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

September 26, 2012

Care for Elderly but Avoid Errors: Expert

September 25, 2012

Proper planning and an appropriate financing scheme are key for Thailand to achieve a sustainable scheme to support its ageing population and avoid the failures witnessed by several countries such as Japan and some European nations.
"The philosophy is important. The financing scheme is critical. Plan very well and don't misuse funds. You have to pin down the objectives and stick to the rules," Professor Naohiro Ogawa of the Nihon University Population Research Institute said yesterday.

"Life expectancy changes fast. Humans are creating this disaster," he said, explaining that this was the result of maintaining a decades-old retirement age without changing it to match the longer life expectancy.

Like Ogawa, Mathana Phananiramai, a former lecturer at Thammasat University, urged the government to extend the retirement age to cope with higher expenditures on the elderly. When Ogawa said this was the easiest option for Thailand to ensure sustainability of the pension scheme, Mathana said this was the only way to allow Thais to save more to support themselves in retirement.

She suggested the initial extension of the retirement age in some industries.

With people aged 60 and older to account for 25 per cent of the population in 2030 compared with 12 per cent now, Thailand is not prepared for the greying of society when fewer workers will be in the labour market to support the older population.

According to a research project overseen by Mathana, Thailand's elderly now rely evenly on their own savings, labour income and financial support from their children, while government support is near zero.

On the sidelines of the "Asian Regional NTA Conference on Intergenerational Transfers, Population Ageing and Social Protection in Asia", Ogawa urged Thailand to think carefully on what would be the right kind of pension scheme for the Kingdom and how to finance it.

In 1961, Japan established a national pension scheme to provide job security. After changes in the economic structure that made seniority-based promotion unworkable, coupled with the misuse of pension funds for investment in golf courses and resorts, many Japanese lost trust in the scheme and some have refused to pay their contributions.

The government now has to help finance the operation and the burden will only rise, as Japanese life expectancy is over 90 years on average. To fix the problems, the retirement age in Japan will be raised to 65 next March, while companies are allowed to pay half-salary to employees aged 60 or more.

"You should just forget lifetime employment and live with an ability-oriented approach. The Japanese now want to work after retirement. Twenty years ago, they left jobs because of health. Now, at 65, they are still healthy," Ogawa said.

Drawing a lesson from this, when it started a national pension scheme in 1997, South Korea required everyone to work hard in return for financial benefits. Still, despite the lessons, some countries failed. Kazakhstan, for example, initiated its scheme in 2004 on the recommendation of the World Bank, only to report huge losses from the 2008 financial crisis.

"China, India, the Philippines and Thailand - everybody wants to come up with the best social-security system. But we just can't duplicate the same thing," said Ogawa, who oversaw a regional research project in cooperation with the Thailand Development Research Institute.

Commissioned by the International Development Research Centre, the project involving academic and research institutions in China, India, the Philippines and Vietnam. They set out to examine ways to cope with lower productivity when the population grows older and other socio-economic inequalities hurt both the young generation and the elderly. In some countries, it turned out that Asian governments invested so much on the youth, mostly on education, that few resources were left for the elderly. And as these two age groups compete for resources, taxpayers or those in the working-age group bear the burden.

The research project basically employs the framework of national transfer accounts (NTAs) developed by Professor Ronald Lee of the University of California at Berkeley and Professor Andrew Mason of the University of Hawaii.

Mason said the framework helped establish statistics on economic contribution from people of different age groups and their consumption as well as government spending to different groups. For Thailand, where government spending on the elderly is almost nil, the statistics show the need for all workers to save up. But when the Thai government wants to start a social safety net, it needs to fulfill promises.

"Globally, we expect modest population decline but we don't promote fertility to cope with the ageing structure. We're rather moving to become human-capital-intensive, when the number of workers doesn't matter any more.

"A lesson drawn is that ageing poses some challenges for us. We need good safety nets. It's really important to have in place a social safety net to help people deal with the risks," Mason said.

Taxpayers, who in the United States shoulder 30-35 per cent of elderly expenses, should not be entirely burdened or that would lead to no sustainability, he added.

 SOURCE:     TheNation, Thailand


Click for Updates, More Cases and Resources
Search LABELS for More Resources

Abuse Cases Highlight Home Caregiver Perils

Families and advocates say oversight is lacking for independent agencies
Written by Kristina Davis
Sept. 24, 2012

A World War II veteran neglected and living in squalor in his East County home.
An elderly Rancho Bernardo man slain after being scammed out of a half-million dollars.
A blind couple suffering from dementia duped into signing over their Cardiff house.
In each case, in-home caregivers have been charged criminally for the abuse.

And now, two caregivers have been charged with punching, kicking and shoving a young autistic man hundreds of times at his family’s home in Valley Center.
Law enforcement and health care advocates in San Diego County say such cases underscore the lack of regulations for home caregivers who are tasked with watching over one of society’s most vulnerable populations.
“We have victims who can’t advocate for themselves,” said sheriff’s Sgt. Mark Varnau of the department’s elder abuse unit. “These people are prisoners in their own homes. There is no way to summon aid, no ability to pick up the phone, sometimes they are medicated or overmedicated and confined to beds.”
Such was the case with 23-year-old Jamey Oakley, the severely autistic, nonverbal victim who had no way to communicate the alleged abuse he was suffering when left alone with two of his caregivers.
Michael Dale Garritson, 61, and Matthew Alexander McDuffie, 27, were charged with abuse Wednesday after secret video recordings made in July and August showed hundreds of incidents over a three-week period, authorities said.
Both pleaded not guilty in Vista Superior Court Friday.
The case illustrates many of the frustrations and potential dangers families face when opening their homes to caregivers.

While day-care centers and nursing homes are regulated by the state and are required to run background checks on employees, no law requires oversight of independent caregiver agencies.
Many agencies claim to run background checks, but often the reviews aren’t extensive, according to a 2011 report by the state Senate Office of Oversight and Outcomes. In other cases, agencies still approved caregivers with criminal convictions, the report found.
Investigators and advocates who deal with the elderly and disabled say that’s why it’s so important for families to do their own homework on caregivers — and recommended going as far as hiring a private investigator.
“If your loved one will be alone with an individual, you really have to make sure they’re protected,” said Ellen Schmeding, assistant deputy director of the county’s Aging and Independence Services.
In the case of Garritson and McDuffie, both came up as having no criminal records when U-T San Diego ran their names using a basic background check service.
But a quick Google search of Garritson brought up news reports about how he was charged, then eventually acquitted, of second-degree murder in a baby’s 1979 death in Orange County, as well as how he was convicted of misdemeanor animal cruelty decades later in San Diego County.

