Saturday, March 3, 2018

Coming Sunday: An investigation into guardians of the vulnerable

Ludalla Gibson
In a three-day series, the Reading Eagle illustrates how courts are failing those who can't look out for themselves.
Beginning Sunday, the Reading Eagle launches a three-day series looking at the deficiencies in the system of appointing guardians to oversee those who are incapacitated.

The special report, "Unguarded: How the courts fail the vulnerable," reveals the findings of a Reading Eagle investigation that began 15 months ago.

Guardianship is the legal process of determining whether an adult has the capacity to make sound decisions and appointing a substitute called a guardian when they cannot. Judges can appoint a guardian to make decisions about the incapacitated individual, such as where they will live or the health care they'll receive, or to the estate, deciding how a ward's money will be spent.

Because of the loss of civil liberties, guardianship has always raised abuse concerns. And it's an area of growing concern with an aging population.

No good, reliable data exists on elder abuse, guardian caseloads or the number of adults in guardianship. Pennsylvania does not yet have a statewide data management system.

Because those 60 an older are most likely to be in a guardianship, and this demographic is expected to double in the next three decades, there is a growing concern over identifying and addressing guardian abuses.

Despite the widespread belief that judges more frequently appoint family members to serve as guardians, professionals are more likely to be tapped to take responsibility for those who are incapacitated, according to a Reading Eagle analysis of court dockets.

For example, 73 percent of the appointments in Philadelphia County in 2016 were held by at least one professional guardian.

While we hope you read each installment of the three-day series, we want to hear your stories, too.
If you or a loved one has had an experience with the guardian system in Pennsylvania, send your story and contact information to

And, join Reading Eagle Investigative Reporter Nicole Brambila and Photographer Susan Angstadt for a live Facebook discussion about the project on Monday at noon.

Full Article & Source:
Coming Sunday: An investigation into guardians of the vulnerable

Wilmington Woman Wanted For Exploiting Elderly: Complaint

JOLIET, IL - A 33-year-old woman from Wilmington is wanted by the Wilmington Police Department in connection with allegations that she exploited an elderly woman for her own financial gain. Last week, a grand jury at the Will County Courthouse returned a criminal indictment against Leah Kozlowski. She faces a Class 2 felony count of financial exploitation of the elderly.

The complaint states that Kozlowski "while standing in a position of trust and confidence ... knowingly and by deception obtained control over the property of (a 79-year-old woman) ... namely U.S. cash, and the value of funds obtained from (the woman) was more than $5,000 but less than $50,000 and such acts were done in furtherance of a single intention ..."

Will County Judge Carmen Goodman set a steep $400,000 bail for Kozlowski, who has yet to be taken into custody. The criminal investigation was handled by the Wilmington Police Department. Kozlowski's alleged crime occurred between August 2016 and June 16, 2017, the complaint states.

Court records indicate that Kozlowski has lived in the 34200 block of Wildwood Avenue in Wilmington.

Full Article & Source:
Wilmington Woman Wanted For Exploiting Elderly: Complaint

Intellectually disabled adults, teens gain new relationships through UNT group

A movie plays loudly over the large room of Infinite Capabilities, a Denton day center for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

The 20 clients of the program sit around in plastic chairs with tennis balls covering the ends of the legs. Some speak loudly and freely, others are quiet as they look around.

Wearing high-waisted jeans and a Hawaiian shirt, 30-year-old Jacob Mills sweeps the floor repeatedly. Chris Sheffield, 32, who likes to go by the name "Legacy," makes jokes as he colors a picture of a koala bear. Jordyn Flores, the youngest of the group at 15 years old, smiles as she silently walks around the room.

It's just a normal day for the clients of Infinite Capabilities.

"We have lessons in the morning and we go on lots of outings to help them learn how to function in day-to-day life," said Amberly McNabb, a 27-year-old day habilitation technician at Infinite Capabilities.

The day program started in October 2009 as a place for adults and teens with disabilities to come for communal and social interaction. The program serves more than 100 clients and is open to adults and teens of all ages. In fact, a typical room of clients has people ranging in age from 15 to 80.

Infinite Capabilities also acts as the host site for Best Buddies of UNT — a University of North Texas chapter of Best Buddies International, an organization with the mission of creating one-on-one friendships between students on campus and disabled adults in the Denton community.

"The founder and CEO of Best Buddies designed it so that people with intellectual and developmental disabilities have someone to make them feel valued so that they don't feel neglected," said Susana Victor, 22, president of Best Buddies of UNT.

Victor decided to transition from Best Buddies' old host site to Infinite Capabilities this semester. The host site is where members of Best Buddies go to hang out with their designated "buddies" who have intellectual disabilities.

"Our host sites were out in Lewisville and Flower Mound, but that's really far," Victor said. "We transitioned to Infinite Capabilities so that way, [members] can have more of a bond and it's more easily accessible."

Although the organization is in the beginning stages of its relationship with Infinite Capabilities, the presence of UNT students has already made an impact on the lives of the clients.

"They came and made Valentine's cards with us — they loved that," McNabb said. "It just brightens their day that people are taking time out of their lives for them specifically."

Seeing past differences

Not many people come to hang out with adults who have disabilities, so every intentional interaction they have with their friends from Best Buddies is important to them.

The members of Best Buddies hope to create real friendships with the clients of Infinite Capabilities who make them feel accepted because they believe that's how everyone deserves to be treated.

"They don't get treated equally," McNabb said. "I think it's really important they have people who do treat them like they're just another person."

Taking a sip from her black water bottle, 38-year-old Amber Ethridge looks at her Bible-themed word search through the lenses of her purple glasses. She laughs as her friend from Best Buddies, Ivalis Guajardo, 19, helps her search for the next set of letters focused on the Book of Deuteronomy.

"Whenever I see Amber, she always lights up, and she's super excited to talk to anyone," Guajardo said.

Spending time with Ethridge and the other clients of Infinite Capabilities is something Guajardo is passionate about. For her, it's not just charity work as she enjoys spending time with other people, like Amber, despite their differences.

"You should just want to be friends with somebody because you want to be friends with them," Guajardo said. "I think it's important that we remember these people are people, too, so hanging out with them doesn't make you a better person."

The buddy relationship between Guajardo and Ethridge is just one example of what a genuine friendship between an adult with disabilities and member of Best Buddies looks like.

"I just think everyone needs a friend, and I feel like it's good for them to have that friend — that 'best buddy,'" McNabb said. "Just because they don't act the same way you act, doesn't mean they don't still have the same feelings you have."

Friendship futures

As Best Buddies' relationship with Infinite Capabilities continues, they hope to pair more student members with buddies. The end-goal is to help create more friendships that look beyond disability and differences.

