Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Linda Kincaid Reports: Elder Abuse by Scott Phipps: National Association to Stop Guardian Abuse Speaks Out

Elder rights advocates across the country are rallying to support elder abuse victim Elinor Frerichs of Oakland, CA. Elinor’s conservator, Scott Phipps of Phisco Fiduciary, denies Elinor contact with her family, friends, and elder rights advocates. Phipps alleges that he is “protecting” Elinor from some unspecified potential threat posed by Elinor’s friends and the advocates that seek to secure Elinor’s civil rights.

Elaine Renoire, president of the National Association to Stop Guardian Abuse, sent the letter below to the Alameda County Board of Supervisors. Renoire asked the Board to support Elinor’s right to attend her court hearing on September 12, 2014.

The Supervisors did not support Elinor’s right to attend her hearing. Phipps did not allow Elinor to attend her hearing. The court made an adverse ruling on Elinor’s right to visitation, based on false information from Phipps and the attorneys who support Phipps’ abusive actions.

"Dear Board of Supervisors:
As you know, isolating an elderly person is one of the paramount signs of elder abuse. And yet unscrupulous conservators have long isolated their wards for years with impunity, as if they are above the law by virtue of their title. For this reason, AB937, a bill which clearly defined conservatorship wards’ rights to have visitors (family, friends, clergy, advocates, etc.), phone calls and mail, was introduced and quickly passed last year to combat this growing problem.

The state legislature overwhelmingly supported AB937 and were outraged that the system would allow such cruel mistreatment of California’s elderly.

I hope you will be equally appalled to know that 91-year Elinor Frerichs has already been isolated from family and friends for two long years. Try to imagine the torture this woman has endured because her conservator, Scott Phipps, and assisted living facility, Lakeside Park, deny her visitors and phone calls. And now, conservator Phipps will be going to court 9/12/14 asking for an order to continue this abuse.
NASGA would ask you to consider:
1. That some or all of you attend the hearing scheduled for 9/12/14 at which time conservator Phipps will be asking the court for approval to keep Elinor Freichs in isolation until the day she dies;
2. That you contact conservator Phipps to reiterate that his ward, Elinor Frerichs, attend and be heard at this important hearing which will decide her fate; and
3: That you encourage Community Care Licensing to pursue revocation of facility licenses when they continue to isolate the elderly after they have received fair warning.

Elder abuse is elder abuse whether the perpetrator is a stranger, a professional, a caregiver, family --- or a court-appointed conservator. Conservatorship wards are wards of the state of California and the state has a duty to protect them.

Elaine Renoire
NASGA – National Association to STOP Guardian Abuse

Full Article and Source:
Elder Abuse by Scott Phipps:  National Association to Stop Guardian Abuse Speaks Out


Elder Abuse by Scott Phipps: Civil Rights Advocate Sarah Harvey Speaks Out

Civil rights advocates across the country are speaking out against elder abuse by Scott Phipps of Phisco Fiduaciary. Phipps keeps conservatee Elinor Frerichs confined and isolated at Lakeside Park assisted living facility in Oakland, CA.

California’s Notice of Conservatee’s Rights states that conservatees have the right to visitors. California’s Probate Code was amended through Assembly Bill 937 (2013) to clarify that conservatees have the right to visitation, phone calls, and personal mail. With very few exceptions, Phipps denies Elinor all contact with the outside world.

The Notice of Conservatee’s Rights states that conservatees have the right to ask the judge to replace the conservator. The Notice further states the conservatee has the right to ask the judge to end the conservatorship.

Elinor had a court hearing on September 12, 2104 in which Phipps asked the judge to take away Elinor’s right to visitation. In interviews on September 3 and September 5, 2014, Elinor stated to this Examiner that she wished to attend her hearing and she wished to ask the judge to replace Phipps as her conservator. Elder rights advocates from across the country urged Phipps to allow Elinor her right to attend her hearing and address the judge.

