Saturday, November 5, 2016

On T.S. Radio with Marti Oakley: Guardianship Abuse With Steve Miller

We continue the discussion of the corrupt nature of probate tribunals and the threat that those of us determined to be elderly w/assets, face from the racketeering that occurs via these tribunals.

Speaking to us live from Las Vegas, Steve will describe how the system works and how it all began.

This will be a "must listen" for all of you battling this predatory and corrupt system. BIO: Steve has had a widely varied career. In recent years, he has become a nationally recognized writer. Steve is also a columnist for several on-line magazines including Rick Porrello's, and the Canada Free Press. His works are featured in magazines, newspapers, and news websites throughout the U.S. and Europe. He has background as a rock concert producer; TV personality; national radio talk show host; and a political pollster during the 1996 New Hampshire Presidential Primary. In the 1980s and early 1990s, he served as a Las Vegas City Councilman, and Clark County Regional Transportation Commissioner.

LISTEN to the archive of the show

Failing the Frail

October 26, 2016

Based on measures used by nursing home experts, Forest Park Health Center – a triangular complex of red brick walls and manicured lawns in Carlisle – was understaffed in 2014.

According to Nursing Home Compare, the pre-eminent, government-run website for picking nursing homes, the facility's registered nurses only provided an average of 31 minutes of care per day to its residents. That's well below the minimum 45 minutes recommended by researchers, greatly increasing the risk of neglect and care-related mistakes.

But like thousands of other nursing homes across the country, that level of understaffing was worse than it looked. According to a PennLive national analysis of Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement data, Forest Park provided an average of only 16 minutes of care each day that year – a level experts consider dangerously low.

Guardian Elder Care, the owner of Forest Park Health Center, disputes PennLive's findings and argues that its homes provide appropriate care. Experts disagree. Hours of care, they say, particularly from registered nurses at recommended levels, is one of the most important determinants of a home's quality.

But PennLive found that families rarely have access to accurate data about staffing. Of the 11,000 nursing homes included in its analysis, nearly half had registered nurse levels on Nursing Home Compare that were 50 percent higher than their federal reimbursement reports.

READ MORE: This is part four in a series. Read part onepart twopart threepart five and part six.

Pennsylvania fared somewhat better than the national average: 37 percent of its homes over-reported by 50 percent or more.

In Louisiana, by contrast, the rate was 95 percent – the worst in the nation.

Source: PennLive analysis of Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services data.

The federal government has been aware of the inaccuracy of data used on Nursing Home Compare since at least 2000 and multiple studies, most notably a 2007 paper by researchers at Texas A&M University and a 2014 report by the Center for Public Integrity, have found similar discrepancies. PennLive modeled its analysis on those studies using more recent national data.

PennLive found that despite increased scrutiny, and some efforts by the federal government to tamp down on over-reporting, Nursing Home Compare still provides often wildly inaccurate staffing information to the public.

While the federal government is working to update the website with more accurate, payroll-based data, it's still unclear when that will happen. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is now four years past a deadline in the Affordable Care Act to do that.

"Your findings show that this system should have been up at least a decade ago and it can't be up and functioning fast enough," said Robyn Grant, public policy and advocacy director for National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care. "We are truly worried that the public are making decisions based on information that is just chronically flawed."

A national problem

The staffing hours that appear for Forest Park on Nursing Home Compare, like all nursing homes under the current system, were self-reported.

When nursing homes are inspected annually they are required to provide a two-week snapshot of their staffing level to inspectors. Because the numbers they provide are rarely audited, researchers and senior care advocates have long suspected that nursing homes inflate them.

Reporting higher staffing levels not only can make a home look better under Nursing Home Compare's "staffing" page, but they have a big impact on its overall star rating. Well-staffed homes are more likely to get the website's coveted "five star" rating.  (Click to Continue)

Full Article & Source:
Failing the Frail

Secrets To Helping Your Brain Repair Itself

True or false? “By the time you reach 18 or 20 your brain is fully grown and fixed for life. It’s all downhill after that.”

For 400 years this was what “experts” believed. But it’s a view that wasn’t just wrong, it was “spectacularly wrong,” according to Dr. Norman Doidge, psychiatrist and author of The Brain That Changes Itself.

Here’s the real scoop – and it can change your life if you take advantage of the new discoveries. . .

Because doctors believed the brain can’t repair itself or grow new parts, treatment for many brain conditions was considered unjustified or not even possible.