 SOURCE:      UTSanDiego


Click for Updates, More Cases and Resources
Search LABELS for More Resources

Nurse Indicted for Patient Abuse, Drug Possession

Nina Perez, 31, of Berwick, Maine indicted by Rockingham County Grand Jury following her arrest in August that she deprived a patient of morphine at Edgewood Centre.
By Robert Cook
September 24, 2012

A Berwick, Maine woman who authorities say deprived an elderly patient of morphine so she could take the drug at a Portsmouth elderly care facility has been indicted by a Rockingham County Grand Jury.
Nina Perez, 31, of 93A Rochester St. in Berwick, Maine was indicted in September for one felony count of possession of a controlled drug and indicted for another felony count of abuse of facility patients while she worked as a nurse in May at the Edgewood Centre in Portsmouth.
According to court documents, Perez allegedly deprived one elderly patient of morphine so she could use it on May 19, 2012.

 SOURCE:      PortsmouthNHPatch


Click for Updates, More Cases and Resources
Search LABELS for More Resources

September 21, 2012

Nursing Assistant Pleads 'Not Guilty'

 Nursing Assistant Pleads 'Not Guilty' to Charges of Elder Abuse at Jamaica Plain Nursing Home
Prosecutors say Marie Romelus, 48, struck an elderly person in her care at the Armenian Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in Jamaica Plain.
By Chris Helms
September 18, 2012

[Editor's note: The following is a press release from the Attorney General's Office.]

A former Certified Nursing Assistant at the Armenian Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in Jamaica Plain was arraigned today in connection with the alleged assault of a 70-year-old disabled resident at the facility, Attorney General Martha Coakley’s Office announced today.
Marie Romelus, 48, of Hyde Park, is charged with assault and battery on an elderly person. She was arraigned in the West Roxbury Division of the Boston Municipal Court.
In June 2012, the AG’s Office began an investigation after the matter was referred by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Authorities allege that in May 2012, Romelus physically assaulted the victim when she became resistant to care. According to a witness, Romelus allegedly struck the victim, who has suffered a stroke and has long-term cognitive impairment, twice on the chest with her hand while the victim was lying in her bed.
On Tuesday, Romelus pleaded not guilty before Judge Ernest Sarason and was released on personal recognizance. She was ordered not to provide services to elders or people with disabilities. Romelus is due back in court on Nov. 13, 2012 for a pre-trial conference.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Kriss Basil and is being investigated by Investigators Jessica Roy and Robert Ames, all of AG Coakley’s Medicaid Fraud Division.

 SOURCE:       The JamaicaPlain Patch

Click for Updates, More Cases and Resources
Search LABELS for More Resources

September 20, 2012

Elder Abuse Awareness

September 19, 2012

Anyone who has placed a father, mother, grandparent or other relative in a nursing home knows how hard it is to make the decision. We all want our independence, but health problems require the move for many older people.
While this area is fortunate to have several facilities that offer excellent care, a case emerged recently where, according to police, a local nursing home employee admitted to hitting a resident on the right side of her face. In this case, the local nursing home took immediate and decisive action, and the person no longer works there. But the broader issue of elder abuse remains.
The Southeast Missourian recently reported that according to estimates, 1 million to 2 million Americans age 65 or older have been mistreated in some capacity by a caregiver. With these figures and a local connection in mind, we ask: How do we prevent this kind of abuse?
For nursing homes, it's important to make good hires. There are many who choose caregiving as a profession. It's a noble calling, and we thank those who show this compassion. Nevertheless, it's important that nursing homes have a thorough hiring process and provide ongoing oversight.
The elderly receiving care also have a responsibility. While some may not be in a position to speak up for themselves, others can. These individuals should feel free to express their concerns to a trusted caregiver, a family member or friend. By speaking up, you may be able to prevent someone else from being injured or otherwise mistreated.
Family members also have a responsibility. By making regular visits, talking with your loved one and asking questions, you can play a vital role in preventing abuse.
There are few things more gut-wrenching than finding out someone has been abused. But with proper vigilance, your efforts may prevent the mistreatment of someone else.
To learn more about elder abuse, go to www.health.mo.gov/safety/abuse. To report abuse, call Missouri's Elder Abuse and Neglect Hotline at 800-392-0210.

SOURCE:       The SEMissourian

Click for Updates, More Cases and Resources
Search LABELS for More Resources

Elderly exploiters can be ‘so smooth’
by Trevor Baratko
Sep. 18, 2012
“Grandma, before you say anything, I want you to know I don’t do drugs. But I have a problem.”
With those words, the world seemed to stop for Georgiana Moser of Leesburg.
The call came one morning earlier this summer. Moser was sleeping in, something she said she rarely does. Still waking up, she answered and heard that soft, timid sentence from who she thought was her grandson, William.
“Please don’t tell mom and dad. The officer will tell you what to do,” the young man continued.
William and a friend, it was soon explained by a so-called cop, had been traveling through Canada in a rental car. After being pulled over for speeding, the cop said, a small amount of drugs was found in the trunk.
“He told me, ‘the drugs weren’t enough to be considered trafficking, and, given it’s a rental car, the drugs may not even be his,’” Moser recalled the cop telling her.
“He really said it’s just a case of William being in the wrong place at the wrong time,” she said.
This cop was just “so smooth,” Moser explained. Kind and calming, the officer told Moser that her grandson had spent the night in jail with his friend. The friend’s parents had just sent money for bond, and William wanted to call his grandma to see if she’d be willing to shell out the bond money.
“He said he really didn’t want his parents to find out,” Moser, 83, said.
Two-thousand dollars. Moser would need to send $2,000 to get her only grandson out of a Canadian jail, later described vaguely as the “Montreal jail” by the officer. The grandmother could wire the money to a local bondsman, but that would mean the arrest would be permanently on the young man’s record, the cop claimed. If she wired the money to a different bond company, one in South America, the arrest wouldn’t show up on his record, however.
Reflecting on that morning weeks later, Moser can see that maybe she wasn’t thinking straight. She wasn’t entirely awake, she notes. But more than anything, the man pretending to be a cop was just “so convincing.” He slowly walked her through what happened, stressed that her grandson hadn’t necessarily done anything wrong and wasn’t in danger, and carefully detailed what needed to be done in order to ensure the grandson’s safety.

