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

August 31, 2013

Number of Children Abusing Their Elderly Parents On The rise (Ireland)

26 AUGUST 2013

Sons and daughters are increasingly being accused of abusing an elderly parent, according to a new report.
Among the cases of elder abuse referred to the HSE over the course of 2011, as many as 46pc were the older person's own child.
That figure is up from 43pc the previous year and underlines that, despite the nursing home scandals of the last decade, the most frightening place for an older person can be their own home.
There were 2,750 alleged cases brought to the attention of the health authority over the course of the year with psychological and financial abuse the most dominant.
Eight in 10 of the abusers operated independently – the highest recorded level since recording started in 2007.

Men acting alone account for 48pc of cases, while women made up more than one-third. In 47pc of cases, the alleged abuser and victim were living together.
Other abusers were the partner, husband or wife, a relative, neighbour and carer.
A son or daughter can be particularly abusive in the area of neglect. Spouses were most likely to engage in physical abuse. Those who take financial advantage are often not living with their victim.
Irish Independent

SOURCE:       The Independent
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Greedy Relatives Ripping Off Retirees

Greedy relatives ripping off retirees as Human Rights Commission issues guide on how to protect against fraud
From: News Limited Network
 July 30, 2013

THOUSANDS of retirees are being swindled out of their savings and kicked out of their homes by money-hungry relatives keen to cash in on their ageing parents' fear and confusion.
Deteriorating housing affordability and a growing sense of entitlement among spoiled children are cited as reasons for the growing trend called elderly financial abuse.
The trend has prompted the Human Rights Commission to release an official guide on how retirees can protect themselves from their own blood.
The average Australian couple over 65 is worth of $1.1 million, Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show, and Age Discrimination Commissioner Susan Ryan said as families have become richer they have become greedier.
"There are tragic stories of families ripping off their older family members," she said.
"The ageing population is like a bait to people who want to do this sort of thing.
"As we have more and more people reaching the age where they can access their super - more and more people are retiring in their 60s - the sharks are out there know this. I find that very repugnant.
"From the limited data we have available I estimate that thousands of elderly people would have been exposed to financial abuse from their relatives at some point."
Ms Ryan added that previous generations of Australian parents never suffered the same level of financial abuse because "our parents didn't have any assets".
"It's the general climate where people feel that they need more material assets than a previous generations and the cost of housing is becoming more unaffordable," she said.
"When I first learned about this financial abuse it was my motive to try to get some really accessible information into the hands of people and not wait until something bad happens."
House prices have risen nearly 150 per cent over the past decade while earnings have increased by just over 50 per cent, according to THE AMP-NATSEM Income and Wealth Report.
The Aged-Care Rights Service receives thousands of calls for help from distressed elderly people every year and CEO Russell Westacott said the problem is hidden because victims don't want to alert the authorities.
"Seventy-five per cent of the instances of financial abuse we get are related to family members," he said.
"Almost always there is someone in the family bullying mum or dad. Then they may even be bullying their other brothers or sisters to a point where they don't know what is going on."
Since the NSW Elder Abuse Helpline and Resource Unit was established in February this year nearly 300 calls have been received and over 200 have related to abuse calls.
"Sons, daughters and spouses were identified as primarily responsible for abuse," an organisation spokeswoman said.


1. Get independent legal advice. Never sign any legal documents under pressure without getting
advice about the consequences of signing. You always have a right to get your own independent legal advice.
2. Know what is at stake. If you use your home as security for a loan, you risk losing your home and potentially being made bankrupt.
3. Think about whether your family or friends can repay money. This is important if you are thinking about acting as a guarantor, loaning money, or taking out a loan in your name for someone else to repay.
4. Get it in writing. If you give money to a friend or family member make it clear in writing whether you intend to give the money as a gift or whether you expect the money to be repaid.
5. Don't be afraid to say no. You always have the right to protect your own financial security by saying no.
Source: Your Rights at Retirement guide, The Human Rights Commission.
Anyone wanting a copy of the guide can contact the Office for Ageing on 1800 729 368.

SOURCE:       News.com.au
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Elderly Woman Suffers Fracture From Son

by Jessica Fairley

A Cordele man is facing elder abuse and neglect charges after a 72-year-old wound up with a neck fracture.
Police believe James Troup-Mothersole neglected his non-speaking mother-in-law while she was in his care.
Officers found bruising and unexplained injuries on the victim.
The suspect denied the abuse but official say the injuries don't align with a fall.
The woman was taken to a hospital in Macon before ending up at the Tift Regional Medical Center.
At this time she's still in the hospital recovering from her injuries

SOURCE:      My SouthWest GA
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Speaking Out Against Elder Abuse

August 28, 2013

Incidents of elder abuse, financial exploitation and neglect increase as our senior population grows. According to the American Psychological Association (2013) and estimated 4 million seniors each year are “victims of physical, psychological or other forms of abuse.” For every case reported, an average of 23 cases go unnoticed.
Most abuse happens to seniors within their own homes, often by people that they know. Helplessness, loneliness, fear and shame often prevent seniors from disclosing abusive events. While there is no definitive pattern to describe elder abuse, senior citizens are often easy targets for financial scams.
Abuse happens for many reasons. Sometimes it is a matter of illness or stress. Other times it can result from family problems, intergenerational and marital problems, years of stored anger, an overwhelmed sense of emotion or social isolation.
It is important to know the signs of elder abuse. “As a caregiver, I am one of the biggest preventers of elder abuse by evaluating how they are doing physically, emotionally and mentally. … As a caregiver, not only am I responsible for assistance with simple activities of daily life, but I also have the opportunity to be a voice against violence and all forms of elder abuse,” Home Instead caregiver Scarlette States said.

