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

May 30, 2012

Who Are The Elder Abusers?

May 26, 2012
Researchers have estimated that anywhere from five to twenty-three percent of all caregivers are physically abusive. Most agree that abuse relates to the stresses associated with providing care. (AoA, 2012)
Families need to be mindful of the factors that will put caregivers at risk to become abusers.
All family caregivers will be under more stress, especially with regard to finding hours and resources needed to supply care. At some point, they will be compromised by feelings of depression.

When they begin to look at the caregiving as more of a burden than an opportunity for reward, these contributing factors can become especially pernicious:
•    Poor history of coping with stress
•    Depression that does not resolve
•    Lack of support from family
•    Unresolved financial difficulties
•    Alcohol and other substance abuse
•    Marital or family problems
•    Work problems including failure to be present or do job because of family concerns
•    Lack of respite care
•    No tools to deal with behavior problems
•    Physical illness often stress related
•    Social isolation
•    Multiple individuals needing care
•    Lack of adequate sleep
•    Prior dysfunctional relationship between caregiver and the cared-for
Most of us possess the desire to be helpful, but not all of us have the empathy and patience needed to be effective caregivers.
We can learn what it takes but there has to be a willingness to learn. Even then, all of us have various abilities to cope with stress and stress is part of the game when you are caring for a loved one.

If you previously had a difficult issue-filled relationship with the person in your care, those issues  -- both resolved and unresolved - are not going to go away.
Awareness must be brought to bear, especially around role changes. If a wife is now taking care of a husband who was abusive or mean spirited, vengeance can factor in. If a child is now taking care of a parent who was not an especially good parent, again, revenge can become a factor, but just as importantly, that child now caring for a parent may never have experienced what it means to be a good caretaker.
Abuse can be a two way street in the care relationship.
Sometimes in the care situation, especially in cases of dementia, the worse aspects of the elderly one's behavior begins to manifest, even behaviors long buried. Grandchildren are often surprised to discover that their sweet and gentle grandmother has a nasty side to her. Acting out against the caretaker may seem like a new behavior, but it may also be rooted in a less than kind relationship that the grandparent had years ago with her own children.
The bottom line though is that caregiver must always find a way to take the high road. There may seem like there are justified reasons for mistreatment or neglect, but as soon as you find yourself thinking that way you need to draw your feelings back and get some help!

Education, self-awareness, and support are critical needs for all caregivers. You should not be alone and you do not need to be alone. Find out how we can help you maintain a loving and caring relationship with the elderly relative in your care.

 SOURCE:        The ButterflyEffects

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May 29, 2012

Awareness is Key to Ending Elder Abuse

National News: Awareness is key to ending elder abuse, Minister Wong tells international audience
May 28, 2012
Footnote: Written by: Human Resources and Skills Development Canada 

Prague, Czech Republic, May 28, 2012

The Honourable Alice Wong, Minister of State (Seniors), is meeting with international counterparts and stakeholders today to discuss and promote the interests of seniors, including the serious problem of elder abuse, at two international conferences.
“World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is our opportunity to come together to put a spotlight on this critical issue facing all of our countries,” said Minister of State Wong. “Canada stands with the international community in its efforts to raise awareness, to more effectively measure the prevalence and to legislate tougher penalties for those who abuse seniors.”
Minister Wong gave opening remarks today at the 7th World Conference and Commemoration of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, hosted by the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse. Tomorrow, she will provide greetings at the 11th Global Conference on Ageing: “Ageing Connects,” organized by the International Federation on Ageing.
As part of its ongoing commitment to address elder abuse, the Government of Canada continues to play an active role in addressing elder abuse through awareness campaigns, the New Horizons for Seniors Program and recently proposed legislation. The Government of Canada also continues to work with its domestic and international partners to address elder abuse and advance the overall well-being of seniors, taking into consideration the challenges of an aging population.
The Government of Canada is working hard to help improve the lives of seniors on many fronts. These efforts include:
•    introducing a new Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) top-up benefit to help Canada’s most vulnerable seniors. This is the largest increase in the GIS for the lowest-income seniors in 25 years. The measure further improves the financial security and well-being of more than 680 000 seniors across Canada. It represents an investment of more than $300 million annually;
•    increasing funding to the New Horizons for Seniors Program in 2011 by $5 million for two years, bringing the Program’s annual budget to $45 million. The Program helps seniors use their leadership abilities, energy and skills to benefit communities across Canada;
•    providing Canadians with close to $76 billion this year through Canada’s public pension system;
•    providing $2.5 billion this fiscal year in additional tax relief to seniors and pensioners through measures such as enabling pension-income splitting and increasing the Age credit;
•    providing $400 million over two years under Canada’s Economic Action Plan for the construction of housing units for low-income seniors;
•    supporting positive and active ageing through the collaborative Age-Friendly Communities Initiative, Physical Activity Tips for Older Adults and fall-prevention initiatives;
•    appointing a Minister of State (Seniors)—someone who can bring the concerns of older Canadians to the Cabinet table and stand up on their behalf;
•    establishing October 1 as National Seniors Day to recognize the significant and ongoing contributions seniors make to families, communities, workplaces and society; and
•    ongoing action to address elder abuse including: awareness campaigns, the New Horizons for Seniors Program, which includes projects to raise awareness of elder abuse, and recently proposed legislation that would help ensure consistently tough penalties for offences involving abuse of elderly persons.
Find out more
For more information on what the Government of Canada is doing for seniors, visit www.seniors.gc.ca.

SOURCE:    TheNorthumberlandandView, Canada

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'Silent Crime' - Defrauding Elders Grows in Ethnic Communities (USA)

 'Silent Crime' -- Defrauding Elders Grows in Ethnic Communities
Paul Kleyman
May 18, 2012

The sentencing of Edwin Parada in San Francisco this past April for 24 counts of mortgage fraud against Spanish-speaking homeowners spotlighted the growing incidence of “affinity” crimes — those perpetrated by crooks against their own communities.

Parada — who promoted himself as a pastor — got 15 years for his mortgage schemes, which preyed on Latinos in San Francisco, including numerous elders, often with limited English proficiency.

Nationally, fraud against seniors is on the rise, according to the 2011 “MetLife Study of Financial Elder Abuse." In only three years such crimes grew by 12 percent, becoming a $2.9 billion problem.

