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

October 18, 2013

Daughter Of Elder Abuse Victim Wins Case Against Carer

By Sam Strangeways
Oct 16, 2013

The adopted daughter of alleged elder abuse victim “Auntie Em” has won a six-year legal battle with her mother’s former carer.
Chief Justice Ian Kawaley ruled in the Supreme Court that Rosamund Hayward does not have to pay Yvonne Dawson $25,000 in unpaid fees, as she was ordered to do by a magistrate in 2010.
But Mr Justice Kawaley said Ms Hayward’s “apparent unwillingness to live up to her moral obligations” in relation to contributing to the cost of care for her mother was “on the face of it, not just unreasonable, but bordering on the outrageous, considering that she is seemingly entitled to inherit her mother’s home”.
He said it was difficult to see why Ms Hayward shouldn’t pay for her own costs in the long-running civil case, adding: “It is to be hoped that [Ms Dawson’s] legal advisers will have the ingenuity to find some means of achieving some measure of financial justice for her.”
The harrowing case of “Auntie Em” — whose real name was Wilhelmina Liburd — was revealed by The Royal Gazette in September 2007, when her nephew Stephen Woodley and Ms Dawson told of the terrible conditions she was found living in at the family home in Upland Street, Devonshire.
Ms Dawson described seeing cockroaches crawling across the senior’s skin and food, while environmental health officers declared the property unfit for human habitation due to clutter, dirt, roach and rodent infestation and droppings, unsanitary water, roof fungus and bed bugs.
The near-blind great-grandmother, who lived with Ms Hayward and other family members, moved temporarily into Ms Dawson’s home to be looked after.
She ultimately ended up at King Edward VII Memorial Hospital, where part of one leg was amputated due to gangrene.
Mrs Liburd died in 2011, aged 98, at the hospital’s Continuing Care Unit and Ms Hayward has never faced any criminal charges in connection with the alleged mistreatment of her mother.
Ms Dawson launched legal proceedings in 2007 against Ms Hayward, the only child of Mrs Liburd and her late husband, to recover money she claimed she was owed for caring for the senior at weekends.
Mr Woodley, she said, hired her and paid for her weekday fees, with Ms Hayward agreeing to meet the costs of weekend care.
Magistrate Tyrone Chin provisionally ruled in May 2008 that there was a contract between the parties and, in December 2010, reaffirmed that decision, ordering Ms Hayward to pay $25,000, plus $70 costs.
Ms Hayward immediately appealed the decision but it took until last month for a judgement in the case, when Mr Justice Kawaley agreed with her lawyer Ray DeSilva’s argument that Mr Chin’s decision was “plainly flawed” because it had not been shown that a legally enforceable contract existed between the two women.
The magistrate referred to one payment of $280 for weekend services in October 2006 as evidence of Ms Hayward’s agreement to a contract.
That wasn’t sufficient, according to Mr Justice Kawaley, who wrote: “The learned magistrate did not support his finding that a contract existed by reference to any other specific aspect of the evidence adduced at trial in support of [Ms Dawson’s] case.
“Nor did he make any express findings on the issues which formed the basis of [Ms Hayward’s] submission of no case.”
He said the 2010 judgement simply reaffirmed the earlier ruling, adding: “It follows that if that ruling is not supportable, neither is his final judgement. The appeal is allowed on the ground that [Ms Dawson] failed to prove her case.”
The Chief Justice said it seemed obvious that Ms Hayward was “at a minimum, morally obliged to contribute to the costs of her mother’s care”.
The magistrate’s decision, he added, appeared both pragmatic and consistent with ordinary notions of justice, in that it would have meant Ms Dawson was paid for her “valuable services” and Ms Hayward, who was willing to receive the benefit of her mother’s property, would have to contribute to Mrs Liburd’s care.
But the judge agreed with Mr DeSilva that it did not meet with strict legal principles and should be set aside.
Mr Justice Kawaley said the case took too long to deal with and changes were needed to the law to ensure “more active case management” of civil matters by the Magistrates’ Court, with the help of counsel.
Neither Ms Hayward nor Ms Dawson could be reached for comment yesterday. Mr DeSilva told this newspaper he could not comment on the judgement until he had spoken to his client, as did Richard Horseman, lawyer for Ms Dawson.