According to the American Psychological Association, the following are warning signs of potential abuse:

Physical: Unexplained bruises, injuries, welts, dismissive statements and unwillingness to go to the same emergency department for repeated injuries.
Verbal/emotional/psychological: Change in communication, such as becoming fearful, suspicious, unresponsive and demonstrating decline in social contacts.
Sexual: unexplained vaginal or anal bleeding; torn underwear; bruises on private parts; infections or sexually transmitted diseases.
•Financial: Large amounts of money withdrawn from the bank accounts; life events do not match financial statements; unusual ATM activity; signatures that do not match
Caregiver neglect: Lack of basic needs, sunken eyes, weight loss, unsafe environments for person with dementia, untreated bed sores and lack of medical aids such as glasses, hearing aids or walker.

Finding help: If you are experiencing an emergency, call 9-1-1. If you suspect abuse or have experienced abuse, contact your local police, local area agency on aging, crisis shelter or AWARE.
Michele Dubel is the relationship manager for Home Instead Senior Care, which provides companionship, home helper, and personal care services to seniors. For information, call (724) 535-6101.

SOURCE:      The Ellwood City Ledger
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Veterans Accuse Senior-Living Retirement Chain of Elder Abuse

August 29, 2013

A chain of retirement homes preyed on elderly veterans and their spouses by claiming a government pension plan would cover its expensive housing, then charging them thousands of dollars in deferred rent when the benefits fell through, the veterans claim in court.
     Lead defendant Holiday Retirement operates more than 300 senior living homes in the United States and targets veterans and their survivors as prospective tenants, lead plaintiff Richard Dickinson says in the lawsuit.
     Dickinson and three co-plaintiffs accuse Holiday Retirement of elder abuse, unlawful trade, breach of contract and negligent misrepresentation, in Multnomah County Court.
     They claim Holiday's high-pressure tactics are designed to "induce veterans and their surviving spouses to move into its facilities whether or not they can afford the monthly rent."
     "Plaintiffs are low-income elderly war veterans or low-income elderly surviving spouses who currently reside in senior retirement communities owned and operated by a network of companies using the name Holiday Retirement (collectively 'Holiday'). Plaintiffs allege that defendants deceived them as part of a scheme to increase occupancy rates and rental income at retirement communities operated by Holiday," the complaint states. "Holiday targeted war veterans and their survivors as potential residents and induced them to move into high-cost housing by misrepresenting a pension program administered by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (the 'VA') called Aid and Attendance and Homebound Status ('Aid and Attendance'). ...
     "Each plaintiff is a victim of Holiday's deceptive practices. Each of them moved into a
     Holiday retirement residence based on a promise by Holiday that they would receive Aid and Attendance benefits from the VA within a short period of time and in an amount that would substantially offset the rents charged by Holiday. Despite portraying that it was neutral in the application process, Holiday falsely represented that there was an increased likelihood of approval for Aid and Attendance benefits merely by moving into a Holiday residence. In addition, Holiday staff or agents promised to assist in processing plaintiffs' applications, assured plaintiffs their applications would be approved in a timely manner, and offered incentives or discounts to supposedly bridge the financial gap between their income and the promised Aid and Attendance benefits. Some plaintiffs were referred to and required to pay attorneys or other professionals selected by Holiday to process their application," according to the complaint.
     The elderly plaintiffs claim they were pressured into signing lease agreements with confusing terms and told they must act quickly or certain discounts would expire.
     "Holiday also engaged in predatory sales practices to close the deal, such as repeated telephone calls, solicitations to attend 'seminars' and open houses, suggesting the possibility that Holiday would reimburse certain costs, assuring prospective tenants that Holiday would pay for moving costs, offering confusing discounts and reduced rent and pressuring plaintiffs to immediately sign multi-page residency agreements and confusing addenda or risk losing the incentives offered by Holiday. Plaintiffs relied on these misrepresentations in deciding to move into a Holiday property and were wrongfully induced into agreeing to high monthly rent payments they could not afford," according to the complaint.
     Plaintiffs Dickinson, Thelma Cramer, Shirley McClane and Martha Barney say they never received the promised benefits and that Holiday charges them "rent that is beyond their means and continues to increase."
     They add: "Defendants knew or should have known that several plaintiffs were not eligible for Aid and Attendance benefits, that plaintiffs were not likely to receive the amounts of benefits represented by Holiday, and that there was a substantial backlog of benefit applications at the VA so that plaintiffs could not be approved for many months even if they were eligible. As a result, defendants failed to exercise reasonable care or competence in providing information to plaintiffs about the Aid and Attendance program."
     They seek statutory damages, actual damages and damages for mental and emotional distress. They also seek declaratory judgment that the arbitration clause they allegedly signed as part of the lease agreement is "procedurally unconscionable."
     They are represented by Andrea Ogston with Legal Aid Services of Oregon.
     Here are the defendants: Holiday Retirement Inc., a Delaware corporation; Holiday Retirement Corp.; HRC Investors; Harvest Management Sub LLC, a Delaware company; Harvest Facility Holdings, a Delaware partnership; Parkrose Retirement Residence dba Parkrose Chateau; Vineyard Place Retirement Residence dba Vineyard Place; and Rockcreek Retirement Residence dba Rock Creek.

SOURCE:       The Court House News
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Aldridges Among Many to Hear Charges

By Patsy Brumfiled/Daily Journal
July 14, 2013

TUPELO – State Rep. Brian Aldridge and his parents of Tupelo will be among Lee County defendants July 19 to hear formal charges brought against them by the grand jury.

Scores of other defendants will appear that day before Circuit Judge Thomas Gardner III to enter pleas of guilty or not guilty.
The Aldridges were indicted June 28, accused of embezzlement from the estate of Florence Aldridge, the widow of the brother of Brian’s father, Louis.
Louis Aldridge was given her power of attorney while she was ill. He and his then-wife Janice Aldridge cared for the woman, but when she recovered she discovered her $700,000 estate was gone.
Louis Aldridge, 64, and Janice Aldridge, 61, divorced last November.
While the senior Aldridges have made no public comment, Brian Aldridge’s attorney, T.K. Moffett of Tupelo, insists his client is innocent.
Each Aldridge is free on $5,000 bond after voluntarily appearing at the Lee County Sheriff’s Office week before last, when their indictments became public.
The Mississippi Attorney General’s Public Integrity Division, which brought the case to the grand jury, accuses them of different unlawful actions.

