Saturday, June 3, 2017

Reno man sentenced to prison for stealing from father

CARSON CITY, Nev. (KOLO) - Nevada Attorney General Adam Paul Laxalt has announced a prison sentence for a 27-year-old Reno man for exploitation of an older person.

Yohannes Habtemicael is sentenced for the category “B” felony for converting funds entrusted to him as his father’s guardian for personal use. The fraudulent acts were committed between August 2014 and November 2015.

Laxalt's office says in 2014, Habtemicael was appointed as the permanent guardian of his 67-year-old father Tewolde Habtemicael and his estate, after it was determined that Tewolde Habtemicael was unable to care for himself. As a guardian, his son was entrusted with funds for the limited purpose of providing for his father’s care. But he converted more than $88,000 of his father’s funds for his own personal use.

District Court Judge Jerome Polaha sentenced Habtemicael to 24-120 months in prison, and ordered him to pay full restitution in the amount of $88,414.65.

“Financial exploitation can take many forms, and commonly involves trusted persons of a vulnerable adult,” said Laxalt. “This sentencing sends a message that abuses committed against our elderly will not be tolerated and will be aggressively pursued and prosecuted. I am proud of how effective my Elder Abuse Section of the Financial Fraud Unit has been in responding to a statewide increase in financial fraud and guardianship exploitation.”

In July, 2016, the Nevada Legislature’s Interim Finance Committee unanimously approved Laxalt’s request to combat increasing financial fraud within the State using non-taxpayer settlement funds obtained by his office. Laxalt’s request included the allocation of approximately $400,000 of non-taxpayer settlement funds to the Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada in order to boost their capacity to fight civil guardianship exploitation and abuse. In the attorney general’s new budget, the Legislature re-authorized the financial fraud positions, as well as additional funding for Washoe Legal Services to combat elder exploitation in Northern Nevada counties. Although the Office of the Nevada Attorney General does not have primary jurisdiction over guardianship matters, the Office will continue to prosecute meritorious cases from District Attorney Offices who either refer or decline prosecution.

If you have information regarding a suspected instance of fraud, you can file a complaint here.

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Reno man sentenced to prison for stealing from father

Judge Wants Accounting From Man Accused in Wife's Killing

ROCKVILLE, Conn. (AP) — A Connecticut probate judge has given a man charged with killing his wife 60 days to detail what he did with her finances in the 17 months since her death.

The Hartford Courant reports ( ) Probate Judge James Purnell issued the order to Richard Dabate (DAH'-bayt) on Friday.

Dabate has pleaded not guilty to murder and other charges in connection with the killing of 39-year-old Connie Dabate two days before Christmas 2015.

The judge also formally removed Dabate as executor of his wife's estate, replacing him with her sister.

Dabate told investigators a masked man shot his wife and tied him up. But police said evidence contradicted Dabate's story, including information from his wife's Fitbit that showed she was moving around an hour after her husband said she was shot.

Full Article & Source:
Judge Wants Accounting From Man Accused in Wife's Killing

Nursing home employee accused of stealing nearly $400k from patient

A Minden woman who continued to work at a nursing home despite being accused in the past of abusing her position there is in trouble again.

This time, authorities say, she went even further. They accuse her of draining a resident’s bank and retirement accounts to the tune of $391,000.

Stephanie Sanders Hays, 49, the social services director at Leslie Lakes Retirement Center in Arcadia, was arrested Friday in a pharmacy parking lot in Minden.

She was booked on 15 counts of theft of the assets of a person who is aged or person with a disability, 19 counts of money laundering, 1 counts of forgery and 17 counts of exploitation of persons with infirmities.

She’s held in the Bienville Parish jail on a $300,000 bond.

Hays allegedly executed several schemes from September 2012 through February 2016 to gain access to the financial assets of at least one resident of Leslie Lakes, according to a news release from Attorney General Jeff Landry, whose Louisiana Department of Justice lead the investigation with the assistance of the Bienville Parish Sheriff’s Office and Minden Police Department.

Hays allegedly abused her power of attorney authority over the affairs of a resident – draining a bank account, IRAs, annuity plan, and proceeds from the sale of the resident’s home. She also allegedly shopped for items requested by the residents at local Walmart stores with forged retirement center checks. A portion of the funds included Social Security payments, pension payments and German reparation payments.

