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

June 26, 2013

SURVEY: 35 Percent Elders In Tier I, 39 Per Cent In Tier II Cities Face Daily Abuse (INDIA)

24th June 2013

The case of the successful merchant Anantarama Setty (91) who was found chained to a water tank on the roof by his son and daughter-in-law is not an exception. A 2013 survey by non-governmental organisation Help Age India in 24 cities across India shows daily abuse of 35 per cent of elders in tier-I cities, which worsens to 39 per cent in smaller tier-II cities.
These, however, are just the cases that are reported. A shocking 16.19 per cent of those surveyed in Bikaner and 13.67 per cent in Hyderabad and Visakhapatnam said they had been slapped and beaten mercilessly, but almost all of them had not reported it to anyone.
Overall, 70 per cent of elders who have faced physical abuse don’t talk about it. Those in Srinagar and Bikaner register a 100 per cent silence. Help Age India’s state head Rekha Murthy told Express: “Among those who faced abuse, 37 per cent from tier-I cities made an attempt to report the matter, while 74 per cent from tier-II cities did not bother to report. Maintaining confidentiality of a family matter is the major reason behind not reporting abuse (31 per cent) followed by fear of retaliation (23 per cent). One fifth elderly (21 per cent) did not report as they did not know how to deal with the problem.”
In the tier-I cities of New Delhi, Chennai, Hyderabad, Mumbai and Kolkata, daughter-in-laws are the main perpetrators of abuse (39 per cent). In tier-II cities that include Mangalore and Madurai, sons (40 per cent) are the main culprit. However, Rekha Murthy pointed to a more disturbing trend: “In tier-II cities, 17 per cent of elders have been abused by their daughters.” Bangalore was not surveyed this year, though it stood at 7th on the list in 2012, with 37.14 per cent abuse of elders. Mangalore which was surveyed this time stands 13th on this list.
Madurai topped the list with 63 per cent abuse, closely followed by Kanpur (60 per cent). In the South, Hyderabad has the highest rate of elder abuse (37.50 per cent) while Chennai has the lowest (9.64 per cent).
Radha Murthy, managing trustee of Nightingales Medical Trust said that most cases of abuse are emotional in nature and mostly related to inter-familial maladjustment. “Senior citizens are unable to change their lifestyle to suit that of other family members. When sons, daughters, daughters-in-laws and grandchildren don’t respect the elders or exclude their opinions, it is still counted as abuse.”  She added that 57 per cent of complaints  are inter-familial issues on property and adjustment problems.
In the 2012 survey, Bangalore’s elderly helpline 1090 had received the maximum distress calls (162) after Hyderabad (231).  M J Surendrakumar, president, Federation of Senior Citizens Forums of Karnataka said that the survey is representative of the pathetic condition of senior citizens who are abused by their own families and are often deserted and forced to look for shelters and homes.
“Elders are being abused in all realms of society. Sons and their wives together treat the parent badly. The same treatment is meted out by grandchildren who tend to follow the parents’ behaviour,” he rued.

SOURCE:        The New Indian Express
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Silent Crime Wave Targets Older Australians

24 JUN 2013

As Australia's aged population grows, so too does crime against them, elder abuse is estimated to affect as many as one in ten seniors.
(Transcript from World News Australia Radio)
It's an age-old problem - literally - and it's getting worse.
As Australia's aged population grows, so too does crime against them.
Elder abuse is estimated to affect as many as one in ten seniors.
A national conference in Adelaide is urging tougher policies and new laws to tackle what's often a silent crime wave.
"People can be abused regardless of their education, their financial stability, where they live, what culture they come from - it's something that affects potentially every older Australian."
Marilyn Crabtree heads the Aged Rights Advocacy Service in South Australia.
Since its establishment in 1990, the Service has seen a steady increase in abuse of older Australians.
"Well they talk about one in 20 over the age of 65, however if people are a bit older, the "old" old and they're more frail, then their likelihood would increase to one in ten or even more depending on the level of dependency and vulnerability and frailty of the older person."

Marilyn Crabtree says tracking the type and prevalence of abuse across the nation is difficult because each state and territory has different laws, different assessment procedures and different reporting standards.
"It's an exploitation of the older person's rights. And financial abuse would have to be one of the most commonly reported forms of abuse that we see, and usually psychological abuse would go along with that because people intimidate you, you know, they don't just ask nicely can you please give me a cheque for $10,000: they intimidate you into giving them the money."
Those abusers can be relatives, carers - or strangers.
Frequently, aged parents are stripped of their savings by children who have Power of Attorney over their affairs - some 44 per cent of elders suffer financial abuse.
Carers too might take financial advantage of their charges, sometimes intimidating or physically assaulting them to get what they want - about 33 per cent of elder abuse is psychological and about 10 per cent is estimated to be physical.

And the elderly are more vulnerable than most to predations by strangers, from scammers and thieves posing as door-to-door salespeople, by phone or online.

Megan Mitchell, from the Australian Human Rights Commission, told the conference that the very old, women and those in minority groups are at greatest risk.
"Two important minority groups that require more attention and support are culturally and linguistically diverse communities, and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and people with a disability. Older people from these groups may have additional vulnerabilities arising from continuing discrimination during their lives."