During the time in question, the three Aldridges operated Touched By An Angel Ministries Inc., a non-profit camp for disabled youths and adults, in west Lee County.
The senior Aldridges are charged under the same Mississippi statute, Section 97-23-19, which relates to the fraudulent loss of a possession valued at $500 or more by “a trustee” or “agent” entrusted to take care of the property.

Louis Aldridge is accused of three counts – the first of taking funds for his own use from Feb. 1 until Oct. 15, 2005 from a Wachovia Bank account; the second from Sept. 20, 2006 until Feb. 25, 2007 from AmSouth Bank; and the third from Feb. 15 to Nov. 15, 2005 from her Bank of America account.
Janice Aldridge is accused of two counts – the first of taking funds for her own use on May 27, 2005 from a Wachovia Bank account; and the second, from Feb. 1, 2006 to July 5, 2007 from AmSouth Bank.
Records presented in a 2008 civil lawsuit by Florence Aldridge against them show $552,212.99 total disbursements from her accounts.
If convicted on those charges, Louis Aldridge and Janice Aldridge face up to 10 years in prison, a $25,000 fine or both per count.
They declared bankruptcy shortly after the civil trial began in August 2011.
As for 36-year-old Brian Aldridge, a legislator for House District 17, he is accused on one count, which is listed on his indictment as “embezzlement” but in Section 97-17-41 is termed “grand larceny.”
The law makes it a felony to take the personal property of another valued at $500 or more without the owner’s permission. Conviction calls for imprisonment “in the Penitentiary” not more than 10 years, a fine of $10,000 or both. He likely would be required to resign from office.
His indictment accuses him of taking money from his aunt’s Bank of America account for his own use “with the intent to permanently deprive her” of it.

In December 2011, Chancellor Michael Malski ordered Louis Aldridge and Janice Aldridge to repay Florence more than $552,000. Later he ordered Brian, as chief executive officer of Touched By An Angel Ministries Inc., to repay $218,355. His legislative salary is being garnished to satisfy that order, although he’s appealed it to the Mississippi Supreme Court.
Florence Aldridge’s attorneys counter-sued, saying Malski’s judgment was too low.
More than 400 cases on the docket will be called as the August term of court begins July 29.
The 1st Circuit District’s four judges preside in a rotation across the term’s five weeks.

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August 21, 2013

What Is Elder Abuse And When To Report Checklist (USA)

What Is Abuse?
Abuse is a form of mistreatment by one individual that causes harm to another person. If you witness a life-threatening situation involving a senior or adult with disabilities, immediately call 911.
These are commonly reported types of abuse* received by Adult Protective Service agencies:
Physical abuse: may include slapping, hitting, beating, bruising or causing someone physical pain, injury or suffering. This also could include confining an adult against his/her will, such as locking someone in a room or tying him/her to furniture.
Emotional abuse: involves creating emotional pain, distress or anguish through the use of threats, intimidation or humiliation. This includes insults, yelling or threats of harm and/or isolation, or non-verbal actions such as throwing objects or glaring to project fear and/or intimidation.
Neglect: includes failures by individuals to support the physical, emotional and social needs of adults dependent on others for their primary care. Neglect can take the form of withholding food, medications or access to health care professionals. For more information on neglect,click here.
Isolation: involves restricting visits from family and friends or preventing contact via telephone or mail correspondence.
Financial or material exploitation: includes the misuse, mishandling or exploitation of property, possessions or assets of adults. Also includes using another’s assets without consent, under false pretense, or through coercion and/or manipulation.
Abandonment: involves desertion by anyone who assumed caregiving responsibilities for an adult.
Sexual abuse: includes physical force, threats or coercion to facilitate non-consensual touching, fondling, intercourse or other sexual activities. This is particularly true with vulnerable adults who are unable to give consent or comprehend the nature of these actions.
Self-neglect: involves seniors or adults with disabilities who fail to meet their own essential physical, psychological or social needs, which threatens their health, safety and well-being. This includes failure to provide adequate food, clothing, shelter and health care for one’s own needs. You can learn more about self-neglect here.
* Definitions of abuse vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Please contact your local APS office for additional information.

When to Report Checklist

If you witness a life-threatening situation involving a senior or adult with disabilities, dial 911. Contact your local Adult Protective Services agency any time you observe or suspect the following:
Sudden inability to meet essential physical, psychological or social needs threatening health, safety or well-being
Disappearing from contact with neighbors, friends or family
Bruising or welts on the skin, especially those appearing on the face or lateral and anterior region of the arms (physically abused elders are much more likely to display bruises than seniors injured by accident)
Fingerprints or handprints visible on the face, neck, arms or wrists
Burns from scalding, cigarettes, or in shapes of objects such as an iron
Cuts, lacerations or puncture wounds
Sprains, fractures or dislocations
Internal injuries or vomiting
Appearing with torn, stained, bloody clothing
Appearing disheveled, in soiled clothing or inappropriately attired for climate
Appearing hungry, malnourished, disoriented or confused

SOURCE:       National Adult Protective Services Association
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New State Law Seeks To End Abuse Of The Elderly

By: Amy Lipman
Aug 16, 2013


 A new Colorado law is looking to put a stop to abuse of senior citizens.
"We have a responsibility to make sure that as our senior’s age, when they become more vulnerable that we have the right resources at the right time to help them age with grace," said Reggie Bicha of the Colorado Department of Human Services.

