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

July 28, 2013

Elder Woman Found Dead in Home; Son Charged With Neglect

Elderly woman found dead in home; son charged with neglect

By: Kristin Wright, FOX 13 News
Jul 25, 2013

Tampa police are investigating a suspected case of elder abuse. The body of 82-year-old Louise Holmes was found in her home on North 38th Street Tuesday. Police say she was living in deplorable conditions.
"Once officers went into the home, they discovered rats, roaches, the roof was falling in, pieces of the roof were on the floor, there was no water, no electricity," said Tampa Police Spokesperson Andrea Davis.
Holmes' only child James Holmes is charged with neglecting his mother. Investigators say they don't believe his story that he checked on her every day. They are looking into what he did with the money she received every month.
Louise Holmes' nephew Bobby Hall says he called police and an elderly abuse hotline in 2011. Davis confirms that Tampa Police officers visited the house three times that year, as back up for special welfare investigators.
The Florida Department of Children and Families confirms they visited the house with TPD in 2011. DCF concluded that Holmes had the capacity to make decisions for herself and the agency says she refused help.
Hall believes officials should've done more.
"I called not only the police, but I called the elderly abuse line and they came out -- the police and the people came out -- and they knocked on the door several times and she finally came to the door. And they talked with her, but then they did not do anything," Hall said.
This is the third case of severe elderly neglect in the Bay area in less than a month. DCF says they investigate about 200 reports of elderly abuse in Hillsborough County alone each month.
"I think a lot of times, the person has the best intentions, but they just get overwhelmed by the situation," DCF spokesperson Terri Durdaller said Wednesday.
DCF says neighbors can help curb the number of these horrendous crimes. They encourage people to take note of their neighbors, and leave a confidential tip with DCF if they suspect something is wrong inside the home.
"We need to community to be our eyes and ears," Durdaller said.
James Holmes could face additional charges, pending the results of his mother's autopsy

SOURCE:       My Fox Tampa Bay
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Complaints of Elder Abuse Rises by 7% According to New HSE Report (IRELAND)

By Colin Brennan 
25 Jul 2013

The number of complaints of elder abuse to the health services rose 7% to 2,500 last year, according to the HSE.
The most common type of abuse was psychological at 36%, followed by financial abuse at 25%, neglect at 19% and physical abuse at 13%.
Two thirds of the alleged victims were female and there was a higher referral rate among the over 80 years age group in comparison to those aged between 65 and 79.
Most allegations of abuse were carried out by a family member.
Minister of State with responsibility for Older People Kathleen Lynch said: "It's disturbing that a small number of older people should suffer abuse in this country.
“However, there are services available for those people and it is encouraging that a greater number of older people are coming forward each year to voice their concerns.
“I would urge anyone who is concerned about abuse to seek help and support from the HSE which has a dedicated service in place for older people experiencing abuse.
“I would like to acknowledge our partners in the community, voluntary and business sectors who are continuing to work closely with the HSE to respond to elder abuse and who are committed to meeting the challenges ahead."

SOURCE:       The Irish Mirror
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Most Perpetrators of Elder Abuse Are Sons and Daughters

Two-thirds of victims are female, while there is a higher abuse rate among the over 80s.
THE HSE RECEIVED 2,460 complaints of elder abuse last year, an increase of seven per cent from 2011.
When self-neglect referrals were excluded, there were 1,923 referrals to the HSE and psychological abuse was the most common type at 36 per cent. This was followed by financial abuse at 25 per cent, neglect at 19 per cent and physical abuse at 13 per cent.
Two-thirds of victims were women and there was a higher referral rate among the over 80 years age group compared to 65 to 79-year-olds.
Most perpetrators of abuse are relatives and there was an increase in cases of abusive sons or daughters (46 per cent), while partners or spouses were implicated in 17 per cent of referrals and ‘other’ relatives in 20 per cent of cases.
The public health nursing service is the main source of referrals, with HSE staff and family being the other major sources.
Minister of State Kathleen Lynch with responsibility for Disability, Older People and Equality said the findings of the report are “disturbing”:

There are services available and it is encouraging that a greater number of older people are coming forward each year to voice their concerns. I would urge anyone who is concerned about abuse to seek help.
All referrals of alleged elder abuse are treated in confidence. Anyone who is being abused, or is concerned about abuse, should talk to someone they trust or they can contact the HSE information line on 1850 24 1850.

