Saturday, February 27, 2016

Doug Franks Testifies on HB 403

1/28/16 House Health Care Appropriations Subcommittee: House Representative Larry Ahern HB 403 bill passed 12 to 0

HB 403

Cleburne man fights to get back wife taken away by state agency

FORT WORTH - Donald Henry is as mad as he is dumbfounded.

The Cleburne man doesn’t understand why a state agency took his wife away from his care and won’t let her return to their home.

The Henrys have been married more than 67 years, and Henry said he has long been taking care of his wife, a cancer survivor who is in the early stages of dementia and who suffers from chronic pain.

But on Dec. 11, after an initial visit in November, a worker with Adult Protective Services filed an emergency protective order to remove Ethel Henry from his care. Since then, Henry said, his wife has been moved from one facility to another and is receiving less care now than when she was living at their apartment in Cleburne.

Henry, 85, said his wife is now at the Cityview Care Center, a skilled nursing center in southwest Fort Worth. Cityview Care Center administrators have not returned phone calls seeking comment, nor has the attorney appointed by the state to represent Ethel Henry.

Henry is allowed to visit his wife and said that she cries a lot while staring at the walls of her room.

Since that first protective order APS has filed two extensions, according to court records. Police delivered the latest order to the husband and wife late Tuesday, Henry said. A hearing regarding his wife’s removal is scheduled for March in Johnson County Court at Law No. 2. (Continue Reading)

Full Article & Source:
Cleburne man fights to get back wife taken away by state agency

CBS4 Investigates: Statistics show poor state of adult care in Indiana

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Feb. 24, 2016) - Terrifying statistics about elderly care in Indiana were found as part of a CBS4 investigation.

The investigation shows a lack of funding for investigators tasked with reviewing cases of possible abuse and neglect. The investigation also shows a lack of oversight and regulations from the state.

CBS4 began looking into the statewide problems after a mother and son were arrested in Greenfield for operating a home care business out of their home without any regulations. Shawn Kearns and her son David were charged with neglect of a dependent and criminal recklessness. State law requires businesses like Kearns Comfort Care who may four or more patients to be licensed. Investigators found the Kearns running and operating a care facility without any licenses, regulations, or medical qualifications.

Indiana’s Family and Social Services Administration is the department that oversees the overall health and safety of adults in care homes and facilities across the state.

Adult Protective Services investigators are tasked with looking into claims of abuse and neglect. APS investigators are part of the Indiana Prosecuting Attorney’s Council, however, the funding for APS falls under Indiana FSSA. Indiana is the only state in which APS operates through a criminal justice function.

Right now, the budget for APS is just under $3 million total, with only $2 million coming from the general fund. In a comparison from other states, Indiana’s APS budget falls short. Illinois’ APS is a state run agency with a budget of $23 million. Ohio’s county-run APS budget is $3.5 million.

Indiana currently has 30 AP investigators. Many of them, including Jerry Kiefer, investigate abuse and neglect claims in three counties. Kiefer is in charge of protecting adults in Hancock, Shelby, and Johnson Counties. He has more than 15 cases each month he’s responsible for handling. Ohio and Illinois each have more than 100 APS investigators.

“I think sometimes a lot of what we do are band aids,” Kiefer said.

With the workload and amount of cases that pile up each day, Kiefer said sometimes certain victims may unintentionally fall through the cracks.

“If I get called out on something that I think requires my attention and I’m going to be there for a long time, the other cases that have come in, they start to back up,” he said.

Cases of financial theft are very common, especially in the areas Kiefer is charged with investigating. He said those cases take a lot of legwork and require a lot of time to complete. He’s concerned these types of cases will get worse as Indiana’s senior population continues to grow.  (Continue Reading)

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CBS4 Investigates: Statistics show poor state of adult care in Indiana

Bring elder abuse into the light so we can help

The problem of elder abuse – physical, psychological and financial – isn't immediately apparent unless you or your closest have endured it; unless you have worked in aged care and seen it.

As we live longer, we hope for a peaceful existence with our loved ones or at least in a place that feels like home. Most of us will find that.

But with longevity can come loneliness, vulnerability, and worse.

The problem of elder abuse – physical, psychological and financial – isn't immediately apparent unless you or your closest have endured it; unless you have worked in aged care and seen it.

The NSW Upper House inquiry into elder abuse is a welcome opportunity to try to assess the extent of the problem and to bring it to public attention. They are the prerequisites for fine-tuning laws and protocols surrounding aged care inside and outside the home.

Submissions to the inquiry closed this month. Many rang alarm bells.

"When staff in aged care stop caring, there is a huge potential for abuse," wrote one nurse who has been registered since 1982. "But it is so hard for them to keep caring when there is no support given and no respect from management! Something needs to be done. The average age of a worker in aged care is 48, well above other industries. There is often high staff turnover, as the job satisfaction and rewards are not there when there is no support for staff and no time to care!"

Decisions about where and how to spend your final years used to be purely about money as well as the availability of family and health support. They are becoming increasingly about safety as well. This is not the old-style "panic" where the elderly were warned to stay off the streets as crime soared. Indeed, most street and house crime has dropped considerably.

The threat of elder abuse emerges far more often from those who care for us as we become less able to fend for ourselves: our family, our friends, care workers, financial advisers and even lawyers. More of us will become dependent on these people as the number of sufferers of dementia in particular increases. There are 342,000 Australians living with dementia and this will rise to almost 900,000 by 2050 without a major medical breakthrough. NSW has about 112,000 people living with dementia, with this number to reach 272,000 by 2050.

"Lawyers are central to the process of older people appointing substitute decision makers, often family members," Macquarie University law lecturer Lise Barry says in her submission. "Under the current law, these appointments give the attorney almost unfettered access to an older person's property, finances and legal decisions, highlighting how vulnerable some older people may be to abuse … If called upon to witness these appointments, lawyers should take the opportunity to screen for abuse."

Remember, we talking here about a very small minority who are abusers – but the opportunity for them to act will keep increasing without action.

In part the problem is cultural. The elderly must be afforded the respect of a healthy life in safety so they can contribute as much and for as long as they want, with appropriate safeguards against exploitation. Likewise, every single person who chooses a life of helping the aged deserves support. When it is missing, things can go wrong.

Reportable assaults in nursing homes have increased 86 per cent since 2009, even though the number of residents rose only 20 per cent over that period.

Without community support, many in their own homes also feel vulnerable. A submission from the Older Women's Network highlights that older women may be exposed to abuse by a broad range of family members and carers. Older women living alone are less likely to be physically or psychologically abused, but may be more at risk of financial abuse by an adult child after the death of a partner. Social isolation of both victim and abuser is a common feature of violence against older women.

Certainly, as Professor Susan Kurrle​ from the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Sydney says in her submission, recognition of abuse risks has improved. She cites a 1989 instance where health professionals missed the signs that a 78-year-old man was being physically abused by his daughter. A 2010 case involved an 81-year-old man whose son moved in with him after divorce. The early signs of abuse were detected by asking, "Are you afraid of anyone?" and "Has anyone hurt you recently?"

The Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health shows women who have experienced abuse "tend to be less educated and have more difficulty managing on their available income ... Compounded by the impacts of abuse, women may suffer stress, depression, reduced confidence, restricted activities, feelings of insecurity and forced changes to living arrangements."

The issues are complex and the solutions even more so. As a significant step, the public needs to understand these concerns are real, not just for the elderly but for those who care from them too.

