Saturday, April 30, 2016

The Loss of Advocate Tracey Anne Miller


Today, we must share the shocking news that advocate Tracey Anne Miller has passed.

We are so sad to lose Tracey and will miss her positive energy and her wisdom. She was a perfect example of the silver lining in the darkest of clouds. We would not have known her nor would our paths cross in this life had her brother Mike not been shot in his youth, leaving him severely disabled and in guardianship. The tragedy of guardianship abuse connects advocates forever.

As we remember Tracey, please remember her brother Mike --- whom she loved so much that she dedicated her life to him.

Godspeed, Tracey Anne Miller.

BLINDSIDED: The Reality of Caring for Aging Parents



Source:
Blindsided:  The Reality of Caring for Aging Parents

Jahi McMath photo shows ‘beautiful’ girl alive and well, says mother


Jahi McMath
March 21, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Three years after Jahi McMath was declared "brain-dead," her mother has posted a photo she says shows "beautiful Jahi, doing very well, hair, skin and all very healthy, growing into a beautiful young lady right in front of her mothers eyes."

LifeSiteNews was not able to verify the photo on the family's Facebook page – "Keep Jahi McMath on life support" – but other news outlets had the photo that was attributed to McMath's mother, Nailah Winkfield.

"Jahi Will Rise," said the Facebook post, the first on the page since the new year and the first update on McMath since December. "A recent picture of beautiful Jahi, doing very well, hair, skin and all very healthy, growing into a beautiful young lady right in front of her mothers eyes. God has done and is still doing great things in this young girls life. Jahi's Journey and Miracle is a story and testimony to be told."
Image
Thirteen-year-old Jahi McMath's family claims that she is responsive despite having been diagnosed as "brain-dead."
McMath's story of survival goes back to 2013, after she had routine surgery for sleep apnea and to remove her tonsils. She ended up in cardiac arrest for two hours and was declared brain-dead in a California hospital.

Her story made national news after her parents refused to allow doctors to remove the care keeping her alive. After a multi-year battle, they were allowed in 2014 to remove McMath to a St. Peter's Children's Hospital in New Brunswick, New Jersey.

McMath's parents have sued the doctor who did the surgery, claiming he did not inform them of the risks to their then-13-year-old daughter, who has a rare condition that caused hemorrhaging after the surgery. They are also fighting to have her death certificate changed to declare their daughter alive so that insurance will cover her care.

In addition to photos and videos from McMath's parents showing her still alive, she has been examined by at least one physician and, according to a court document, regularly experiences menstrual cycles.

Full Article & Source:
Jahi McMath photo shows ‘beautiful’ girl alive and well, says mother

Elder Medical Kidnapping in Texas Results in Abuse and Death of Elderly Mother



by Health Impact News/MedicalKidnap.com Staff

Darrell Miller’s elderly mother was taken from her home and family in a heartbreaking chain of events initiated by Adult Protective Services. Even today, the Duncanville, Texas man struggles to understand and to communicate the horrors that his mother experienced as a victim of elder kidnapping and abuse. Although he fought well, his pleas went unanswered by the courts and police.
They killed my Mom, and now they’re trying to blame it on me and Methodist.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote:
Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth.

Elderly Mother Seized, Son Falsely Accused

Miller’s mother was taken by the court’s “care system” – APS (adult protective services) and DADs (Texas Department of Aging and Disabilities), who claimed he was unable to care for her. Once she was in the state’s custody, a story unfolded that Darrell would hardly believe if he hadn’t seen it for himself.

When Darrell attempted to get his mother out of a medical facility that he reports was harming her, hospital staff called the police and allegedly made up allegations that Darrell sexually abused his own mother (an allegation which Darrell vehemently denies, and says has absolutely no evidence – he believes it was simply rumored by hospital authorities). There was also a barrage of phone calls placed by people whom Darrell believes were the APS workers.

His mother’s medical paperwork included a diagnosis of “dementia,” which Darrell (like so many other adult care givers) asserts she “didn’t have.”  He also believes that APS systematically deteriorated his mother’s health in order to deplete her financial assets.  He alleges that authorities over-medicated his mother and treated her for illnesses she did not have.

Those who have been victimized are well aware of these patterns. Although in the midst of the mayhem, they may be unable to discern all attempts by the kidnappers to fog the issues and the true reasons behind their behaviors, sometimes one of us can see something(s) more clearly than others.