"It's one thing knowing the challenges people who are different have, but it's another thing seeing past them," Victor said. "It's OK to see them as a person and not as someone who has a disability."

For many of the Infinite Capabilities clients, coming to the center is their favorite way to spend their day. At the day program, they are accepted and get to socialize comfortably, which isn't always the case when they go somewhere else in public.

"I've personally seen, with my clients, that when you go out in public, people don't look at you like you're another normal person," McNabb said. "I'm hoping that's how Best Buddies will be with them — that they're not just coming here to be with adults with disabilities, but to form actual relationships as friends."

As the organization continues its aim to pair students with buddies, it also hopes to have a positive impact on its clients' lives and continue to achieve its mission of inclusion on and off campus.

"It's really important we have a club like this because it isn't natural yet," Guajardo said. "When it stops having to become a club is when it will be fully successful, because you shouldn't have to have a club to hang out with people who have disabilities."

Until naturally socializing with people like Amber and all of the other clients at Infinite Capabilities becomes normal, Best Buddies will continue to focus on genuine, intentional buddy relationships.

"This is beneficial for both parts in the aspect of you're both gaining friends," Guajardo said. "We want this to be a non-incentivized, intrinsically motivated thing because everybody wants a friend, and everybody deserves a friend."

FEATURED PHOTO: University of North Texas student Ivalis Guajardo, right, talks to Amber Ethridge at Infinite Capabilities in Denton. Guajardo is a recruitment officer and member of Best Buddies of UNT. Omar Gonzalez/North Texas Daily

Full Article & Source:
Intellectually disabled adults, teens gain new relationships through UNT group

Friday, March 2, 2018

Physical Therapist Headed to Jail for Bilking Elderly Couple

A Santa Barbara physical therapist faces six months in Santa Barbara County Jail after pleading guilty to felony charges of bilking an elderly local couple by overcharging them for in-home Pilates classes.

Yvonne Alish Castillo, 34 , also will be required to pay $104,000 in restitution to the couple, who were referred to in court as John and Jane Doe, according to the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office.

Castillo, a licensed physical therapist, began providing in-home Pilates classes for the couple in February of 2013.

“In June of 2016, an employee of the victims became suspicious of the amounts that Castillo was charging them,” according to a District Attorney’s Office press release. “An attorney for the victims reviewed bank records and discovered that Castillo had charged them almost $200,000.00 for Pilates classes in a little over three years.

“The investigation revealed that Castillo never provided any invoices and always made sure that no one was present in the room when she received her checks from Mr. Doe who was 87 years old at the time.”

In 2014 alone, Castillo was paid $62,100 by the couple, and at one point was collecting more than $7,500 per month, the release said.

“When interviewed by law enforcement, Castillo admitted to ‘taking advantage’ of the victims,” according to the release.

The victims told the county Probation Department that they felt violated by Castillo, and that she “masqueraded as one person and behaved like a criminal. The only difference was her costume.  She wore expensive Pilates pants instead of a ski mask.”

Castillo will return to court on April 20 for sentencing. In addition to the jail time and restitution, she will be placed on probation for four years.

“It is particularly reprehensible that the elderly victims were taken advantage of by someone that they trusted, befriended and allowed into their home,” District Attorney Dudley stated. “Criminals can be total strangers or trusted acquaintances. It is important that we do all we can to protect the vulnerable members of our community”. 

Full Article & Source:
Physical Therapist Headed to Jail for Bilking Elderly Couple

Two arrested in possible elderly exploitation

THOMASVILLE — Two individuals were arrested after both were suspected of elderly exploitation, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

LaRoy and Eunice Scruggs, both 67, 109 Crestwood Drive, were arrested after a GBI investigation into possible elderly exploitation.

The two are suspected of taking approximately $85,000 from a  family member who resides in Thomas County, according to the GBI.

The exploited money is a fluid number and could change through the course of the investigation, the GBI said.

Eunice Scruggs was arrested Feb. 15 and charged with exploitation of a disabled adult and false swearing. Arrested on Feb. 19, LaRoy Scruggs was charged with exploitation of a disabled adult. 

The case is active, according to the GBI. 

Full Article & Source: 
Two arrested in possible elderly exploitation

Will You Be Responsible For Handling Your Aging Parent's Finances In The Future?

Are YOU the one appointed? For older parents who have done estate planning, most have appointed someone to handle finances and business matters if they become incapacitated for any reason. The Durable Power of Attorney (DPOA) is the legal document that makes this assignment. Would you know what to do if the responsibility for handling their money suddenly fell on you?

Are you appointed to take over finances?

The DPOA document itself is surprisingly easy to get. One can download it free from the internet. It has to be notarized, but that is just about the only formality required. A lawyer is not needed to draw one up unless special considerations exist. The court does not supervise what happens to the document. As you can imagine, this extremely powerful tool gives the assigned person the right to do just about anything with someone else's money. In the right hands, it is excellent protection from wrongdoing or mistakes by an incompetent elder. In the wrong hands it is a license to steal. Anyone can benefit from some guidance on what you can and can't do as the agent for another in this financial role. The appointed person is called an "agent", "attorney in fact" or "fiduciary".

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a Federal agency, offers free booklets for those who must take responsibility for finances for another person: Managing Someone Else's Money. More than 1 million Managing Someone Else’s Money guides have been distributed since their release in 2013. Further, as laws about being an agent under a DPOA vary from state to state the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has created six state-specific guides for Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Oregon and Virginia and most recently for Arizona.

Each guide contains information on the agent’s responsibilities and tips on how to spot financial exploitation and avoid scams. Also, each guide includes a “Where to go for help” section with a listing of relevant agencies and service providers. The guides are not intended to provide legal advice. When there is doubt about using such a document, there is no substitute for competent legal advice.

All that said, how does this agent concept apply to YOU? If you already know that your aging parent has designated you to fill this role if and when the time comes, be ready. You will need to know where your parents' financial assets are located. Which banks or financial institutions do they use? What passwords and account numbers are available? Here at, where we encounter families with incapacitated or partially incapacitated elders quite often, we find befuddled adult children who have never asked their aging parents where the money is and how to access it. When a health crisis such as a stroke or heart attack happens and their loved one can't answer any questions, someone still has to pay the bills for the incapacitated person. The unprepared adult children may end up using their own resources to fill the gap until the parent recovers sufficiently to give them the information they should have had long ago. And some parents don't recover sufficiently to even do that.