While in half of the cases the perpetrators were strangers, one-third involved family members or friends. The MetLife study showed that most victims were women in their 80s and living alone.
San Francisco Resources In “Blueprint For Action”
San Francisco has been a major innovator in combating elder abuse since the early 1980s, said Erika P. Falk, director of Geriatric Assessment Services at San Francisco’s Institute on Aging.
For instance, one program has trained more than 500 frontline police officers to intervene in abuse cases in partnership with the nonprofit Casa de las Madres, which helps domestic-abuse victims.
In part officers learn to look for financial wrongdoing when investigating cases of elder physical or mental abuse, and they learn to spot signs of battering or poor care when looking into fraud.
San Francisco is also one of four California cities with a nationally emulated Forensic Center on Financial Elder Abuse. Because so many financial abuse cases fall through the cracks between law enforcement and social services, these centers coordinate efforts among local police, legal services attorneys, social workers, district attorneys, as well as health and mental health professionals able to assess a seniors vulnerability to scams.
Despite San Francisco’s laudable history of creating multidisciplinary units, such as today’s Financial Abuse Specialist Team (FAST), said Falk, “both the city and state are still failing to deal with financial abuse seriously.”
For example, she cited a 2011 survey by the Legal Aid Association of California showing that only half of victims in reported cases were offered nominal advice about financial elder abuse and a third received none at all. Of the Bay Area’s more than 50,000 lawyers, only 29 law firms list financial elder abuse as a specialty.
Falk teamed up with Sarah Hooper of the University of California’s Hasting Law School as part of the San Francisco Financial Elder Abuse Collaboration to produce a two-page “Blueprint for Action” outlining the need to increase the system’s capacity to respond to financial elder abuse cases.
The guide also includes an extensive list of San Francisco resources to deal with financial elder abuse and contacts for both professionals and members of the public.
Ethnic Elders More Vulnerable to Fraud

A 2011 report by the California Elder Justice Coalition (CEJC) found that African American seniors “may be up to five times more susceptible to being cheated financially” than non-blacks. The same study found, “Black and Latino seniors were more than 70 percent more likely to lose their homes to foreclosure between 2007 and 2009.”

For lead author and CEJC coordinator Lisa Nerenberg, the findings point to one troubling fact. “Elders of color,” she said, “have been especially hard hit by predatory lenders.”

Those in San Francisco concerned about financial abuse should call the consumer fraud program in the S.F. District Attorney’s Office, at 415-551-9595. For other resources, see the sidebar to this article.

SOURCE:           The New America Media

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Pismo Beach Lawyer Gets 5 Years of Probation for Embezzling $275,000 (USA)

 Pismo Beach lawyer gets 5 years of probation for embezzling $275,000
May. 21, 2012

By Nick Wilson
Correction: William Terhune received a sentence of five years of probation, not five years in prison.
A South County lawyer was sentenced to five years' probation and credit for 213 days of time served in County Jail today after pleading no contest to felony grand theft by embezzlement.
Judge Barry LaBarbera handed down the sentence to William Peter Terhune, 57, of Pismo Beach in San Luis Obispo Superior Court.
Terhune transferred about $275,000 to his business account from the estate of Junko S. Hensling, which he'd been administering, according to a report filed by the San Luis Obispo Police Department.
Hensling, a native of Japan, was a resident of Los Osos at the time of her death in December 2007, according to a police report. She willed her estate to a sole beneficiary, Momoko Sasaki of Japan.
Terhune has a restitution hearing scheduled for Dec. 17 at 8:30 a.m.

 SOURCE:    SanLuisObispo


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No More Money for Aged Care Workers Says PM (NEW ZEALAND)

No more money for aged care workers says Key
May 28, 2012
Source: ONE News

Prime Minister John Key says the Government simply does not have enough money to improve wages in the elderly care sector.
Equal employment opportunities commissioner Dr Judy McGregor recently went undercover in the industry, and her report has slammed working conditions, likening it to a type of modern-day slavery.
She found nearly all the workers were women, who earn as little as $14 an hour, and called for extra funding to bridge a pay gap between those who work in public hospitals and private homes.
The Government funds aged care through DHBs which give money to hospitals and private providers but in some cases the difference between wages was found to be as much as 20%.
Speaking on TV ONE's Breakfast this morning, Key said it would cost $140 million a year to plug the gap, and that was not possible at the moment.
"In reality it's one of those things we would love to do if we had more cash," he said.
"As the country moves back to surplus it's one of the things we can look at, but I think most people will accept at the moment we do not have a lot of extra cash."
Key said the problem has been around for a while, and was not tackled even when Labour was in power and had greater reserves of money.
"There are lots of things we would like to address but the fastest way to do that is to grow the economy and therefore be in a position where we can afford to pay more," he said.
Online support for workers
Both the Green and Labour parties have thrown their support behind the recommendations.
Elderly care workers have also written on the ONE News Facebook page saying they have felt undervalued for years.
"It's time we acknowledged these hard working low paid people and that greedy rest home owners and private health care providers shared a little of their massive profits with their staff," Beverly Jackson said.
Ripeka Armstrong said she admired the compassion of people who worked in the sector.
"They are undervalued and undermined by the health sector, they need to be properly and respectfully acknowledged," she said.
McGregor's full report, Caring Counts, is released today and outlines a 10-point plan based on evidence gathered from nearly 900 participants over a 12-month period in 2011 – 2012


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Support for Hard-Hitting Elderly Care Report (NEW ZEALAND)

May 27, 2012
Source: ONE News/Fairfax

A damning report into the aged care sector has drawn a raft of support today, with calls for the Government to take up the Human Rights Commission's recommendations.
Equal employment opportunities commissioner Dr Judy McGregor went undercover in the elderly care industry, and her report released today slams the sector as a type of modern-day slavery.
Nearly all the workers are women, who earn as little as $14 an hour, something McGregor says must change, because in less than 10 years New Zealand will need 70% more workers in an industry that already loses a quarter of its staff a year.
"It offends against human decency. The reliance on the emotional umbilical cord between women working as carers and the older people they care for at $13-$14 an hour is a form of modern-day slavery.
It exploits the goodwill of women, it is a knowing exploitation. We can claim neither ignorance nor amnesia," she said.
The New Zealand Home Health Association is pleased with the call for pay parity with carers who work for district health boards.
Chief executive Julie Haggie said it is going to take some will and unity across the DHBs to establish pay parity, but she would love to see it happen.
Haggie said the association wants to be part of that discussion.
She said the amount employers can pay their staff is directly related to the hourly rate for service paid by DHBs, adding that that differs from region to region.
Both the Green and Labour parties have thrown their support behind the recommendations.
Green Party Health spokesperson Kevin Hague said pay parity between nurses and care workers "would go some way to reducing the shortage of qualified workers in this important sector".
"It is disrespectful of older people themselves that those who care for them are paid and treated so poorly.
"Everybody agrees that the wages are far too low. For goodness' sake, let's get everyone together to do something about it."
Labour's Aged care spokesman Kris Faafoi said an aged care strategy for the country is long overdue.