Colorado was previously one of three states that did not require professionals who work with those above the age of 70 to report suspected cases of abuse.

The law covers a range of cases from physical abuse to financial exploitation.
"Folks who have saved their entire life to care for themselves and their families as they get older, to have a family member, a neighbor, a friend come in and take advantage of those resources and exploit them," Bicha said. "We need to stop that."

The law, which goes into effect July 2014, will give counties more resources to better train those who work with senior citizens.

It also will attempt to reduce the ratio of professionals to elderly people from 50 to 1, which law supporters say is one of the state's highest, to 25 to 1.

SOURCE:       The NBC11 News
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Care Worker Arrested For Elder Abuse After Deceased Woman Found In Home

by Joseph Sumbi (Editor)
August 15, 2013
By Bay City News Service

Vallejo police arrested a health care provider Tuesday after the elderly woman she was caring for was found dead.

Ann Marie De la Houssaye, 37, of Vallejo, was arrested on suspicion of elder abuse and neglect and possession of a controlled substance, Lt. Sid DeJesus said.
Solano County Health and Social Services asked police to check on the welfare Tuesday of 78-year-old Rosie Dright at her home at 148 Florida St.
The Vallejo Fire Department also responded, and police found Dright's body in the home. She appeared to have been deceased for "a lengthy period of time," DeJesus said.
Health and Social Services officials identified De la Houssaye as Dright's care provider, DeJesus said.
She was booked in the Solano County jail.

The Solano County District Attorney's Office filed misdemeanor complaints Dec. 18 and June 13 against De la Houssaye, according to Solano County Superior Court records. She was scheduled to appear in court Oct. 7.

SOURCE:       The Benicia Patch
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Salinas-Area Financial Adviser Pleads No Contest to Elder Abuse

Aug. 15, 2013  

Sandee Palmer Larkin, 65, entered a plea of “no contest” Tuesday to one felony count of financial elder abuse, the Monterey County district attorney’s office said. Larkin runs a business assisting people manage their money called Larkin Financial and Assistance Services.
While working for an elder (defined as anyone over 65), Larkin was responsible for making sure the victim’s account was balanced and the bills were paid in a timely manner, prosecutors said. She was also allowed to write checks including her own salary. She increased her own pay for several months ultimately taking at least $5,000 that she had not earned by overpaying herself, prosecutors said.

“The family thought they had done everything right by hiring a ‘professional’ to make sure their loved one’s bills were paid and nobody was stealing from her,” said Deputy District Attorney David Rabow. “Unfortunately for them, Ms. Larkin did steal money from the elder victim. Consumers are advised that professional fiduciaries are licensed by the California Department of Consumer Affairs and their status can be verified atwww.fiduciary.ca.gov. Larkin does not hold a current license according to the website.”
Anyone who believes that they have been the victim of elder abuse should contact local law enforcement or Adult Protective Services at 831-883-7565.

Judge Larry E. Hayes is scheduled to decide Larkin’s sentence at 8:45 a.m. Sept. 24. The sentence could range from felony probation up to four years in jail, prosecutors said.

SOURCE:      The Californian
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August 14, 2013

Not Right to Abandon Ailing and Elderly Parents (Borneo)

by Irene C.
August 12, 2013

Elderly parents are not to be treated like extra baggage or unwanted pets to be dumped  in front of old folks’ homes such as Rumah Seri Kenangan like what some individuals have done.
Calling this a worrying trend, Minister of Women, Family and Community Development Datuk Rohani Abdul Karim lamented that this constituted a social problem which should not happen as the nation approaches a developed country status.
In fact, she said, children of these old folks, those sickly or bedridden should take it upon themselves as their filial duty to shower them with love and care.
“The opportunity to take care of your parents are limited, therefore, grab the remaining time to take care of them like how they took care of you before,” said Rohani when met at her Hari Raya open house at her house yesterday.
She was among the dignitaries receiving Head of State Tun Datuk Patinggi Abang Muhammad Salahuddin and his wife Toh Puan Datin Patinggi Norkiah in their Hari Raya visits yesterday.
She added that it is very sad to see senile old folks who do not even know their own name and home address being dumped.
When asked about the rules on admitting old folks to the home, she said it would depend on the condition of the persons, like having no living relatives or family to support them.
She, however, advised that sending them there should only be a last resort as the waiting list is long besides it being very disheartening to see children leaving the responsibility of caring for their ailing and old parents to the institutions.
On laws to punish those abandoning their ailing parents, Rohani said it was not feasible to have such laws yet as it would result in congestion in prisons.
She suggested that children send their old parents who are still active to the Old Folks’ Activity Centre at Jalan Ong Tiang Swee to occupy their time.
“At the centre, we have various activities to fill up their time while their children are at work. After working hours, they will be picked up by their respective children and brought home,” she said, adding that the centre also teaches the old folks to make handicrafts which are marketed under the ‘Purple DNA’ brand and proceeds would be shared between them.
First opened in Miri, the centre is now available in Kuching, Sibu, Bintulu, Sri Aman and Dalat, Mukah.

SOURCE:      The Borneo Post
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Dismay Over Treatment of Some Elderly People in Scottish Hospitals

12 August 2013

IT was with some dismay I read Healthcare Improvement Scotland's audit of care of older people in acute hospitals.
While there was some good ¬practice which identified 25 areas of strength across eight inspections, there were 87 areas identified for improvement, including issues such as staff not always using appropriate and respectful language when referring to older people in hospital.

