Saturday, March 24, 2012

A Picture Says 1,000 Words!

Jared E. Shafer billed nearly $7,500 for Email! For a period of just 20 days!

See Also:
L.O. California/Nevada Victim

Elderly Woman Loses All Hope of Care

The words -- I'll take care of you -- must have been a relief to the woman, failing in her later years and falling and worrying what would become of her.

As people do when they are old and frail and basically alone.

So, she gave away her house to the owner of an assisted-living facility, a place she was taken after one of her falls.

Now, the owner of that facility, Maria Barbu, has been charged with theft, fraud and forgery. Phoenix police say Barbu took Pauline Balseiro's home, her antique furniture, her jewelry, her fur coats. She's also accused of forging checks on the old lady's accounts.

"She had my mother sleeping on the floor, on a mattress on the floor," said Becky Levy, who lives in California and for months has been sounding the alarm about Barbu and her Golden Creek Assisted Living Home.

Pauline is out of Barbu's hands now.

Last month, a Maricopa County probate commissioner appointed fiduciary Jane Anne Geisler to be Pauline's temporary guardian. Geisler immediately moved Pauline to another assisted-living home and filed a lawsuit to get the old lady's house back.

Commissioner David Cunanan will hold a hearing on Monday to determine whether Pauline needs a permanent guardian. I'm guessing that's a distinct possibility.

Three weeks ago, Pauline was diagnosed with dementia.

Full Article and Source:
Elderly Woman Loses All Promise of Care

New Jersey Nursing Home for Sale

Essex County is holding off on a $500,000 sprinkler system for its Horace Nye Nursing Home.

The work must be done by August 2013 or the home will no longer be eligible for Medicare and Medicaid payments, according to a federal requirement.

The county has Horace Nye up for sale, has opened bids and has asked the three bidders — Centers for Specialty Care; Gerald Woods, CPA; and Elliot Management Group — to consider submitting higher amounts. All three bid exactly $4 million, the county's minimum price to sell the 100-bed nursing facility.

Full Article and Source:
Horace Nye Sprinklers Put on Hold

Friday, March 23, 2012

The Nightmare: Sara Harvey's Desperate Fight to Save Gary Harvey

The darkness descended swiftly and without warning, suffocating and choking out any hint of light in the path before or behind me. I touched the wall, as the freezing cold embraced and held me tight to its cruel breast. A gasp may have slipped from my lips, but I could no longer hear as the forced silence pounded against my reason, draining and feeding upon the strength I once held in tender care.

Fighting to take a breath, the smell of death and decay rose to slither and weave into a cloak of panic — the desperation devouring and merciless, as laughter abruptly pierced the blanket of blackness engulfing and suppressing all that was and all that might have been. I begged to scream. I begged to flee. I begged for mercy, but there was none for neither him nor me.

Then morning broke through the nightmare, but the pounding of my heart did not immediately ease. It was a nightmare that Sara Harvey, and those such as she, must endure on a daily basis. A nightmare of facing cold, dark decisions forced upon them. A nightmare that destroys every hope that might have been, or happens to briefly visit. in their journey of fighting the abuse in behalf of a loved one sucked into the poison of a broken system. A system that was meant to assist, but instead has come to hideously feast upon its unsuspecting prey.

Full Article and Source:
The Nightmare: Sara Harvey's Desperate Fight to Save Gary Harvey

See Also:
Frivolous Charges: The Secret Life of the Gary Harvey Case

Billions Unleashed to Expand Community Living

Medicaid officials are beginning to hand out billions of dollars in new matching grants made available under the health care reform act for states to increase community living opportunities.

New Hampshire will be the first state to see added funding under the so-called Balancing Incentive Program, officials at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said late last week.

The $3 billion initiative established as part of the Affordable Care Act is designed to boost spending in states that allocate less than 50 percent of their long-term care dollars to community-based offerings.

Currently, states are required to fund institutional care for individuals with disabilities, but funding is limited for community-based options.

States that qualify for the new money must use it to increase the availability of services in the community, Medicaid officials said.