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Financial Elder Abuse Offenders 'Not Just The Young'

24 June, 2013

Stealing money from mum or dad is not just limited to younger people with little or no money, according to Age Concern New Zealand.
This comes after 89-year-old Anthony Marshall, heir to one of America’s original dynasty fortunes, was sent to a New York prison in recent days for looting well over $12 million from his philanthropist mother, Brooke Astor, as her mind deteriorated with Alzheimer’s disease. Astor later died in 2007 at the age of 105.
Age Concern New Zealand chief executive Ann Martin said the case proved financial elder abuse could be caused by people who were already well off, as well as the fact they could be older people themselves.
"Creating awareness that this type of abuse is going on can help prevent it from happening or see it intervened."
Ms Martin said common examples of financial abuse included adult children deciding they were entitled to their inheritance early; or assuming their parents did not need their own house any longer; or taking their older parents money to start a business or for a deposit on a house.
"It often starts simply by having access to their older parent’s Eftpos or credit cards," she said.
"They start off by doing mum's or dad’s shopping and think, ‘well there’s money in the bank and I don’t have that much and they have lots, so I’ll buy something for myself - and it just escalates.
"The thing is for older people to know that abuse is not right and they can get help to stop it. They, or anyone else who suspects financial abuse may be happening, can contact their local Age Concern for information and assistance," Ms Martin said.

SOURCE:       The Voxy NZ
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June 21, 2013

Woman Tried Scamming At Least 4 Elderly Men (USA)

Woman tried scamming at least 4 elderly men
June 20, 2013

Merced Sun Star

A Merced woman was arrested for elder abuse and theft after she tried to scam at least four elderly people out of money, police reported Thursday.
Rosie Miller, 29, met one of her victims after claiming she worked at the doctor’s office where he receives treatment.
The suspect took the victim to a local credit union and asked him to withdraw $350 from his account, which he did not have. The staff at the credit union believed the transaction was suspicious, according to Lt. Tom Trindad.
Merced police detectives were able to identify Miller after obtaining photos of her. She made incriminating statements to detectives during her questioning and was arrested last week, Trindad said.
It appeared that Miller was targeting elderly men in an attempt to get money, according to police. Officers have identified at least four victims, but believe there could be more.
In another incident, Miller persuaded a victim to rent her a car, which she later totaled in a crash. The victim is now responsible for paying the damages, police said.
Trindad said residents should keep a close eye on those providing care for the elderly and to report any suspicious activity.
Miller is being held at the Merced County jail and will face charges of elder abuse and theft by false pretense.

Police are asking anyone with information to call Detective Alan Adrian at (209) 385-4731 or the department’s automated tip line at (209) 385-4725. Anonymous tips can be sent via text message to “TIP411” (847411). Tipsters should include the word “Comvip” as the message’s keyword.

SOURCE:       The Merced SunStar
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Prison Term in Elder Abuse Case (PA. USA)

By: Kevin Flanigan
June 20, 2013

An Altoona woman, who entered a guilty plea  in March to neglect of a care-dependent person, was sentenced on Thursday  to 30 days to 24 months, less one day, in the Blair County Prison.

The defendant,  Diana Frye, 63, 1104 14th Avenue, Altoona,  was originally charged with neglect of a care-dependent person in September, 2012. She was employed in 2011 as a caregiver at Warner's Home for the Aged, 1100 14th Avenue, Altoona.  Investigators say Frye and two co-defendants neglected an 80-year-old male resident of Warner's Home for the Aged, resulting in bodily injury to the man.

Frye let the man sit in his urine and feces during the night shift, according to investigators. The man developed wounds on his buttocks, hips, and lower legs due to the severe lack of care.  Frye was sentenced  by Blair County Court of Common Pleas President Judge Jolene Grubb Kopriva. In addition to her prison sentence, Frye was ordered to pay costs and a $500 fine.

Two co-defendants, Sherry Jo Warner, the former owner and operator of Warner's Home for the Aged, and Marjory Koch, a former aide at Warner's, have already pled guilty to charges pertaining to the neglect of this 80-year-old man.  Warner was sentenced to three months to two years, less one day, in the Blair County Prison. Koch is scheduled to be sentenced July 9, 2013.

SOURCE:    WeAreCentralPA

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Elder Abuse Awareness

Elder Abuse
 It happens more often than we'd like to believe
 The Times
June 20, 2013

One in five Canadians believes they know of a senior who might be experiencing some form of abuse. Seniors from all walks of life are vulnerable to elder abuse and it is happening in communities across Canada.
Outlined here is basic information on how seniors and Canadians can spot elder abuse as well as information on how to help stop it.
What is elder abuse?
Elder abuse is any action by someone in a relationship of trust that results in harm or distress to an older person. Neglect is a lack of action by that person in a relationship of trust with the same result.
Commonly recognized types of elder abuse include physical, psychological and financial. Often, more than one type of abuse occurs at the same time. Abuse can be a single incident or a repeated pattern of behaviour.
Financial abuse is the most commonly reported type of elder abuse.
Why does elder abuse happen?
Elder abuse often occurs because of the abuser's power and control over an older person. In some situations, the abuse may also result from addiction issues (drugs, alcohol or gambling), mental health problems, a cycle of family violence or agism. Abuse can happen when the aggressor wants to intimidate, isolate, dominate or control another person.

Who abuses seniors? Older adults affected by abuse often know and trust the person mistreating them. Elder abuse can be caused by a family member, a friend, someone who provides assistance with basic needs or services, or health care providers in institutional settings. In many situations of elder abuse, the abuser is dependent on the older adult for money, food or shelter.