SOURCE:       The Royal Gazette
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Banks On The Front LInes When It Comes To Detecting Elder Abuse

By Susan Salisbury
OCTOBER 16, 2013


A lot of older people don’t bank online. They prefer to visit the bank branch, where they might even have a favorite teller.
That means employees at banks, credit unions, and other financial institutions are on the front lines when it comes to being able to spot possible financial abuse of the elderly.
They might notice something fishy about withdrawals from a customer’s account, such as a change in the amounts or unusual transactions.
Yet they sometimes worry that reporting their suspicions to law enforcement might violate the customer’s privacy rights.
Last month, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and seven other agencies issued guidance to banks and other institutions, saying that they should not hesitate to disclose a customer’s personal information if fraud or other illegal activity is suspected.
A federal privacy law known as the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act allows common-sense exceptions to allow reporting of possible fraud or unauthorized transactions.
‘‘Older Americans are all too often victims of financial exploitation,’’ said Richard Cordray, director of the consumer bureau.
‘‘They make attractive targets because they often have higher household wealth — whether it is in retirement savings or home equity.’’
Elderly people may be less able to recognize financial exploitation and fraud, the most common form of elder abuse, Cordray said.
Elder abuse includes the illegal or improper use of an older adult’s funds, property, or other assets.
‘‘A lifetime of savings can be wiped out by falling prey to a scam artist,’’ Cordray said.
‘‘Employees at financial institutions can be instrumental in preventing such fraud.’’
When seniors fall victim to theft by a trusted family member or a scam, they may be too embarrassed or too frail to pursue legal action — so it is critical that other s look out for them, Cordray said.

Here are some possible signs of financial abuse of older adults, from the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network:
■ Erratic or unusual banking transactions, or changes in banking patterns.
■ Frequent large withdrawals, including daily maximum currency withdrawals from an ATM.
■ Sudden insufficient fund activity.
■ Uncharacteristic nonpayment for services, which may indicate a loss of funds or loss of access to funds.
■ Debit transactions that are inconsistent for the older adult.
■ Uncharacteristic attempts to wire large sums of money.
■ The closing of CD or other accounts without regard to the penalties.
■ A caregiver or other individual who shows excessive interest in the older adult’s finances or assets, does not allow the older adult to speak for himself, or is reluctant to leave the side of the older adult during conversations with other.
■ The older adult shows an unusual degree of fear or submissiveness toward a caregiver or expresses a fear of eviction or nursing home placement if money is not given to a caretaker.
■ The financial institution is unable to speak directly with the older adult, despite repeated attempts.
■ A new caretaker, relative, or friend suddenly begins conducting financial transactions on behalf of the older adult without proper documentation.
■ The older adult moves away from existing relationships and toward new associations with other ‘‘friends’’ or strangers.
■ The older adult’s financial management changes suddenly, such as through a change of power of attorney to a new individual.
■ The older adult lacks knowledge about his or her financial status, or shows a sudden reluctance to discuss financial matters.

SOURCE:     The Boston Globe
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Coon Rapids Case Highlights Elder Abuse Issue