 For seniors themselves, measures they can take to avoid being the target of fraud include:
*Eliminating paper checks – social security, disability, insurance – whenever possible and opting for direct deposit;
*Keeping in touch with friends and family to avoid isolation;
*Placing the senior’s number on the do-not-call registry (donotcall.gov);
*Issuing a trusted friend or relative the power of attorney;
*Never giving out any personal banking or credit card info to anyone who seems suspect.
Moreover, if a financial, medical or insurance offer requires a quick decision, refrain from acting in haste. For her part, Moser expounds on this line of thought.
“If something like this happens, just take 30 minutes and calm down. Take 30 minutes and go to the sheriff’s office and talk about what happened,” she says.

 SOURCE:      The LoudounTimes

Click for Updates, More Cases and Resources
Search LABELS for More Resources

Hundreds of Local Seniors Attend 'Scam Jam' to Join Fight Against Fraud

 Hundreds of local seniors attended ‘Scam Jam’ at the Criminal Justice Training Center in Burien on Monday (Sept. 17), an event aimed at helping people fight scams and fraud.
Consumers lose billions of dollars every year to various kinds of consumer fraud. According to a study conducted by AARP, people over 50 years of age are especially vulnerable and account for more than half of all victims.
A packed room of nearly 400 local seniors turned out to learn how they could spot and stop consumer fraud.
“Whether it’s bogus investment deals, the Grandparent Scam, or the newest ID Theft ploy – sophisticated con-artists are busy at work coming up with new ways to get you to hand over your hard-earned money,” says AARP Fraud Fighter Call Center Director Jean Mathisen. “It’s important to keep up to date on the latest scams and schemes to help protect you and the people you care about.”
Scam Jam attendees heard from more than a dozen organizations including the Office of the Insurance Commissioner, Attorney General’s Office, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Federal Trade Commission, Senior Medicare Patrol, Adult Protective Services and others.
U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkin presented a section on “Skimming and Internet Fraud.” Ms. Durkin warned the crowd of the growing instances of “skimming” aimed at stealing bank card numbers and PINs from unsuspecting consumers. Scammers often get the information by installing scanners and small cameras on ATM machines. She urged consumers to take a few simple steps to avoid getting snared including:
1.    Wiggle the card reader: This is often where scammers will install devices to read your card and capture your information.
2.    Look for suspicious holes: Scammers may install small cameras that peer through pinholes in the ATM machine.
3.    Cover the keypad: Cover the keypad when entering your PIN. Also look around and make sure no one is watching over your shoulder or standing above or around you where they can see what your PIN is.
4.    Check your accounts: Check your accounts on a regular basis to make sure no one has made charges on your account or withdrawn your funds.

Mark Couey from the special investigations unit at the Office of the Insurance Commissioner talked to the group about insurance scams. According to Couey, 10% of all insurance clams may be fraudulent costing nearly $1.67 billion per year or $625 for every household in Washington State.
Couey warned attendees to be on the lookout for fake insurance companies out to defraud consumers by collecting premiums for bogus policies with no intention of paying claims. These so-called companies might offer policies at costs that are significantly lower than competitors’ prices or they might be difficult to reach by phone — if there’s a listed phone number at all. He urged consumers to check out insurance agents and companies before doing business by using the OIC’s online lookup tool at www.insurance.wa.gov.
Attendees also learned how to spot and stop Medicare fraud during a presentation by Roya Rezai, Branch Chief for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Rezai warned the crowd that if anyone contacts you and claims to be from Medicare or the Social Security Administration and they ask you to share your Medicare number – it’s a scam. Medicare already has your number and anyone who asks for it may be targeting you for Identity Theft.
Rezai also urged the group to review their Explanation of Benefits form from Medicare for charges on any services they did not receive. She counseled them to call the Statewide Health Insurance Benefits Advisors (SHIBA) program with any concerns or questions at 1-800-562-6900. SHIBA is a program of the State Office of the Insurance Commissioner.
In all, more than 16 separate agencies and organizations participated in Scam Jam. AARP has posted a full list of the organizations and contact information on their website. If consumers have any questions about scams and schemes, they can contact the AARP Fraud Fighter Call Center toll-free at 1-800-646-2283 or visit www.aarp.org/wa.

SOURCE:     The b-TownBlog

Click for Updates, More Cases and Resources
Search LABELS for More Resources

September 13, 2012

The $90,000 Lesson: Protecting Elders from Finanacial Abuse

September 12, 2012

The son of a woman bilked out of $90,000 has advice for other grown children concerned about their aging parents: Get involved sooner rather than later.

At his mother's house in Oregon, John Fread noticed a credit card statement with a balance of $20,000. Scammers had charged almost five times that much on several accounts. They started as phone solicitors and eventually sent people to her home to lift financial information.

Fread says the ordeal took a terrible toll - not only on his mother's finances, but on her health.

"We are having to really offer emotional support that we never expected. My mom - you know, tough old girl - is now very vulnerable, and her confidence is gone. These people really robbed what should have been the last great part of her life; they took that away from her."

Fread advises grown children to get to know their parents' neighbors, and check out any new people or caregivers in their lives. Glance at their incoming mail and caller ID for hints of scams and solicitations. Don't worry about seeming 'nosy', he says - he wishes he had been.

The Arizona Attorney General's Office says reports of elder abuse in the state are up 150 percent in the past decade, with financial exploitation and fraud the most common forms of abuse.

Fread says collection agencies still are hounding his family about the credit card debt, even though they've been informed of the scam. He hopes other families can avoid these problems by having conversations that may be uncomfortable - but necessary.