Who is affected by elder abuse?
Most older people who experience abuse are able to make decisions for themselves.
Abuse can happen to anyone, in any family or relationship. It can happen to people of all backgrounds, ages, religions, races, cultures and ethnic origins.
Why are some older adults reluctant to talk about elder abuse?
Older adults may feel ashamed or embarrassed to tell anyone they are being abused by someone they trust. They may fear retaliation or punishment, or they may have concerns about having to move from their home or community. They may also feel a sense of family loyalty. Often, older adults may not be aware of people and resources that can help.
Who can help?
It is important that the older person have access to information to make informed decisions and be aware of available help. This may include support and assistance from family members or friends, health care providers, social services, police, legal professionals and/or members of faith communities. No one ever deserves to be abused or neglected.

What are indicators of elder abuse and neglect?
Elder abuse and neglect can be very difficult to detect. The following signs and symptoms may indicate that an older adult is being victimized or neglected: fear, anxiety, depression or passiveness in relation to a family member, friend or care provider; unexplained physical injuries; dehydration, poor nutrition or poor hygiene; improper use of medication; confusion about new legal documents, such as a new will or a new mortgage; sudden drop in cash flow or financial holdings; and reluctance to speak about the situation.
Physical abuse of seniors
Physical abuse of seniors includes actions that injure or risk injuring an older person or cause them physical pain and may include:
? striking;
? hitting;
? pushing;
? shaking;
? burning;
? shoving;
? inappropriate physical and
chemical restraints; or harm created by over or under medicating.

To find out more on what the Government of Canada is doing for seniors visit www.seniors.gc.ca or call: 1 800-O-Canada (1-800622-6232) TTY: 1-800-926-9105.

© Copyright (c) Chilliwack Times

SOURCE:        The Chillwack Times
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June 19, 2013

Elder Abuse: Look For Safe Facilities And Watch Out for Warning Signs

Elder abuse: Look for safe facilities and watch out for warning signs
Millions of older Americans are living in nursing homes or assisted living facilities and about 7 percent of complaints on long-term care residences involve abuse, neglect, or exploitation, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration on Aging.
The Better Business Bureau serving Alaska, Oregon, and Western Washington urges consumers do research when selecting care facilities and to watch out for warning signs of elder abuse.
Indicators of exploitation can be financial, physical, or emotional and include: unusual cash withdrawals, investments or high-dollar purchases; adjusted wills, trusts, or powers of attorney; poor skin condition, rashes, lice, infections, dehydration, malnutrition, drastic weight loss, or unexplained injuries; or socially withdrawn or non-communicative behavior.

Care facilities
Have you visited several sites and filled out a checklist for each one? Do facilities appear safe, clean, and organized? Do residents seem well cared for and in good spirits? Is the food appetizing and adjustable to dietary restrictions? Is there a daily activity schedule or do occupants seem under-engaged?
Are visiting hours flexible? Can friends and families monitor care at any time?
What’s the ratio of aides to residents or patients? How quickly do caregivers respond to rings or calls for assistance? What’s the demeanor of the caregivers? How do nursing homes compare in terms of quality of care at medicare.gov/quality-care-finder?
Is the information available from the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services on complaints filed about the facility and inspection reports on it positive or negative?
What’s the protocol on medical decisions? Will the family be notified of all changes to doctors, medicines, or other treatments beforehand?
Do facilities offer verifiable references?
To report elder abuse in Washington state, call 866-EndHarm or 866-363-4276.
For more information, go to the DSHS’ Adult Abuse and Prevention and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ National Center on Elder Abuse at ncea.aoa.gov.
For more information for boomer consumers, see my blog The Survive and Thrive Boomer Guide.

SOURCE:         The Seattle PI Blog

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June 13, 2013

Take A Stand in Mississippi: Stop Abuse and Neglect of Vulnerable Persons

 June 13, 2013

Every year an estimated 2.1 million older Americans are victims of elder abuse, neglect or exploitation. And that's only part of the picture: Experts believe that for every case of elder abuse or neglect reported, as many as 14 cases go unreported. On June 15, Mississippi's Adult Protective Services (APS) program will join with national and international partners in celebration of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.  Mississippi's statute is a ‘vulnerable persons' law, and does not include all elders, however,  the majority of cases involve the elderly.  Vulnerable persons are those who are impaired mentally or physically to care for or protect themselves from abuse, neglect and exploitation.
Although the frequency of abuse among vulnerable adult populations is unknown, it happens, and across the country, reported incidents are on the rise. During State Fiscal Year 2012, the Mississippi Department of Human Services, Division of Aging and Adult Services, Adult Protective Services (APS) received more than 4,000 calls of suspected abuse, neglect or exploitation of vulnerable adults.  Types of abuse include physical, mental, sexual, self-neglect, caregiver neglect and financial exploitation.
Specifically, Mississippi APS investigates reports of vulnerable persons 18 and older who reside in private home settings and who may be abused, neglected or exploited by family or caregivers or are victims of self-neglect. Other APS investigations include abuse in smaller unlicensed personal care homes where three or fewer persons reside; financial exploitation of care facility residents when perpetrated by a family member; or abuse by a caretaker or family member that occurred prior to a vulnerable person's admission to a care facility.
With the rise of aging baby boomers and longer life expectancies, maltreatment incidences toward elders and younger vulnerable adults will grow nationally and worldwide. The time is now to take a stand against abuse of vulnerable persons. How can you help take a stand in Mississippi?

8 Things You Can Do
1. Learn the signs of vulnerable persons abuse, neglect and exploitation.
2. Call or visit vulnerable relatives, friends and neighbors.
3. Offer assistance to a caregiver by filling in for a few hours or more.
4. Get involved by raising awareness.
5. Share information on vulnerable persons abuse with churches and community groups. 
6. Support strengthening laws and services for the protection of vulnerable persons against abuse. 
7. Speak up for vulnerable persons who may be unable to speak up for themselves.  
8. Volunteer with nursing homes, local agencies and long-term care facilities.

