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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.

December 31, 2012

A New Law in China: Children Must Visit Elderly Parents or Be Sued


BY: MARGARET MINNICKS
DECEMBER 29, 2012

In China, family matters.
According to reports, the new law states that children must visit their parents and visit them often. However, the law doesn't say how often.
If children don't visit their ailing parents, they can be sued.
This new law became effective because of recent reports that elderly parents claim they have been abandoned or neglected by their children.
Chinese newspapers are full of stories of elderly parents being mistreated. For example, earlier this month Chinese media reported that a woman in her nineties had been forced by her son to live in a pigsty for two years.
There are also stories of children trying to seize their parents' assets, or of old people dying unnoticed in their homes.
The traditional extended family in China has been damaged because of the rapid pace of China's development.
Here are some of China's statistics that led to the visitation law to be regulated.
An eighth of the population of China is over the age of 60.
China has nearly 167 million people aged over 60, and one million above 80.
More than half of China's elderly people live alone.
Children often leave their parents at home while they go to work in the major industrial centers.
The dislocation of families has been exacerbated by China's one-child policy and a dramatic advance in life expectancy.
There are fewer working children to support more elderly relatives.
China has few affordable retirement or care homes for the elderly.



SOURCE:       The Examiner
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Secret Cameras Capture Nursing Home Abuse


Secret Cameras Capture Nursing Home Abuse
28 Dec, 2012

Alleged nursing home abuse in Pennsylvania has led to arrests and the official revocation of a nursing home’s license.
On Tuesday, December 11, police arrested the two alleged elder abusers, who are former employees of the Arbors at Buck Run, a nursing home in Feasterville, Penn., according to an article on the NBC10 Philadelphia news site.
Suspecting that elder abuse was ongoing, a patient’s daughter placed secret cameras in her mother’s room. The cameras recorded repeated abuse from October 16 to November 13, 2012. The arrested caregivers, both in their early 20s, were caught on film manhandling the patient. Additionally, one of them was “literally dancing in the face of a wheelchair bound victim,” said a detective in the Lower Southampton Police Department.
Soon after, police charged the employees with neglect of a care-dependent person, reckless endangerment, simple assault, and harassment. The employees’ lawyer denied any wrongdoing by his clients and claimed the surveillance video’s evidence was “a matter of interpretation.”
Nevertheless the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare (DPW) has also charged the facility with “gross incompetence, negligence and misconduct,” and revoked its license. The management company for the Arbors stated it would appeal the DPW’s closing order and remain open for the next 30 days, according to the news story.
Nursing home abuse is a real crime. Nursing home abuse lawsuits can help victims of this crime get justice and financial compensation for their suffering. If you or a loved one has been a victim of this type of negligence or abuse, call Sokolove Law today


SOURCE:     CisionWire
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December 29, 2012

Recognizing the Behavioural Signs of Elder Abuse


Recognizing the behavioural signs of Elder Abuse
By Tobi Abramson

Recognizing the signs and symptoms of elder abuse is crucial in getting help for older adult victims. Professionals often initially miss many signs and symptoms that can indicate abuse as they can overlap with other symptoms of deteriorating mental health. Recognizing elder abuse is central to prompt intervention and to reducing the impact of abuse on the older person’s psychological and physical well-being.
Symptoms can be divided into the physical or concrete and the behavioral, although there is often overlap between the two. Professionals and the lay public are most familiar with concrete symptoms. Yet behavioral signs can be extremely important in detecting abuse and neglect, especially in people who have communication challenges and are unable to express what has happened or is happening to them. In many cases, physical signs of abuse may not yet be present or noticed, so behavioral signs are often the first indicators of abuse. Usually people who have been abused exhibit a combination of physical and behavioral changes.

Telltale signs of physical abuse include: bruises, especially in cluster or regular patterns, black eyes, welts, laboratory evidence of overdoses of medication or lack of administration of medication, to name a few. Some older adults may verbally report being physically abused.
From a behavioral standpoint, older adults who are being physically abused may present with anger, fear, anxiety, nervousness or depression. They may avoid eye contact, their eyes may dart or they may even startle easily or cringe. They also may exhibit sudden apathy, or withdrawal behavior. In some cases, the caretaker may refuse visitors or not allow the elder to be alone with visitors.
Psychosomatic complaints are another common indicator of abuse. For men, the most common complaint is stomachaches, whereas women tend to complain of headaches. Other behavioral signs to look for can include changes in the manner in which affection is shown, particularly when this display is unusual or inappropriate, or sudden changes, such as fears of being touched.  Sleep patterns can change, too, with an onset of nightmares or difficulty sleeping. These, too, may be telltale signs of physical abuse or neglect.

Emotional abuse by definition means the older adult suffers insults, threats, intimidation, humiliation or harassment, causing distress. Classic symptoms of this type of abuse can be seen when the older adult is emotionally upset or when the elder displays agitated or fearful behavior, especially in the presence of a specific individual. The older adult may withdraw or become apathetic. It is possible that older adults who are experience emotional abuse may regress and engage in unusual behavior like sucking, rocking or even biting. Older adults may experience depression or mood swings when they are victims of emotional abuse. In addition to the behavioral symptoms, some may verbally express suffering this type of abuse or mistreatment.


Abridged
SOURCE:        American Society on Aging
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Caregivers: Spotting & Preventing Financial Elder Abuse


12/20/2012
by Sally Abrahms

What if something just doesn’t feel right or your parents’, relative or friend’s finances aren’t adding up? Could it be a professional caregiver, someone who has befriended them recently, or, perish the thought, even your own flesh and blood, who is cooking the books or sporting a cushy lifestyle at your expense? Could it befinancial exploitation?
As important as checking out a relative’s physical environment and their health is making sure their money is safe. Just in time for the holidays, the government’s Eldercare Locator, administered by the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging, and the National Center on Elder Abuse, have released a free brochure. Protect Your Pocketbook: Tips to Avoid Financial Exploitation lists warning signs, an action plan to prevent it, and where to go if  your relative (or you) is a victim.
Not your parent? Government figures show as many as five million older adults annually are victims of financial elder abuse, costing them an estimated $3 billion a year.
A financial planner recently told me that he has colleagues in the money business whose own elderly (and vulnerable) parents have been victims of greedy and unscrupulous predators.  So if it can happen to them, guys. . .
Here’s a preview of potential signs:
Spend-away activity that doesn’t match your parent’s personality, increased credit card expenses or withdrawals and newly authorized signers on accounts
Recent changes in property title, deeds, mortgages, wills, trusts, Power of Attorney and other important documents.
A granddaughter age new “girlfriend” who suddenly becomes chummy with Dad.
To avert a problem:
Make sure your relative is capable of managing his/her finances. If not, can someone trustworthy in the family do it or should you hire a money manager?
Do they have an estate plan? Ask a lawyer about a durable power of attorney for asset management, a living will, trusts and a health care advance directive.
Make sure they don’t give their Social Security, credit card or ATM PIN number over the phone to a caller, shred bank statements and credit card receipts; get a criminal background check for caregivers.
And if:
Call the Eldercare Locator at 800 677-1116 to connect you with local resources such as Adult Protective Services and an ombudsmen for those in long-term care.
If you sense danger, call your local police at 911.
Fascinating: University of California, Los Angeles, researchers believe neurological brain changes in older people may make them more vulnerable to fraud. Read why.