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May 28, 2012

Lawyer Plundered His Ailing Aunts' £400,000 Estate (UK)

Lawyer plundered his ailing aunts' £400,000 estate by changing their wills and 'decimating' their bank accounts
•    Both women disliked him and wanted their money to go to his niece and nephew, a court heard
•    Judge overturns the two wills saying there was doubt over whether the women were able to agree to the changes
By James Tozer
17 May 2012
A solicitor plundered the estate of his elderly aunts and changed their wills when they were in hospital, a court heard yesterday.
Michael Harris took advantage of the poor health of Hannah Harris and Rosette Harris Emmanuel to claim a third of their £400,000 estate.
He is also accused of using the power of attorney the two women granted him to empty their bank accounts.
Both disliked him and wanted all their money to go to his niece and nephew.
Yesterday a judge at the High Court in London overturned both new wills, saying there was considerable doubt that either woman had the capacity to agree to the changes.
But the court heard that the siblings, Sara Cushway and Sebastian Elliot, are unlikely to receive any money because their uncle decimated the estate and is now bankrupt.
Instead, they will have to apply to a fund which compensates victims of dishonest solicitors.
The elderly sisters – both former nurses living together in Southsea, Hampshire – were in hospital in failing health in January 2006 when Harris drafted the new wills.
Rosette died of cancer just two weeks later at the age of 84, while her sister, who was showing signs of Alzheimer’s, died a year later at 91.
Their great-niece and great-nephew challenged the wills as well as Harris’s alleged frittering away of their two-thirds share.
Their barrister, Thomas Dumont, said the siblings had been very close to their great-aunts and both the women – especially Hannah – disliked Harris.
He claimed that after obtaining power of attorney over the two women Harris immediately removed £15,000 from each of their bank accounts.
‘He thereafter further bled his aunts and their two estates, by raising dishonest invoices, which he kept secret from them, from the beneficiaries of their estates, and from the claimants in this action,’ Mr Dumont added. ‘In my 30 years of practice I’ve seen some pretty remarkable behaviour, but this is at the top of the echelon.’
Harris, 75, is understood to have tried to use his aunts’ assets to prop up his Southsea practice.
He had challenged the claim of his niece and nephew but now ‘consented to judgment in the actions against him’, the judge, Mr Justice Henderson, said.
In overturning both wills, the judge pointed out that by the time they were drafted the elderly sisters were unable to read.

SOURCE:      The Daily Mail

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Carer Accused of Rape (QLD. AUSTRALIA)

26th May 2012

A BUNDABERG nursing home worker accused of raping vulnerable elderly patients has been refused bail.
The 60-year-old male nurse is accused of raping and sexually assaulting a 65-year-old woman and an 89-year-old woman, both of whom are high-care patients and confined to their beds.
Police prosecutor Senior Constable Hayley Glover told Bundaberg Magistrates Court she strongly opposed the man's application for bail yesterday, saying he may reoffend if released.
Snr Const Glover said other workers at the home had become suspicious when they noticed curtains had been drawn on various rooms of the nursing home on several occasions.
She said on April 27 this year, a nurse walked into a 65-year-old patient's room to find the accused man with his arm under a sheet near the woman's genitals.
It is alleged further investigations and interviews with the woman revealed the man had digitally raped her, felt her breasts and rubbed his genitals on her.
"This occurred over a period of weeks when he would take her to the toilet," Snr Const Glover said.
"He said he loved her during the rapes and sexual assaults."
Police say the man also digitally raped an 89-year-old woman while he was washing her.
Snr Const Glover said there were concerns some patients in the facility had no cognitive or communication abilities and that the defendant at times had been found on wards where he was not working.
"The defendant has been working in a position of trust," the prosecutor said.
"It is of a serious concern that the defendant has been working in this position for some time."
Lawyer Chris Schrader, who appeared for the married man, said was an upstanding member of the community.
He said sexual assault allegations made against the man in January had been dropped by the home prior to the latest charges arising.
Magistrate Jennifer Batts denied bail, saying the man was an unacceptable risk of reoffending. She adjourned the matter to July 2.

SOURCE:      TheFraserCoastChronicle

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Prevention is Key to Stopping Elderly Abuse

May 24, 2012

A Lewistown social worker said she can’t do anything to help a brain-injured elderly man who sold his house for a couple hundred dollars to his caretaker, gave her power of attorney over his affairs and let her kids inherit his estate.
It all comes down to proving the man doesn’t know what he's doing and that is a tough legal test.
“I’m crying out for help,” said Adult Protective Services social worker Laura Tucek, who said the caretaker still has her job and control over this man.
One in four elderly Montanans fall victim to scams. Prevention, not prosecution, is the only sure-fire way to cut down on this type of fraud, according to a Thursday conference on elder abuse at the Bighorn Resort in Billings.
Keynote speaker Bob Blancato, national coordinator of the Elder Justice Coalition in Washington, D.C., said federal laws and funding to prevent senior abuse are lagging far behind laws protecting children that were passed 40 years ago.
“Less than 2 percent of the current spending went to fighting elder abuse, but that’s where the fraud growth is,” he said.
In 2009, seniors lost an estimated $2.6 million to fraud. That grew to $2.9 billion last year, Blancato said, but those losses are almost certainly on the low side because so many seniors refuse to admit they’ve been victimized.
Two years ago, Congress passed the elder abuse protection act that called for spending $777 million per year on this goal.
“But we haven’t seen a nickel go to this program yet,” he said, because Congress failed to pass the funding bill. Blancato urged the audience to call Montana Senators Max Baucus and Jon Tester and U.S. Rep. Denny Rehberg and ask them to support programs to prevent elder abuse and to protect women.
As a rural state with an older population, Montana is sweet hunting grounds for scam artists.
The most successful and common scams in Montana are the grandparent scam where a caller pretends to be a grandchild in trouble in Canada, asking the victim to wire money and not tell anyone.
Sweepstakes winner scams are everywhere and so are the sweetheart scams. That generally involves attractive women striking up conversations with wealthy, elderly men, who are usually veterans, in stores at night and convincing them to give them expensive items like jewelry and furniture.
Wire fraud scams, especially from overseas, are almost impossible to prosecute.
“Once that money is wired, it’s very difficult to track what people it goes to,” said FIB special agent John Teeling. “Organized crime is what we’re talking about. Shut-ins and isolated people are especially vulnerable.”
June 15 is elder abuse awareness day.
Elderly women are twice as likely to be scammed as men, but men more often fall victims to fraud involving their investments.
Once someone becomes a senior, they need to focus on protecting themselves, Teeling said.
“Age 70 is the game-changer. You’re a senior. You need to hunker down and protect your assets,” he said.
At some point, caretakers – family, friends or an institution – have to be trusted to help an elderly person made decisions and handle their affairs.
But Teeling, a trained accountant, said to avoid fraud, don’t give all the power to one person. Three people should be involved: a custodian to manage the business affairs, a record keeper to reconcile bank statements and a check writer.
Don’t let the check writer pick up the mail, which can contain pre-approved credit card offers. And don’t give financial power to anyone with an addiction, he said.
“They better not be a gambler or a druggie,” Teeling said.