“Our office fights daily to protect our state’s seniors and sick. Criminals preying on Louisiana’s most vulnerable will investigated, apprehended, and prosecuted,” said Landry. “It is a disgusting travesty for the elderly, especially Holocaust survivors, to be scammed and robbed by those supposedly caring for them. I hope to get justice for our victims very soon.”

Hays was arrested in December 2013 on a charge of unauthorized use of a moveable after Hays admitted to using a deceased resident’s cell phone to send text messages. The deceased resident’s wife discovered the phone was being used despite assurances from the administrator it was secured.

Hays was not jailed for the offense. Instead, former District Attorney Johnathan Stewart placed her on pre-trial diversion.

Full Article & Source:
Nursing home employee accused of stealing nearly $400k from patient

Friday, June 2, 2017

Memorial Day Misery: Disabled Veteran Seeks Missing Funds, Sues VA Appointed Fiduciary

As he faces another Memorial Day, Ronald White's life remains a “blessed’’ struggle. The 69-year-old disabled Vietnam veteran walks with a cane these days. He’s had to move from his house into a group home.

But his biggest worries remain the financial stress caused when a fiduciary assigned by the Department of Veterans Affairs — a stranger he’s met only a handful of times — allegedly misappropriated a chunk of his savings.

“I’m blessed. I’m blessed,’’ White assures a visitor when asked how he’s holding up.

Keith Dobbs
But when the subject turns to Keith L. Dobbs, a now-disbarred Memphis attorney accused in court papers of mishandling White’s money, the former Army combat soldier’s tone changes.

“He stole my money,’’ says White. “He needs to be prosecuted.’’

More than a year after the VA first detected irregularities in Dobbs’ oversight of veterans' funds, authorities still are trying to sort it out. As a VA-appointed fiduciary, Dobbs managed the financial affairs of as many as 19 Memphis-area veterans — cases he eventually was removed from.

At least two lawsuits have been filed, including one on behalf of White, trying to collect an undetermined amount funds.

An independent investigation by The Commercial Appeal last year told the stories of veterans who suffered under Dobbs' watch, men like David Meadows, a brain-damaged Army veteran whose bank accounts were frozen and who feared being kicked out on the street; Bobbie Bouie, a 54-year-old PTSD victim who showed up sobbing at Shelby County Probate Court saying he had no money; and Henry Ashurst, 87, the victim of an earlier dishonest fiduciary who used $120,000 of the elderly vet’s funds to finance gambling junkets and personal bills before the VA assigned Dobbs to manage his affairs.

Evidence in Ashurst’s case suggest he might be the victim of another elaborate scam.

In an affidavit that led to the suspension of Dobbs' law license in February 2016, BankTennessee Chief Financial Officer Andrew John LoCascio questioned two certificates of deposit totaling $40,000 that Dobbs held for Ashurst. The bank officer said the CDs, listed by Dobbs in an accounting, are not BankTennessee instruments, saying the listings "falsely represent certificates of deposit balances.''

In all, LoCascio's affidavit questions 12 CDs totaling $178,000 that Dobbs contended were held in the name of Ashurst and three other veterans.

"Based on my investigation, the Account Certificates filed with the Probate Court Annual Accountings reflecting the certificates of deposit referred to above are not authentic documents certified by BankTennessee,'' the affidavit said. CD numbers listed by Dobbs either didn't exist at BankTennessee or were numbers associated with other customers, the affidavit said.

Marion Brooks, Ashurst’s sister and caregiver, said this week she’s been told by her brother’s new fiduciary that the VA has agreed to restore money that went missing on Dobbs’ watch.

“He said they put back a hundred thousand dollars. That’s what he stole from my brother,’’ Brooks said.

Scott Rose, the Memphis attorney the VA has appointed to replace Dobbs as Ashurst’s fiduciary, confirmed the VA has replaced missing funds from the veteran’s account but said ethically he can’t comment on the amount until records are filed in Shelby County Probate Court.

Efforts to interview Dobbs, 37, were unsuccessful.

Full Article and Source:
Memorial Day Misery:  Disabled Veteran Seeks Missing Funds, Sues VA Appointed Fiduciary

See Also:
Norman Hughes, Tennessee Victim

Anna man allegedly exploited 34 elderly, disabled persons

ANNA — An Anna man faces numerous counts of financial exploitation of the elderly or disabled and one count of continuing a financial crime enterprise in Union County.