SOURCE:      AARP BLOG
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Seniors at Risk: Education and Advocacy for Seniors


The Seniors at Risk website is a gathering place for those who are fighting lonely battles for respect, justice and goodwill, often against bureaucracies or other powerful societal organizations and groups

December 21, 2012

Now that the holiday season is well upon us, let’s raise a toast to Denmark. Yes, Denmark, the little country that could… and does treat its elderly citizens with compassion, love and respect.
The Danes even passed a law giving every nursing home resident the right to fresh air – every day! Remarkable. Yes the right to fresh air is actually enshrined in law, unlike so many elder rights “wall posters” which aren’t worth the paper they’re written on, like British Columbia’s much ballyhooed but hollow Residents Bill of Rights… the one that does not even mention the fundamental right of a person to not consent to (forced) treatment.
And let’s raise a glass to the feisty elderly women of France who, outraged at the prospect of “life” in a seniors’ residence, became real estate developers and built retirement homes for themselves in a brand-spanking new 6-story Paris apartment building – which they also run and operate themselves. Three cheers for the women of Baba Yaga’s House.
These good works are models of courage, cooperation and simple decency that we in Canada and the United States should be using as a beacon to guide us to a future where our elderly citizens can live their lives free of fear, free of abuse by doctors, nurses and aides, and free to live life where and how they wish.
Two documentaries recently aired on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in the fall of 2012, one about Denmark’s efforts and the other about the intrepid Parisian women. Kudos to the CBC for taking a leadership role in the Canadian media to portray possibilities beyond what our politicians seem to be able to envisage.

SOURCE:      Seniors At Risk

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December 12, 2012

Consumer Reports: Elderly Financial Abuse

By Tyler Slauson
Dec 7, 2012

Older Americans are easy victims for scam artists. But a Consumer Reports’ investigation has found increasingly it’s trusted family and friends who are abusing the elderly by draining bank accounts, selling valuables, or even taking over their real estate. And those crimes can often be very difficult to spot.

Caregivers, family members, and neighbors can use all kinds of tactics to raid their assets. They can be as obvious as forging signatures on checks, begging for loans that are never paid back, or abusing power of attorney.

When you give power of attorney to someone, it can give him unfettered access to your accounts. Someone who misuses those powers can do real damage. And that’s a real problem for the elderly.

Consumer Reports says to help prevent elder abuse:

Have bank and investment statements sent to a person you trust to monitor accounts.

Arrange for direct deposit and automatic bill pay.

Consult a reputable elder law attorney for advice on wills and limiting power of attorney.

Consumer Reports says there are good places to get help if you or an elderly relative is concerned about financial abuse, including the National Center on Elder Abuse, which has links to help and hotlines. That website is ncea.aoa.gov.


SOURCE:     KEPRTV
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Nursing Home Carer Found Guilty of Abusing Frail OAP (UK)


Nursing home carer found guilty of abusing frail OAP
11 Dec 2012

JEAN WALES pulled the 85-year-old woman out of a chair and dragged her back to her room.
A CARER at a nursing home has been convicted of subjecting an 85-year-old woman to a catalogue of abuse.
Jean Wales, 60, pulled the frail resident out of a chair after shouting and swearing at her repeatedly.
She dragged her confused victim back to her room, yelling: “I’ve f****** had enough of you.”
Wales was found guilty at Kilmarnock Sheriff Court of ill-treating the woman at the town’s Graceland nursing home in December 2011.
The court heard Michelle Boyd, 39 – who was visiting another resident – saw Wales abusing the pensioner.
Ms Boyd said: “She pulled her out of her chair by the arm.”
Wales, of Kilmarnock, had claimed staff made up the allegations out of jealousy because she had applied for another job.
Sentence was deferred until next month.


SOURCE:         The Daily Record, UK
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December 11, 2012

Almost $1 Million Going To Stop Elder Abuse, Negect


By Melissa Fletcher Stoeltje
December 6, 2012

The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services will use a nearly $1 million federal grant to combat elder abuse and neglect, a problem that a recent study says touched about 11 percent of seniors nationwide in 2010.
The $907,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services takes the form of a partnership between Adult Protective Services and the WellMed Charitable Foundation, which will use the money over three years to train staffers in 47 WellMed health clinics across Texas to better identify elder abuse or neglect and develop methods to prevent or stop it.
The money also will provide education materials to seniors at clinics in five Texas locations — San Antonio, Austin, Corpus Christi, El Paso and the Lower Rio Grande Valley.
The WellMed Medical Group provides primary care to more than 40,000 Texas seniors a year across the state.
“This grant will help bring the problem of elder abuse and neglect out of the shadows,” said Joann Tobias-Molina, regional director of Adult Protective Services, the division of the state agency that will implement the grant. “We like to think of the golden years as a time when we're protected, but unfortunately for the victims of elder abuse this isn't so. It's a hidden crime. Victims suffer in silence.”
The grant will pay for two APS specialists to travel to the various clinics to train medical staff — more than 120 doctors, nurse practitioners and physician assistants — starting with 23 clinics in San Antonio.
There were more than 58,000 confirmed cases of elder abuse or neglect in Texas last year, according to TDFPS data. Most involved medical or physical neglect.
For every case of elder abuse that gets reported, five more go unreported, according to the National Center on Elder Abuse.
Last year, there were more than 9,000 reports of possible elder abuse or neglect in Bexar County.
“We know elder abuse is out there,” said Cliff Herberg, first assistant district attorney of Bexar County, who attended a Wednesday news conference that announced the grant. “At some point in our lives, all of us could be potential victims for this crime. And elder abuse and neglect are crimes which are physically, psychologically and financially devastating for the victims.”
The WellMed Charitable Foundation worked with the Benjamin Rose Institute on Aging and the Elder Justice Coalition in developing the grant.
The foundation was created in 2006 by Dr. George M. Rapier III, who's chairman of the WellMed Medical Group.
Since its creation, the foundation has donated more than $3 million to Texas-based nonprofits, according to a news release.


SOURCE:      MySanAntonio
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December 9, 2012

Over Half of Nursing Home Staff Witness Neglect of Elderly


Over half of nursing home staff witness neglect of elderly
By Eilish O'Regan Health Correspondent
 December 07 2012

MORE than half of nursing home staff admit having witnessed neglect of elderly residents and one in four has watched as the vulnerable people were psychologically abused.
One in eight of staff surveyed in private and public nursing homes say they have observed physical abuse.
The stark findings are revealed in a report from the National Centre for the Protection of Older People at UCD after a survey of 1,300 nurses and healthcare assistants from 64 nursing homes.
It also shows that despite inspectors making announced and unannounced visits to nursing homes, they are not picking up many cases of poor treatment.
Three percent of staff confessed they themselves were the perpetrators of some form of physical abuse and 8pc had engaged in psychological abuse.

The report revealed:
? The most frequently observed forms of physical abuse were restraining a resident beyond what was needed and pushing, grabbing, shoving or pinching them.
? Psychological abuse, including shouting at a resident in anger, insulting or swearing and isolating them.
? A minority said they had seen another staff member taking valuables or property from a resident, while 0.7pc reported having stolen from a resident.
? A small number saw inappropriate sexual behaviour by a staff member with a resident, while 0.2pc admitted they were guilty of this themselves.

