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

April 30, 2012

Awareness Walk for Victims of Elder Abuse Held in Danville (USA)

Apr 29, 2012

Abuse happens every day, sometimes in the home at the hands of family members, and sometimes times by complete strangers or caretakers.
Some who participated in the awareness walk were victims of abuse.
Everyone there believes strongly in spreading awareness on these sometimes overlooked crimes.
"April is awareness month for several things but for our cause it's elder abuse, sexual assault awareness and child abuse prevention, so we're walking in honor of those who cannot walk, and for those that are here as survivors,"  said Karen Ingram, the Southside Victims Advocate.
Volunteers need more supporters for the cause, and Karen wants anyone who is suffering abuse to please call her hotline at 434-713-3666.


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Settlement to Fund Elder Abuse Awareness Effort in Long-Term-Care Facilities (CA. USA)

UCI experts will train staff and support nursing home residents
— Orange, Calif., April 27, 2012

UC Irvine staff will provide training and support related to elder neglect and abuse awareness in Orange County nursing homes under the settlement terms of a class-action lawsuit alleging inadequate staffing at 22 long-term-care facilities in California.
Training will be handled by UC Irvine’s Elder Abuse Forensic Center and funded by a $375,000 grant from the trustee of the $62.8 million settlement in Vinnie Lavender et al. v. Skilled Healthcare Group Inc. et al.
“This grant allows us to fill a need that has distressed us for years – the recognition and integration of the needs of vulnerable older adults in long-term care into all aspects of our work,” said Kerry Burnight, Ph.D., associate professor of family medicine at UC Irvine and co-director of the Elder Abuse Forensic Center.
The funding is intended to:

1.    Train professionals who interact with nursing home residents to identify and prevent elder abuse and neglect;
2.    Provide resources and support to elder abuse victims and their loved ones; and
3.    Furnish direct services to residents of long-term-care facilities through the Elder Abuse Forensic Center.
Orange County’s long-term-care ombudsman’s office annually receives approximately 3,000 complaints ranging from dissatisfaction over cold food to allegations of sexual abuse. At least 30,000 county residents live in about 1,000 nursing homes. In addition, Orange County Adult Protective Services gets more than 4,000 reports a year of elder abuse.

Burnight said that UCI’s Elder Abuse Forensic Center team – comprising a gerontologist, geriatrician, geropsychologist and elder abuse prevention coordinator – will train staff and administrators in Orange County’s 78 skilled-nursing facilities and 930 assisted-living facilities. The team also will train the county’s 76 volunteer ombudsmen on aging issues and how to detect and report elder abuse and neglect.
“The sad fact is that elder abuse is a common phenomenon that more often than not goes undetected and underreported,” said Dr. Laura Mosqueda, chair of UC Irvine’s Department of Family Medicine, director of the geriatrics program and Ronald Reagan Chair in Geriatrics. “Millions of older Americans are abused each year, and many die as a result, often in the most deplorable conditions one can imagine.”
Abuse can be financial or physical or stem from neglect, she said, with many seniors suffering multiple types.
Mosqueda and the faculty and staff of UC Irvine’s Program in Geriatrics spearheaded the nation’s first Elder Abuse Forensic Center in 2003. It aids victims of elder and dependent-adult abuse and brings together legal, medical, social services and law enforcement experts to better understand, identify and treat such abuse; help prevent it; and determine more efficient ways to successfully prosecute offenders.
In September 2011, the U.S. Administration on Aging designated UC Irvine’s Program in Geriatrics as the site of the National Center on Elder Abuse, the country’s authority on elder abuse, neglect and exploitation. UC Irvine serves as a clearinghouse of practical information to support federal, state and local efforts to prevent, identify and effectively respond to elder abuse.
The class action lawsuit against Skilled Healthcare Group Inc. alleged that the nursing homes chain’s failure to meet California’s minimum staffing requirements led to several wrongful deaths. The defendants deny these charges.

 SOURCE:      Today UCI


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Suing Nursing Homes (CA. USA)