Since early in the new millennium this perspective has completely changed. The new science of neuroplasticity demonstrates that the brain can, with the right stimuli, adapt, repair itself and restore lost function. (In this context, “plastic” means “capable of being formed or molded.”)

Energy + Thought = Brain Healing


The fact that the stuff between your ears can grow and change means that many learning and health deficits associated with the brain are no longer considered irreversible. They can be improved and sometimes cured.

The ideal interventions to heal the brain don’t involve surgery or drugs. They are natural and non-invasive, mainly different forms of energy such as sound, vibration, light, electricity and motion.
You can use these avenues into your brain to awaken its healing capabilities by modifying patterns of electrical signals. These in turn promote structural changes.

By taking advantage of these therapies. . .
  • Autism has been successfully treated with certain sounds.
  • Attention deficit disorder has been cured through vibrations to the back of the head.
  • Stroke has been healed and symptoms of multiple sclerosis reversed by gentle electrical stimulation on the tongue.
  • Stroke has been healed and symptoms of multiple sclerosis reversed by gentle electrical stimulation on the tongue.
  • Cognitive problems have been resolved with a light touch of the hand over the body (Gastro-Esophageal Reflux Disease), aka heartburn

Eastern Medicine Has Long Known What The West is Now Discovering


Brain circuits that have become idle can be stimulated and stirred back into life with these “energy medicine” techniques. When combined with mental awareness and training, the results are even better.

This combination of energy and thought is central to Eastern traditions of healing. It encompasses activities such as yoga, tai chi, meditation and visualization.

Long dismissed by Western medicine, scientists engaged in neuroplasticity research now appreciate the wisdom of these traditions and the belief that the mind can alter the brain.

Apart from taking up these activities, there are some very simple things you can do to preserve brain functioning and increase the number of neurons and the connections among them.

As we’ve often noted in these pages, one of the best things you can do is take up a new pursuit.

Dr. Doidge explains, “Anything that involves unvaried repetition – our careers, cultural activities, skills repeated, and neuroses – can lead to rigidity.”

The flexibility of thinking and acting in new ways can grow the brain.

The Brain Power That Comes From Walking


Walking is another simple way to improve the health of your brain.

Walking was the key component of a 30-year study that included 2,235 men aged 45 – 59. (The other components were eating at least three servings of fruit and vegetables a day, maintaining a normal weight, keeping alcohol intake low and not smoking).

Those who walked two miles a day (or cycled ten miles a day) reaped the benefit of a 60% reduced risk of both cognitive impairment and dementia.

Walking has also been shown to enlarge the hippocampus, the brain structure that turns short term memories into long term memories. And cognitive functioning was shown to improve with 2½ hours of aerobic exercise a week.

The power of walking is most strikingly demonstrated by John Pepper from South Africa.

Diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease more than 20 years ago, he has reversed all major symptoms by walking 15 miles a week. That, combined with a type of mental concentration technique, allows him to live a full life with none of the classic symptoms of the disease.

The brain is not a machine. It does not inevitably wear out with age. You can increase the neuroplasticity of your brain and be mentally sharp throughout life. All it takes is a little effort.

Full Article & Source:
Secrets To Helping Your Brain Repair Itself

Friday, November 4, 2016

Ronald Reagan's Alzheimer's Letter: Still Relevant, Still Moving


This week 12 years ago, President Ronald W. Reagan hand-wrote this profound message to America, sharing the news of his Alzheimer's diagnosis. His words led the way in breaking down the stigmas and myths surrounding Alzheimer's. Watch Nancy Reagan describe that moment, 21 years past. It marked the ceasing of his formal, public appearances and the beginning of his long, private farewell.

Read the letter.

Nov. 5 1994

My Fellow Americans,

I have recently been told that I am one of the Americans who will be afflicted with Alzheimer's Disease.

Upon learning this news, Nancy & I had to decide whether as private citizens we would keep this a private matter or whether we would make this news known in a public way.

In the past Nancy suffered from breast cancer and I had my cancer surgeries. We found through our open disclosures we were able to raise public awareness. We were happy that as a result many more people underwent testing. They were treated in early stages and able to return to normal, healthy lives.

So now, we feel it is important to share it with you. In opening our hearts, we hope this might promote greater awareness of this condition. Perhaps it will encourage a clearer understanding of the individuals and families who are affected by it.

At the moment I feel just fine. I intend to live the remainder of the years God gives me on this earth doing the things I have always done. I will continue to share life's journey with my beloved Nancy and my family. I plan to enjoy the great outdoors and stay in touch with my friends and supporters.