Daniel H. Zimmerman, 40, is charged with 16 counts of financial exploitation of the elderly or disabled from $300 to $5,000, a Class 3 felony, and 18 counts of financial exploitation of the elderly or disabled, less than $300, a Class 4 felony.

Each count represents an individual victim, according to an indictment filed May 2 in Union County court.

“The indictment says he was in a position of trust or confidence,” said Union County State’s Attorney Tyler Edmonds.

Zimmerman is also charged with continuing a financial crime enterprise, a Class 1 felony. The indictment alleges he committed three or more offenses within an 18-month period. The alleged offenses occurred between July 1, 2015, and Nov. 10, 2016.

According to Union County court records, Zimmerman was charged with theft of between $300 and $10,000 in 1997. The charges were amended, and he was convicted of a misdemeanor charge of theft of less than $300, first offense. He received 12 months court supervision, was fined $300 and paid $2,315 in restitution.

In 2000, Zimmerman was charged with forgery. Again, he was convicted of an amended charge, which was writing a bad check, first offense. He received 12 months of court supervision and paid a total of $406, including a $150 fine and $100 in restitution.

Zimmerman’s first appearance on the 2017 charges will be at 9 a.m. June 13 in Union County court.

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Anna man allegedly exploited 34 elderly, disabled persons

Our view: Elder Abuse Awareness Day

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is Thursday, June 15. On that day, communities across the world will sponsor events to highlight the growing tragic issue of elder abuse. One such event is being planned in Jefferson County.

On June 12, from 2 to 3 p.m., the public is invited to attend the Jefferson County Elder and Vulnerable Adult Abuse Interdisciplinary Team meeting at the Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC) of Jefferson County, 1541 Annex Road, Jefferson. Speakers will include Lauren Hamvas on the Elder Rights Project and Sue Konkel and Sue Torum on the Dementia Care Training for Crisis.

It is a shame we have to even talk about elder abuse, let alone have programs to bring attention to the situation.

Elder abuse can be prevented if everyone would treat older Americans with respect and care, according to Sharon Olson, ADRC division manager in Jefferson County.

Every day in the United States, 10,000 people turn 65 years of age. And that trend is going to continue for the next 20 years. Demographics are shifting and soon there will be more elderly people in the U.S. than ever before. At the same time that the population is growing, a startling number of elders face abusive conditions, Olson said. Every year an estimated 5 million or 1 in 10 older Americans are victims of elder abuse, neglect or exploitation. And that’s only part of the picture, she added. Experts believe that for every case of elder abuse or neglect reported, as many as 23.5 cases go unreported.

Elder abuse can be physical, emotional, financial and sexual. Elders who are abused are twice as likely to be hospitalized, four times as likely to go into a nursing home and three times as likely to die. Most abusers are family members, although trusted professionals and complete strangers may also target older adults, Olson said.

During June, a banner promoting the Awareness of Elder Abuse will be displayed in front of the Jefferson County Courthouse along with purple pinwheels that represent the number of cases the Jefferson County Adult Protective Services Unit responded to in 2016.

Learning the warning signs of abuse and knowing how to report is another step toward prevention. Adult Protective Services in Jefferson County can be reached at 920-674-3105 or any local police department can be contacted for assistance and information on elder abuse.

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Our view: Elder Abuse Awareness Day

Pensioner jailed for 'exploiting' elderly widow

A pensioner who 'exploited' an elderly and vulnerable widow in order to steal more than £100,000 from her has been jailed for more than two years.

73 year old Anthony Powell of Harrow Road in Gillingham, Kent, wrote out three blank cheques to himself in the space of four months after befriending 90 year old Hester Herby.

He was said to have taken advantage of her age and confusion, and forged her signature to release an investment policy, a court heard.

Powell even claimed to be her next of kin when she was in hospital following a fall, and following his arrest branded Mrs Herby manipulative and a heavy drinker who had 'made advances' towards him.