"Y'know, 'Mom, Dad, things are a little different in your generation than my generation. Here are some things that we need to talk about because I've seen it happening - it's in the news,' for example. It's so much easier to sit down and have the tough conversation proactively than try to scramble and reactively try to fix something."

The Area Agency on Aging in Phoenix estimates only about one case in 14 is ever reported.

A report from MetLife Insurance Co. estimates the loss by victims of elder financial abuse at $2.9 billion a year. Its research is online at metlife.com.
Doug Ramsey, Public News Service - AZ

SOURCE:    PublicNewsService


Click for Updates, More Cases and Resources
Search LABELS for More Resources

Elder Abuse Calls Prompts New Role (NEW ZEALAND)


A deluge of calls relating to elder abuse will see Age Concern Marlborough taking on an extra staff member to deal with the problem.
The group has received a grant from the Social Development Ministry's Family and Community Services department to employ the specialised worker after receiving more than 100 calls relating to elder abuse in Marlborough last year.
Community support worker Helen North said Age Concern Marlborough did not have an exact figure for calls between June 2011 and July 2012 because there was no-one working solely on elder abuse. Staff started taking note of elder abuse calls in June last year after noticing a surge in complaints, she said.
The elder abuse and neglect prevention co-ordinator starts in Marlborough at the beginning of next month, bringing the Age Concern team to three, alongside the community support worker and support services worker.
The new staff member would provide support to older people and work alongside inter-agency group the Marlborough Violence Intervention Project Committee, which includes other anti-abuse groups such as Women's Refuge. The committee was intending to organise elder abuse seminars and events to highlight the growing problem.
Ms North said elder abuse often went unreported because it involved family members and victims felt ashamed and embarrassed.
"After making initial contact, they often don't want to take it any further," she said.
"It's like the elephant in the room, nobody wants to talk about it."
Elder abuse wasn't just physical, but could involve taking financial advantage of an older person, not listening and over-riding their choices, threats of abandonment and taking over their property, she said.
Those responsible were not always aware that they were guilty of abuse.
Age Concern Marlborough chairwoman Jane Laing said she welcomed the ministry grant to provide a specialist to counter abuse of the elderly.

"Our statistics show us that there is a need for an elder abuse co-ordinator in our community and these funds will help us extend our services to accommodate this need."

SOURCE:      Stuff.co.nz


Click for Updates, More Cases and Resources
Search LABELS for More Resources

Seniors, Caregivers, Service Providers Get Tips on Preventing Elder Abuse

Sept. 12, 2012
By Dawn Gagnon, BDN Staff

\One in every nine people over the age of 60 is the victim of some form of elder abuse, including financial exploitation, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
In Maine, that translates to 33,000 seniors, according to some of the experts who participated in “Outsmarting Financial Fraud and Elder Abuse,” a free educational seminar on elder financial fraud and abuse held Tuesday at Spectacular Event Center.
The event, provided at no cost to participants, was one of five being held around Maine this week, organizers said Tuesday.
Based on national statistics, it’s estimated that nearly 5,000 elders in Maine are victims of financial abuse each year, says Jessica Maurer, executive director of the Maine Association of Area Agencies on Aging and chairwoman of the newly formed Maine Council for Elder Abuse Prevention.
The numbers also show that more often than not — in as many as 90 percent of all cases — the abuser is someone close to the elderly victim, such as a son, daughter or other family member or caregiver, adds Martha Perkins, regional manager of the Maine Department of Health and Human Services’ Office on Aging and Disabilities Services. That is why many cases go unreported, she said.

While underreported, the financial loss suffered by victims of elder financial abuse nationally is believed to total at least $2.6 billion annually, according to the Department of Justice.
“For too long we have ignored this as an issue,” Perkins said. “We are losing our elderly to an epidemic rarely talked about.”
As the Maine Office of Securities noted in a recent news release, the escalation of elder financial abuse in Maine and the nation makes it one of the fastest growing crimes of the 21st century.
That is why the state’s office of securities, the FINRA Investor Education Foundation, the Maine Association of Area Agencies on Aging, Legal Services for the Elderly, Rape Response Services and others teamed up to offer senior citizens around Maine — and those who care for or provide services to them — tips on how to avoid being a victim of financial and other forms of abuse, including physical, sexual and emotional.
The point of the session was to give seniors and those who care about them some “red flags” to watch for, some practical tips for prevention fraud and other forms of abuse, what to know when attempting to intervene, and resources for getting help, including legal advice.
According to Susan Arthur, an investor education trainer for FINRA who spoke in Bangor, some of the top persuasion tactics used by scammers — which should be considered red flags are:
• “Phantom riches,” or assets and products that do not exist. (Such as Ponzi schemes.)
• Source credibility, or the use of credentials, licenses and certifications that may not exist. “The bottom line here with all of that is that can be faked,” Arthur said.
• Social consensus, or group pressure, which Arthur described as the “Everybody else is doing this; it must be good” line of thinking. Even churches have been caught up in those cases, she said.
• Reciprocity. It’s typical for someone in their golden years to want to give when someone gives to them, Arthur said, noting that many offer to bring wine or a dish when invited to dinner. But a free lunch or vacation shouldn’t lead to a $100,000 investment, she said. “Just make sure it’s an equitable exchange,” she said.
• Scarcity, or “If something is rare or scarce, it must be valuable.” Television infomercials and shopping channels have this tactic down pat, she said. “It’s a very effective and powerful tactic and it’s often used at the very end of a sales pitch,” she said.
Her key words of advice? “Ask and check.”
For information about elder financial abuse, call the state’s office of securities at 877-624-8551 and the Maine Association of Area Agencies on Aging at 877-353-3771.
In addition, FINRA’s website, SaveAndInvest.org, offers a wealth of information and tips aimed at helping seniors and others avoid becoming fraud victims.