Article by: DAVID CHANEN , Star Tribune
October 14, 2013

Daughter is accused of intentional deprivation under a new state law after her 87-year-old mother lay ill for a month before she died.
For at least a month, police say, Dawn Kulbeik’s elderly mother lay in bed suffering from pneumonia, dehydration, malnutrition and bed sores that were bone deep. Two days before Kulbeik finally called 911 for help, the 87-year-old woman had lost consciousness and stopped communicating.
Doris Ferrian died a couple of weeks later last October, of natural causes. Law enforcement authorities and social service agencies have spent significant time since then reviewing the case, leading ultimately to felony and gross misdemeanor neglect charges filed Monday against Kulbeik.
The Anoka County case is one of the first charged under a Minnesota law passed last year making it a felony if a caregiver intentionally deprives a vulnerable adult of necessary food, clothing and medical care and knows it could result in substantially or great bodily harm. The action closed a gap that frustrated county attorneys when such cases would result in little or no jail time or minimal fines.
The Hennepin County attorney’s office, which pushed for the change at the Legislature, has yet to charge anybody with it.
“How does the system handle somebody responsible for the care of a parent, who fails to make good decisions and may not understand the full nature of the care that is necessary?” asked Anoka County Attorney Tony Palumbo.
Kulbeik, 54, is developmentally challenged, according to authorities.
She and other relatives couldn’t be reached for comment Monday.
The gross misdemeanor charge Kulbeik faces is of intentionally neglecting a vulnerable adult. The only contact police have had with her was the day she called 911.
Ferrian was unconscious with a rapid pulse and breathing when paramedics arrived at Kulbeik’s apartment in Coon Rapids on Oct. 8, 2012, according to the criminal complaint filed Monday. She was septic because of the advanced stages of the bed sores. A social worker who saw her at Unity Hospital in Fridley made a maltreatment report with Anoka County, the complaint said.
At the Coon Rapids apartment, Ferrian’s granddaughter, the granddaughter’s husband and their child slept in one bedroom. Kulbeik and Ferrian occupied the other bedroom.
Kulbeik told police she had been the primary caregiver for a year before her mother’s death.
A month before she called 911, Kulbeik noticed that her mother hadn’t been walking much and that her appetite had decreased, according to the criminal complaint.
She knew that there was a problem with Ferrian’s decline and that it was getting to be too much for her to handle, the document said.
Kulbeik was unable to explain to police why she didn’t seek medical attention for her mother’s bed sores, according to the papers.
When police searched the apartment, they found biological fluids on Ferrian’s bedding that had seeped into the mattress, through the box spring and onto the floor.
Charges weren’t filed for a year because neglect cases are often difficult to investigate and several agencies reviewed the case, said Palumbo. The Anoka County Sheriff’s Office didn’t forward its case to the county attorney until March.
Kulbeik has been charged by summons and hasn’t made an initial court appearance.
SAFE Elders initiative
In June, Palumbo helped launch a statewide initiative to confront elder abuse with an arsenal of resources to educate people about the problem.
With nearly $50,000 in donations, the organization Minnesota SAFE Elders created a tool kit that includes such things as a video and free training materials, an app for first responders, and a “prosecutor’s trial notebook,” a collection of abuse cases that attorneys can use as a reference when developing their own cases.
While the Kulbeik case wasn’t a result of the SAFE Elders initiative, it highlights the issues the group is trying to address in the community, said Palumbo.
“The injuries to the victim were extremely severe,” he said. “We are obviously holding the defendant accountable for her failure to provide aid.”

SOURCE:      The Star Tribune
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Suffering In Silence: Neglected Elderly Woman's Death Shows How World Is Failing Its Seniors

By Associated Press,
October 17, 2013

By the time the ambulance showed up to the house, the old woman’s screams were, as the paramedics would later tell it, already at a 10 out of 10.
On a bed in the foyer lay 88-year-old Cynthia Thoresen, her eyes screwed up in agony, her skin covered in feces, with a broken leg gone untended for weeks.
The fact that Cynthia even lived in the house was a surprise to the neighbors. None had seen her. None had any idea she’d spent her final days in hellish pain after a fall. None knew that her daughter and caretaker, Marguerite Thoresen, had waited at least three weeks, and up to three months, before calling for help.
In the end, Cynthia Thoresen joined a large and growing cohort of elderly people across the world who live, and increasingly die, in silence, left to fend for themselves against a problem society has barely begun to notice: Elder abuse.
This type of abuse, which often includes neglect, is still so hidden that it is hard to quantify. But the broad picture gleaned from hundreds of interviews and dozens of studies reviewed by The Associated Press is clear: Tens of millions of elders have become victims, trapped between governments and families, neither of which have figured out how to protect or provide for them.

SOURCE:    The Washington Post
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The Disturbing Trend In America We're Not Talking About - Elder Abuse

 By Ariel Gordon
October 15, 2013

The Disturbing Trend in America We're Not Talking About — Elder Abuse
This article was written in collaboration with PolicyMic pundit Matthew Rozsa.
Elder abuse may not be making national headlines, but it ought to be.