While a judge accepted Powell had not embarked on his friendship with Mrs Herby with the aim of conning her, he said he had 'targeted' her vulnerability.
You took the opportunity, perhaps because of her failing health, to steal that sum. There was a degree of planning. It was a mean offence and the upset and harm to your victim was obvious... While it is a case involving money, it also involves a breach of trust and exploitation of a vulnerable and elderly person."
– Judge Philip St.John-Stevens

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Pensioner jailed for 'exploiting' elderly widow

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Introduction and Guide to Supported Decision-Making

The Minnesota Department of Human Services invites you to learn more about supportive decision making. Individuals, regardless of a disability, have the right to be involved and integrated into their community. Supportive decision making is an approach for reducing the need for restrictive proceedings where an individual’s right to make choices is taken away.

As part of Minnesota’s efforts to support person-centered planning, and services that promote choice and integration, DHS is pleased to present this video introduction, presented by Jonathan Martinis, senior director for law and policy at the Burton Blatt Institute at Syracuse University.

Introduction and Guide to Supported Decision-Making

95-Year-Old Woman Bilked by Attorney, Judge Strips Guardianship

An Orange County Superior Court judge Thursday took guardianship away from a suspended Santa Ana attorney who is the trustee for a 95-year-old woman he billed more than $488,000 to help her get her driver’s license back.

Wayne Irwin McClaskey has been suspended from practicing law since January 2015, for billing Lola Wilber $488,700 to “resist the adverse decision of the DMV on her driver’s license renewal,” according to the State Bar.

But McClaskey remains Wilber’s trustee and has control over her trust containing at least $600,000, said Senior Deputy District Attorney Marc Labreche. He appeared at Thursday’s hearing as a “friend of the court” because he prosecuted McClaskey subordinate, Thomas Chapman Hood, who pleaded guilty to stealing about $534,000 from Wilber.

McClaskey sold Wilber’s home after taking out a reverse mortgage on the property, Labreche said.

The Orange County Public Guardian is now in charge of caring for Wilber and her estate, Labreche said. A hearing will be held on July 5 to make the temporary order permanent.

Hood, 69, pleaded guilty Monday to multiple felonies and was sentenced to five years of formal probation and 212 days in jail, or time already served in the case, Labreche said. The prosecutor worked out the plea deal based on Hood’s health, which has worsened in custody as he underwent a procedure on his heart in the medical ward, Labreche said.

Hood put up $150,000 toward restitution to the victim, as well, according to Labreche, who said insisting on a prison sentence would have meant Wilber wouldn’t have gotten any money back.

Full Article and Source:
95-Year-Old Woman Bilked by Attorney, Judge Strips Guardianship

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Elder Guardianship Cases Winding Their Way up to Federal Court

Mary Bush lives 20 minutes away from her 86-year-old mother in West Chester, Pa., but she’s not allowed to visit. In fact, Ms. Bush hasn’t seen her mother, Genevieve Bush, in 16 months because she was restricted from setting foot inside the Park Lane nursing home where the elderly Ms. Bush resides.

“I showed up on Jan. 27 to visit my mom and was told to leave by the administrator,” Ms. Bush told PacerMonitor. “When I called the police to report the visitation ban, I was assaulted by the officer.” Ms. Bush blames her mother’s court-appointed guardian Carol Hershey, who reportedly sent a letter stating Ms. Bush could no longer visit.

In most states, it is not uncommon for the elderly to lose their individual rights around residence, visitation, medical care, assets and property once they become a ward of the state under a court-ordered guardianship.

The younger Ms. Bush filed Bush v. Goodall on March 28, 2017, in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania after state court dismissed Ms. Bush’s petitions on two occasions.

“There’s no legal remedy in our state courts,” said Ms. Bush in a phone interview. “I want to stop Park Lane’s violations of mother’s resident rights, her rights under the nursing home reform act and my constitutional rights of association and communication with my mom.”

Ms. Bush is among a rising number of adult children of elderly parents confined to nursing homes who are seeking relief in federal court from state guardianship-related proceedings.

Full Article and Source:
Elder Guardianship Cases Winding Their Way up to Federal Court

NY: Former Nursing Home Worker Convicted of Sexually Abusing Patients

A former employee of an upstate nursing home was convicted Tuesday of sexually abusing six residents who had suffered traumatic brain injuries, the New York state Attorney General’s office announced.

Jacky Stanley will face between 8 1/3 and 25 years in prison, according to Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. He was convicted of offenses against all six victims at the Northeast Center for Special Care in Lake Katrine, Ulster County, and all the victims testified at trial, Schneiderman said in a news release.