SOURCE:        The Journal, Ireland

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July 17, 2013

Mistreated Nursing Home Residents 'Better Off in a Concentration Camp' (Australia)

By Margot O'Neill, staff
July 16, 2013
Traumatised relatives have raised shocking claims that their loved ones were left to die unnecessarily or in great pain because of a critical lack of staff and training in nursing homes.
The ABC's Lateline program has spoken to many people about their loved ones' experiences in nursing homes across Australia.
Their complaints include relatives being left in faeces and urine, rough treatment, poor nutrition, inadequate pain relief, verbal abuse, and untreated broken bones and infections.
And one woman has told the ABC that her grandmother, who survived Nazi concentration camps, believes her experiences in aged care are worse than her wartime ordeal.
Relative details litany of abuse, neglect by untrained staff
Jane Green's mother Margaret McEvoy, a former nurse and foster carer, died last year after spending time in a Victorian nursing home.
Ms Green says over-worked and under-trained staff were not giving medication properly and were leaving Ms McEvoy to wet herself because no-one was available to take her to the toilet.
Ms Green says her mother also complained of being constantly hungry, and suffering abuse by staff members.
"The staff member called her a spoilt brat and a princess and [said] that she always wanted to get her own way," Ms Green told Lateline.
"She became very shut down ... it was like seeing someone who had the stuffing knocked out of them.
"When I would leave on Friday nights, she would look at me and just say to me 'I'm all right', and I knew she was just trying to be brave."
Ms Green says her mother was in great pain, but staff believed she was simply attention-seeking.
"I witnessed mum screaming in front of them and they still did not see that as being pain," she told Lateline.
For five days, staff tried to make Ms McEvoy walk. In fact, she had an undiagnosed broken thigh bone, a raging infection, and severe dehydration.
Ms Green, who is also a nurse, had to fight to get her mother taken to hospital, where she was immediately put into palliative care. She died six weeks later.
Other families back up abuse claims at the same nursing home
Ms Green has since spoken to a former staff member and other families with relatives in the same nursing home.
They told her other elderly residents were also abused.
One incapacitated man had urine-soaked sheets thrown at him, while a woman was left crying out with abdominal pain. She later died with a gangrenous gall bladder.
Senator Jacinta Collins, Minister for Mental Health and Ageing, says the stories of mistreatment are very concerning.
"Concerns about shortages and workforce issues are very important matters as well," she told Lateline.
"They informed the Government's recent response, the legislation that went through to the Senate in the last sitting week, for living longer, living better, because we know we need to increase the training, we know we need to establish a more stable workforce in aged care, and we know that there are limited numbers of specialists.
"This is why the Labor government has a 10-year plan to improve the supply of services to meet the future demand. We've had shortages in aged care in Australia for way too long."

The shocking stories from the Victorian nursing home are not uncommon.
Mardi Walker's 91-year-old grandmother Paula Javurek was in a New South Wales nursing home that was supposed to deliver high care.
The nurse and health care lecturer was horrified when she found her grandmother with exposed raw ear cartilage due to lack of turning, and one of her arms immobilised after staff botched injections.
"They would just keep injecting into the same spot and she would scream. My mother said it was horrific, because she would scream," Ms Walker said.
Ms Javurek had survived Nazi concentration camps, and was tortured and raped after being captured during the war.
Her family told the nursing home only female staff should wash her because of residual trauma from wartime assaults.
But the family has since counted 70 times when male carers washed Ms Javurek, who tried to fight them off.
"I think she felt like she was almost probably back in wartime again. My mother often used to say... she would be better off being in a concentration camp than where she is," Ms Walker said.