Here are the takeaways:
  1. If you aren't sure whether your aging parents (retirement age and up) have signed a DPOA, find out. If one does not exist, do persuade them to get it done.
  2. If a change is needed on this critical document, such as the appointee turning out not to be honest or not available, ask your parent to sign a new and updated one. Get legal advice as needed.
  3. If you are the person appointed as agent, work on getting the information you would need if you had to manage their money in a crisis, such as a hospitalization. Get account numbers, passwords, checking account location, financial institutions they use, etc. Don't be left in the lurch if you end up having to take responsibility.
  4. Download your booklet, Managing Someone Else's Money so you can know what to do and know how to spot scams that could endanger your loved one.
Preparation now can save you a lot of stress later.

Carolyn Rosenblatt, RN, Elder Law Attorney, Healthy aging and protecting our elders,,

Full Article & Source:
Will You Be Responsible For Handling Your Aging Parent's Finances In The Future?

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Bill to update guardianship laws clears Senate panel

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — A bill aimed at easing the state’s growing burden as guardian of vulnerable elderly and disabled people moved a step closer to clearing the legislature Wednesday.

The measure, which seeks to ease the strain by ensuring that more relatives take on guardianship roles, won unanimous approval from the Senate Health and Welfare Committee, without any changes.
The bill goes next to the full Senate. The House approved it by a vote of 79-3 early this month.

It comes as the state struggles with growing caseloads of people who become wards of the state. The state is currently guardian for 4,448 wards, said Tim Feeley, deputy secretary of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services.

“We have a system where our guardianship program continues to grow and grow and grow, and we can’t keep up with it,” he told the committee.

State guardians are juggling caseloads of 65 to 70 wards apiece, about three times more than that recommended by national guidelines, Feeley said.

Under the current system, when families are fighting over who will serve as a relative’s guardian, judges sometimes resolve the matter by appointing the state as guardian, the bill’s supporters said.

Under the bill, judges would have to determine that “exceptional circumstances” exist to appoint the state as guardian.

The bill “makes the family have to work it out,” said main sponsor Republican Rep. Daniel Elliott of Danville.

Unlike some neighboring states, Kentucky has no cap on the number of wards in its public guardianship program, and Feeley spoke against imposing such limits.

“I don’t think a cap is the right idea, because there’s always one more case that we need,” he said.

Much of the discussion in committee focused on another provision, which would allow jury trials to be waived in guardianship matters when all participants consent to a judge deciding the case.

Full Article & Source:
Bill to update guardianship laws clears Senate panel

Can New Laws Address Severe Mental Illness and Chronic Homelessness?

A small minority of San Francisco’s homeless population suffers from severe mental illness. Can California step in to help?

We’re all familiar with the common myths about San Francisco’s homeless residents: that many people on the street are not simply impoverished, but suffer from serious mental illness and self-medicate with substance abuse; and that the City will not, or cannot, compel these people into medical treatment and housing. A brisk walk through Civic Center or the Tenderloin can easily give reinforce those theories, but now, Supervisor London Breed and State Senator Scott Wiener have introduced legislation to address the most visible aspects of this crisis. 

Wiener’s new bill, SB 1045, would expand the criteria that local governments could use to provide conservatorship for individuals who suffer from chronic homelessness, accompanied by debilitating mental illness, severe drug addiction, repeated psychiatric commitments, or excessively frequent use of emergency medical services. It is an idea that was first championed by the late Mayor Ed Lee, and is now carried on by his staff in the Department of Public Health.

The causes of homelessness are far more complicated than popular assumptions suggest. But the Department of Public Health has identified a small, core group of individuals - 50 to 100 people - who are deeply mentally ill and chronically homeless. So much so, that they cannot seek treatment themselves. This small group—estimated to be just 1% of the entire homeless population—has undergone multiple psychiatric commitments and repeatedly required emergency medical services. They absorb major resources from the social services system. 

“This is not about the broad homeless population,” said State Senator Scott Wiener, who has worked extensively on this issue, on KQED’s Forum. “People walk down the street and they see someone, everyday, who is clearly in distress and incapable of making decisions for themselves. They wonder—why aren’t we doing something [to help these people]?”

Currently, conservatorships can only be utilized if an individual is unable to care for themselves due to “grave disability” (like not being able to feed themselves) or due to physical health issues, cognitive impairment, and elder abuse. Unfortunately, this mechanism currently excludes those who may have severe mental illness or drug addiction.

These individuals are often legally held by the City for 72 hours after exhibiting signs of mental illness, but then sober up during that time. By the time they appear in front of a judge, they seem able to care for themselves and are released back onto the streets, the very environment which triggered their mental illness in the first place.

Mayor Ed Lee and his staff wanted to expand the conservatorship program to include individuals they knew had repeated psychiatric commitments and frequently used emergency medical services.

Gail Gilman, Executive Director of Community Housing Partnerships, said “We too often see in supported housing individuals who need a higher level of care and who in the midst of their addiction or mental health crisis are unable to make decisions for themselves and need an intervention.”

The issue is not unique to San Francisco. In Southern California, Supervisors Mark Ridley-Thomas and Kathryn Barger are re-evaluating the effectiveness of the Los Angeles County’s conservatorship program. In the State Capitol, Senators Henry Stern, Ben Allen, and Steven Bradford (all from Los Angeles) also co-authored the bill with Senator Scott Wiener.

Board of Supervisors President London Breed followed up SB 1045 with a local legislative package of her own. Her bills aim to decriminalize mental health and homelessness conservatorship cases by changing their jurisdiction from the District Attorney’s office to the City Attorney. Breed hopes this would allow conservatorship cases to be treated similar to family custody cases, instead of as a crime.

Breed’s legislative package also calls on city agencies to collaborate on a list of highest-risk individuals suffering from mental illness, substance abuse, and chronic homelessness. In a press release, Supervisor Breed stated: “As a progressive city, we must do more to care for those who cannot care for themselves. It's not compassionate to let those who are grappling with severe mental health and substance abuse issues simply wither away on our streets.”

Full Article & Source: 

Victims denounce a failing state system for responding to reports of elder abuse

Kent Edwards (Glen Stubbe – Star Tribune)
Dozens of elderly abuse victims and their family members urged lawmakers on Wednesday to overhaul the state’s system for regulating senior care homes, saying current laws are poorly enforced and perpetrators are not adequately punished.

Their calls for action came during an emotional, two-hour Senate committee hearing on the state’s handling of elder abuse complaints in senior homes. Leaders of the committee called the hearing to give victims and their relatives an opportunity to tell their stories of abuse.

The hearing follows reports of multiple breakdowns in the state’s system for investigating maltreatment at senior care facilities that serve about 85,000 Minnesotans. A five-part Star Tribune series last November documented that hundreds of incidents of criminal abuse, including physical and sexual assaults, go uninvestigated each year by the state agency charged with protecting the elderly in senior homes.