“Jacky Stanley used his position as a caretaker to commit reprehensible and disturbing acts of abuse. The bravery shown by his victims at trial will help ensure that he will never be able to terrorize vulnerable New Yorkers again,” Schneiderman said in the release.

The nursing home provides care to those who have suffered traumatic brain injuries caused by stroke, car accidents, falls and other incidents. Stanley was responsible for helping new residents get acclimated, and helped manage the social environment and ensure that residents participated in required programs as a “neighborhood counselor,” the release said.

Full Article and Source:
Former Ulster County Nursing Home Worker Convicted of Sexually Abusing Patients

Maine House Votes Down Physician Assisted Suicide

The Maine House of Representatives has rejected a bill that would have legalized physician-assisted suicide in the state.

“There is no life on Earth without pain and suffering,” said Rep. Roger Reed, R-Carmel. “Life is a gift from God regardless of its circumstances.”

LD 347, introduced by Sen. Robert Katz, R-Augusta, allowed those diagnosed with a terminal illness to request that their doctor write a prescription that would “hasten [their] death.”

The bill required physicians to inform the patient of all of their options, including the provision of palliative care, hospice care and pain control. He or she would also be mandated to include in the patient’s record that the information had been provided orally and in writing, as well as a notation that the person could live longer than estimated.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Ohio's Health Department Wants Direct Authority to Go After Bad Nursing Homes

By Catherine Candisky
The Columbus Dispatch

The Ohio Department of Health wants more authority to crack down on poorly performing nursing homes and staff members who mistreat residents.

After a couple of highly publicized incidents, Gov. John Kasich’s administration has asked the state Senate to return to the two-year budget plan two provisions aimed at protecting residents and improving care. The measures had been proposed by Dave Holston, chief of the state agency’s Office of Health Assurance and Licensing, said the authority would allow state officials to act quickly if problems arise.

“We want to improve quality of care,” he said.

Holston pointed to an incident last summer when 175 patients at Regency Manor Rehabilitation and Subacute Center in Columbus spent more than a week without air conditioning before being relocated. In another case, an aide was charged after performing a sexually provocative dance on a 100-year-old resident at an assisted-living facility in Sandusky.

About 75,000 Ohioans live in 967 nursing homes across the state.

Some say the added authority is unnecessary.

“We’re not really sure why they need this. They can already intervene,” said Pete Van Runkle, executive director of the Ohio Health Care Association, which represents the nursing home industry.

The state has authority under the federal regulatory system to impose corrective action or appoint a temporary manager to take over as needed, he said.

Advocates for seniors support the administration’s proposal.

Review of Sanctions Would Benefit Judicial Disciplinary System

The current judicial system created by the 1993 amendments to the Pennsylvania Constitution has been working fairly well. The Judicial Conduct Board was created under Article 5, Section 18 of the Pennsylvania Constitution as was the Court of Judicial Discipline. Rules of Procedure for both the Judicial Conduct Board and the Court of Judicial Discipline have been promulgated.

In the last several years, the Judicial Conduct Board has been given some additional funding and hired several additional lawyers and investigators. These were well needed because of the ever-growing number of complaints made against judges in Pennsylvania. It should be pointed out there are ultimately very few complaints of substance. Approximately 90 to 95 percent of all complaints are dismissed as having no merit.

Of course, every system can be made better. One of the frustrations in dealing with the Judicial Conduct Board is the inability to be able to present in person the judge's version to the Judicial Conduct Board. After letters are sent and depositions, only the counsel for the Judicial Conduct Board meets with the board and then decisions are made as to the nature of discipline. In all the years I have practiced before the board, there's only one case where the Judicial Conduct Board invited him to present his case to the board. ...

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Review of Sanctions Would Benefit Judicial Disciplinary System

Texas Legislature Passes Law Protecting Seniors From Financial Abuse

A law making it more difficult to exploit seniors financially has passed both houses of the Texas Legislature and is on its way to the governor for signature.

House Bill 3921 gives banks and securities firms the authority to place a temporary "hold" on suspicious transactions in an elderly or disabled person's account. It is designed to bolster fraud protection procedures already in place at most banks, said Jordan Taylor, a spokeswoman for Tan Parker, the representative who sponsored the bill with state senator Kelly Hancock.