SOURCE:     The BillingsGazette

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Who Cares for the Carers (UK)

Who cares for the carers?
May 26, 2012
Caring for a loved one is difficult at the best of times, but reduced services, economic insecurity and an ageing population have made life tougher for people minding elderly or disabled relatives. ROSITA BOLAND looks at carers’ changing role
FAMILY CARERS ARE often invisible, under the radar, even though their numbers are increasing all the time. In the 2006 census, 160,917 citizens identified themselves as carers. The figure for last year’s census, which will be published in November, is expected to be much higher, at about 8 per cent of the adult population, according to a recent Quarterly National Household Survey. Yet despite the growing number of people who care for their parents, spouses, children and other family members, fewer resources have been available to support them since the cuts in public spending.
This year alone the HSE’s National Service Plan, which aims to save €750 million, includes 500,000 fewer hours of home help, a vital service for many carers. Other planned cuts include the closure of up to 900 public nursing-home beds. By the end of this year, 630 private beds from the Fair Deal nursing-home scheme, which helps provide affordable private nursing-home care, will also have been cut.
“A third of carers are older people, so emigration of family members is placing an additional burden on these people. It’s another layer of support going out of the network and makes life harder for them,” says Eamon Timmins of Age Action Ireland.
“We’re also seeing an older generation emigrate this time, along with younger people, which wasn’t the case in the 1980s. The parents of those older children wouldn’t have been expecting them to go now.
“And if you look at our ageing population, and the current numbers of younger people emigrating, then you have to ask the question: who’s going to be stepping in to help care for parents in the future?”
MANY PEOPLE DO NOT want to contemplate the difficult, emotive questions around health. Who’s going to take care of you when you’re elderly? What will happen if you have a serious long-term illness long before you’re elderly? Can, or will, someone in your family take responsibility for a relative, such as a parent, who can no longer take care of themselves?
It is human nature to hope for the best of health throughout life. Nobody chooses to think of themselves as becoming ill or dependent, or to think of the people closest to them being in that situation either. But people can fall ill at any stage of life, and they do get old.
Keeping people, particularly older people, at home as long as possible and out of institutions is agreed to be the best model of care. It also saves the State a considerable sum of money.
The Carers Association is a countrywide organisation with 16 support centres. In 2009, it published a report, Carers in Ireland: A Statistical and Geographical Overview. Using data from the 2006 census, the association estimated that carers were contributing 3.7 million hours of care a week, worth €2.5 billion a year. It estimates that carers now save the State €4 billion a year.
Along with other advocacy organisations, the Carers Association campaigned for a change to the census question asked of carers: “Do you provide regular unpaid personal help for a friend or family member with a long-term illness, health problem or disability?” qualified by a note: “Include problems which are due to old age. Personal help includes help with basic tasks such as feeding or dressing.” The question was asked only of people over 15.
Last year the question was also asked of under-15s. In November, when the CSO releases its carers data, the number of young carers will become known for the first time.

SOURCE:       The IrishTimes

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Woman Wanted for Credit Card Abuse Against Elderly (TX. USA)

by Travis Ruiz

A woman is wanted out of Randall County and Pardons and Parole for Illegal Use of Credit Cards and Credit Card Abuse Against an Elderly Person in addition to her parole warrant.
Stephanie Gail Delano is this week's Weekly Fugitive from Amarillo Crime Stoppers.
Police said the credit card abuse charge stems from a robbery in March in the 2500 block of Southwest 1st. During the robbery police said a suspect robbed a 72-year-old female and took contents from her purse, including a credit card.
During the next few days, charges were racked up on the card, police said. Two suspects were being sought, including Delano. The other suspect, Kimberly Creamer was arrested on March 23.
The charge of illegal use of credit cards stems from an auto burglary on March 25 in the 6000 block of Stoneham.
Delano's parole is based on convictions from Forgery of a Financial Instrument and Fraudulent use or Possession of Identifying Information, police said.
Any information on the whereabouts of Delano can be reported to Crime Stoppers at 374-4400 or online here.
Anonymous tips leading to her arrest could result in a reward of up to $300.

 SOURCE:       The ConnectAmarillo

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Colfax Woman Alledgedly Misrepreseted Self as Attorney (CA. USA)

By Liz Kellar
Staff Writer

A Colfax woman arrested on suspicion of financial elder abuse also is under investigation for allegedly misrepresenting herself as an attorney to a number of Nevada County clients.
Search warrants were served last week on two residences in Placer and Sierra counties that were linked to Sarah O'Neal, 48, after a five-month investigation into allegations of unlicensed practice of law.

The investigation began after numerous complaints began to trickle into the Nevada County District Attorney's Office about O'Neal not finishing or following through on legal matters for which she was retained as an attorney, said District Attorney Cliff Newell. The complaints included allegedly unfinished divorces, botched real estate deals, failure to file civil suits within the statutory time and defective loan modifications.
A subsequent investigation revealed that O'Neal does not appear to be a licensed attorney, but allegedly has been working as one, handling civil, family law and real estate matters for several years in Nevada County.
In a parallel investigation, an Auburn victim reported in mid-April that she found at least 10 fraudulent accounts on her credit report, according to a press release from the Auburn Police Department. The victim said she did not know about the accounts, which were credit card accounts, and she did not authorize anyone to open the accounts. An investigation revealed that some of the fraudulent accounts allegedly were opened by O'Neal.

Investigators from Nevada County and Auburn Police detectives served the first search warrant in Colfax, which led the investigators to the Sierra County site, where numerous documents were seized.

O'Neal was booked on suspicion of elder abuse in Placer County, and was released on $25,000 bail. She has not yet been charged in Nevada County, Newell said.

The number of potential victims is still unknown, Newell said. Anyone who might have a complaint or pertinent information to this case was urged to contact Investigator Burget of Nevada County District Attorney's Office at 265-1716

 SOURCE:       The Union

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Millions of Cases of Elderly Financial Abuse Go Unreported Every Year

Many do not report it
By Gregg Paul

Embezzlement and theft of bank accounts belonging to older Americans is becoming more common as we live longer.
One million cases of financial elder abuse are reported every year. Frank Keating of the American Bankers Association estimates it's more like 25 million.
"When an elderly relative is taken advantage of by a salesperson a crook or by a family member, then they know you may take their car keys away, you may take their check account away, so they don't want to tell you. They don't want to report it," says Keating.
Suspicious new friends, a lot of overdrafts or numerous ATM withdrawals could be warning signs.
Keating says finding a trusted relative and giving them a limited power of attorney to monitor checking accounts can also help avoid abuse.
Keating said it is important to sit down with elderly family members before they have dementia or Alzheimer's and talk about finances.