Carole Herman
Founder and President of The Foundation Aiding The Elderly

In 1987, President Ronald Reagan signed into law the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (OBRA), the first major version of the Federal standards for nursing home care since the 1965 creation of both Medicare and Medicaid (MediCal in California). Care facilities wanting Medicare and Medicaid funding were to provide services so that each nursing home patient could attain and maintain the highest physical, mental and psycho-social wellbeing. However, 25 years later, poor care and neglect are still too common an occurrence in the approximately 16,000 nursing homes in the United States.
Why is this poor care and abuse still occurring? There are many reasons why and at the top of the list is the fact that state agencies responsible for overseeing nursing home care often fail to make sure problems in the facilities are corrected. A huge qualifier is the lack of staffing. If a facility is insufficiently staffed, as most are, odds are that care is not being provided and patients are suffering because of it. The majority of the hands-on care in nursing homes is provided by the Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs). A CNA who has 15 or more patients to care for during a shift cannot possibly give the proper care and attention that the patient requires. Yet, the regulators are not slapping the hands of the operators for not providing sufficient staff to meet the needs of the patients. And who is the one responsible for the lack of staff? It is the operator who cuts the high-costs of staffing in order to obtain bottom-line profits.
Back in 2007, because of California's failure to regulate nursing home staffing requirements, FATE brought a lawsuit to force the California Department of Public Health to set regulations establishing minimum staff-to-patient ratios as required by state law. The staffing ratios law in California was to become effective in 2003; however, as of the first of November 2006, the policy had never been carried out by the Deputy Director of the department. FATE had to file the suit to force the State to implement the law that the State Legislature passed. Insufficient staffing is not an isolated California problem, but an ongoing national problem causing most of the poor care and neglect in the nation's nursing homes.
In September of 2006, a study was conducted by Consumer Reports suggesting that nursing homes are much better today than they were in 1987. The Consumer Report investigation also found that the state agencies responsible for overseeing nursing home care often failed to correct problems. The Report also stated that deficiencies written by state inspectors increased since 2003; however, inspectors appear to be watering them down. The monies that the industry receives from our tax dollars continues to climb, the operator's bottom line profits continue to grow, investors' return on their financial investment continues to rise, fraud of the MediCare and MediCaid systems is ongoing, millions of political contributions from the nursing home industry continue to line the pockets of politicians and, most importantly, the poor care and neglect of our loved ones continues to be on the rise with little to no government intervention of an industry that derives the majority of its wealth from our tax dollars.
The lack of government enforcement is also a reason why many families turn to elder abuse attorneys to file civil law suits against the industry for the horrific deaths of their loved ones. Before California passed the Elder Abuse law, attorneys were reluctant to file law suits. But since the passage of the Elder Abuse and Dependent Adult Civil Protection Act (EADACPA) in California, nursing homes are being held accountable because of the lawsuits not because of interventions of the government regulators. FATE's work over the years clearly shows the lack of government enforcement of this industry that is handsomely paid by our tax dollars to care for our most vulnerable citizens. The nursing home industry has put profits ahead of care for years and continues to get away with it unless civil action is taken against them to hold them accountable.
Anyone of us who may have the unfortunate task of placing a loved one in a nursing home needs to know that the probability of poor care and neglect is alive and well in these facilities. Be vigilant: Go often to see the patient (under the federal law, there are no visiting hours for family members); go often at any time day or night; ask questions; check their bodies to ensure there are no bedsores forming; make sure they are getting sufficient liquids to prevent dehydration; listen to what the patient is telling you and don't let the facility staff dismiss the patient's complaints.
Since it appears to be "business as usual" in nursing homes and with the lack of oversight by the regulators perhaps it's time to close down all nursing homes and start all over again with a different plan. Perhaps the billions of dollars the government gives to nursing homes should be given to each of us who wish to remain in our homes and be cared for by people of our choice.

SOURCE:    The Huffington Post


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April 28, 2012

 California Agent Arrested on Charges of Financial Elder Abuse
By Warren S. Hersch
April 26, 2012

A Los Angeles-based life insurance agent has been arrested on charges of financial elder abuse, the California Department of Insurance has disclosed.
California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones today announced the arrest of Frank J. Conlon, 73, charging the Los Angeles-based agent of two felony counts for allegedly defrauded seniors and embezzling premium funds in excess of $1,000,000.
Jones said that Conlon’s actions violate California Penal Code Section 368 (d), Elder Abuse; Penal Code Section 487 (a), Grand Theft; Penal Code Section 186.11 (a) (3), Fraud; and Penal Code Section 12022.6 (a) (3), for theft exceeding $1 million.
If convicted, Jones said, Conlon could face up to 5 years in state prison on each felony count and restitution in an amount at or exceeding approximately $1,000,000.
“Insurance agents who prey upon seniors for financial gain will be apprehended and punished,” said Jones. “My department’s investigators and staff have been instrumental in investigating and rooting out these unscrupulous participants in the insurance business.”
According to investigators, in September 2011, the California Department of Insurance (CDI) received complaints that alleged Conlon had diverted premium funds from numerous clients. The investigation revealed that Conlon had in fact diverted funds without consent or knowledge of his clients.
Conlon allegedly hid the theft of funds by providing the victims with fraudulent documents purporting to be from an insurance company. The false documents, Jones said, were an effort to mislead the victims into believing their money had been sent to the insurance company.
When Conlon was confronted by the victims about the whereabouts of their money, he continued to misrepresent the whereabouts of their respective funds, the department alleges. Two of the victims were 82 years old and 86 years old, respectively, and the money represented a substantial portion of their retirement funds.
The clients had entrusted the designated funds to Conlon to purchase life insurance products and annuities. Instead of carrying out their requests, the department alleges, Conlon stole these funds for personal use. The identified premium theft for the time period of September 2007 through September 2011 totaled $1,009,640.83.
The department says that Conlon was booked into the Los Angeles County Jail with bail set at $1,009,641. His arraignment is tentatively set for April, 26, 2012 in Los Angeles County Superior Court. The Investigation Division, Criminal Operations - Point of Sale (C.O.P.S.) Unit investigated this case.
The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Elder Abuse Unit is prosecuting the case.
This case was investigated and prosecuted under the Life and Annuity Consumer Protection Program (LACPP). LACPP provides grant funds to counties for the prosecution of financial abuse in life insurance and annuity product transactions.