“No one should have to live in an institution or nursing home if they can live in their homes and communities with the right mix of affordable supports,” said Cindy Mann, who oversees the federal Medicaid program. “These new grants will help states like New Hampshire give people with long-term care needs the choice about how and where to live their lives.”

Under the new program, New Hampshire will get $26.5 million over the next three years.

Full Article and Source:
DisabilityScoop: Billions Unleashed to Expand Community Living

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Petition Filed to Conserve Zsa Zsa Gabor

The judge who oversees Britney Spears' conservatorship will consider a request to appoint a conservator to oversee Zsa Zsa Gabor's finances and medical care.

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Reva Goetz scheduled a hearing for May 2 for the conservatorship petition filed Tuesday by Francesca Hilton, Gabor's daughter.

The Hungarian-born actress was once one of Hollywood's most glamorous women, but a broken hip and leg amputation in the past two years have left her confined to a bed.

Hilton contends that Gabor's ninth husband, Prince Frederic von Anhalt, is keeping her "increasingly isolated" and "heavily sedated," and she questions his handling of Gabor's finances.

"What Ms. Hilton is seeking here is for the court to make sure that Zsa Zsa's best interests are not being sacrificed for the selfish interests of anyone involved in Zsa Zsa's life," said Hilton lawyer Kenneth Kossoff.

Full Article and Source:
Judge Asked to Intervene in Zsa Zsa Gabor's Care

Assisted-Suicide Advocate Takes Own Life

Peter Goodwin, a family physician who wrote and campaigned for Oregon's right-to-die law in the 1990s, died Sunday after taking a cocktail of lethal drugs prescribed by his doctor, as allowed under the legislation he championed.

Dr. Goodwin, 83 years old, had been diagnosed with a degenerative brain disorder similar to Parkinson's disease and had been given less than six months to live.

The Oregon law was the first in the nation to authorize patients to end their lives with the assistance of physicians. It doesn't allow for doctors to administer euthanasia by injection, though it authorizes them to prescribe lethal drugs that the patient can choose to take.

The law has withstood legal challenges including a case brought by the Bush administration. In 2006, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Oregon, saying that the federal government couldn't forbid doctors from prescribing drugs to help a patient die.

"He persuaded us of the wider picture, that we needed doctors," said Derek Humphry, founder of the Hemlock Society, which advocated voluntary euthanasia. Mr. Humphry called the Oregon law his movement's greatest legislative success.

Full Article and Source:
Assisted-Suicide Advocate Takes Own Life

One Dead After Meth Lab Explodes at Ohio Nursing Home

One person was killed and six injured when a homemade meth lab exploded at a nursing home in Ohio this weekend, WKYC-TV reports.

"It's a first," Ashtabula Fire Chief Ron Pristera said of Sunday night's fire at Park Haven Nursing home. He described the meth operation as a "pop bottle, shake-and-bake lab."

Once the smoke cleared, and investigators found the burned out meth lab in one room, they were stunned, Cleveland's Fox8 TV reports.

"When we first started to get the indications, we all sort of looked at each other and went, 'You know, are we seeing what we think we're seeing?'" Pristera told Fox8.

The Park Haven nursing home has only a one-star rating out of five in the 2009-2011 ratings for more than 15,000 U.S. nursing homes from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. State records show Park haven was cited for 18 violations last year, including not providing adequate care, the Associated Press reports.

Full Article and Source:
One Dead After Meth Lab Explodes at Ohio Nursing Home

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Unlicensed Assisted Living Home Charged With Locking Down Brooklyn Judge

The Park Slope nursing home where a Brooklyn judge died never had a license to operate as an assisted living facility - but kept the judge as a virtual prisoner, his family charges in a lawsuit.

Relatives of “Kung Fu Judge” John Phillips, who died in 2008, is suing Prospect Park Residence for wrongful death.

The owners of the Park Slope building acknowledge in court papers that their relationship to Phillips was merely that of a landlord - yet the family charges they falsely claimed to be an assisted living facility and confined the elderly judge to the building, only allowing him to leave for a handful of doctor’s appointments over the eight months he lived there.