SOURCE:     The BangorDailyNews


Click for Updates, More Cases and Resources
Search LABELS for More Resources

September 11, 2012

Elder Abuse Case Sheds Light on Growing Problem

Sep 08, 2012

A case of elder abuse in the city of Staunton led to a 10-year prison term for a full-time caregiver on Thursday.
Jeannette Hymes, 50, was the sole caregiver for the victim, 85-year-old Russell Beach. Soon after Beach died in May 2010, an autopsy showed he was emaciated, and had suffered multiple injuries.
In addition to the death of Beach, are multiple allegations of sexual abuse at a Staunton nursing home. They're among thousands of cases that adult protective services look into each year. Many begin with a family member, friend or neighbor who steps up and speaks up.
Thursday was a rare conviction under the criminal code "abuse and neglect of an incapacitated adult."
"They're hard cases to prove, because as the defense attorney said, old people die, old people fall, old people don't eat, old people don't go to the doctor when they should. And you've got to overcome all those things," said Commonwealth's Attorney Ray Robertson.
Prosecutors did overcome that in the case of victim Russell Beach. His out-of-state family members said they never thought it could happen.
Lynn Harris with the Staunton Senior Center said, "If you have any suspicions at all, doesn't have to be founded... You don't have to do any research. You don't have to do anything except make a phone call to Adult Protective Services."
That agency is getting more calls, nearly 9,000 substantiated reports in Virginia last year. APS says financial exploitation has exploded since the start of the recession.
Nicole Medina with APS said, "There are a lot of people moving back in to their homes with their elderly or disabled relatives. And then you see folks utilizing those people's social security checks for their own needs, rather than taking care of their loved ones."
Senior advocates say there are still far more cases of elder abuse that go unreported.
Harris said, "Let's stop concentrating on whether or not someone's going to get in trouble. Let's concentrate on whether we're going to help somebody who really needs that help."


Click for Updates, More Cases and Resources
Search LABELS for More Resources

Reverse Mortgage $$ Targeted in 2 Alleged Cases of Elderly Financial Abuse (HAWAII)

September 7th, 2012

Law enforcement agencies here are investigating two men for alleged financial abuse of elderly women, Hawaii Reporter has learned.
One case involves businessman Daniel Doi, the target of several legal complaints filed in the past two years by state regulators and the Attorney General’s office.
“We’re going to request that the Circuit Court issues a permanent injunction against Mr. Doi,” Deputy Attorney General C. Brian Fitzgerald said today.
The action comes after a Washington D.C. resident, Elizabeth Pierotti, complained to state officials and Honolulu police about Doi’s attempts to sell financial services to Pierotti’s 85-year-old aunt in Hawaii.
“When my aunt told me the story of what Mr. Doi was doing, I immediately Googled his name and up popped a 2010 story in Hawaii Reporter about him,” Pierotti said.
The story concerned a legal complaint filed against Doi by the Attorney General’s office, alleging that he was engaged in the unauthorized sales of legal service plans and that his sales activities “deceived elderly consumers.”
Pierotti said she called contact numbers contained in the story and spoke with officials in the Attorney General’s office and the state Insurance Division.
Doi did not respond to a request for comment left today on his cell phone.
Pierotti said her aunt told her Doi visited her home “several times” and offered to sell her products involving “Medicaid eligibility” and “asset protections trusts,”  eventually convincing her to pay him $15,000 “for what he said were legal fees.”
“She wrote him a check, he cashed it and then he wanted her to take money out of her reverse mortgage account and put it in a different account,” Pierotti said.
“My aunt called the mortgage company to withdraw the funds, but they questioned her about the withdrawal and said it didn’t sound right,” Pierotti continued.
“My aunt called me and that’s when I researched Mr. Doi. I called him and said I wanted him to refund the money to my aunt because I was going to contact the authorities about what he was doing,” she said.
“He did refund the money, which had been paid to a company called Kupuna Group, Inc.,” she said.
A letter accompanying the refund check said Pierotti’s aunt, by accepting the refund, agreed “not to pursue any legal action or complaint” against Kupuna Group or its officers or agents.
“I think what he is doing is outrageous. The elderly are easy prey and are reluctant to come forward when they’ve been victimized,” Pierotti sazid.

SOURCE:      The HawaiiReporter

Click for Updates, More Cases and Resources
Search LABELS for More Resources

Elder Abuse Not As Rare As Reports Suggest

 Elder abuse not as rare as reports suggest, area advocates say
September 10, 2012
By Scott Moyers ~ Southeast Missourian

Imagine a weathered and wrinkled face, one that has seen nearly a century of life. Now watch as it recoils suddenly into a grimace of fear as another -- this one 70 years younger -- distorts to anger, draws back a wrinkle-free open hand and then uses it on the one that has been smiling almost since the Titanic sank.
And the younger one uses enough force that, tomorrow, there will be bruising.
It's a situation that police say played out last month at a Cape Girardeau nursing home, where a nurse's aide, no longer employed there, now faces charges of elder abuse.
Police say Sherri L. Sprenger, who was set to graduate with her licensed practical nursing degree this month, admitted to them that she hit the woman on the right side of her face with the back of her right hand. Sprenger told police she did so because she had lost her temper after the victim yelled at her, court records show. What the truth is will play out in court, with an arraignment set for Sept. 24 in Jackson.
Still, elder abuse is a sobering and blood-boiling thought, no doubt, for those with grandmothers, older aunts or special friends whose age stretches past a certain number. But it's also one that seldom is talked about in Cape Girardeau and surrounding communities. Records from the Cape Girardeau Police Department show that reports of elder abuse in all its guises is rare. For example, the report that Sprenger hit a 98-year-old resident at the Lutheran Home was the first such report of elder abuse made in 2012. In all of last year, there were two, the records show.
Rare reporting doesn't mean that the abuse is rare, said several local advocates for the aging and nursing home administrators. Much of the time, seniors stay silent. It is estimated that for every one case of elder abuse, about five more go unreported.
Viviane Rains, the administrator at the Missouri Veterans Home in Cape Girardeau, has worked in nursing home administration for nearly two decades. She worked with Sprenger, who worked at the veterans home in the past. Rains said labor laws forbid her from commenting about Sprenger's work record there -- or if there were other similar reports in Sprenger's file from her days there.
But Rains said she has made reports of elder abuse to the state as required by law. And every time she hears about even the possibility of such an incident, she said she is taken aback.
"Sometimes I just can't believe how wrong it is," Rains said. "I have dedicated my life, not only to serving veterans, but to serving the elderly. In my field, you take it personally every time. It hits close to home."
Rains is quick to point out that she believes that far and away most of the people who go into senior care are good at their jobs and never would dream of hurting the elderly. But she agrees that if it happens once, that's too much.
Since announcing that Sprenger no longer worked there, the Lutheran Home has declined requests for comment.