In Mercer County, Penn., a woman was dropped off starving and emaciated because her grandson spent $86,000 of her money on drugs and personal amenities. Across the country in Oregon, four elderly plaintiffs are in the process of suing a retirement community for financially abusing them by tricking them into signing misleading rental documents. Meanwhile, a Georgia woman has been charged with running an unlicensed retirement homein order to financially gouge its elderly residents while neglecting to meet their needs.
The issue goes beyond scamming and shady senior citizen facilities; even legitimate retirement centers often mistreat their elderly patients. One of the writers of this piece witnessed an occurrence involving a gentleman in his 50s, who will be referred to as Moe. Born in Syria and raised in Lebanon, he retained his accent and many of his customary habits even though he has been living in America for over 30 years. Despite having been diagnosed with PTSD and some anger issues, Moe was a great conversationalist and maintained a healthy level of identity, reality, and morality at all times. Nevertheless, he was subjected to cruel mistreatment at the center. One worker in particular liked to tease him by referring to Moe as his "wife" and poking fun at Moe's Muslim heritage, such as offering him pig-based food items and ridiculing how Moe (who wasn't especially devout) would still eat them.

On another occasion, this co-author saw one of the employees rub the stomach of a client after he had finished a meal. After the client made his displeasure apparent and said "don't touch me," the worker simply chuckled it off as a joke while none of his colleagues confronted him about his behavior. In an equally upsetting case, there was another client in his 80s who had a reputation for falling asleep at the center due to his habitual insomnia. There were no rules against this act and for the sake of the man’s health and well-being, his naps should have been permitted. However, workers would repeatedly awaken the man and scold him for resting rather than taking part in activities. Of course, there were very few activities available for the gentleman to join, and so he would fall back asleep and the harassment from the workers would continue. This interruption of his sleep would lead to the man’s further exhaustion and inability to join in other groups that would be beneficial to him.
Indeed, there weren’t many days when there was no evidence of poor treatment. Sometimes it was as low-key as a quip putting down a client that was blown off, but even those acts could not be ignored. After a lifetime of these individuals being told they were crazy, stupid, lazy, ugly … they deserved to be placed somewhere that did not harbor these thoughts and this treatment.

In a recent national study of Adult Protective Services (APS), there were 253,421 reports of abuse of adults age 60+ or 832.6 reports for every 100,000 people over the age of 60. The National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (NCPEA) is doing its part to prevent abuse of those in late life, such as a committee devoted to contributing research and practice examples to a literature review; and a forum to deepen understanding of the findings and an interdisciplinary training curriculum. They also have training videos and a website, webinars, and presentations. There is still much to be done to deal with the daily abuse of elderly persons. The solution comes from the individual as well — those who witness abuse and are willing to speak up, those who will risk their title and professional reputation to protect the innocent and defenseless. Recognizing abuse is the first step, then confronting it, and finally, reporting it. 

SOURCE:      The PolicyMic
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Focus On Crimes Against Older People in Crown Office Guidelines

14 October 2013

Crimes against older people will be given increased scrutiny under new Scottish prosecution guidelines.
The policy outlines offences including domestic abuse, bogus callers, scams, housebreaking and assault.
The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service focus on crimes of vulnerability or hostility based on age was welcomed by campaigners.
A COPFS spokesman said the policy advocated a strong presumption in favour of prosecution.
The offences covered range from abuse in the home and anti-social behaviour to investment scams and housebreaking, where the fact the occupant is older is exploited by a thief.
Negative impact
The COPFS said the Older People's Policy reflected an ageing population and the negative impact being a victim of crime can have on older people.
Solicitor General for Scotland Lesley Thomson QC said: "No-one should live in fear of crime. Criminals profiting from others is particularly detestable when they prey on the more vulnerable in our society.
"We know from the research that incidents of elder abuse are under-reported to criminal justice authorities.
"Some of the reasons for this include: difficulty in communicating allegations; mental health; fear; embarrassment; or language barriers where the victim's first language is not English."
She added: "The Scottish prosecution service is committed to meet the particular needs of older victims and witnesses and to treat them with the respect they deserve."