 SOURCE:     The Life Health Pro


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Canadian Among Accused in Holocaust Survivor Fund Fraud

 Canadian among accused in Holocaust survivor fund fraud
Adrian Humphreys
Apr 26, 201

A trial date in New York City was set this week for 20 people accused of bilking the international Holocaust survivors’ fund, but the question remains whether a Toronto woman, also facing charges in a $57-million fraud uncovered by the FBI, will be among them.
Luba Kramrish, 56, who came to Canada from Russia and lives in Toronto, is among 30 people accused of swindling money provided by the German government intended for Jewish survivors of Nazi persecution during the Second World War.
Living in Canada, however, Ms. Kramrish was not arrested.
Indignation expressed by U.S. authorities over the decade-long conspiracy suggests she will not be soon forgotten.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara promised, when announcing the case in October, he “would not stop until we brought to justice those who are alleged to have stolen more than $57-million.
“If ever there was a cause that you would hope and expect would be immune from base greed and criminal fraud, it would be the Claims Conference, which every day assists thousands of poor and elderly survivors of the Nazi genocide,” he said.
The Claims Conference, properly called the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, administers several funds that provide reparation to victims of the Holocaust.
Ms. Kramrish became known in the Russian-speaking community as someone who could help get money for being a victim of the Holocaust — even if you weren’t really from Nazi-occupied Europe, U.S. authorities allege.
Prosecutors claim she worked with a corrupt caseworker in the Claims Conference’s New York office to approve ineligible claims using phoney documents and lies.
The background stories told of hard struggles in Jewish ghettoes, of refugees fleeing Nazi troops and of desperate survival in death camps. A subsequent investigation, however, proved many of the claims to be false, authorities say.
“These defendants had a hand in fabricating, filing or processing nearly 5,000 fraudulent claims on behalf of non-qualifying applicants,” said Janice Fedarcyk, FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge.
According to documents filed in a U.S. court, Ms. Kramrish called a friend of hers in New York who was a caseworker at the Claims Conference in about 1999.
Ms. Kramrish inquired about her mother, who had applied for money from one of the funds and was still awaiting resolution, authorities say.
‘If ever there was a cause that you would hope and expect would be immune from base greed and criminal fraud, it would be the Claims Conference’
The friend spoke with a colleague about Ms. Kramrish’s mother’s case and found the persecution history she provided could not be verified. The friend took the case and then falsified information to get it approved, the prosecutors said.
That caseworker has since pleaded guilty to their role in the scheme and is now co-operating with U.S. authorities in the hope of receiving leniency. The witness is expected to testify at trial.
After Ms. Kramrish’s mother’s claim was granted, the Toronto woman began sending the caseworker documents for about 20 to 25 other applications, U.S. authorities say.
“[The witness] helped falsify these applications so that they would be approved,” court documents say. “In exchange, Kramrish paid [the witness] between $2,000 to $4,000 per application.”
Some of the money was paid to the witness while in Toronto and some while Ms. Kramrish was in New York, authorities say.

SOURCE:       The National Post


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April 26, 2012

We Must Take Great Care to Look After the Elderly (UK)

24 April 2012
We must take great care to look after the elderly
By Colette Douglas Home

An elderly woman lies partially clothed on a bed.
Standing over her, a male carer pushes her this way and that as he gives her a bed bath. "Ouch," she cries. He slaps her. There's no provocation.
The woman is 78 years old. She suffers from Alzheimer's. Her name is Maria Worroll. She's a resident of Ash Court care home in Kentish Town, London. Would we ever have known about her mistreatment if her daughter hadn't placed a camera secretly in her room?
The scene was broadcast last night by the BBC, the second exposé of abuse of elderly residents in care homes in less than a year. The previous scandal involved Winterbourne View in Bristol. Residents there were secretly filmed being dragged along floors and being slapped. How much more abuse is going undetected in rooms or homes without hidden cameras?
Ash Court had an "excellent" rating from the Care Quality Commission which has the responsibility of inspecting homes in England. Thanks to Mrs Worroll's daughter, Jonathan Aquino, the care-worker who delivered the slap, is serving 18 months for assault. Imagine how frightened and bewildered her mother must have been.
Also consider how corrosive incidents like these are. They undermine confidence in the elderly care system. They make old people fearful of how they will be treated when they become incapable of looking after themselves. They alarm the families of those who are already in care homes. How can they be sure their elderly mother or father hasn't been abused too?
Don't imagine that this is a problem confined to England just because the BBC has exposed two homes south of the Border. In May 2011 the Elsie Inglis private nursing home in Edinburgh was closed following the deaths of two residents.
An independent Parliamentary inquiry followed the Elsie Inglis closure. As a consequence, planned cuts to the Care Inspectorate in Scotland were partly reversed. An annual unannounced inspection regime was also introduced.
Age Scotland has welcomed the improvements but points out that 7.6% of Scotland's care homes are ranked as delivering weak or unsatisfactory care. There are 913 care homes in Scotland. That means more than 60 are weak or unsatisfactory. I don't know about you but they don't sound to me like the kind of place I would want to leave an elderly parent.
A spokesman for Age Scotland said yesterday: "Clearly there is more to be done." Indeed there is.

SOURCE:     Herald Scotland, UK


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McCoy Sentenced to 3 Years (USA)

McCoy sentenced to 3 years, Green walks with time served
April 25, 2012
By George Stahl/Special to the Sun

Joseph Daniel McCoy, 30, of Lake Isabella was sentenced to five years in Wasco State Prison in exchange for his no contest plea on the charge of causing harm or death to an elderly person or dependent adult.