SOURCE:        SeMissourian

Click for Updates, More Cases and Resources
Search LABELS for More Resources

Abuse of Elders is a Hidden Social Problem: Kayakattan (INDIA)

 Abuse of elders is a hidden social problem: Kayakattan

Abuse of elders is a hidden social problem, Jacob Kayakattan, Director, Centre for Gerontological Studies, and president, Indian Sociological Society, said here on Sunday.
He was speaking on “How to fight elder abuse” at the second day of a conference on “Challenges in delivering primary care to the geriatric population in India” organised by Kasturba Medical College, Mangalore.
There are no numbers to show the extent of the problem, which he called “a crying shame”, because it is known only through participant observation. While abuse of elders takes place across classes, those in the middle and upper classes do not speak of it because it reflects on their children, he said.
Dr. Kayakattan said that while the community has to be sensitised towards the needs of the elderly, the elders also should understand the young of today. “Don’t expect too much from your children, if you do, you will end up getting disappointed,” he said. Falls among the elderly can be prevented, said Anand Ambali, Consultant Physician and geriatrician, Geriatric Clinic, BLDE University B.M. Patil Medical College, speaking on “falls among the elderly”. Some steps, which could be taken at home to ensure the elderly do not fall, are to secure carpet edges, use non-skid floors, stay in well-lighted areas, remove low furniture and objects on the floor, reduce clutter, cords, and wires. Install grab bars and rubber mats in bathrooms, handrails in stairs, and keep the light on in bathrooms through the night, he said.
Age, gender cognitive decline and arthritis, lack of exercise, inappropriate footwear, and presbyopic lens, lead to falls. Other risk factors are diuretics, anticonvulsants and antipsychotics. Fever can also be a cause of falls. Later, in the question-answer session, Dr. Ambali said that elderly patients continued to take sleeping pills (which could lead to falls) despite being asked to stop taking them. Seetharam Rao, professor, Department of Orthopaedics, KMC, Mangalore said, falls can lead to serious injury in elderly persons. The time from injury to discovery is important as it could make the difference between life and death. A fall can lead to bruises, head injury, brain haemorrhage, pneumonia or death. After a fall, the elderly may fear repeated falls, get depressed, and lose confidence, he said.
Speaking on the “Role of assistive devices”, he said devices used by the elderly should be of the right size and design otherwise they could cause a fall, said Dr. Rao.

 SOURCE:      The Hindu


Click for Updates, More Cases and Resources
Search LABELS for More Resources

September 8, 2012

Greedy Birmingham Carer Claimed £13,000 Benefits from Dead Mum (UK)

SEPT 6, 2012

A GREEDY Birmingham son netted £13,000 by claiming benefits for his DEAD MUM for more than 18 months.
Sazzadur Rahman, 45, was the named carer for his elderly mother Monwara Khatun and had all her income paid into their joint account.
But when she died at Acocks Green Nursing Home in August 2009 he failed to tell the Department of Works and Pension.
The crooked son then continued to bank and spend her benefits for 18 months, netting £13,000.
But a tip-off sparked an investigation by benefit fraud investigators and Rahman was prosecuted. He was sentenced to a 12 month community order and ordered to undertake 200 hours unpaid work when he was brought before the courts this summer.
The court heard he had claimed Income Support for himself and his wife from July 2008 on the basis he was the principal carer for his mother, had no savings and, apart from Carers Allowance, no other form of income.
Mrs Khatun was receiving Retirement Pension, Pension Credit and Attendance Allowance which was all paid into a joint account she held at Lloyds TSB with her son.
But a DWP investigation started in June 2010 when information was received which indicated Rahman was cashing his deceased mother’s benefits, as well as his own.
During an interview under caution in February 2011, he confirmed that his mother had died on August 3, 2009, and that he had failed to declare this fact to the DWP. His benefits were stopped immediately.
Rahman initially stated that he had used the cash to pay back friends for money borrowed to take his mother’s body to her native Bangladesh.
But he later admitted he had used the £13,000 for his day-to-day living expenses.
He also claimed that he had not informed the DWP of his mother’s death as he had asked a local neighbourhood advice centre to organise the halting of the benefits, as his English was very poor.
Yet when the payments didn’t stop, he took no further action and continued to spend the money.

 SOURCE:       TheBirminghamMail

Click for Updates, More Cases and Resources
Search LABELS for More Resources

Group's New Name Emphasizes Elder Abuse Prevention

By The Columbian
September 7, 2012

The Clark County Vulnerable Adult Task Force has changed its name to the Southwest Washington Elder Abuse Prevention Coalition to reflect the group's expansion to four more counties and to clarify its mission.
"The idea is to sweep out elder abuse," said Gail Haskett, board member. "We focused on coming up with an acronym people could remember."
The nonprofit group now represents Clark, Klickitat, Cowlitz, Skamania and Wahkiakum counties.
The group's board will be expanded from seven to 20 members in order to represent the new communities.
The vulnerable adult task force was formed to combat physical, mental and financial abuse of vulnerable adults. It helped to establish the Clark County Elder Justice Center, which identifies and prosecutes cases of elder abuse.
Its mission is focused on prevention, education and support of abuse victims.
The coalition is seeking individual and corporate memberships. The annual membership fee is $25 per year for an individual and $100 for two members of a corporation. Membership is free for government entities.
The group's first event is a workshop on the basics of abuse, neglect and exploitation of vulnerable adults. The workshop will begin at noon Sept. 27 at the Clark County Career Development Center in the Timbers Building, 9120 N.E. Vancouver Mall Loop in Vancouver.
To join, call 360-910-1044 or email nwhc@live.com.
 SOURCE:        The Columbian, VA. WA.

Click for Updates, More Cases and Resources
Search LABELS for More Resources

Another Mental Health Kidnapping in San Bernardino County

August 29, 2012
By Janet Phelan
Activist Post

A Redlands man has filed a writ of habeas corpus concerning release from confinement ordered under a conservatorship that may not even exist.