After finding their grandmother shivering from cold and suffering undiagnosed pneumonia, Ms Javurek's family took her home. A week later, in February this year, she died.
Relative threatened with defamation for blowing the whistle
Most of the nursing homes concerned were fully accredited by the Federal Government.
Families say they saw little change after going through the Federal Aged Care Complaints Scheme. In fact, many say they experienced bullying and retribution by the nursing home when they did complain.
Ms Green was threatened with defamation for complaining about her mother's treatment to the Health Practitioner's Authority.
"It was frightening, you know, you have images of being sued," Ms Green said.
"It's stressful to persist and keep going but if I don't everything that happened to my mum will be dead and buried."
Aged care lecturer Maree Bernoth has been listening to families' stories for more than a decade.
"The stories are more heartbreaking and more incredible," she said.
"It's very difficult to listen to these stories and to not be angry and to not feel impotent because you can't do anything about it.
"Why is it that experiences of families who are telling us about older people dying in pain, older people dying malnourished and dehydrated, does not get the same response from the Australian public as cattle being shipped overseas?"


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Fighting Elder Care Abuse

JULY 16, 2013

When Wells Fargo Advisors held a conference to discuss elder financial abuse, it seemed at times like nearly every one of the 200 people in attendance was personally acquainted with a family member or friend who has been victimized.  But perhaps that’s not surprising, given the scope of the crime and the rate at which it’s growing.

Already a significant social issue, losses related to financial abuse and fraud committed against older Americans have increased 12% in just four years* and continue to rise as our population ages, expanding the pool of potential victims.  Sadly, some 75% of documented elder financial abuse is committed by trusted family members and caregivers, rather than by strangers*.  Often that betrayal, coupled with the financial loss, has a devastating impact from which victims find it difficult, if not impossible, to recover.
Bank, brokerage firms and other financial services firms can play a vital role as a first line of defense against this crime – a position they hold by virtue of their responsibilities as safe depositories and trusted sources of financial advice.

Organizations such as the Financial Services Roundtable, representing the largest U.S. banks, and the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) have stepped up their efforts to raise awareness and engage member organizations to combat the crime.

Individual banks and brokerage firms have put in place robust tools, training and policies to address employees who violate their responsibilities to older customers.  However, privacy laws and other restrictions can inhibit their ability to act quickly when they suspect that a customer is a victim of elder financial abuse, so dialog with regulators is taking on added importance.

Challenges notwithstanding, the financial services industry must work harder to identify new opportunities to expand dialog and collaborate with agencies and organizations such as the U.S. Administration on Aging, the National Adult Protective Services Association, the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging, and OASIS, all of which are central to the fight against elder abuse.

Wells Fargo remains committed to supporting their efforts and working with them, with our peers, our regulators and our legislators to combat the threat to the financial safety of our elders and ensure that all older Americans enjoy the financial security they worked so hard to achieve.
(Danny Ludeman is CEO of Wells Fargo Advisors)

SOURCE:      OnWallStreetBlogs
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Talking About Elder Abuse (New Zealand)


An Auckland organisation is helping South Asian seniors stand up against abuse as the number of reported incidences of elder mistreatment continues to climb nationwide.
Onehunga-based Shanti Niwas Charitable Trust has provided cultural activities for Indian and South Asian seniors for more than two decades.

But after seeing an increase in clients with grievances about maltreatment the trust decided to launch Khushi - an initiative focused on supporting victims and preventing abuse.
"The most common form of abuse we see is neglect," project manager Nilima Venkat says.
Adjusting from a bustling lifestyle in India to a quiet New Zealand suburban life riddled with language barriers can be difficult for older family members, Ms Venkat says.

"Often the younger people have got no time for the older people, maybe they are just busy with their own lives and their own children. Sometimes it's deliberate, sometimes it's just that nobody has time for them."
Ms Venkat says financial abuse is the second most common form of elder abuse seen by Khushi staff.
Cases include seniors whose superannuation is paid into an account they don't have access to, or being coerced into being guarantors for other people's loans.

"What mostly happens is when these older people come from India and most of them have had houses at this age, so they sell off the house and bring the money here and they give it to their children. The children buy a house in their own name, so the money is gone basically," she says
"That's our culture, whatever we have is for the children but we expect the children to reciprocate and look after them. And that part is not happening."
Ms Venkat says stigma is a huge barrier to people coming forward for help, especially because perpetrators are often family members so victims fear a backlash.
"By the time a case comes to us it's either a very serious assault or it's gone beyond everyone's limits of patience.
"That's why we try and empower them to come and talk during the initial stages so we can solve the problem easily."
Onehunga based Labour list MP Carol Beaumont regularly visits the Shanti Niwas centre and says Khushi is an important initiative that can offer culturally appropriate support.
Ms Beaumont is currently exploring the dimensions of the problem of financial abuse after it was bought to her attention.