Full Article & Source:
Bring elder abuse into the light so we can help

Friday, February 26, 2016

Joe Roubicek: Joe's Cases: Anything for Money: A Predator's Tale

Ina hated that incessant ringing as she lay in bed with her bedroom light on in the middle of the night. I’m 93 years old, for God’s sake, she thought. I can’t take this anymore. With a trembling hand she picked up the receiver. “Hello?”

Heavy breathing, then cries and screams. “Aaaaaggg help! Aaauughhh!” It sounded as if someone were being tortured.

“Who is this?” … Silence … “Leave me alone!”

More heavy breathing.

Ina hung up the phone and unplugged it from the wall.

Next morning, she washed, made her coffee, and returned to the bedroom to plug the phone back in, something she had done every day for the past week. But no sooner had she plugged it back in when it began ringing. Since it was daytime and the nuisance calls only came in at night, she answered the phone.

“How are you this morning?”

Ina recognized the Caribbean accent of Sharon Wilcox, a woman she had recently employed. In fact, she had expected the call.

“What do you want?” Ina asked.

“I need more money, Ina.”

“I’ve already given you plenty of money, Sharon. It’s time you left me alone.”

“You know, Ina, I still have the key to your garage. You mustn’t make me use it.”

“This is the last time, so you better stop calling me.”

“I’ll need $500,” Sharon said.

“And then you’ll leave me alone?”

“I promise. I’ll stop by this afternoon to drop off your key and say goodbye, okay?”

Ina agreed and Sharon Wilcox, her former devoted caretaker, came to the house that afternoon, picked up a $500.00 check, returned Ina’s garage key, a key that ultimately already had cost Ina $2,000 to retrieve it.

Maybe the calls would stop. Maybe Ina could have some peace.

Full Article and Source:
Joe's Cases:  Anything for Money:  A Predator's Tale

Judge anonymously sues commission over 'illegal' discipline

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A federal lawsuit accuses the Judiciary Commission of Louisiana of illegally disciplining a judge, who is suing the commission's appointed members under a pseudonym.

The judge, who sued the commission on Wednesday, is referred to only as "Judge John Doe" in the complaint. The suit doesn't identify the court where the judge serves or specify the nature of the judge's alleged ethical violations.

The suit claims the commission "admonished" and "cautioned" the judge even though it only has the authority to recommend a judge's discipline to the state Supreme Court.

The judge's attorney, Normand Pizza, declined to identify his client or elaborate on the suit's allegations. A spokeswoman for the state Supreme Court said commission records related to the case involving the judge are under seal.

The suit says the commission opened two separate investigations involving the judge in 2012. The judge also received "a recent inquiry on a baseless complaint," the suit adds.

In closing the 2012 cases, commission members ultimately concluded that the judge violated the state's judicial conduct code, admonishing the judge in one case and cautioning the judge in the other.
"Such actions are a form of discipline," the suit says.

The commission never asked the state Supreme Court to discipline the judge, the suit added.

"In these respects, the commission and its members purposefully and recklessly denied the judge the due process rights the law guarantees to the judge," it says.

The judge asked the state Supreme Court to review the commission's actions, but the court's majority refused to take up the case last June.

Full Article & Source:
Judge anonymously sues commission over 'illegal' discipline

Rock Falls man accused of stealing more than $100,000 from an elderly woman

A Rock Falls man is accused of using his position of trust to take more than $140,000 from an elderly woman in Sterling, Illinois.

Timothy Boyd, 60, was charged with financial exploitation of an elderly person and theft over $100,000, court records showed.

Boyd was accused of taking control of the woman’s life insurance and bank assets, taking more than $142,000 from her from January 2011 to September 2015. Police said they got involved after they were alerted by a local nursing home.

Boyd turned himself in to the Whiteside County Sheriff’s Department on Friday, February 19, 2016.

Jail records showed Boyd remained in the Whiteside County Jail in lieu of $200,000 bond.

Full Article & Source:
Rock Falls man accused of stealing more than $100,000 from an elderly woman

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Florida Senator Nancy Detert's Guardianship Bill, SB 232, Heads to Governor Scott's Desk

Senator Nancy Detert
First came the stories that sparked concern and outrage. Then came the legislation.

And Wednesday, with nearly unanimous approval in the Legislature, came reforms that supporters say will make Florida a national model for regulation of guardians who care for the state’s frail elders.

The legislation (SB 232), sponsored by Sen. Nancy Detert, R-Venice, and Rep. Larry Ahern, R-Seminole, will allow the state Department of Elder Affairs to expand its public guardianship office to include private, or professional, guardians, who are paid to manage the affairs of seniors deemed by the courts as too frail or mentally challenged to care for themselves.

Two weeks after the Senate unanimously passed the legislation, the House approved the measure 115-2 and sent it to Gov. Rick Scott.

The bill, which Scott is expected to sign, will allow the newly renamed Office of Public and Professional Guardians to establish standards for public and private guardians, register guardians, investigate complaints, develop procedures for discipline and set penalties for guardians found in violation.

Detert, who is leaving the Senate to run for the Sarasota County Commission, considered the bill her top priority for her last session in the Legislature. And, in an unusual move, the 39 other senators became co-sponsors of the legislation.

“I think that the bill is very important and I think everyone should talk about it in their own community,” Detert said about the Senate support.

Detert said with Florida’s and the nation’s growing elderly population, the issue of guardianship and the potential abuses is a national problem.

“There are so many horrible, blatant cases,” Detert said. “Every state was blindsided.”

But Detert said with the enactment of the new bill Florida will have “the strongest law in the nation.”

“It will be the model for the other states,” she said.

Detert said she was prompted to file the legislation after hearing complaints from families in her community, including Julie Ferguson, whose legal efforts on behalf of her mother, Marise London, were the subject of a story in the Herald-Tribune’s series, “The Kindness of Strangers,” which highlighted problems with the guardianship system.

In her 80s, London — for years the owner of a well-known art gallery and frame shop in Gulf Gate — wanted to stay in her beloved house. In January 2013, the 12th Judicial Circuit Court named the nonprofit agency Lutheran Services Florida as London’s guardian, at the request of the Department of Children and Families’ Adult Protective Services division. The agency was paid from London’s assets to make decisions about her finances and health, at the rate of $85 an hour — while Ferguson maintained she could provide better care for free, and had a right to do so under a Power of Attorney document her mother signed before suffering from cognitive impairment. Ferguson has spent years and thousands of dollars trying to gain guardianship of her mother.

Full Article and Source:
Guardianship Bill Heads to Scott's Desk

Seniors Could Get Protections From Guardian Wrongdoing

TALLAHASSEE (NSF) – A bill aimed at better protecting elderly Floridians from unscrupulous guardians is speeding toward passage in the state Legislature.

The House on Tuesday took up the measure (SB 232), filed by Sen. Nancy Detert, R-Venice, and could give final approval as early as Wednesday. Senators this month voted unanimously to approve the measure, after a similar bill died during the chaotic end of the 2015 legislative session.

The proposal would lead to the Department of Elder Affairs certifying and overseeing professional guardians — and disciplining those who abuse their trust.

“In extreme cases, the wards are sometimes prevented from regaining their competency and remain, in effect, prisoners of guardians,” House sponsor Larry Ahern, R-Seminole, said.

Under the bill, the Statewide Public Guardianship Office at the Department of Elder Affairs would expand to become the Office of Public and Professional Guardians. It would establish standards for both public and private guardians, receive and investigate complaints and penalize guardians who breach the standards.

If approved by the House, the bill would go to Gov. Rick Scott for his signature. Detert said the bill would vault Florida into a leadership role nationally in protecting seniors from guardian abuse.