When Charles Castle was grabbed off the street by San Bernardino mental health court workers Bob Habel and Wayne Henkelman, almost nobody realized he was missing. Charlie was homeless and while a virtual fixture on the street scene in Redlands, California, he lacked family and social support networks. Some folks, such as Ken Stein with the YMCA, where Charlie went to shower, thought that he was possibly deceased.


Not deceased, but certainly disappeared, Charlie was taken to Arrowhead Regional Center hospital and held in a mental health unit while powerful parties determined his fate. He reports that he was not present at his mandated court hearing and only found out several months later that he had been placed under a mental health conservatorship.

His conservatorship proceedings were steeped in fraud. Charlie was represented by the same law firm, the law offices of Bryan Hartnell, which also represented the conservator, Melodie Scott. Initially, the Public Guardian was appointed as conservator and Scott quickly petitioned to take over this function.

According to Charlie, his attorney “terrorized” him out of his right to a jury trial. He recalls being told by attorney Ryan Sheehan (who has since left the law firm) that his best recourse was to waive his right to a jury trial. Castle recalls Sheehan saying “It will get real bad for you if you lose the trial. They can put you wherever they want to and you will never get out. Better to go along.”

 SOURCE:        The ActivistPost


Click for Updates, More Cases and Resources
Search LABELS for More Resources

Brazil: Reports of Elderly Abuse Rising

From January to May, 7,253 complaints were received by the Ministry of Justice’s Disque 100 hotline, compared with 2,342 during the same period last year.
By Cristine Pires for Infosurhoy.com
Dona Joana Souza (not her real name) did not want to wait for her family to put her in a shelter. She took it upon herself to find a new place to live, so she’d escape the mistreatment she suffered at the hands of her grandson, a crack addict and alcoholic.
In 2006, at the age of 75, she was taken by her niece to stay at the Padre Cacique Shelter in Porto Alegre.
“My grandson beats me to get money for drugs,” Souza said during her interview for admission into the shelter. “I can’t take it anymore.”
Souza lived with her only son and her grandson. Her son suffered from a lung disease and was unable to control the young man, who would come home in a violent pursuit of money to buy crack.
Souza’s son had respiratory complications and died in 2009. A year later, her grandson succumbed to health problems caused by the highly addictive narcotic.
The crack pandemic plaguing Brazil has directly affected the number of reports of violence against the elderly.
“The situation has gotten worse due to drug use among young people,” says psychologist Fernanda Braga of the Court of Justice for the Federal District and Surrounding Territories (TJDFT). “Drug addiction causes behavioral changes and users become more aggressive.”
In June, the Public Defender’s Office of the Federal District at the Plano Piloto Terminal in Brasília implemented a task force to assist senior citizens who had become victims of violence. In their statements, they reported difficulties distancing themselves from their children and grandchildren who abused drugs.
“They feel a mix of fear and pity. But, above all, they feel responsible because they’re being attacked by the people they raised,” Braga adds.
The situation is made worse by low self-esteem, which leads many senior citizens to keep quiet about the violence, Braga says.
“We need to encourage them to file complaints and seek help,” she says.
Psychological violence accounted for 53% of the cases reported to the Public Defender’s task force. The other leading forms of mistreatment cited by those interviewed were negligence and financial exploitation.
In 2011, the Public Defender handled 336 cases of elderly abuse in the Federal District of Brasília – and 66% of victims were targeted by their children.
“Psychological abuse is the main complaint of those who come to Padre Cacique,” says social worker Cristina Pozzer, the shelter’s technical director. “They feel like they’re invisible to the family.”
One hundred fifty senior citizens live at Padre Cacique Shelter in Porto Alegre, capital city of Brazil’s Rio Grande do Sul state. Many were abused and sent over by the Public Ministry or the Police Department’s Senior Citizens Unit. (Carlos Edler for Infosurhoy.com)
One hundred fifty senior citizens live at Padre Cacique. Many were abused and sent over by the Public Ministry or the Police Department’s Senior Citizens Unit.
Most of the reported cases of abuse occurred in the home (84%), and victims’ children are the main offenders (54%), according to the Rio Grande do Sul State Council for the Elderly.
“More data is needed to research elder abuse,” says Paulo Regina de Oliveira Ribeiro, a public defender who specializes in gerontology and elderly health and serves as the coordinator of the Federal District Public Defender’s Elder Defense Center.
Still, Disque 100 (Dial 100), a complaint hotline created by the federal government, reflects the seriousness of the problem: There were 7,253 complaints of elderly abuse from January to May 2012, compared with 2,342 during the same period last year.
But the Ministry of Justice says the increase does not mean that elderly abuse is on the rise – it’s the result of more people reporting cases of abuse.
The cases most commonly reported to Disque 100 include negligence, psychological and physical abuse, as well as financial exploitation.

How to report elderly abuse
Disque 100 hotline
How to find treatment for drug addicts
Narcotics Anonymous
Disque Saúde 136 hotline



Click for Updates, More Cases and Resources
Search LABELS for More Resources

September 5, 2012

Swansea Lib Dem Councillor Jailed for Attacking 87-Year-Old Mother (WALES)

(Published on 6 August, 2012)

A Liberal Democrat community councillor has been jailed for four months for punching his 87-year-old mother.
Swansea magistrates heard Simon Arthur, 44, had treated his mother Isabelle Arthur, "like a dog" for years.
He admitted assaulting pensioner Mrs Arthur, who uses a walking stick, in the driveway of their home in Newton near Mumbles.
After the case Swansea Lib Dems said he had been suspended and steps taken to permanently expel him from the party.
Prosecutor Sharon Anderson told the court Mrs Arthur had been out for the day, but she was too scared to return home, choosing to wait in a car park.
"She regularly went to the car park to avoid going home and had even slept there overnight previously," she said.
 “He has a nasty temper and has got more controlling since my husband died 22 years ago” Isabelle Arthur .
"Around 8pm she did go home and parked in the driveway but her son had locked all the doors to their home.
"At around 11.30pm he came out of the house and began the attack," Ms Anderson added.
In a statement Mrs Arthur said her son had come over to the driver's side door and grabbed her hair and tried to pull her out of the car.
"It was like he was possessed," she said.
'Nasty temper'
During the attack he had shouted "You'll burn, you'll suffer in the after life", she added.
When police arrived Arthur opened a drawer in the kitchen and grabbed a knife.
He lunged at Pc Greg Bowen who managed to dodge the blade before disarming the councillor, who was a Lib Dem prospective parliamentary candidate in the 2010 general election.
Mrs Arthur said her son had never had a proper job and relied on her for financial support