"I'm actively looking into that area to try and identify how big a problem it is and what possible solutions there might be," she says.
Elder abuse is not limited too any particular ethnic or socio-economic group.
Advocacy and support service Age Concern estimates in a 12-month period 20,000 elderly people nationwide will experience neglect.
A spokeswoman says the number of referrals is increasing, with demand for its services up 30 per cent in the last year
"We don't have any idea whether it is actually the amount of elder abuse that is increasing but we know that more people are aware of it, so they are more likely to speak about it."
If you would like to speak to someone about elder abuse phone Khushi on 622 1010 or Age Concern on 820 0184.
- © Fairfax NZ News

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Third Person Sentenced in Elder Abuse Case

By: WTAJ News
July 16, 2013


A Blair County woman who entered a guilty plea to neglect of a care-dependent person in March was sentenced to three years' probation Tuesday morning.

Majory Koch, 44, of Altoona was sentenced in Blair County Court of Common Pleas. Koch and two others were charged in September 2012 with neglecting an 80-year-old male resident of Warner's Home for the Aged.

In addition to probation, Koch must pay a $400 fine, additional costs, and is prohibited from working in a healthcare related field.

Koch's two co-defendants entered guilty pleas earlier this year and were sentenced to up to 24 months in the Blair County Prison.

SOURCE:        WeAreCentralPA
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APS Confirms 31 Cases of Elder Abuse in County

July 16, 2013

 “It’s everyone’s business to prevent elder abuse,” said Mary Walker, media specialist with the Department of Family and Protective Services, which includes Adult Protective Services.
APS completed 64 investigations in Calhoun County last year, and confirmed that 31 were valid allegations, Walker said in a press release. Statewide, Walker said there were 87,487 investigations last year of people living at home and 59,595 of those investigations confirmed victims of abuse, neglect or financial exploitation.

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July 9, 2013

Not A Perfect World, But Help Is At Hand For Elders (NEW ZEALAND)

July 05, 2013 IWK Bureau

Most elder abuse cases are under-reported in the Indian community. “Yes it is under reported due to stigma and fear. Most of the time the perpetuator is family or caregivers and often old people fear backlash,” says Nilima Venkat, Project Manager, Shanti Niwas which works with socially isolated senior citizens of Indian and South Asian origin living in the Auckland region by providing culturally appropriate aged care services along with social, emotional, educational, physical and spiritual support. “The main concerns are loneliness, social isolation leading to depression and mental health issues, language, transport and lack of knowledge of the welfare system. Elder abuse and neglect are on the rise in our community.”
It would be safe to extrapolate that the figures registered by Age Concern is just a tip of the iceberg. Age Concern Elder Abuse and Neglect Prevention Services saw 22 Indian clients in the year 1 Jul 2012 – 30 Jun 2013.  “This is 1.2% of the clients seen by the service,” said Louise Collins, National Advisor Elder Abuse and Neglect Prevention Services.

The 65 years and older population group is expected to grow steadily over the next 50 years. The ethnic make-up of the population is also expected to alter, with the proportion of Maori, Pacific and Asian groups (from 4% to 8% ) increasing relative to the current majority of those of European descent as per Statistics New Zealand.

Work of organisations like Shanti Niwas is vital in providing older people the care and social life necessary to lead a reasonable quality of life; and also monitor their well-being. The fantastic turnout at the recent event ‘Khushi’ (joy) was testimony to the success of the organization’s efforts in the community.
“The message is that it’s not ok to tolerate elder abuse in any form. Our aim is to help build a society free of Abuse,” said Ms. Venkat.
Since older people keep mum due to stigma and fear, it is important for friends to speak out should they feel that an elder in their community is being abused in anyway – physically, emotionally, psychologically or financially.

Help is at hand: Shanti Niwas Charitable Trust - 09 6221010 | Age Concern New Zealand - 04 801 9338

SOURCE:      The Indian WeekEnder, NZ
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Multi-Prong Approach by Law Enforcement Aims to End Elder Abuse

by Walter C. Jones, Morris News Service

By the end of summer, police officers across the state will have viewed a training video during roll call on recognizing and investigating cases of abuse, neglect and exploitation of the elderly and disabled.

The Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police developed the video at the recommendation of a multiagency task force examining the issue which initiated its production even before completing its final report.

“Often in a police investigation the victim has visible signs of their abuse. Moreover in cases involving at-risk adults, crimes such as neglect, exploitation, deprivation of essential services, identity theft, and fraud can be just as devastating as a physical attack,” the committee wrote. “Reports of such crimes must be scrutinized and examined with the same intensity, tenacity and resources as an assault and battery, or other crimes of violence.”

Rome Police Chief Elaine Snow said she had talked to the GBI and they expect the video to be finished by late July.

Officers will be watching it and Randy Gore, a detective, will by giving some information to the officers about elder abuse.
Capt. John Blalock of the Floyd County Police Department said some crimes carry a stiffer penalty when the victim is elderly.
“We conduct training annually on elder abuse,” Blalock said.

As the number of reported cases of elder abuse has soared in Georgia, law enforcement is joining social-services agencies to reverse the trend.
The number of reported complaints of physical, mental and financial abuse rose 65 percent between 2008 and 2012 when the total hit 15,108 at the Adult Protective Services. But the National Center for Elder Abuse estimates that as much as 84 percent of abuse, neglect and exploitation goes unreported.

For one thing, there are simply more elderly people because the Baby Boom is reaching retirement age at a pace of 10,000 per day and because people are living longer. That means more people in the care of others, from understaffed nursing homes and unlicensed group homes to family members who may be untrained or resenting the responsibility.
“It’s not only physical abuse; it’s also their life savings they are fleeced out of all of the time,” said Terry Norris, executive director of the Georgia Sheriffs Association.

The $2.5 billion in government benefits awarded annually to Peach State senior citizens — as well as their life savings and homes that are often paid for — creates tantalizing targets.


SOURCE:        Rome News Tribune
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New Chinese Law: Visit Your Parents

By Meng Meng and Katie Hunt, for CNN
July 3, 2013

Hong Kong (CNN)

Lola Wang, a 28-year-old marketing officer in Shanghai, makes a six-hour trip to Shandong province in eastern China to see her parents twice a year -- once during the Lunar New Year and again during the National Day holiday in October.
"I feel like I should visit my parents more but having a job in the financial industry means I have to work long hours and sacrifice some of my personal time for work," Wang, an only child, tells CNN.
Wang's dilemma is faced by many young people in China, where a one-child policy and three decades of economic reforms have accelerated the decline of the traditional extended family.
It's also a matter of concern for China's new leaders as they grapple with the burden of supporting the growing number of elderly people.
A new national law introduced this week requires the offspring of parents older than 60 to visit their parents "frequently" and make sure their financial and spiritual needs are met.
"People are accusing young people of not visiting their parents enough," says Wang, adding she agrees with the aims of the law.
"Admittedly, some of them use their career and long working hours as an excuse. My problems are that I do care about my parents, but I have little vacation and my parents live far away."

According to the state-run Xinhua news agency, China had about 185 million people above the age of 60 at the end of 2011. The figure is expected to surge to 221 million in 2015 and by 2050 a third of China's population will be classed as elderly.
The "Law of Protection of Rights and Interests of the Aged" was amended by China's legislature in December after a spate of reports about elderly parents neglected by their children.
In one particularly horrific case in China's eastern Jiangsu province,a local television station reported that a farmer had kept his 100-year-old mother in a pigsty with a 440lb sow.
Chen Shoutian told the station his mother had been happy to live there: "She wants to stay here because she feels it is convenient," he said.
A modest pension and social welfare system, particularly in rural areas, means elderly people are usually dependent on their children for support.
More than a fifth live below the poverty line, according to figures from the National School of Development at Peking University.
Changing values
Although respect for the elderly is still deeply engrained in Chinese society, traditional values like filial piety have been weakened by the country's rush to modernity.
"The traditional family support system is eroding for many reasons and I think the government would like to slow this process down," said Albert Park, the director of the Emerging Markets Institute at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.

