Friday, April 29, 2016

Remember the Dementia Village in the Netherlands? It’s Spreading.

Activities such as listening to music, talking about the past, gardening and even housekeeping are extremely beneficial to people with Alzheimer's disease. In fact, a growing number of individuals with dementia are participating in nontraditional therapies such as art, storytelling and aromatherapy to improve their quality of life and overall well being. Several dementia care facilities around the world are taking this a step further by creating therapeutic environments that encourage residents to interact and participate in life.

The Dementia Village Concept

This new trend in Alzheimer's care centers is based on reminiscence therapy, which is an alternative treatment option that uses sensory cues to stimulate long-term memory and encourage communication. A facility that adopts this model transforms its traditional nursing home environment into an interactive place from the past. Residents explore indoor and outdoor spaces that replicate scenes from the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s, including garages with cars, vintage kitchens, barbershops and restaurants. This concept debuted in the Netherlands in 2009, and it is finally starting to spread worldwide.

Memory Lane in England

Grove Care in Bristol, England, created Memory Lane in 2012 to provide its residents with “an attractive and interesting destination.” It also serves as an immersive reminiscent therapy environment for people with dementia. The street is lined with store fronts, including a post office, supermarket and neighborhood pub, and is designed to resemble a typical British town in the 1950s. Vintage advertisements and memorabilia decorate the rooms, inside and out, to stimulate memories and encourage conversation.

Reminiscent Care in Canada

Georgian Bay Retirement Home in Ontario, Canada, added a similar therapeutic environment with rooms that are reminiscent of the 1950s and 1960s. Some residents hold life-like babies in the nursery, while others talk and socialize in the kitchen or at the barbershop. The facility also has a garage with a 1947 Dodge, areas for hobbies such as sewing and gardening, and an artificial beach. It offers 38,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor space and a variety of programs for people with dementia and Alzheimer's disease, including music therapy, storytelling and multi-sensory therapy.

The Easton Home in Kansas

The Easton Home is part of the dementia care wing at Cedar Lake Village retirement community in Olathe, Kansas. The facility redecorated a multipurpose room and a former employee break room to create space for reminiscing. A 1968 pickup truck sits in the courtyard, inviting residents to sit, relax and talk or listen to music. Inside, furnishings, music and decorations from the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s give residents and their guests something to talk about. The facility also has “memory walls” with sensory cues relating to traveling, hobbies, parenting and similar topics to help residents reminisce. A similar facility exists in Scotland, and another is proposed for Florida. Thus far, however, none hold a candle to the four-acre dementia village in the Netherlands that started the trend. Read more about Hogewey, a living community for people with dementia and their caretakers.

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Remember the Dementia Village in the Netherlands? It’s Spreading.

Family wants justice after caught-on-video attack

CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

SAN DIEGO (CBS8) - An elderly woman's caretaker is in custody Thursday evening after allegedly attacking the woman's senior friend, all of which was caught on video.

Margaret Wood, 93, was returning to her friend's home on the afternoon of April 16th to retrieve her keys and sunglasses she had left after a visit. When she returned, she was met with her friend's caretaker.

"She was pulled into the house violently. You can see a scuffle through the door and seconds later, granny is flying backwards off the porch and lands on her head," said Lisa Wood, Margaret's granddaughter in-law.

A neighbor called 911 and Margaret was later hospitalized with serious injuries, including a skull fracture, a broken nose and hemorrhages.

"She has been deteriorating and not getting better. At this point, they're not sure. She might be in this state for the rest of her life. It's worse than being dead. To be half alive," said Margaret’s son Richard Wood.

The entire incident was captured on a neighbor's surveillance camera, which had been set up after she herself had an intimidating encounter with 66-year-old caregiver William Sutton. Sutton moved in a few years ago and the family says there were problems from the very beginning.

"There is something that could have been prevented. I wonder to myself, why this predator was allowed to terrorize the neighbor?" said family attorney John Nojima.

Sutton was arrested on charges of attempted murder and elder abuse. The family says the San Diego County District Attorney's Office is considering a plea agreement of six years in prison.  The district attorney's office declined to comment on the potential plea agreement since this the case is ongoing.

"No, no. He can still hurt somebody else when he gets out," said Lisa.

The family says the sentence doesn't fit the charges laid against Sutton.