It's everyone's duty to report.

To make a report, call the MDHS Centralized Intake Abuse Hotline at 1-800-222-8000.  If an emergency exists, call 911 or local law enforcement.
To report abuse or neglect of residents in care facilities (i.e., nursing homes, personal care homes), call the Mississippi State Department of Health, Division of Health Facilities, Licensure and Certification at 1-800-227-7308 or 601-364-1110, or the Office of the Attorney General, Medicaid Fraud Control Unit at 1-800-852-8341 or 601-359-4220.
Take a stand against abuse of vulnerable persons.  

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Judeg Upholds $23 Million Emeritus Elder Abuse Verdict, Adds Millions More

Judge Upholds $23 Million Emeritus Elder Abuse Verdict, Adds Millions More
Written by Elizabeth Ecker
June 12, 2013

A Sacramento superior court judge has upheld a jury’s verdict finding Emeritus Senior Living (NYSE:ESC) responsible for the wrongful death of one of its California residents five years ago. In addition to upholding the jury’s verdict including a $23 million award in punitive damages to the late resident’s family, Judge Judy Holzer Hersher also awarded the plaintiffs’ lawyers with $4.3 million more in fees and costs, according to a Sacramento Bee report.

In the ruling, Judge Hersher noted a high degree of reprehensibility on the part of Emeritus for the 81-year-old under the company’s care, who passed away due to sustained bed sores, according to the report.
“Justice was served, and Judge Judy Holzer Hersher is holding Emeritus’ feet to the fire in not letting them overturn the jury’s hard work in examining the overwhelming evidence in this case that the only way out of an Emeritus facility is in a coffin,” plaintiffs’ attorney Lesley Ann Clement told the Sac Bee following the ruling.
After the initial March 8 verdict including a $23 million award to the family of the former resident in the wrongful death and elder abuse suit, Emeritus prepared to challenge the decision, engaging attorneys from top East Coast law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom, reported the Seattle Times. Emeritus’ new legal team includes Clifford Sloan, a former law clerk for Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens with extensive appeals litigation experience.
“We believe that the verdict was tainted by the admission of improper testimony and evidence and does not reflect the care that we provided to Ms. Joan Boice,” Emeritus spokeswoman Karen Lucas said in a statement. “We are proud of the high quality of care that Emeritus employees passionately provide to our 41,000 residents nationwide.”

Emeritus said it will appeal the ruling including the “inflammatory” evidence the company says led to a unsupported verdict.

“In its post-trial motions and on appeal, Emeritus will challenge, among other important issues, the irrelevant and inflammatory evidence that led to an unconstitutional and unsupported punitive damages verdict,” the company stated. “We look forward to bringing this matter before the appellate courts in California to avoid similar outcomes in future cases where appropriate care was provided.”
Read the Sacramento Bee report.

SOURCE:       Senior Housing News

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Gadsden County Community Leaders Fight Elder Abuse

June 12, 2013
By: Jade Bulecza

It's a problem state leaders say is impacting thousands of seniors in our area.
State leaders say elder abuse is on the rise and it's one of the most under reported crimes.
Breaking the silence is the message at Havana Learning Center. Community leaders say to stop elder abuse it must be reported.
Children beating up the elderly and taking advantage of them are stories Lillian Johnson, the director of the Havana Learning Center, says she hears on a regular basis.
"It's not strangers doing this, it's family and friends that are doing this to our seniors," said Johnson.
She says many elderly people who are abused live in fear but by hosting events like this one recognizing "Word Elder Abuse Awareness Day," Johnson says she's working to let seniors know if they're being abused, there is help.
Abuse, Johnson says comes in many forms.
"It doesn't have to be physical," said Johnson."It can be mental, financial abuse," said Johnson. "How do we stop it? If you see it
going on you have to report it, if you don't report it how are we going to know."

The Florida Department of Children and Families investigated 64,000 allegations of abuse last year. More than 2,100 cases were in Franklin, Jefferson, Leon, Liberty, and Wakulla counties. DCF says it's a slight increase from 2011.
Call the Florida Abuse Hotline at 1-800-962-2873 to report abuse or go to www.FloridaAbuseHotline.com.

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York County Elder Abuse Reports Have Increase, Officials Say (PA. USA)

Types of abuse include physical, emotional, verbal, sexual and financial, as well as neglect.
Daily Record/Sunday News
York, PA

Elder abuse reports have increased in Pennsylvania and York County, officials said at Wednesday's county commissioners' meeting.
In a proclamation, County Commissioner Doug Hoke said elder abuse reports in Pennsylvania increased by 35 percent from 2007 through 2011.
Stephanie Frey, director of social services with the York County Area Agency on Aging, said York County has seen an increase, as well.
"We're averaging about 55 reports of need each month," Frey said during the meeting. "And we've really seen a lot of financial exploitation cases."
Frey said afterward that people can report cases of suspected abuse to the local agency.
"We will take that report, and we fully investigate all types of abuse that ... are out there," Frey said.
Types of abuse can include physical, emotional, verbal, financial and sexual, as well as neglect, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Aging.
Wednesday's proclamation named Saturday as a day dedicated to elder abuse prevention in York County. Hoke said there are about 86,000 county residents age 60 or older.
A Department of Aging news release from earlier this month said Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Debra Todd is chairwoman of the newly established Elder Law Task Force, which was formed to study issues relating to guardianship, abuse and neglect, and access to justice for older Pennsylvanians.
The task force will make recommendations for court rules, legislation, education and best practices, according to the release. Amy Kelchner, spokeswoman for the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts, said the task force expects to deliver recommendations mid-2014.
By the numbers
Here is a look at the number of reports of need for protective services for York County in recent fiscal years:
2008-09: 499 reports
2009-10: 593 reports
2010-11: 630 reports
Statewide, there were 18,129 such reports, and 4,344 of the cases were substantiated as needing protective services.
Source: Older Adults Protective Services Annual Report for fiscal year 2010-11 from the Pennsylvania Department of Aging
How to report supposed abuse
For the York County Area Agency on Aging, call 717-771-9610 or 1-800-632-9073.
The Pennsylvania Department of Aging says people can also contact a 24-hour statewide elder abuse hotline at 1-800-490-8505.
For more information, visit www.aging.state.pas.