In three hospitals, inspection staff found a lack of meaningful stimulation and activity for patients and, across all hospitals inspected, staff were not completing food and fluid balance charts accurately or consistently.
This audit comes some five years after the Scottish Parliament cross-party group on Alzheimer's, which I chaired, produced a report with recommendations on how to improve the hospital experience of older people with dementia.
The report recognised that, by taking simple measures, we can save lives: minimising hospital moves, ensuring good hydration and nutrition and understanding the importance of exercise and stimulation.
We know that increased mortality rates, higher re admission rates and functional decline are associated with this vulnerable patient group.
The report should be operational in every health board. So why do we still read of so many system failures?
Previous inspection reports from the Care and Mental Welfare Commissions make for distressing reading. Despite a highly developed policy structure, reports containing damning information about the care and treatment of older people across all care settings are still being published.
The Dementia Carer Voices project regularly receives reports of less than satisfactory care that falls far short of what would be expected.
The central problem is that the gap between policy and implementation is widening to become a gulf.
The role, paid and unpaid, of caring for older people is undervalued. We pay the lowest wages with the worst conditions of service for those who look after our most vulnerable. We need to raise the profile and status of caring and pay appropriate wages. Besdies being the right thing to do, the economic argument around keeping people well in their own home supported by carers who receive proper allowances is incontrovertible.
As to institutional failures, it is time to get tough.
Frail older people are at risk but people with Alzheimer's and dementia are at particular risk due to their difficulties articulating how they are being treated. We rightly accept the importance of protecting children in our society. We have an independent Commissioner for Children and Young People to protect their rights and give them a voice. We have yet to place the same value on those with dementia and frail older people.
Sarah Rochira, the Independent Older Person's Commissioner in Wales, challenged the Health and Social Care Alliance annual conference to ask the question what constitutes abuse - lack of nutrition, hydration, inappropriate restraint, no outdoor activity, waiting for a bedpan -- and why there are so few prosecutions for elder abuse.

If we are not completing nutrition and hydration charts, how do we know how well someone has eaten across changes in staff shifts? When staff tell patients they'll be there in five minutes with a bedpan - and this becomes 20, is this acceptable?
There needs to be what might feel like an uncomfortable discussion about sanctions and prosecutions. It is a language many politicians and professionals don't like. Interestingly, it's a language with which the Welsh Commissioner seems comfortable .
A clear message about the ¬parameters of inappropriate and inadequate care and treatment of older people in Scotland is overdue. When does inadequate become criminal? How many prosecutions have taken place for elder abuse? We have no qualms about discussing these matters in regard to children so why are we so reticent to act on behalf of our older people?
There has to be independent accountability in the system to ensure that change happens. Maybe it is time for Scotland to look to the Welsh Commissioner's Office for a solution.

SOURCE:         The Herald, Scotland
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Aged Care Workers Cite Abuse and Neglect of Nursing Home Patients (AUSTRALIA)

Aged care workers cite abuse and neglect of nursing home patients
Lateline By Margot O'Neill
13 August, 2013

Aged care workers say their industry is facing a staffing crisis, with claims of abuse and neglect as patients struggle to get even basic care.
In phone calls and emails with scores of carers, nurses, facility managers and even former health bureaucrats, ABC's Lateline program has uncovered a pattern of failure in many facilities.
Staff say they often do not get time to properly feed, hydrate or toilet residents, that broken bones and infections can go undiagnosed and that there are frequent medication mistakes, at least 10 a month.
Lynette Dickens, a specialist palliative care nurse with more than 20 years' experience working in aged care, told Lateline of an instance in which an elderly man buzzed for help to go to the toilet but was left waiting for 30 minutes or more.
"According to him she said 'you've just had a pee, you don't need to go again' and he said 'I do!' and she abused him and walked outside," Ms Dickens said.
"He kept ringing the buzzer and he said 'I'm going to wet myself, please help me', and she grabbed the buzzer and threw it to the end of the bed and said 'I've got better things to do.'
"I put in an incident report. Nothing was done."
She says staff in many facilities often struggle to complete basic tasks, such as regular toileting.
"They feel very disillusioned and demoralised and feel they know they want to do a good job but that it's not possible," Ms Dickens said.
Elderly patients suffer as basic tasks ignored
With no mandatory minimum staff-to-patient ratio, Lateline has been told of shifts with one carer for 20 or 30 high-care patients.
It means residents can be left for hours in incontinence pads, risking dangerous skin and urinary tract infections.
Elderly patients sometimes have to plead for more because pads are locked up.
"In my experience, incontinence pads are rationed, generally three a day, and the rest are stored and locked away in a cupboard and only one person has the key," Ms Dickens said.
"So anybody wanting extras has to get permission."
Ms Dickens says three pads per day is not enough.
"Many residents were saturated from ankle to head, or in bed absolutely drenched in stale brown urine," she said.
Many staff also complain that doctors can be hard to find, with Ms Dickens remembering how one woman was left to die convulsing and asphyxiating on her own vomit for hours.
"It's quite traumatic, somebody choking on their own vomit, unable to take a breath," Ms Dickens said.
Ms Dickens intervened, trying to contact the woman's doctor, who did not respond. She tried the locum, who refused to come, and later the hospital, which refused admittance.
She finally called an ambulance, which meant the dying woman received some oxygen, which the nursing home had run out of.
"A carer stayed back after duty," Ms Dickens said.
"This lady had no family, no one else was there, it was only us."
Patient numbers rise as staff shrinks
There are now more chronically ill, dependent and demented elderly patients needing more complex medical care in nursing homes than ever before.
At the same time, there are less medically-qualified staff than ever before.
Seventy per cent of nursing home staff are now low-paid, low-skilled carers.
Many complete thorough training courses, but many do quick online course and some have a poor grasp of English.
Once on the job, they can be pressured to perform tasks beyond their limited training, such as attending complex wounds or dealing with catheters.
Sophie Cutriss, a registered nurse and aged care teacher who has worked in more than 10 aged care facilities over a 20-year career, says carers are supervised by a dwindling number of registered nurses who can be responsible for more than 100 patients.
Their jobs are made more difficult by the mountainous paperwork they are required to fill out each shift so management can access government subsidies.
Mrs Cutriss says staff are sometimes forced to cut corners.
"It's easier to pull the elderly person off their bed, shove them on a toilet chair and take them straight to the bathroom with very little privacy, and quicker to have them defecate and urinate in the shower, than take them to the toilet," she said.
"Elderly people are being dragged out of bed early in the morning to help staff try to get through all their work.
"And I must say that they are mostly caring, compassionate, empathic people who are trying to do their best."
A Victorian carer says he breaks the criminal code every night when he locks dementia patients in their rooms because he does not have enough staff to ensure their safety.
"Management has ignored my requests for extra staff," the carer said.
Some staff crack under the pressure or are the wrong kind of person to be working with the frail elderly.
"I saw an elderly lady smacked and pushed back in her chair," Ms Dickens said.
Mrs Cutriss said: "I've heard them told 'you smell like you've got a dead rat up your arse', or being yelled at, 'stop that' or 'get out you dirty old man', words like that."
Picking up on subtle changes in health is key: GP
Alzheimer's Australia chief executive Glenn Rees says in recent weeks the organisation has received a lot of correspondence detailing "disturbing" treatment of elderly people in care.
He said the time has come of the industry, community and government to overhaul the system.
"In some cases there is very, very poor care being delivered which is quite unacceptable and as an organisation we believe there should be zero tolerance of that," he said.
"We don't run away from the fact that poor quality of care has to be tackled and we think there are a number of ways in which the federal government and service providers and consumers can do that together."
Mr Rees said spot checks and the accreditation of service providers is designed to ensure a high standard of care "and clearly that hasn't happened".
"The preferable approach is to have some transparency in what the care outcomes are being achieved and that isn't in place - there aren't any quality indicators," he said.
"Much of the monitoring that goes on addresses the systems and compliance."
Dr Joachim Sturmberg, a health care academic and GP who treats patients in nursing homes, agrees and says the system is more about box ticking than looking after people.
"Frailty is not well understood - it means the physiological ability to respond to change is very limited and it is the stage before you pass on," he said.
He says good medical care of the elderly requires vigilance.
"[A patient's health] can be changed by small things, like urinary tract infection which, if not picked up, turns into delirium and can tip over into death," he said.
"Which is why it is important that staff are able to pick up subtle changes in the patient."
Many facilities still provide good care because of dedicated staff, but even the industry acknowledges it is a stressed system.
Families and staff say it means patients often needlessly suffer pain and indignity and sometimes die because of substandard clinical care.
Staff failed to notice patient had turned purple
John Walker, who works as an aged care nurse outside New South Wales, thought he could trust the staff looking after his mother, Thelma Walker, in a fully accredited New South Wales nursing home.
But as her health dangerously declined, no one even checked her temperature.
"If the nursing home had responded to my initial concerns and done assessments, the numbers would have told them things weren't right and they would have intervened," he said.
"She might still be alive."