"This man shouldn't be allowed out. They want to give him a slap on the wrist," said Richard. "You get up in the morning and you go to the hospital and you hope like hell your mother is going to be up smiling and give you a nice kiss and what you get, is nothing."

Sutton is scheduled to have a readiness conference Friday morning ahead of a preliminary hearing scheduled for next week.

Full Article & Source:
Family wants justice after caught-on-video attack

East Moline man admits to financially exploiting his grandma

An East Moline man admitted in court Thursday that he financially exploited his grandmother.

Christian M. Lannan, 19, entered his guilty plea during a hearing before Rock Island County Judge Norma Kauzlarich.

Financial exploitation of an elderly person is a Class 2 felony, punishable by a possible prison term of three to seven years. Prosecutors, however, agreed to cap the maximum possible sentence at three years as part of a plea agreement. Additionally, four felony charges of forgery will be dismissed as part of the agreement.

According to East Moline police, Mr. Lannan allegedly wrote more than $10,000 in fraudulent checks by forging the signature of his 74-year-old grandmother and cashing the checks in his name.

Police said they were notified by bank officials in February about a suspicious person cashing checks and determined Mr. Lannan had taken the checks from his grandmother and was  cashing them for "large amounts of money."

The financial exploitation charge alleged Mr. Lannan "knowingly and illegally" used assets or resources of his grandmother, with whom he held a "position of trust."

Mr. Lannan was held Thursday at the Rock Island County Jail on a $75,000 bond and is due to be sentenced June 9.

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East Moline man admits to financially exploiting his grandma

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Bergen OKs aid for needy seniors facing foreclosure

HACKENSACK — The Bergen County Board of Freeholders on Wednesday approved $20,000 in funding for legal assistance for low-income seniors facing foreclosure on their homes.

The new program builds on a counseling service that the county has provided for more than a decade to homeowners older than 62 who are interested in a reverse mortgage.

It will assist those homeowners in cases where they are later unable to pay taxes or homeowners insurance after the reverse mortgage money has dried up.

"As we’ve been doing this more and more, some of these people are really in that financial crisis," said Lorraine Joewono, director of county senior services. "Even with a reverse mortgage, they’re going to use that money up within a few years."

A reverse mortgage allows a homeowner to draw down the home’s equity value for cash, typically for living expenses. The homeowner can take the money in a lump sum, line of credit or monthly payments and the withdrawals, plus interest, are repaid when the house is sold.

"The addition of legal counseling to our existing Reverse Mortgage Counseling Program will help protect our seniors, and will be another tool in Bergen County’s continuum of services that helps our residents age in place," said Freeholder Vice Chairwoman Tracy Zur.

The program complements multiple county initiatives such as Meals on Wheels, home repair and maintenance programs that aim to help seniors "age in place" and put off entering a nursing home or having to sell their homes and leave the area, said Joewono.

"We know that many of our seniors want to stay in their homes, which is why it’s so important to support and expand our programs that let our residents continue to live independently and comfortably," said Freeholder John A. Felice.

Although borrowers are not required to repay the reverse mortgage until they leave the home, they must still pay all property taxes and homeowner insurance premiums.

The program will help homeowners who fall behind by first trying to negotiate a repayment plan between the homeowner and lender.

If that plan fails or if the lender rejects it, then homeowners can also tap legal services during the foreclosure process.

Ron Romano, county reverse mortgage counselor, said that he works with people in their 70s all the way up to centenarians who want to remain in their homes and are interested in a reverse mortgage.
Low-income seniors on average have an annual income of $15,000 or less, Romano said. And a reverse mortgage can help someone with a limited income to continue to live in their home.

The reverse mortgage isn’t for everyone, he said. Often if the homeowner is seeking the money for home upgrades or repairs, he can direct them to other county or state assistance programs.

Over the past decade the program has assisted 2,000 county Bergen County homeowners.

Until 2014, 85 percent to 95 percent of those who sought reverse mortgage counseling eventually obtained the mortgage.

But Romano said that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development instituted more stringent requirements for the loans last year, and the portion of those who get counseling on the mortgages and then obtain them has dropped to about 70 percent.

Romano said that the county program is the only HUD-certified face-to-face counseling service focused on reverse mortgages in New Jersey, Joewono said.