“We are hearing from everybody, and it’s a nationwide problem,” she said. “Florida had the strongest laws in the nation, and we have all of these abuses. All of the other states are even worse than us, and there is nowhere to turn. They are now calling Florida to ask for advice.”

Detert cited a December 2014 series by the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, which found that while Florida has an efficient system of identifying and caring for fragile elders, “tapping their assets is a growth business.” In 2003, there were 23 registered professional guardians on Florida. By 2014, the number had grown to more than 440 — an increase of more than 1,800 percent in 11 years.

Private professional guardians often serve wealthy people, whereas public guardians serve incapacitated people who don’t have anybody willing and able to serve as guardians. Currently, the state has a more heavily regulated system of oversight for the public guardians.

Private guardians typically enter the picture when the children of seniors have disputes.

Detert said private guardians can sell off their wards’ assets to pay themselves — even to fight the wards’ grown children in court.

“Your family appoints a guardian to give you a little bit of help, and that guardian has the power to take over your entire life, your health care, your finances,” she said. “These are not people who are living in nursing homes. These are people that are living in their own home.”

The problem came to Detert’s attention via a constituent, Julie London Ferguson, who had lost the right to make decisions for her mother, Marise London, to a guardian.

Ferguson said Detert told her, “That could happen to me.”

Detert advised Ferguson to go to the media, which she did. Marise London — an artist who had run a Sarasota gallery for 26 years — was among those featured in the Herald-Tribune series.

“All of Sarasota was backing Mom,” Ferguson said.

Now, as of Jan. 13, London is back in her home. Her daughter said she is recovering from the ordeal, happy to be with family and in her own home.

“I believe with all my heart that if it weren’t for Senator Detert, Mom would still be in a guardianship,” Ferguson said. “The wheels of justice grind slowly, but when these people are in their 80s, we don’t have that time.”

The News Service of Florida’s Margie Menzel contributed to this report.

Full Article & Source:
Seniors Could Get Protections From Guardian Wrongdoing

Bill would require long-term-care facilities to allow cameras that monitor resident care

Jane Casey
The camera that Jane Casey hid in her mother’s assisted living facility may have been against the law, but it put her on a journey to find a way to legally track the care of a vulnerable population.

In 2013, Casey was successful in getting Virginia legislators to pass a law to allow electronic monitoring in nursing homes and assisted-living facilities, if the resident or authorized family member agreed. Casey was disappointed, though, by a clause added during General Assembly negotiations: allowing facilities the option to refuse.

This year Casey returned to ask legislators to toughen the regulation by requiring that nursing homes allow the cameras.

Senate Bill 553, sponsored by Sen. John Cosgrove, R-Chesapeake, sailed through the Senate, and the measure is being considered by the House.

“Unless we get this bill passed, we have nothing,” Casey said. “What we need is for nursing homes not to be able to say no. Until then, people will be neglected.”

The Virginia Health Care Association supports the voluntary regulations that resulted from the 2013 action, but said it has concerns about the mandatory nature of the current bill, citing the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act privacy law.

“The bill as currently drafted raises concerns for us related to its mandatory nature, as well as the practicality of implementation, which raises questions of legal liability, HIPAA compliance, and other privacy issues,” read a statement provided by the organization’s communications department.

Several other states already have these laws, riding a tide of families who want to monitor care of relatives who can’t communicate well due to illness or disease.

Texas was the first to adopt one in 2001. Since then, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Washington and Illinois have passed laws requiring nursing homes to allow residents and their families to place cameras in their rooms. Maryland allows it but doesn’t require that nursing homes agree to a request.

The laws generally make residents and their families responsible for buying, installing and maintaining the equipment. Illinois is the most recent state to pass a law – the governor signed it in August – and also set up a $50,000 public fund to help residents who couldn’t afford the equipment.

Some advocacy groups that have supported the laws say they can act as a deterrent to abuse and neglect. The nursing home industry has concerns, though, about the privacy and dignity of residents, and whether they’re able to consent to the around-the-clock monitoring. The nursing home industry also questioned what the liability would be for facilities and their employees.

Virginia’s regulations require the written consent of the residents, or their authorized representative, and that of roommates, if there are any. Also a sign must be posted outside the room to let staff, caregivers and visitors know about the monitoring.

Casey became interested in monitoring when her mother developed dementia and macular degeneration that impaired her vision. She couldn’t live independently anymore.

Even in high-quality places, Casey often found the care to be substandard. Her mother lived in several retirement communities and assisted-living facilities before moving to Lake Prince Woods in Suffolk in 2009. That’s where Casey bought the surveillance camera hidden in a picture frame. The video she reviewed showed an employee changing her mother’s clothing and linens without appearing to say a word.

When Casey brought that up, along with some other lapses in care to an administrator, she was asked to remove the camera. Casey later moved her mother to a home that she and her husband had built on their property in Suffolk and hired caregivers for when they couldn’t be with her. She died three years later at 96.

The regulations that the 2013 law led to are still in the promulgation stage, according to Erik Bodin, director of the Virginia Department of Health’s office of licensure and certification. State health and executive branch officials are reviewing some final changes, after which the regulations will be posted for a 60-day public comment period, probably in the spring.

He said that if the bill passes, changing the regulations from voluntary to mandatory, that law would go into effect on July 1. The regulations would likely need to be changed shortly after that through a process that takes less time, he said.

Even though the bill is too late to help her mother, Casey believes it will help others in the same situation, who need protection. But even if it passes, there’s another important element: “It depends on whether families want to pay attention.”

Full Article & Source:
Bill would require long-term-care facilities to allow cameras that monitor resident care

Three times inadequate Berrylands nursing home to close after being unable to find 'quality' staff

A Berrylands nursing home rated inadequate three times by Care Quality Commission inspectors is to close for good, blaming a lack of “quality nurses”.

Park Lodge, which was put into special measures last year, is home to 15 people who are likely to be rehoused in the coming weeks.

Inspections by the CQC in January, April and August found medicine was not stored safely and residents were at “risk of malnutrition”.

Care at the Park Road home, owned by CHD Living, costs up to £800 a week.

A spokeswoman for Park Lodge said it would be “discontinuing nursing care” when an appropriate place was found for vulnerable residents and that the closure was nothing to do with the CQC reports.
She said: “We have found it increasingly difficult to recruit our own team of quality nurses.

"This has impacted on our ability to consistently meet the high standards of clinical care that we and our partner agencies expect.

"The service has not been successful in recruiting its own team and has had to rely more upon agency nurses."

She added that the staff would be working with Kingston Council and the CQC, who fund a number of current residents, to ensure that any moves would be done “sensitively and smoothly.”

CHD Living has submitted an application to operate as a residential care home without nursing facilities.

Councillor Cathy Roberts, who has responsibility for adult social care, said: “The council is working with Park Lodge, residents and their families to ensure the relocation of all private and council-funded residents is handled appropriately and the transition is smooth.

“The continuing operation of this facility is no longer possible due to the lack of quality nurses to consistently meet the high standards of clinical care in a small care home.”

Full Article & Source:
Three times inadequate Berrylands nursing home to close after being unable to find 'quality' staff

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Former Wards of Thieving Conservator Face New Troubles in Court

In the 29 years since Keith Adams came under court protection as a vulnerable adult, the mishandling of his assets is an “outrage,” according to his sister.

“My family has legitimate concerns that it could happen again,” says Cindy Coffin of Rosemount.

The trouble began in 2005 when a professional conservator who was appointed by the court to manage Adams’ finances stole $30,000 from him. Then he was left in limbo after the next professional conservator was sent to federal prison for stealing from other clients.

Now his latest conservator has been accused by federal authorities and state auditors of charging clients improper or unreasonably high fees for many routine tasks.