SOURCE:        ABC, Australia

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Shining the Light On Elder Abuse (Connecticut, USA)

12 Aug 2013

2013 is the National Year of Elder Abuse Prevention and Heather Burns, BRASS Information and Benefits Specialist, and Alexis Rotella, a Waterbury Municipal Agent, were in the studio shining a light on a very serious situation occurring here and around the country - Elder Abuse.

Waterbury Senior Services Provider Network began meeting this year through the Waterbury BRASS collaboration; the group wanted to take the lead in raising awareness of elder abuse in our community.
If you are aware of elder abuse taking place, please contact your local municipal agency or social services department in your town or call 211 for assistance.  You may also contact the State of Connecticut Protective Services Referral Line toll-free at (888) 385-4225.

SOURCE:         WTNH
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Appeal Court Says Hospital Wrong to Administer Anti-Psychotic Drugs Without Consent (CANADA)

August 8, 2013

A glimmer of hope appeared last week in the battle to restore the fundamental right of Canadian citizens to choose to give or withhold consent to medication.

A panel of judges in Ontario’s highest court has just overturned previous rulings that permitted a doctor to administer antipsychotic drugs to a patient without her knowledge and against her will.
According to an article in the National Post, this ruling “reinforces a patient’s right to refuse medication,” which the Supreme Court of Canada upheld in 2003. Given the flood of similar cases received by Seniors at Risk, this right to withhold consent has been routinely trampled by our publicly funded doctors, hospitals and nursing homes, often with the aggressive support of lawyers and judges, which this case chillingly demonstrates.

When Amy Anten was hospitalized in November 2009 for treatment of lupus, staff at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto began secretly “slipping an antipsychotic drug (risperidone) into her orange juice” without her knowledge. Later, after she was injected with risperidone, she noticed side effects, asked questions and strenuously objected that the harmful side effects outweighed any potential benefit.
Consent and Capacity Board criticized by three-judge panel
Ontario has a Consent and Capacity Board (CCB) whose job is to arbitrate disputes about whether a patient’s right to informed consent (or that of the person’s substitute decision maker) are being respected. In January 2010, Amy Anten went to the CCB asking them to stop Dr. Shree Bhalerao, the St. Michael’s Hospital doctor who apparently authorized the secret administration of the drug, from exerting his will against her wishes.

SOURCE:       Seniors At Risk

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Pacific Grove Woman Convicted For Abusing Her Mother (California, USA)

Aug. 12, 2013

A Pacific Grove woman could see up to 11 years in prison for abusing her 77-year-old mother, according to a release from the Monterey County District Attorney’s office.
Patricia Conklin, 47, was convicted on three counts of elder abuse in a jury trial that began on Aug. 5. Deliberations spanned the weekend, beginning on Friday before the final verdict was rendered on Monday.
The convictions stem from two events.

In the first, Conklin pushed her mother during a verbal argument, causing the elderly woman to fall. When Conklin called 911 to advise her mother had slipped, dispatchers could hear her mother yelling she’d been thrown down. Transported to Community Hospital of Monterey Peninsula, the woman was diagnosed with an intertrochanteric fracture, a fracture on the top of the femur bone just below the ball portion of the hip. The injury resulted in necessary surgery and several metal implants.