The $20,000 approved Wednesday will pay up to $900 per client through Northeast New Jersey Legal Services.

Full Article & Source:
Bergen OKs aid for needy seniors facing foreclosure

Judge says ex-manager can depose Britney Spears

Britney Spears in 2013. Photo via Wikimedia Commons
A judge granted a motion by lawyers for Britney Spears’ self-described former manager to depose the singer in a retrial of a lawsuit against the pop star and her father, but under certain rules that include prohibiting the plaintiff from having any contact with the entertainer.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Barbara Meiers set the rules during a hearing Wednesday and her order stated they were based “largely on agreement between the parties.”

Plaintiff Osama “Sam” Lutfi originally filed the case in February 2009. The case was previously dismissed by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Suzanne Brugera, but was reinstated in part last year by a three-justice panel of the 2nd District Court of Appeal.

The 34-year-old singer was not present during the first trial to fight Lutfi’s breach-of-contract claim because she was declared mentally incompetent to testify by the judge supervising her conservatorship and estate, both of which were established after the entertainer’s 2008 meltdown. She remains under the conservatorship, but now her deposition testimony will be allowed to go forward.

Under Wednesday’s order, Spears’ deposition will be taken at the offices of her conservatorship lawyers. The arrivals and departures of both Spears and Lutfi “is to be at staggered times … and (Lutfi) is to have no contact at all with Ms. Spears,” according to the order.

The deposition is to occur “in a large conference room with a long conference table,” the order reads. “Ms. Spears and her counsel are to be at one end and (Lutfi) at the other.”

Meiers is allowing the deposition to be videotaped and for a surveillance camera to be placed in the room, but its lens cannot zoom in on Lutfi.

“Any recording from this (surveillance) camera can only be used with regard to potential protective order and harassment matters,” the order

The order does not state a date for the deposition. The retrial is scheduled Oct. 11.

In March 2015, the appellate court reversed some of the rulings handed down in mid-trial by Brugera in November 2012, when she tossed all of Lutfi’s case against the singer and her parents, Jamie and Lynne Spears.

The justices ruled that Lutfi can have a retrial on his breach-of- contract allegation against Spears and battery claim against her father. All other allegations against Jamie Spears, and a defamation claim against Lynne Spears, remain dismissed.

Lutfi is seeking hundreds of thousands of dollars based on his claim that in 2007, Britney Spears verbally promised him 15 percent of her earnings during a specified time period. He testified she told him she made $800,000 a month even when she was not working.

But attorney Joel Boxer, on behalf of the Britney Spears estate, says the terms of the contract as alleged by Lutfi were not supported by documentation.

Lutfi maintained that Jamie Spears committed battery by punching him in the stomach during a confrontation at his daughter’s home in January 2008. Jamie Spears’ attorney, Michael Aiken, said previously that Lutfi admitted he had only a “momentary incident of discomfort” and did not have any bruises or swelling.

Lutfi’s lawsuit also alleged he was defamed in portions of Lynne Spears’ book, “Through the Storm, A Real Story of Fame and Family in a Tabloid World.” He maintained the book had false passages stating that he admitted throwing away the singer’s phone chargers and disabling her house phones in an attempt to isolate her from her family; that he ground up drugs and put them in her food; and that he disabled her cars.

But Lynne Spears testified the passages were true. Her lawyer, Stephen Rohde, said Lutfi acknowledged he was a “public figure” who had to prove malice, meaning that Lynne Spears either knew the information she wrote was false or did not care whether it was true or not. Lutfi never met that burden, Rohde said.

Lutfi also never challenged the singer’s mother when she wrote many of the same allegations in a sworn declaration in support of a restraining order against him on behalf of her daughter during her 2008 breakdown, Rohde said.

The Court of Appeal concluded Brugera ruled properly by dismissing Lutfi’s claims against Lynne Spears.

—City News Service

Full Article & Source:
Judge says ex-manager can depose Britney Spears

16 Things I Would Want If I Got Dementia

(This article appeared previously on

When you work in dementia care, people tend to ask you a lot of questions. Probably one of the most common questions that I hear is, “Are you afraid to get dementia when you’re older?”

Honestly, there are many things that scare me much more than dementia does. Don’t get me wrong: dementia is a terrible group of diseases. I’ve been fortunate, however, to see many of the beautiful moments that people with dementia can experience.