SOURCE:      York Daily Record
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June 7, 2013

It Is Time To Stop Elder Abuse

June 6, 2013
Press Release – Age Concern

People must not turn a blind eye if they suspect an older person is being abused or neglected and Age Concern New Zealand continues to spread this message.Age Concern New Zealand media release – June 6, 2013
It is time to stop elder abuse
People must not turn a blind eye if they suspect an older person is being abused or neglected and Age Concern New Zealand continues to spread this message.
Spokesperson Louise Collins says it is vital people speak out and a phone call to their local Age Concern is the right step.
“Don’t let fear of meddling in someone else’s business stop you from voicing your concern. It is time to stop elder abuse in our communities and if we all pull together we can achieve this,” she said.
Age Concern has just launched its Always Respected, Never Abused campaign, ahead of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on Saturday June 15.
The purple-themed campaign aims to inform people that elder abuse – including financial and material, psychological, physical abuse, and neglect – is a widespread issue in New Zealand. A nationwide appeal will help fund prevention work.
Age Concern’s elder abuse and neglect prevention (EANP) teams work closely with older people and their families to resolve issues of abuse and ensure it does not reoccur. Age Concern also works in communities to educate people about the signs and effects of abuse to help prevent it from happening and how to challenge disrespectful attitudes towards older people.
Mrs Collins says that nationwide EANP services receive more than 1600 referrals each year.
“That is an average of six calls per day about older people suspected of being abused or neglected. In over half of these cases, abuse or neglect is confirmed,” she said.
“We know that’s just the tip of the iceberg. But it doesn’t have to be this way. The more people understand about elder abuse and what they can do to stop it, the better.”
Mrs Collins said elder abuse is often fuelled by attitudes that are ageist and disrespectful of older people.
In New Zealand the most commonly reported types are financial abuse and psychological abuse.
“Some people think that because someone is old it doesn’t matter what happens to them anymore or they don’t need money to spend,” Mrs Collins said.
“They make decisions for the older person without even asking them what it is they want. Or, they ridicule them about the decisions they do make. Sometimes, they pressure older people into doing things they don’t really want to do – like giving a loan, selling their house or letting a family member move in with them for free. Attitudes like these show a lack of respect for the older person, for their quality of life and for their needs.”
Mrs Collins said between 70 and 80 percent of elder abuse and neglect in New Zealand occurs at the hands of family members. About half of abusers are adult children and about half of the abused elders are over 80-years-old.
“This is one of the reasons it stays hidden. Many older people feel ashamed their own flesh and blood is treating them badly, so they won’t talk about it,” she said.
“We know that family are very precious to older people, and try to get a win-win result when there are difficulties with family relationships. We help people recognise that older people have a lot to contribute and are very valuable members of families and the community.”


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Woman Repays Elderly Victim In Medical Scam

The Associated Press
Jun. 6, 2013

A woman who conned an elderly may into paying $22,000 for bogus medical care has repaid the money.
Katy Sterio, 34, who has spent nearly a year in jail, repaid the money Wednesday as part of her plea deal to avoid a prison term of up to 10 years, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported (http://bit.ly/186NnJT).

She remains under investigation and faces an August court appearance to determine whether she owes additional money that the man's family says is missing.
Scott Spallina, chief of the city prosecutor's elder abuse unit, said Sterio and another woman met Stanley Ho, 73, last year in downtown Honolulu. They convinced him that the other woman had stomach cancer and needed cash for surgery.
How gave the women $22,000. He tried to take another $120,000 from his bank, prosecutors said, but bank officials called police.

The second woman was not found.

Sterio in July pleaded guilty to felony theft and attempted theft. The deal called for a sentence of a year in jail and five years of probation if she repaid the $22,000. Her jail term ends this month.
Spallina said Ho's family believes another $12,000 is missing. Defense lawyer Michael Green said Sterio will pay back that money if she owes it.
Sterio has a previous conviction in California for a scam.

According to the Orange County Office of the District Attorney, Sterio and another woman persuaded a 77-year-old man to give them a car. They also used his credit to buy jewelry for $28,000. Police were called when the women told the man that Sterio was in an accident and needed $50,000 for surgery.

Sterio pleaded guilty to four counts of financial elder abuse. She and the accomplice were sentenced to six months in jail and restitution.

"This scam plays out repeatedly on the mainland," Spallina said. "And for us to see this identical scam of befriending (an elderly victim) and giving a sob story to where they have to pay in cash to a fake doctor. We're seeing now these scams start to happen here in Hawaii."

