bring around 300 to 400 policy makers and stakeholders from around the continent. Nonetheless, she believes that there isn't enough political will to deal with the problems facing the elderly at the moment.
"African governments are focusing on other population groups that are central to the key development goals," she said pointing to the MDGs.


SOURCE:   dw-world.de
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France: Nursing Homes for 60 Euros Per Day Will Soon Be Available

Seniors in the Essonne suburb of Paris will soon benefit from a new public service of nursing homes where they may reside for 60 euros per day. The project will accommodate up to 1,000 people and offer the facilities at a price 40 percent cheaper to make them more accessible. With an average cost of 2200 euros per month, middle-class seniors who receive a pension of about 1500 euros give up moving to a retirement home. The first facility, located in Morangis, will open its doors in March 2013.


SOURCE:   GlobalAging.org
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Taiwan Mulls Jail for Abandoning Elder Parents

Taiwan mulls jail for abandoning elderly parents
November 11th, 2011

TAIPEI—Adults in Taiwan who fail to look after their elderly parents could face jail under a new law being considered following rising cases of abandonment, a legislator said Friday.
Under the bill, people who abandon their elderly parents will face up to one year in prison or a maximum fine of Tw$200,000 ($6,600), said the office of lawmaker Lai Shyh-bao who proposed it.
They will also be forced to pay for their parents’ living expenses with mandatory deductions from their wages or by making a lump sum payment or putting money in a trust, according to the bill.
An estimated 2,000 people aged 65 and over are abandoned by their children each year, and the number of cases has grown by 30 percent annually in recent years, according to Lai’s office.
“This is an alarming trend that we cannot afford to ignore because it will lead to more and more social problems as Taiwan’s society ages rapidly,” his office said.
It said changing family values were the likely cause as some adults no longer have the same sense of responsibility toward their parents.
Traditional Chinese culture attaches great importance to filial piety and the revered ancient philosopher Confucius stressed that it was the foundation of all virtues.
The bill passed an initial review in parliament late Thursday and if enacted, Taiwan will join the few Asian countries such as Singapore that legally enforce taking care of elderly parents.
People aged 65 and over accounted for 10.6 percent of Taiwan’s 23 million population, the latest census showed, above the 7.0 percent level at which a society is defined as “ageing” by the World Health Organization.
Meanwhile, the island’s birth rate has plummeted to one of the world’s lowest in recent years, triggering concerns of serious social and economic problems from a severe manpower shortage.

SOURCE:      newsinfo.inquirer.net

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France: Quintonic.fr: First French Social Network for Seniors

The website Quintonic is the first social network devoted exclusively to individuals aged 50 and older. This "facebook for the elderly" has the distinction of being easy to use and very secure, thus adapting to the needs of seniors. Articulated in a concept of regional groups, this platform allows people over the age of 50 to get in touch, first virtually and then in real life, with people living close by and with similar interests. With over 6,000 users and 40 regional groups, the site, designed after German and American concepts that are already great successes, is also a tool to break the loneliness and isolation that particularly affect the elderly.


SOURCE:     GlobalAging.org



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CANADIANS WANT GOOD END-OF-LIFE CARE, NOT EUTHANASIA OR ASSISTED SUICIDE

CANADIANS WANT GOOD END-OF-LIFE CARE, NOT EUTHANASIA OR ASSISTED SUICIDE
By Alex Schadenberg
November 10th, 2011