The law stipulates that children cannot give up their inheritance rights in attempt to evade their duty to take care of their parents. It adds that children should pay a monthly allowance to their parents if they refuse to take care of them.
The legislation also allows for the elderly to sue their children but does not specify the process or what penalties they might face.
It may also prove difficult to enforce, says Ding Yiyuan from Beijing Yingke Law Firm. He told the Guangzhou Daily newspaper the law fails to qualify the word "frequently." He added that few elderly people were likely to sue their own children.
First case
On Tuesday, XInhua reported that a 77-year-old woman from Jiangsu city of Wuxi sued her daughter for neglecting her. In the first case after the new law came into effect, the local court ruled that her daughter must visit her at least twice a month and provide financial support.
But the law's introduction has proved controversial. Some say it puts too much pressure on those who move away from home for work, study or other opportunities.
Cheng Zhegang, 50, whose only child is studying for a master's degree in the United States, said the law "distorts the parent-child relationship."
He hopes his daughter will head to a big city like Shanghai or Beijing to find a job on graduation and not return to the small town where she grew up.
"I don't want my daughter to have a burden both physically and spiritually," he told CNN.
"For me, my daughter's career is the most important thing. As the parent of an only child, I have spent so much time and money on my daughter's education and now I want her to be successful."

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National Campaign Continues Toward Elder Abuse Prevention (USA)

Elizabeth Ecker
July 7, 2013

Despite hesitation to talk about elder abuse, it’s a growing problem that is plaguing older Americans and is gaining more attention in Washington on dual fronts—its causes and prevention.
Financial abuse alone amounts to $2.9 billion annually according to the Metlife Mature Market Institute, with other forms of fraud and abuse taking steep tolls as well.
“Elder abuse” can be many things, financial exploitation aside. It could be misuse of Power of Attorney, unsanitary living conditions, or lack of care when care is needed.
Those who work in care settings, have a unique opportunity to pick up on cues, elder advocates say, in the detection of abuse cases, with the Assisted Living Federation of America leading the charge toward this effort.
ALFA renewed a campaign in June—National Elder Abuse Awareness Month—serving as a reminder as well as a kickoff to some of the new initiatives under way.
“Elder abuse is something everyone needs to tackle year-round,” says Jackie Kerin, Public Policy Associate for ALFA. “[The association] offers state specific resources all year long that support senior living providers in preventing, detecting, and reporting elder abuse.”
Because the definition varies, estimates place the number of people who suffer from elder abuse between 2 million and 5 million annually. Yet millions more go unreported.
The instances go beyond physical abuse to include neglect, emotional and psychological abuse or exploitation, which often come with warning signs that go well beyond physical cues.
On the State Level
On the state level, ALFA affiliates and chapters have partnered with local authorities, such as a task force under Arizona’s governor’s office that includes senior living stakeholders, officials—even taxi drivers and fire departments—to combat the problem.
“We wanted to reach residents, family members and the general public who aren’t as engaged,” says Arizona ALFA President and CEO Karen Barno. “It may be a family member, spouse or an adult child, which is most commonly [the culprit] and it is everyone’s responsibility to work together toward preventing elder abuse.”
The task force has brought to light instances where a taxi driver, driving a senior home and offering to carry groceries into the house, caught a glimpse of an unsafe or unsanitary situation. Likewise, local fire officials have reported incidents based on their view into the homes of older residents, Barno says, when responding to unrelated calls.
“This is a lot bigger than any of us realized,” she says.
On the National Level
On the national level, there are several allies available toward prevention, detection, and reporting of elder abuse.
These include the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which launched an Office of Older Americans last year and the Long Term Care Ombudsman program, which has served as landmark for national legislation focused on elder justice.

This article is sponsored by the Assisted Living Federation of America (ALFA) as part of its efforts to advance excellence and explore topics impacting the future of senior living. For more information about ALFA, visit www.alfa.org.

SOURCE:         The Senior Housing News
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July 3, 2013

Nebraska Woman Reaches Deal In Iowa Elder Abuse Case

A Nebraska woman accused of stealing more than $150,000 from an elderly Iowa woman has reached a plea deal.
Terry Lockie pleaded guilty Monday in Woodbury County District Court to one count of dependent adult abuse. A first-degree theft charge has been dismissed.
The plea agreement means a five-year prison sentence has been suspended and the 65-year-old Lockie will be on probation for two years. Her attorney says Lockie may also lose her certified public accountant license.
Lockie, of Homer, Neb., owns an accounting firm in nearby Sioux City. Court records say Lockie had power of attorney for an elderly woman who was suffering from dementia. The records say that between 2008 and 2010, Lockie took money from the woman's accounts and put it in her own account.