The report found that some factors were seen as linked to the inappropriate behaviour, including low levels of job satisfaction and staff suffering emotional exhaustion.
Lead author Dr Jonathan Drennan of the UCD School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health Systems, said: "When compared with international research into staff-resident interactions and conflicts, this study found the extent of staff-reported abuse in residential care settings in Ireland was lower than that reported in other countries.
"In addition, a number of initiatives and safeguards have been put in place by the HSE and HIQA to protect older people receiving care in the residential sector.
"However... there is a need to intensify efforts to protect older people receiving care.
"These include: giving older people a voice in their care, educating staff and relatives about abuse and providing supports for staff."
Frank Murphy, chair of the national elder abuse committee in the HSE which funded the report, urged older people who are being abused to contact their local GP or public health nurse.
- Eilish O'Regan Health Correspondent


SOURCE:      The IrishIndependent

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December 8, 2012

Manager of Assisted Living Facility Arrested on Suspicion of Fraud, Identity Theft



December 6, 2012

By Bay City News 

Mill Valley police arrested the manager of an assisted living facility Wednesday on suspicion of fraud, identity theft and financial elder abuse of a resident.
Marianita Capra, 49, of Novato, is suspected of stealing more than $40,000 from a resident of the Marin Terrace assisted living facility at 297 Miller Ave. in Mill Valley over the last several months, Detective Sgt. Paul Wrapp said.
Police have identified one victim so far and are investigating whether there are other victims, Wrapp said.
No one from the 49-bed assisted living facility was available to comment on Capra's arrest this morning.
Anyone with information about the case is asked to call Wrapp or Detective David Kollerer at 389-4100



SOURCE:         MarinScope
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Additional Charges Likely in Fatal Elderly Abuse Case

Affton woman allegedly beat her grandmother, caused injuries that led to her death

by Jaime Mowers

12/07/2012

 The St. Louis County Police Department is seeking upgraded charges against a South County woman who allegedly beat her 92-year-old grandmother and caused injuries that led to her death.

Rachel Armstrong, 37, of the 11000 block of Golf Crest Drive in Affton, was charged Nov. 21 with a felony for first-degree elder abuse. Police said that on Nov. 12, Armstrong threw down her grandmother, Angela Armstrong, and stomped on her, breaking her arms and eight ribs because she believed she was a demon.

St. Louis County Police spokesman Randy Vaughn said the grandmother lived at Rachel Armstrong's home.

Police presented additional information to the St. Louis Prosecuting Attorney's Office following the grandmother's death on Dec. 3, and announced Wednesday that stiffer charges will be sought against Rachel Armstrong.

"The upgraded charges were based on (yesterday's) determination that the death was due to injuries received from a Nov. 21, 2012, elderly abuse case," the statement police released Wednesday said.

The case is set for a grand jury during the first week of January, which is when the additional information will be presented and the upgraded charges will be considered. Police have not said specifically what the charges might be.

Armstrong is being held in the St. Louis County Jail in lieu of a $75,000 cash bail


SOURCE:        The South Country Times
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December 7, 2012

Ways to Prevent Elder Abuse



National, Consumer and Texas News, Videos
November 29, 2012

Older Americans are easy victims for scam artists. But a Consumer Reports’ investigation has found increasingly it’s trusted family and friends who are abusing the elderly by draining bank accounts, selling valuables, or even taking over their real estate. And those crimes can often be very difficult to spot.

Caregivers, family members, and neighbors can use all kinds of tactics to raid their assets. They can be as obvious as forging signatures on checks, begging for loans that are never paid back, or abusing power of attorney.

When you give power of attorney to someone, it can give him unfettered access to your accounts. Someone who misuses those powers can do real damage. And that’s a real problem for the elderly.
Consumer Reports says to help prevent elder abuse:
Have bank and investment statements sent to a person you trust to monitor accounts.
Arrange for direct deposit and automatic bill pay.
Consult a reputable elder law attorney for advice on wills and limiting power of attorney.

Consumer Reports says there are good places to get help if you or an elderly relative is concerned about financial abuse, including the National Center on Elder Abuse, which has links to help and hotlines.

Complete Ratings and recommendations on all kinds of products, including appliances, cars & trucks, and electronic gear, are available on Consumer Reports’ website.


SOURCE:       KVUE
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Elder Abuse Gets Boost of Prevention with $907,000



Elder abuse gets boost of prevention with $907,000 grant
by Eric Gonzales / KENS 5
December 5, 2012

Adult Protective Services received more than 13,000 reports for elder abuse last year.

WellMed will partner with APS to screen seniors in an effort to prevent abuse.

A $907,000 grant has been awarded to WellMed to educate doctors and their staff to screen seniors for possible elderly abuse. Elder abuse is taking advantage physically, financially or by neglecting anyone over the age of 65.
The three-year grant from the Department of Health and Human Services will pay for two Adult Protective Service specialists to train WellMed staff on how to recognize the signs of elderly abuse.

Assistant District Attorney Clifford Herberg said, “When a caregiver removes someone from their home, takes them somewhere else and prevents other people from having access to them, that’s a clue that something’s up.”

While APS had more than 13,000 cases of elder abuse last year, they say only 1 in 10 are actually reported.

“What we find is that our senior clients, our senior victims of abuse and neglect really don’t feel comfortable disclosing information about abuse that’s occurred to them. So, what we do find is that they can feel comfortable in the physician’s office,” said Joann Tobias Molina of Adult Protective services.


SOURCE:      KENS5.COM
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November 30, 2012

Report: Federal Agencies Need to Work on Fighting Financial Abuse of Elderly


Report: Federal agencies need to work on fighting financial abuse of elderly
November 27, 2012
By Lisa Chedekel, Connecticut Health I-Team  

A few months before he died last November, Robert Matava of Unionville, a decorated World War II veteran, spoke publicly about his battle with a stealthy domestic enemy: financial exploitation of the elderly.
After his wife died, Matava had moved to Florida, entrusting his son with his estate, including the house he built and the auto repair business he started. When he returned to Unionville in 2010 to spend his remaining years at home, he said, his son “refused to let me in” and he found himself penniless.
“In all my 90 years, I couldn’t predict the abuse I’d suffer” at the hands of a family member, he had testified at a hearing convened by U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, who is pushing legislation to strengthen detection and prosecution of elder abuse.
A new government report highlights the need for better collaboration among federal agencies, banks and state authorities to combat the kind of exploitation that Matava said he suffered. The report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) cites estimates that seniors lose at least $2.9 billion a year to financial abuse and exploitation, and that less than a third of cases are reported to authorities.
The report exposes gaps in the nation’s strategy for preventing and prosecuting elder financial exploitation, including problems in sustaining collaborations between agencies, obtaining data on abuse, and developing expertise in financial exploitation.
Among the problems cited is the reluctance of many banks to disclose financial information that could help to identify perpetrators or stop further exploitation, on the grounds that such disclosures would violate federal privacy laws or bank policies. Adult protective services officials in the four states reviewed by the GAO — California, New York, Pennsylvania and Illinois — reported that they often are denied access to bank records, despite exceptions permitting disclosure to protect against fraud or to comply with civil or criminal investigations.
Also, while the federal government generally requires banks to train employees on a variety of issues, such as money laundering and information security, GAO investigators said they could find no similar requirements for banks to train employees to recognize and report elder financial exploitation.
The GAO report recommends that measures be taken “to encourage banks to identify and report suspected elder financial exploitation and to facilitate release of bank records to APS (adult protective services) and law enforcement authorities for investigating this activity.” Specifically, the report calls on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to develop a plan to teach banks nationwide how to identify and report possible financial exploitation.
“Without information to correct banks’ misconceptions about the impact of federal privacy laws on their ability to release bank records, APS and law enforcement agencies will continue to find it difficult to obtain the information they need from banks to investigate suspected cases of elder financial exploitation,” the report says.