LifeCanada, a national educational pro-life group, commissioned a poll through the Environics Research Group on Canadian attitudes towards euthanasia. The poll was part of the Environics Research Group Omnibus survey that asks questions to 2000 participants from across Canada.
The poll found that:
* 66% of Canadians want the government to place a greater priority on improved access to palliative care. What was important about this result is that a majority of people in every region or political affiliation wanted the Provincial and Federal governments to place a greater priority on access to palliative care.
* 76% of Canadians expressed concern that elderly persons in abusive situations would be pressured to consent to euthanasia. The Canadian government has made elder abuse prevention a national priority. The poll found that Canadians are concerned about elder abuse and that they recognize that people who are experiencing elder abuse are vulnerable to being pressured into consenting to euthanasia, if it were legal. It is interesting to note that Conservatives were more likely to be concerned about elder abuse than other political affiliations.
* 74% of Canadians are concerned that, if legal, people with disabilities, people who are sick or elderly would be euthanized without consent.
* 82% of Canadians oppose the legalization of euthanasia, when the person does not give their consent. Politicians should take notice, especially since the Netherlands is now openly supporting euthanasia for people with dementia and they have allowed euthanasia on children born with disabilities, under the Groningen Protocol. It is also important to note that a study published in May 2010, on the practice of euthanasia in Belgium found that 32% of all euthanasia deaths were without explicit request or consent.
   It is interesting that in Quebec, where the government established a commission to examine the issue of euthanasia, the poll found that:
* 67% want the government to place a greater priority on improved access to palliative care.
* 76% were concerned the elderly persons in abusive situations would be pressured to consent to euthanasia.
* 74% were concerned that, if legal, people with disabilities, or people who are sick or elderly would be euthanized without consent.
* 79% oppose the legalization of euthanasia, when the person does not give their consent.
Canadians are concerned, that if euthanasia is legalized, vulnerable Canadians, such as those experiencing elder abuse and people with disabilities will be pressured to consent or euthanized without consent.
Editor’s note. Alex Schadenberg is executive director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition. This appeared on his blog at http://alexschadenberg.blogspot.com/2011/11/canadians-want-good-end-of-life-care.html



SOURCE:    The National Right to Life News
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Elderly Residents 'Will Fight to Prevent Closure of Nursing Home' (IRELAND)

Elderly residents 'will fight to prevent closure of nursing home'
By Eoghan MacConnell
November 11,  2011

ELDERLY residents at the Abbeyleix Community Nursing unit in Co Laois are to fight against plans to close the facility.
The HSE decided to close the unit because of funding and staffing problems and problems it forsees in meeting HIQA standards.
News of the closure has caused widespread concern in the area, where more than 1,000 people attended a meeting on Monday night.
As a result of the closure, 28 long-stay residents will be moved and 42 HSE nurses and assistants redeployed. Alternative respite care will be arranged for eight others.
Speaking outside the hospital yesterday, resident Bridget O'Neill (92) described the residents' treatment as unfair and insisted she wouldn't leave without a fight.
"We are happy here. This is our home. I think it is very unfair. I am 92, I know very well what I am talking about. I have my senses the same as I had 50, 40 years ago . . . I'm not leaving there without a fight."
Mary McCartney (89) has been living at the hospital for eight years. "I love it in here," she said.
"It's like home to me, the way we are treated and everything else. I'm not going out of here -- I'm telling you now -- 'til they take me out in a box."
Abbeyleix and district hospital action committee chairman Brian Maher described the nursing unit as "a key part of our community".
"The people who we have here are part of our community and they want to continue for the rest of their lives in that community," he said.
Apart from the social impact it would cause, Mr Maher questioned the feasibility of the closure. He said the HSE would struggle to find community nursing places and many patients would have to be placed in private nursing homes.
According to secretary of the action group, Karen Shiel, "just a month ago HIQA issued a statement that they had no issue with this hospital. This is the first hospital that has been targeted that is actually up to standard."
HSE Midlands area manager Joseph Ruane said "a decision to close Abbeyleix nursing unit is not one that is taken easily and all alternative options have been considered before such a decision would be made."
Mr Ruane said consultation was taking place between the residents, their families and the HSE with a view to moving the residents to both private and public units.
The hospital action committee is expecting around 8,000 people to attend a march in the town on Sunday November 20.


SOURCE:     The Independent.ie
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November 22, 2011

Four Ways to Enhance Care (SINGAPORE)