New York civil rights advocate [Sarah Harvey} sent the following email to Scott Phipps:
"Mr. Phipps, 
You did not allow Elinor Frerichs to attend her hearing on Friday Sept 12, and you did not present her wishes to the court. Rather, Mr. Phipps, you asked the court to take away her right to visitation so that she would be cut off from family, friends and elder advocates. 
Mr. Phipps, please visit your client Elinor Frerichs and allow other people to visit her as it is her wish and what is in her best interest. Isolation is a form of torture. Show some compassion.|
Sara Harvey
Wife of NY victim Gary Harvey"
Full Article and Source:
Elder Abuse by Scott Phipps:  Civil Rights Advocate Sara Harvey Speaks Out

Linda Kincaid Reports: Elder Abuse by Conservator Scott Phipps: Elder Advocate Diane Wilson Speaks Out

Elder rights advocates across the country are speaking out against elder abuse by Scott Phipps of Phisco Fiduciary.  Phipps caught the attention of advocates by placing Elinor Frerichs (91) at Lakeside Park, a locked dementia facility in Oakland, CA. Elinor was not diagnosed with dementia. She is alert, oriented, and feisty.

Phipps’ instructed Lakeside Park to isolate Elinor. No visitors. No phone calls. Community Care Licensing cautioned the facility they could lose their license if they continued to violate Elinor’s rights. 
Phipps retaliated by filing a petition with the court to take away Elinor’s right to visitation. The intent of the petition was to legitimize his abuse of Elinor.
Elder advocate Diane Wilson, daughter of elder abuse victim Dorothy Wilson, sent the following email to Scott Phipps.
"To Scott Phipps: 
I was appalled when I read the story of Elinor Frerich and the fact that you refused to allow Elinor to attend her own hearing; you also asked the court to take away her rights to visitation from friends and elder advocates. Why would you do such a thing? Why do you want to hurt another human being? Freedom is a God-given right, one that man or woman cannot take away from another human being without breaking every universal law there is.
I decided to do some research and read a little bit about you. According to your website you state the following:  
‘My goal is to keep you in control of your money; assist you in times of transition and when the time comes, honor the wishes and intent of your will or trust.’ 
‘Phisco Fiduciary helps people maintain maximum independence and self-reliance by providing assistance with financial affairs – from day-to-day matters to wills, estates and trusts…and everything in between. We adhere to the highest Fiduciary standards and practices; advocate and protect clients’ civil & legal rights strictly abide the code of ethics of the Professional Fiduciary Bureau, and the Professional Fiduciary Association of California.’ 
I read that you also served as a minister. The job of a minister is to "minister" to the needs of people; to serve God and help people, not to destroy them. You also say that you will advocate and protect your clients’ civil and legal rights. Please, Mr. Phipps, honor the words you speak and set Elinor free.
Diane Wilson
NASGA Member
Daughter of Dorothy Wilson"
Full Article and Source:
Elder Abuse by Conservator Scott Phipps:  Elder Advocate Diane Wilson Speaks Out

Monday, September 22, 2014

MA: Elder Advocates Raise Concerns on Assisted Living

In Stoughton, an elderly woman walked out of a locked dementia unit at an assisted living residence in May, wandered into another room and fell from a second-story window.

That same month, at a Framingham assisted living facility, two staffers were arrested for allegedly slapping and pinching two elderly residents who have Alzheimer’s, and filming a third who was partly undressed.

In July, an 88-year-old man with a history of falling, and who had a tube in his chest for dialysis treatment, apparently tripped in the bathroom of his Revere assisted living residence and bled to death before staffers reached him.

Residents in Massachusetts assisted living facilities are in harm’s way too often, and the Executive Office of Elder Affairs, the state agency charged with overseeing the 224 residences, is ill-equipped to protect these increasingly frail residents, elder advocates say.

Even a key staffer at the agency is worried. Peter Antonellis, compliance officer at Elder Affairs who inspects the facilities, said the agency has just two ombudsmen to handle the thousands of complaints that pour in each year involving assisted living residences.

State data show that Elder Affairs has suspended just three assisted living residences for serious infractions since 2008 — an action that merely prevents the facilities from accepting new residents until they fix identified problems.

“I think most elders and their families think this is a regulated industry, but we don’t have the staff to regulate it,” Antonellis said.