The second and third counts relate to endangerment on March 9. On that day, Conklin went to a skilled nursing facility to retrieve her mother from the surgery. At the location, Conklin demanded her mother’s release and accused the staff of wanting her mother’s money. She then threatened the staff and took her mother from the facility to her home which was ill-prepared for the elderly woman’s return.
During the trial, attorneys established Conklin knew her mother had been conserved earlier in the week. After her injury and surgery, the elderly woman appeared to suffer significant mental decline and a conservatorship was established with the public guardian’s office. This meant that only the public guardian’s office could consent to the elderly woman’s release from the care facility.

The case was investigated by the Pacific Grove Police Department and the Monterey Police Department. The victim was represented by Deputy Public Guardian Jennifer Empasis.
Judge Pamela Butler will sentence Conklin at 8:45 a.m. on Sept. 13. The sentence could range from felony probation up to 11 years in prison.

SOURCE:       The Californian.com
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Elder Abuse: When the Unthinkable Happens to a Loved One

by Greg Webb
August 12, 2013

The idea of abuse at a nursing home or other facility for the aging and affirm is always shocking, no matter how many times we hear about it. We expect those who choose a career in the ‘helping’ profession to work under the idea of ‘do no harm’. We entrust our loved ones to their care. And, we expect our family members to be treated with dignity and compassion.
The recent investigation of Alzheimer’s Care of Commerce, located near Atlanta, GA, is shocking and sadly, not as unusual as we would like to think. The case involves 21 staff members who have been charged with cruelty to people 65 or older including accusations of abuse, neglect and financial exploitation. (Fox News 7/2)
The three-month investigation resulted in a raid of the 27-patient facility on Tuesday, July 2. Investigators are currently looking into the extent of the alleged wrongdoing. Reports indicate that some of the staff had prior felony convictions, including voluntary manslaughter and identity theft. (Washington Post, 7/2)
According to the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA), elder mistreatment (i.e. abuse and neglect) is defined as intentional actions that cause harm or create a serious risk of harm (whether or not harm is intended) to a vulnerable elder by a caregiver or other person who stands in a trust relationship to the elder. This includes failure by a caregiver to satisfy the elder’s basic needs or to protect the elder from harm.
In 2008 there were approximately 3.2 million Americans in long-term care facilities. There have been many studies, but no clear indication of the extent of the problem. Statistics on elder abuse tend to be underreported as the higher percentages of victims are patients with some degree of disability. One study reported by the NCEA indicates that only 1 in 14 cases of elder abuse is reported. A similar study in New York reports 1 in 24 are reported. Other studies cite that adults with dementia are abused at a rate of 47-50%, with women more likely to be abused than men.
The case in Georgia is appalling. The administration failed to adequately supervise staff and tolerated, or condoned, routine abuse of elderly residents. There are reports of patients being hit, sprayed in the face with water, restrained with bed sheets and put in double diapers and left unattended.
As Baby Boomers begin to focus more on aging and the possibility of their own infirmity we can hope for a change in the attitudes towards the elderly. Abuse, not just of the elderly, is rampant in our society. Not only are people over age 65 abused in facilities, the statistics show that 90% of abusers are family members—adult children, spouses, partners or others.
How To Protect Aging Family Members
We should expect a care facility, nursing home or assisted living facility to follow the law and treat patients appropriately. Unfortunately the onus is on the family to pay attention to what happens to loved ones in these facilities.
Families should educate themselves on the rights of the elderly and be prepared to stay involved when a loved one is placed in a facility. The National Center for Elder Abuse has resource pages with information for every state. There are lawyers who specialize in elder care and can advise families on appropriate actions to take.
If you are putting a family member in a care facility stay involved from the very beginning. Get to know the staff at the nursing home or care facility. Go and visit on a regular basis. Ask your family member about conditions and keep your eyes open for possible signs of problems.

National Center for Elder Abuse: http://www.ncea.aoa.gov/stop_abuse/index.aspx
Center on Elder Abusewww.centeronelderabuse.org

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Man Allegedly Left Wife in Squalid Conditions (Independence, USA)

Independence man allegedly left wife in squalid conditions
By Chris Oberholtz, Multimedia Producer
Aug 13, 2013

An Independence man has been charged in connection with the neglect of his 73-year-old wife, allowing her to remain in a recliner for several days in filthy conditions.
Gary R. Raps, 58, faces second-degree elder abuse, a Class B felony under Missouri law.
According to court records, Independence police were dispatched Sunday to Centerpoint Hospital regarding a patient who appeared to be neglected.
Raps police that she had been ill and in the recliner for several days.
Warning: The following details may be disturbing to some.
His elderly wife weighed approximately 70 pounds according to medical staff, court records state. She also had severe bedsores on her buttocks and legs. He hair was matted and was diagnosed with having a yeast infection underneath her right breast.
Copyright 2013 KCTV (Meredith Corp.)