Darrell understood that the systems were trying to take his mother’s assets, but he had to focus on her health, which deteriorated each time she was placed in a care facility. He also was forced to fight against the allegations of his mistreatment of her.

Darrell makes these allegations based upon his dealings with APS, DADs, and LTAC (long term acute care facilities) and the reams of evidence he allegedly has to prove them.

Son Accepts “Help” from the State

Texas-DFPS-logo

When APS accused Darrell of neglecting his mother’s care (which he denies), Miller knew he had to do something more. His schedule was very busy, between caring for his mother and his own family, and he realized that he would need help to give her the close care she needed. So, he did the reasonable thing and finally accepted an offer from Continuous Care (CC) nurses to assist him with his mother’s care at her home.

Darrell learned, like many others before him who have had this “help” with their own loved one, that they were only there to help themselves.

From March through May of  2014, Darrell tended to the round the clock care of his mother. He made sure she got to her appointments, stayed by her side during hospital stays, and ensured that there was a well established plan of care for her.  (Continue Reading)

Full Article & Source:
Elder Medical Kidnapping in Texas Results in Abuse and Death of Elderly Mother

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.

Full Article & Source:
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.

Full Article & Source:
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 AlzheimersReadingRoom.com.)

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.”


GOLDEN LIVING CENTER – BRENTWOOD

LOCATED: 30 EAST CHANDLER AVENUE, EVANSVILLE, IN 47713

GOLDEN LIVING CENTER – BRENTWOOD was cited by the DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES CENTERS FOR MEDICARE & MEDICAID SERVICES for the following deficiencies:

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
.

FACILITY FAILED TO LET THE RESIDENT REFUSE TREATMENT OR REFUSE TO TAKE PART IN AN EXPERIMENT AND FORMULATE ADVANCE DIRECTIVES
LEVEL OF HARM –IMMEDIATE JEOPARDY

**NOTE- TERMS IN BRACKETS HAVE BEEN EDITED TO PROTECT CONFIDENTIALITY**
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)

Full Article & Source:
“LPN #5 indicated she had been exhausted and could no longer think.”

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Watch for signs of financial elder abuse


Brooke Astor and grandson Philip Marshall

When she was more than 100 years old, onetime New York socialite Brooke Astor became America's most famous case of financial elder abuse.

Her son, Anthony Marshall, was convicted of stealing tens of millions of dollars of her assets. Her grandson Philip Marshall testified against his father and helped put him in jail.

Today, Philip Marshall does speaking engagements around the country, talking about the red flags of such abuse.

"For years, my battle for my grandmother, and my battle against my father, consumed my life - and consumed our family," he said.

Last week, Marshall received an award from CARIE, the Center for Advocacy for the Rights and Interests of the Elderly, based in Philadelphia.

Astor died in 2007 at age 105. In 2009, after his father's six-month criminal trial, Philip Marshall said, he realized that when elder abuse hits home, it hurts deeply.

"While my grandmother was emotionally and financially abused, her case is far from isolated. Millions of victims suffer similar injury. I watched my grandmother's world diminished and compromised by her own son, my father."

Anthony Marshall, a former U.S. ambassador and Tony Award-winning Broadway producer, died in 2014 after being convicted of conning his mother into altering her will so he could gain control of her fortune, estimated at $200 million. He then disinherited his two children, Philip and Alexander, whose testimony helped put him in prison for swindling his mother, who had Alzheimer's disease.
"After my father's trial and after heart-wrenching testimony, this was a very bittersweet harvest," Philip Marshall recalled.

In February 2015, Marshall testified before the U.S. Senate's Special Committee on Aging. Then he took a leave from teaching at Roger Williams University in Rhode Island to become an elder-justice advocate.

"Awareness and advocacy are critical," he says. "I could have disregarded calls for help from staff, caregivers, and friends. I could have found false consolation in thinking my grandmother had had a good life and, in the throes of dementia, wasn't cognizant of her circumstances. I could have maintained the fallacy that families should not air their dirty linen in public - even when financial assets are being stolen."

He wants banks to monitor accounts owned by seniors, much as brokerage firms monitor customer accounts.

"Wall Street is way ahead of big banks on this," Marshall says. "If Grandma is cashing $25,000 checks to a brand-new person, the banks should take note. They can use data mining to flag unusual transactions."