Four ways to enhance care
By Daryll Nanayakara
Nov 11, 2011

In its latest effort to create a more inclusive society, the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports (MCYS) will launch four initiatives to address the concerns of an ageing population and the disabled.
EXTENSION OF LICENCE FOR LONDON CABS
London cabs will operate here for at least another year.
That was the assurance given by Acting Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports, Major-General (NS) Chan Chun Sing, yesterday at the LivEnabled Conference at the Grand Copthorne Waterfont Hotel.
SMRT had intended to retire the fleet of 15 taxis when its licence expires in March next year.
The decision sparked concerns from wheelchair-bound commuters who rely on the taxis for transport.
During the buffer period, the Land Transport Authority, SMRT and various ministries will work together to find a long-term solution. This may take up to three months.
MG Chan said extending the operation of the taxis is just a temporary solution as the crux of the issue is the provision of a more inclusive transport system. "The larger issue is how we provide affordable and accessible transport services for a certain group of disabled people," he said.
THREE MORE SENIOR SERVICE CENTRES
There will be three more Senior Service Centres to cater to the elderly who will live in upcoming studio apartments in Ang Mo Kio, Queenstown and Jurong West, said MG Chan.
This follows positive feedback from the first such centre opened in Bishan earlier this year.
The new facilities, expected to be ready by March next year, will act as all-in-one service centres that provide free social services to senior citizens.
The centres will boast monitoring and emergency-response systems, and will give residents access to welfare and recreational services.
BETTER CAPABILITIES AT DAY-CARE CENTRES TO HELP DEMENTIA PATIENTS
Measures to tackle the increasing number of elderly sufferers of dementia were unveiled yesterday.
MCYS said it will improve the physical environment of its 22 affiliated Day Care Centres and make them safer for dementia patients. Staff at these centres will undergo training to better care for dementia sufferers.
The ministry will also hold monthly case discussions with the Institute of Mental Health and Changi General Hospital to create recommended activities for dementia clients.
According to figures released by the Health Promotion Board last month, 20,000 elderly Singaporeans suffer from the condition.
SUBTITLES FOR NATIONAL PROGRAMMES
The ministry plans to introduce English subtitles for all television programmes of national significance.
MG Chan said this will apply to televised events such as the National Day Rally, and important announcements or news programmes on matters of security or national interest.
This is in response to feedback from the hearing-impaired community, MCYS said. The change may take effect from early next year.


SOURCE:   ASIAONE.COM
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Save-ing Seniors Task Force Tackles Issues Surrounding Elder Abuse (USA)

Save-ing Seniors Task Force Tackles Issues Surrounding Elder Abuse
By Paul Janczewski
Legal News
Nov 17, 2011
If someone as visible and well-known as former actor Mickey Rooney can become a victim of elder abuse, what slim chance does the normal, everyday older person have to escape the many different forms of the growing problem?
Those odds are greatly increased if Oakland County's SAVE has anything to do with it.
SAVE (Serving Adults Who Are Vulnerable and/or Elderly) task force members held a special media seminar November 4 on elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation to get the word out on the problems of elder abuse, provide statistics to show this problem is growing, and offer ways to spot elder abuse and get help.
Oakland County Circuit Judge Edward Sosnick, SAVE task force chairman, said the elderly population in many ways is "a whole world of people who are forgotten."
"For too long abused elders have been an invisible problem," Sosnick said. "Who's out there to advocate for these folks?"
Sosnick and Lynn Alexander are, for sure. Both were advocates for the aging for a number of years, Sosnick as a county prosecutor, judge and someone who witnessed elderly abuse when pills intended for his elderly mother at a care facility were stolen, and Alexander for her work as Senior Citizen Advocate for Oakland County.
Together, the two saw the need for a more coordinated community response to elder abuse issues, and began SAVE in 2004. Using models of programs such as MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) and others, Sosnick and Alexander brought together a number of organizations aimed at elderly issues and onto SAVE's roster.
Now, the SAVE task force roster includes senior service directors for municipalities, judges, officials from outreach and senior citizen centers, banks, police, prosecutors and others who offer their specialties with the main goal of creating awareness of elder abuse and exploitation and spreading out a net as wide as possible so that seniors who are abused, or people who suspect elderly abuse, have a place to go for help.
SAVE also hopes to put out its message in as many places as possible to not only inform the public, but to make lawmakers and policymakers sensitive to the need for better laws and more effective programs.
"If we all get together and coordinate with each other, maybe we can make a difference," Sosnick said.
He said SAVE is in the midst of holding a series of seminars to create awareness about the problem of elder abuse, educate policymakers, encourage victims to come forward for help, and hopefully serve as a deterrent " by warning perpetrators and potential abusers of the consequences of their actions."
The recent seminar was highlighted by statistics on elder abuse gathered by Collette Buccilli, who works at Hewlitt Packard and was a student at Cooley Law School working in the estate planning clinic. She gathered data for Sosnick on elder abuse and said she was "astonished" at the information she found. Buccilli said she was particularly touched by a quote she found from Mickey Rooney, speaking at a Senate Special Committee on Aging in 2011.
"I was unable to avoid becoming a victim of elder abuse," Rooney told the members.
He said he felt "powerless" with no control of his own life.
Buccilli said she learned from that and her fact-gathering that elder abuse can strike any senior citizen. And the forms include abuse, neglect, exploitation, sexual abuse, self-neglect, confinement, psychological abuse, intimidation, abandonment, misuse of medication, and isolation.
And Buccilli said the problem will grow as the population ages and the elderly segment adds to the numbers yearly. In Michigan, the median age "is rising quickly, and we are nearing the threshold to join the seven oldest states," Buccilli said.
But she said determining elder abuse is difficult because states define abuse differently -- only some have mandatory reporting, there is no central location for data -- and many cases go unreported. Buccilli found that, in Michigan, caregiver and self-neglect account for the majority of substantiated cases.