 SOURCE:          KFYI

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Nurse Kicks Elderly Dementia Patient in the Head (AUSTRALIA)

 Nurse kicks elderly dementia patient in the head
By Anthea Cannon
May 26th, 2012

A GEELONG nurse who kicked a dementia patient in the head deserves to lose his job and be financially crippled, a magistrate has said.
Paul Elgas, formerly of Pakington St, Geelong West, pleaded guilty in Geelong Magistrates' Court to unlawful assault and assault by kicking after losing his temper with a 74-year-old dementia patient he was caring for at Costa House St Laurence, in Lara, over June 25 and 26 last year.
Magistrate Ann McGarvie said it was a "sickening example of elder abuse" and imposed a $2000 fine and a conviction, which will prohibit him from re-registering as a nurse.
Police prosecutor Leading Senior Constable David Vanderpol told the court Elgas had forcibly thrown the elderly patient onto a couch before placing a chair beside the couch and putting his feet on the armrest next to the victim's head.
He then used his foot to tap her on the head twice when she attempted to get up and finally kicked her in the head to stop her moving.
The incident was captured on CCTV and Elgas resigned after charges were laid.
Bill Sizeland, for Elgas, said his client had 15 years experience in the industry and was remorseful.
"He later put the resident to bed and sat with her and apologised and attempted to comfort her," Mr Sizeland said.
Elgas gave evidence he struggled to support his sick wife and child and their two other children after their home was repossessed and he could only get casual supermarket work.
"This has wrecked my whole life, my career, my kids' education. I became bankrupt," he said.
"I'm normally a gentle, meek and mild man."
Elgas agreed he had dealt with many high-needs dementia patients before but said he was dealing with personal stresses and lack of workplace support at the time.
He said he had undergone counselling to deal with aggression.
Magistrate McGarvie said she did not believe the kick was an accident.
"She is a helpless, frail, old human being. You are in a position of trust, you are paid to care for her," she said. "The only blessing I can see is her dementia might make her forget that night.
"It has had a devastating impact as it should, I'm sure it won't happen again because you've already suffered."

SOURCE:      The Geelong Advertiser, Australia


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May 26, 2012

Woman Pleads Guilty to Fraud, Elder Abuse (CA. USA)

May 25, 2012
From Staff Reports

 A Victorville woman accused of stealing $6,000 from a 72-year-old Crestline woman she befriended at an Apple Valley gym pleaded guilty to elder abuse and fraud Wednesday, court records indicate.
Jacqueline Johnson-Seright, 51, of Victorville, met the 72-year-old Crestline victim in 2009 at “The Spinners” gym in Apple Valley, according to San Bernardino County Sheriff’s records. Johnson-Seright convinced the victim to hire her as a personal trainer and then as a housekeeper, according to reports.
During that time, Johnson-Seright reportedly stole the victim’s checkbook and wrote 15 checks totaling about $6,000. For months, she told the victim not to file a police report because she would pay the money back, but in Februarythe victim finally contacted sheriff’s officials.
Johnson-Seright missed a scheduled court date April 16 and was almost an hour late to her May 15 court date. When she finally showed up she was remanded into custody.
Officials said Johnson-Seright attended different gyms in the High Desert area. They are concerned there may be other victims.
Johnson-Seright has an extensive record for various offenses, according to court documents, including grand theft, theft of utilities, several traffic violations and three separate incidents of failing to obey the school attendance board.
Anyone with information is asked to contact authorities at (909) 336-0100.

 SOURCE:     The VVDaily Express


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May 25, 2012

Four Charged With Fraud Scheme That Targeted Seniors (USA)

 Four charged with fraud scheme that targeted seniors
By the Office of the Pennsylvania Attorney General

Agents from the Attorney General’s Insurance Fraud Section and Elder Abuse Unit have filed criminal charges against four Philadelphia area men accused of operating an elaborate financial fraud scheme targeting hundreds of senior citizens across Pennsylvania.
Attorney General Linda Kelly identified the defendants as Bruce Howard Cherry, 52, of Philadelphia; Ross M. Rabelow, 52, of Southampton, Bucks County; Thomas J. Muldoon, 57, of Broomall, Delaware County; and Robert P. Lerner, 56, of Philadelphia.
Kelly said the four defendants are accused of conspiring to operate a financial fraud scheme specifically aimed at elderly victims who were deceived into spending thousands of dollars for “home care” or “home security” services that would supposedly assist seniors with their future care.
“This was a disturbing and despicable scheme designed to extract as much money as possible from unwitting seniors who believed they were protecting themselves against costly future home-care expenses,” Kelly said. “These con artists left a string of more than 200 victims, stretching from Philadelphia to Erie, and stole more than $700,000 through the sale of contracts for bogus home care services or stolen insurance premiums.”
Kelly said that investigators have identified at least 218 victims located in 41 counties. Many were widowed; living alone and without any nearby family members and the average age of the victims is estimated at 83 years old.
The investigation, known as “Operation False Comfort,” involved the presentation of extensive evidence and testimony to a statewide investigating grand jury, which recommended the criminal charges that were announced today.
According to the grand jury, the scheme revolved around the sale of service contracts for businesses that supposedly provided specialty services for seniors:
American Comfort Home Care Services - owned by Ross Rabelow, with Bruce Cherry serving as the primary salesman - which claimed to provide non-medical home care services for the elderly.
Global Services for the Home - supposedly operated by Thomas Muldoon, which claimed to provide specialty services for seniors, including home safety equipment and/or serving as a “health advocate” to assist older residents in dealing with insurance companies.
Bruce Cherry also identified himself as the proprietor of “Cherry Senior Solutions,” a business that supposedly provided expert counseling regarding long term health care and other insurance needs.

 SOURCE:       The Times Herald

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Easy Targets: Elder Abuse

May 23, 2012

A growing number of Americans are living out their golden years in fear.
Every year between one and two million vulnerable adults are abused or neglected, and the experts say for every report of abuse, five reports are not made.
From financial exploitation, to physical and sexual abuse, America's senior citizens are increasingly becoming targets of crime and abuse.
"These are local kids from our community and the allegations against them are shocking," says Albert Lea Police Chief Dwaine Winkels.
A recent case of sexual abuse in southern Minnesota rocked the nation. Two teenaged girls, who worked in a nursing home in Albert Lea, sexually abused elderly residents suffering from Alzheimer's and dementia.
And then, closer to home, reports from the Minnesota Department of Health, showed that three employees at Edgewood Vista in Virginia had slapped, pinched and verbally taunted elderly residents.
"I was mortified," says one Virginia resident. "I'm really relieved and glad that they caught them."
Many wrote these incidents off as isolated events. But experts fear elder abuse is much more widespread than we know.
"It's hard to know because of the secrecy when nursing home residents are cared for at night with some of the staff, or the secrecy that occurs behind closed doors in anyone's individual homes," says Iris Freeman of the Center on Elder Justice and Policy at the William Mitchell College of Law.
While the recent nursing home cases made the headlines, Minnesota's Senior Ombudsman Deb Holtz says elders are often most vulnerable when taken care of in private homes.
"Most of the cases we see, when it is that severe of neglect, happens in the community, in people's homes," says Holtz.
"Many cases of deprivation occur in such secrecy, in such silence, that by the time the victim is found there has been such disastrous harm that the victim is not likely to live," adds Iris.
"We see it oftentimes; a caregiver is alone taking care of someone with dementia or Alzheimer's disease, and they get frustrated in dealing with that, and they don't know how to cope," says Dave Hall of Carlton County Adult Protection.
A big part of the problem is that often senior citizens are afraid to report crimes of abuse.
"It's a closed door. I should be dealing with it. Nobody needs to know about it," says Tribal Elder Victim Services, Harbir Kaur.
"A lot of time, the family, it's embarrassing for them because they see it's more of a family issue," says Sergeant Chad Nagorski of the Duluth Police Department.
Experts say it's not only embarrassment, some seniors feel they just don't have a choice.
"They're afraid of being sent somewhere worse. Or they're getting subtle threats from the individual whose doing it," says Holtz.
As the elderly population grows experts say various forms of dementia will make them increasingly easy targets. And they say law enforcement and lawmakers must work more aggressively to protect our senior citizens.
"There isn't enough being done. There's nothing addressing prevention as far as I can see," says Tribal Spiritual Adviser, Lee Staples.
One step in that direction happened this legislative session. A new Minnesota law makes some forms of elder neglect a felony level crime.
"Before this law we had laws where if you intentionally neglected your animals you might be punished more than if you intentionally neglected your mom or your grandma," says Holtz.
"There are cases in the record that showed that one, literally, could be fined a greater number of dollars for running a red light than for starving an old person nearly to death," says Freeman.
Many experts see the new Minnesota law as a step in the right direction but feel more needs to be done.
"We have to make sure that county governments, the vulnerable adults units, that all county government and local law enforcement, that everybody's on the same page," says former Duluth Police Chief, Scott Lyons.
As we continue our special report on "Easy Targets" Barbara will take a look at what's being done to protect our vulnerable senior citizens and how we can recognize signs of abuse among our elderly population.