“Unfortunately, we’ve heard many reports over the past several months of abuse and neglect toward our most vulnerable citizens, including the elderly, and these reports have fallen through the cracks because of an ineffective state bureaucracy,” Sen. Karin Housley, R-St. Mary’s Point, chairwoman of the Senate Aging and Long-Term Care Policy Committee, said in a statement.

One after another, relatives of abuse victims from across the state recounted their anguish at discovering abuse and neglect of loved ones. Some brought graphic photos of injuries and untreated wounds, while others described being kept in the dark for months after reporting assaults. Still others described being verbally abused and threatened with retaliation by facility staff when they complained.

“This situation has reached code red,” said Kristine Sund­berg, president of Elder Voice Family Advocates, a grass-roots coalition of family members advocating for better senior care.

Lisa Papp-Richards of Bemidji wiped away tears as she showed graphic photos of a purplish-red infection on her 75-year-old mother’s ankle, left untreated so long by nursing home staff that her bone was exposed and, she said, eventually had to be amputated. When Papp-Richards installed a camera in her mother’s room last spring to monitor her care, the nursing home seized the camera, prompting the family to call the Bemidji police and report a theft.

Papp-Richards said a nurse at the nursing home repeatedly called her vulgar names in front of her mother when she complained about poor treatment.

“I can handle retaliation myself, but I can’t handle it when it involves my own mother,” said Papp-Richards, who owns a child care center in Bemidji. “Retaliation is a very big deal in these facilities.”

As Kent Edwards testified, he placed a box holding the burial ashes of his mother, Suzanne, and her photo before him on the table. Edwards described verbal and emotional abuse he said she suffered last year by two nurse’s aides at Lino Lakes Assisted Living. When Edwards requested details from police and the Minnesota Department of Health, he was told the information was confidential until an investigation was complete.

Edwards did not discover the horrific nature of the abuse until nearly five months after it occurred, when an employee sent him videos taken on her cellphone. They showed the two nurse’s aides repeatedly mocking and threatening his mother, who suffered from dementia. One taunted his mother about how she was going to die and even threatened to set her on fire with a cigarette lighter.

“By the facility, police, court system and the state … I was given zero information,” Edwards said.

Responding to pressure from family members, state officials released a batch of data Monday showing they have made dramatic gains in reducing a giant backlog of unresolved complaints of elder abuse, which had created long delays in response times. An intense triage effort by state officials has reduced that backlog by nearly 80 percent, from 3,147 complaints to just 712, since the start of the year.

The backlog had developed in recent years because of a surge of maltreatment complaints and long-standing inefficiencies at the Office of Health Facility Complaints (OHFC), a division of the state Department of Health.

Still, senior care advocates and several prominent lawmakers insist that problems extend far beyond bottlenecks at the OHFC, and they are pushing for much broader reforms to state laws for protecting seniors. A state working group, led by families of elder abuse victims and senior advocates, released a detailed report last month calling for increased oversight of the lightly regulated assisted-living industry and tougher penalties against perpetrators and facilities where serious abuse occurs.

These advocates maintain that Minnesota’s laws have failed to keep pace with the rapidly changing landscape of residential care for seniors. Minnesota is among just a handful of states that does not license assisted-living centers, even though these facilities have begun catering to more vulnerable residents who are frail or have serious medical conditions. About 60,000 Minnesotans currently live in assisted living, compared to fewer than 28,000 living in nursing homes, which are more closely regulated.

“We cannot let the senior living and care industry continue to do business as usual,” Sundberg said. “Business as usual will only result in more suffering and premature, painful deaths.”

Housley said she plans to introduce a broad elder abuse bill this session that would address multiple gaps in the state’s current system. The legislation would make abuse reports and investigations more readily available to victims and their families and strengthen the rights of older residents in senior care facilities, she said. Her legislation would also enshrine the rights of Minnesota families to use electronic surveillance in the rooms of their loved ones.

“It’s apparent that we do have a failing state system here,” Housley said.

Full Article & Source:
Victims denounce a failing state system for responding to reports of elder abuse

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Complaints About Nursing Home Evictions Rise, and Regulators Take Note

Six weeks after Deborah Zwaschka-Blansfield had the lower half of her left leg amputated, she received some news from the nursing home where she was recovering: Her insurance would no longer pay, and it was time to move on.

The home wanted to release her to a homeless shelter or pay for a week in a motel.

“That is not safe for me,” said Ms. Zwaschka-Blansfield, 59, who cannot walk and had hoped to stay in the home, north of Sacramento, until she could do more things for herself — like getting up if she fell.

Her experience is becoming increasingly common among the 1.4 million nursing home residents across the country. Discharges and evictions have been the top-ranking category of grievances brought to state long-term care ombudsman programs, the ombudsman agencies say.

While nursing homes can discharge residents for a limited set of reasons, legal advocates say that home operators sometimes interpret those reasons in unjustified ways. Often, it’s because the residents’ more lucrative Medicare coverage is ending, which is what Ms. Zwaschka-Blansfield said happened in her case.

Many of the residents, unaware of their rights, leave without a challenge.

“The nursing homes, they know the system and they really game it to where they maximize their advantage,” said Tony Chicotel, a lawyer at California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform, a nonprofit group.

Complaints about evictions have caught the attention of federal regulators, who are now seeking ways to step up enforcement of the federal laws that protect residents of the nation’s 15,000 nursing homes.

In December, regulators sent a memo to state officials across the country who inspect nursing homes for compliance with federal standards, saying they would begin examining discharges that appeared to violate the rules.

David R. Wright of the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said in the memo that wrongful evictions were “of great concern” because they could be unsafe or traumatic for patients, uprooting them “from familiar settings” and moving them far from family and friends.

The number of complaints about the discharge and evictions of residents was rising through 2015, the most recent year for which data is available. That year, there were 9,192 complaints about the discharge and eviction of nursing home residents, out of a total of 140,145 complaints, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. But some legal advocates said they believed these figures understated the problem, since many residents do not contest their discharge.

Even as the Trump administration has said it is looking for ways to address improper evictions, it has scaled back the use of fines against nursing homes that harm individuals, in keeping with the administration’s broader deregulation push.

Mr. Chicotel, the advocacy group lawyer, said that the federal regulations governing nursing homes were already strong but that enforcement was weak. Even when nursing homes are cited for violations, he said, they frequently “get a modest fine, and it’s often a cost of doing business.”

Dr. David R. Gifford, a senior vice president of the American Health Care Association, a trade group for nursing homes, said the perception that residents were being moved against their will for financial reasons was wrong.

“There’s a tension in the regulations,” Dr. Gifford said. “They clearly state that if someone can harm themselves or others, either through infections or their behavior or whatever, the individual can be discharged. But the regulations also clearly say that the goal is to not discharge people, and they have a right to stay there and receive care.”

