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

February 27, 2012

Are Elder Abuse Ads Actually Effective? (CANADA)

 Are Elder Abuse Ads Actually Effective?: Attention Getter
Getter
The Huffington Post Canada
Rebecca Zamon

 02/24/2012

It's almost impossible to watch the above ad without feeling something. At separate points in the newsroom over the past few weeks, editors at The Huffington Post Canada have commented on its violence, its darkness and its intensity. But does that mean it's working?
"What I love about these ads is the power of the story," says Anthony Kalamut, professor and program coordinator at Seneca College's advertising program. "This is a story that has to be told. Kudos to the agency who created them for showing the dark side of it."
This isn't the first time the Canadian government has broached the issue of elder abuse -- an Ontario ad in 2007 depicted a woman viciously slapping her elderly father, while another national campaign addressed the importance of speaking out when you witness neglect and abuse of seniors.
It's this latter notion that can really see these ads making a difference, according to Thomas Hafemeister, an associate professor of both law and medical education at the University of Virgina. Dr. Hafemeister, along with colleague Dr. Shelley Jackson, extensively studied the dynamics and risk factors of financial abuse of elders in a 2011 paper.
"I think what these ads are trying to do is get people to call in and report this abuse," Dr. Hafemeister says. He notes that usually it is someone outside of the situation who makes the call into authorities.
"There's somewhat of a mistaken assumption that assumes elderly people are infants. A lot of these elders are physically robust and able to take care of themselves, but they may resent intrusions. Often, the abusive individual is someone they depend on, who's part of their lives, and they don't want to jeopardize that."
From a message perspective, Kalamut agrees with that direction. "I think what this is going to spark is the outsider getting involved. I think it's going to be the Baby Boom brother sister who’s witnessing this, or a friend of the family who’s been watching."
Dr. Hafemeister says there are certain sentinels who have been identified in the general public who might be able to uncover such financial abuse as well. Physicians are the first front, as they could work from instincts that help identify risk factors, but others like bank tellers may notice irregular patterns in accounts and get in touch with the proper authorities. In Canada, there is a wide range of resources available, while in the U.S., the National Adult Protective Services Association handles these issues.
Whether or not these ads will do anything -- other than elicit surprise and horror from their viewers -- remains to be seen. Public service announcements' success can vary, depending on the subject matter and the manner in which it's approached. Ads provoking negative emotions have been been found to be most effective in getting the desired reaction, and the ones that stick with us can make the biggest changes.
"When public service ads (PSAs) are good, they're good," says Kalamut. "There are spots that remain forever memorable. You look at PSAs for Covenant House that were done by Taxi that effectively got people to help street kids. This is a sort of pioneering spot -- they've gone down a road that hasn't been touched."

 SOURCE:     The Huffington Post
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Elder Abuse Suspect Balks at Jail Term (USA)

By Julie Manganis Staff writer
February 24, 2012

A Salem man charged with grabbing his frail, 90-year-old great-aunt's hand hard enough to break the skin last month doesn't want to be in Middleton Jail, his lawyer said yesterday.
But that's where both a judge and a prosecutor, who called the incident "a brutal attack on a fragile woman," believe he should stay for at least another year.
Because of that, Shane Davis, 40, who had just pleaded guilty to charges of assault and battery on a person 60 or older, witness intimidation and violating a restraining order, changed his mind and withdrew the plea.
Davis was arrested after the Jan. 7 incident on Barstow Street, where he sometimes stays with his great-aunt.
That morning, the woman had confronted him about his drinking and asked him to leave. When he refused, she tried to call police, but Davis grabbed her hand, prosecutor Jane Prince said.
Linda Morin, a niece of the woman, was in court yesterday to give a victim impact statement. She told Judge Michael Lauranzano that her aunt's hand became infected after the incident and she had to undergo surgery and follow-up appointments.
Stephen O'Malley, who represented Davis, wanted a sentence that would amount to time served and probation, saying his client, who sometimes worked as a commercial fisherman, had been in custody for 51 days.
"He does not want to be in Middleton (Jail)," O'Malley said. "He does not want to see that place again."
But Lauranzano sided with the prosecutor, saying he would impose a 21/2-year jail term, of which Davis would have to serve a year, followed by two years of probation and supervision.
So Davis changed his mind and withdrew his plea. The case will now go to trial.
Morin said in court that other family members have been concerned about Davis taking advantage of his great-aunt's kindness. She urged the judge to impose a sentence so that her aunt can have some time to enjoy life without the stress of dealing with Davis.
"He couldn't control his drinking and his anger with the one person who helped him the most," Morin said.

 SOURCE:      The Salem News
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Daughters of Dementia Sufferer Angry at Officer's 'I Don't Care' Comment (WALES, UK)

 Daughters of dementia sufferer angry at officer’s ‘I don’t care’ comment
by Ciaran Jones, South Wales Echo
Feb 24 2012

THE daughters of an elderly dementia sufferer have complained to police after officers were called to an assisted living community following a dispute over a table knife.
Video footage seen by the Echo shows a South Wales Police officer telling frail pensioner Concetta Verma’s daughters he intends to take the great-grandmother to a police station. When they tell him she has dementia, he replies: “I don’t care.”
Staff at the Sunrise senior living community in Cyncoed Road, Cardiff, called in police because the former shopkeeper was in possession of a knife.
The daughters of the 79-year-old claim they have been left “traumatised” following the incident, in the early hours of Sunday, and have now submitted a formal complaint to the force.
South Wales Police Inspector Paul Crowley described the comment as “inappropriate” but said it had taken place in a challenging situation and added that officers “always strive to be compassionate and understanding”.
A spokeswoman for Sunrise said the well-being of staff and residents was its “number one priority” and it was “very unusual” for police to be called to one of its communities.
Mrs Verma’s daughter, Ivana Hackman, said she had received a call from staff at Sunrise at about 1.30am on Sunday.
Ivana, 53, a former senior carer in a nursing home for 15 years and now a housekeeper, said: “They said, ‘Your mother is agitated. She has got a knife and we are calling the police.’”
Ivana’s sister, 55-year-old Adelina Febbo, said when they arrived at the home she removed the knife from her mother.
But mother-of-five Adelina, who lives in Splott, Cardiff, said she was shocked when a policeman approached and said he intended to take Mrs Verma – who has six children, 18 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren – to the station.
Adelina added: “I was petrified. I felt like I was fighting for my life. I thought they were locking her up in a cell.”
But when both women tried to explain their mother suffers with dementia, the uniformed officer replied: “I don’t care.”
Grandmother-of-eight Adelina told the Echo: “My hands were to my face, I felt traumatised and couldn’t breathe and started panicking.”
The sisters held a 90-minute meeting with Insp Crowley on Wednesday.
“Me and my sister decided we want to make a formal complaint to ensure that this never takes place again,” Adelina said after the meeting.
Two officers attended the incident at Sunrise.
Insp Crowley said: “Having viewed the CCTV, it [the ‘I don’t care’ comment] was an inappropriate comment made during a challenging incident but I can reassure all those concerned and the wider community that the officer concerned did care and, along with his colleague, was trying his best to resolve the situation peacefully.
“Officers are often called upon to deal with emotionally charged situations involving people at crisis points but always strive to be compassionate and understanding while ensuring the safety of all those involved.
“I have met the family personally to discuss their concerns and have received a formal complaint which is now being progressed.”
A spokeswoman for Sunrise of Cardiff said: “The well-being of residents and staff is always our number one priority and guides the professional judgements we make every single day.
“It is very unusual for the police to be called to a community, but in this instance it was deemed to be in the best interest of the lady involved, the other residents and staff.
“After all appropriate diversionary techniques were applied, the individual still presented a risk to herself and others, so it was our duty to engage further support.”
Mrs Verma has been living at the £22m, 90-bed assisted living community since April 2009. There are 27 Sunrise communities around the UK, with just one in Wales.