SOURCE:       SacBee
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2 Charged In Berkeley Elder Abuse Embezzlement Case

2 charged in Berkeley elder abuse embezzlement case
June 6, 2013
by Emilie Raguso

A Vallejo couple has been charged by the Alameda County district attorney’s office with elder abuse after authorities say they took about $842,000 from their alleged victim, some of which was spent on everything from tuition at UC Berkeley to an Audi luxury coupe. Authorities said some of the money also was spent, legitimately, on the alleged victim’s own living expenses.
Vallejo residents Jeffrey Edward Alexander and Adriana Segurado Rodezno remain in custody at Santa Rita Jail after being arrested on a warrant in San Francisco on May 28.
According to court documents, Alexander met the alleged victim, a 69-year-old Santa Barbara man, in March 2009, after the man’s wife died. Alexander became friends with him and “slowly took over duties assisting him with personal matters. In late 2010 Alexander suggested they move together to Berkeley,” because Alexander’s wife, Rodezno, was going to attend UC Berkeley.
(Rodezno was listed as an undergraduate advisor in UC Berkeley’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering in both 2011-12 and 2012-13.
Berkeley Police spokeswoman officer Jennifer Coats said, at one point, all three shared a residence Berkeley, starting in 2010.
In September 2012, the men entered into a business partnership, named McGuffin Holdings after the victim’s cat, and the victim gave Alexander “an investment of $125,000 to use trading foreign currencies,” according to court documents. The man told authorities this was the only large sum of money he knowingly gave Alexander.
Police said Alexander moved a total of about $842,000 from the man’s retirement accounts into his checking account. According to a report written by Berkeley Police detective Alexander McDougall, “Some of this money was undoubtedly spent for Victim’s benefit, including rent on a home, and food and other necessities. However Alexander also spent large sums of money on himself or his wife,” wrote McDougall, including $86,000 for his wife’s UC Berkeley tuition; $17,000 on an Audi luxury coupe; $12,000 on Apple products and computers; $8,000 for personal training sessions for himself and his wife; and $7,200 on a high-end car stereo.
McDougall said in his report that Alexander used the man’s credit card to “support lavish daily spending habits,” which added up to purchases of nearly $400,000.
According to McDougall, the victim became suspicious of Alexander’s activities and reported the possibility of fraud in February. The man said he suffered from mental health issues including attention deficit disorder, depression and post traumatic stress disorder, which affect his ability to carry out normal activities, making him a dependent adult under state law.

SOURCE:      The BerkeleySide

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Elder Abuse Is A Crime

Elder abuse is a crime
June 6, 2013

World Elder Abuse Day will be observed — not celebrated — on June 15.
Elder abuse is a crime and can take many forms:
Physical is the most evident that results in bruises and worse.
Mental is psychological and can be even worse than physical abuse.
Financial is defrauding or draining of resources of an elder.
Deprivation can be of either food or temperature in life-threatening situations.
Denial of services for health or comfort or other degrading instances.
Economic situations can add to the potential for abuse. However, it can never be justified.
When elder abuse is suspected it must be reported to the local authorities for further investigation. Do not attempt to investigate on your own; it may prove dangerous.
Remember, elder abuse is a crime. Elders, who have contributed so much to our society, deserve to live in a dignified and respected environment in their later years.
Be a good citizen and a good neighbor and report instances of elder abuse, while contemplating that you may also be an elder in the future. In Florida, elder abuse may be reported by calling the abuse hotline at 1-800-962-2873.
Austin Curry, executive director, Elder Care Advocacy of Florida, Tampa
Copyright © 2013, South Florida Sun-Sentinel

SOURCE:         The Sun-Sentinel
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Elder Abuse A Growing Concern As Population Ages

 Vancouver Sun
 June 6, 2013

According to the United Nations, the global population of people 60 years of age and older will more than double between 1992 and 2025 - from 542 million to 1.2 billion.

Consequently, the number of people suffering from age-related conditions will also increase dramatically. And while some of these conditions can be successfully treated, others will require long-term assistance and care.

And this itself presents a problem, as that assistance and care is sometimes lacking - in fact, some seniors who need help receive exactly the opposite.

We're talking here about elder abuse - a problem the world has been slow to recognize, but which, fortunately, is now receiving more attention, with the UN's World Elder Abuse Awareness Day being observed on June 15.

According to the federal Ministry of State for Seniors, elder abuse "is any action by someone in a relationship of trust that results in harm or distress to an older person." And while abuse is typically intentional, older people can also be subject to neglect, which may be intentional or unintentional.

The invisibility of elder abuse is particularly troubling given how prevalent the problem is: Although statistics are hard to come by, according to the BC Centre for Elder Advocacy and Support, eight per cent, or 61,000 seniors in B.C., experience abuse.

One reason for this prevalence is that abuse exists in many forms. The abuse can be physical, psychological or emotional, sexual, related to the over-or under-prescription or withholding of medication, involve a violation of civil or human rights, or financial. In fact, financial abuse, which involves misuse of a senior's funds and assets, is believed to be the most common form of elder abuse.

Another reason for the prevalence of abuse is that it can be committed by virtually anyone, from family members and friends to formal and informal caregivers. Yet it still remains somewhat invisible, in many cases because the victims are embarrassed to reveal the abuse or because they fear retaliation or loss of services they need.

Others don't necessarily realize they're being abused or neglected, and some have difficulty seeking help because of language or cultural barriers or disabilities. And family members who suspect abuse are sometimes worried about making the situation worse if they become involved.

Nonetheless, it's important to address the problem when it occurs because it can lead to psychological and emotional injuries, up to and including death. And the B.C. Ministry of Justice points out that many laws exist to protect seniors from abuse, including the Criminal Code, B.C. victims' legislation and B.C.'s Adult Guardian legislation.