Full Article and Source:
Elder Advocates Raise Concerns on Assisted Living

As Connecticut's Population Ages, Elder Abuse Rises

As Connecticut’s population ages, a disturbing statistic is emerging in the state: Abuse of the elderly is on the rise and nationwide, millions of seniors are at risk every year.

Many seniors are not reporting the abuse because the vast majority of abusers are family members, most often adult children, spouses, partners and others, according to the National Center on Elder Abuse.

Connecticut’s population is the seventh oldest in the nation, with 14 percent of state residents over 65, and 27 percent turning 65 during the next 15 years. And as Connecticut goes gray, an increase in the rate of abuse and neglect of elderly and disabled state residents is following, social services and health care professionals say.

Legislation passed last year focuses on elder abuse. Deb Migneault, Senior Policy Analyst at Connecticut’s Legislative Commission on Aging, said in an e-mailed comment, “Connecticut’s demographics reflect a rapidly aging population. Without intervention, cases of elder abuse, neglect and exploitation will continue to grow.

info on Protective Services:
“This program is designed to safeguard people 60 years and older from physical, mental and emotional abuse, neglect and abandonment and/or financial abuse and exploitation. DSS social workers devise a plan of care aimed at assuring an elder’s safety while preserving the person’s right of self-determination,” it says.

“Staff may help the person remain in the living situation he or she prefers, safeguard legal rights, prevent bodily injury or harm, determine service needs and then mobilize resources to provide necessary services.”

The Social Work service plan may include crisis intervention, arranging for and coordinating any of the following services: adult day-care, companionship, counseling, homemaker, home health care, home-delivered meals, and long-term care or, if necessary, emergency convalescent placement.

Full Article and Source:
As Connecticut's Population Ages, Elder Abuse Rises

Study Shows Financial Exploitation of Oregon's Elderly Climbs 18%

Nearly half of the people who exploit the finances of elderly Oregonians are members of their own families, according to a new study.

Financial exploitation allegations in Oregon increased by 18 percent between 2012 and 2013, based on the study of 623 reports on the suspected crimes. That was just a sampling of 2,929 reports documenting nearly 4,000 abuse allegations.

"Family relationships accounted for 46 percent of all substantiated perpetrators of financial exploitation," according to a news release heralding a comprehensive study by the state Office of Adult Abuse Prevention and Investigations. "Beyond family members, the second most common type of alleged perpetrator was acquaintances, followed closely by non-relative caregivers."

The subject of elder financial exploitation recently struck a chord in Oregon. Steve Duin,  The Oregonian's metro columnist,  wrote about financial shenanigans  that caused an elderly Portland couple – Elmo and Meliitta Marquette – to be paid $22,000 for a piece of property worth 10 times that much.

The study revealed that bank employees and family members of victims were the most likely to report financial exploitation.

Full Article and Source:
Financial Exploitation of Oregon's Elderly Climbs 18%, Study Shows

See Also:
Two Acres, Two Neighboring Couples, and a $200,000 Misunderstanding

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Tonight on T.S. Radio: Brandy Beyer of the Beyer Foundation

Join us as Brandy Beyer talks about the guardianship of her father starting 1999 when he retired. 

Throughout the years issues with guardianship and family members and the interference of the corrupt legal system have caused a great deal of distress.

We will be discussing the corrupt justice system in the state of Illinois as it relates to guardianship and the elderly.

http://www.thebeyerfoundation.org/  The Beyer Foundation.  
Support  Advocate  Prevent
The Beyer Foundation was founded in 2014 by Brandy L. Beyer. 

The Beyer Foundation is a registered non profit organization. Our mission to prevent elder abuse and financial exploitation through research, advocacy, public and professional awareness, interdisciplinary exchange, and coalition building.

The Beyer Foundation is based out of Lake County, Illinois and is proud to serve Lake and McHenry County.

Elder Abuse is a violation of human rights and a significant cause of illness, injury, loss of productivity, isolation and despair.

5:00 pm PST … 6:00 pm MST … 7:00 pm CST … 8:00 pm EST

LISTEN LIVE or listen to the archive later

Northshore "Live" - Cooper's Corner: Investigative Journalist Michael Volpe

Investigative journalist joins Bev Cooper to detail his recent investigations into guardian abuse both in Chicago and in Memphis, Tennessee.