 SOURCE:      WalesOnline
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Statistics Show the Elder Abuse is Increasing in Wisconsin

 Statistics show that elder abuse is increasing in Wisconsin
CHUCK JOSEPH Racine County Triad
February 24, 2012

Elder abuse is increasing in Wisconsin, up more than 8 percent annually in recent years. Financial abuse is a significant component of this. Much abuse (79 percent) takes place in the elder's own home, frequently by relatives or in-home caregivers. In about 4 of 10 cases, the abuser is a child of the abused elder. In most of these cases, the elder has done little to protect him or herself prior to the abuse taking place. However, there are some steps to take which not only will protect against financial abuse, but also against financial fraud in general.
Basic protection

There are a number of steps you need to take no matter what your age or situation. These include:
• Use direct deposit service for your income.
• Don't sign blank checks or blank forms of any kind, allowing others to fill them in.
• Don't leave money or valuables in plain sight.
• Do not give your ATM pin to anyone. Cancel it if you do not use it.
• Don't sign anything you do not understand.
• Build a good relationship with the professionals (bankers, brokers) who handle your money, so you have someone to ask for advice. They may also spot unusual activity in your accounts.
These steps will provide immediate protection.
Practice safe banking
Your bank accounts are the door into your money. You need to safeguard them. Keys to building protection for them are:
• Do not establish joint accounts for anyone other than your spouse. Joint accounts allow full access for all parties without the need to notify any other of the parties. All the money can be taken out without your approval or knowledge. If you want the person to inherit the account on your death, you can set up a "Payable on death account" instead.
• Rather than giving someone access to your account to pay bills, you can set up automatic payments directly to the vendor. Talk to your banker to find out how to do this.
• If you do have someone paying your bills, get a trusted third party to review the statements monthly.
• Set up "protected accounts" that limit daily/weekly/monthly withdrawals and will "flag" unusual activity. This will limit your exposure.
• Arrange to have Social Security and pension checks deposited directly into your account.
Extra protection
There are some additional steps to take that can provide protection for you now and in later life:
• Get some extra help if you are feeling pressured, even by a trusted family member, to give up financial control. Talk to someone at your church, your bank, an attorney, or Racine's Aging and Disability Resource Center (262-638-6800, 1-866-219-1043, www.adrc.racineco.com).
• Set up a Power of Attorney for Finance (POA-F). This establishes your financial wishes under a variety of conditions and provides directions to the person you have chosen to make your decisions, your "agent". (You should also have a Power of Attorney for Health Care.) You and your agent should each have a copy, and provide one to your financial and health care providers.
• Keep your financial records private. There are only limited reasons for caregivers to see them.
• It is your money. Do not be afraid to say "no" or to ask advice of a third party.
Where to get help
If you need help, there are a number of places to start at both the county and state levels.
• WI Department of Health Services, 1 W. Wilson St., P.O. Box 7850,
Madison, WI 53707; (608) 266-9622; www.dhs.wisconsin.gov
• Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC) of Racine County, 1717 Taylor Ave., Racine, WI 53403; (262) 638-6800; www.adrc.racineco.com.

Financial exploitation can rob a person of self-esteem and trust, as well as money. If you need help, start with the places listed above. If you believe financial abuse is taking place, contact the ADRC of Racine County or use the state hotline (1-800-815-0015, www.stopabuse@dhts.state.wius). If there is an immediate health threatening emergency, call 911. Don't hesitate to get involved if you see a serious situation. I am not a lawyer, but state law seems to provide immunity for a good faith reporter.
The Racine County Triad Program was started by the Consumer Fraud Unit of the Racine County Sheriff's Department in response to complaints received involving elderly victims of fraud. This consortium of Racine County law enforcement agencies, senior serving agencies and citizens is a 501C(3) nonprofit organization.
Copyright 2012 JournalTimes.co

 SOURCE:      The Journal Times

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February 25, 2012

Margaret Suffered Abuse and Assault at Hands of her Carer (UK)

Margaret suffered abuse and assault at hands of her carer
Essex Chronicle
February 23, 2012

MARGARET Claydon, a 93-year-old dementia sufferer, was awoken by bright lights and a cold flannel roughly scraped across her face, sworn at and assaulted by a care worker in her £3,000-a-month care home.
The pensioner, who served her country in the Land Army during the Second World War, was confused and distressed when carer Angelica Mendoza woke her up at 4.45am at the Windle Court Care Home in South Woodham Ferrers.
After having her face scrubbed roughly, she told Mendoza she hated her.
Mendoza responded by grabbing her frail face, squashing her cheeks and lips together and saying: "I hate you too, bitch."
The Filipina national was found guilty of assault at a trial at Chelmsford Magistrates' Court on Thursday and must do 150 hours' unpaid work in the community and pay costs of £620.
"She has been a great mum, done her bit for her country and is using all her and my dad's life savings to pay her care fees," said daughter Joanna Symons, 59, of Woodham Walter.
"You hate to put your parents in care and want to find the best possible home, and to think they are not always safe in that situation is awful. This case highlights the plight of people who are so vulnerable, especially people with dementia.

"There are more and more people now in care.
"It's an ageing population and it's time people took notice, otherwise these abuses will go on all the time.
"If they paid care workers more they would probably attract a calibre of carer to the profession. It's a tough job and it needs to be done by people with compassion.
"I am very pleased justice has been done."
Mendoza, 32, had twice skipped her court appearance before she was hauled before magistrates this week. She wore a pink tracksuit top and blue jeans and remained impassive throughout her trial.
The court heard she was a senior carer at the home, and on June 28 last year she was showing new colleague Carly Rogers the ropes over a night shift.
It was Miss Rogers' first day at work, although she had worked for 18 months at another care home, and she was so disgusted by Mendoza's abuse that she reported her to social services.
Miss Rogers was visibly nervous when she gave evidence at the trial, but afterwards she said: "I'm pleased with the result – it was daunting to put myself out there.
"I would urge anyone to report that sort of thing. People get scared and they just leave it, and new members of staff think that's how things are done, but it's not right."
Mrs Symons, who has just retired as head of careers at the University of Essex in Colchester, added: "It takes the character of someone like Carly to stick her neck out and whistle-blow.
"She was on her first shift and risked her job – it was very brave of her.
"I'm not blaming the care home – you just get the odd bad apple." Mendoza was sacked from the care home shortly after she was reported by Miss Rogers when bosses found she had fabricated records of patient check-ups she had not bothered to make.
But she had left South Woodham Ferrers and moved to Dorking in Surrey, where she was working as a carer – although she is now likely to be sacked from that job.
"It is worrying to think she was still working as a carer," said Mrs Symons.
Her daughter-in-law Daniela added: "I think what Mendoza did is really savage."
Mendoza denied assault at her trial and claimed Mrs Claydon was aggressive and abusive, but her account of the episode wavered while she was cross-examined for 20 minutes.
The magistrates decided Miss Rogers' version of events was far more consistent and believable and found Mendoza guilty after a four-hour trial.

SOURCE:     The Essex Chronicle

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MT Woman Charged with Financial Exploitation of Mother (MT. USA)

 MT woman charged with financial exploitation of mother
Feb 22, 2012 
ByJen Hollenbach (KRTV Great Falls)


A Great Falls business owner has been charged with felony exploitation of her elderly mother.
Patti Hopkins faces either a felony charge of deceptive practices or an alternative charge of elder abuse and/or exploitation, which is also a felony.
Court documents state that U.S. Bank contacted Patti's brother to report that their mother's credit card account was overdue, with an unpaid balance of more than $25,000.
Throughout the time charges were made, their mother was in a nursing home in Conrad.
Police reports show the charges went to two of Patti Hopkins' businesses: the Brighten Up Shop and the Fountain of Youth.
Hopkins reportedly admitted to using her mother's credit card and impersonating her mother when discussing the issue with the bank.

SOURCE:      KPAX

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Elderly Face 'Institutional Ageism' Says Care Minister (UK)

 Elderly face 'institutional ageism', says care minister Paul Burstow
Britain's care system for elderly people is blighted by “institutional ageism”, the care minister said last night.
By John Bingham, Social Affairs Editor
23 Feb 2012

Paul Burstow promised to introduce a national standard of training for care workers after a coalition of politicians, charities and unions warned that elderly people were too often being treated as “objects”.
Mr Burstow was speaking at the launch of a code of conduct for care workers and nurses which calls for patients to be treated with dignity and respect.
Politicians on both sides of the Commons, the Royal College of Nursing, the TUC, and charities including Age UK are among supporters of the Dignity Code drawn up by the National Pensioners’ Convention.
It calls on nurses and carers to obtain consent for treatments and it demands that elderly people are allowed to “speak for themselves” either directly or, in cases where this is no longer possible, through a friend or relation. It also requires carers to address older people formally rather than by their first name, unless they are invited to do otherwise. Supporters hope the new code will be written into their contracts.
Speaking at the launch in the Commons last night, Mr Burstow said the document would be a “starting point” for a legally enforceable code of conduct for the care sector.