Bill Wilson, a lawyer representing the nursing home where Ms. Zwaschka-Blansfield was a resident, said he could not comment on the specifics of her discharge because of privacy laws. But he said that patients could not be discharged without a doctor’s order and that the facility complied with all regulations. He also said the home “unequivocally” denies that it wrongfully discharged the patient.

Federal law stipulates that a nursing home must follow the same policies and practices for the discharge and transfer of residents, “regardless of source of payment.” But, legal advocates say, nursing homes often begin to pressure residents to leave when their Medicare coverage — which pays nursing homes at a higher rate but for a limited period — is close to ending and may be replaced by Medicaid. This happens to patients who have been sent to homes for rehabilitation or therapy, which is often covered by Medicare. Elderly residents who are deemed difficult or require extra assistance — and who may cost more over all — are more frequently discharged as well, advocates said.

Reimbursement rates for Medicare and Medicaid differ substantially, according to the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing and Care, a nonprofit group that collects data on the industry. Nursing homes receive about $200 a day for a Medicaid patient on average, compared with about $500 for a patient in the traditional Medicare program and $430 for a Medicare patient in a managed care plan.

Alan Schoen, a 58-year-old resident with multiple sclerosis at a nursing home in Stockton, Calif., said he believed the facility was trying to discharge him because his Medicare coverage was ending.

While his wife was at work in late December, Mr. Schoen fell out of his bed. An ambulance took him to a hospital, which released him to the nursing home for physical therapy.

But then in early January, the nurses could not wake him. They sent him back to the hospital, which found that he had a bladder infection and pancreatitis, and he had to start using a catheter.

After he returned to the nursing home, it told him that his insurance would soon stop paying — and that he should move to an assisted living facility, where, he said, he would receive a lower level of care. But Mr. Schoen, who can no longer stand or walk, said he needed the kind of help he is receiving now.

“They are running a business,” Mr. Schoen said. “I get that, but it seems they forget the patient element in all of this.”

Mr. Schoen is appealing his discharge. A spokeswoman for his nursing home, citing privacy laws, said she could not comment on specific patients. But she also said the decision to involuntarily discharge any resident “would only be done in compliance with all applicable rules and regulations.”

Patty Ducayet, the long-term care ombudsman in Texas, said that disputes over whether a particular nursing home can meet a patient’s needs were common. That, she said, is often “a gray area.”

A nursing home may be justified in saying it cannot care for patients who cannot breathe on their own. But, Ms. Ducayet said, it would not be justified in discharging patients because they refused to take medications or because they filed complaints with state officials.

Even when residents win an appeal of an eviction, they have no guarantee they will be welcomed back. That was the case with Gloria Single, an 82-year-old with Alzheimer’s who often became agitated, according to her legal complaint.

After being discharged from the California nursing home where she lived with her husband, Ms. Single won an appeal. But the nursing home would not accept her. “They don’t take you back and there are no consequences,” said Kelly Bagby, a lawyer at the AARP Foundation who is representing Ms. Single.

Susan Rogers, the ombudsman who assisted Ms. Zwaschka-Blansfield, said she was incredulous when she learned Ms. Zwaschka-Blansfield’s nursing home suggested discharging her to a homeless shelter, which she said was not open during the day.

“Where is she going to get home health” services? Ms. Rogers asked. “In a park?”

That crisis has been averted. After Ms. Rogers petitioned on Ms. Zwaschka-Blansfield’s behalf, she said the nursing home found her an independent living arrangement nearby.

If she had not intervened, Ms. Rogers said, Ms. Zwaschka-Blansfield, who lives on roughly $800 a month, might have been homeless.

Full Article & Source:
Complaints About Nursing Home Evictions Rise, and Regulators Take Note

Spring Creek man sentenced to house arrest in elderly exploitation case

Wade Fordin
ELKO – An Spring Creek man accused of stealing from his elderly mother was sentenced to 60 days house arrest Monday in Elko District Court.

Wade E. Fordin, 54, pleaded guilty before Judge Al Kacin to one count of conspiracy to commit exploitation of an older person and one count of conspiracy to commit theft, both gross misdemeanors.

He was given a suspended sentence of 364 days in jail for each count concurrently, required to pay $6,183.48 restitution to the Elko County Public Guardian, and was placed on probation for three years.

Kacin further sentenced Fordin to 60 days of house arrest to be served “in one lump period.”

Senior Deputy Attorney General Eric Nickel appeared by phone during the sentencing hearing before Judge Al Kacin, and said the state agreed with the Division of Parole and Probation to grant Fordin probation and have him pay restitution.

Because of Fordin’s age and lack of criminal history the state agreed “probation was the best alternative,” Nickel said.

Attorney David Lockie also asked for the probation, explaining that Fordin only had one misdemeanor on his record and no felonies. He added that Fordin was diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension and had “a boatload” of about 16 prescribed medications that would he would have to bring with him if he were incarcerated.

When Fordin was asked by Kacin to make a statement on his behalf, Fordin declined.

Fordin was arrested Sept. 11, 2016 on suspicion of converting more than $6,000 for his personal use from his 80-year-old mother, Helen Mae Fordin. He was charged with one count of exploitation of an older person and one count of theft, both category B felonies.

He pleaded guilty on Nov. 6 in a plea agreement that reduced the charges from felonies to misdemeanors.

According to court documents, Fordin was appointed as his mother’s permanent guardian over her and her estate after it was determined she was unable to care for herself.

The case was filed to the Attorney General’s office by Public Guardian Kathy Jones. She spoke at the sentencing hearing on behalf of Helen Fordin, who died July 29, 2015.

“It’s been four years since the start of the investigation into Mr. Fordin’s exploitation of his mother,” Jones said, describing how Fordin preyed on the “frailty, old age and illness of his own mother.”

Jones went on to explain how Fordin was appointed guardian of his mother’s estate; however, his mother lived her final days at Highland Manor dependent on the kindness of others.

“I feel sorry for you because you weren’t able to walk into Highland Manor and hold your head up knowing that you are taking care of your mother. Instead, other people had to buy your mother’s clothes, slippers, snacks and Christmas presents,” Jones said.

“The trust his mother, Highland Manor and the court gave to him was selfishly exploited by Wade Fordin,” Jones said.

Upon handing down the sentence, Kacin said the court recognized the fact Fordin has “very little criminal history,” but that if Fordin were to have had an extensive criminal history, the sentence would have been different, regardless of his medical condition and “boatload of medications.”

“I expect you to follow the rules of your probation very well,” Kacin told Fordin.