Unfortunately, as Alzheimer's Disease progresses, the family often bears a heavy burden. I only wish there was some way I could spare Nancy from this painful experience. When the time comes I am confident that with your help she will face it with faith and courage.

In closing let me thank you, the American people for giving me the great honor of allowing me to serve as your President. When the Lord calls me home, whenever that may be I will face it with the greatest love for this country of ours and eternal optimism for its future.

I now begin the journey that will lead me into the sunset of my life. I know that for America there will always be a bright dawn ahead.

Thank you, my friends. May God always bless you.


Ronald Reagan

Full Article, Video & Source:
Ronald Reagan's Alzheimer's Letter: Still Relevant, Still Moving

Candidate’s law license suspended

Rhonda Crawford
By David Thomas
Law Bulletin staff writer

The state Supreme Court late Monday afternoon suspended the law license of former law clerk and current Cook County judicial candidate Rhonda Crawford and enjoined her from taking the oath of office should she win her election.

The high court’s order is final until the justices say otherwise — meaning Crawford will be unable to practice law or serve as a circuit judge until the proceedings before the Illinois Attorney Registration & Disciplinary Commission run their course.

The one-page order from the Supreme Court is brief, saying Crawford is being suspended under Rule 774. That rule allows for interim suspensions of attorneys and judges while criminal or disciplinary charges are pending.

“The court may make such orders and impose such conditions of the interim suspension as it deems necessary to protect the interests of the public and the orderly administration of justice,” the rule says in part.

The move is a complete rebuke to Crawford, who only days ago asked the high court to give her 14 more days to show cause after she masqueraded as a judge and ruled on three traffic cases in August.

Alternatively, Crawford proposed keeping her license active but prohibiting her from joining the bench right away.

Crawford is facing professional discipline and criminal charges after allegedly donning a robe and adjudicating traffic cases as a judge during Markham Courthouse proceedings in August.

Crawford is set to formally respond to the ARDC’s charges by Thursday. ARDC Chief Counsel James J. Grogan said as of this morning, she has not requested additional time.

The Supreme Court’s order came in response to a petition the ARDC filed last month requesting Crawford’s suspension and prohibition from taking judicial office.

Crawford argued there was “no precedent in this state for an interim suspension being ordered based upon conduct akin to that involved here.”

The ARDC signaled it was amenable to Crawford’s proposal, saying it would agree to an extension of time so as long as she could not take the judicial oath when newly elected judges are sworn in Dec. 5.

Grogan declined to comment on the high court’s order.

At this point, Crawford will still be on next Tuesday’s ballot for the 1st Judicial Subcircuit Hopkins vacancy, and votes will still count for her. She faces no Republican opposition.

But Cook County Circuit Judge Maryam Ahmad, who has mounted an independent write-in campaign for the seat, has attempted to cite Crawford’s ongoing disciplinary matter to have election officials revoke her candidacy. Ahmad’s petition is pending before the state Supreme Court.

For her part, Crawford is also trying to invalidate Ahmad’s write-in candidacy ahead of the election after a Cook County judge ruled she was cleared to run for the seat. Her appeal of that ruling is pending in the 1st District Appellate Court.

Crawford was fired by Cook County Chief Circuit Judge Timothy C. Evans’ office in August for wearing Circuit Judge Valarie E. Turner’s robe and adjudicating at least three traffic cases at the Markham Courthouse. Turner allegedly oversaw Crawford as she handled the cases.

Meanwhile, the Cook County State’s Attorney Office has charged Crawford with official misconduct by a public employee who knowingly performs an illegal act, a Class 3 felony, and false personation of a public employee, a Class A misdemeanor. Crawford has pleaded not guilty.

The ARDC has charged Crawford with dishonesty as a result of handling cases on a judge’s call while dressed and seated like one; criminal conduct of official misconduct and false personation of a public officer; and giving false statements in a disciplinary investigation.

Crawford is being represented in her ARDC case by Mary T. Robinson, a former ARDC administrator and a partner at Robinson Law Group, and Adrian M. Vuckovich, a partner at Collins Bargione & Vuckovich. They did not return requests for comment.

The ARDC case is In re Rhonda Crawford, No. 2016 PR 115.

Full Article & Source:
Candidate’s law license suspended

Collins applauds law enforcement action on scams targeting seniors

U.S. Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) lauded the recent announcement that 56 individuals and five India-based call centers had been arrested and indicted for impersonating government officials in scams targeting American seniors.