 SOURCE:     The Telegraph, UK
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Care Home Worker 'Blew the Whistle' on Colleague (UK)

23 Feb 2012
by JOHN CROSSLEY

A CARE home used a ‘whistle-blowing procedure’ to bring justice for an 84- year-old dementia patient who was punched while on the toilet by a member of staff.
Fauld House Private Nursing Home
Former Fauld House Private Nursing Home employee Charles Kent attacked pensioner Eileen Knowles as she was sitting on the toilet.
As reported in the Mail yesterday, 21- year-old Kent, of Buston Lane, Anslow, was found guilty of assaulting the resident following a trial at Burton Magistrates’ Court.
The 48-bed care home, off Fauld Lane, Tutbury, said it was ‘committed to protecting vulnerable adults.’ In a written statement the care home said: “As part of our commitment to providing a safe, secure and happy care, the company has a whistle-blowing procedure, which all employees of the home are made aware of and have access to when they commence employment.
“The whistle-blowing procedure was implemented by a member of staff who alerted the home manager regarding Charles Kent’s behaviour on October 13 last year.” While he was suspended, bosses at the home launched disciplinary proceedings while the allegations were being investigated.
“We wish to stress that from this date to present, Charles Kent was no longer in contact with any residents of, or their relatives at Fauld House Nursing Home,” the statement continued.
The former John Taylor High School pupil returned to the Horninglow Street courthouse on Monday for sentencing, and he was ordered to pay £50 compensation to his victim and to complete 150 hours unpaid work.
Kent was still on the care home’s books until February 10 when he was eventually dismissed, four days ahead of when he was found guilty following a trial at Burton Magistrates’ Court.
“We wish to stress this was done in advance of the court hearing, it was not therefore a reaction to the trial and was a decision made entirely by Fauld House and in the interests of our residents and their families,” the home added.
“Fauld House Nursing Home provides all care staff with all necessary mandatory training as required by Government legislation and ensures the home’s employees are kept fully up to date.”

 SOURCE:     The Burton Mail.co.uk
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'Whistle Blowing' procedure - Well done. It is time that other nursing homes, around the globe, do the same. A few years ago, a 'whistle-blower' lost his job, on some thrumped-up charges and was sacked. Unless there are procedures in place to protect whistle-blowers, carers would just look away. Are we serious about protecting the vulnerable elderly?


 ............................. Andrew

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February 24, 2012

Greedy Children Abandon Parents (INDIA)

By Nafeesa M P

KOCHI: Susamma (name changed), 50, an inmate of Shanthi Bhavan for the last two years, finds it hard to hold back tears when asked about her family.
Homeless and lonely after the death of her husband, she had no choice but to seek shelter at Shanti Bhavan as her three children were too busy to care for their mother.
Sadly, this is not just the story of Susamma, but the tale of hundreds of elderly people who live in various old-age homes.
“All my children wanted my wealth. Once they had it all, they threw me out of the house,” Susamma said. “Though my daughters sometimes come and give me money, my only son hasn’t come yet,” she said.


An other inmate Annamma, 81, who has eight siblings, shares the same plight.
“I was self-employed for years till health issues prevented me from earning a living. No one cared for me after that,” she said.
Another inmate at Home of Providence in the city said she left home with her husband eight years ago after her adopted son tried to sell their house at Kannamali.
“He had already sold all my ornaments and then was forcing us to agree to his wishes,” she said.
Though the state of the elderly people is pathetic, most of them choose not to take legal action against their children, though they have the right to do so.
Despite the Senior Citizens Bill- 2007 having too many provisions for the elderly, it could do nothing to curb the marginalisation of elderly people.
Revenue Divisional Officer S Shahnavaz said: “The condition of old women, especially mothers, is more pathetic as they seldom complain about the abuses they face from their family.” Shanavaz said there are many provisions for the elderly to opt for legal assistance if they face any abuse.
All the properties registered after 2007 in the name of children can be retained by the elders if the children fail to care for them, he said.
“A legal notice will be served on the relatives if they are not able to satisfy the promised maintenance for the elderly. In some extreme cases, the children can even face jail sentence,” Shahnavaz said.
However, he added that the situation in the city was much better now as there was good response from elders against the ill-treatment. “The issue needs more awareness so that our services can be extended to more people,” he said.
District Probation Officer Shimna said: "There is no awareness among the people about the rights of the elderly. Many elders tolerate such cruelty just because they think they are helpless,” she said.

 SOURCE:     IBN.in
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Elders of an Abusive State (INDIA)

Feb 22, 2012

KOCHI: Abuse of elderly is on the rise in the state with more and more of them seeking shelter in old-age homes. According to the records available with the District Probation Office and the Revenue Division Office, around 203 cases were registered during 2009-2010. It grew to 305 during 2010- 2011 and 389 cases came up in 2011-2012.
A recent study by HelpAge India on the extent of elder abuse in Indian families conducted in the state revealed that around 39 per cent of the respondents were abused verbally or psychologically while 12.7 per cent experienced physical abuse.
The major abuse faced by them is negligence from family members. Another 10 per cent faced financial exploitation by relatives.
According to the study, 62.4 per cent faced abuse from sons whereas the abuse from daughtersin- law stood second with 59.2 per cent.
According to Biju Mathew, state head of HelpAge India, the Kerala Elders Helpline gets around 10-15 calls every month. However, there is no accurate data in this regard. It is difficult to accurately measure the extent of elder abuse as most families deny such actions.
It is estimated that around 90 million people in India are above 60 years of age. The projections also say that elder population of India will be 142 million by 2020.
Population aging in Kerala is always ahead of the national scenario as 11 per cent of the total 77 million elderly (above 60) population of India in 2001 was from Kerala. People above 60 constitute 13 percent of the states population of about 3.34 crore according to the 2011 census

 SOURCE:     IBNLIVE.IN
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Elder and Dependent Adult Abuse Restraining Orders (CA. USA)

Laws are in place to protect elders and dependent adults from being abused. “Elder” means age 65 and older. “Dependent adult” means anyone between the ages of 18 and 64 who has physical or mental limitations that restrict his or her ability to carry out normal activities or to protect his or her rights. The legal definition (Welfare & Institutions Code 15610.23) includes people with developmental disabilities or whose physical or mental abilities have diminished because of age as well as people in this age group who are inpatients in a 24-hour health facility as defined by the Health and Safety Code.

Requests for restraining orders of this type come into court from different sources:
•    Organizations such as Legal Assistance to the Elderly, Cooperative Restraining Order Clinic, or Asian Pacific Islander Legal Outreach;
•    Adult Protective Services of the Human Services Agency of San Francisco;
•    A conservator may apply on behalf of a conservatee (either as part of the existing conservatorship case or as a separate new elder abuse case);
•    A person with power of attorney may apply on behalf of the authorizing person; and
•    A qualifying individual may apply on his or her own behalf.

Forms for elder or dependent adult abuse are mandatory. There is no filing fee.

The opening forms are:
•    CLETS-001  Confidental CLETS Information
•    EA-100         Request for Elder or Dependent Adult Abuse Restraining Orders
•    EA-109         Notice of Court Hearing
•    EA-110         Temporary Restraining Order
Persons without an attorney should visit ACCESS for Family Law and Self-Help Services in the Civic Center Courthouse, Room 509, 400 McAllister St., San Francisco, before filing elder abuse forms in Room 103 at Windows 24, 25 or 26. Requests for temporary restraining orders submitted by 10 a.m. will be available for pick-up by 2:30 p.m. the same day. Requests submitted after 10 a.m. will be available for pick-up by 2:30 p.m. the next court day.
Hearings on permanent restraining orders are held in Department 204 on Wednesdays at 1:30 p.m. A hearing date is assigned by the time the papers are picked up in Room 103. The hearing date will be within 21 days, or 25 days with showing of good cause.
Requests for restraining orders must be personally served on the respondent and a proof of service filed with the Court. The Sheriff’s Department will serve them free of charge (and file the proof of service) if the petitioner takes the papers to Room 456 in the San Francisco City Hall. If service cannot be completed before the hearing, the temporary restraining order may be extended and the hearing continued for two weeks by filing forms EA-115 and EA-116. At the hearing the bench officer may issue a “permanent” restraining order effective for five years. It can be renewed for another five years or permanently.
Elder and dependent adult restraining orders are controlled by Welfare & Institutions Code Sections 15610.07 and 15657.03.