Kacin added that he agreed with Jones that the crime “was a terrible offense of exploitation.”

“Ms. Jones said it eloquently, and I can’t say more except that I agree with her.”

Full Article & Source:
Spring Creek man sentenced to house arrest in elderly exploitation case

Prosecutors, fearing nursing home's closure, won't pursue felony exploitation charges against its operator

An Iowa prosecutor is dropping felony charges against a nursing home operator accused of misusing cash from a resident's personal funds.

Marc Johnson, whose company runs the Danville Care Center in southeast Iowa, had been charged by Iowa's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit with fraudulent practices and dependent-adult abuse in the form of financial exploitation.

But County Attorney Amy Beavers told the Des Moines Register that the facility's owner claimed he might have to close the center and evict its three dozen residents if Johnson were convicted.

Johnson is president of Cardinal Care Company. He formed the for-profit company in 2012 and was hired the next year by the Danville Development Co. to run the Danville Care Center. Danville Development President Matthew Hauptman told the Register that closure was “unlikely” but that his company had to guard against the possibility.

The decision not to prosecute doesn't “pass the smell test,” advocates for the elderly told the newspaper.

“For the county attorney to close her eyes to this and leave this man in a position of authority so the business can remain open just seems absurd to me,” Dean Lerner, an advocate for seniors who once ran the Iowa agency that inspects nursing homes, told the Register.

The case began with the Medicaid Fraud Unit 2016, when the state accused Johnson of spending almost $700 on a television for the facility, using money from the trust account of an elderly resident. Johnson also was charged in connection with making two $500 "donations" from the same resident's account to the facility, with the money going toward events and equipment.

Though a deferred-prosecution agreement, Beavers promised not to pursue the charges if Johnson paid all court costs associated with the case and doesn't violate any laws for two years. Beavers said a state audit of the residents' trust accounts revealed no irregularities.

Full Article & Source:

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Tonight on Marti Oakley's T. S. Radio: Hospice Survivors and Victims

5:00 pm PST… 6:00 pm MST… 7:00 pm CST … 8:00 pm EST
Join us this evening to continue our conversation with Faith Daron, Dorothy Daron’s daughter who shares with us how her mothers life was ended in a Hospice. Faith fought very hard for her mothers life and Dorothy endured neglect and trauma unheard of through her last years of living. We want to spread awareness and educate the public on how to avoid these terrible circumstances.

Hospice Survivors & Victims is a new show dedicated to exposing the ongoing euthanizing of the elderly forced into Hospice. All correspondence and reports concerning your experiences with Hospice or, with medical kidnap that resulted in an early death, can be sent to the address listed below. You must include documentation. Carly is not an attorney and cannot and does not give legal advice.

To contact Carly:

LISTEN to the show live or listen to the archive later

Public Warning: Boston is a Cesspool of Adult Medical Kidnappings

Mary Frank
by Health Impact News/ Staff

Boston is home to one of the first notorious cases of medical kidnapping that garnered widespread public attention, that of Justina Pelletier, seized by Boston Children’s Hospital and Child Protective Services, and confined against her will and the will of her family in a psych ward.

It appears that the Boston area is a hub for medical kidnappings of adults as well as children.

In at least 4 cases that we know of in the Boston, Massachusetts, area, there is a web of common players who are interconnected.

Jewish Family and Children’s Services is the common denominator for each of these senior citizens who were seized by Adult Protective Services.

Instead of foster parents, “guardians” are court-appointed to take control of their lives, assets, and medical decisions, leaving elder adults victims of strangers they have never met, isolated from their family and friends who are the ones that truly care about them. They are accused of having “mental illness” and confined to psych wards against their will.

Lonnie Brennan is the editor of a newspaper that has reported their stories, The Boston Broadside.He was recently served with a “No Trespass” order over the case of one medically kidnapped lady, Mary Frank, who was trying to reach out to him to get her story published. She was confined to a nursing home and psych ward against her will, and denied basic human rights.

The people involved in holding her captive are apparently not interested in her right to have visitors of her choosing, or her right to have her voice heard.

Mary Frank’s story is connected to those of Beverley Finnegan and Marvin Siegel, whose stories we have reported here on the MedicalKidnap website.

You will read Mary’s story below. Alice Julian’s story will be coming soon. She is another Boston area senior citizen who was medically kidnapped. She died in January due to the withholding of life-sustaining treatment.

We recently reported the medically-hastened death (euthanasia) of Beverley Finnegan who was medically kidnapped. Attorney Lisa Belanger fought alongside Janet Pidge in the valiant attempt to save Beverley’s life. Her life was taken in January.

Here is her original story:

Medical Murder? Massachusetts Woman Medically Kidnapped from Her Home Dies After Being Denied Medical Intervention

Lisa Siegel Belanger, Esq., learned about the medical kidnapping of senior citizens when her own father Marvin Siegel was robbed of his liberty in 2011. She and her sister are still fighting for his life and freedom.

See his story:

Massachusetts Senior Citizen and Attorney Medically Kidnapped – Estate Plundered – Represents National Epidemic

Marvin Siegel with his family before the guardianship. Photo courtesy of family.

Mary Frank – Medically Kidnapped after Refusing to Commit Fraud

Lonnie Brennan of The Boston Broadside visited Mary Frank in November 2017 for the first time. He recorded her story and wrote, “Mary Frank: 69-Year-Old Thrown into Psych Ward by Government-Appointed Guardian.”

She is ordained as a Pentecostal minister and attended seminary in her younger days. Even though she became confined to a wheelchair, Mary Frank loved life and she loved her tiny apartment. She could still cook, clean, and take care of herself.

She could not, however, go to the grocery store or drugstore by herself.

When she found that she was eligible for home healthcare services, she thought that was good. She told Brennan that Minuteman Senior Services contracted a service that sent out someone to help her for 3 hour blocks of time. The first caregiver seemed to be great, but after a year, Mary learned that she had been stealing from her.

The next series of caregivers were not so great. They didn’t work the 3 hour block of time either. One reportedly only worked 20 to 40 minutes at a time. Mary told The Boston Broadside:
And, they wanted me to sign a paper that said they were doing three hours. They were getting $18.70 per hour.
In my mind, that’s defrauding the federal government. What I found out later was that that money … they were giving kickbacks. That money that they were earning – they weren’t working for it – they were giving kickbacks to Michelle Coakley and Minuteman protective services.
I was aghast. I mean, not that I’m ordained [Mary had explained that she was ordained as a Pentecostal minister], but it’s fraud. That’s a clear case of fraud.
I said, I can’t sign this. I can’t sign this paper. I want you to do the three hours.
Things got ugly when she refused to sign the paper. She reports that Michelle Coakley of Minuteman Senior Services threatened her:
I thought she was going to strike me. She was outraged and said to sign it, or you’ll be sorry. I didn’t understand the vitriol that was coming out of this woman. I come from a place of peace and love. I didn’t get it.
Photo source.