This story was reported under a partnership with the Connecticut Health I-Team (www.c-hit.org).




Abridged
SOURCE:       MyRecordJournal
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Age Demands Action: Older People's Activism Produces Positive Change (GLOBAL)


By Natasha Horsfield
28 November 2012

Following on from our biggest Age Demands Action yet on 1 October, policy pledges are already translating into positive change for older people across the world.
Progress on pensions and social assistance
In Ethiopia, the pension payment scheme has been decentralised to neighbourhood level as a result of the Ethiopian Elderly and National Association's meeting with the Social Security Agency, making pension collection easily accessible for older people.
Developments are also now taking place to implement a non-contributory pension for people 70 and over. The draft strategy for this pension has now been submitted to the House of Parliament.
And in Ghana, a social pension pilot for older people who are not on any pension scheme has been announced for 2013.
HelpAge Sri Lanka have achieved huge success in getting the eligibility age for older people receiving the enhanced Rs.1000 Public Assistance Monthly Allowance lowered from 80 to 70. This change has already been implemented for the poorest aged 70 and over as of October and is now benefitting 200,000 extra older people.
Protecting older people's rights
As a result of HelpAge International Mozambique's ADA action over the last two years, a specific law on older people's rights is currently under consideration by the Prime Minister and Minister of Women and Social Welfare.
Following ADA 1 October activities in Lithuania, the Law on Plenary Guardianship of Disabled Older People has been changed to ensure older people are not stripped of their legal capacities.
And in Vietnam, the Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Affairs has appointed the Vietnam Association of Elders to draft the proposal for the Government to replicate the community older people's association model in the Vietnam National Action Programme on Ageing.
Local change makes a difference
Following our Affiliate in South Africa, MUSA'sADA activities on 1 October, a Senior Citizens' Desk in Ward 38 district has been launched to address older people's concerns.
In Kyrgyzstan, pledges have been made by local authorities in Naryn district to assist older people with fuel for heating. They have also pledged to provide age-friendly social spaces at the community level, such as tea houses in Talas district.
Three local partners in Russia have successfullyimproved medical access for older people. Two further partners secured improved public transport services and ADA activists in Ukraine have also succeeded in restoring a bus route essential to older people in Zhitomir district.
Accessible healthcare to the most vulnerable
To mark the UN International Day of Older Persons on 1 October, the Ministry of Health in Moldova approved a list of essential medicines to be made affordable for all older people a community level.
In the Gaza strip, the health insurance law for older people has also been modified to ensure free health insurance for those unable to pay for it.
Furthermore in Belize, following a meeting with the Minister of Health, the Age-Friendly Health Clinic Model established by HelpAge International Belize is now to be implemented on a widespread basis within the next two months.
Change for the better
The changes resulting from Age Demands Action on 1 October over the last two months are already starting to have a significant impact on the lives of older people around the world. More have access to healthcare, social pensions and legal avenues through which to claim their rights than ever before!  
Find out more on how 62 countries took part in our biggest Age Demands Action ever this year on our interactive ADA map!

SOURCE:       HelpAge.org
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Tulare Man Sentenced For Elder Abuse, Theft (CA. USA)


Tulare Man Sentenced For Elder Abuse, Theft
Nov 29, 2012
By Liz Gonzalez 
TULARE, Calif. (KMPH)

A man who was trusted to take care of his elderly aunt and uncle, will now serve time for stealing half a million dollars from them.
This week, Judge James Hollman sentenced 48-year-old Keith Little, of Tulare, to five years probation, and a five year state prison sentence was suspended. As a condition of probation, Little must serve one year in county jail.
He will begin to serve the one year term in county jail on May 20, 2013. He will also serve a six month term in federal custody on related charges.
On October 23, 2012, Little pled no contest to two counts of felony theft from an elder, and one misdemeanor count of elder abuse. From 2004 to 2010, while operating as the trustee for the estates of his elderly aunt and uncle, Keith Little stole more than $500,000 from them.
He also failed to authorize necessary medical treatment for his aunt while she was in a nursing facility.


SOURCE:        KMPH
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Nurse Ordered to Trial for Felony Elder Abuse (CA. USA)


Nurse ordered to trial for felony elder abuse
The Associated Press
Nov. 28, 2012
PLACERVILLE, Calif.

The former head nurse at a California nursing home is facing trial for felony elderly abuse in the death of an Alzheimer's patient.
Investigators say 77-year-old Johnnie Esco was supposed to be constantly monitored by nurses at Placerville's El Dorado Care Center. But she died of fecal impaction in 2008 after 13 days in the nursing home.
The Sacramento Bee ( http://sacb.ee/TsuGI8) says a judge on Tuesday ordered trial for 58-year-old registered nurse Donna Darlene Palmer.
Prosecutors say neglect led to Esco's painful and unnecessary death.
Palmer was one of two nurses charged in the woman's death.
Prosecutors say 39-year-old Rebecca Smith agreed to plead no contest to felony elder abuse in exchange for a possible suspended jail sentence and her willingness to help prosecutors in the Palmer case.


SOURCE:      SACBEE
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November 28, 2012

Pattern of Broken Bones, Brain Injuries Flags Possible Elder Abuse: STUDY


Pattern of broken bones, brain injuries flags possible elder abuse: study
Sheryl Ubelacker
 
November 27, 2012

TORONTO - Older people who have a wrist or hip fracture often get such injuries after taking a fall. But researchers say there's a distinct pattern of broken bones and bruises that suggests something more sinister — elder abuse.
After reviewing international medical literature and Ontario coroner's reports, Dr. Kieran Murphy and colleagues saw the same pattern of fractures and soft-tissue injuries over and over again.
"There is indeed a typical distribution of injuries that are seen radiologically in the elderly who are beaten," said Murphy, a radiologist at the University Health Network in Toronto. "So they have injuries around their eyes, they have injuries to their teeth.
"They may have shaking injuries which cause bleeds (inside) the head called subdurals, they may have soft-tissue injuries and upper extremities injuries," he added.
Murphy and his team reviewed more than 1,100 cases of abuse in people over age 60. Their findings will be presented Tuesday at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America in Chicago.
Their analysis also showed that these elderly abuse victims were most often in a home setting being cared for by non-professionals, such as a family member or other untrained caregiver.
Often the offender is financially dependent on the older person and may have an alcohol or drug addiction, he said. The person being assaulted is debilitated in some way, by dementia or the effects of a stroke, for example.
"If you factor in these different issues, you can come up with a fairly accurate likelihood that somebody's injuries are non-accidental," Murphy said.
"Older people fall and they fall on an outstretched hand and they break their wrist or they break their hip. Those are normal elderly fractures.
"They don't usually break their scapula (shoulder blade). But if somebody hits them in the back, they might break that. Or they don't normally break their orbit (bony eye socket). But if somebody punches them in the face, they'll break that."
Murphy said he hopes the study will help radiologists and other physicians recognize what could be signs of elder abuse, which is significantly under-reported.
"Radiologists need to be aware of the pattern of injuries frequently seen in the abused elderly,” he said. “More importantly, we need to integrate the physical and radiological findings with the social context of the patient to help identify those at risk."
Irmajean Bajnok of the Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario, calls elder abuse a "silent epidemic" because it appears only a small percentage of cases are ever reported.
"The older persons are in vulnerable situations, they're not likely to report this," Bajnok, the RNAO's director of international affairs and best practice guidelines, said Monday.
"And regardless of where it happens, it can easily be linked to 'Oh, they fell' or 'They're bumping into this,' so that it goes undetected."
Bajnok said elderly patients need to be assessed by health providers that are aware of the signs of elder abuse and can ask directly: "Has anyone ever hurt you?"
Nurses are among those ideally placed to look for elder abuse, she said, but pointed out the issue is complex.
Caregivers, both in the home and in long-term care facilities, can experience tremendous frustration in trying to look after elderly patients with complicated medical conditions that can include dementia.
But instead of pointing fingers of blame, it's more constructive to look for what triggers incidents of abuse and to figure out ways to train caregivers to de-escalate situations that could lead to physical maltreatment.
"We need to start dealing with the solutions," she said.
"It's a lot harder than saying: 'Oh my goodness, people are hitting older people. Let's stop it.'
© The Canadian Press, 2012