 SOURCE:     SF SUPERIOR COURT

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February 23, 2012

Adult Children Make Decision for Parents

A recent story out of the Northeast has again highlighted issues than can be caused by adult children attempting to make decisions and taking action to assist their aging parents.  In this case, the son, who himself is in his late seventies, served eviction papers on his mother – unfortunately and coincidentally on her 98th birthday.
He says that he is concerned about the squalor in which his mom is living, and hopes to get her to either move in with him or into a retirement facility where she can have daily contact and regular meals with others.  Mom says that she and her late husband put everything they had into that house and he told her before his passing to never let it go.  Now, newspapers and internet pundits across the nation are debating whether the son is a concerned, caring child or a scumbag.
Following a major stroke suffered by my mother, her cardiologist told her that her driving days were over and instructed me to take her car keys.  Mother never forgave me.  Those keys represented her freedom and independence.  Her doctor forced me to make a decision to protect her safety and that of others on the road with her.
One person may perceive a decision as elder abuse while another may be sincerely trying to protect a loved one.
CAUSES OF CONFLICT BETWEEN SIBLINGS
Frequently decisions such as these create harsh conflicts between siblings.  While most are truly concerned about doing what is best for their parents, brothers and sisters frequently disagree as to what constitutes “best”.
“Mother needs to sell her house and move into a retirement home where she can get help when she needs it and have her meals prepared for her.”
“Absolutely not!  She will be more comfortable in her own home, and if you would just stop by and help her more often, that could happen.”
One study conducted by a family mediation association shows that approximately 40% of adult children who are providing care for their aging parents experience serious conflict with one or more of their siblings, usually related to a perception that one of the others is not doing enough to help.  The children assisting their parents understandably often feel taken advantage of by their other siblings who seem content to let them do the heavy lifting while doing little or nothing themselves.  Resentments fester, particularly when it comes time to divide an estate.  A caregiver’s extended personal sacrifices are frequently overlooked by other siblings when it comes time to settle a deceased parent’s affairs.
GUARD AGAINST FINANCIAL ABUSE
Of course there are some children who are anxious for their parents to transition into other living situations so that they can personally gain access or control of parental assets to better their own lives.  A friend has shared horror stories about her sisters running roughshod over their Alzheimer’s affected mother, stealing household items and family heirlooms while draining their mother’s remaining financial assets even before she’s gone.  The estrangement their actions have caused will likely never heal for the sisters.
Financial abuse is most often committed by family members and caregivers.  It is the leading type of elder abuse and is usually invisible to the outside world.

Abridged
SOURCE:     Elder Authority



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February 22, 2012

Chief Minister Jayalalithaa Chants Joint Family Mantra (INDIA)

Feb 20, 2012

CHENNAI: Hailing the bygone joint family system followed in our society, which took care of all elderly persons at home, Chief Minister and AIADMK general secretary J Jayalalithaa on Sunday advis¬ed newly-wed couples not to ignore their parents who are increasingly being forced to head to old-age homes due to the money-minded approach of their children.
“Six decades ago, there was joint family system and, as such, there was no need for old-age homes then… Now, the government has to run old-age homes to protect the elderly who are abandoned by their children… Money has outmatched love and affection for the dear and near,” the AIADMK supremo said, presiding over the weddings of 64 couples, organised by the party’s Jayalalithaa Peravai, to mark her 64th birthday which falls on February 24.
“Children should ponder over the sacrifices made by parents to bring them up and provide quality education...they should treat them with love and affection... Some children go abroad for higher studies and...then settle there itself forcing their parents to move to old-age homes...they not only forget their parents but also their motherland, ” Jayalalithaa said. However, she said her government would do the needful for the welfare of the aged.

 SOURCE:    IBN Live, India
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Figures Expose Shocking Level of Elderly Abuse Across Wales (UK)

 Figures expose shocking level of elderly abuse across Wales
by Helen Turner, WalesOnline
Jan 23 2012

The scale of abuse against elderly people across Wales has been revealed in figures showing more than 1,000 complaints against carers have been upheld in the last three years.
Despite the number of proven allegations of financial, physical and emotional abuse, only a small percentage of the carers involved have lost their jobs.
In several Welsh councils, fewer than 10% of upheld complaints led to the carers involved losing their jobs. Neglect was the most frequent complaint made by vulnerable adult service users across Wales – with 240 incidents reported to Cardiff council alone since 2008-09.
There were also allegations of sexual abuse at three Welsh councils, Wrexham, Rhondda Cynon Taf and the Vale of Glamorgan.
At Denbighshire council, one carer was reported for shouting at a service user, while another was overheard to have said: “Now you’re fed and watered, I’m off.”
The British Association of Social Workers said it was likely that the true level of abuse was far worse as most incidents are never reported.
Spokeswoman Ruth Cartwright called for more comprehensive regulation of care workers. She said: “Society puts a greater focus on children than of vulnerable adults, but both deserve protection from abuse and exploitation.
“Adults who have been abused or mistreated are often least likely to be able to speak out, so it is likely that there are many incidents of unreported abuse.
“Let us not forget that vulnerable adults are also sometimes mistreated by members of their own family, who are perceived to be caring for them.”
She said that domiciliary care workers were currently not required to register with the Welsh Care Council and called on the Welsh Government to address this.
She said: “We want to see regulation of those who work directly with people in need of care and support in their own homes, where there is much scope to abuse the trust that is placed in them.”
Ms Cartwright also called for a register of complaints that would ensure rigorous sanctions were taken against offenders.
She said: “We are concerned that so few complaints, where upheld, have resulted in dismissal. The majority of workers are honest and thoroughly dedicated people who do a hard job with little pay or recognition.
“However, some people are just not suitable for this type of work, and we hope that employers are committed to weeding out these few people who take advantage.
“There needs to be rigorous selection procedures for these staff, and they must receive proper training about the often complex needs of the vulnerable people they are supporting.”

 Abridged
SOURCE:      WalesOnline
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Elder Abuse on the Rise? (CA. USA)

Local prosecutors seeing more elder abuse cases
February 19, 2012
By Tomoya Shimura
VICTORVILLE

Making just one mistake, Yachiyo Haney lost everything — including her Apple Valley house and her life savings of $435,000.
Haney, 68 at the time, trusted a stranger who promised a high return for a short-term investment. But it never happened. Instead the man fled to Thailand and Haney was forced to come out of retirement to support herself.
Haney was a victim of a $14 million Ponzi scheme, and while her losses may be higher than in a typical fraud case, perpetrators trying to take advantage of vulnerable elders have become pervasive.
And it’s not just strangers who prey on them — it can also be their loved ones.
“I seem to be getting more and more cases, but I don’t know if it’s being investigated more or if it’s on the rise,” said Deputy District Attorney Bryan Stodghill, who prosecutes elder abuse in Victorville.
Typical elder abuse cases fall into three categories, but almost always the perpetrators have a financial motive, Stodghill said.
The first type of abuse involves neglect by the victim’s caretakers, who could be family members, friends or designated professionals.
They fail to feed the victims, change their clothes, give them proper medication or take them to doctors. Some put money in their pocket instead of paying for the victim’s medication and food.
Another type is physical abuse.
William Hussey was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison last year after he was convicted of beating his 73-year-old mother to death at their Hesperia home.
Although Hussey’s motive wasn’t clear, Stodghill said abusers often live with their parents and beat them up when the parents don’t listen to them or don’t give them money.
Then there’s financial abuse, such as in Haney’s case.
In the majority of Stodghill’s cases, the victims suffer from early stages of dementia and ask their children or relatives to help them out, before the abusers take all or a significant portion of their money.
All these cases fall under the penal code of elder abuse, which could be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the severity of the physical or financial damage.
Stodghill said financial abuse cases are difficult to prosecute because the abusers often get permission to access credit cards and bank accounts and the victims may forget about details. Some victims who are close to the end of their lives cannot make it to court to testify, Stodghill said.
Many victims feel guilty about turning their loved ones in or getting them in trouble.
Stodghill handled a case in which a man beat up his mother and stole money from her. The man even put a knife to her throat, threatening to kill her, Stodghill said.
The son went to prison for the abuse, but when he was released, he abused his mother again. The mother asked Stodghill not to press charges against him.
“She always begged me not to because she loves him and because he’s got mental illness and was abused by his father,” Stodghill said. “She feels like she didn’t do enough to protect him, so she feels guilty.”
To prevent abuse, Stodghill advises elders to have a group of loved ones who understand their wishes to take care of them instead of relying on just one person.
The prosecutor also suggests family members ask banks to keep track of the elders’ records to spot big, abnormal purchases.