Her message is clear. We all need to SAVE the elderly population.
Suspected abuse or neglect should be reported to Oakland County Adult Protective Services at             (248) 975-5010      .
Additional information on SAVE can be found by contacting Alexander at            (248) 410-0615      , or at the Oakland County website, www.oakgov.com/seniors/.




Abridged
SOURCE:      Legal News

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Suicide in Elderly Highest in 10 Years (NEW ZEALAND)

Suicide in elderly highest in 10 years
By CHRISTOPHER HARRESS
- Sunday Star Times
20/11/2011

The number of elderly New Zealanders killing themselves has surged 11 per cent to a 10-year high, fuelled by mounting health and economic worries.
The spate of deaths has pushed the country's overall suicide numbers to 558, the highest since 1997.
While youth suicide rates continue to decrease, the 65-plus age group is growing, with 54 deaths this year – around 10 per cent of all suicides.
But some nurses are concerned not all suicides are being recorded properly, and the number could be much higher.
Suicide Prevention Information New Zealand figures show an average of 49 deaths a year in the older age group since 2000, compared with an average of only 33 in Australia.
Recent reports have suggested as many as half the residents in care homes could be suffering depression, but some nurses have challenged that, saying the rate could be even higher.
Registered nurse Kerry Howley, who lectures on depression care for rest home residents, said in her experience many residents were unhappy.
"The staff are aware of just how unhappy older people are in residential care. It's not uncommon for them to talk about wanting to die. As far as suicides go in residential care, I think that many of those would not be recorded," she said.
"When an older person decides that they don't want to live any more, they stop eating and drinking – do we consider that suicide? It's quite a decision on their part, and it's the only power that a person in care has in terms of having control over their life."
Age Concern chief executive Ann Martin said older people were concerned about "social isolation and loneliness, elder abuse, being able to afford the basics, and getting the care they need".
In August, chief coroner Neil MacLean issued a report calling the overall suicide rate "a shocking commentary on our society" after numbers began to edge closer to the epidemic of the 1990s.
Mental Health Foundation chief executive Judi Clements said suicide among the elderly could be influenced by health factors and immobility, while loneliness was also a problem.
The issue reopened the debate on elective euthanasia, the New Zealand Voluntary Euthanasia organisation said. "Our stand is that we agree with both Prime Minister John Key and Labour leader Phil Goff, who have both publicly stated that we need debate on the subject. It can't be swept under the carpet any longer," spokeswoman Janet Mary Marsland said.
The issue had been highlighted with Sean Davison pleading guilty in Dunedin earlier this month to "inciting and procuring" his mother's suicide.
Patricia Davison was diagnosed with a terminal illness and was on her 35th day of a hunger strike when her son helped her die using crushed morphine pills. His sentencing is due to take place on Thursday.



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November 21, 2011

Nursing Home Fire - Nurse of Starting Fire (NSW, AUSTRALIA)