Just in case I do get dementia, I’ve written a list of 16 rules I’d like to live by.

If I get dementia, I’d like my family to hang this wish list up on the wall where I live:

Rules for a Good Life

  • If I get dementia, I want my friends and family to embrace my reality. If I think my spouse is still alive, or if I think we’re visiting my parents for dinner, let me believe those things. I’ll be much happier for it.
  • If I get dementia, I don’t want to be treated like a child. Talk to me like the adult that I am.
  • If I get dementia, I still want to enjoy the things that I’ve always enjoyed. Help me find a way to exercise, read and visit with friends.
  • If I get dementia, ask me to tell you a story from my past.
  • If I get dementia, and I become agitated, take the time to figure out what is bothering me.
  • If I get dementia, treat me the way that you would want to be treated.
  • If I get dementia, make sure that there are plenty of snacks for me in the house. Even now, if I don’t eat I get angry, and if I have dementia, I may have trouble explaining what I need.
  • If I get dementia, don’t talk about me as if I’m not in the room.
  • If I get dementia, don’t feel guilty if you cannot care for me 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It’s not your fault, and you’ve done your best. Find someone who can help you, or choose a great new place for me to live.
  • If I get dementia, and I live in a dementia care community, please visit me often.
  • If I get dementia, don’t act frustrated if I mix up names, events or places. Take a deep breath. It’s not my fault.
  • If I get dementia, make sure I always have my favorite music playing within earshot.
  • If I get dementia, and I like to pick up items and carry them around, help me return those items to their original places.
  • If I get dementia, don’t exclude me from parties and family gatherings.
  • If I get dementia, know that I still like receiving hugs or handshakes.
  • If I get dementia, remember that I am still the person you know and love.
Full Article & Source:
16 Things I Would Want If I Got Dementia

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

A civil dispute over guardianship

Dorothy and Leon Bloom

In their beloved house overlooking Roberts Bay, a couple who came from Atlanta to enjoy boating, the opera, dinner parties and “30 years of play and fun” in their retirement are now struggling with the late-life health issues that afflict so many in Southwest Florida's longevity boom.

It's a challenge they had prepared for more diligently than most people, with documents that specified their wishes about medical and financial decisions.

So the last thing they expected at this point in their story was a brush with Florida's complex guardianship law.

Leon Bloom, 96, the founder of an international swimming pool chemical company, is by all accounts a sociable and generous man — the kind who inspires steadfast loyalty among his friends, his family, and the trio of caregivers who now see to his needs around the clock.

He is also the focus of an unusual elder guardianship case that pitted his longtime friend and attorney, former state Sen. Bob Johnson, against his wife of 41 years, Dorothy Bloom. 

The Blooms' friendship with the Johnsons was almost as old as their marriage. The two families celebrated holidays together, and the couples went on cruises to Alaska and the Caribbean. 

Several times, Johnson revised Leon Bloom's trust document — which leaves most of his fortune to charity on his death — and in 1998 Johnson became the successor trustee, to act in his friend's place if necessary.

On Nov. 7, 2011, Leon Bloom stumbled outside the Roberts Bay house. He fell on river rocks by the pool, says Dorothy Bloom, causing permanent injury to his head and spine. Doctors said his injuries were compounded by age-related dementia.  (Continue Reading)

Full Article & Source: 
A civil dispute over guardianship

EXCLUSIVE — High-Profile West Palm Beach Lawyer Kevan Boyles Suspended … Filed Lawsuits On Behalf Of Fake Clients!

Kevan Boyles
WEST PALM BEACH — West Palm Beach probate lawyer Kevan Boyles has pleaded guilty to charges he lied to judges in Broward and Palm Beach counties when he filed lawsuits against auto insurance carriers on behalf of dozens of families of dead car crash victims WHO HAD NOT HIRED HIM!

Well-connected Boyles, 61, was facing disbarment but instead agreed to a one-year suspension.

In one case, Boyles sued on behalf of a dead woman whose name he misspelled.

In another instance, a judge in Broward called him a fraud for filing a lawsuit on behalf of an accident victim who was already represented by another lawyer.

— Shhhhhht, don’t wake up West Palm Beach’s dying out-of-town corporate media! As with many other things, they have no idea. Step back into the know: #dropthepaper then click here to subscribe to our daily alerts!