“We’re talking about a prison,” said John O’Hara, a lawyer for the family and longtime friend.

Full Article and Source:
Unlicensed Assisted Living Home Charged With Locking Down Brooklyn Judge

See Also:
Facility Kept Dying Judge Phillips Hostage, Lawsuit Claims

NJ Nursing Home Expert Says Industry Will Suffer Unless Millions in State Aid is Restored

The head of the state’s largest nursing home association said today that the industry will suffer a spate of bankruptcies this year unless the Legislature acts to restore millions of dollars in previous cuts.

Gov. Chris Christie’s budget cuts have resulted in nursing homes absorbing losses of about $46 a day on Medicaid patients, which comprise about 62 percent of the state’s nursing home population, according to Paul Langevin Jr., president of the Health Care Association of New Jersey.

Typically, those losses are offset by healthy payments from private insurers and Medicare patients but that formula is now broken in New Jersey, said Langevin. The math is even bleaker at county-run facilities, which treat a higher level of Medicaid patients.

“It’s a fact, we’ll see bankruptcies. These facilities have no where else to go,” said Paul Langevin Jr., president of the Health Care Association of New Jersey, which represents more than 300 nursing home and long-term care facilities in the state.

Full Article and Source:
N.J. Nursing Home Boss Says Industry Will Suffer Unless Millions in State Aid is Restored

NJ Ethics Committess Mediate Crucial End-of-Life Decisions

When a nursing home resident can no longer make decisions, someone else has to make the tough ethical choices. Should the patient's life be prolonged with a ventilator or feeding tube? Has the time come to remove life support? What would this person have wanted? The family and the nursing home staff can wind up at loggerheads, unable to take the next step.

The state's ethics committees are helping families and nursing home staff make these tough decisions. The regional panels are made up of trained volunteer professionals with diverse backgrounds, including nursing, social work, long-term care, and clergy. They work under the direction of the state Office of the Ombudsman for the Institutionalized Elderly, which advocates for patients in long-term care facilities.

The ethics committees "are available to people to help them through an extremely difficult and hard time and help them critically think through issues and make decisions that are ultimately resident focused," said ombudsman James McCracken.

McCracken wants to raise the visibility of these ethics committees and encourage nursing homes to call on them to mediate more often. To do so, he is presenting this month training sessions, "How to Make Ethical Decisions at the Bedside," taught by clinical ethicist Dr. Helen D. Blank and designed for ethics committee members and nursing home staff.

A new law gives New Jersey residents the final say on their medical care. The planning document, called the "Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment" or POLST, details the individual's wishes for the quality of life and medical intervention in their final days. The document has the authority of a medical order and follows the patient from one care setting to another, including home, ambulance, hospital, nursing home, and hospice.

POLST is designed to supplement the living will or advanced directive, which individuals typically use to designate a healthcare proxy who will make decisions when they are no longer competent to direct their own medical care. A committee of the New Jersey Hospital Association is expected to create a POLST form to be used throughout the state by the end of the year.

Full Article and Source:
NJ Ethics Committees Mediate Crucial End-Of-Life Decisions

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

U.S. OKs Increase in Nursing Home Tax to Bring in More Medicaid Money

Federal authorities have approved a nursing home bed tax that will allow Illinois to collect more than $100 million a year in new Medicaid money that officials say will be used to boost facility staffing levels and implement other safety reforms mandated by a landmark 2010 overhaul, the Tribune has learned.

Gov. Pat Quinn pushed hard for the tax as a way to hire more state inspectors and finance other reforms in Illinois' troubled long-term care system without dipping into the state's already-depleted coffers.

"This is positive news for people who live in a nursing home or have a loved one living in a nursing home," said a statement from Quinn. "It means that our nursing homes get the funds that they need to continue improving safety and the quality of services."

Still, the AARP and some leading advocates for the elderly and disabled raised concerns about the measure, arguing that it will provide a windfall for substandard, profit-making facilities while not doing enough to move thousands of younger mentally ill adults out of nursing homes and into community settings where they could get better care.