 SOURCE:     The VVDailyPress
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February 21, 2012

Experts Call for Federal Body to Act on Elder Abuse (AUSTRALIA)

By Emily Bourke
20 February, 2012

ELEANOR HALL: A Queensland family is launching legal action to recover millions of dollars, handled by some of their late father's advisers.
Queensland farmer Roger Hack died last year after a long battle with dementia. But much of his wealth is missing and his children are going to court to try to recover the money.
Advocates for the elderly say cases like this one are not isolated and most receive no publicity.

Emily Bourke has our report.

EMILY BOURKE: Roger Hack was a banana farmer on Queensland's Sunshine Coast and his business made him and his family very wealthy.
But after being diagnosed with dementia he entered into a complicated domestic arrangement with a friend who took control with his affairs.
As he deteriorated, he was moved from his home and cut off from his family.
And his fortune - in the millions of dollars - was squirreled away in a maze of trust funds and investments which his family can't access.

RICHARD HACK: I will follow this through to the very end.

EMILY BOURKE: His eldest son is Richard Hack.

RICHARD HACK: It had taken many years to prepare the property for sale and when we finally realised those assets, it was all just cash. So there were tens of millions of dollars in cash went into a trust account, in a law firm's trust account, and my father was in charge of the various structures that controlled those cash funds.

EMILY BOURKE: So what went wrong?

RICHARD HACK: Oh, where do you start? Basically, Dad trusted a female friend of many years, he couldn't comprehend and focus in the latter days when he was in charge of all this cash, and that's when she stepped in and provided the lawyers and the accountants - and those people were her preferred people.

EMILY BOURKE: At the family's prompting the Adult Guardian and the Public Trustee stepped in.
But Roger Hack died before the mystery of his missing millions could be solved.

Richard Hack says some money has been retrieved.

RICHARD HACK: There's probably about $15 million of which about six has come back to us. The luxury I suppose that my family has is that a) we were wealthy to start with. I don't believe many people out there would have the luxury of just digging in and just staying with the game. I have even heard examples where people have just decided to pack up and walk away 'cause quality of life for them was more important than fighting 'til the end.

EMILY BOURKE: The Hack case is set to go before the courts but the story serves as a cautionary tale.

 Abridged
SOURCE:      ABC.NET.AU
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Ripping Off Grandma: How the Elderly are Vulnerable to Fraud (CANADA)

Ripping off grandma: How the elderly are vulnerable to fraud
By LAUREN KRUGEL - The Globe and Mail

A few years ago, Mabel Fielding received an unusual phone call.
A man purporting to be her grandson said he had ended up in jail after attending a wedding “down east somewhere” and needed her to send him money right away.
The 88-year-old Hanna, Alta., woman says she didn’t question his story, since she has a grandson who works as a wedding photographer on weekends.
“They had me down so pat,” she said. “Everything just fell in, especially when they said they were at a wedding and all this and that.”
Ms. Fielding rushed to the bank to send the money, but a teller warned her there was a scam going around. Fraudsters were calling up seniors, pretending to be their grandkids and asking for large sums of money to get them out of trouble.
“I should have said, ‘Well, which grandson are you?’” said Ms. Fielding, who said her next stop after the bank was the nearby RCMP detachment.
Not too long after that incident, Ms. Fielding received a similar phone call with a similar story, this time from a phony granddaughter.
“Now I’ll be a little bit more on the alert,” she said. “But when you have grandchildren you’re always trying to help them out – maybe too much.”
While Ms. Fielding was almost the victim of fraud at the hands of fake family members, seniors are all too frequently scammed by their real kin.
Les Kotzer, a Toronto-area estate lawyer, has seen his share of unscrupulous children taking advantage of their aging parents, and he and fellow lawyer Barry Fish have compiled their stories in their book, Where There’s an Inheritance …: Stories from Inside the World of Two Wills Lawyers.
At the heart of the problem is the fact that baby boomers are so loaded with debt, he said. On the flipside, their Depression-era parents likely scrimped and saved their whole lives, accumulating big nest eggs by the time they reached old age.
Any loans parents make to their kids should be well documented, Mr. Kotzer said. He knows of one woman who let her son and daughter borrow a total of $250,000. When her husband died and she needed the money, the kids refused to pay it back, saying they thought it was a gift.
Mr. Kotzer also warned against ceding control of major assets to others. Another woman he knows put her house in joint-name with her son in order to avoid probate when she died. When her son filed for bankruptcy and creditors came knocking, she suffered the consequences.
“Be very cautious of giving up control to your children,” he said.
The same goes for wills. When he reviews wills for clients, Mr. Kotzer never allows their children to be in the same room. He said it’s important for an independent third party to have a look, and that parents should be wary of letting their kids write their wills for them.
“They’re just ticking time bombs sitting in somebody’s safety deposit box,” Mr. Kotzer said.
Catherine Fallon, an outreach worker with the Calgary Seniors’ Resource Society, has also come across cases of financial elder abuse.
The society helped one woman who took out $60,000 on a line of credit, ostensibly to support her live-in grandson through university. After a while, the woman began to ask questions.
“She did actually find out that her grandson was not using the money for his university studies, but he was actually using it to continue his drug habit,” Ms. Fallon said. The woman was never able to recover the money.
Seniors who are approached for money, whether it’s from family members or from scam artists on the phone, should pay attention to gut feelings, Ms. Fallon said.
“If you just feel that it’s all a rush or instinct is telling you you’re not quite happy about this, it could be kind of a red flag to question that and stand back and say ‘Well, I’m not signing anything right now. I’m going to take this information and consider it,’” Ms. Fallon said.
Often seniors are more vulnerable because they’re at home more often during the day, are more isolated and likely have a lot of cash available, Ms. Fallon said.
Lorinda Brinton, senior adviser of investor education for the Alberta Securities Commission (ASC), said roughly a third of Canadians have been approached with investment “opportunities” that turn out to be scams.
“Although anyone can be a victim, if seniors lose their money, they have less time to recover financially,” Ms. Brinton said.
The three most common ways the fraudsters make the pitch is through cold calls over the phone, through a group of family and friends potential victims know and trust, and through advertising on TV, radio, newspapers or the Internet.
The ASC and other securities regulators across the country have resources to help Canadians research investment pitches to make sure the people pushing them are properly registered, and to check out whether any enforcement action has been taken against them.
“It’s really important that anyone who’s been approached, or been a victim of fraud, contact their local securities commission to report it,” Ms. Brinton said.

 SOURCE:      CTV.CA
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Elder Abusers Serve Just 42 Days (USA)

Elder abusers serve just 42 days
February 19, 2012
By Tim Engstrom

Two convicted elder abusers only served 42 days each of their 180-day jail sentences, according to Freeborn County jail records.
Brianna Broitzman
Brianna Broitzman and Ashton Larson didn’t have to serve a second 60-day jail stint and now, under a ruling filed in late January, they won’t have to serve the third. And the one they did serve was shortened by 18 days.
Freeborn County District Judge Steven Schwab in 2010 sentenced both Broitzman and Larson to staggered 180-day jail sentences after each was convicted of three counts of disorderly conduct by a caregiver.
Each count represented a different victim from abuses they committed in 2008 at the Good Samaritan Society of Albert Lea.
Under the sentence, both were required to serve a 60-day jail term immediately, and then a second and third 60-day jail term would come at later dates. Before the second and third stints, Broitzman and Larson would have the chance to ask to waive the terms. The judge would decide if they had met other conditions in the sentencing, such as writing letters of apology to the victims’ families and obeying laws.
However, in that initial 60-day sentence, they were released after 42 days. Both were processed into the Freeborn County jail but served their time behind bars in the Faribault County jail in Blue Earth because the jail in Albert Lea does not hold women.
Broitzman served her jail time from Oct. 22, 2010, to Dec. 2, 2010, while Larson did her time from Dec. 22, 2010, to Feb. 1, 2011.
Schwab said his purpose in the staggered sentence was “to make a change in their life and a change in attitude primarily.” As part of the sentence, each woman also had to fulfill a long list of requirements.
In the ruling in January, Schwab said their requirements have not been completed but by no fault of the two women. They were to meet with victims’ families in what is called restorative justice. Schwab in September called it the most important aspect of the entire sentencing.
Broitzman and Larson were two of six young women who initially faced charges tied to allegations of abuse at the nursing home. The other cases were handled in juvenile courts, Broitzman and Larson, because they were 18 at the time of the emotional and physical abuse of Alzheimer’s patients, were handled in criminal court.