Banks can report to law enforcement and Adult Protective Services, or share with a third party, a practice known as permissive reporting.

One model is Senior$afe in Maine, spearheaded by Judith Shaw, president of the North American Securities Administrators Association.

Senior$afe is a collaborative effort by Maine regulators, financial institutions, and legal organizations that educates bank and credit union employees on how to identify and help stop financial exploitation of older adults.

Astor, once a society doyenne, lived her final years mostly on a urine-soaked couch in her drafty Park Avenue apartment, Philip Marshall revealed in a 2006 lawsuit.

Priceless paintings, promised to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, went missing or were sold by Anthony Marshall. Astor's son also forced his mother to sign codicils to her will, while at same time trying to declare her mentally incompetent.

"My father had power of attorney, and he used that as a weapon and a shield, starting by writing himself big checks," Philip Marshall recalls.

The amounts were so large that "these were irregular transactions on a bank account, which could have been detected and alerted her financial institution."  (Continue Reading)

Full Article & Source:
Watch for signs of financial elder abuse

Elder abuse legislation headed to the governor for his signature


NASHVILLE, TN (WJHL) – Legislation meant to protect Tennessee’s senior citizens is now headed to the governor for his signature.

The legislation would make it more difficult for people with troubled pasts to get jobs helping the elderly. If signed, it would require background checks for people who work directly with patients, including employees of home care organizations.

A joint resolution, sponsored by Sen. Rusty Crowe (R-Johnson City), also passed and is now headed to the governor. The resolution would require the Tennessee Commission on Aging and Disability to conduct a study on the financial exploitation of vulnerable adults.

The state’s Elder Abuse Task Force presented several recommendations to fight elder abuse earlier this year. Lawmakers created the task force after a 2013 Community Watchdog investigation into the state’s abuse problem.

Rep. Dale Carr (R-Sevier County) sponsored the background check bill, which requires every person who works with an elderly person to have a background check before he or she starts a job. Currently, people can secure background checks after they’re hired within a 10-day window.

Full Article & Source:
Elder abuse legislation headed to the governor for his signature

Thousands of elder abuse cases reported every year


There are thousands of elder abuse cases every year, with even more going unreported.

State lawmakers are considering legislation that would allow investigators to record testimonies of victims over 75. Officials say this will help prosecute suspects, even if a victim passes away before trial.

Elder abuse can happen anywhere. For institutions like nursing homes, there are statutes and laws specifically designed to protect the elderly.

Elder abuse can also happen at home, when an older person is victimized by family, friends or paid caregivers. Maybe their money is stolen, or they are manipulated to pay for things. There's physical abuse that happens too. It's estimated that 10 percent of seniors are abused and only one in 24 cases is even reported.

There were 7,000 claims from crime victims over the age of 60 from 2013-2015. Genesee County had 67, Orleans County 9, Ontario County 11, Livingston County 5 and Wayne County had 26. Monroe County had 407.

When abuse is suspected, Lifespan can send a social worker to step in because often times the elderly person in too embarrassed or ashamed to help themselves. Sometimes family members have to be prosecuted, and when money goes missing, the state does have a compensation fund for victims. Last year, almost $20 million was paid out from fines and surcharges collected by the court system.

There are signs friends or neighbors can look for that might indicate that abuse is happening. Experts say to be on the lookout for any bruises or bone fractures, weight loss or unexplained fear in the senior. Also, watch for unexplained withdrawals of money.

If you need help you can call life-span at 585-244-8400. More information is available on the Monroe County elder resource webpage.

Full Article & Source:
Thousands of elder abuse cases reported every year

Monday, April 25, 2016

Steve Miller: "'Guardian' April Parks is on the Run"



According to court records obtained by Richard Black, accused private guardian April Parks whose crimes against her elderly court appoint wards of the court have been widely reported by Darcy Spears and Kean Bauman on KTNV TV Channel 13 News, is missing. Her last known whereabouts was in Pennsylvania.

Parks is currently accused of stealing cash and real estate assets from a number of her former and current Clark County Family Court appointed "wards," and failed to appear in court twice in March for Status Check hearings.