Most seniors do, of course, need help in protecting their rights and health, and fortunately that help does exist. If family and friends are unable or unwilling to help, seniors can call the police, or seek the assistance of victim service programs, the Public Guardian and Trustee (which investigates reports of financial abuse), and designated agencies under the Adult Guardianship Act, including regional health authorities, Providence Health Care Society and Community Living BC.

For more information on elder abuse, as well as assistance, visit the BC Centre for Elder Advocacy and Support at bcceas.ca or call its Seniors Abuse and Information Line (SAIL) at 604-4371940 or 1-866-437-1940 (toll free).

© Copyright (c) The Vancouver Sun

SOURCE:      The Vancouver Sun
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June 3, 2013

Reporting Elder Abuse: You Are Not Alone

Five million elders in the U.S. experience mistreatment and abuse each year. Here are the risk factors and how you can help.
MAY 31, 2013

Although estimates on the prevalence of elder abuse vary, it is thought to be at least as common as child abuse. Victims are typically older than 75 years and either physically or mentally disabled. The Senate Special Committee on Aging estimates that as many as five million older Americans may be victims of abuse, neglect, and/or exploitation every year.

Elder abuse in long-term care facilities has long been recognized, yet it continues to gain attention in all likelihood because one in every eight, or 13.3 percent, of the population is currently an older American.

What is Mistreatment?

The National Center on Elder Abuse, established in 1988, defines the major categories of elder mistreatment in these ways:
Physical Abuse - Inflicting, or threatening to inflict, physical pain or injury on a vulnerable elder, or depriving them of a basic need.
Emotional Abuse - Inflicting mental pain, anguish, or distress on an elder person through verbal or nonverbal acts.
Sexual Abuse - Non-consensual sexual contact of any kind, coercing an elder to witness sexual behaviors.
Exploitation - Illegal taking, misuse, or concealment of funds, property, or assets of a vulnerable elder.
Neglect - Refusal or failure by those responsible to provide food, shelter, health care, or protection to a vulnerable elder.
Abandonment - The desertion of a vulnerable elder by anyone who has assumed the responsibility for care or custody of that person.
If you report abuse, either as a witness or victim, you do not need to prove that abuse is occurring; it is up to the professionals to investigate the suspicions.

How to Report Mistreatment
If you or someone you know is in immediate, life-threatening danger, call the police or 9-1-1 immediately. If you have been a victim or a witness of abuse, you are not alone. Relay your concerns to the local Adult Protective Services, Long-term Care Ombudsman, or police. If you have been a past victim, please tell your doctor, a friend, or someone in your family you trust, or call the Adult Protective Services program in your area.
The Eldercare Locator, which is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST, can be reached at 1-800-677-1116. When making the call, be ready to give the name, address, and contact information of the person you suspect is abused or neglected, and details about why you are concerned. Operators will refer you to a local agency that can help.
You may be asked a series of questions to help the agency gain more insight into the nature of the situation. You will be asked for your own name, address, and telephone number, but most states will take the report even if you do not identify yourself. The professionals receiving your report are prohibited from releasing your information; they may not disclose your identity to the alleged abuser or victim.

Congress passed the Older Americans Act (OAA) in 1965 in response to concerns about a lack of community social services for older persons. Today, the OAA is the major vehicle for organization and delivery of social and nutrition services for older Americans and their caregivers. It authorizes an array of service programs through a national network of 56 state agencies on aging, 629 area agencies on aging, nearly 20,000 service providers, 244 tribal organizations, and two Native Hawaiian organizations representing 400 tribes. The National Center on Elder Abuse is under the auspices of OAA and AoA, which is overseen by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The OAA also includes community service employment for low-income older Americans, vulnerable elder rights protection activities, and training, research, and demonstration activities in the field of aging.
Ongoing research on issues of aging is necessary in order to mold policy and laws that protect the elderly.

Using data from the federal On-Line Survey and Certification System (OSCAR) from 2004 to 2009, a 2010 study from the University of California, San Francisco noted that state agencies reviewed 15,658 nursing homes with 1.66 million beds. The study finds that in 2009, 24.7 percent of the nation's nursing facilities received deficiencies for poor quality of care, causing direct harm or injury to residents, and nearly half (45 percent) of nursing homes failed to ensure a safe environment for their residents, representing a three percent increase since 2004. Another study surveyed 577 nurses and aides from 32 nursing homes and revealed that 70 percent had witnessed a fellow nurse or aide yelling at a patient in anger and 33 percent had done this themselves. A survey of 80 non-demented nursing home residents revealed that 44 percent felt they had been physically abused and nearly half (48 percent) felt they had been handled roughly by nursing home staff.

Where Are You?
In 2011, the population of Americans 65 or older numbered 41.4 million out of a total population of 312.8 million. Yet, the 65 and over population is projected to increase to 79.7 million in 2040 (27 years from now). It is important to remember that individuals who reach age 65 have an average life expectancy of an additional 19.2 years (20.4 years for females and 17. 8 years for males).
Currently, older women outnumber older men at 23.4 million older women to 17.9 million older men. Older men are much more likely to be married than older women - 72 percent of men versus 45 percent of women. In 2011, almost 3.6 million elderly persons (8.7 percent) were living below the poverty level. The 85 and over population, those most likely to experience abuse, is estimated to increase from the 5.7 million counted in 2011 to 14.1 million in 2040.
Clearly, it is essential that elders, along with their families, friends, caregivers, and compassionate health care workers, are able to recognize risk factors, and understand the definition of and know how to report elder abuse.