 SOURCE:     The Albert Lea Tribune
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Elder Eviction: Not Uncommon

Elder Eviction: Not Uncommon
by Laura Snow
February 18, 2012

More and more seniors are finding themselves in situations similar to Mary Kantorowski, the 98-year old Fairfield resident, who faces possible eviction by her son, as reported in the Connecticut Post on Friday. Like, Mary, they may find themselves having to defend their right to chose where and how they live.
Elder abuse can come in the form of neglect, financial, emotional, and physical mistreatment. National research shows roughly 11% of seniors, ages 60 and older, experience some form of elder abuse each year. As the population ages, this figure is expected to rise. Sadly, 90% of cases involve a relative or other trusted party of a senior

While Mary’s situation has come to the attention of authorities, so many cases go unnoticed. Elder abuse is preventable. The Center for Elder Abuse Prevention, a community service program of The Jewish Home for the Elderly is a resource available for seniors and families concerned about their wishes and rights being upheld. The Center aims to help older adults live as independently and safely as possible.
The Center for Elder Abuse Prevention encourages all to be aware of the needs of seniors in our community and call for assistance. Advocates at the Center are available to talk confidentially with anyone about their own situation or another older adult by telephone on the Center’s helpline at 203-396-1097.

Copyright © 2012 Patch.

SOURCE:     The Thrumbull Patch
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Recent Cases Shine Spotlight on Financial Abuse of Elderly (USA)

By Lew Sichelman
February 19, 2012

Financial abuse of the elderly, including pushing them into reverse mortgages without their full understanding, has been perpetrated by mortgage professionals and victims' family members.
Reporting From Washington—
The recent conviction of a Delray Beach, Fla., loan officer for his participation in a scheme to persuade seniors to refinance their reverse mortgages should serve as a warning to the friends and relatives of elderly people about the surprising ease with which senior homeowners can be exploited.
That the loan officer and his co-conspirators, including a title agent, were creating false loan applications and pocketing the money casts a pall over the lending business. And with good reason, according to the National Council on Aging, which ranks homeowner/reverse mortgage scams as the eighth most prevalent scam specifically targeting seniors.
Yet rogue mortgage professionals aren't the chief perpetrators of such elder abuse. Family members are.
About 60% of the financial abuse cases substantiated by adult protective services involve an adult child, according to MetLife's Mature Market Institute. Sons are most likely to rip off their parents or grandparents, the study found, even more so than a paramour, bogus contractor, fly-by-night handyman or shady lender.
Still, while most lenders are lawful, some aren't. If a senior citizen you know is considering a loan that taps into the home equity he or she has built up over the years, here are a few questions family members and friends can ask to help prevent exploitation:
• Does the applicant understand the loan? This is something that will be covered in a session with an independent housing counselor that is mandatory under the Federal Housing Administration's Home Equity Conversion Mortgage program. But make sure your mom, dad, grandparent, aunt or uncle knows what he or she is getting into before getting that far into the process.
Of course, this implies that the applicant is willing to discuss his or her financial situation. Many keep that information to themselves for fear of losing their independence. But if you can get them to open up, you can discuss the pros and cons of reverse mortgages with them to be sure all of you understand the product.
If the senior doesn't fully comprehend the nature of a reverse mortgage, that doesn't mean it isn't a good fit. It might just mean further education is needed, says Lori Delagrammatikas, who oversees the master's program in adult protective services at the San Diego State University Research Foundation.
At the same time, the desire to take out a loan they don't fully comprehend could be a sign that something else is going on in their lives.
Loneliness and isolation raise the risk of elder financial abuse, as does the high rate of dementia among seniors.
Who is going to benefit? Find out who the real beneficiary will be and why. If it's not the senior, question it.
In one case a few years back, a 65-year-old woman was coaxed into taking out a $100,000 lump-sum reverse mortgage by her son, who proceeded to gamble away the money. The son was charged with criminal elder abuse and spent time in jail, but the money was never returned to his mother, who is now losing more than $3,000 of her equity every month.

A Montana woman recently was convicted of bilking her elderly mother out of $120,000 from the proceeds of a reverse mortgage. The mother suffered from Alzheimer's disease, and prosecutors argued she did not have the capacity to understand the loan. The daughter used the money to pay off her own credit cards, buy jewelry and stable her horses, among other things.
Is the senior being coerced? Determine if your senior is being pushed into the loan and, if so, by whom.
In another case, an elderly couple turned over the proceeds of their reverse mortgage to their grandson, who had threatened to commit suicide if they didn't give him the money.
Be particularly aware of in-home helpers, including personal care attendants and meal service providers, who may have access to the senior's financial papers and identifying information.
Can the senior's needs be satisfied in another way? There are several alternatives to reverse mortgages.
If you suspect a senior you know is being taken advantage of, contact the adult protective services agency in your state. APS programs are typically housed within local or state departments of social services or aging. Further information can be found on the National Center on Elder Abuse's website at http://www.ncea.aoa.gov.

Copyright © 2012, Los Angeles Times




SOURCE:     The LA Times
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February 20, 2012

Elder abuse focus of West Oahu research (HAWAII)

 Elder abuse focus of West Oahu research
February 9, 2012  |  UH News staff
The University of Hawaiʻi–

West Oʻahu has partnered with the Hawaiʻi Executive Office on Aging in the Hawaiʻi Elderly Abuse Prevention Project to uncover the various issues that older adults, their families and the community face regarding elder abuse and neglect in Hawaiʻi.
The problem of elderly abuse has been recognized as a growing problem in the United States over the past decade with between one and two million Americans age 65 or older having been injured, exploited or otherwise mistreated by someone on whom they depended for care or protection (National Center on Elder Abuse, 2005). The long-term goal for the HEAPRP is to uncover the various issues that older adults, their families,and the community face regarding elder abuse and neglect in Hawaiʻi, with the aim of developing public policy solutions to resolve this social problem.
This service learning research project is spearheaded by UH West Oʻahu Assistant Professor of Sociology Orlando Garcia-Santiago and will be implemented in two different phases as part of his courses.
Phase one will include the development of a research proposal that covers the conceptualization and definition of the research questions, the writing of a literature review, the design of an appropriate data collection protocol, developing data gathering instruments and data analysis protocols.
Phase two will include a review and implementation of the research proposal produced by the class, including data gathering, analyzes of the data, the writing and discussions of the findings and writing recommendations for public policy in the prevention of abuse among our elderly population.

 SOURCE:     HAWAII EDU NEWS
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Son's gift to 98-year-old mom: Eviction papers (CONN. USA)

Son's gift to 98-year-old mom: Eviction papers
February 17, 2012
(AP)
FAIRFIELD, Conn. -
A woman whose son served her with eviction papers on her 98th birthday two months ago is fighting his efforts to remove her from her home.
Mary Kantorowski has lived in her yellow, Cape Cod-style home in Fairfield since 1953. Her oldest son, 71-year-old Peter Kantorowski of Trumbull, says he's concerned about his her well-being. When he last saw her eight months ago, she seemed disoriented and was living in poor conditions, he said.
Peter Kantorowski, who owns the house, says his mother has rejected his suggestions to live with him or in a nursing home. A trial is set to being March 2 in Bridgeport Superior Court.
The eviction attempt has led to bad blood among family members.
"I didn't think he would do it," Mary Kantorowski said. "My husband worked hard, difficult jobs to buy this house. He built the garage and did a lot of work on the house and he told me never to leave it."
Her husband, John, died in 1997.
"This is just a despicable situation," her lawyer, Richard Bortolot Jr., told the Connecticut Post. "Mary has been living here happily paying all the expenses for the house and now her son, Peter, comes along and is telling her, `Get the hell out,' so he can sell it."
Mary Kantorowski's other son, Jack Kantorowski, told WTNH-TV: "There are no other words to call him. He's just a scumbag."
Bortolot says a probate court stopped Peter Kantorowski from trying to sell the house after the eviction papers were served on his mother in December.
Peter Kantorowski says he's just looking out for his mother's best interests.
"I'm not throwing her on the street," he said. "At her age, at 98, I'm sure that she should be with people of her peers. She should have her meals on time."