As part of his no contest plea, he pled no contest to the charge of inflicting corporal injury to a spouse or cohabitant in a separate case which was pending against him when he was arrested on Feb. 17, for the neglect and subsequent death of his grandmother, 90-year-old Margaret Gray of Lake Isabella.
Green, 55. For her part in the neglect and abuse, Green also pled no contest. She was sentenced to one year in County Jail with theee years of probation. Green’s accumulated time served and days accredited for good behavior was over 344 days from the time of her arrest. Green was sentenced and released Friday.

At his last court appearance, McCoy threw somewhat of a monkey wrench into the proceedings by announcing that he wanted to withdraw his no contest pleas previously arranged.

Since his plea was contingent with Green’s plea in the case, both sentences were postponed until April 20. In the meantime, Public Defender, Janice Kim was relieved as McCoy’s attorney, and Bakersfield attorney, Brian McNamara was appointed to represent McCoy for the plea withdrawal request. On April 20, the motion to withdraw was denied and sentencing went on as agreed.

On Feb. 11, 2011 Darlene Green’s mother, Margaret Gray was found to be lying in her own feces, surrounded by flies, and dirty diapers in a dark room at the rear of her mobile home on 2313 Reeder Dr. in Lake Isabella. The CARE Ambulance paramedic who attended Gray said in his testimony at the preliminary hearing on July 20 that he had to bat away the flies as he tried to assist Gray, whose skin was fused with the sheets of her bed in such a way that pieces of skin fell away as he tried to move her. Also to testify at the hearing was Kern Valley Hospital Emergency Room Physcian, Dr. Manuel Sacapano. The former Emergency Room Supervisor said that this was the worst case of elder abuse he had ever seen. When Gray was brought in Sacapano said that he thought he was looking at a corpse. He said that this condition could not have happened over night. It had to take weeks, even months for Gray to deteriorate to this level. She had grade four ulcers on her back and bed soars over her body. “In 11 years, this is the worst case of elder abuse I have ever seen,” Sacapano said. A grade four ulcer not only penetrates the skin, but goes deep enough to expose the bone.

Green, who lived in Weldon at the time, said that she only occasionally saw her mother. McCoy had been her primary caregiver since he was 19 years old. Whenever Green would try to touch her mother, Gray reportedly told her to leave her alone. It was Gray’s other daughter, Barbara Mendez of Baldwin Park who, at the insistence of a house keeper Mendez hired in February, that called 911 after seeing what condition her mother was in. The 90 year old Gray died on April 1, 2011 while at Lifehouse, an elderly care unit with Bakersfield Family Medical Center.



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Grant Allows York County Task Force to Help Fight Elder Abuse (USA)

Grant allows York County task force to help fight elder abuse
By Ian Ferguson

April 25, 2012

Criminals who take advantage of York County elders had better smile for the camera.
The York County Elder Abuse Task Force has received a $5,000 grant from the Huntington Common Charitable Fund, administered by the Kennebunk Savings Bank Foundation, to fund a hidden camera project meant to curb elder abuse.
The funds will be used to buy video surveillance equipment and software, available to any police department in York County for the purpose of investigating suspected cases of elder abuse.
"This will be a huge help for local law enforcement," York Police officer John Lizanecz said. "Any agency around here is going to benefit from this equipment."
A group of professionals from law enforcement, social service agencies, legal services and financial institutions — The York County Elder Abuse Task Force — meets monthly at the Eliot Police Department to tackle a problem that appears to be growing in Maine.
"It is estimated that there are over 12,000 cases of elder abuse in Maine each year," Eliot Police Officer Candace Simeoni, who is chairperson of the task force, said. "Maine is the 'oldest' state in the nation. By 2030, 27 percent of our population will be over the age of 65.
"Elder abuse can come in many forms, including physical, emotional, psychological, financial, neglect and even sexual abuse," Simeoni said.

 SOURCE:    SeaCoast Online


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April 25, 2012

Commissioners Sign Adult Protective Service (TX. USA)

 April 24, 2012
Commissioners sign APS proclamation
 Palestine Herald-Press

PALESTINE — Anderson County Commissioners formally signed a proclamation from Adult Protective Service acknowledging the month of May as “Elder Abuse Prevention Awareness Month,” and briefly discussed the issue during a meeting Monday.

According to the proclamation, Anderson County APS Workers completed 437 investigations of which 369 cases of abuse, neglect and exploitation were confirmed against elderly Anderson County residents or those with disabilities in 2011.

“And that is just the cases that have been reported,” Anderson County APS Supervisor I Kelly Curley told the court. “There are many, many more out there that are not reported.”

Elder abuse is grossly underreported because the elderly who are being abused find it very difficult to tell anyone and are usually ashamed and sometimes afraid, the proclamation read.

Adult Protective Services is a division of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. Its purpose is to protect persons age 65 or older and adults with disabilities from abuse, neglect, and exploitation by investigating and providing or arranging for services necessary to alleviate or prevent further maltreatment.

The division also protects those residing in private residences and adult foster homes or assisted living facilities not subject to licensure by the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS).

The Anderson County Adult Protective Services office is located at 330 E. Spring St. Suite B in Palestine. For more information, call 903-661-6128.