On Wednesday, April 20, the following Minute Order was issued by Clark County District Court Judge Stephany Miley:

Events & Orders of the Court
04/20/2016


Minute Order  (1:54 PM) (Judicial Officer Miley, Stefany)
Further Proceedings Re: Order to Show Cause Hearing



Minutes
04/20/2016 1:54 PM
-
On April 19, 2016, this Court continued the Show Cause hearing from April 19, 2016 at 11 am to June 7, 2016 at 11 am, for April L. Parks to appear in court and Show Cause as to why she should not be held in contempt for failure to file a Final Accounting or appear at the Status Check hearings, regarding the Final Accounting, which took place on March 15, 2016 and March 22, 2016. COURT FINDS, Marshal Jason Dean, P#238, received from the Court, the Order to Show Cause on April 19, 2016 and attempted to serve the same to April L. Parks at 1022 Nevada Highway, #110, Boulder City, NV 89005. On April 19, 2016 at 1:30 pm, the marshal made several phone calls to the Boulder City Police Sergeant Aaron Johnson to ask for assistance with service of the above order. The conversation was overheard by attorney Keith C. Brower, Esq., which stated that April L. Parks has moved to Pennsylvania about one and a half weeks ago. COURT FURTHER FINDS, a copy of the Order to Show Cause was mailed to April L. Parks via US Postal Services at 1022 Nevada Highway, #110, Boulder City, NV 89005 on April 20, 2016. COURT ORDERS, Mr. Keith C. Brower, Esq. of The Law Offices of Keith C. Brower, LLC., located at 8275 S. Eastern Avenue, Suite 200, Las Vegas, NV 89123, to appear in court on a Status Check hearing on May 3, 2016 at 11:00 am and provide the COURT with any information he has about the whereabouts and/or new residence of April L. Parks.
April Parks now joins several other suspect local private guardians and their lawyers who are under investigation for allegedly participating in the exploitation of the elderly and disabled with the full approval of Clark County Family Court Judge Charles Hoskin and his appointed Hearing Master Jon Norheim.

Judge Charles Hoskin

















Hearing Master Jon Norheim










Parks' case is being prosecuted by Deputy DA Jay P. Raman. Raman successfully prosecuted Patience Bristol in May 2014 for exploiting elderly and disabled court appointed wards of Professional Fiduciaries Services of Nevada (PFSN, Inc.), her then-employer. Bristol is currently serving 5 - 8 years in the Nevada State Prison.
~SM

Steve Miller: "Former Jared E. Shafer Employee Patience Bristol in Halfway House"

CASA GRANDE TRANSITIONAL HOUSING 

The dormitory-style facility was built to house non-violent, non-sex crime inmates who are within 18 months of their parole eligibility date. The main purpose of Casa Grande was, and still is, to allow these “residents” the opportunity to seek work and secure permanent housing prior to reintegrating into society.

Bristol, a former employee of Jared E. Shafer's PFSN, Inc., was convicted in 2014 of exploiting court appointed PFSN, Inc. wards, and sentenced to 5 - 8 years in the Nevada State Prison. Shafer has - not yet - been charged with a crime.

Florida Department of Elder Affairs OPPG Workshop of 4/20/16


Source:
Florida Department of Elder Affairs OPPG Workshop 4/20/2016

See Also:

Department of Elder Affairs New OPPG Workshop Hopes to Stop Guardianship Abuse in Florida

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Campbell~Falk Bill Passes in Tennessee: April 21, 2016

A bill that establishes ward's rights to associate with loved ones (SB 2190) passed the legislature in Tennessee on April 21st and is waiting to be signed by the Governor. Until now, the Tennessee statutes did not declare that persons under the protection of the court have presumed rights to associate with loved ones, or to receive personal mail and phone calls. These rights, and many other civil liberties can be removed from people who are deemed incapacitated by the court. The bill also includes a statement that if an incapacitated person cannot express his or her consent to visitation, a decision can be determined by considering the past history of the relationship. Families may now petition the court for visitation, and if the conservator has wrongly isolated the protected person, the conservator can be assigned court costs. This is a form of accountability that has been lacking in the statutes.

Persons under protection of the court lose the right to access their own assets, which are put into a conservator account and spent down to pay court-appointees for their services, and for the person's care. The expenses are paid out of the estate itself. A person who has been deemed incapacitated (physically or mentally) loses the right to make decisions, vote, drive, carry I.D., use their own cash according to wishes, marry, or hire an independent attorney. 