SOURCE:         BBC,UK

Click for Updates, More Cases and Resources
Search LABELS for More Resources

September 4, 2012

Aged Care: Carer Fears Wife Will be Forced to Move into a Nursing Home (IRELAND)

Carer fears wife will be forced to move into a nursing home
By Breda Heffernan
September 01 2012

A MAN caring for his sick wife fears she may have to be moved to a nursing home if their help hours are cut.
Mattie Sheridan (66) has been caring for his wife, Bridget (65), since she was diagnosed with dementia in 2006. She also suffered a stroke last week.
Mr Sheridan's own health is poor, and he has been diagnosed with heart problems.
The couple get only three hours of home help a week from the HSE and depend on regular assistance from the Carers Association and the Alzheimer Society of Ireland to get by at their home in Waterford city.
Mr Sheridan said: "I get my wife out of bed in the morning and the carer comes in to help her get washed and dressed.
"It's an hour-and-a-half in the mornings and a couple of hours in the evening, two evenings a week and three afternoons."
Mr Sheridan said he struggles with what help they receive, and fears the consequences of losing it under the Government's plan to slash home help provision by 600,000 hours.
"I wouldn't be able to look after my wife," he said.
"I'd love to be able to help her and keep her at home, but they're going to cut us back and give more money to the bank bondholders."
He said cutting home help was a false economy and would cost the State more in the long run.
"If they put my wife into a home, it's going to cost the Government €1,200 to €1,400 a week," he said.
"I worked as a volunteer in the community for years and now they're cutting us down.
"I'm just trying to do the best I can for my wife."

 SOURCE:     The Independent

Click for Updates, More Cases and Resources
Search LABELS for More Resources

Senior Carer in Nursing Home Found Guilty of Drugging Dementia Patients (UK)

 "Her priority seemed to be to get some sleep": Carer drugged dementia patients so she could kip
She would put two chairs together and doze off after giving residents pills from her pocket with their orange juice
1 September 2012
By Vicki Smith

A senior carer at a nursing home has been found guilty of drugging dementia patients so she could get a night’s sleep.
Mirela Aionoaei, 37, would put two chairs together and doze off after giving residents pills from her pocket with their orange juice.
She was caught after suspicious colleagues noticed patients becoming drowsy and unsteady on their feet when she was on duty.
They would have to be taken to their beds by wheelchair.
Prosecutor Guy Dilliway-Parry told Harrow crown court her victims “all suffered from mental health conditions that left them vulnerable and unaware of their surroundings.
They could do very little for themselves.
“Some would walk around at night and needed hourly checks, but Aionoaei would put two chairs together and go to sleep, even if the residents were walking around.
“Her priority seemed to be to get some sleep herself.”
Aionoaei, who worked at Ashwood Care Centre in Hayes, West London, was convicted of sedating six elderly residents with anti-insomnia, anti-depressant and anti-psychotic pills between July and December 2010.
She denied the charges but hair samples taken from ¬residents revealed that six of them – four women and two men – had been given ¬sedatives.
Aionoaei, of Hayes, will be sentenced on September 27.

 SOURCE:      The Mirror, UK

Click for Updates, More Cases and Resources
Search LABELS for More Resources

Tasmanian Elder Abuse Prevention Helpline Launched (TAS. AUSTRALIA)

27 August 2012

By Cassy O'Connor
Minister for Human Services

The Minister for Human Services, Cassy O'Connor, today launched the Tasmanian Elder Abuse Helpline to help protect the rights and dignity of some of Tasmania's most vulnerable citizens.
Ms O'Connor said the helpline would provide Tasmanians with confidential advice and information on dealing with and preventing elder abuse.
"The helpline is key to the Government's Elder Abuse Prevention Strategy and will help older people, and their family and friends make informed decisions about suspected elder abuse," Ms O'Connor said.
"I encourage anyone concerned about a suspected elder abuse situation to contact the helpline for advice."
It is estimated up to 4200 older Tasmanians suffer physical, emotional verbal or financial abuse at the hands of someone close to them.
The helpline is run by Advocacy Tasmania and operates 9am to 4.30pm, Monday to Friday.
The State Government has given Advocacy Tasmania $120,000 to operate the service for 12 months.
Advocacy Tasmania CEO Ken Hardaker said he believed with Tasmania's ageing population that elder abuse was on the rise.
"Advocacy Tasmania is therefore very pleased to be playing an important role in the Tasmanian strategy to address this growing social problem, which affects many of our older citizens," Mr Hardaker said.
Elder abuse can take many forms, and includes the misuse of older people's funds, physical abuse and emotional deprivation or manipulation.
Ms O'Connor said elder abuse was usually carried out by someone close to the older person such as family and friends who they trust.
"Whatever form it takes, elder abuse is simply unacceptable and we need to work together as a community to combat it."
The Tasmanian Government will also fund an Elder Abuse Community Awareness Campaign to run in conjunction with the Helpline.

 The Secretary of DHHS has released to all agency staff the Policy Guidelines on responding to suspected Elder Abuse, and staff are required to comply with this policy, its principles and procedures.
The Attorney-General, Mr Wightman, is preparing amendments to the Powers of Attorney Act 2000-, and the Guardianship and Administration Act 1995 to strengthen the protection for older Tasmanians.
There will also commence later this year, a state-wide service provider training on Elder Abuse for all government and non-government services providers that work with older people
Ms O'Connor said the helpline will collect data on elder abuse in Tasmania to inform the Government's ongoing elder abuse prevention efforts.

For further information on the Government's Elder Abuse Prevention Strategy, visit www.dhhs.tas.gov.au/elderabuse.
Contact the Tasmanian Elder Abuse Helpline on 1800 441 169.

SOURCE:         Website of Premier of Tasmania

Click for Updates, More Cases and Resources
Search LABELS for More Resources


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

Search This Blog