 SOURCE:    The Palestine Herald-Press

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South Carolina Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Attorney Applauds Medicare Initiative Against Misuse of Antipsychotic Drugs
Columbia lawyer Bert Louthian of the Louthian Law Firm, P.A., says prescribing powerful medications to control dementia patients is elder abuse that must end.
Columbia, S.C. (PRWEB) April 24, 2012
South Carolina nursing home abuse and neglect attorney Bert Louthian today hailed a Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) program launched recently to combat the use of antipsychotic medications with nursing home residents.
“The excessive and inappropriate use of antipsychotic drugs in nursing homes and other elderly care situations is a longstanding problem, and it’s good to see the federal government’s primary medical care program for the elderly take steps to put an end to this kind of abuse,” said Louthian, a partner in the South Carolina personal injury firm, Louthian Law Firm, P.A., which is based in Columbia.
The “National Initiative to Improve Behavioral Health & Reduce the Use of Antipsychotic Medications in Nursing Home Residents” is meant to raise awareness of antipsychotic misuse, improve regulatory oversight and train nursing home workers on non-drug treatments for aggressive and agitated dementia behaviors, according to McKnight’s Long-Term Care News & Assisted Living online journal.
A 2011 audit by the CMS found that thousands of elderly nursing home residents suffering from dementia were given powerful antipsychotic drugs as a means of controlling aggressive behavior symptomatic of dementia, the New York Times reported.
The auditors said 83 percent of antipsychotic drugs prescribed for elderly nursing home residents were for uses not approved by federal regulators, and 88 percent were to treat patients with dementia, for whom the drugs can be lethal, the newspaper said.
“Applying medication that is known to be improper, let alone potentially lethal, is nothing less than abuse of the elderly,” Louthian said. “This practice, which is sometime called ‘chemical restraint,’ needs to stop.”
Louthian’s law firm investigates elderly and nursing home patient neglect or abuse across South Carolina.
“Family members and others connected to nursing home patients need to help them by looking out for their welfare and asking questions about the medications they are receiving,” Louthian said.
“If a person thinks an elderly patient is being treated incorrectly, through improper medication or other means, they should contact an experienced nursing home abuse and neglect lawyer to learn about their legal options.”


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April 24, 2012

'I used a spy camera to catch a care home thug beating up my mother' (UK)

  'I used a spy camera to catch a care home thug beating up my mother': How a daughter's suspicions lead to her uncovering harrowing abuse
By Jane worroll
22 April 2012

To all appearances, it was an ordinary digital alarm clock. Except that it wasn’t.
It was a high-resolution, 30-frame remote video surveillance clock purchased for £20 on eBay, and I had bought it for one specific purpose: to record 24 hours in the life of my elderly mother at her North London care home.
My mother had been a resident at Ash Court, a 62-bedroom private care home in Kentish Town, for almost a year.
But I wanted to understand why she wasn’t sleeping, talking or feeding herself any more. She looked so sad, so introverted.
The care workers at Ash Court were always quick to reassure me: ‘Stop worrying. Your mother is fine . . .’
But I wasn’t satisfied. Why did fingermarks keep appearing on her upper arms? Why had she started moaning ‘oh God, oh God’ when care workers came into the room?
Suspicions: Jane Worroll decided to investigate why her elderly mother Maria was having trouble sleeping while a residents at the Ash Court Care Home in Kentish Town, North London
Suspicions: Jane Worroll decided to investigate why her elderly mother Maria was having trouble sleeping while a residents at the Ash Court Care Home in Kentish Town, North London
I got my answer — courtesy of the secret camera hidden in that clock. But it was an answer so painful, so unexpected, that it will for ever scar my family.
After just two nights of filming, I found out that the bruising didn’t come from aspirin, as the home’s staff and the home’s doctor had assured me. It came from abuse.
During those two nights, the camera captured footage of five carers visiting my mother. Their job was to prepare her for sleep and tend to her personal needs.
They did get her into bed. And they did wash her. But she was also slapped repeatedly, man-handled, verbally abused and jeered at.
One of the carers, Jonathan Aquino, 30, has just been jailed for 18 months for what he did to my mother. The other four carers — all women — have been sacked.
The footage has now been turned into a film investigating the threatening world of Britain’s elderly care homes, showing tonight on BBC’s Panorama.
Until my mother lost the capacity to walk, I’d always been one of those daughters who said: ‘I’ll never put my mother into a care home.’
But in March 2010, I found myself in a position where I had to. My 78-year-old mother, Maria Worroll, had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and had suffered several falls. She couldn’t get out of bed and ended up in hospital. The hospital and social services said she now needed full-time nursing care.

SOURCE:     The Daily Mail, UK

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Elderly Deserve Better from Us

 Elderly deserve better from us
April 21, 2012
The Sentinel

RECENTLY there have been many complaints about discrimination against, and ill-treatment, of the elderly.
Proposed restriction of bus passes and virtual expulsion from hospitals are only two instances.
In most primitive societies, the few who survived to old age were revered. Their knowledge of sources of water, edible plants and management of childbirth were assets.
As time went on, some tribes grew harsher. In western Asia, one tribe killed and ate men over the age of 70. Women over the age of 70 were strangled and buried. Another tribe starved its over-70s. A third threw its sick and aged to packs of dogs.
Some villages in Japan gave their old a jug of water and a rice cake and sent them up a mountain.
Now let us take a leap to science fiction. One Star Trek episode featured a planet on which people committed suicide at the age of 60.
I hope our political leaders have no time for history or science fiction. If they do, they might bear in mind the following tale.
A couple get rid of granny by putting her in a leaky boat and pushing it downstream. The next day the father finds his little boy carving something out of wood. He says: "What are you making, son?"
Reply: "I'm practising for when I make a big boat to put you and mummy in when you're old."