Neighbours stunned as man accused
By Rachel Browne
November 20, 2011

FROM carer to alleged killer - that was the portrait painted of Roger Kingsley Dean yesterday.
The 35-year-old registered nurse stands accused of murdering the people he was trusted to protect, the frail and vulnerable residents of the Quakers Hill Nursing Home.
Mr Dean had been working at the facility for only two months, having left his job at another nursing home nearby after a dispute with the management.
Treatment … Roger Dean is given oxygen by ambulance staff after Friday's fatal blaze at the Quakers Hill Nursing Home. Photo: AFP
Residents were shocked to learn their neighbour was the man allegedly responsible for lighting the worst nursing home fire in Sydney for 30 years.
''I heard it was someone from the local area, that it was a nurse and then they said he was 35 years old and I thought, 'Oh no. I hope it's not my neighbour,''' said Peter Arnold, 43, who lives next door to Mr Dean. ''A lot of the information added up.'' Mr Arnold said Mr Dean had recently left another nursing home, after problems with his manager.
''Two months ago I know that he resigned from a job as a nurse in a different location,'' he said. ''He said he had issues with his boss. He said he had to get another job pretty quickly because he had to feed himself.''
Mr Dean quickly found a job at the Quakers Hill Nursing Home, which almost backs on to his street.
On the day of the fire, Mr Dean was photographed with an oxygen mask and told reporters how he had helped people to escape from the blaze.
Mr Arnold said he had been friendly with Mr Dean in the four years they had been neighbours in the townhouse complex.
''I knew Roger quite well,'' he said. ''It's a surprise that someone so close could do this.''
Police spent part of yesterday morning interviewing residents of the complex, though they did not talk to Mr Dean's housemate. When approached by The Sun-Herald, the man said, ''I have no information for you, I'm sorry,'' and closed the door.
Another neighbour, Abhi Agarwal, expressed shock to hear that his neighbour had been charged with such a terrible crime.
He described Mr Dean as quiet and friendly, saying they always exchanged pleasantries before heading to work and when they got home.



SOURCE:      The SMH, AUSTRALIA
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Preventing Abuse and Neglect (USA)

Preventing Abuse and Neglect
November 18, 2011
By Elaine Chen, MSG, National Center on Elder Abuse

“I never expected to find myself in this position,” the woman told me with frustration overlying the sadness in her voice. Her mother, Mrs. P, had moved into an independent living community, and recently began displaying increasingly worrisome behaviors. The property managers called with warnings about her misuse of the washing machine. Family friends shared concerns about her increasing confusion and uncharacteristic combativeness. Mrs. P’s companion caregiver told of the stove burner being left on. As Mrs. P’s neighbor, I had called her adult daughter after I heard pacing and crying next door. When I went to find out what was happening, the usually upbeat Mrs. P had collapsed in a heap on the floor, sobbing about a lost shoe.
Like almost everyone, Mrs. P’s daughter had no training in caring for an older family member. She responded to each emergency as it arose. She had the stove disconnected. She thought it might help for Mrs. P to visit the doctor, but Mrs. P did not want to go. Mrs. P’s daughter felt resentful of her mother’s strange behavior and sometimes feared she might lose control.
Research indicates close to half of community-dwelling elders with dementia experience abuse or neglect. The best combination of factors for predicting which people with dementia have been mistreated is physical assault and psychological aggression by the person with dementia toward the caregiver. If this describes the situation of someone you know, consider offering or getting help. Medical and social services can avert a crisis.
In every state, Adult Protective Services programs receive reports of suspected adult abuse, exploitation or neglect. According to the client’s needs and wishes, APS caseworkers may arrange for the provision of medical, social, economic, legal, law enforcement or other protective, emergency or supportive services. To learn more about Adult Protective Services and what happens when a report is made, go tohttp://www.ncea.aoa.gov/ncearoot/Main_Site/Find_Help/APS/About_APS.aspx.
“I can’t think of another issue that affects more people in this country where less is being done,” elder justice advocate and MacArthur fellow MT Connolly recently told USA Today. For the first time ever, U.S. Congress passed a federal elder abuse prevention law, the Elder Justice Act, just last year, to support agencies’ response to elder abuse. However, the law is powerless because Congress has not funded the $21.5 million budgeted for the work to happen. Society’s avoidance and minimizing of the problem perpetuates suffering in silence.
There are things that anyone can do to help prevent elder abuse, neglect and exploitation.
1.Stay in touch with caregivers and loved ones receiving care. Isolation is a major risk factor for elder mistreatment.
2.Talk about and plan ahead for cognitive impairments.
If you suspect your older loved one is at risk, call your local Adult Protective Services or Area Agency on Aging. To get connected to local help, call Eldercare Locator at             1-800-677-1116       or visit www.eldercare.gov
As for Mrs. P, her daughter remained unable or unwilling to take action, until Adult Protective Services was called for suspected neglect. The daughter agreed that the medical situation was urgent, and used some tips provided by the Alzheimer’s Association to get her mother to the doctor. The doctor confirmed that Mrs. P had a dementing illness, and began treatment. Mrs. P’s daughter got help to find a more appropriate placement for Mrs. P where she could get the increased supervision that she needed.