The arrests were the culmination of a three-year investigation spanning multiple federal agencies. It was the largest single domestic law enforcement action against Internal Revenue Service impersonation scams at one time.

Collins, the chairwoman of the Senate Special Committee on Aging, and U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), the ranking member of the committee, have led bipartisan efforts to highlight scams targeting seniors and to provoke a strong response from federal law enforcement agencies.

“Putting a stop to aggressive and ruthless scams such as the IRS impersonation scam has long been one of my highest priorities as chairman of the Senate Aging Committee,” Collins said. “I applaud the efforts of our law enforcement in making these significant arrests, which represents the largest single domestic law enforcement action ever involving the IRS scam.”

Collins and McCaskill convened a hearing in April that looked at IRS impersonation scams and the steps law enforcement agencies have taken to stop them.

“I am pleased that the Aging Committee’s work to raise awareness about these troubling scams continues to help the Department of Justice track down criminals who are intent on robbing Americans of their hard-earned money,” Collins said. “These arrests should also put criminals on notice that we will be relentlessly pursuing these perpetrators.”

The committee’s fraud hotline received more than 1,100 calls from seniors across the country in 2015, and the IRS impersonation scam was among the most commonly reported.

Seniors lose about $2.9 billion to financial abuse and fraud each year, according to the Government Accountability Office.

Full Article & Source:
Collins applauds law enforcement action on scams targeting seniors

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Sign the Petition to Let Out People With Disabilities Needlessly Living in Nursing Homes in Massachusetts

Adam displays the bruises on his body after being beaten 
By signing this petition, you will force state agencies to act. Thousands of New Yorkers with disabilities have been shipped across state lines and are now languishing in nursing homes in Massachusetts. New York often pays these out-of-state institutions twice the rate it pays its own in-state facilities, making the care for people with disabilities big business in Massachusetts and other states. Isolated from their families and other support systems, these displaced New Yorkers are vulnerable to abuse and neglect. Even worse, they often are trapped in a court system that won't let them out.

This petition will be delivered to:
Disability Law Center of Massachusetts
The Massachusetts Department of Health
New York Department of Health


Sign the Petition to Let Out People With Disabilities Needlessly Living in Nursing Homes in Massachusetts

Adam displays the bruises on his body after being beaten 
By signing this petition, you will force state agencies to act. Thousands of New Yorkers with disabilities have been shipped across state lines and are now languishing in nursing homes in Massachusetts. New York often pays these out-of-state institutions twice the rate it pays its own in-state facilities, making the care for people with disabilities big business in Massachusetts and other states. Isolated from their families and other support systems, these displaced New Yorkers are vulnerable to abuse and neglect. Even worse, they often are trapped in a court system that won't let them out.

This petition will be delivered to:
Disability Law Center of Massachusetts
The Massachusetts Department of Health
New York Department of Health


I-Team: Photos Show Nursing Home Patient Left Sitting in Human Waste

I-Team: Photos Show Nursing Home Patient Left Sitting in Human Waste

Hundreds protest electro-shock therapy at Judge Rotenberg Center

CANTON, Mass. - A large protest has ended at a local facility which uses a controversial form of electro-shock therapy.

At one point 200 demonstrators, many in wheelchairs, were at the Judge Rotenberg Educational center in Canton.

The protest was organized by a group called ADAPT, and those who attended held signs and blocked access to the facility.

“You see things like this in a Halloween House of Horrors, but they are the reality in JRC all year long,” said Nancy Hyson-Houghton, an organizer with ADAPT’s Massachusetts chapter. “Disabled people shouldn't be locked away in the JRC and similar institutions because they can’t get the services and supports they need to stay at home.  Disabled people don’t deserve to be tormented.  It’s time to stop the torture and free our people!”

Back in April, the food and drug administration proposed a ban on the use of electric stimulation devices to treat patients who have aggressive behavior or who injure themselves.

The Judge Rotenberg Center is the only place in the country that uses the treatment.

"We were dismayed by the tactics taken by these protestors. They aggressively tried to enter our school buildings and for several hours made it impossible to transport the students we serve home so they could relax after their classes and enjoy their dinner together in the homes they live in, in area neighborhoods,” a statement from the center said.

Full Article & Source:
Hundreds protest electro-shock therapy at Judge Rotenberg Center

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Protest for the disabled: 200 people roll through the streets

Credit: Christopher Evans
About 200 people in wheelchairs rolled through the Seaport District to City Hall Plaza to protest nursing home conditions for the disabled yesterday.