 SOURCE:       This is Staffordshire, UK


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Alleged Elder Abuse Starts Investigation at Bremerton Nursing Home (WA. USA)

 Alleged elder abuse starts investigation at Bremerton nursing home
Bremerton Patriot Staff Writer
April 19, 2012

 A worker at a local retirement community last week reported a fellow employee to police out of fear for resident safety, after allegedly witnessing physical abuse that included covering the mouths and noses of 90-year-olds to stop them from speaking.
A caregiver working at the Cascades of Bremerton Retirement Community, 3201 Pine Road NE, is on paid leave while the home investigates allegations that the worker was abusing elderly dementia patients.
According to records, Bremerton City Police responded April 13 to a report made by a Cascades employee that she’d observed her coworker being rough with patients. The reporting employee told police she would be going on vacation soon, and she wanted to come forward to protect the residents, according to the report.
The suspect worker’s alleged abuses include stepping on patients’ feet and placing a hand over their mouths and noses to quiet them.
“[The worker] will also push them in the forehead or neck with her index and middle finger,” according to the report.
The alleged victims named in the report are wheelchair-bound dementia patients, ages 91 and 94.
Sheryl Page, executive director at the Willows Retirement Living Community, said the allegations remain unproven.
"Our investigation was inconclusive," she said. "The allegations are just allegations, and it has been turned over to police."
The report said Cascades management have found no evidence so far to support the allegations, and neither of the alleged victims said they were assaulted or scared of the worker.
No other staff members reported seeing the abuse, the report also said.
The case has been referred to Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna’s office, as state law requires. An attorney general spokesman said the office won’t confirm or deny investigations.
The Cascades of Bremerton campus includes the Willows Retirement Living Community and Ashley Gardens at Dyes Inlet assisted living facility.

 SOURCE:       Central Kitsap Reporter

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Where to Report Elder Abuse (USA)

•    Nursing Home Abuse Hotlines
This is NCEA's directory of state hotlines for reporting abuse in nursing homes, assisted living, or board and care homes.
•    Locate an Ombudsman, State Agencies and Citizen Advocacy Groups
This is a directory of all state and regional ombudsmen, state offices on aging, state licensure and certification agencies, state adult protection agencies, nursing home quality review boards, Medicaid agencies and Medicare Fraud Control Units nationwide.

There are excellent information on Elder Abuse and where to get help. Please go to  SOURCE. 


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April 21, 2012

 VERMONT:   Elder Abuse Investigations On The Rise
By James Jardine
Staff Writer

The State of Vermont has begun addressing complaints of poor performance against the agency responsible for investigating and resolving claims of exploitation and abuse against vulnerable adults, according to Dr. Susan Wehry, the Commissioner of the Dept. of Disabilities, Aging and Independent Living (DAIL).
Wehry stated in a recent interview that allegations contained in a recent lawsuit against the State have largely been addressed and resolved. The suit charged that Adult Protective Services (APS), part of the DAIL, failed to commence investigations within 48 hours of receiving complaints of elder abuse or exploitation, failed to complete investigations in a timely manner and failed to offer or arrange protective services when necessary.
According to the suit, "Hundreds of reports of abuse, neglect and exploitation wait for months before being investigated."
The suit, brought in Washington Superior Court against the Vermont Agency of Human Services by two individuals -- the Community of Vermont Elders and an organization named Disability Rights Vermont -- leveled the charges against the DAIL.
The Complaint, filed in December, 2011, led to a decision by Judge Michael Kurpersmith that dismissed the two individuals as parties to the complaint and dismissed a breach of contract claim contained in the suit. Judge Kupersmith will give Plaintiffs until May 7 to refile a mandamus claim because the original claim seeking an order failed to state a claim.
Ken Gordon, Director of the Area Agency on Aging in St. Johnsbury, said the allegations of an inadequate response by the State of Vermont represents a "long standing problem for many years with the APS." Gordon said the problem reflects an "inadequate commitment of resources," by the State that "crosses administrations."
According to Gordon, "the State has been pretty open that it has not followed its own guidelines." Gordon said that "with the economic downturn things got worse as state government was downsized." Saying his Agency "has been talking with the State for five years," about enforcement, Gordon said a year ago there were four investigators working for the State investigating elder abuse and there are now 12 investigators. "They've been able to clear up a lot of the backlog" Gordon noted, adding the increased number of investigators has made "responses more timely."