Because much of the bed tax will be returned to the nursing homes via the Medicaid program, which funds health care for the poor, facilities with fewer indigent patients will recoup less money. Illinois' nonprofit nursing homes, which generally serve small numbers of Medicaid clients, argue that the tax will penalize them unfairly.

"It is a bad plan for good homes and a good plan for bad homes," said Kirk Riva, vice president of public policy at the Life Services Network, the association of nonprofit facilities. "We think it's offensive."

Full Article and Source:
U.S. OKs Increase in Nursing Home Tax to Bring in More Medicaid Money

Probate Sharks Editorial


A recent law was passed which will tax private pay nursing home beds and divert the money to Medicaid beds. This new law will allow the owners of for-profit nursing homes with Medicaid beds to profit even more than they do currently. While the Health Care Council of IL claims to lose $27.00/day on Medicaid beds, the homes with the most Medicaid beds are operating at a profit.

Private-pay residents at NON-profit nursing homes will incur a tax to go to the owners of FOR-profit Medicaid beds.

We can't help but wonder if those for-profit nursing homes that will receive the new tax are the same nursing homes that are favored by the Cook County Probate Court. See our articles in the index on the right about OBRA Special Needs Pooled Trusts to read how these trusts are used to deplete the estates of the wards with attorneys' fees and guardians' fees while the wards are placed into FOR-Profit Medicaid nursing homes.

Something does not seem right here.

New Nursing Home Tax to Benefit For-Profit Medicaid Homes and Hurt Non-Profit Homes With Fewer Medicaid Beds

*** Our mission is to expose and remedy corruption in the Probate Court of Cook County, Illinois. We assist, educate and enlighten families of the dead, the dying, the disabled and the aged to better understand their rights in order to protect themselves from the excesses of the Probate Court of Cook County. is dedicated to networking the human element of people to people. We join together in reforming the corrupt Cook County Probate Court system.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Update on Bessie Blue Case

Bessie Blue Abduction From Natural Law_Common Law_Maritime Law_2.m4v

See Also:
Bessie Blue's "Abduction" on Tape

CA State Appeals Court Finds Marin County Needs to Protect Rights of Mental Patients

A state appeals court has ruled that the county of Marin improperly approved drugs to treat mental patients without first determining whether they were capable of making an informed choice not to take the medications.

The case involves two Marin County women with chronic mental disorders, identified in court filings only as Krishna G. and Donna H. The county of Marin was appointed conservator for both women in 2010 and approved treating them with psychotropic drugs. Under state law, a person who is "gravely disabled" due to a mental disorder may be committed for involuntary evaluation and treatment. The initial commitment is for 72 hours, and conservatorship for renewable periods of one year may follow after a hearing.

In 2011, Golden Gate University School of Law Professor Mort Cohen, a longtime advocate for the rights of the mentally ill, petitioned the Marin Superior Court on behalf of Krishna G. and Donna H. Cohen asserted that as conservator, the county was routinely approving the use of psychotropic drugs without conducting an evidentiary hearing on the patients' capacity to make their own decisions and without meaningful notice and an opportunity to be heard.

In the meantime, the county of Marin revised the written notification given to patients prior to conservatorship proceedings, and the conservatorships of both Krishna G. and Donna H. expired. Judge Lynn Duryee found Cohen's petition to be moot and dismissed it.

Cohen appealed, and on Friday the 1st District Court of Appeal in San Francisco reversed that decision and sent the case back to Judge Duryee to conduct further proceedings and enforce action "consistent with the views" in its opinion.

In its decision, the three-judge panel wrote that before conservatees are forced to take medications, a court must find that they lack "the mental capacity to rationally understand the nature of the medical problem, the proposed treatment, and the attendant risks."

Full Article and Source:
State Appeals Court Finds Marin Needs to Protect Rights of Mental Patients

Tuscon Caretaker Convicted of Fraud

A home health care worker has been convicted of stealing money belonging to an elderly patient.

Julianna Mari Lane of Tucson was found guilty of fraudulent schemes and artifices and financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult.