“We’re here in Massachusetts to help the citizens of Massachusetts to live in the community and try to get people out of institutions,” said Marilee Adamski-Smith of the advocacy group ADAPT.

Joseph Adamski-Smith said more Medicaid funding in Massachusetts goes toward institutions rather than home- and community-based services.

“We would like those funds to be sent to integrated community living. A lot of people are stuck in nursing homes,” he said.

The protesters included both adults and children, and people with mental and physical disabilities.
The crowd chanted, “We have tasted freedom and we won’t turn back.”

Several people told stories of neglect, abuse and triumph amid the struggles they face.

“I understood from my doctors that I had no choice but a nursing home … it was so much worse than I ever imagined,” said Anne Johansen, 65, who suffers from a progressive neuromuscular disease.

“Nurses get into this meaningless cruelty for no reason … to take away every last shred of dignity.”

Johansen has lived in four different nursing homes.

She described being intimidated while showering, being chased, patients being ignored and neglected and being denied access to the outdoors.

“Eventually I decided I couldn’t live like that and I attempted suicide,” ­Johansen said.

The Boston Center for Independent Living eventually helped Johansen receive Section 8 housing and she now lives in her own apartment in Quincy.

“When you’ve lived in a prison and then you’re free again, boy you know what it’s like,” Johansen said.

“It’s like steak after a famine.”

Full Article & Source:
Protest for the disabled: 200 people roll through the streets

Missouri judge won't fight 6-month suspension

TROY, Mo. — An eastern Missouri judge will not fight a six-month suspension without pay recommended by the Missouri Commission on Retirement, Removal and Discipline.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Lincoln County Circuit Judge Chris Kunza Mennemeyer filed a statement with the Missouri Supreme Court on Oct. 18 saying she would neither file a brief on her own behalf nor request an oral argument. Her lawyer, however, said she does not accept all of the factual findings of the commission.

The state Supreme Court has final word on discipline.

The commission cited concern Mennemeyer improperly delayed criminal cases during a legal dispute with the public defender’s office, which meant extra months in jail for some defendants. It also found Mennemeyer tried to coerce and intimidate public defenders.

Full Article & Source:
Missouri judge won't fight 6-month suspension

State Drops Move To Usurp Mother As Medical Guardian Of Son In Group Home

Click for Video
The state has stopped its effort to have a medical guardian appointed for a resident of a state-run group home whose mother is opposed to the sale of the home to private operators.

In court filings, Lindsay Mathews has asked a judge to block the release of her son George Griffin's medical and treatment records to the private contractor. In response, the Department of Developmental Services went to probate court and asked that a medical guardian be appointed for Griffin and the records released.

DDS confirmed Tuesday that the motion has been withdrawn.

"We did not see the need to pursue this remedy and we look forward to working with Mr. Griffin and his mother to ensure he continues to receive the best possible supports," DDS's Kathryn Rock-Burns told The Courant.

"We were surprised when they did it, and we were surprised when they withdrew it," said Mathews' lawyer, Norman J. Pattis of Bethany. "When they decide where they're going, I hope they let the rest of us know. This has been enormously anxiety-provoking for my client and her son." (Click to Continue)

Full Article, Video & Source:
State Drops Move To Usurp Mother As Medical Guardian Of Son In Group Home

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Alzheimer's Awareness

The elderly man in his eighties, hurried to his doctor appointment at 8am. He wanted to finish quickly because he must be somewhere by nine.

The doctor asked what the next appointment was. He proudly said that at 9am every morning he is at the hospital to eat breakfast with his wife.

The doctor asked in what condition his wife was in.

The man said that his wife had Alzheimers disease, and for the past 5 years she hasn't known who he is.

The doctor was surprised and asked the man why he continues to go faithfully if she has no idea who he is....the old man replied, " because I still know who she is. "

~Author Unknown

Indicted judicial candidate says she wouldn't take bench until ethics case is resolved

The former staff attorney/law clerk facing an indictment for allegedly impersonating an Illinois judge says she won’t take the bench, if she wins election, until an ethics case against her is resolved.

Rhonda Crawford said in a court filing that she would not oppose an order that would bar her from taking the bench until resolution of the ethics case, the Chicago Tribune reports.

Crawford was indicted earlier this month on a felony charge of official misconduct and a misdemeanor charge of false impersonation. She is accused of donning judicial robes and ruling in traffic court cases in August as part of a shadowing process. Crawford has said she was always under direction of the judge.