What Mary Frank didn’t realize was that Coakley had the power to follow through on her threats:
In September of 2013 there was a knock on the door…they handcuffed me. Threw me in an ambulance and took me to Mount Auburn Hospital on a Section 12 for psych.
She says that the psychiatrist had been lied to and told that she was sitting in her own excrement and urine and that she threw out her nurse. He realized that “this was bogus.” Even though Coakley reportedly wanted her to be put on the psych ward, she was able to go home.

Three weeks later, she was seized again.
I said, ‘who’s signing these [psych] papers?’ Because she [Coakley] got somebody who never even saw me – a psychiatrist – to sign the papers.
The fraud was unbelievable…and they were so mean to me. They treated me like I was some kind of a criminal. My arms were all full of bruises. They pushed me around.
[Doctor] Rick Hayes saw me. He said, ‘what are you doing here?’ And I was there, and what he did was he went and got his colleague, and she leaned over and she said, ‘we’re going to get you out of here.’
I said, what is this? Is this legal? What is going on? And the nurse came in and put her arms around me. And she said, ‘be careful because she [Coakley] is not going to stop. She said I know people like this. They’re not going to stop…’
This is insane… I don’t belong in a psych ward. So, I got sent home.
But, she [Coakley] showed up again and said, ‘I’ll put you somewhere where you’ll never get out.’
Shortly after, she received a summons for a hearing regarding guardianship, set for November 20. Two days before the hearing, Mary Frank was admitted to the hospital with knee problems that had to be addressed.

She phoned Mary Kate Connolly, attorney for Minuteman Senior Services, about an extension for the hearing. That call and her call to the court went nowhere, and the hearing took place without her.

(Mary Kate Connolly of O’Sullivan and Connolly is also the private attorney for Central Elder Services, the agency that facilitated the appointment of a guardian for Alice Julian, whose story will be coming soon.)

Without her presence at court, and with no due process, Mary Frank’s freedom was ended.

Jewish Family and Children’s Services was appointed as the guardian service for Mary. This is the same agency that was the guardian for the late Beverley Finnegan, the late Alice Julian, and Marvin Siegal. Individuals are assigned as guardians, but they work through Jewish Family and Children’s Services.


Lawyers and guardians denied Beverley Finnegan the life-saving treatment her sister wanted her to have. The guardianship cost her life. Photo source.

Mary Frank shares the same judge as Beverley Finnegan – Probate Court Judge Maureen Monks.
Mary’s story continues:
And then this woman walks in named Robin Kosnick and proceeded to tell me, ‘I’m going to put you away.’ And I said, who are you? And she said, ‘I’m the guardian.’
Now, Minuteman Senior Services picks out the guardian. It should be an autonomous guardian, or it should be a family member, or a friend – until you can prove you’re OK. It shouldn’t be somebody who is connected with the people who did this to you.
She said, ‘Michelle told me what to do with you. I’m putting you away.’
That is exactly what she allegedly did.

After Mary healed from knee surgery, the guardian tried to put her in “a flop house in Everett.” It was so bad that the ambulance driver allegedly refused to leave her there. He took her back to the hospital, where she was forced to stay another 2 months “while she was waiting for a bed to open up at Sudbury Pines in Sudbury.”
She put me in the dementia unit.
There should be – there’s got to be – a law somewhere.
And out of all of this, my prayer is that maybe we can get a state senator or a state rep. to have some hearings at the State House that you have to have an autonomous guardian, [and] that you have to be in that courtroom … that you cannot be put in a dementia unit.
I was put in a dementia unit! Everybody there had dementia! Everybody’s in diapers! Nobody could use a phone. Nobody could talk. And the men would come in and take off their diapers and try to get in bed with you naked.
It was like One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest [movie]. And I’m there for three-and-a-half years. [Emphasis added.]
She contracted scabies in the dementia unit at Sudbury Pines Nursing Home. As difficult as it was for her to have the tiny mites burrowing under her skin, the creatures were what finally got her out of captivity in the lock-down dementia unit. She was transferred for an extended stay at a hospital.

Photo of Mary Frank’s arm – taken by a Boston Broadside journalist at a visit. Source.

Where Are Her Glasses and Dresses?

Since then, Mary Frank has been in a couple of different nursing homes. She would love to have some of her things back that she never got when she was seized from her home. She has been told that her things were given to her current guardian, Pamela DeColo, who works for Jewish Family and Children’s Services.

(Pamela DeColo was also involved with Beverley Finnegan. She was the supervisor over Beverley’s guardian, Marissa Levinson.)

Since Mary Frank told her story to The Boston Broadside, someone showed up at her nursing home with a few bags of items and a “tiny” electric wheelchair, too small for her, that was not hers.

She is still waiting for her her glasses, dresses, wig, makeup, and HER electric wheelchair.

Is It Too Much to Ask for Proper Medical Attention, and a Remote Control?

Lonnie Brennan of The Boston Broadside visited her at a nursing home in Marlborough Hills in November to get her recorded statement and again in December to take her a copy of the newspaper.

The next time he saw her was in January at the Reservoir Rehabilitation Center in Marlborough, Massachusetts. He learned that she had fallen at the previous nursing home. She was kept heavily medicated before she was finally taken to the hospital, where they discovered that her leg was broken.

Mary still needs medical attention.

She told Brennan that she had been asking for 2 weeks for a remote control to the TV in her room. She wanted to be able to have at least that tiny bit of control in her life.

Brennan told Health Impact News that he called the business office about getting her a remote. Both the business office and “Dan the Handyman” told him that they would take care of it.
They didn’t.

Lonnie Brennan wrote about Mary Frank’s simple request for a remote control being ignored in the February print edition of The Boston Broadside. 

Journalist Told to Stay Away

Right after publication, Brennan received an email at 9:28 pm on Saturday, Feb. 3, 2018, from attorney David Schwartz, telling the newspaper editor that Jewish Family and Children’s Services didn’t want him to visit Mary Frank.

David Schwartz photo by Lisa Belanger
David Schwartz leaving the courthouse during Beverley Finnegan’s case. Photo courtesy of Lisa Belanger.

(Schwartz was one of the attorneys involved in advocating for the euthanasia of Beverley Finnegan. See link.)

letter to Boston Broadside editor re Mary Frank

Letter to Boston Broadside editor. Used with permission.

We spoke with Lonnie Brennan, who told us that he saw Mary Frank upon HER request. She initiated contact with him. She wanted to get her story out, and she wants her life back. It is clear that he is not the one who is upsetting her.