Conservatorships can happen in many ways. If family is in conflict over who will take care of an elder, and the matter ends up in court, the court can assign a professional conservator to handle all decisions. The removal of rights is the most punitive remedy enacted by civil courts. Most people are unaware that they can lose their rights in America. If an elder ends up in a hospital without Power of Attorney in place, this alone can trigger that person falling under control of the state. Anyone can petition to have an elder's rights removed if they feel a person is neglecting self-care. The same situation applies to a person with a disability. There are many degrees of incapacity and too often, the courts err on the side of protection when other solutions would suffice.


The National Association to Stop Guardian Abuse has teamed up with Catherine Falk's Organization, the Daughter of Peter Falk (known to many as Lt. Columbo), along with Travis and Trudy Campbell to create this bill to bolster the rights of those who no longer have the freedom to make their own decisions. Glen Campbell, who has been declared incapacitated, has been isolated from his eldest children due to his current wife who is conservator. Peter Falk was also isolated from his children by a previous marriage during his later years. Isolation can be used as a form of retaliation by the conservator against families and the incapacitated person due to personal conflicts. Such important decisions made by the conservator are not always in the best interest of the protected person, and many organizations are working to hold conservators more accountable for decisions that can profoundly affect quality of life for those who have lost fundamental rights.

Abuse and exploitation by conservators and attorneys in the probate court systems have been well documented across the nation, as well as in Tennessee. Most prominent in Nashville are the cases of Glen Campbell, Danny Tate, Jewell Tinnon, and Ginger Franklin who fell down the stairs at 52, and woke up from a coma three weeks later to find herself with no assets, no home, and under the control of a conservator. As a result of the many abuses, organizations and legislators are working throughout the country to increase transparency of court proceedings, to ensure full due process, to increase monitoring of fees charged by conservators and attorneys, and to place checks and balances on conservator power. The end goal is to reduce financial exploitation and abuse of those who have lost their rights. For more information or support, google The National Association to Stop Guardian Abuse, The Catherine Falk Organization, and Boomers Against Elder Abuse.

~Catherine Falk & Marcia Southwick

“Police say there could be as many as four victims at the Brian Center.”


A former certified nursing assistant at a North Carolina nursing home was charged last week for allegedly raping a resident.

Luis Gomez, 58, was charged with second-degree forcible rape last Thursday for allegedly assaulting a resident of Brian Center Health & Rehabilitation in Waynesville, NC, earlier this year. The incident was reported to police in February by another nurse at the facility, according to local reports. Click here on the link to watch the news media report.

Waynesville police say there may be as many as four sexual assault victims at the facility, and Gomez is a suspect in all of them. He may face additional charges in those cases.

Gomez was suspended from working at the facility in February. He remains in jail on a $100,000 bond and has an initial court date set for April 19.

In a statement released to local media outlets, a spokeswoman for Brian Center’s parent company SavaSeniorCare said the facility “is cooperating fully with the authorities and will continue to do so throughout the investigation.”

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)

Full Article & Source:
“Police say there could be as many as four victims at the Brian Center.”

Statement from Assistant Secretary for Aging Kathy Greenlee welcoming passage of the Older Americans Act reauthorization


April 8, 2016

On behalf of older adults and those of us hoping to grow old, I am extremely grateful that the reauthorization of the Older Americans Act (OAA) has been successfully passed by both the House and Senate. Older adults consistently express their personal desire to age in their homes and communities, surrounded by the people, places and activities that give their lives meaning. For more than 50 years, the OAA has provided support to make that dream a reality; from home delivered meals and exercise classes to legal services and case management. In every setting and through every advancing year, OAA services support health, dignity and independence.

I applaud the dedicated work of the national aging services network of states, tribes, area agencies on aging, long term care ombudsman, local services providers and volunteers who make successful aging possible. Their work with and on behalf of older adults and family caregivers makes a difference in millions of people’s lives each and every day.

Our country is growing old. By 2020, the older adult population will number more than 77 million.

One in every five people will be over the age of 60. And more than 34 million adult caregivers will provide uncompensated care to older adults. These numbers will continue to grow. The programs authorized by the Older Americans Act have never been more important to individuals, to families and to communities. The reauthorization of the Older Americans Act signals our commitment to the health and well-being of those of us aged and aging in America. The reauthorization is also a testament to the value of old age itself.

Kathy Greenlee
Assistant Secretary for Aging

Full Article & Source:
Statement from Assistant Secretary for Aging Kathy Greenlee welcoming passage of the Older Americans Act reauthorization