Victim Support Scotland and Age Scotland both welcomed the move.
Greg McCracken, from Age Scotland, said: "We would encourage others with a stake in the justice system to consider what steps they should take to take account of older people's specific needs."

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October 10, 2013

Elder Care Rights Groups Rally At Arkansas Capitol

OCTOBER 7, 2013

Supporters of nursing home reform in Arkansas are continuing efforts to get community leaders and organizations involved with efforts to improve elder care facilities.
Organizers of the Tenth Annual Residents’ Rights Rally assembled on the steps of the State Capitol Monday to commemorate National Long-Term Care Residents’ Rights Month.
Martha Deaver, president of Arkansas Advocates for Nursing Home Residents, says the rights and safety of the vulnerable must be protected.
“The national data shows that nine out of ten nursing homes in the United States are cited for healthcare violations,” said Deaver. “Abuse and neglect in nursing homes is a national epidemic and it is not necessarily unique to Arkansas.”
Dr. David Montague oversees the work of the UALR Senior Justice Center. He says more must be done to ensure there are advocates representing the needs of severely disabled nursing home residents and those residents in elder care facilities who speak a different language.
“We need to focus on reaching people who are not aware of the statistics, perceptions, and realities that exist concerning elder abuse in communities across the state,” said Montague. “There are changing demographics in Arkansas and we have to make sure students have the knowledge and tools necessary to help solve some of the problems impacting that older population.”
Monatgue says the UALR Senior Justice Center remains the only university-based program in the country that primarily uses undergraduate students to address crimes that impact senior citizens.

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Nursing Homes Residents' Rights, Ombudsman Program

Residents' Rights, Ombudsman Program
Oct. 07, 2013
Press release submitted by Alternatives for the Older Adult

Across the country, residents of nursing homes and other long term care facilities along with family member, ombudsmen, citizen advocates, facility staff and others will honor the individual rights of long- term care residents by celebrating Residents' Rights Month. Residents' Rights Month is an annual event held in October by the National Consumer Voice for Quality Long- term Care (The Consumer Voice) to celebrate and focus on awareness of dignity, respect and the value of long-term residents.

The theme for Residents' Rights Month 2013 is, "Speak Out Against Elder Abuse" with the goal of encouraging residents and others to be educated about and speak out again elder abuse.

"Residents' Rights Month is an excellent opportunity to re-affirm our collective commitment to residents'rights and to honor long-term care residents," said Sarah F. Wells, Consumer Voice Executive Director. "We want to help create a safe and secure environment for older adults and individuals with disabilities, no matter where they may happen to live. Whether it's the residents themselves or witnesses of elder abuse, there is no reason some should keep quiet and avoid taking action. We hope to facilitate and encourage ways for residents, their loved ones, or witnesses of elder abuse to use their voice and speak out against this serious issue."

The Nursing Home Reform Law, passed in 1987, guarantees nursing home residents their individual rights, including but not limited to: individualized care, respect, dignity, the right to visitation, the right to privacy, the right to complain and the right to make independent choices. Residents who have made their home in other types of facilities such as assisted living, supportive living or skilled nursing facilities maintain their rights as U.S. Citizens. Residents' Rights Month raises awareness about these rights and pays tribute to the unique contributions of long-term residents.

The National Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program has worked for more than 30 years to promote residents' rights daily. More than 8,000 volunteers and 1,000 paid staff are advocates for residents in all 50 states plus the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico. Authorized under the Older Americans Act and administered by the Administration on Aging, the program also provides information on how to find a facility, conducts community education sessions and supports residents, their families and the public with one-on-one consultations regarding long term care.

Alternatives for the Older Adult, a nonprofit which promotes the independence and quality of life of older adults and their families, recognizes the importance of residents' rights by providing the Ombudsman Program for ten counties in the state of Illinois including Rock Island, Mercer, Henry, Knox, LaSalle, McDonough, Putnam, Bureau, Warren and Henderson County.

Regional Ombudsman for Alternatives for the Older Adult Nancy Schold explains why the community should recognize the importance of Residents' Rights Month.