For years judges turned to Stephen Grisham and his now-defunct firm, Alternate Decision Makers Inc. (ADMI), to take on complicated cases, including those mishandled by previous conservators. That ended in late 2013, after Grisham admitted to stealing $160,000 from some clients to fund his gambling habit.

ADMI collapsed, leaving the courts scrambling for replacement conservators and guardians for scores of its former clients. The continuing concerns with the companies that replaced ADMI demonstrate the difficulties the court system faces supervising professionals and then repairing problems when things go wrong — problems that threaten to swamp the court as it braces for a predicted tsunami of dementia cases among aging baby boomers.

“Our system is sorely lacking,” said Jill Adkins, an attorney specializing in elder law with Gries, Lenhardt, Allen in St. Michael. “I tell all of my clients that the last thing you ever want is to end up in a court guardianship or conservatorship. There are things that can go wrong at every step.”

Full Article and Source:
Former Wards of Thieving Conservator Face New Troubles in Court

Post investigation: Another blow to Judge Colin

After weeks of speculation, the chief judge confirmed that Palm Beach County Circuit Judge Martin Colin is out as coordinator of a new guardianship program to resolve family disputes.

Chief Judge Jeffrey Colbath transferred Colin from the Probate & Guardianship Division – as well as the family division – following The Palm Beach Post’s investigation into Colin. Now Colin is out as coordinator of the Elder Care Pilot Program, thus severing all ties with adult guardianship.

Colin’s wife – Elizabeth “Betsy” Savitt – works as a professional guardian for incapacitated seniors and adults. The Post found numerous complaints about Savitt taking tens of thousands of dollars in fees without judicial approval, double-billing and funneling cash to suspect family members of the seniors in her care.

Her work as a guardian created what a former Florida Supreme Court justice dubbed an appearance of impropriety for Colin and conflicts for the judiciary as a whole. Colin wouldn’t hear Savitt’s cases, but did allow for years attorneys who represented his wife and referred her guardianship cases to appear before him. Colin would at times grant lucrative fees to these attorneys.

In the meantime, families said Colin’s colleagues would turn a blind eye to their complaints about Savitt – particularly Circuit Judge David French, reportedly a friend of Colin and Savitt.

Besides his job as judge, Colin helped coordinate the Eldercare program, which sought to resolve disputes among family members of seniors in guardianships. The program uses professionals – such as psychologists, lawyers and former judges – to sit down with families over a two-year span in hopes of resolving issues over money and care.

Circuit Judge Janice Brustares Keyser will now oversee the program, which is still in its infant stages but aims to save money by decreasing litigation in court. Some guardianship attorneys make thousands of dollars in fees – taken from the seniors’ accounts – by exploiting family discord, according to guardianship reform advocates.

Full Article & Source:
Post investigation: Another blow to Judge Colin

See Also:
Judge in Post series moved from guardianship cases

Chief judge keeps public waiting on details of guardianship shakeup

Guardianships: A Broken Trust: Attorney: "Courts Have Allowed This Culture"

Guardianships: A Broken Trust, 115 Recusals in Six Months

Guardianships: A Broken Trust: Judges Socialized, Planned Trips Together

Stamford Attorney Accused of Pilfering from Estate

A Stamford attorney is facing larceny and forgery charges amidst allegations that he pocketed thousands of dollars from the estate trust of Stamford woman and her son and their heirs.

The family went to Stamford Police in November after they discovered that thousands of dollars were never deposited to the trust, according to police.

According to police, attorney Morris Glucksman “was the person responsible for all documents and transactions regarding the trust and he could not provide an answer for the discrepancies of the monies.”

Lt. Diedrich Hohn said the heirs “after he offered them $40,000 to make it go away and they balked and came to police.”

Police said in a statement, “Property Crime investigators discovered that Attorney Glucksman forged several signatures and utilized a forged notary stamp that made him the sole beneficiary of the trust. The family had been asking for Glucksman to provide proper paperwork showing that he was the sole heir and executor since 2013.”

Glucksman is accused of using “many stalling techniques all (the) while spending the family’s money. Investigators were able to prove that the notary stamp was altered thus leading investigators to substantiate the forgery angle of the investigation.

Glucksman allegedly withdrew $25,000 from the deceased woman’s account one day after her death at the age of 91. The 68-year-old Glucksman is accused of selling “many articles of sports memorabilia totaling $33,000 in cash and not putting the money into the trust. He rented out a Stamford Property owned by the trust for several years, all while collecting rent and pocketing the money. He finally sold the Stamford property and currently still has not distributed any of the monies towards the trust,” according to police.

According to Hohn, the woman left her estate to her son who passed away from lung cancer a year later. Their heirs are nieces and nephews.

So far, police have been able to substantiate the theft of $58,000, according to Hohn. “It is still an open investigation. We don’t know how much money might be in escrow.” Hohn said financial crimes investigators are continuing to review records to determine whether there is more money missing from the trust.

“Right now we can prove $58,000,” Hohn said.

On Thursday morning, Stamford Police arrested Glucksman at his 706 Bedford St. law office where he maintains a practice for wills, trusts, estate planning, landlord-tenant and family law. He was charged with one count each of first-degree larceny and second-degree forgery.

“He has property in Florida and travels there. We wanted to arrest him before he left,” Hohn said.
Hohn also said, “He (Glucksman) has had three similar complaints against him. We want to put this out there because there might be other victims out there.”

Glucksman posted $50,000 bond and is scheduled to appear Feb. 29 in state Superior Court in Stamford.

Hohn and Capt. Richard Conklin praised the lead investigator Sean Coughlin, Sgt. Steven Perrotta and Officer Michael Stempien for “aggressively investigating this larceny perpetuated upon by an attorney who was entrusted by an elderly deceased member of the Stamford Community.”

They said, “The SPD aggressively investigates these crimes and we go to all lengths to make arrests that adversely affect the personal sanctity of any Stamford resident’s financial security. The family was notified of the arrest and was elated by the arrest and by the actions of the officers.”

Full Article & Source:
Stamford Attorney Accused of Pilfering from Estate

Diane Dimond: Elder Guardianships a Shameful ‘Racket’ in America

Betty Winstanley
Betty Winstanley is a well-spoken, elegant and wealthy 94-year-old widow, and as she told me from her room at the Masonic Village retirement facility in Elizabethtown, Pa., “I feel like I am in prison. My life is a living hell.”

Welcome to America’s twisted world of court-appointed guardianships for the elderly.

Quick backstory: Betty and her husband, Robert, were married for 72 years. They had three children, Richard, David and Betsy. For nearly seven years, the couple occupied a “lovely” apartment at the Masonic Village retirement home in Elizabethtown.

In early 2014, Betty, who uses a rolling walker to get around, said she felt faint. Seeing no staff nearby she lowered herself to the ground.

“They said I fell,” she told me. “But that is a bad, bad word around here. Once you fall they decide you aren’t capable of taking care of yourself anymore.”

Betty was sent to the medical section of the compound for rehabilitation after a small fracture was found. (Continue Reading)

Full Article & Source:
Diane Dimond: Elder Guardianships a Shameful ‘Racket’ in America

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Report: Pierce County medical examiner seen as ‘arrogantly vindictive’ but not in violation of most policies

Some of his employees think Pierce County Medical Examiner Thomas Clark prioritizes organ donations over death investigations and is arrogant and vindictive, according to an outside investigation of a whistleblower complaint against him.

Some staff members have gone so far as to remove the organ donor status from their driver’s license because of that.

Investigators also spoke to employees about another allegation by whistleblower Melissa Baker — that Clark’s office was a hostile workplace.