Crawford is seeking extra time to respond to the ethics case, which seeks to bar her from becoming a judge if she wins the Cook County judicial election. Crawford said the lawyer most familiar with the ethics case recently died, and she has hired new lawyers.

Full Article & Source:
Indicted judicial candidate says she wouldn't take bench until ethics case is resolved

Monday, October 31, 2016

'Let Them Out'

The first in a series of films about people with disabilities needlessly locked away in institutions in the US.

Jody Santos is an award-winning journalist, author, and documentary filmmaker. She has reported for television, print news, and public radio for the last 20 years, and has been producing and directing documentaries for PBS and cable networks like Discovery Health and the Hallmark Channel since 2000. She has traveled to more than a dozen countries across five continents, documenting everything from the trafficking of girls in Nepal to sustainable agriculture efforts in Honduras.

Regardless of the medium, her goal has remained the same: to shed light on the social injustices of the day. Her reports often focus on the issue of violence against women and children and ways to prevent violence in our communities. As a special projects producer for Boston’s NBC news affiliate, she was nominated for an Emmy for a special report on an effort to rid the city’s streets of black market guns. Her documentary, No One Left Behind, just won a Telly Award in Film/Video in the social responsibility category. It was selected from over 12,000 entries from all 50 states and five continents.

Over the years, Santos has appeared on National Public Radio, Unsolved Mysteries and other news outlets to defend her writings and weigh in on important current events. She teaches broadcast journalism and documentary film at Springfield College in Springfield, Massachusetts. Her book, Daring to Feel: Violence, the News Media, and Their Emotions, was released by Rowman & Littlefield in December 2009.

Steve Miller Interviewed on Freedom's Phoenix Radio About Guardianship Abuse

Steve Miller writes internationally syndicated columns on organized crime and political corruption for Rick Porrello's, The Vegas Voice, and the Canada Free Press.

Click to LISTEN to Steve Miller's Interview on Freedom's Phoenix Radio

Jared Shafer

Steve Miller: Why are Jared E. Shafer's Judge Signs Being Removed?

LAS VEGAS - On a recent drive through the Las Vegas valley, I noticed that hundreds of Jared E. Shafer's Signs of Nevada c/o PFSN, Inc. judge signs have just been removed from vacant lots two weeks ahead of the election.

I have long believed that Shafer's judge signs were his Achilles' heel, and his secret method of allegedly bribing local judges to issue rulings in his favor, rulings that removed the civil rights of his wealthy court appointed "wards," and reportedly allowed him to gain power of attorney over their finances and assets.

At a time when outdoor advertising companies are flooding our valley with political billboards, Shafer's judge signs are disappearing. Why? Is he going out of business and leaving town in the middle of a state and federal investigation into his and his protege's financial dealings?

April Parks, one of Shafer's proteges, skipped town last summer with the fortunes of several of her Clark County Family Court appointed wards. Patience Bristol, Shafer's PFSN assistant, is currently serving a 5 - 8 year prison sentence for elder exploitation.

Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson and Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt have told several of Shafer and Parks' victims, and me, that "indictments are expected by November 1."

Is Jared Shafer also planning on leaving town in the near future, hence the dismantling of his sign business in the middle of an election?

Today, I sent inquiries to owners of vacant lots that were previously used by Shafer to advertise the Clark County Family Court and District Court judges he favors, and am awaiting their response. I ask property owners if they have recently become aware of Shafer and his judge's alleged exploitation of wealthy court appointed elderly and disabled "wards," and if they demanded he immediately remove his signs from their vacant land so they would not be inadvertently aiding and abetting him and his judge's alleged crimes?

I will let you know what I learn. ~SM

Guardianship Abuse: the Subject of Political Ads in Nevada

Family members of senior citizens at the center of a controversy surrounding the Nevada guardianship system say their pleas for help to then-attorney general Catherine Cortez Masto, now a U.S. Senate candidate, were ignored for political reasons.

The family members accuse Jared Shafer, a former Clark County, Nev., official who runs a private guardianship firm, of bilking family members’ estates of hundreds of thousands of dollars. Shafer brushed off threats of legal action by invoking his connections to Masto, the Democratic candidate for Senate hoping to replace Harry Reid.

“Jared Shafer knew that Masto would never take a report” due to her family’s ties to Shafer, said Charles Pascal, whose mother-in-law died under Shafer’s care, in a Tuesday interview. “Why can these guardians do these things? They can do these things because they believe that no action will be taken.”