"Residents retain all of the rights they enjoyed while living in the community. As with every other citizen of Illinois, the rights of nursing home residents are guaranteed by the Constitutions of the United States and the State of Illinois. Residents retain the rights of free speech, practice of religion, freedom from unlawful search or seizure, and the right to vote. In addition, Residents gain the additional rights of safety and good care." Schold said.

For more information about Residents' Rights Month or the Ombudsman Program contact Alternatives for the Older Adult.

SOURCE:     QC Online
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Lending Warning For Aged

By Lydia Anderson
Oct 7, 2013

Parents and grandparents are being warned to think carefully before handing over nest eggs to younger relatives desperate to buy a first home.
New Reserve Bank lending restrictions making it harder to get a home loan with less than 20 per cent deposit have sparked fears many first-home buyers will turn to their families to help raise the necessary funds.
Age Concern has issued a warning to its members, saying many parents and grandparents may be pressured to lend younger members of their families money or sign on as a guarantor for their mortgage.
Age Concern chief executive Ann Martin said when grown-up children got into financial strife they often asked parents to dip into savings, or expected parents to front up with cash.
She said parents needed to learn to say 'no'. Ms Martin recommended older people discussed potential lending arrangements thoroughly first and sought legal advice before agreeing to anything.
Elder Abuse and Neglect Prevention co-ordinator Heather Campbell, of Whangarei, said she had not seen cases of parents lending money for home loans, but typical cases of elder abuse involved an older person spending a lot of money on a family member.
"Outside people see that as abuse, but when you go into it the older person doesn't mind or doesn't want to report it . . . because it's a family member - but often they are being taken advantage of," she said. "I have seen abuse where the grown-up child may have control of finances, have access online to bank accounts, or they might have their parents' eftpos card."
It was tricky to pin down cases of elder abuse if the older person was not complaining about it, Ms Campbell said.
"At the end of the day there's no law against someone giving their money to someone.
"If you willingly give someone money it becomes such a grey area because there's no deception," she said.

SOURCE:      The New Zealand Herald
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Banks Aid Fight To Halt Scams That Cheat Aged

 Oct. 6, 2013
By Susan Tompor
Gannett News Service

Just one year ago, the U.S. Government Accountability Office reported that it could not find any federal requirements for banks to train tellers and others to spot or report elder financial exploitation.
Increasingly, banks are being told that their employees are part of the solution on the front lines to stopping financial abuse.
Federal regulators joined forces to issue guidance to clarify that privacy rules don’t trump common sense for reporting suspected elder abuse to law enforcers or state adult protective services agencies.
“Older Americans are all too often victims of financial exploitation,” said Richard Cordray, director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. “They make attractive targets because they often have higher household wealth — whether it is in retirement savings or home equity.”
Families caring for older relatives know too well about the constant fear that some outsider, or maybe even a relative up to no good, might find a way to get a senior’s ATM card and PIN. Or maybe a friendly sounding con artist can persuade an older adult to wire $4,000 to cover taxes for his or her so-called winnings on a big sweepstakes. And maybe those calls about a big sweepstakes win just keep coming and coming — and the senior keeps on sending money.
Signs to watch for
Ann Langford, program manager for the Area Agency on Aging 1-B, a nonprofit that supports services for older and disabled adults in Detroit, said in the tough economic times, some family members have sought to fix their own finances by coercing an older relative to hand over cash.
“They may have a loved one who has money,” Langford said.
She noted that banks often want to protect their customers, but she said it may help to have the privacy regulations clarified so some tellers know what’s allowed.
A “No Excuse for Elder Abuse” campaign was launched last March in the Detroit area and included a tip that involved asking a bank manager to train tellers on how to detect elder financial abuse. “It’s a stealth crime that just needs to have a spotlight on it,” Langford said.
What are some signs that might trigger a suspicious-activity report at a financial institution? Regulators said it could be lots of stops at the ATM for withdrawals that hit the daily maximum allowed on that account. Or a sudden onslaught of bounced checks, which might indicate an unexpected loss of money.
Are there debit transactions that don’t seem to make sense for an older adult? Is the older adult wiring large sums of money out of the blue? Did the elderly customer show up at the bank window and close a certificate of deposit, even though a large penalty would be paid for early withdrawal before that CD matured?
Why the guidance now? Cordray and other regulators said financial institutions had expressed concern that they couldn’t take action without violating the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, which establishes how and when a financial institution can disclose non-public personal information to third parties not affiliated with the institution.
Richard Riese, senior vice president of the American Bankers Association’s Center for Regulatory Compliance, said the guidance helps confirm privacy rule interpretations that banks have been relying on to report elder financial abuse.
Some other possible signs of abuse include when the bank is unable to speak directly with the older adult, despite repeated attempts to contact him or her.
Financial exploitation is defined as illegally or improperly using an older adult’s money, property or other assets. Older adults can lose money through exploitation by relatives, caregivers, scam artists, financial advisers, home-repair contractors, guardians and others.
Success stories
But sometimes, there’s a little hope that not every scam out there will successfully tarnish a senior’s golden years. Debbie Matz, board chairwoman of the National Credit Union Administration, said some credit unions have had success at being watchdogs for their customers’ money and prevented elder financial fraud.
One credit union in Colorado, for example, stopped an 85-year-old from losing $50,000 to one financial exploitation trap.
Stopping the money from ever being handed over to an abusive relative or a con artist is essential. Some seniors are too upset or frail or just too embarrassed to take legal action. And the scammers know that too well.