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August 12, 2013

Close to Home: Financial Hazards for Older People in Family Accommodation (WA. AUSTRALIA)

By Eileen Webb
Professor, Faculty of Law at University of Western Australia

11 August, 2013
Last year, having recently lost her life partner, 78-year old Miriam* was advised by her children that the family home was now “too big” for her to live in. She sold her property and moved into the home of an adult child, Sophie, using the proceeds of the sale to discharge Sophie’s mortgage and agreeing to contribute to household expenses.
Miriam believed this contribution would compensate Sophie for her accommodation and aged care expenses. Recently, there was a falling out between Miriam and Sophie’s partner, and Miriam was asked to leave.
Family accommodation arrangements, where older family members live on or in the same property as younger members, are increasingly popular in Australia. Although there are many possible variations in the structure of these arrangements, it typically sees an older person’s family receiving a financial benefit in exchange for a promise to provide accommodation for, and in some cases care of, the older person.
At first glance, the arrangement seems ideal: an older person ages in a supportive family environment. Any financial input made by the older person is seen as a contribution to the family in consideration of their assistance. But what happens when this arrangement breaks down?
Unfortunately, the legal framework regulating family accommodation arrangements is precarious. Despite the prevalence of “assets for care” arrangements, and the recognition of the potential for exploitation of the older person, the law is difficult to understand and, from a practical perspective, largely ineffectual. Most of these arrangements are informal and only come to light when something goes wrong.
Even assuming the older person has the financial and emotional fortitude to take a legal route, a dispute regarding a family accommodation arrangement can give rise to a confusing mix of legal issues including contract, real property and local government laws as well as equity, trusts and family law. There may also be Centrelink and taxation consequences.
So, what are the key issues here? In most cases there is no “contract” – nothing is written down and family members can have differing recollections as to what the “terms” of the arrangement were.
In court, the older person may also face the difficult task of proving undue influence or unconscionable dealing has occurred. There is no presumption of undue influence in relation to transfers from a parent to child and old age is not, in itself, a special disadvantage in establishing unconscionable conduct.
Additionally, the older person’s name is often not placed on the title to the property. It is therefore up to a court to decide whether the older person holds an interest in the property.
Depending on the nature of the transaction, a court will need to consider perplexing legal creatures such as resulting or constructive trusts (which can be imposed by a court regardless of the intention of the parties), equitable liens (a right to secure the performance of an outstanding obligation) or estoppel (that a claim cannot be made if it contravenes a prior claim of the same party). Unfortunately, decisions indicate some inconsistency of approach even on similar cases.

SOURCE:         The Conversation.com
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Luzerne Caregiver Accused of Taking At Least $258K From Elderly Woman (USA)

Luzerne caregiver accused of taking at least $258K from elderly woman
August 10, 2013

A Luzerne woman is facing theft charges after prosecutors say she stole more than a quarter-million dollars from an elderly woman for whom she was supposed to be caring.
Sharon Mae Jacobosky, 70, is charged with three counts of theft by failure to make required disposition of funds received.

According to the Luzerne County District Attorney's Office, Dallas Borough police began investigating Jacobosky after getting a complaint that she was taking money for her own benefit. At the time, Jacobosky was the caregiver and had power of attorney for Clementine Moseman, according to prosecutors.

The Institute on Protective Services at Temple University conducted a forensic audit on accounts owned by Moseman and her daughter, Pamela Wehrenberg, prosecutors said.
The audit revealed Jacobosky had taken $258,538 between Jan. 1, 2009, and Nov. 4, 2011, according to prosecutors.

"An overwhelming number of cases of elder abuse, neglect and financial exploitation go undetected each year," District Attorney Stefanie Salavantis said in a statement. "Unfortunately, some of these vulnerable adults are abused by family members, service providers and caregivers."
Salavantis urged anyone who suspects elder abuse to call the Luzerne/Wyoming Counties Area Agency on Aging at 800-252-1512 or her office at 570-825-1674.
Magisterial District Judge James Tupper arraigned Jacobosky on Friday and set her bail at $5,000. She was booked at the Luzerne County Correctional Facility with a preliminary hearing set for 9:30 a.m. Aug. 22.

SOURCE:    The Citizen's Voice
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Nursing Home Report Card Lists States That Fail to Protect Elderly (USA)

August 10 2013

 A new report shows that some states are failing to protect the elderly from neglect or abuse. (CBS News)    (VIDEO)

SOURCE:       The Washington Post
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Oxnard Plumber Arrested on Charges of Elder Abuse (CA. USA)

By Giana Magnoli, Noozhawk Staff Writer

Authorities believe there could be more victims of an Oxnard plumber who allegedly worked without a contractor’s license and targeted the elderly.
Oxnard police arrested Albert Solano, 46, in late July on charges of elder abuse after a months-long investigation by the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department, theSanta Barbara County District Attorney’s Office and theContractors State License Board, according to Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman Kelly Hoover.

Detectives started investigating in March, after incidents with a 68-year-old Santa Barbara resident and a couple in their 70s, Hoover said.
Solano had a pattern of not giving an estimate, overcharging for the job and threatening to place a lien on the property if the customer didn't pay, Hoover said. He also allegedly left projects unfinished and didn’t have a valid contractor’s license.
In his work as a plumber, Solano would use the name of businesses that weren’t his, according to Hoover.

Solano was arrested July 26, and the Sheriff’s Department is looking for any additional victims. Anyone with additional information can contact the Criminal Investigations Bureau at 805.681.4150.
He was associated with Dr. Drain, Dr. Drain Sewer Repair, Dr. Drain Plumbing and Sewer Cleaning, American One Plumbing, Day and Night Rooter Man, Rooter Dr. Inc. and AR Construction.

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Complaints of Elder Abuse Rose 7% Last Year (IRELAND)

25 July 2013

Almost 2,500 complaints of elder abuse were made to the health services last year, up 7% since 2011, according to the Health Service Executive.
Excluding referrals of self-neglect, there were 1,923 referrals to the HSE last year.
Psychological abuse was the most common type of abuse reported 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 compared to those aged between 65 and 79.

HSE helpline - 1850-24-1850.

Most alleged abuse was perpetrated by a family member.
Commenting on the report, 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."
Specialist in Older Person Services at the HSE, Pascal Moynihan, has said that criminal charges do arise out of complaints of physical and sexual abuse of elderly people.
However, speaking on RTÉ's News At One, Mr Moynihan said that very often situations can be resolved through counselling.

He said in some situations, perpetrators do not even recognise their behaviour as abusive.
In situations where family members are the abuser, elderly people can be conflicted about upsetting family relationships, he said.

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

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