“While Dr. Clark was surprised at the witnesses’ observations and strongly denied them, the overwhelming number of witnesses who describe similar experiences and observations establish that Dr. Clark’s actions in the workplace cause many staff to feel uncomfortable and, in some cases, afraid,” the report said.

In the end, however, the review found that Clark violated county policy only once — when alcohol was served at the office at an event, breaking a rule against having liquor in county workplaces.

Clark, appointed chief medical examiner in 2010, said in a statement Wednesday: “I place a high value on my interactions with the team from the Medical Examiner’s office. … Our donation partnership has had a huge positive impact on donor families in Pierce County, as well as tissue and cornea recipients.”

Baker, an employee of the medical examiner’s office, filed the whistleblower complaint Aug. 25. She alleged that, among other things, Clark prioritized his office’s resources for the benefit of organ-donation organizations.

Pierce County hired the consulting firm Seabold Group to investigate the complaints. The News Tribune obtained a copy of its report Tuesday from Joan Mell, Baker’s attorney.

Baker filed a claim against the county this week seeking $5 million in damages, alleging Clark has retaliated against her for speaking out.

In the consulting firm’s report, certified fraud examiner Martha Norberg writes that the whistleblower and co-workers, who aren’t named in the report, think the push for organ donation could interfere with the office’s work to determine the cause and manner of deaths and to preserve evidence.

“A few ME investigators expressed uneasiness at the lengths to which the ME’s office was going to facilitate the process, making it seem to one like a ‘chop shop,’ ” the report said.

The investigation found no evidence that changes Clark made to benefit organ donations have compromised the office’s ability to do its job.

It did note, however, that: “The procurement process appears to be one of the highest priorities for Dr. Clark, a process which he substantially controls, and by many accounts, without collaboration or feedback from his staff, his peers, or other stakeholders, such as law enforcement.”

The examiner found the situation has resulted in a close relationship between Clark’s office and organ-donation groups such as SightLife, which started renting space in the medical examiner’s building in 2014 and was allowed to use a room in the autopsy suite to harvest organs.

“There’s a reason it’s unprecedented,” Baker, in an interview Wednesday with The News Tribune, said about Clark’s focus on organ donation, and the level of access SightLife has to bodies.

“It’s unethical,” she said. “... I wouldn’t want my loved one to go through that office right now.”

Baker said she and other employees at the office no longer are organ donors, because of their uneasiness with the process. They’re not against donation, she said, but don’t like how Clark is prioritizing it.

Baker, some of her colleagues and some detectives said they feared SightLife’s access to the offices might interfere with investigations.

According to the outside report, Baker said that in one case Clark ordered a tarp that had been wrapped around a buried body and that was full of maggots to be shaken out in the parking lot of his office building.

“She said the standard protocol would be to lay out paper and sift through the tarp for evidence,” the report said. “She said it would never just be dumped in the parking lot.”

Another employee gave the same account, and said the room where that sort of check would have usually been done was where Clark now lets SightLife harvest organs.

“She said they don’t have a place anymore to handle something like that,” the report stated.

Staff members used to put bags over the hands of almost all homicide victims to preserve evidence, and organs usually could not be harvested in such cases. Clark decided in early 2015 that this practice was unnecessary, and that the bags should be used only in close-contact assaults, or other cases where investigators think it needs to be done.

“At least one detective became upset about the change in practice, because detectives were told by the complainant or another (staff member) that the change was to facilitate the donor program,” the report said.

In one case, the investigation found, a detective asked for fingernail scrapings from a stabbing victim, and was told the bags had already been taken off and the hands washed.

“An ME technician told this investigator that law enforcement officers from several different agencies have complained to her that Dr. Clark tells them donations come first, with respect to why he no longer routinely bags hands,” the report said.

Clark gave SightLife access to databases the investigators use, which means the company quickly knows about the death of someone who might be a candidate for donation.

There’s a small window before the organs no longer are usable for donation. The report said that how and when families are approached about that option was a concern for some medical examiner employees, police, a firefighter and two chaplains.

They said they thought SightLife contacted families prematurely (at times when the body was still at the scene of the death), and sometimes represented themselves as being from the medical examiner’s office.

Witnesses also said Clark sometimes told medical examiner staff membes to contact next of kin of military members quickly by phone, even when the military planned to send its own personnel to notify the family in person.

When witnesses confronted Clark with their concerns “they were met with derision and rudeness, and in the case of one chaplain, character attacks and false accusations,” according to the report.

As for the allegation that Clark’s office was a hostile workplace, the report includes an anecdote about a man who went to the office to ask for an autopsy for his dead loved one. The man asked to use the bathroom, but Clark said no, and the man ended up soiling a chair, investigators said.

“During a subsequent morning staff meeting, Dr. Clark laughed and said that family didn’t get an autopsy because of what the elderly man did,” according to the report.

Clark also denied bathroom access to a law enforcement official standing guard over the body of a fallen officer, employees said.

“The evidence overwhelmingly supports the allegation that Dr. Clark’s actions in the workplace are perceived as arrogantly vindictive, and in some cases deliberately cruel,” the report said.

Workers told investigators Clark calls shaved bodies: “swimmers,” and upon seeing overweight bodies has made comments such as “no wonder they died,” and “they shouldn’t have gone so often to McDonald’s.”

“Gallows humor” is part of the job, they said, but taking it to that extent offended them, as did some comments they said Clark made about lesbians.

County Executive Pat McCarthy, who appointed Clark, said in a statement: “Dr. Clark is rightfully recognized as a trailblazer in organ donation among his peers. .… At the same time, I certainly expect all county leaders to treat their colleagues with respect and professionalism, and I know that Dr. Clark is committed to improving communication with the medical examiner team.”

Asked if she’d contacted local law enforcement about the concerns mentioned in the report, McCarthy said: “We didn’t see any reason to do that, but I have an open door.”

She said she did not think any changes in the medical examiner’s policies and procedures were necessary, except for Clark to work on communication.

Full Article & Source:
Report: Pierce County medical examiner seen as ‘arrogantly vindictive’ but not in violation of most policies

Proposal changes role of guardianship for elderly

Some of you may have noticed that Florida has a lot of old people. Many of them poor, fragile, dealing with some degree of dementia, and in need of help in getting through the day and managing assets (if they had any). Often there is no competent and willing family member to provide the help and the court appoints an individual or an agency to serve as guardian.

By the early 1970s, most states had some kind of guardianship program, but they differed widely in structure and scope. Some had only private guardians, others had only public guardians, and some had both. Nonprofit organizations were beginning to offer their services. As the movement begin to grow so did reports of abuse and corruption. The U.S. Administration on Aging wanted some evidence that the money they were providing was doing more good than bad, and gave us at FSU a two-year grant to see what we could learn.

We read state statutes, visited programs, interviewed wards, with the intent of identifying problems and points of controversy. There were a lot of both, along with some good work. Our findings were summarized in a book published in 1981, including a proposed model statute (Public Guardianship and The Elderly). Now skip ahead 30 years to 2015, when the Florida Legislature did a major overhaul of the laws relating to guardianship, incorporating features included in our model statute of 35 years ago (but much more detailed and sophisticated). As I write this the Legislature is set to pass a bill to expand the authority of Elderly Affairs to regulate private guardians, with a particular focus on curbing abuse and fraud.

All 40 senators signed on (an unusual happening), and the House signed a similar bill. It is highly unlikely that these recent moves would have developed without the work of journalists. In December 2014, the Herald-Tribune ran a series of articles under the heading “The Kindness of Strangers,” focused on frail individuals who had been mistreated by unregulated private guardians. Legislators acknowledged that these stories were the primary stimulus for the new legislation. No surprise. All of us like a story. We want the details: we want to smell them, to taste them. Stories like this evoke empathy. This work of the Herald-Tribune is an excellent example of the value of investigative reporting.