(Source: Vognar, L, Buhr, G. Elder Abuse in Long Term Care: A Growing Problem. Journal of the American Medical Directors Association. 2011)

SOURCE:        The Medical Daily
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Elder Abuse Awareness Day

Elder abuse awareness day
June 01, 2013
Scott Bond

Each year we recognize World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, which falls on June 15 this year. The chance to provide international focus on an issue that continues to grow is an important educational opportunity, and here in our region the need for community education is often apparent.

In our region, our agency is responsible to investigate abuse, neglect and exploitation of older adults as well as younger people with physical disabilities. Our Adult Protective Services Team responds to calls from the community as well as calls related to facility-based care. Our job is to investigate the situation, interview the relevant parties, including the potential victim, and determine if there has indeed been abuse, exploitation or neglect.

Our staff works in collaboration with the state Long Term Care Ombudsman Program, the county mental health programs, local law enforcement agencies and the district attorney’s office, among other community agencies. Our assessments include a determination of risk as well as attempting to resolve the complaint, which may include moving the victim to another living situation.

In the last year, our staff has conducted over 850 community and facility investigations as well as consultations for potential abuse or neglect situations in the region.

Across the United States hundreds of thousands of older adults are victims of abuse, neglect or exploitation. The issues are not just physical or verbal abuse and neglect. In the United States, older adults lose an estimated $2.6 million each year through financial exploitation and abuse. Those funds could have been used to pay for housing, prescription drugs or food — in other words necessities.

These issues are not correlated to demographics; this can happen to any one of us. It can occur from a trusted neighbor, a family member or organized scams that prey on trusting older adults to sell them worthless merchandise or try to gain access to credit card numbers.
As a global issue, we will see the adult population 60 and older grow from 542 million in 1995 to about 1.2 billion in 2025. Experts estimate that between 4 percent and 6 percent of the elders across the world will experience some form of mistreatment. This rate of mistreatment may increase as many nations, including the United States, experience a rapid aging of the population in the next 10 years.

The increased use of safety net programs — Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security — may also contribute to the pressures and insecurities of families who are trying to support an older parent. Care giving pressures are a factor on the incidence of abuse as care givers reach physical and psychological limits and burn out in their care giving role. This is when risk grows for abuse or neglect.

As you think about what you can do about elder abuse, there a few things to remember. The first thing is to be informed about what abuse or neglect is and understand what it looks like. The second is to stay in contact with older and/or disabled relatives, friends, neighbors and acquaintances. By staying in contact you can watch or listen for warning signs that something is wrong. Third, if you believe, or even suspect, that there is potential abuse, neglect or exploitation going on, please report the information to our agency, county human services programs or law enforcement. Keeping quiet is not a good option.
Scott Bond is the Director of Senior and Disability Services for Oregon Cascades West Council of Governments, the Area Agency on Aging for Benton, Linn, and Lincoln counties. He can be reached at 541-812-6008 or sbond@ocwcog.org

SOURCE:        The Democrat Herald
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Taking Precautions To Protect The Elderly


Litigation often reveals the steps that might have averted problems, however. Some proven, practical and preventative measures for empowering and protecting our seniors against many forms of elder abuse follow.

Guarding Against Fraud: Planning and Precautions in Three Areas

1. Monitoring

Family and loved ones can be proactive and helpful through:

• Regular and consistent monitoring of assets, account statements, and important documents. This process is essential to preventing the exercise of fraud and undue influence upon an elderly or infirm relative;

• First-hand review of mail, recent correspondence and recently updated documents, when undertaken with the loved one’s approval;

• Enlisting the assistance of a trusted local friend or neighbor to help monitor the above information, when family members do not live close to one another; and

• Monitoring asset and account activity by computer (a good idea for those living in different states).

To put these safeguards into effect, family members and friends may need to have frank conversations with the elderly. Besides your attorney, social service agencies and resources can step in and help facilitate these arrangements if needed. Many free resources are available to Westchester residents.

2. Updating Powers of Attorney

Often in cases of financial abuse, the perpetrator procures the elderly person’s signature of a financial power of attorney, giving the agent apparent authority to withdraw funds from bank accounts and perform related financial transactions. Nevertheless, safeguards are available.

• Under a financial power of attorney there remains a legal duty to keep accurate financial records and the document can be tailored to limit the agent’s authority.

• One may designate two or more persons to act as co-agents.

Health care powers of attorney also represent a potential source of abuse. These are designed to ensure that one’s health care wishes are respected when one cannot make or communicate those decisions. Over time, multiple health care directives may be prepared, creating a situation where several different persons may be convinced that each has sole authority to make decisions, even though only one health care agent can act at one time in New York state. These documents should be organized and in some cases earlier directives revoked, in order to prevent future conflicts.

3. Protecting the Integrity of Will or Trust Documents

The will crafted at age 65 may not be appropriate to someone 20 years later. Named beneficiaries may have died; charitable interests may have changed. Valued relationships may have waned; new ones may have formed. Preparing a new will also affords an excellent opportunity to take a comprehensive inventory of one’s assets well in advance of any crisis or harm and to account for the changes. The process may motivate potential heirs to take responsible steps cooperatively towards asset preservation and protection.

Believe it or not, some elderly persons with significant financial assets have not prepared a will at all. This can result in unfortunate conflicts following death. Even worse is the execution of a will when the elderly person is of questionable mental capacity. Instead, it is best to update these documents every few years to reflect changing needs and circumstances.

The adage that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is never truer than in the field of elder law because in most cases, elder financial abuse is preventable.

SOURCE:          WestFairOnline
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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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