SOURCE:       The NorthlandsNewsCenter


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May 24, 2012

AG: More Than 200 Seniors Defrauded in Home-Care Scam

 AG: More than 200 seniors defrauded in home-care scam
May 23, 2012
By Margaret Gibbons Staff writer

An Upper Southampton man is among four suspects arrested Monday on charges of bilking more than a combined $700,000 from 200-plus seniors in a multi-pronged fraud scam involving home care, home security services and long-term care insurance.
Ross M. Rabelow, 52, of the 500 block of Jason Drive, is behind bars in lieu of $1 million cash bail on charges that include participating in a corrupt organization, theft, unfair business practices, insurance fraud, conspiracy and dealing in proceeds from unlawful activity.
Bruce Howard Cherry, 52, of Philadelphia, and Thomas J. Muldoon, 57, of Delaware County, are also in prison in lieu of similar bail on the same charges. Robert P. Lerner, 56, of Philadelphia, is in prison in lieu of $250,000 cash bail. Lerner is charged with most of the same charges except for corrupt organization.
“This was a disturbing and despicable scheme designed to extract as much money as possible from unwitting seniors who believed they were protecting themselves against costly future home care expenses,” state Attorney General Linda Kelly said Monday in announcing the arrest of the four at a press conference at the state agency’s office in Lower Providence.
The victims were deceived into spending thousands of dollars for bogus home care or home security services, according to Kelly.
State investigators have identified at least 218 victims of the alleged frauds that date from September 2008 until this year. The victims are from 41 counties in Pennsylvania as well as from New Jersey, New York and Maryland.
The bulk of the victims primarily are from Southeast Pennsylvania, with 10 to 15 victims each in Montgomery, Bucks, Delaware, Northampton, Lancaster and Berks counties. The largest number of victims, 24, live in Lehigh County.
The average age of the victims, many who were listed as retired school teachers, was 83, according to Kelly. Most were women, widowed and living alone without any nearby family members.
The alleged business fronts used in the various scams, said authorities, included:
• American Comfort Home Care Services: A company, owned by Rabelow and for which Cherry served as the primary salesman, that purportedly provided nonmedical home care services such as housekeeping, cooking and dressing for the elderly. Victims were typically encouraged to purchase 1,000 hours of service at a yearly cost of $1,590, according to Kelly.
• Global Services for the Home: A company allegedly operated by Muldoon that was to provide home safety equipment for seniors and would serve as a “health advocate” to assist seniors in dealing with their insurance companies.
• Cherry Senior Solutions: A company allegedly operated by Cherry that was to provide “expert” counseling for seniors concerning long-term health care insurance and other insurance needs that they might have had.
“In reality, these businesses were little more than names on pieces of paper, serving as a mechanism to repeatedly approach seniors with sales presentation,” said Kelly. “Victims were often encouraged to purchase multiple overlapping contracts or to pay for duplicate ‘services’ included in this scheme. In some cases, victims were advised to cancel legitimate insurance policies for long-term health care in favor of the bogus programs pushed by the defendants.”
In most cases, one or more of the defendants would make cold calls to the victims’ homes, said Kelly.
Both Cherry and Rabelow once worked in legitimate long-term health insurance businesses and had access to databases through which they could get names to target their alleged victims, according to Kelly.
In most cases, the defendants initially approached their targeted victims to get them to contract with American Comfort Home Care Services. Subsequent calls were made to have them sign up for home security needs and counseling on other long-term health care insurance.
An investigation by the state indicated that more than 70 percent of the revenue that came into American Comfort Home Care Services went into the pockets of the defendants while only 3 percent went to actual services provided by the company, said Kelly.
Victims’ requests for assistance often were ignored, delayed, discouraged or minimized in an effort to avoid providing services, according to Kelly. Only when a victim or a victim’s family were persistent were a minimal amount of services provided, said Kelly.
In one case where the family was persistent, Rabelow allegedly advertised for a caregiver on Craigslist, interviewed the person at a doughnut shop and then directed the person not to provide the senior with any more than 18 hours of care over a two-week period, said Kelly. She added that Rabelow never did any background checks on the woman.
In another case, a 90-year-old woman preparing for hip-replacement surgery repeatedly tried to contact American Comfort to arrange for services, according to Kelly. Her repeated calls and phone messages were ignored even though she had purchased two contracts through which she was to receive 1,600 hours of services. As a result, the woman had to rely on her elderly friends for help.
Rabelow, Cherry and Muldoon visited the woman’s home several days after she returned home from surgery to advise her that the “fine print” in her contracts voided the contracts because her friends had cared for her, said Kelly.
Once the group got their proverbial foot in the door through the purchases of the American Comfort contracts, they then pushed the victims to purchase home security contracts as well as counseling services, said Kelly.
“These defendants just repeatedly preyed on our most vulnerable citizens,” said Kelly.
Family members and friends of the elderly should reach out to them to ensure that they do not become victims of scam artists, said Kelly.

The preliminary hearings for the four defendants are scheduled for June 30 before District Judge Paul N. Leo in Hatboro.