Nevada’s guardianship program has sparked controversy over allegations by the families of state wards that court-appointed guardians, who assume control over the estates of the elderly and indigent, extract excessive fees without providing basic levels of care.

If you think it sounds bad in a macro sense, the details will horrify you.

Rebecca Schultz, Olvera’s daughter says that Shafer billed her father’s estate for thousands of dollars in excessive and unsupported expenses. Those included payments to a case manager since imprisoned on felony charges of abusing the elderly after she was found to have stolen from state wards in her care and pawned their belongings.

A California judge terminated Shafer’s guardianship of Olvera in 2013, but not before Shafer billed the estate for another $240,000 in legal fees.

No one has yet alleged that Cortez Masto was getting a cut from what was embezzled from wards of the state but it is very clear that the abuse was reported to her and she did nothing.

Harry Reid Protege Cortez-Masto Let Family Friend Pillage Elderly


NASGA:  Lupe Olvera, NV/CA Victim

NASGA:  Marcy E. Dudeck, NV/CA Victim

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Steve Miller: Jason Hanson's Story

This is the recent story of Jason Hanson, the 27 year old cerebral palsy victim whose entire inheritance was stolen by Clark County Family Court appointed "guardians" and attorneys Francis Fine, Dara Goldsmith, Elyse Tyrell, and their mentor Jared E. Shafer, with the full approval of Judges Charles Hoskin and Jon Norheim. - SM
Jason's Story

Guardian Jared E. Shafer Exploits Special Needs Trust

GoFundMe:  Jason Would Appreciate Your Help

An Innovation in Memory Care: Therapy Through Design

What picture comes to your mind when you hear the words “memory care” or “nursing home”? A tiny house facing a golf course? A main street lined with front porches. A place with a courtyard, like this?


A place that feels like a suburban ‘hood, with a movie theater, a library, even a spa?

Or do you imagine something more institutional?

A Walk Down Memory Lane


Three Ohio senior memory care facilities have been making waves with their innovative design and forward thinking. These Lantern lifestyle centers are the brainchild of CEO Jean Makesh, who has brought old-fashioned neighborhood life indoors for people with dementia or Alzheimer’s.

Makesh has high hopes for his model: “We cannot continue to just care for Alzheimer’s patients,” Makesh told Senior Housing News earlier this year. The Lantern centers, he believes, may actually help to treat dementia.

Each of the facilities is a kind of time capsule of 1930s and ’40s small-town environments — even the paint-colors are authentically vintage. The centers are designed to put seniors with failing memories at ease, help connect them to their pasts and encourage the formation of new memories. In Makesh’s view, some of the agitation that patients experience in a typical nursing home comes from the fact that this “home,” whether it’s more like a hospital or a hotel, doesn’t feel at all familiar. After all, a person with Alzheimer’s remembers the decade of his or her youth much more clearly than where they were 20 years ago, or even yesterday.

Even if the Lantern centers look a little like stage sets, these faux towns are designed to allow people with dementia to function at their maximum potential in a real-life way. A former occupational therapist with experience in the skilled nursing industry, Makesh pairs the familiar environment with cognitive and occupational therapy and other forms of rehab. Residents take classes in the skills of daily living. “The learning is based on what we think they need based on the deficits,” Makesh told the the News-Herald. “We reintroduce learning into their life. We strongly believe by doing that, we’ll be able to slow the progression of the disease.”

More Than Memories


Images of the Lantern centers’ indoor courtyards, streets and faux golf courses have recently spread across the internet, sparking broad interest in Makesh’s experiment.

Each person living in one of these centers has a front porch from which he can chat with neighbors and watch the community’s comings and goings, supporting a culture that encourages residents to interact with one another.


Fiberoptic ceilings mimic the rising and setting of the sun to help with residents’ internal clocks. Mid-day, the sunlight streams down and at “night,” scattered stars twinkle in the dark night sky, and porch lights and street lamps glow.


Beneath the “sky,” the indoor “courtyard” — fake grass, a real waterfall, painted landscapes, cafe tables and fountains — is designed to alleviate the perpetual “shut in” feeling of the typical nursing home.


The physical environment isn’t all that distinguishes a Lantern center from the typical retirement home. Residents have access to the types of venues they once enjoyed, like a 24-hour bistro, movie theater, fitness center, spa and library. There’s aromatherapy. At mealtimes, appetite-boosting aromas like citrus fill the air. Should a person become depressed or agitated, the anxiety-relieving scent of frankincense wafts through their room.

There’s sound therapy, too. Birds chirp and a waterfall gurgles as if it’s springtime. It’s a faux natural world with surround-sound music.