Volpe is the author of two books, "Prosecutors Gone Wild" and "The Definitive Dossier of PTSD in Whistleblowers", and Volpe will talk about Norman Hughes, a Korean and Vietnam War veteran who is being held against his will in a nursing home in Memphis, and Mildred Willis, whose family recently lost their home on the order of the Cook County Public Guardian.

Source:  Investigative Journalist Michael Volpe

See Also:
T.S. Radio:  Tonight A Special Show With Reporter Michael Volpe:  Systemic Corruption in Family and Probate Courts

Korean Vietnam War Vet Inside VA System Held Against His Will

Korean War Veteran Norman Hughes Makes Passionate Plea to Go Home. He is Being Held Against His Will in Assisted Living

How the Cook County Public Guardian's Office Can Take Your Home

The Definitive Dossier of PTSD in Whistleblowers

TX: Probate Judge Guy Herman Retires, Knowing He'll Be Re-Elected

Longtime Travis County Probate Judge Guy Herman wanted to take some time off before starting his eighth term next year -- time to brush up on his Spanish, exercise, perhaps do some traveling. So he decided to quit his job.

His last day of work will be Sept. 22. Come November, though, Herman will run unopposed for probate judge and is guaranteed to win his old seat back.

What Herman calls a much-needed "sabbatical" is highly unusual, but he says it's designed to save the county money and allow him to take a vacation that doesn't include responding to work emails and calls.

But Herman didn't think about one potential hitch in his plan: The 65-year-old can choose whether to start receiving retirement benefits once he quits.

Federal rules don't allow the distribution of such benefits if an employee retires but expects or has an agreement to be rehired by the same employer. That's because the Internal Revenue Service wants tax-exempt money in an employee's pension to pay for retirement and not pad regular paychecks.

An employee who breaks the rules has to return any benefit distributions, or the entire retirement plan that all Travis County employees participate in could be at risk of being disqualified by the IRS. Participants then would have to pay taxes when they contribute and distributed benefits would also get taxed.

Herman said in an interview this week that he hadn't considered whether it could be problematic for him to receive retirement benefits after he quits. He said he hadn't decided whether to receive his benefits, but that if he couldn't get the money, it would be "no big deal," since the savings in his retirement account would only grow.

"I want a sabbatical. I've got a sabbatical," Herman said. "So that's my focus right now. Rest. Relaxation."

Herman later referred other questions to Buck Wood, a prominent Austin lawyer who's been advising Herman on his resignation and related issues. Wood said that running for re-election hardly constitutes an "agreement" for Herman to return to work, and that if Herman did start drawing retirement benefits, there's no way the IRS would get involved in such a small-potatoes matter.

"We may have some disagreement with the retirement system," Wood said, later adding, "If he decides to do it, and if they decide to make an issue about it, I'm going to be very surprised."

A statement from the Texas County and District Retirement System said state law requires that an employee have a "bona fide" termination to legally receive benefits -- a criteria that isn't met if the employee plans to return as an elected official.

Travis County employees contribute 7 percent of each paycheck to their retirement, and the county matches each dollar with $2.25. To access retirement benefits, an employee must quit, fill out a retirement application and choose a monthly payment plan. Employees must meet eligibility requirements based on age and years of service to retire.

On Tuesday, the Travis County Commissioners Court unanimously voted to accept Herman's resignation, which was submitted Aug. 29.

The Commissioners Court also voted to appoint Associate Probate Judge Dan Prashner to replace Herman as probate judge, as recommended by Herman in his resignation letter. Prashner's pay, currently at $115,360, will increase to $158,000, the base salary for probate judges written into state law.

Herman, whose salary is $196,367, said in his resignation letter that he expects Prashner to then appoint a new, temporary associate judge. Prashner will return to his associate judge seat after the election.

Herman said he may not run for just one but two more terms, if he's rejuvenated enough by his time away from work, but said he hasn't seriously thought that far ahead.

Full Article and Source:
Travis Probate Judge Guy Herman retires, knowing he'll be re-elected