Boyles is one of the area’s best known probate and estate planning attorneys. His client list includes Palm Beach society staples. But since his case started being investigated by the Florida Bar, he changed his law firm’s name to the nondescript Probate Guardianship & Trust PA.

And, according to a source at the Palm Beach County Bar Association, the law firm is now owned by his lawyer wife, Rosemary Cooney. Boyles officials works as a paralegal.

Cooney is a shareholder at West Palm Beach’s Sonneborn Rutter & Cooney.

So, what did Boyles do?

In 2011, according to court records, he requested a list of 2009 motor vehicle deaths from state authorities.

He picked a few names then found out whether wrongful death actions were filed and/or if the family opened probate actions.

If neither had been done, Boyles then filed court actions on behalf of the survivors without ever talking to them or notifying them.

What Boyles was hoping, he told Gossip Extra, was to protect the families’ right to sue in the future.

Of course, he was hoping they’d hire him once they found out he filed on their behalf.

He was hired in four instances, and got those families money they didn’t known they could’ve claimed.

This week, Boyles wrote a letter to clients and colleagues to explain the suspension:

“At the time, I firmly believed that my actions were appropriate under the law to assist others in attempting to obtain relief to which they were entitled. In fact, my actions did assist four families in obtaining relief which they would not have received but for my actions — and for that I am proud. In so doing, however, the Bar believed that I broke the rules which I regret and for which I am willing to be held accountable.”

The Florida Bar did acknowledge in the paperwork it doesn’t appear Boyles benefited financially.

And, he says, what he is accused of is commonly done in Florida by hundreds of lawyers daily.

“I tried to do the right thing but it didn’t work very well,” Boyles said. “I could’ve pointed to the court that a lot of lawyers do the same things. I know of 100s of instances. But I just couldn’t do that to my colleagues and I decided to take my punishment like a man.”

“In the end, this could be the best thing that happened to me.”

Full Article & Source:
EXCLUSIVE — High-Profile West Palm Beach Lawyer Kevan Boyles Suspended … Filed Lawsuits On Behalf Of Fake Clients!

“LPN #5 indicated she had been exhausted and could no longer think.”




PLEASE NOTE: The following highlighted quoted text is only a portion of the full report/survey submitted by DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES CENTERS FOR MEDICARE & MEDICAID SERVICES. The full report/survey can be found here


Based on interview and record review, the facility failed to have a system in place to determine code status for 2 of 2 residents who were not provided Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation. The facility failed to perform Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) on a resident who had requested to be a full code. (Resident #51) The facility failed to obtain a valid code status for Resident #36.

On [DATE] at 3:30 p.m., LPN #5 was interviewed. LPN #5 indicated she had walked into the resident’s room and found him without evidence of vital signs and walked out to the nurse’s station to check the resident’s code status. LPN #5 indicated there was not an Advanced Directive in the resident’s chart. At that time, LPN #5 indicated she was unaware of how to proceed and contacted the physician. LPN #5 indicated the physician instructed her to make Resident #51 a DNR (Do Not Resuscitate). LPN #5 indicated she had not performed CPR on Resident #51. LPN #5 was asked to describe what should happen when a resident is found without vital signs. LPN #5 indicated one nurse should contact the physician and another nurse should retrieve the crash cart. When queried regarding who would initiate CPR and who would call for the emergency services, LPN #5 indicated the nurse who contacted the physician would call the emergency services. The nurse who retrieved the crash cart, should initiate CPR.

When queried regarding the late entry of charting surrounding Resident #51’s death, LPN #5 indicated she had been exhausted and could no longer think.

Personal Note from NHA-Advocates: NHAA shares with all the families of loved ones who are confined to nursing homes the pain and anguish of putting them in the care of someone else. We expect our loved ones to be treated with dignity and honor in the homes we place them. We cannot emphasize enough to family members of nursing home residents; frequent visits are essential to our loved ones’ well-being and safety. This nursing home and many others across the country are cited for abuse and neglect.

You can make a difference. If you have a loved one living in this nursing home or any other nursing home where you suspect any form of abuse or neglect, contact us immediately.

We can help you and your loved one file a state complaint, hire a specialized nursing home attorney or help you find a more suitable location for your loved one.  (Continue Reading)

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“LPN #5 indicated she had been exhausted and could no longer think.”