Because Brennan was not served any papers, the email meant nothing legally.

Thus, when Mary Frank called him, again, to tell him that the nursing home staff still had not gotten a remote control for her, he decided to get her one. She had been asking for one for 4 weeks.

She also requested some chocolates that she could give to a few of the nurses for Valentines Day who have been kind to her.

When he arrived at the Reservoir Center on Saturday, February 10, he noticed people watching him and whispering. Undeterred, he proceeded to take the remote control and 6 boxes of chocolate candy to Mary Frank’s room (4 for nurses, and 2 for her).

She welcomed his visit and was “near tears” with joy and gratitude. She looked forward to being able to watch what she wanted (despite the TV being blurry due to her glasses still being missing), and she shared some of the chocolates with a few nurses before the rest were stolen.

“Wanted” for Random Acts of Kindness

Lonnie Brennan’s simple act of kindness to a woman suffering alone in a nursing home resulted in the police being called. He learned that there was even a “Wanted” poster at the nursing home with his picture on it.

He was not accustomed to being on that side of the police. Before the officers approached him, he reached out to them and introduced himself. Brennan explained about the article and the remote control.

He also explained that no papers had been served and that the email had no legal power.

The incident was very cordial, and he was not detained.

That Friday, the editor was officially served with a “No Tresspass” order. If he visits Mary Frank again, he is subject to a $100 fine and 30 days in jail.

His concern is that Mary’s right to have someone visit her has been violated.

What will happen to her if no one is allowed to see her and if no one is held accountable?

Medical Kidnapping Is a Very Real Risk – Seniors Better Off in Prison than Psych Wards in Nursing Homes

Brennan was a recent guest on the Kuhner Report talk radio show in Boston to discuss this story. He told Kuhner that DCF, Massachusetts’ Child Protective Services, is nearly a billion dollar business in the state of Massachusetts, and Adult Protective Services is quickly heading there.

Rich or poor alike are at risk, said Brennan, from Mary Frank, who just wants her dresses, wig, and makeup back (and her life), to Marvin Siegal, who has had millions of dollars drained out of his estate by guardians.

He warned the radio host:
Once they have you, you are better off going to the nearest liquor store and saying, ‘Hey, I’m robbing you.’ Because you’ll get better health care and you’ll get better freedom if you are in prison. I hate to say it.
And you’ll have more dignity in prison than you will have – than we have witnessed – in nursing homes.
Regarding Mary Frank, Lonnie Brennan says:
She’s pissed (her words). She just wants her life back.

Where Are Her Court Records?

According to The Boston Broadside, Mary Frank’s court records are nowhere to be found. Even if Mary Frank could raise funds for an attorney without the guardian seizing the money, there are no records that they can locate for an attorney to fight with:
Despite repeated efforts of the court clerks, all of Mary Frank’s files are reported missing.
Yes, read that again. The court files are missing for Docket No. MI 3P5348GD.
We even went so far as to engage the help of an attorney to attempt to view the files. All the court clerks could do is confirm that, yes, there were more than 16 entries, still logged in their computers, but all of Mary Frank’s court documents are missing.
We’ve placed a written “File Search Request” with the Middlesex Probate and Family Court, and asked to be notified should the files ever mysteriously re-appear. Cue the crickets.
Where are the files? Have they been scrubbed? Is someone trying to erase Mary Frank?
(Note: The Boston Broadside is raising funds to try to help Mary Frank. Information is in this link.)

This is the courthouse where life and death decisions are being made, against the will of the people whose lives are decided. Photo courtesy of Lisa Belanger.

What Can You Do to Help?

The main office number for Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker is 617 725 4005. He may be contacted here. He is also on Twitter.

Massachusetts State Auditor Suzanne Bump has been asked to conduct an audit of court appointed guardians and conservators, but she has reportedly declined. Her office recently conducted an audit of CPS and found many issues that need to be addressed.


Massachusetts State Auditor Finds Widespread Rape and Sexual Abuse in Foster Care but DCF Officials Won’t Report It

What would her office find if she audited Adult Protective Services? Would she be able to track the corruption that is surely present?

Auditor Suzanne Bump may be reached at 617 727 2075, or contacted here. She is also on Facebook and Twitter.

Maura Healey is the Massachusetts State Attorney General, tasked with “combating fraud and corruption” and “investigating and prosecuting crime,” according to the website.

Attorney Lisa Belanger reports that she has reached out to Healey’s office regarding the hastened deaths of Beverley Finnegan and Alice Julian, but her staff told her that “the AG’s Office does not handle this type of criminal matter.” (See link.)

Belanger wants to know, “Why not?” It is a valid question.

Healey’s office number is 617 727 8400. AG Maura Healey is also on Facebook.

Jewish Family and Children’s Services, the common denominator in each of these cases, may be reached at 781 647 5327. They are also on Facebook and Twitter.

How many more senior citizens will lose their lives or freedom due to being medically kidnapped and placed under their guardianship? Even one is too many.
Full Article & Source:
Public Warning: Boston is a Cesspool of Adult Medical Kidnappings

Southern Indiana caretaker accused of neglecting elderly man

A Southern Indiana woman is accused of neglecting the elderly man for whom she was responsible.

Court records said Fay Gohl, 55, was a live-in caretaker who is accused of stealing more than $37,000 from the elderly man.

"It was her responsibility to provide for him and to provide care to him that was he was dependent upon," Clark County Prosecutor Jeremy Mull said.

Mull said the 80-year-old man was partially paralyzed and relied on Gohl for help.

"There was neglect of him that was occurring that involved him not having the proper care taken of him, the proper hygiene-type issues," Mull said.

A probable cause affidavit said Gohl left the man in his soiled bed for hours without changing his urine-soaked clothes.

Investigators believe the neglect had been going on for about a year.

Gohl is also accused of signing the man's name on checks she wrote to herself and her family members, leaving his bills unpaid.

"Over and over I have seen individuals take advantage of the trust that they have in those situations," Mull said.

Over the last three years, Mull said his office has seen an increase in the number of elderly abuse cases it's prosecuted.

He said they hired an additional investigator about two years ago to help.

Since July 1, 2017, the Clark County Adult Protective Services unit has received about 700 calls for neglect, exploitation and physical or financial abuse of a dependent adult, according to an investigator from the unit.

The calls come from four counties in Southern Indiana.

"We are investigating more of those cases and we are anticipating filing more criminal charges against individuals who engage in this behavior," Mull said.

A judge set Gohl's bond at $7,500.

She's scheduled to be back in court in April.

Full Article & Source:
Southern Indiana caretaker accused of neglecting elderly man