Doug Racine, is the Secretary of the Agency of Human services, which oversees DAIL, acknowledges there have been problems and says former Governor Jim Douglas left DAIL "in a mess." Racine stated the fact the State only had four investigators on the job when Racine took over was an example of how bad things had gotten.
Dr. Wehry states she believes that since the lawsuit was filed, the State has cleared up a backlog of 400 pending cases of elder abuse and exploitation that were unresolved, and the backlog has now been reduced to zero. She said a year or two ago, the APS did not even have the ability to track pending cases and could not check on the status of a case. New software programming has been installed to help manage case investigations.
Gordon says the investigation of abuse is not as cut and dry as a criminal investigation by the police, and it may take many months before an investigation is completed. One statistic cited by Gordon is that eight or nine out of ten cases of elder abuse involve a family member "or a person known to the victim." Because of theses factors, elder abuse cases are "hard to prosecute" and because family members are often involved in the abuse, "for every report of abuse that's made, there are 23 events not reported."
On occasion, caregivers may abuse an elderly person by diverting medicine away from the patient and abusing the diverted medication. In all of these areas of elder abuse, it is the state's duty to respond to allegations of abuse, investigate them and, if their is a problem, implement a plan to resolve the situations. Individuals found to have abused the elderly are put on an Adult Abuse Registry which is used by nursing homes and adult day services to avoid hiring employees assiociated with elder abuse.

 SOURCE:      The Orleans County Record


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April 20, 2012

North Oakland Senior Center: April 28 Forum for Elderly and their Caregivers (USA)

 North Oakland Senior Center hosts April 28 forum for elderly and their caregivers
By Angela Woodall
Oakland Tribune

Information and advice for elderly people and their caregivers about planning for the future will be available at a free event April 28 at the North Oakland Senior Center.
The "Planning and Caring for Aging Loved Ones" forum from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. will offer panel discussions about technology and home care for seniors, as well as several workshops.
The first of those workshops focuses on health care reform and Medicare and will cover topics including prescription drug coverage and changes to Medicare Advantage plans. Another workshop covers advanced directives for medical care, senior fraud concerns and reporting of elder abuse and neglect, among other topics.
The "Healthy Eating and Living" workshop provides basic information about aging and challenges such as dementia and Alzheimer's disease, as well as healthy living and preparing for emergencies.
Representatives from community organizations will be on hand during a resource fair to provide information and referrals. A complementary lunch will be served at noon.

Registration begins 8:30 a.m. but preregistration is strongly encouraged online at http://planningandcaringoakland.eventbrite.com. For more information, call 510-272-6686 or email aisha.brown@acgov.org. The North Oakland Senior Center is located at 5714 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Oakland.

 SOURCE:      The Mercury News

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California Investigators Allegedly Took Bribes and Ignored Elder Abuse (CA. USA)

 California investigators allegedly took bribes & ignored elder abuse
By Linda Kincaid
Senior Issues Examiner
April 18, 2012

San Diego County investigators allegedly took bribes to ignore violations in residential care facilities.  San Bernardino County investigators allowed abuse to continue for over a year, according to their own records.
In San Diego County, CBS8.com broke the news that Community Care Licensing Division (CCLD) employees were under investigation for accepting bribes.
Officials confirm the employment of three state inspectors has been terminated after they were accused of taking thousands of dollars in bribes from operators of local residential care facilities for the elderly.
Records released to CBS8.com focused on Ambassador Senior Retreat in Mira Mesa.
Court records show the operator of the facility, Iris Ramirez, admitted to giving the inspector $2,800 in cash, and paying $1,044 for the inspector's vacation flight to the Philippines.

 SOURCE:       The Examiner

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PM to Push Home Care for the Elderly (AUSTRALIA)

By Michelle Grattan
April 20, 2012

TODAY'S federal government aged care blueprint will provide $268.4 million over five years for dementia, with a new supplement giving financial help to people receiving home care packages and residential care.
The supplement will add $1341 to the assistance for an elderly full pensioner at home receiving a current government subsidy of $13,406 a year and making a co-contribution of $1800. It will cost $164.3 million of the dementia funds. But the dementia funding, which is not all new money, falls well short of the extra $500 million called for by Alzheimer's Australia this month.
With nearly 1 million Australians expected to have dementia by 2050, there will be more support for timely diagnosis and a stronger focus on those who get the disease at a young age.
The aged care plan, designed to keep more old people in their homes and ensure people are not forced into a fire sale of their house if they have to go into a nursing home, is a major plank in the government's reform agenda.
The package will swing the system towards users paying and promoting greater fairness by expanding means testing.
It is worth several billion dollars but is substantially funded by a rearrangement of existing money. The government has said it has not sought to make overall budget savings from aged care.
The government will promise a major increase in the number of home care packages, allowing tens of thousands more older people to remain at home while receiving care.

SOURCE:     The Age, Au


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April 19, 2012

Jamaican Lottery Scams Spread Despite US Crackdown

Jamaican lottery scams spread despite US crackdown
The Associated Press
April 17, 2012