 SOURCE:    CBS NEWS
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Carefirst Seniors and Community Services Association - (Toronto, CANADA

Carefirst Seniors and Community Services Association - CANADA
Office phone     416-502-2323
Fax     416-502-2382
Email     info@carefirstseniors.com
Web site     www.carefirstseniors.com

Address     Administrative Office, 3601 Victoria Park Ave, Ste 501, Toronto, ON, M1W 3Y3
Location (Intersection)     Scarborough North (Victoria Park Ave and McNicoll Ave)
Contacts     Edith Lam, Program Director, 416-847-6007, edith.lam@carefirstseniors.com
Hours     Mon-Fri 9 am-5 pm * extended hours for some programs
Area served     City of Toronto, southern York Region, Mississauga
Languages of service     English ; Chinese (Mandarin) ; Chinese (Cantonese)
Eligibility     Seniors 50 years and older * adults with physical disabilities * focus on Chinese community
How to apply     Call intake * home visit assessment, self referral
Fees     $15 per year -- social program membership fee
Physical access     Wheelchair accessible building including main entrance and barrier free washrooms * designated parking
Service description     Adult Day Program -- Monday-Friday 9:30-3:30 * program available in Scarborough and Richmond Hill * for persons 55 years and over with special needs, such as physical frailty or mild memory impairment, in need of supervised, structured setting * social and recreation activities * lunch, snack * personal care and health related services -- exercise, foot care, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, massage therapy * transportation available
Chinese Bereavement Services -- culturally specific bereavement services * individual support and self help group * public education * seminars, workshops *information and referral
Chronic Disease Self Management Program -- 6 week workshop for adults with chronic medical conditions such as heart disease, arthritis, diabetes, asthma, bronchitis * individual counselling with nurse, dietitian and social worker * health and education workshops, seminars * caregiver education and support * information and referral * workshop licenced by Stanford University
Community Outreach -- outreach programs for those living in seniors apartments and suburban areas * retirement groups * seniors self help groups * community, wellness and health education * caregiver support * volunteer development
Community support services -- escort to medical appointments, telephone security checks, friendly visiting, hospice visiting, grocery shopping, client intervention and assistance -- free * congregate dining -- fee, subsidies available * transportation -- fee * Chinese meals on wheels -- fee * referrals, follow up
Elder Abuse Prevention Program -- Chinese Elder Abuse help line 416-502-2321 * elder abuse education *
supportive counselling
Home care services -- home help, homemaking, respite care, palliative care -- fee
Renal Social Support Centre -- for renal patients and individuals with kidney disease * program available in Scarborough * supervised day care, health maintenance, socialization * clean room for peritoneal dialysis * health related services -- physiotherapy, foot care, manicures, massage therapy, music therapy, reflexology * nutritional counselling * social and recreation activities * support group * transportation available

Supportive housing services -- for seniors requiring higher level of care * 24 hour on site services at Alexandra Park Apartments and Tam O'Shanter Towers * emergency response services

Wellness and Social Program -- social, recreational and educational programs for persons 50 years and over * drop-in centre * friendship groups * interest classes * outings

Services provided from 2 Toronto locations (see branch records) and branches in Richmond Hill (905-771-3700, 905-780-9646) and Mississauga (905-270-9988)
Organization type     Non Profit ; Registered Charity ; United Way

SOURCE:     211TORONTO.CA

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Nightingale Nursing Home will Face Legal Action (SINGAPORE)

Nightingale Nursing Home will face legal action
AsiaOne
Feb 17, 2012

The nursing home where staff were filmed mistreating an elderly resident in 2011 will face legal action, said Minister of State for Health Dr Amy Khor.
She was replying to a parliamentary question on Friday with regard to Nightingale Nursing Home.
Dr Khor said that police investigations into the incident had been completed and legal action will be taken.
The secretly-recorded video has created a furore since it was broadcast on television in June last year.
The clip, recorded in November 2010, showed Madam Peh Siew Lay, 75, being roughly handled by care workers.
Madam Peh is seen sitting on a chair fully naked, before two carers are shown throwing her onto the bed. Another worker was also seen slapping Madam Peh's mouth.
The workers, who are both foreigners, had their work permits revoked when the video emerged, but had remained in Singapore to help with investigations.
Nightingale Nursing Home has also been banned from accepting new residents.
Dr Khor said the Ministry of Health received nine complaints of alleged abuse in nursing homes since June 1, 2011.
Most of them had to do with the alleged rough handling of elderly residents when they were being moved by nursing home staff.
The homes are being monitored by the ministry to ensure compliance with protocols, she said.

SOURCE:      AsiaOne
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Designing Effective Strategies for Tackling Elder Abuse (EU)

Ageing in Dignity: Designing effective strategies for tackling elder abuse

Description

The purpose of the conference will be to take stock of the achievements of recent EU projects related to elder abuse and to exchange views about what needs and could be done at national and European level to protect the dignity and well-being of older people.

Following the 1st European high level conference of 2008 the European Commission is organising again a conference on the prevention of elder abuse.
The number of older people, particularly over the age of 80, will be growing very fast over the coming decades. While most of the over-80s can be expected to be able to live independently, a large minority are likely to be frail and dependent for prolonged periods on help from others, be they relatives or professional carers. They will be vulnerable to neglect or even abuse. Protecting the dignity of these people is becoming a major challenge for our societies.

Organised by
European Commission
Dates
28 November 2012
City / Country
Brussels, Belgium
Location
Centre A. Borschette Building, rue Froissart, room AB-0A

  Read more (Source: European Commission)
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February 18, 2012

Elderly Targeted in Burglary Scam (USA)

Elderly Targeted in Burglary Scam
February 16, 2012

Gwinnett and Walton law enforcement officials caution residents against allowing strangers to have any access to their homes even if they claim to be there for a legitimate reason.
Police are warning citizens about a home burglary scam in which the suspects either act like they know the victims or pretend that they are at the residence to work.
At the February TRIAD meeting in Loganville, Chief Deputy Bruce Wright and  Chief Mike McHugh warned local seniors to be on the lookout for similar type scams.
"We know seniors are the easiest people to scam," Wright said. "If something doesn't look right, call a neighbor, call one of your children or call 911."
"We would rather you call 911 and come out to find it was something legitimate than have you not call," McHugh added.
In Gwinnett, two such cases were reported recently in Lilburn, Cpl. Jake Smith said in an email. In both, the suspects used the same mode of operation, pretending they were there to work.

"In each case a Hispanic male lured the victim to the back of the home to inspect the property line," according to the email. "The suspect spoke on a walkie-talkie in Spanish to an unknown person while with the victims. The victims later reported that they were missing jewelry and cash."

The suspects appear to target elderly, white females.

One suspect described in an earlier case was Hispanic, about 5-foot-7, 175 to 185 pounds. He has a light skin tone and was reported to be clean shaven. In one incident, he claimed to be there to work on a fence. He was reported to be wearing blue jeans, a white, long-sleeve crewneck shirt and a white baseball cap. He spoke on a walkie-talkie in English and Spanish. The vehicle was described as a champagne-colored Ford F150.

Another suspect sought is a white male, 6- to 6-foot-3 inches tall, with an average build and blue eyes. He has identified himself in at least one case as "Michael Thompson." In that case, he claimed to be a former newspaper delivery man for the victim. The suspect was in a copper-colored, older-model vehicle (unknown if a car or truck).

The suspects have also been seen driving a white pickup of unknown model and make.

Two similar cases were reported recently in the Peachtree Corners and Norcross areas. In one, a white male suspect knocked on the door of a house and pretended to know the elderly female resident, using her name and even hugging her. The woman sensed he was trying to gain entry and told the man that her husband was at home. The suspect left quickly.