SOURCE:    GlobalTVEdmonton
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Digtial Extra: Tips for Spotting Elder Abuse




CTVNews.ca
Nov. 26, 2012


Senior citizens can be subjected to many kinds of abuse by their family members, their caregivers, or others in authority who betray their trust.
It’s difficult to estimate how many seniors in Canada are affected by abuse because many cases go unreported due to fear, shame or inability of the senior to seek help.
Here are a few ways to spot the different forms of abuse that can affect seniors:
Physical Abuse: Elderly victims of physical abuse might have unexplainable injuries in various stages of healing, such as limb or skull fractures, bruises, cuts, black eyes, or ligature marks that indicate the use of restraints.
Neglect: When caregivers fail to meet the basic needs of those seniors entrusted in their care, their victims might exhibit an unkempt appearance, have broken or no eyeglasses, hearing aid, dentures and other necessities. They might also be suffering from malnutrition, dehydration, or have untreated sores or infections. They may also be cut off from their friends, support systems, or spiritual resources.
Psychological or Emotional Abuse: Seniors who are regularly being subjected to emotional abuse might show changes in behaviour, appear agitated or fearful, or they might be withdrawn and non-responsive. They may also show attempts at coping mechanisms, such as repetitive rocking, sucking, or biting.
Financial Abuse: Seniors are often the victim of financial abuse, many times at the hands of their own family members. Abusers might steal their money from their home, forge their cheques or misuse money entrusted to their care. Victimized seniors might notice sudden or unexplained withdrawals of large sums of money, or may remember being coerced into signing documents.
Sexual Abuse: Victims of sexual abuse might have bruising around the breasts or genital area. They might also have torn, stained, or bloody underclothing, or they might be diagnosed with sexually transmitted infections.
How to help an abused senior
• If you believe someone is experiencing abuse and is in imminent danger, call 911.
• You can also call the non-emergency number for police in your community. Police can clarify whether the suspected abuse is a criminal matter and can provide information for how to access community resources. Those who call on behalf of an abused senior can remain anonymous.
• The senior’s family doctor can also help by examining the senior for signs of physical or sexual abuse, or physical neglect. A doctor can also refer the senior to a social worker who can offer further help.
• In cases of suspected financial abuse, the senior’s bank should be contacted so they can trace missing funds or place holds on account that might be being misused.
• Most provinces also have senior help hotlines or victim helplines, which can offer advice on how to help an abused senior.


SOURCE:      CTVNEWS
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Radiologic and Physical Findings Identify Elder Abuse (CANADA)


November 27, 2012
Radiologists in Toronto have begun to identify a pattern of injuries that may be indicative of elder abuse, according to a study presented today at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).

According to lead researcher Kieran J. Murphy, M.D., F.R.C.P.C., F.S.I.R., interim radiologist-in-chief at University Health Network in Toronto, Canada, only 2 percent of physical elder abuse is reported by clinicians. "Unlike cases of child abuse, there is very little information available on this subject," Dr. Murphy said. "It's a much neglected area." To aid radiologists in identifying potential cases of elder abuse, Dr. Murphy conducted a literature review and searched databases for elder abuse cases to locate radiologic evidence of the types of injuries found in abuse victims over 60 years old. An analysis of more than 1,100 cases revealed that the most frequent injuries among abused elderly were physical trauma to the face; dental trauma; subdural hematoma, which is collection of blood in the space between the outer layer and middle layers of the covering of the brain; eye and larynx trauma; rib fractures and upper extremity injuries. The analysis also revealed that elderly victims of abuse were most often in a home setting being cared for by non-professionals. "In the cases we reviewed, the abused elderly were often socially isolated, depressed and unkempt," Dr. Murphy said. "The caregivers were not only financially dependent on the elderly person in their care, they were often dealing with their own substance abuse problem." Compared to older adults who were accidently injured, the abused elderly patients were more likely to have brain, head and neck injuries. Autopsy studies revealed that subdural hemorrhages were the cause of death in one-third of elder abuse cases. "Radiologists need to be aware of the pattern of injuries frequently seen in the abused elderly," Dr. Murphy said. "More importantly, we need to integrate the physical and radiological findings with the social context of the patient to help identify those at risk." Provided by Radiological Society of North America


SOURCE:    Radiological Society of North America

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November 27, 2012

Taking Action to Prevent Elder Abuse (CANADA)


11/21/2012
by Vic Toews

As Canada’s population ages, our Government firmly believes that we must take care of those who have given so much to build our country to what it is today. That includes ensuring that we have effective laws in place to protect our elderly from abuse and other forms of crime.

Simply stated, elder abuse is any action, often committed by someone in a relationship of trust,  that results in harm or distress. Common types of this terrible crime include physical, psychological and financial abuse, and neglect. Often more than one type of abuse occurs at the same time. Police reported that nearly 7,900 seniors were victims of violent crime in 2009. Of those reported crimes, 35 percent were committed by a family member, 35 percent were committed by a friend or acquaintance, and 29 percent were committed by a stranger. However, it is difficult to estimate the true prevalence and incidence of elder abuse in Canada due to factors such as under-reporting.
Earlier this month, Bill C-36, the Protecting Canada’s Seniors Act, was passed in the House of Commons. The legislation aims to better protect seniors by helping ensure tough sentences for those who take advantage of elderly Canadians.

Crimes against our most vulnerable citizens should not be tolerated, and this Bill ensures that perpetrators will be punished appropriately. Under the proposed amendments to the Criminal Code, evidence that an offence had a significant impact on the victims due to their age – and other personal circumstances such as their health or financial situation – would be considered an aggravating factor for sentencing purposes.
The amendments would ensure a consistent application of sentencing practices that treat the abuse against individuals who are vulnerable due to their age and other personal circumstances.
Our Government takes our commitment to protect our most vulnerable and prevent crime very seriously. We have been working to address elder abuse in a number of ways, including through elder abuse awareness campaigns and the New Horizons for Seniors Program. In 2011, we increased our investment in the New Horizons for Seniors Program by $5 million per year, bringing the program’s annual budget to $45 million.

Please visit www.seniors.gc.ca for more information about our Government’s on-going action to protect vulnerable Canadians and prevent crime.