Will some men and women be rehabilitated to the point that they can return to their real-life homes? Makesh believes that’s a possibility. As he told News Herald, some clients in the controlled environment have learned to bathe and dress themselves.

What If This Wasn’t Your Hometown?


Would the Lantern centers, which replicate the childhood homes of some but certainly not all of the U.S. population, put seniors at ease who grew up in, say, 1940s New York City or Chicago? And could the model be re-created at less expense to make it more affordable? Makesh says that each of his three centers reflects the community where it’s located, and that he wants to make the Lantern model available to a broad population. Maybe we’ll see a memory care center some day where residents sit out on their stoops and take short trips to the local newsstand.

Can you imagine living in a faux Lantern-style town?

Full Article & Source:
An Innovation in Memory Care: Therapy Through Design

Nursing homes challenge new rule giving residents right to sue

The nursing home industry is fighting back against new rules from the Obama administration that would give patients at federally funded facilities the right to settle disputes in court.

Starting Nov. 28, nursing homes that accept Medicare and/or Medicaid funds will be banned from using pre-dispute arbitration clauses in resident contracts. The policy is being enacted under new rules from the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare services (CMS).

The arbitration language — often slipped into the fine print — forces residents to settle disputes privately with an arbitrator rather than through the courts.

In a lawsuit filed this week, the American Health Care Association and four other state and local health care groups argue CMS and the Department of Health and Human Services overstepped their authority in issuing the rule.

“Neither the Medicare Act nor the Medicaid Act says anything at all about arbitration agreements or alternative dispute resolution — let alone authorizes HHS or CMS to prohibit use of those agreements entirely,” the group said in it’s complaint.

AHCA said Congress has repeatedly rejected legislation to amend the Federal Arbitration Act and invalidate arbitration agreements between nursing home facilities and their residents.

“We are taking this step to stop what is a clear overreach by CMS. Federal law plainly prohibits CMS from issuing this arbitration regulation,” AHCA’s President and CEO Mark Parkinson said in a statement this week.

“The merits of allowing individuals in our centers and their families this legal remedy are clear: study after study shows that arbitration is fair and speeds judgments in a cost-effective manner that benefits those injured more than anyone else.”

Others argue arbitration is needed to ensure settlements are reasonable.

Harry Nelson, a Los Angeles health care attorney and founding partner of Nelson Hardiman LLP, said juries almost always favor the patient over the facility in cases involving nursing homes.

“Everyone can relate to elderly people,” he said. “We all have parents and grandparents and feel awful when things happen, so jury selection can be very difficult.”

He said facilities end up paying 30 percent to 35 percent more when a court settles an injury claim, even when the facility isn’t necessarily to blame.

While arbitration may be the cheaper option, patient advocates say the system is one-sided.

Lori Smetanka, executive director of The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care, said the clauses give facilities the power to set the terms and choose the arbitrator.

“Often times arbitration is not done in person, it’s done over the phone, which is really challenging for the residents or family members and there’s not an opportunity to appeal the decision of the arbitrator,” she said. “There’s no other recourse then for the family members.”

Smetanka claims the rule is needed to protect residents when they are at their most vulnerable.
“When a resident goes into a nursing home it is a very stressful and emotional time and usually the selection of a facility is done very quickly,” she said.

“There’s a lot of emotions … then to go in and be handed a big admissions packet that includes arbitration clauses, families are not in a position to understand the weight of what they are signing away.“

In a statement, American Association for Justice President Julie Braman Kane said the nursing home industry has used forced arbitration clauses to cover up abuse and neglect for far too long.

“Rather than work to better protect residents and their families, these corporate nursing homes filed a lawsuit in a last-ditch effort to hang on to forced arbitration,” she said. 

“Ironically, the nursing home industry is using a lawsuit to try to deprive residents and their families of that same right.”

CMS said it could not comment on the pending litigation.

In a blog post last month, the agency said the rules do not prohibit facilities and residents from using arbitration on a voluntary basis, so long as the agreement is clearly explained to residents.

The ban on pre-dispute arbitration was only one provision in a host of new standards for long-term care facilities mapped out in the final rule.

The rules are expected to cost facilities about $831 million in the first year and $736 million a year after that. Individual facilities will spend an estimated $62,900 complying with the rule in the first year.

AHCA’s complaint asks the court to temporarily block the rule from taking effect while it’s under litigation.

Full Article & Source:
Nursing homes challenge new rule giving residents right to sue