When this proposed legislation becomes law, Florida can take pride in what may be the best such in the country. But it won’t mean a thing if it is underfunded. Staff will be needed for investigations, enforcement, and general oversight of the program. Lots of money. But money well spent when keeping in mind the costs to the person made a ward of the state: total loss of control of almost everything; The person found to be incompetent loses all control and comes out on the short end in the tension between protection of the person and basic civil rights, with no say in spending money, or who can visit, living arrangements, and almost everything else.

Kent Miller used to teach psychology at FSU. Now, at 88, he finds himself dealing with life as an octogenarian and its issues — death, sex at 80, money, loneliness, long-term marriage, maneuvering through the health care system. Reach him at 

Full Article & Source:
Proposal changes role of guardianship for elderly

Contact 2 examines exploitation of the elderly

LINCOLN COUNTY, MO (KTVI) - Imagine living a long and productive life only to lose your life savings to fraud. It happens at an alarming rate. Basic home repair can be a nightmare for some senior citizens. And depending on the contractor, it can reach the level of criminal activity.

Last month, 47-year-old Michael David Rickey of Hannibal, Missouri, was charged with felony financial exploitation of an elderly person.

Lt. Andy Binder of the Lincoln County Sheriff's Department said an 88-year-old woman paid Rickey $8,500 for a concrete driveway. Rickey laid an asphalt driveway instead.

Rickey's been prosecuted in multiple Missouri counties, including a 2012 case brought by Attorney General Chris Koster's office. Investigators are not sure if there are other victims, according to Lt. Binder.

“We believe he’s committed crimes in probably five different states,” he said. “He’s been charged and convicted by state attorney through this criminal organization that specifically targets the elderly.”

It is a felony offense if a person knowingly—by deception, intimidation, undue influence or force—obtains control over the elderly or disabled person's property, with the intent to permanently deprive them of that property, if the person is older than age 60.

“When there’s an egregious amount of money being spent, for very shoddy work, or very questionable work, that becomes a crime,” Binder said.

Diana Beard gave a man over $5,000 to rebuild her back porch, put a new roof on the garage, and install electrical outlets. Diana said it cost her more every time he showed up.

“I paid him four checks. Every time he came out he asked for a check. If I get mad then I don’t cry,” she said.

The quality of the work was so poor she had to pay someone else to fix it. The elderly lose about $16 billion every year to exploitation. Adding to Diana's initial frustration is the fact that the contractor was on a list provided by the St. Louis County Older Residents Program. Diana said she notified the agency.

“They took him off as soon as I called. They immediately took him off and they’ve got a record on him now,” Beard said.

No police report had ever been filed on the guy and he met other requirements, so he was cleared for the list, according to Diana.

Medi-Nurse is well aware of the risks. The company provides private duty nurses for seniors. And they are paying attention, according to Pat Cook RN.

“We have clients we've cared for, for a number of years. And we become the eyes and ears for the family that are not present,” Cook said.

Seniors most at risk are those with health issues. And surprisingly, research shows victims can be college educated, financially sophisticated and friendly. Victims don’t like to talk about the crime when it happens, Binder said.

“One in 44 cases that deal with financial exploitation of the elderly is not reported, so it is an extremely underreported crime,” Binder said.

If you have been the victim of financial exploitation, you’re encouraged to contact law enforcement. If you have elderly relatives and friends, discourage impulse spending and warn them of the risks of fraud.

Full Article & Source:
Contact 2 examines exploitation of the elderly

Monday, February 22, 2016

Glen Campbell's Son, Travis Campbell: Death and Back

The son of legendary country star Glen Campbell sat down to talk to Examiner about his experience with having a heart attack and stroke, dying and coming back from the dead. It is a story of love, miracles and how his mother’s love and the love of his wife pushed and pulled him back to the living.

This is Travis Campbell’s story in his own words. He calls it, “The Day I Died.”

I would like to share with you an event that changed my life. It was the day I died. The video you are about to watch is showing me in a coma after having a massive heart attack and stroke. I was code blue in the ambulance with my wife frantically urging the paramedics to not give up on me even though they could not keep my heart beating and I was clinically DEAD. I had passed that vital 20 minute mark of no oxygen to my brain by the time I arrived in the emergency room. Dr. Limlik tried explaining to my wife that I was too far gone to be saved and the chances of me ever recovering were slim to none. He then asked her if she wanted to let me go and by that he meant stop CPR and let me die.

The Dr. said my wife Trudy quickly without any hesitation whatsoever said “NO, ABSOLUTELY NOT.” She wanted them to do everything they could to save me and she kept repeating, “Just please don’t let him die.” The doctor said he followed her instructions as his medical team raced me to surgery. The emergency nurses and doctors continued lifesaving procedures as they wheeled my lifeless body down the hallway of Wesley Trauma unit. The Doctor later told me they lost count of how many times I was shocked and they continued chest compressions all the way into the operating room.

After surgery they put me on ice for 48 hours in what is called a state of hydrothermia and at that point I was in a coma. It took another 48 hours to bring my body temp back to normal. I remained in the coma during that time. The doctors then started the dangerous process of warming my body back up. Three days later the Wesley doctor requested a brain scan which showed no brain activity and the doctor explained to my wife that there was nothing more they could do for me. They left the decision in the hands of my wife whether to turn off the machine that was keeping my heart beating.

The nurse Betty later told me my wife’s response was loud and clear “NO.” She said, “He is not going to leave this world like this! I can’t stand to hear this anymore. I am not unplugging his machine.”

My wife believes in miracles. It was a miracle that I wandered into a pool area on that hot summer day to be found by a nurse my wife had met and given flowers too just 2 weeks before because this lady she refers to as Kim Flowers seemed sad. That random meeting turned into something that not only in hindsight seems much more than a coincidence but now certainly qualifies as a miracle. People are put in our path for a reason. My wife believes in miracles and she was not giving up on me.

She stayed by my side playing me music and talking to me. She placed a picture of my mother Billie Jean with Mother Teresa next to my bed. Days went by and my wife called in a holy man named Tony Cline. He brought me a prayer cloth that had been prayed over anointed. He put the prayer cloth on my arm and began praying. This particular day my wife decided to record the meeting because this very day back on June 24th 1980 was the day her father was killed in a wheat truck wreck. My wife felt that this would be the day something was going to happen. This turn out to be the day that I miraculously defied all odds. I responded and my hand began to shake. The doctors said "I came back from the dead."

I've been asked by many medical professionals about my experience and what I saw during this time. I can tell you that I awoke screaming, "she won’t let me stay, mom won’t let me stay.” It was my mother Billie Jean Campbell who passed away in 1992 that I felt hugging me. I can remember her telling me, “You cannot stay with me now.”

He has asked himself the question many times. Why was I spared? He has come to believe that he was brought back to fight for not only his father but for the rights of all parents and children.

Working in support of the Catherine Falk Organization in presenting theTennessee Campbell Falk Bill to Legislation is the purpose Travis Campbell is serving at this time in his life. He wants to help insure that all parents and children have equal rights and equal visitation to one another. A conservator should not be able to pick and chose which loved ones get to see a ward/patient. This bill insures that everyone gets equal time and rights unless proven in court that someone shouldn’t have those right before being disallowed those rights.