The 88-year-old retired Coast Guard officer hadn't been outside the U.S. in decades. Yet phone calls started pouring in from Jamaica, dangling the prospects of huge winnings from an international lottery that he had won.
There was a catch, of course. He had to send a check to pay the tax on his winnings. He wired the money to Jamaica. Soon he was ensnared in a scam that may cost him his home in an assisted living facility outside Seattle.
"It's been heartbreaking," said Ruth Wilson, a Seattle woman trying to clean up the financial fiasco that she said has cost her frail parents about $250,000, nearly all of their retirement savings.
U.S. officials say that is just a tiny fraction that cross-border lottery frauds haul in each year, disproportionately from the elderly. The schemes are so entrenched in Jamaica that some American police departments have begun warning elderly residents to be wary of calls from Jamaica's 876 telephone code, which resembles the three-digit area codes used in the United States.
"These scammers are very persistent and in some cases verbally abusive, threatening to harm victims if they do not send money," said Maj. Bill King of Maine's York County Sheriff's Office, which late last month launched a campaign called "Beware: Scams from Area Code 876."
Police on the Caribbean island say there are visible signs of the fraud-spawned riches in the hot spot for the gangs, St. James parish, where some twentysomething Jamaicans from modest backgrounds are living very well for people without any obvious job or source of income. Three-story concrete mansions and luxury cars have increasingly popped up in the parish, which includes the resort city of Montego Bay.
The Jamaican and U.S. governments set up a task force three years ago to tackle the crime. But, if anything, the problem only seems to have gotten worse in Jamaica, where organized, violent gangs are deeply entrenched
Complaints from American citizens about Jamaican lottery fraud soared from 1,867 in 2007 to about 30,000 last year, and most incidents go unreported out of fear or embarrassment, according to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission.
The task force, led by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, has conducted about 400 investigations and made roughly 115 arrests. U.S. officials say they are receiving cooperation from the Jamaican government, but cases are progressing slowly.

SOURCE:        The Business Week


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Nephew Preyed on Doncaster Woman (AUSTRALIA)

 Nephew preyed on Doncaster woman
18 Apr 12
by Shaun Turton

AUTHORITIES have pledged their support for victims of elder abuse after a court heard a Doncaster woman lived in fear of her heroin-addicted nephew.
Peter Georgiou successfully appealed his 15-month sentence in the Melbourne County Court last week after breaching an intervention order and theft.
The court heard that, after losing his job as a roof tiler, Georgiou used his aunt, 74, for cash, her car and a place to stay.
His non-parole period was reduced from a year to nine months.
The pensioner, whom the Manningham Leader has chosen not to identify, was so stressed she passed blood.
Georgiou refused to take her to a doctor.
The court heard that the woman once gave her nephew $400 so he could pay for a moving truck to take his things from her home.
But the truck never showed up and Georgiou would not leave.
Speaking from her home, the woman said she still cared for and loved her nephew but could not continue to live in fear.
“I was scared if I didn’t give him money, he’d rob someone,” she said.
Doncaster detective Sgt Vasilios Chrisant, who handled the case, said older people deserved to feel safe around their family.
Seniors Rights Victoria (SRV) Jenny Blakey said elder abuse ranged from intimidation and violence to people with good intentions making overriding decisions on a person’s behalf.
Doncare’s Helen McKenzie said she suspected elder abuse was a hidden problem in Manningham.
“Often it’s treated as a family secret,” Ms McKenzie said.
In 2010-11, 1592 called SRV’s helpline about elder abuse.
Details: 1300 368 821.

 SOURCE:        The Manningham Leader
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April 18, 2012

Care Home Operator Arrested on Charges of Theft, Elder Abuse (USA)

April 16, 2012
By Kerry Kavanaugh

The operator of several personal care homes is now in jail, accused stealing money from her mentally disabled residents.

Gwinnett County Police told Channel 2 Action News they also discovered residents were living in unsanitary conditions at the homes.
Police told Channel 2's Kerry Kavanaugh they were investigating Sema Vijayi's bank records for the past five months and believe she stole at least $10,000 from roughly 30 residents.
Investigators obtained search warrants for all seven of Vijayi's personal care home locations spanning across Lawrenceville and also her own home in Snellville.

Police said they found disabled residents were paying to live in her basement.

Kavanaugh spoke to one woman, who said her sister one was of them, yet she had no idea why the state removed her from the home and sent her somewhere else.
"My sister was actually in her care and we had to find out about it on the news," Lynne Cruz said.
Cruz told Kavanaugh she had no idea her sister's caretaker was arrested last Wednesday until her family saw Vijayi's mug shot on Channel 2 Action News on Sunday.
Cruz said Vijayi had total control of all the money her sister received through Social Security.
Police said as the home operator, Vijayi was entitled to some of the money to cover the cost of care, but Vijayi was keeping all of it.

When police searched the homes last week they said their case against Vijayi got even bigger.
"We were able to find homes where the cleanliness wasn't where it should be. There was one report where water was shut off in the home for five days," Detective James Flanagan with the Gwinnett County Police Department said.
Harold Holcombe, who is representing Vijay, says she is "completely innocent."
He says the $10,000 she was accused of siphoning from her business account was used for her business vehicle, her corporate American Express card and other business expenses.
Holcombe also said the five facilities that police have identified as unlicensed personal care homes are actually independent living homes, which operate under different standards.
"They pretty much destroyed her reputation and her life with this," Holcombe said.
Flanagan said the state was to remove and relocate the residents. But Kavanaugh found many residents still at a location on Bob Hannah Circle.
Workers there denied any residents were in the home.
Kavanaugh said she could see residents through the windows of the home. One even came outside to speak to her.
Lynne Cruz said she eventually tracked her sister down at the home on Bob Hannah Circle as well. She believes her sister went without her medication or a shower for days.
Kavanaugh is waiting on a response from the Department of Human Services to find out about the care the residents are currently receiving.
Vijayi is expected to appear in court on Thursday. She is currently charged with theft and elder abuse. Police anticipate the list of charges will grow



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

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