SOURCE:     MySteinbach, ca
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Elderly Crime Issue Raised by MP Campbell (UK)


Elderly crime issue raised by Campbell
23 November 2012

JUSTICE Minister David Ford has been challenged over what action he is taking about fear of crime amongst elderly people, by East Londonderry’s MP Gregory Campbell.
Back in August, the Sentinel ran news on its front page of the volume of crimes against people aged 65 or over in Limavady. In the most recent policing year, 2011/12, the figures showed there to be a crime against an older person at a rate of around once every four days.
Elderly charity Age Sector Platform revealed that its own research had found one in two elderly people in County Londonderry to be living in fear of crime.
Now, DUP MP Gregory Campbell has questioned the Justice Minister on whether he will undertake his own research into the fear of crime against the elderly and whether he will “offer assurance to elderly people regarding the penalties available to the courts for people found guilty of such criminal activity.”
Mr Ford replied: “Tackling crime against older and vulnerable people is a commitment for my Department within the Programme for Government and the Community Safety Strategy.
“The Community Safety Strategy includes a commitment to improve our understanding of the fear of crime. As part of this commitment, my Department is currently in discussions with partners to consider research on fear of crime and its impact on vulnerable people.
“As part of the Programme for Government commitment I intend to develop and build on work already underway to build community confidence in sentencing.
“Under the current legislative framework, custodial offences are available to the judiciary for those convicted of serious crime. Sentencing decisions within this legislative framework are a matter for the independent judiciary. In making these decisions, judges are guided by sentencing guidelines which already indicate that the courts should treat the age and vulnerability of the victim as aggravating factors.


Abridged
SOURCE:       The Londonderry Sentinel, UK
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Experts Take Aim at Elder Abuse (CANADA)


Experts take aim at elder abuse
November 24, 2012
BY MICHAEL LIGHTSTONE STAFF REPORTER

The federal government in 2010 estimated up to 10 per cent of seniors in Canada suffered some type of abuse or neglect, says the RCMP.
In Nova Scotia, the government has said elder abuse is expected to grow as the population ages. Nearly 700 people in the province turn 65 every month, said the government’s 2005 elder abuse strategy.
Abuse victims whose allegations are reported come in contact with police, social workers, health-care personnel, clergy or other professionals trained in geriatrics or used to helping seniors.
But at the grassroots level, professionals need not be the only people teaching seniors about abuse of older adults, a Halifax conference on aging heard Thursday.
Volunteer peer educators — seniors talking to seniors — can do the public awareness job well, delegates were told.
A workshop heard about a two-year, federally funded project run out of the University of Prince Edward Island that recruited Island retirees to give public presentations on elder abuse.
Local folks signed up to get trained for talks where they provided basic information on the mistreatment of seniors.
Volunteers committed to speaking at two sessions a year, usually in their communities on the island or nearby.
Project leaders Lori Weeks and Olive Bryanton told the Halifax conference the program helped open seniors’ eyes to the harm older people could be subjected to from relatives, friends or others.
There are various forms of abuse, including physical, emotional, sexual, financial and neglect, delegates heard.
Bryanton said abusers are rarely strangers.
“It’s usually someone you know, someone you trust and it could be your family member.”
According to the provincial government, 5,000 to 13,500 older people in Nova Scotia “experience harm and poor health or well-being because of abuse.” However, abuse is always underreported, so it is believed these figures are low, a government website said.
Weeks and Bryanton were addressing a conference at a local hotel organized by the Nova Scotia Centre on Aging, part of Mount Saint University in Halifax.


SOURCE:     The Chronicle Herald
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Lawyer Urges Family and Friends to Watch for Signs of Nursing Home Neglect


Elder Abuse Lawyer Urges Family And Friends To Watch For Signs Of Nursing Home Neglect During Holiday Visits

Columbia, S.C. (PRWEB)
 November 23, 2012

With the holiday season underway, many people will visit family members in nursing homes in South Carolina, and Columbia nursing home abuse attorney Bert Louthian today called on those visitors to be on the lookout for any signs that their loved ones may be suffering abuse or neglect while residing in a long-term care facility.
“Visitors are the first and best line of defense that residents have against nursing home abuse,” Louthian said. “While you are on your holiday visit, it is a good idea to take a few moments to make sure that everything is going alright.”
Louthian is a partner in the Louthian Law Firm, a South Carolina firm that represents victims of nursing home abuse and neglect. He sometimes encounters situations where the abuse went undetected for extended periods of time.
“Unfortunately, abuse cases go unreported for a long time in some cases, especially when victims can’t speak out for themselves and don’t get a lot of visitors,” Louthian said.
To help fight abuse, Louthian urged family members and friends to be vigilant on every visit, including those that occur around the holidays. “We know people visit more at Thanksgiving and Christmas than any other time of year, and these visits are a good opportunity to look for signs of abuse or neglect,” he said.
Louthian stressed that visits are important not just around the holidays but also throughout the year.
The National Center on Elder Abuse estimates that between 1 and 2 million Americans aged 65 or older have been subjected to some type of abuse or mistreatment by caregivers. It lists a variety of abusive behaviors that nursing home residents sometimes experience.
 These include:
   Physical abuse (improper use of force)
   Neglect (failure to provide proper care)
   Emotional or psychological abuse (rejection, belittling or isolation)
   Verbal abuse (threats, yelling or verbal attacks)
   Chemical restraint (unnecessary use of sedating drugs)
   Financial exploitation (theft through coercion or force)
   Sexual abuse (forced sexual behavior)
   Abandonment.
Red flags that indicate potential signs of abuse include:
   Bruising
   Slap marks
   Bedsores or pressure sores
   Blisters
   Cigarette burns
   Poor hygiene
   Filthy living environment
   Dehydration or malnutrition
   Depression, including withdrawal from normal activities or a lack of interest
   Fearfulness
   Unexpected changes in alertness or behavior
   Bruising or redness in the genital area
   Sexually transmitted diseases.

“If you see these signs of abuse, or if you have any reason to suspect that something is wrong, you should take action. It’s always better to be cautious and to ask questions if something seems amiss,” Louthian said.
Those who suspect elder abuse can report their concerns to Adult Protective Services, a division of the South Carolina Department of Social Services. Victims of elder abuse or their family members should also consider seeking assistance from a South Carolina nursing home abuse attorney, Louthian said

SOURCE:       PR WEB
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November 21, 2012