Resources
1) Building a Care Partnership: A Special Series Offered for Family Caregivers
The Alzheimer’s Association Orange County Chapter organized a team for elder abuse prevention, which teamed with the Center of Excellence on Elder Abuse & Neglect to develop a workshop: “Building a Care Partnership: A Special Series Offered for Family Caregivers.” The class helps caregivers to avoid misunderstandings and frustration with hired caregivers through effective communication. Check their Family Education Calendar to learn more. It is offered at least every six weeks.
http://www.alz.org/oc/in_my_community_education.asp

(Please go to SOURCE, for more resources)




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November 19, 2011

Son Accused of Elder Abuse (USA)

Nov 18, 2011
By Cara Liu

PHOENIX (KPHO) -
Joe Rivera, 56, was booked on elder abuse and animal cruelty charges Wednesday. 
According to court records, there was little food in his home and the house reeked of feces and urine.  Police also said his 90-year-old mother regularly went to neighbors, asking for food.
"I gave her some sopa, some beans, some soda, some bananas and some apples," said Lecia, a child who lives in the neighborhood.  "She looked very, very hungry and the dogs did, too."
"She walked around and asked us for food and money, but we never knew she was being neglected that bad," said Robert Sanchez, a neighbor who's known the family for years.
Police also said three of Rivera's six dogs also looked malnourished.  Sanchez said he was stunned by the arrest.
"I couldn't do that to my mom," said Sanchez.  "(Rivera's) had problems too.  His dad passed away.  He lost his job and stuff like that.  But that's no excuse."

COPYRIGHT 2011 KPHO.  All rights reserved.


SOURCE:    KPHO
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Jonathan Kay on Elder Abuse: It Doesn't Get Any Worse Than This (CANADA)

Jonathan Kay on elder abuse: It doesn’t get any worse than this
Nov 17, 2011

Today’s Toronto Star features a sickening story about a 71-year-old woman raped in a nursing home. As awful as this is, the greater tragedy is that for every reported case like this, there no doubt are dozens more that never get reported.
Good on the Star for putting this on the front page. The truth of it is that editors often see little payback in senior-abuse stories, because society has an ageist double-standard in this area. If a child gets abused or harmed in daycare, it’s banner news across all media platforms. But the elder stuff is relegated to special “investigative” reports that win awards, but don’t pull in the readers in the way that child-centered stories do.
The reason: Most children are lucky enough to have a built-in constituency group — their parents. But the sort of elderly people who end up in homes where workers are abusive and incompetent (something that would never be tolerated in childcare facilities) often tend to be childless, or effectively abandoned by their family. (This was not the case in Danae Chambers’ case, I hasten to point out.)
This is one of the few areas where the only real solution is big government: To put more resources into elder-care facilities — including investigators who can snuff out the sort of deviants who assaulted Ms. Chambers, before they commit their crimes.


SOURCE:    The National Post
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Elder Abuse a 'Hidden Crime' MPs Say (CANADA)

By Bruce Campion-Smith
Ottawa Bureau Chief
Nov 17 201
1
OTTAWA—A criminal crackdown and greater public awareness are needed to combat the growing problem of elder abuse in Canada, which leaves thousands of seniors “wounded and frightened” every year, a new study says.

Just as society turned a blind eye to child and spousal abuse decades ago, abused seniors are suffering from the same neglect today, warns an all-party committee of MPs.
Their report issued Thursday calls for a “cultural transformation” to ensure that elder abuse is seen as “absolutely unacceptable.
“I’m shocked at the lack of awareness. If we can build awareness and just make it wrong, the way we did with spousal and child abuse then people will be more apt to break the cycle of silence,” Liberal MP Frank Valeriote said.
The report estimates that 400,000 seniors are abused each year in Canada, often by someone they know — a family member, caregiver, neighbour or landlord.

“That’s why there is so much abuse and it’s so unreported. Seniors are vulnerable psychologically but they’re also dependent . . . they don’t want to bite the hand that feeds them,” said Valeriote, one of the co-chairs of the committee that wrote the report.