Full Article and Source:
Travis Campbell:  Death and Back

Read Senate Bill 2190, sponsored and introduced by Senator Rusty Crowe

Judging Capacity in the Elder Population

The older adult population will double between 2010 and 2030, according to U.S. Census Bureau’s projection. As the population of America ages, courts will necessarily see an increase in the types of cases that they process that involve older populations — guardianships, conservatorships, elder abuse protection petitions, and matters pertaining to estates.

While building our online course, Justice Responses to Elder Abuse, I had the opportunity to work alongside some of our nation’s top experts and practitioners on aging and elder abuse. The learning points that had a particular impact on my work revolve around the concept of capacity, which we define in our judicial benchcard as the following:

Capacity is the cluster of mental skills, such as memory and logic, and behavioral and physical functioning, that people use in everyday life; capacity can fluctuate over time, situations and tasks.

In recent years, I have had the honor of being a panelist at a number of training conferences throughout the United States. Very often, the panel is joined by a medical expert who specializes in dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Many of us have been personally impacted by a loved one suffering from some form of dementia, and hence, the audiences tend to be very engaged. I doubt there is a more complex concept that challenges judicial deliberation.

There are four features of dementia that form the building blocks of this topic.

1. Dementia is NOT a common aspect of aging.

Ageism, and the accompanying negative stereotypes of older seniors, is a part of American culture. Deep within ageism are the assumptions that one’s ability to think clearly, remember facts, and make intellectual contributions to society naturally diminish over age. Yet statistics indicate that fewer than half of those older than age of 85 suffer from Alzheimer’s disease, which is the most common type of dementia. While the number of baby boomers who have some form of dementia is high (the National Institute on Aging estimates that about 5 million Americans may have Alzheimer’s), a recent article in the New England Journal of Medicine reports that the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease has dropped 20 percent per decade since the late 1970s. It is important to remember that dementia is a disease process; it is not a common aspect of aging.

2. In some cases, symptoms associated with dementia can be reversed and capacity restored.

Dementia is portrayed as a gradual descent into the loss of all the unique things that contribute to an individual’s personality. But there are a number of treatable conditions that mimic dementia. For example, a urinary tract infection in an older person does not have the typical symptoms of fever and pain. Instead, the infection can present itself in terms of memory problems, confusion, delirium, and even hallucinations. Similar symptoms may be a result of a B-12 deficiency, thyroid disease, diabetes, depression, or even medication. Treatment of the underlying disorder will reverse the symptoms that may have been wrongly diagnosed as dementia. From the bench, it will be critical to learn whether tests have been carried out to discount other causes of dementia-like symptoms and to have expert opinion on whether the dementia can be reversed. Recently, the potential for restoration of capacity was addressed by the Texas legislature, which requires more frequent judicial hearings in cases where the medical prognosis suggests that capacity may be restored. For example, a stroke victim may return to a functioning level of capacity after time and therapy, thus making the need for a guardianship or conservatorship temporary.

3. Dementia is not obvious.

In the majority of cases, it is not obvious that an individual suffers from dementia. In our course, we introduce a case study of Dr. P, an older gentleman with a sharp wit and extraordinary mathematical skills. If you were to sit down in a coffee shop with Dr. P, you would be treated to an engaging conversation, perhaps sprinkled with stories of meeting General Eisenhower and his courtship with his dearly departed wife. From all indications, Dr. P is the epitome of healthy aging. Only later do we learn that Dr. P may have excellent long-term memory, but his mathematical prowess does not translate into an understanding of financial decisions and his short-term memory is non-existent. Dr. P is in the latter stages of Alzheimer’s disease. In assessing capacity, judges must understand the multidimensionality of dementia (memory, logic, physical and behavior functioning), rely on credentialed experts, such as neuropsychologists, have documentation and results from a recognized cognitive assessment (such as Montreal Cognitive Assessment), and have information verified by family members and friends who interact with the individual on a regular basis. A good resource is the handbook developed by the American Bar Association, the American Psychological Association, and the National College of Probate Judges: Judicial Determination of Incapacity of Older Adults in Guardianship Proceedings.

4. There are steps one can take to lessen the risk of dementia.

Every panel presentation in which a medical expert discusses dementia and Alzheimer’s has been followed by this question from the audience: “Is there anything I can do to prevent Alzheimer’s disease?” With a much-needed influx in government spending to address Alzheimer’s disease and an increased knowledge base, there is hope that an antidote or “magic pill” will become available to future generations. Genetics play a role in dementia, but I have been encouraged by recent evidence that suggests we can play an active role in our future health. We now have smart phone apps that allow us to complete puzzles and keep our brains active, which is one arm of the battle against dementia. More recently, studies linking diets and lifestyles to Alzheimer’s are promising. A recent trip to the cookbook section of the bookstore will yield a number of new additions that focus on recipes for mind/brain health. Dementia is not inevitable.

The area of capacity and dementia is an exciting and growing field. The scientific information on this topic is growing exponentially. But as the field grows, so does our awareness that the topic is more complex than we originally thought. The courts, which will continue to play a critical role in determining legal capacity, will be challenged to keep abreast of the medical advances that affect the extent and duration of dementia.

Full Article & Source:
Judging Capacity in the Elder Population

PA Nursing Homes Not Required to Notify Residents, Families When Sex Offenders Move In

Full Article & Source:
PA Nursing Homes Not Required to Notify Residents, Families When Sex Offenders Move In

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Tonight on T.S.Radio: F.A.C.E.U.S. org With Luanne Flemming and Robin Austin

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

Luanne Fleming and Robin Austin are advocates with Families Against Court Embezzlement Unethical Standards (F.A.C.E.U.S.). F.A.C.E.U.S. began when we found ourselves in Probate Court. Many labor under the illusion courts promote justice. The reality is, as the law is practiced today the word justice is little more than than a mask behind which court authorized embezzlement takes place. Many individuals and families find themselves in court entanglements only to discover too late not only is there no justice in sight, but the Court system itself works more like a criminal extortion racket than in the service of Justice.

Once we discovered how corrupt the system is we sought out others similarly afflicted, and began a theft fraud report with Senator Laura Woods. We have over 35 families and growing, with 2 Senators, putting in new laws for Probate. We have several media outlets, including Radio, 2 Television channels, 2 good attorneys working on our side to expose this corruption.

Our motto "giving up is not an option."  We currently know of 6 bills being submitted.

LISTEN to the show live or listen to the archive later

Lillian Gibson: Montgomery County Judge Ott Destroyed My Life

Elderly woman, Montgomery Co. Judge Ott proclaimed her incapacitated. He and those forced on her say she is incapable of making decisions. Ripped from her home. Kept prisoner in nursing home for almost 2 years, never allowed to leave. Even to sit outside on a bench!

Montgomery County Judge Ott Destroyed My Life

Source: Lillian Gibson:  Judge Stanley Ott Destroyed My Lift

Note:  We mourn the passing of Lillian Gibson.  Rest in peace now, Lillian.

Glen Campbell Bittersweet Grammy Win

Glen Campbell bittersweet Grammy win. Glen Campbell’s bittersweet Grammy win for BEST COMPILATION SOUNDTRACK FOR VISUAL MEDIA, GLEN CAMPBELL: I’ll be me,” is sweet because it is always sweet to win a Grammy. It is bitter because you have to wonder if Alzheimer’s has robbed him of knowing what a Grammy win means.

Glen Campbell was officially diagnosed in 2011 with Alzheimer’s. He has been residing in an assisted living (Memory Care) facility for several years almost immediately after coming off the road from his final tour. That is the same tour that was filmed for the documentary that is now winning him all these bittersweet awards.