West Seattle Brothers Accused of Leaving Father to Rot


Submitted by Rose Egge, KOMO Communities Reporter
November 16th, 2012

Two West Seattle men are facing felony elder abuse charges for allegedly allowing their father to waste away so that they wouldn’t have to spend their future inheritance.
According to charging documents, Kenneth and Keith Shaw, both in their 50s, lived rent-free in their parents’ Alki home for 2 years while neglecting their father of any basic care. The 86-year-old man lost 43 pounds during that time because he wasn’t given enough food, court documents report.
Paramedics were called to the Shaw’s Alki home on Nov. 12, 2010 because a relative claimed the father had not been eating or drinking for a week and was drifting in and out of consciousness. When an EMT arrived at the home, she told police she smelled urine and feces in the father’s bedroom and saw the man sitting on the toilet wearing only a t-shirt and socks.
The EMT reported that “the socks looked like they had grown into his feet,” according to charging documents. One of the sons stated that he’d been wearing the same socks for a year. Doctors later found his feet were rotting inside them and left a bloody trail when he walked.
As she moved the father out of the home, the EMT told police he was in extreme pain, screaming “get me out of here.”
Once at Swedish Hospital, doctors diagnosed the elderly man with dehydration, sepsis, acute renal failure, acute hyperglycemia and altered mental status. He was admitted to the ICU and doctors predicted he would have both feet amputated if he survived.
The man died two weeks later after being released to Life Care Center of West Seattle. After performing an autopsy on the man, the medical examiner’s office claimed the conditions leading to his death included muscle atrophy and weight loss, pneumonia and cardiovascular disease. The medical examiner could not say whether the man had died from natural causes or neglect and malnutrition.
According to charging documents, the brothers refused to put their father in a nursing home because they didn't want to clean out his savings and be left with nothing when he died.
Keith Shaw asked police “Why should we clean out the accounts….I don’t have any retirement and Ken’s never worked….If we spend all the money on nursing homes he’ll (Ken) end up homeless, living under the viaduct.”
When asked by a community nurse consultant why he did not respond to his father’s obvious pain, Ken said “Pain is the signal that the body is healing itself.”
Court documents report the brothers were also caring for their mother, who reportedly suffered from dementia, in the Alki home. The woman died from a heart attack in February 2011. Keith reportedly told a community nurse consultant that he only gave his mother a mug or two of fluids each day so that he would not have to change her incontinent garments more often, increasing her cost of care.
The brothers have both been charged with second-degree criminal mistreatment and have not been jailed.

SOURCE:     WestSeattleKomoNews
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Elder Abuse Laws and Destroying the Presumption of Joint Tenancy

By Bruce A. Katzen

Recently, I handled a very interesting FINRA arbitration dealing with exploitation of the elderly by a joint tenant – in this case, her granddaughter.
What made this case so interesting is that we were able to use the elder abuse statute to support our claim.  Traditionally, joint tenants both have the authority to withdraw funds from the account.  Because the granddaughter was a joint tenant, we had to overcome the presumption that she was entitled to take money from the account at her discretion
.
However, the evidence clearly showed that the granddaughter was added to the account because she was a broker’s assistant at the company that managed her grandmother’s assets and the family believed she would keep tabs on the money.  In fact the granddaughter was added to the account to help her elderly 95-year-old grandmother, not to help herself to all of grandma’s money.   But instead of helping, the granddaughter withdrew over $250,000 for her own personal use, including gym memberships and a luxury car.
Florida’s elder abuse statute is comprised by Fla. Stat. §§ 825.103 and 772.11, which provide remedies for the exploitation of the elderly.  Section 772.11 provides civil remedies for those who are victims of criminal activities against the elderly that are set forth in Section 825.103.  In our case, because the granddaughter was a joint tenant on the account, it was critical to demonstrate that the purpose of the account was to care for the grandmother, and later the mother, and that the granddaughter, the broker and the investment firm all knew the purpose of the account.  This allowed us to rebut the presumption that the granddaughter was entitled to withdraw significant sums of money from the account without authorization from the other joint tenant.  Consequently, the granddaughter, the broker and the firm were all found to have violated Florida law and were liable for the losses incurred by the family.

 SOURCE:      KlugerKaplan
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Three Rivers Care Taker Held on Suspicion of Abuse of 88-Year-Old Woman

Three Rivers care taker held on suspicion of abuse, assault charges
Nov 19, 2012
Written by Staff report

A Three Rivers woman police said was in charge of caring for an 88-year-old woman was taken into custody Sunday on suspicion of assaulting the elderly woman.
Judy Dovel, whose age wasn’t provided, arrested in suspicion of elder abuse, assault with a deadly weapon and causing great bodily injury. Her bail was set was $100,000.
According to the sheriff’s department, deputies responded to a home in the 42300 block of South Fork Drive for reports of elder abuse.

While investigating the report, deputies learned the woman was taken to a hospital, where she was treated for dislocated fingers and swelling to the brain.
Dovel was located, arrested and booked into the Bob Wiley Detention Facility.
The elderly woman’s name was withheld because she’s violent crime victim.
The incident was reported at 9:20 a.m. Sunday.

 SOURCE:    Visalia Times Delta
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Woman Surrenders in Elder Abuse Case


Erin Allday
November 20, 2012

The wife of a former Pinole police commander accused of defrauding an elderly Pleasanton woman has turned herself in to authorities, and as of Tuesday afternoon both husband and wife were free on bail.
Elizabeth Regalado, 30, was charged with conspiracy and posted a $20,000 bail on Friday. Her husband, Matthew Messier, 36, was arrested at the couple's home in Pleasanton last Thursday and charged with several crimes, including elder abuse and grand theft. He pleaded not guilty to the charges and posted a $322,500 bail.
Investigators say Messier used his position as a commander at the Pinole Police Department to gain control of the entire estate of his neighbor, Jean Phyllis Jones, who is 82 and has "diminished mental capacity," according to court records.
Messier resigned from the Pinole police force on Oct. 23.

SOURCE:      The SFGate
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November 20, 2012

Former Pinole Police Official Charged with Fraud

Former Pinole police official charged with fraud
The Associated Press
Nov. 17, 2012
PLEASANTON, Calif.

A former Pinole police official and his wife are facing grand theft and elder abuse charges after authorities say they defrauded an 82-year-old Pleasanton woman by taking control of her finances.
Pleasanton police say on Friday they arrested Matthew Messier on suspicion of grand theft, elder abuse and other charges.
In announcing the arrests, police say the 36-year-old Messier, who lives in Pleasanton, used his position as a Pinole police commander to gain the trust of the woman.
The woman, who lived three doors away from Messier, suffered from what court records describe as a "diminished mental capacity" and an inability to make financial decisions.
Messier had worked for the Pinole Police Department until he resigned on Oct. 23. He was being held on $322,500 bail after pleading not guilty Friday.
A warrant has also been issued for his wife, 30-year-old Elizabeth Regalado.

 SOURCE:         The SacBee
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Time for Iowa to Pass Elder Abuse Law