“There’s all sorts of abuse. Landlords are abusing older people that are living in squalor conditions,” he said.
The findings are contained in a report done by the committee on palliative and compassionate care, an ad hoc group of MPs seeking to improve care for elderly, dying and vulnerable people.
Its chapter on elder abuse paints a stark picture of Canadian seniors suffering physical violence, sexual and psychological abuse and neglect.
And as baby boomers reach retirement age, they risk being financially abused as well, their assets striped away, sometimes by their own debt-laden children.
The report makes a number of recommendations to curb senior abuse, which it calls a “too often hidden crime.”
It urges Ottawa to establish a new office dedicated to combating elder abuse and suggests funding to better research the reasons behind the problem.
It also recommends legal services for low income seniors and emergency shelters to provide safe, short-term refuge.
It also suggests that the courts aren’t taking the problem seriously as it urges a “shift in perception” within the legal system. Rarely are abuse cases successfully prosecuted and when they are, “token” penalties are handed out.
“It is essential that Canada comes to the point where violence and abuse against elderly persons is no longer tolerated even tacitly,” it says.
In addition to the work on elder abuse, the group also made detailed recommendations on palliative care and suicide prevention.
The report also urges a national palliative care strategy to replace a patchwork of services that leaves many Canadians without the care they need in their final days.
It says the health-care system is “unprepared” for the coming shift to cope with the country’s aging population.
The report recommends a national suicide prevention strategy, saying current efforts are “fragmented, disconnected and lacking an overall vision.”
“Suicide intervention does save lives. Yet suicide prevention and intervention is a patchwork in Canada most depending on the generosity of volunteers,” the report says.
It suggests coordinated efforts, better research and extra resources could save some of the almost 4,000 Canadians who commit suicide each year.
“Working together in a coordinated manner many lives can be saved . . . the time has come for Canada to seriously address this problem,” the report said.


SOURCE:     The Star, Canada

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Drive to Combat Elder Abuse Backed (NEW ZEALAND)

Drive to combat elder abuse backed
By John Maslin
November 18, 2011

Age Concern is considering promoting a campaign highlighting financial abuse of the elderly along similar lines to the "It's not okay" campaign against domestic violence.
 And Age Concern Wanganui is endorsing such a programme.

A review on the financial abuse of older people in New Zealand, written by Judith Davey of the Institute of Policy Studies and Age Concern New Zealand's Jayne McKendry, calls for a campaign similar to that against family violence but aimed at combating ageism and promoting respect for older people.

Tracy Lynn, manager of Age Concern Wanganui, said financial abuse of the elderly was frequently being brought to the attention of the Wanganui office.

Ms Lynn said the alarming aspect was that most abusers were known and trusted by the victims.

"It must be remembered that older people are entitled to control their own money and assets and to use them as they choose, even if others think that choice is unwise," she said.

"There's also limited time in which an older person may recoup money that has been misappropriated and that could leave them in a vulnerable situation."
But Ms Lynn said older people also had to take responsibility and not give ATM cards and PIN codes to anybody, including family members. Doing so meant they were being negligent and could be at risk of financial abuse.

And she said an enduring power of attorney (EPA), intended to support the well-being of an older person, was sometimes misused, as people saw it as an opportunity to take control of a person's finances and assets "and as a way out of their own financial mess".

"In all of our work with elder abuse and including financial elder abuse, we must always consider the changes to the Crimes Amendment Act (No3) 2011, passed in September.
 "Anyone that knows or is aware of an older or vulnerable person being neglected, mistreated or abused and does nothing about it, may be liable under the act," Ms Lynn said.
 Ms McKendry, Age Concern New Zealand's expert in elder abuse and neglect prevention, said she hoped the new review would prompt people in the private sector, government and non-governmental organisations to take action. "No single response will be sufficient to tackle this complex issue. We all have a responsibility to work together to stop financial abuse."

She said financial abuse was the illegal or improper use of an older person's money or property, usually by a relative or other person in a position of trust.
 "Financial abuse can deprive older people of their life savings and assets. They may face longstanding poverty and ill health. This sort of abuse also damages family relationships as well as causing great distress to older people," she said.
 The review said a good way for older people to protect themselves was to establish an enduring power of attorney that managed a person's finances, should they become unable to do so. As an added safeguard, that person could be held accountable by reporting to a third party.


SOURCE:     The Wanganui Chronicle, New Zealand
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