As many know, the Campbell family has been torn apart disagreeing about what is best for the country crooner during the declining years of his life and health. His daughter Debby would love to have him home with her. She had been on the road with him for 25 years touring and singing with him and she misses him greatly. Unfortunately, that disagreement was resolved in mediation wherein his oldest daughter Debby and oldest son, Travis were granted limited visitation to their Dad.
While agreeing to that visitation
schedule at the time, Travis Campbell tells The Daily Banner:

“It seemed like the only way to get to see their Dad immediately and for his birthday which was the next day.” Travis Campbell reiterates that they were “Afraid that if the case dragged on, they might not have been able to see him again before he passed.”

Currently, their visitation is very limited and is just not enough precious time with their Dad.

Because of that, they are moving forward working in support of the Catherine Falk Organization in presenting the Tennessee Campbell Falk Bill to Legislation. They have also been assisted by NASGA (National Association to Stop Guardian Abuse) andBoomers against Elder Abuse. They would not only like unlimited access to their Dad but they would like to help insure that all parents and children have equal rights and equal visitation to one another.

Far too often a conservator gets to pick and chose who visits and when. This bill insures that everyone gets equal time and rights unless proven in court that someone shouldn’t have that right. That is all this BILL states and all the bill is trying to do is protect all parties involved in these very sad situations.

Full Article and Source:
Read Senate Bill 2190, Sponsored  and Introduced by Senator Rusty Crowe

Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird author, dies aged 89

Writer whose 1961 novel became a defining text of 20th-century literature and of racial troubles in the American south has died in Monroeville, Alabama

Harper Lee, whose 1961 novel To Kill a Mockingbird became a national institution and the defining text on the racial troubles of the American deep south, has died at the age of 89.

Lee, or Nelle as she was known to those close to her, had lived for several years in a nursing home less than a mile from the house in which she had grown up in Monroeville, Alabama – the setting for the fictional Maycomb of her famous book. The town’s mayor, Mike Kennedy, confirmed the author’s death.

Until last year, Lee had been something of a one-book literary wonder. To Kill a Mockingbird, her 1961 epic narrative about small-town lawyer Atticus Finch’s battle to save the life of a black resident threatened by a racist mob, sold more than 40m copies around the world and earned her a Pulitzer prize. George W Bush awarded her the presidential medal of freedom in 2007.

But from the moment Mockingbird was published to almost instant success the author consistently avoided public attention and insisted that she had no intention of releasing further works. That self-imposed purdah ended abruptly when, amid considerable controversy, it was revealed a year ago that a second novel had been discovered, which was published as Go Set a Watchman in July 2015.

The house where Lee lived for years with her sister Alice sat quiet and empty on Friday. The inside of the house appeared unchanged from when she lived there – antique furniture was stacked with books, audio cassettes and gift baskets.

Her neighbor for 40 years, Sue Sellers, said Lee would have appreciated the quiet. “She was such a private person,” she said. “All she wanted was privacy, but she didn’t get much. There always somebody following her around.”

In recent years Lee’s health had declined. Seller said the last time she spent any real time with Lee they went to breakfast together. “The whole way home she drove her big car in the turn lane,” she said. “She couldn’t see. I was scared to death.”

The last time she saw Lee was a few months ago at the Meadows nursing home. Sellers brought flowers. “She just hollered out: ‘I can’t see and I can’t hear!’” Sellers said. “So I just told her goodbye.”

Lee was born in Monroeville in 1926 and grew up under the stresses of segregation. As a child she shared summers with another aspiring writer, Truman Capote, who annually came to stay in the house next door to hers and who later invited her to accompany him to Holcomb, Kansas, to help him research his groundbreaking 1966 crime book In Cold Blood.

Capote informed the figure of the young boy Dill in Mockingbird, with his friend the first-person narrator Scout clearly modelled on the childhood Lee herself.

Lee was the youngest child of lawyer Amasa Coleman Lee and Frances Finch Lee. Her father acted as the template for Atticus Finch whose resolute courtroom dignity as he struggles to represent a black man, Tom Robinson, accused of raping a white woman provides the novel’s ethical backbone.

Last year’s publication of Go Set a Watchman obliged bewildered fans of the novel to reappraise the character of Finch. In that novel, which was in fact the first draft of Mockingbird that had been rejected by her publisher, Finch was portrayed as having been a supporter of the South’s Jim Crow laws, saying at one point: “Do you want Negroes by the carload in our schools and ­churches and theaters?”

Within minutes of the announcement of the novelist’s death, encomiums began to flow. Her literary agent Andrew Nurnberg said in a statement: “We have lost a great writer, a great friend and a beacon of integrity.”

He added: “Knowing Nelle these past few years has been not just an utter delight but an extraordinary privilege. When I saw her just six weeks ago, she was full of life, her mind and mischievous wit as sharp as ever. She was quoting Thomas More and setting me straight on Tudor history.”

Michael Morrison, her publisher at HarperCollins US, said: “The world knows Harper Lee was a brilliant writer but what many don’t know is that she was an extraordinary woman of great joyfulness, humility and kindness. She lived her life the way she wanted to – in private – surrounded by books and the people who loved her.”

In Lee’s home state of Alabama, a center of the violent upheavals over civil rights that immediately preceded the publication of Mockingbird, literary experts reflected on the power of the novel to shift the ingrained assumptions of white Alabamans. Jacqueline Trimble, president of the Alabama Writers’ Forum that bequeaths the annual Harper Lee award for literary excellence, said that the book had a profound effect on white residents of the state.

“She was able to take the politics of the civil rights era and make them human. She showed people that this was about their neighbors, their friends, someone they knew, not just about the issues,” Trimble said.

Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple, tweeted a quote from Mockingbird: “The one thing that doesn’t abide by majority rule is a person’s conscience.”

Full Article & Source:
Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird author, dies aged 89

See Also:
"To Kill a Mockingbird" Author a Victim of Elder Abuse

Exploitation of elderly woman alleged in Duncan

Investigators are searching for a 45-year-old former Duncan man accused of cheating a vulnerable 75-year-old woman out of over $220,000 from several loans.

An arrest warrant was issued in Stephens County District Court charging Steven Phillip McCaslin with felony exploitation of an elderly person.

McCaslin is accused of using the woman's credit and co-signature on eight different loans taken out between December 2012 and March 2014, according to an affidavit filed in court.

Duncan police began investigating McCaslin after an Adult Protective Services agent contacted them about the case. Loans with the man's and the woman's names were on loan paperwork as borrower/co-signer on the loans and lenders were attempting to collect on the loans because McCaslin had violated terms of the contracts, according to Duncan Police Detective Donny Foraker.

The woman told Foraker that she knew McCaslin because he was hired to install her sprinkler system but that she doesn't remember how they got to the point of co-signing loans for him. She said she didn't think it would hurt to help him. After losing her husband and learning she had cancer, she said, it was "just easier to go and sign the paperwork rather than talk with McCaslin" about the matters, the affidavit states. She said she received no benefit from the loans.

Foraker spoke with McCaslin in March 2015 by phone after he had moved back to Arizona.

McCaslin said the woman was one of his first customers, that he later became friends with her sons and that friendship continues, the affidavit states. He'd tried to obtain loans on his own but was told that he needed a co-signer and that the woman made the offer to assist. He said the woman became so involved with the business that he let her take over some responsibilities, such as paying bills and opening a business account at a bank.

The woman told Foraker she'd never participated in McCaslin's business and that she had been unable to speak to him. A bank loan officer said that he and McCaslin told her she didn't have to become involved with the loans but "she expressed a desire to help McCaslin with his business," the affidavit states.

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Exploitation of elderly woman alleged in Duncan