In the other case, a Hispanic male rang at the garage door and said he was there to install a fence, saying he had left a note a few days earlier. The victim spent some time in the back yard with the suspect, who was using a walkie-talkie. "The last time he spoke on the walkie-talkie, he spoke in Spanish, then quickly walked to the front of the home," the email said.

He drove away in a champagne-colored (or possibly light green) Ford F150.

"The victim later discovered that several pieces of her jewelry had been stolen while she was outside with the suspect," the email said.

Anyone who may have encountered the suspects, or who may have been scammed by them but not reported it, is asked to call detectives at             770-513-5300      .


SOURCE:      The DaculaPatch
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UnitingCare Community Elder Abuse National Conference 2012 (QLD. AUSTRALIA)

Elder Abuse is not a new phenomenon, however it is one that is now gaining a great deal more momentum and interest as people live longer and quality of life is higher than in past generations.  This creation of the 'old old' generation has meant that people need their assets to sustain them and provide for their care as they become frail and increasingly dependent on care.
The conference is being held to mark World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.  World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is a United Nations endorsed day aimed at raising awareness of elder abuse and the issues associated that impact on older people and their community
The two-day conference, on June 7-8 at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre, is being held to provide information about innovative research and strategies currently used to address elder abuse and prevention. The conference will also stimulate discussion to generate ideas and identify aspects of service delivery that need to be improved.
This conference is supported by the Australian Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (ANPEA).
Conference cost
Early Bird Registration - Closes 1 May 2012                          
Single Day   $225/person

Standard Registration - Closes 29 May 2012
Single Day   $275/person
Conference Dinner (7 June 2012)        
$100

SOURCE:   UCCOMMUNITY.org.au

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February 17, 2012

Program Focuses on Senior Scam Awareness (FL. USA)

DeLand program focuses on senior scam awareness
BY PATRICIO G. BALONA, STAFF WRITER
February 15, 2012

DELAND -- Poring over three years worth of reports, Officer Rod Hancock could not find evidence that a scam has been committed against a senior in DeLand, he said.
But that's not to say crimes against seniors do not occur. Some don't report the crime for fear of embarrassment, Hancock said.
For instance, in February 2010, police records show Matthew Hines, 41, was arrested and charged with exploiting a 64-year-old disabled woman recovering at a nursing home after being hospitalized with a stroke.
Police said Hines cashed several of her checks without her permission.
The DeLand Police Department has taken a proactive approach to help prevent seniors from becoming victims of crimes.



In his experience, Hancock said telemarketing fraud seems to be the trend against seniors in surrounding areas.
"We are seeing an upsurge in cold calls," Hancock said. "These are calls for solicitations to seniors over the telephone."
REPORT CRIMES: Under this program, seniors can come to their local police department and talk about how they were scammed or overbilled or about any other crime committed against them. "It's a viable alternative for seniors who feel like they have no one else to turn to," Henderson said.
WHERE TO CALL: If you are senior and you need help with some civil issue, you can visit the DeLand police station at 291 W. Howry Ave. or call            386-740-5875       and ask for Roberta Lewis or            386-740-5885       and ask for Officer Rod Hancock.


SOURCE:      NewsJournalOnline

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Reports of Abuse of Vulnerable Adults in Kent Increase (UK)

Reports of abuse of vulnerable adults in Kent increase
15 February 2012

The number of reported cases of abuse or neglect of vulnerable adults in care in Kent has risen since 2005.
Figures given to BBC Radio Kent show the number of referrals to Kent County Council's safeguarding team increased from 1,367 in 2005 to 2,271 in 2011.
Kent County Council said the increase did not mean more problems but more awareness of the risks.
Charities for the elderly said budget cuts could increase the risk of abuse or neglect not being reported.
'Getting information through'
The referrals relate to allegations of abuse or neglect of elderly people in council-run or privately-run care homes as well as adults with learning disabilities, mental health issues and those with physical disabilities.
Dr John Beer, from the charity Action on Elder Abuse, said: "An increase in referrals may be that you're getting information through to people and they know what to do.
"Apart from more reporting, there is a greater number of vulnerable, older people.
"You can't expect, with a rising number of frailer older people, to be able to manage this system safely on a reducing budget and successive governments haven't wanted to get us the people to face up to this."
Sandra Springett, from Age UK in Tunbridge Wells, said she had seen cases of elderly abuse ranging from "from terrible physical violence abuse, to families and friends taking advantage of older people and not seeing anything wrong with that".
She added: "We need a well-trained workforce. "If people know how not to abuse somebody and know how to recognise the signs that would go a long way."
No Secrets
Ms Springett said Age UK's funding from the council had been reduced last year by 5%.
The council's cabinet member for adult social services, Graham Gibbens, said the authority had not cut grants to Age UK in Kent and that safeguarding was its top priority.
He said: "What we are asking Age UK across Kent to do is to think how they can provide the services as efficiently as possible.
"I'm delighted there has been an increased number of referrals. This means that people are being increasingly aware."
The authority said the counting of referrals had changed over the years with the implementation of the Department of Health's No Secrets guidance and new counting conventions.


SOURCE:     BBC,UK
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Help Prevent Elder Abuse (USA)

Savvy Senior: Help prevent elder abuse
While elder abuse does happen in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities, the vast majority of incidents take place at home where the senior lives.
 BY JIM MILLER  
February 14, 2012

DEAR SAVVY SENIOR:
Can you write a column on the shameful crime of elder abuse? I've worked for Adult Protective Services for many years, and it seems like this ongoing problem doesn't get enough attention.
Concerned Citizen
DEAR CONCERNED:
I certainly can! Elder abuse is an immense and often hidden problem that all Americans need to be aware of so they can recognize it, and know what to do if they suspect a problem.
According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, around 3.5 million seniors are victims of abuse, but research suggests that this crime is significantly underreported and underidentified. Fewer than 1-in-6 cases of elder abuse ever get reported to the authorities because the victims are usually too afraid, too embarrassed, too helpless or too trusting to call for help.
The term “elder abuse” is defined as intentional or negligent acts by a caregiver or trusted individual that causes, or can cause, harm to a vulnerable senior. Elder abuse also comes in many different forms: physical abuse, emotional or psychological abuse, sexual abuse, abandonment, neglect and self-neglect, and financial exploitation which has increased significantly over the past few years because of the sour economy.
Those most vulnerable are seniors that are ill, frail, disabled, socially isolated or mentally impaired due to dementia or Alzheimer's disease.
It's also important to know that while elder abuse does happen in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities, the vast majority of incidents take place at home where the senior lives. And tragically, the abusers are most often their own family members (usually the victim's adult child or spouse) or caregiver.
Recognizing elder abuse
So how can you tell if a friend or your loved one is being abused, and what can you do to help?
A change in general behavior is a universal warning sign that a problem exists. If your elder friend or loved one becomes withdrawn or gets upset or agitated easily, you need to start asking questions. Here are some additional warning signs on the different types of elder abuse that can help you spot a possible problem.
Physical or sexual abuse: Suspicious bruises or other injuries that can't be explained. Sudden changes in behavior (upset, withdrawn, fearful). Broken eyeglasses. Caregiver's refusal to allow visitors to see an elder alone.
Emotional or psychological abuse (insults, intimidation, threats, social isolation): The elder is extremely upset, agitated, withdrawn, unresponsive, fearful or depressed, or demonstrates some other unusual behavior.
Neglect or self-neglect: Malnourishment, weight loss, unattended medical needs, poor hygiene, unsanitary and unsafe living conditions.
Financial exploitation: Missing money or valuables. Unexplained withdrawals from bank accounts, or transfers between accounts. Unauthorized use of credit, debit or ATM card. Unpaid bills despite available funds. Checks written as a loan or gift. Abrupt changes in a will or other documents.
What to do
The best ways to help prevent elder abuse is to be in touch, and keep the lines of communication open. If you suspect any type of elder abuse or neglect, report it to your local protective services agency.
Adult Protective Services is the government agency responsible for investigating cases and providing help and guidance. Call the Eldercare Locator at             (800) 677-1116       or visit the National Center on Elder Abuse website (ncea.aoa.gov) to get the agency contact number in your area.
If however, you feel the person is in immediate danger, call 911 or the local police for immediate help.


SOURCE:      NewsOK.com
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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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