SOURCE:         The PhillyBurbs

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Police Look for 'Pros' in $62K Scam of Daytona Beach Woman

 Police look for 'pros' in $62K scam of Daytona Beach woman
By CHRIS GRAHAM, Staff writer
May 24, 2012

DAYTONA BEACH -- A pair of scammers talked an 87-year-old woman into giving them $62,000 before running off, and it's likely they've done it before, the police chief said.
"These people were absolute pros," Daytona Beach Police Chief Mike Chitwood said Wednesday.
Detectives continue to search for the suspects who pulled off the scam Tuesday afternoon from the parking lots of Publix and Sam's Club on Beville Road, according to an incident report.
Police say the victim, whose identity was withheld by authorities, had parked in a handicapped spot in the Publix parking lot on her way to get a prescription filled when she was approached by a heavy-set black female.
The suspect talked the victim into driving her to the Sam's Club parking lot, where a man was waiting. The male suspect approached the victim's vehicle and said he needed money to fly to Sudan, Africa, because his royal father had died and left $300,000 to be donated to charity. He also said he would give them $25,000 for helping him out, the report shows.
The female suspect convinced the victim to withdraw $12,000 from Wells Fargo Bank on Beville Road. The victim was told by the female suspect to tell bank officials she needed the money to travel to see her sister. Bank officials told police that they are not allowed to question people about their money once the account owner is "verified," though the service manager told officers "she just did not feel right about the situation," according to the report.
When the victim and female suspect returned to the Sam's Club parking lot, the male suspect said it was not enough. The victim then went to her Daytona Beach home and took $50,000 from a safe, police said.
She drove back to the parking lot and gave the man the money, which he prayed over, and then ran away with the female suspect.
The female suspect is described in the incident report as being 5 foot 3 to 5 foot 6, 240 to 250 pounds, and wearing a long hair wig. The male suspect was described as black, with a thin build, short brown hair and clean shaven. They were seen leaving the area in a white Nissan Altima.
Chitwood said the woman has gone to many of his community police meetings, but she forgot everything she had learned until it was too late.
"She was kind of caught off guard," Chitwood said.
A growing number of criminals are preying on the elderly, the chief said.
According to the National Center of Elder Abuse, there may be at least 5 million financial abuse victims each year. It's estimated for each case of elder abuse, about five cases going unreported.
"It's a growing group and the scumbags and dregs of society are taking advantage of them," he said, "and these folks don't have the ability to fight back."
A $2,500 reward is being offered for the arrest and conviction of the suspects. Anyone with information on the suspects is urged to contact police at 386-671-5100
 SOURCE:       NewsJournalOnline

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May 23, 2012

 Scam Artists Caught Heading for Hong Kong
Older Chinese women were approached on the street and told they were plagued by evil spirits, and that a "purification" ceremony was needed.
May 18, 2012

Three women have been arrested and charged in connection with a scam targeting older Chinese women in San Francisco and other major cities around the U.S. in the past few months, police and prosecutors announced Thursday at a news conference.
Lirong Lin, 57, Caiqiong Chen, 43, and Huifei Lin, 42, were arrested and charged with multiple counts of grand theft, extortion and elder financial abuse. Lirong and Huifei Lin are also being held on out of state warrants, according to police.
The scams took place all around San Francisco, mostly in March of this year, and targeted mostly older Chinese women who were approached on the street and told they were plagued by evil spirits, police said.
The suspects would convince victims that a "purification" ceremony was needed to get rid of the evil spirits and tell them to bring all of their jewelry and money to be purified.
The suspects would then place the items in a bag and, when the victim was not looking, would take the items out of the bag and tell the victim not to look in the bag for several days or else the purification would not work.
At least 25 victims fell for the scam around the city, losing hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of cash and jewelry, police Chief Greg Suhr said.
The suspects, who also allegedly targeted victims in other major cities such as New York City and Boston, were identified by New York police and were caught on May 10 as they were getting ready to board a plane from San Francisco International Airport to Hong Kong, Suhr said.
The women had tens of thousands of dollars in cash and property in their luggage, police said.
Two other women who were with the suspects, Feiyan Wu, 45, and Qinying Ke, 47, were also arrested on out-of-state warrants at the airport while a sixth woman was detained but later released.
Suhr said the arrests "have tremendously impacted this organized crime ring" and said he hoped more victims will come forward or be aware of suspects trying a similar scam.
"If the deal seems too good to be true, or there's pressure put on you that something has to happen right now with your property or finances...there's something wrong with that," he said.
San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon called the case "a classic bait and switch scam" and said it highlighted the issue of elder abuse, which he called "a real problem in our community."
Thirteen of the 25 victims identified so far are elderly, defined by police as age 65 or older.
Huifei Lin, Caiqiong Chen and Lirong Lin were arraigned on various charges on Tuesday and pleaded not guilty.
Huifei Lin faces four counts of grand theft, five counts of extortion, three counts of defrauding an elder and one count each of robbery and causing injury to an elder, all felonies, and is being held on $740,000, prosecutors said.
Caiqiong Chen and Lirong Lin have each been charged with seven felonies - three counts of grand theft, three counts of extortion and a count of defrauding an elder. They are each being held in lieu of $495,000 bail apiece, according to the district attorney's office.
The trio is scheduled to return to court on June 14 to set a preliminary hearing date.
Anyone who may have been a victim of the scam is encouraged to call Inspectors Kim Lewis or Julie Yee of the San Francisco Police Department's financial crimes unit at (415) 553-1521.
Police have also established a tip line to provide information in Cantonese at (415) 553-9212.

 SOURCE:         The FosterPatch

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Senior's Rare Coin Collection Swiped

By Sharon Hill
The Windsor Star
May 19, 2012

Eighty-seven-year-old Roseann Robinson wanted a coin dealer she invited into her home to just look at her late mother's coin collection, not rush out the door with it.
"I followed him out in the hall and thanked him for coming. I turned around and came back in. He had taken everything," Robinson said. "There was nothing. None of the paper money. Nothing."
She had been hesitant to show the collection to anyone but trusted this acquaintance she knew from Chrysler pension meetings. She had just served him coffee and chatted for about an hour. Although curious about the value of some of the coins she didn't intend to sell them and had only agreed to sell some Canadian silver dollar coins for $20.
As she was putting the coffee cups back in the kitchen she heard the man snapping shut his attaché case and leaving. She didn't realize until she saw the empty kitchen table that the collection she estimates was worth $3,000 to $4,000 was gone - coins and paper money from around the world. American silver dollars and 50 cent pieces in their felt boxes. Coins that had never been in circulation. One that dated back to around 1900. Gone.
She ran to catch him but he had already driven away.
"I just walked around in a circle crying all day," Robinson said Friday.
She was so upset she couldn't sleep for two nights. She said she felt stupid and then she got angry.
Robinson tried to phone the man and talk to him at a coin show saying she wouldn't phone the police if he would just give her back the coin collection. When he wouldn't she went to police.
"I don't think he should get away with this."
Windsor police have charged Glen Gibbons, 68, of Windsor with theft under $5,000. If convicted the maximum jail sentence is two years. He is to appear in court May 29.
Sadly it's a typical case among our trusting seniors, said Const. Julie Hebert, an elder abuse officer with the Windsor police.
Elder abuse, whether it is financial, physical, psychological or a case of neglect, affects about a quarter of seniors in Windsor and Essex County, Hebert said.
"It bothers me when people take advantage of seniors. These are people who have been contributing members of society for 60, 70, 80 years and at moments when they are most vulnerable people take advantage of them," Hebert said.
Statistics from 2005 indicated there were about 12,000 cases of elder abuse each year, which means five to 12 per cent of seniors being abused locally, but Hebert said that has likely doubled.
And it may only get worse. Hebert figures elder abuse cases in Windsor will only grow as the area - with its low cost of living and mild climate - attracts more retirees.
"Elder abuse is one of the most under-reported forms of abuse if not the most underreported because 90 per cent of elderly people are abused by somebody they know, either a caregiver or a family member."
The elderly adult may not want to get a family member in trouble or they may have dementia and not recognize they are being abused.
Most of the elder abuse is financial and seniors can lose their life savings, hundreds of thousands of dollars, she said.
"Theft by power of attorney is a huge one where somebody who is supposed to be looking after their finances is bleeding them dry," she said.
When you have power of attorney you have to keep your finances and the other person's finances separate, Hebert said. That means keeping track of purchases made for the other person and not using their money for yourself. She recommends seniors keep track of their bank records and have two joint power of attorneys and that neither of those people live in the same household.
Then there are scams online, in the mail and through persistent telephone calls.
Hebert warns seniors to be very careful about who they invite into their home and who they hire to have work done. She said before they sign a contract always have a second person see it.