Over the course of seven months, 46-year-old Lane defrauded a vulnerable adult of money in Tucson. The loss was discovered by the patient's family member, who received notices for insufficient funds.

"Crimes of this kind are among the most disturbing," said Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne. "The vulnerable adult patient in this case trusted Ms. Lane to offer professional care and was instead the victim of theft."

Sentencing is set for May 14, 2012. She is facing between 6.5 and 25 years in prison.

Tuscon Caretaker Convicted of Fraud

Sunday, March 18, 2012

FL: ALF Bill Dies in the House

After years of rampant abuse in Florida’s assisted living facilities, Gov. Rick Scott and top lawmakers promised to create the most significant reforms in a generation to better protect thousands of frail elders and mentally ill residents.

But after a dramatic week of infighting and gamesmanship, House and Senate leaders on Friday couldn’t agree on major safeguards, delivering a crushing blow to elder advocates who had long been pleading for changes.

Just hours after the Senate overwhelmingly passed a bill to increase ALF inspections of troubled homes and shut down the worst abusers, the House refused to take up the measure amid heavy lobbying by powerful industry leaders in the waning days of the session.

“The biggest problem, I feel, is to have nothing. Gain no ground at all,” said Larry Polivka, who led the governor’s task force examining problems in ALFs. “It will have to be addressed next year.”

The defeat came after a dramatic plea on the Senate floor by Sen. Ronda Storms, R-Valrico. She urged House members to pass the measure that would have ushered in some of the nation’s toughest provisions to punish homes caught abusing and neglecting residents to death.

The failed effort follows months of reports in The Miami Herald of people dying in ALFs across the state — including residents beaten, starved and injected with lethal doses of drugs — prompting a legislative panel and a Miami-Dade grand jury to push for changes in oversight by state regulators.

But key differences between House and Senate plans — including tougher penalties on abusers — doomed proposals to increase oversight of facilities that are now the primary residences for Florida’s elderly and mentally ill.

Full Article and Source:
Lawmakers Fail to Agree on ALF Reform Bill

See Also:
The Miami Herald's Investigative Series: Neglected to Death

Up to 10 Percent of Nation's Elderly Suffer Abuse from In-Home Caregivers

While seniors often are the target of a variety of telephone and Internet scams, some of the most common forms of elder abuse are committed by those closest to vulnerable adults, such as in-home caregivers.

As there are few requirements for an individual to become a caregiver, it can be difficult to find a reliable, trustworthy caregiver, Kalkaska County Commission on Aging (KCOA) Director Gay Rowell said. The KCOA can place caregivers in homes and does full background and reference checks, as well as helping families work out payment methods.

"We put caregivers in the home," Rowell said. "We do in-home services and we encourage the family to let us help."

According to nationwide statistics from independent studies compiled by the National Center on Elder Abuse, an estimated one to two million Americans age 65 and older have been injured, exploited, or mistreated by a caregiver.

"The sad reality is that most of the financial exploitation that we see is committed by somebody known to the victim," said Lynne McCollum, Legal Services Developer and Elder Abuse Prevention Specialist for the Michigan Office of Services to the Aging.

Full Article and Source:
Up to 10 Percent of Nation's Elderly Suffer Abuse from In-Home Caregivers

ND Man Sentenced for Embezzlement, Owes Over $1 Mil Restitution

A Grand Forks man was sentenced for receiving over $1.2 million in retirement checks for his deceased father. Silas Lee McHenry, Jr., 67, pleaded guilty last October on a charge of embezzlement of government property. Mchenry, Jr. received his deceased father`s retirement checks from the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) from April 1983 through November 2009.

McHenry, Jr., was appointed as his father`s guardian to manage his affairs after McHenry Sr. was disabled. After McHenry Sr. died in March of 1983, McHenry Jr. didn`t notify OPM of his father`s death and continued to receive his father`s monthly retirement checks.

McHenry, Jr., was sentenced to 44 months in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release. He was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $1,246,362.22, and to pay a $100 special assessment to the Crime Victim`s Fund.

Grand Forks Man Sentenced for Embezzlement