SOURCE:       The Poughkeepsie Journal
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Nursing Home Went to Extraordinary Lengths to Hide the Truth (AUSTRALIA)

OCTOBER 06, 2013

FRANK Montalto thought the worst. Three missed phone calls - one from his brother and two from his mother's nursing home - could mean only one thing. Dear old Mum was gone.
His older brother, Joe, was told their mother had a heart attack and fell. It was 4.30pm on May 31, 2011. Frank was at work.
He walked to his car and drove to where his mother had spent her final years, Arcare's Hampstead nursing home in Maidstone.
There was a checklist of things to do. An engineer, as he drove his mind was already constructing a list.
He walked up to huddled staff at the home's common room, noticing they looked scared. Shocked. Deaths are common in these places.
But in his countless visits to his parents he'd never seen staff wide-eyed and motionless like this - like a rabbit in a spotlight, he later described it.
Joe was already there when he walked into their mother's room.
Caterina Montalto, 76, lay peacefully in her Jasmine ward bed, a blanket up to her shoulders. Her hair was brushed and dry.
He noticed a graze on her forehead and a small mark on her chin. Nothing to worry about, though. He heard of her regular bumps and falls.
The priest came, gave the last rites. The funeral director took her body to the mortuary for embalming in the traditional Italian way.
What Frank did not know was that four days later the coroner's office would call his family. Tell him an investigation was underway. Caterina's body was needed for a post-mortem.
All was not as it seemed. A 22-year-old junior carer at the nursing home, who had seen where Caterina was found, claimed there had been a terrible accident. And, worse, a cover-up. Nobody had told the family how she really died.
A coronial hearing in July took evidence from a nurse who falsified a progress report. From a carer allegedly given a plate of scrambled eggs as a "bribe" to stop her talking.
From staff who said they'd been threatened with the sack if they spoke of Caterina's death. From a facility manager who fired the whistle blower the day after she told authorities.
Frank speaks to the Herald Sun about his family life, only to let people know that his mum deserved the best. He wanted to look after her when she was old.
He and Joe searched for a place as good as any for professional care as her dementia set in.
Frank's father Vito is still at Hampstead.
Frank won't be drawn to speak about the facility. All that he had to say on that he said to the court.
He told the Coroner he met with the Arcare chief executive Colin Singh and chief operations officer Kay Foster a week after his mother died.
Mr Singh reassured him they would "take extra care'' of his father.
Frank insisted they treat his father like all the other residents. He's now waiting for the investigation wheels to finish turning. The Coroner Heather Spooner is unlikely to hand down her findings till January.
Frank never expected his mum to live long. But she should not have gone when she did. Not like that.
His dad doesn't know - wouldn't understand - that his wife has died. Nor how she went.
For that one, small mercy, Frank is grateful.

SOURCE:    The Daily Telegraph, au
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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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