Nov 18, 2012
Written by
Press-Citizen Editorial Board


Johnson County’s incoming and returning state lawmakers will be gathering at 2 p.m. today in the Coralville Public Library for a public forum sponsored by the Johnson County Task Force on Aging.
Sure to come up in the discussion are some of the priorities set by the nonprofit organization, Older Iowans Legislature, for the next legislative session. Those priorities include:
• Elder abuse law: It’s frustrating that, as a state with a rapidly growing senior and elderly population, Iowa doesn’t already have a law devoted to elder abuse. There is a more general dependent abuse law that deals with cases of physical or sexual abuse, financial exploitation and denial of care. But especially during tough economic times, it’s unfortunately not surprising to hear that financial exploitation of the elderly is a growing crime.
Elder abuse — often by family members themselves — continues to be a growing problem, with incidents more often than not going unreported.
It’s time for the Legislature to establish an Iowa Elder Abuse Law that, at a minimum, defines elders as protected class and provides protections against physical abuse, emotional or psychological abuse, sexual abuse, financial or material exploitation, abandonment, neglect and self neglect.
• Home and community-based services: Reimbursement rates for provides of services for medical assistance programs sometimes can lag behind inflation. It’s time for a bill to recalculate annually, at the start of each new fiscal year, the reimbursement for a provider of services under a medical assistance program home and community based services waiver for the elderly.
That will help keep provide a living and growing wage for the people helping to care for our aging population.
• Sex offenders and nursing homes: Last year, after a 95-year-old woman said she was assaulted by a fellow resident and convicted sex offender in a nursing home, Gov. Terry Branstad convened a task force that held closed-door meetings. A bill was proposed requiring notification when an offender moved into a facility. It didn’t pass.
This year the Legislature will have to discuss a bill that would require sex offenders and combative residents to be housed in appropriate settings capable of providing protective restraints, both chemical and physical, and provide the required supervision.
Other topics of discussion include:
• Requiring standardized benefits for long term care insurance policies.
• Ensuring that the state’s long-term care ombudsman has the independence necessary to serve as an effective watchdog of the long-term care industry.
• And discussing the consequences of last year’s redesign of the state’s mental health system from a county-based system to a region-based system.
All these issues, of course, are of particular importance in Iowa, which already ranks fifth in the nation in percentage of population age 65 and older and ranks second in percentage of population age 85 and older, and in Johnson County, which is seeing a steady increase in the number of recent retirees moving into the area.
And these issues are only going to grow more important as, over the next two decades, Iowa’s senior population is expected to make up close to one out of every four citizens. By 2030, one of out of every six Iowans will be older than 85. And by 2040, older Iowans could outnumber children and youth for the first time.

SOURCE:        The Press Citizen
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Caretaker Arrested in Three Rivers Elder Abuse

 Caretaker arrested in Three Rivers elder abuse
By Jacob Rayburn - The Fresno Bee
Nov. 18, 2012

An 88-year-old woman from Three Rivers was taken to a local hospital Sunday with injuries from abuse, the Tulare County Sheriff's Department said.
Deputies were called to a residence at 9:20 a.m. in the 42300 block of South Fork Drive about possible elder abuse. It was later determined at the hospital that the woman had several dislocated fingers and swelling to the brain.
The sheriff's department said the caretaker, a 66-year-old woman, has been arrested and booked into the Tulare County Bob Wiley Detention Facility.
Anyone with information about this case can contact the Tulare County Detective Bureau at (559) 733-6218, e-mail TCSO@tipnow.com or text @ (559) 725-4194.

 SOURCE:        The FresnoBee
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November 15, 2012

Domestic Violence Awareness and Elderly Abuse Prevention

By Tie Shank

Many people are sadly mistaken in to thinking domestic violence is a younger woman’s issue, but unfortunately, violence and abuse have no discriminating factors. Age is no protection against sexual or domestic abuse and perpetrators are often those you’d never expect: home health aides, nursing home staff or residents or one’s own family members. In 2010 the National Center for Victims Crime Publication found that in sexual abuse cases involving adults 60 years and older, only 15.5 Percent reported their abuse to the police.

Numerous things make older adults vulnerable to abuse: Their physical limitations, social isolation, mental impairments, fear of losing their independence, fear or lack of financial resources or housing, fear of retaliation, or shame and embarrassment are just a few.

Abusive behavior is not always sexual or physical, it can be anything used to maintain or gain power or control of a person. It can be psychological threats or actions that influence another person such as; intimidating behaviors, humiliation, terrorizing, blaming, frightening, or hurting them.
It’s important to take note of any changes in your friends or loved ones. Changes could be as simple as an unexplained bruise, a behavioral or attitude change, withdrawing from routine activities, isolating themselves from others, confining themselves to a certain room, a newly developed fear of speaking to their suspect or giving inconsistent explanations to injuries. If you suspect abuse, express your concern to your friend or loved one.
There is help available. If you are in immediate danger, call 9-1-1. If you are in need of emergency safety services, shelter or support, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-SAFE (7233). Your health and safety is extremely important.

 SOURCE:     The RoundUpWeb

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Old, Infirm and at the Center of a Legal Struggle

By WALECIA KONRAD
November 13, 2012

TWO years ago when Arthur Cropsey’s wife died, it became clear to his family that Mr. Cropsey, now 91, could no longer live on his own in his California home. So his sister, Anna Mae Franklin, 83, of Colonie, N.Y., and her daughter, Linda Lyons, 61, flew out to get Mr. Cropsey and bring him back to New York State.
Looking After a Loved One's Affairs
Soon after came two frightening realizations, Ms. Franklin said. First, Mr. Cropsey was in much worse shape than she had imagined. He suffered from severe memory loss and mood swings. During much of the day he was disoriented and at night he would pace from room to room in her small trailer home.
Second, Ms. Franklin thought that Ms. Lyons, with the help of her boyfriend, David Watson, 43, a lawyer, had gained control of a good portion of Mr. Cropsey’s money, which totalled more than $2 million in cash and investments. It looked to Ms. Franklin as if the couple were spending Mr. Cropsey’s money on themselves.
She and her daughter fought bitterly and ended up in court, each side accusing the other of mishandling Mr. Cropsey’s affairs. Eventually the judge ruled against the daughter and her boyfriend.
“The court notes that the actions by Linda Lyons and David Watson are inappropriate, and demonstrate a distinct intent to take advantage of Mr. Cropsey,” Acting Justice Kimberly A. O’Connor wrote for the state Supreme Court, adding that the pair had treated his money as their own and “spent it in excessive ways that were often for their benefit.”
Sadly, such family conflicts commonly arise from caring for the elderly and often end up in court. In this case, the daughter still disputes the court’s ruling and much of her mother’s version of events. Mr. Watson declined to comment, and the couple’s lawyer did not respond to messages seeking comment.
In general, financial manipulation is one of the fastest-growing areas of elder abuse, said Bob Blancato, national coordinator of the Elder Justice Coalition. It includes things like telephone investment swindles and caregivers, including family members, stealing money from vulnerable seniors.
The annual loss by elder financial abuse victims is close to $3 billion, according to a 2010 survey by the MetLife Mature Market Institute, a 12 percent increase from 2008. Thirty-four percent of that abuse is attributed to family, friends, neighbors and paid caregivers, according to the survey.
Those numbers don’t begin to reflect the actual incidence of abuse, said Sandra Timmermann, executive director of the institute. For every case that is reported, an estimated four or five are not, she said.
In Mr. Cropsey’s case, the court, having found him mentally incapacitated, decided to appoint an independent trustee as guardian of his finances, while keeping Ms. Franklin in charge of his care. Ms. Lyons and Mr. Watson returned close to $42,000 of Mr. Cropsey’s money, the ruling noted. He moved into an assisted-living facility.
As a story of family disunity amid the challenges of elder care, the case offers little uplift. The judge’s ruling, issued in October 2011, found that Mr. Watson had Mr. Cropsey sign documents to give Ms. Lyons power of attorney; Ms. Franklin previously had that power. And Mr. Watson had Mr. Cropsey sign a will leaving his entire estate to Ms. Lyons, according to the ruling. Mr. Cropsey did not have a will at the time, so under New York State law much of his estate would have gone to Ms. Franklin.
Justice O’Connor referred to that action as “egregious” given that Mr. Cropsey’s mental capacity was questionable and, referring to Mr. Watson, said that “the canons of ethics by which a lawyer must abide and conduct himself or herself require examination in this instance.”
Ms. Lyons declined to comment on Mr. Cropsey’s will, but did offer an account of her and Mr. Watson’s spending that differed from her mother’s.

Abridged

 SOURCE:       The New York Times
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