SOURCE:     The QC Times

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Scams Continued To Be Aimed At Senior Citizens

July 1, 2013

By Gabrielle Banks / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Door-to-door scam artists have probably preyed on the elderly for longer than there have been doors to knock on. But the digital age has compounded such abuse, with strangers defrauding their elders with a flurry of "amazing" investments via Internet sites, emails, direct mailers, telemarketing calls and all manner of ads.
And that's not counting con games perpetrated by caregivers, scheming relatives or a new "sweetheart."
Elderly victims reported $2.9 billion in loss to fraudulent investments in 2009. That may be a low-ball figure. The National Center on Elderly Abuse still cites a 2000 finding that only 1 in 25 cases of elder financial abuse is ever reported, which suggests as many as 5 million seniors may be the targets of financial scams.
On June 18, U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., introduced the Senior Investor Protections Enhancement Act of 2013, which would impose higher penalties for fraudulent investments involving people 62 and older. At present, fines range from $5,000 to $100,000 for individuals and $50,000 to $500,000 for businesses found guilty of civil penalties. Under Mr. Casey's proposal, fines in civil suits would top out at $150,000 for individuals and $550,000 for businesses if the fraud involved seniors.
In Pennsylvania, which is among the states with the greatest percentage of senior citizens, the attorney general and several agencies supporting the elderly have taken steps to prevent such fraud. This edition of "Know Your Rights" offers a glimpse at some of the scams most frequently aimed at seniors and provides tips on how to avoid -- or help loved ones avoid -- getting lured in.
More complete information can be found in the 44-page "Consumer Reference Guide for Seniors: How to Avoid Scams and Fraud."

The friendly handyman

An unscrupulous contractor knocks on the door and, using high-pressure tactics, offers speedy home repairs or renovations at what seems like a fair price. He may request full payment up front and then neglect to finish the work. Or the contractor neglects to complete the work in a timely fashion. Or his team neglects to show up at all.

Your rights: Get a written contract. Under the Home Improvement Consumer Protection Act, or HICPA, contractors must register with the office of the attorney general and provide a written contract for home improvements of $500 or more. The contract must state the exact work to be completed, including a start and end date and the cost. The customer must have signed it before work can begin.
For jobs of more than $1,000, HICPA permits contractors to accept a deposit for one-third of the cost plus the cost of "special order materials." Anything more than that exceeds maximum deposit rules.
Remedies: To check if a contractor is registered with the attorney general's office, call the Home Improvement Consumer Information help line at 1-888-520-6680. To file a complaint, call the Bureau of Consumer Protection help line at 1-800-441-2555 or visit www.attorneygeneral.gov.

The bank examiner
A con artist phones, explaining he is a manager or examiner at a local bank. He asks if, being a good citizen, the scam victim would be willing to help catch a dishonest teller in the act of thieving. He asks the senior to withdraw cash from his account so the bank can track any missing serial numbers. The victim meets the "examiner," hands him the cash and the senior never hears about it again.
Remedies: Stop. Think it through. Avoid spur-of-the moment agreements with strangers. Do not withdraw funds at the request of strangers or new friends. If someone claims to be an official, verify the person's identity. And if you're still unsure, call the bank or law enforcement and explain what you're being asked to do.

The relative in distress
The con man phones an elderly person, having chosen the victim from a phone book because she has an old-fashioned sounding name. In a frantic voice -- or sometimes from a place with plenty of background noise -- the caller informs "grandma" that he has had an accident or gotten into trouble abroad and needs her to wire money right away. The caller then thanks "grandma," explains he's embarrassed and begs her not to tell anyone.
Remedies: If you're unsure about a caller, stall. Contact family members to verify if the call is legitimate. Never wire money based on a phone or email request unless you are sure.

Abridged  (Excellent article. Please go to Source)

SOURCE:       The Post Gazette
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