© Copyright (c) The Windsor Star

 SOURCE:      The WindsorStar   

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Woman Accused of Stealing $28,000 from Elderly Lady

 Woman accused of stealing $28,000 from elderly lady
May 21, 2012 4:27 PM
Police arrested a Porterville woman accused of taking approximately $28,000 from an 87-year-old woman who was in her care.
The suspect, identified as 54-year-old Mary Louise Moore, is in custody of the Tulare County Sheriff’s Department.
The Porterville Police Department reports that on Thursday, detectives received a referral from Tulare County Adult Protective Services alleging potential financial abuse that had been occurring since 2010.
The crime was said to have taken place at an assisted living home in the 500 block of West Kanai Avenue in Porterville. Moore, a caregiver at the facility, was identified as the suspect.
Detectives contacted the victim’s family members and found that about $28,000 was missing from her bank accounts.
Moore was contacted and reportedly confessed to the crime.
According to the PPD, Moore said she had obtained the money without the victim’s permission and gambled $12,000 at the casino. She also said she had placed $9,000 of the victim’s money in a safe in her home.
The cash was recovered by detectives and returned to the victim’s family.
Moore was taken into custody of the Bob Wiley Detention Facility on suspicion of financial elder abuse.
The investigation is ongoing to ensure there are no other victim’s living in the care facility

 SOURCE:     The RecordOnline

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Spotlight on Reporting of Elder Abuse (AUSTRALIA)

22 May 2012
Nurses and carers are being called on to share their experiences of reporting suspected cases of elder abuse for an Australian first research project, writes Linda Belardi.
An Australian first study is investigating the under-researched field of elder abuse, which researchers say lags 30 years behind research and policy development in child abuse and domestic violence.
Linda Starr, a PhD student from the school of nursing and midwifery at Flinders University, said most of the evidence collected in this area had come from the US.
The study will form the basis of recommendations to improve the reporting of elder abuse for staff and the effectiveness of the system for the elderly.
Registered nurses, enrolled nurses and personal carers working in aged care facilities are being asked to share their experiences of identifying and reporting elder abuse as compelled under the Aged Care Act.
The research aims to identify the facilitators and barriers for nurses to identify abuse and make a report. To date, researchers are yet to explore the factors that contribute to the successful prosecution of elder abuse cases in residential aged care, said Starr.
Starr said memory loss, illness or disability were significant issues which meant that a victim would be unable to testify.
Starr is keen to explore whether inadequate documentation practices within aged care facilities could be hampering the prosecution of a case
“A lack of knowledge of what evidence is and how this should be collected, preserved and documented has led to prosecutors not being able to trial cases leaving perpetrators of abuse unaccountable for their actions,” she said.
Starr will also explore the experience of investigating officers and police to better understand the hidden phenomenon of elder abuse in Australia. This part of her research will help identify the strengths or weaknesses of the reports and the impact on the capacity of police to investigate and prosecute these cases.
“The aim of the research is to identify what were the ‘bridges’ or good aspects of the experience that facilitated [a nurse or carer] recognising abuse and making the report and what were the ‘barriers - the aspects that impeded or made it difficult for someone to identify abuse and make the report,” she said.
In 2007, the Commonwealth government introduced reporting laws for actual or suspected cases of elder abuse.
In the first year of mandatory reporting there were 925 reports made; 725 for alleged unreasonable force and 200 alleged unlawful sexual assault. In the following year, the number of reports rose to 1,411 alleged assaults. However it is unknown how many of these reports were substantiated cases of elder abuse.
Starr said few charges have ever been laid and even fewer convictions made.
For more information or to participate in the study which has received ethics approval; contact Linda Starr at linda.starr@flinders.edu.au or on (08) 8201 3340 or 0427234203.

 SOURCE:     The Nursing Review, Australia   

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May 22, 2012

New Jersey Considers Law to Prevent 'Granny Snatching' (USA)

Law would alleviate jurisdictional issues when families feud over guardianship.
By Beth Fitzgerald, NJ Spotlight

The New Jersey Legislature is considering a new law to prevent an elder abuse known as “granny snatching” by joining a multi-state network that protects adults who need the assistance of a guardian when families feud.
“There has been one case after another where we have venue challenges and jurisdictional challenges that have caused a lot of problems,” said Sen. Fred H. Madden (D-Gloucester), co-sponsor of the legislation.
Typically, a NJ court appoints a daughter as guardian for an elderly mother incapacitated by Alzheimer’s. The mother then visits another daughter in Florida, who goes to court seeking to overturn the New Jersey guardianship order and be named the new legal guardian.
The bill now under consideration in Trenton -- the New Jersey Adult Guardianship and Protective Proceedings Jurisdiction Act -- would allow New Jersey’s guardianship orders to be recognized by other states with the law.
The bills, S1755 and A2628, establish uniform procedures for addressing interstate conflicts regarding adult guardianship issues, and brings New Jersey into an national guardianship reciprocity network that includes more than 30 states.
The bill has bipartisan support and was approved last week by the Senate’s health committee. Co-sponsors are Madden and Sen. Dawn Marie Addiego (R-Burlington).
“There have been cases where another family member moved to establish guardianship in another state, and they prevailed,” Madden said. “We had no strength to bring the individual back to New Jersey, which was where the original guardianship had taken place.”
Such feuds can lead to costly court that deplete the elderly ward’s resources and tie of up courts, at taxpayer’s expense.
“I am hoping [the bill] will save money, and it will help family members in different states by making laws uniform and consistent,” Addiego said. “Guardianship cases stretching beyond state boundaries raise questions about jurisdiction, laws and rights in today’s mobile society.”
Elder law attorney Sharon Rivenson Mark, president of the Guardianship Association of New Jersey, said the legislation would not put an end to dispute among family members. What the legislation will do, however, is address the issue of how to determine which state has jurisdiction in a guardianship case.

 SOURCE:    The East Windsor Patch

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