The law will allow banks and other financial firms to scrutinize any type of large, unusual transaction in a senior citizen's account before it's processed.

"By allowing banks and securities firms to place temporary holds on suspicious transactions, the legislature is giving them a powerful tool to stop elder financial exploitation in its tracks," AARP said in a release.

Full Article and Source:
Texas Legislature Passes Law Protecting Seniors From Financial Abuse

Medical Negligence Victim Awarded $15 Million: ‘I Died That Day’

CASTLE ROCK, Colo. (CBS4) – A Douglas County jury has found an ambulatory surgical center negligent and awarded its patient millions of dollars in damages after she was paralyzed following a medical procedure.

In 2013, Robbin and Ed Smith visited The Surgery Center at Lone Tree to treat Robbin’s back pain. The couple, who live in Castle Rock, had plans to travel from Colorado to Missouri for their son’s upcoming wedding.

robbin and ed smith2 Medical Negligence Victim Awarded $15 Million: I Died That Day
CBS4’s Lauren DiSpirito interviews the Smiths. (credit: CBS)

Doctors recommended an epidural steroid injection, a procedure Robbin had had before. This time, doctors used a different drug, Kenalog, one that according to the Smith’s attorney Bruce Braley contained a warning it could cause serious injury or death if administered by epidural injection.

The Smiths tell CBS4 they were not told Kenalog was being used in her injection or warned of its potential effects. They say the drug caused a stroke in Robbin’s spine. Minutes later, she was paralyzed.

“Our life has changed forever,” Robbin Smith said. “I died that day, I completely died that day.”

robbin and ed smith1 Medical Negligence Victim Awarded $15 Million: I Died That Day
Robbin and Ed Smith (credit: CBS)

Robbin spent more than two months in inpatient rehabilitation at Craig Hospital. She learned she would never walk again.

Unable to attend her son’s wedding while in rehab, Robbing watched the event using FaceTime and an iPad Ed carried down the aisle and with him throughout the reception.

wedding Medical Negligence Victim Awarded $15 Million: I Died That Day
(credit: CBS)

Braley says Kenalog’s maker received FDA approval to add the warning to its label not to use the drug for epidural use in 2011, two years before it was administered to Robbin. The Smiths say the surgery center should have known not to use Kenalog for epidural injections.

“I don’t think there’s anyone that I know of that’s going to say, ‘yeah go ahead, inject me with a drug that’s known to cause catastrophic neurological damages,’ they didn’t give us that opportunity, they know better than we do,” Ed Smith said.

Last month, after a two-week long civil trial, a jury in Douglas County found the surgery center negligent and awarded the Smiths nearly $15 million in damages. Braley says it’s the second largest medical negligence verdict in Colorado history. Because of damages caps, the Smiths say they will likely receive about a third of the award.

robbin smith Medical Negligence Victim Awarded $15 Million: I Died That Day
(credit: CBS)

“It’s not about the money,” Robbin said. “Give me my legs back, that will trade for the money, that will completely trade for the money. Is that going to happen? No.”

The Smiths had been looking forward to traveling, especially to the beach, Robbin’s favorite destination. Robbin now needs 24/7 care for the rest of her life. Ed retired early to help care for her. They say travel is often too difficult to manage.

robbin and ed smith Medical Negligence Victim Awarded $15 Million: I Died That Day
Robbin and Ed Smith (credit: CBS)

A representative of the law firm that’s defending the surgery center said Thursday it’s attorneys were not available to comment on the case. They’ve filed a motion to delay final judgement as they seek to resolve “post-trial motions and issues” in the case.

Full Article & Source:
Medical Negligence Victim Awarded $15 Million: ‘I Died That Day’

Monday, May 29, 2017

This Picture Speaks 1,000 Words!

Memorial Day is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation's service.

It is a sad state of events when we learn that many disabled veterans are kept in miserable circumstances while under the control of a guardian, whether under the VA guardian program, or through our own state courts.

NPR: As Nursing Homes Evict Patients, States Question Motive

by Inn Jaffe

People complain about nursing homes a lot: the food's no good or there's not enough staff, and so on. It's a long list. But the top complaint, according to the federal government, is eviction from a nursing home.

Technically, it's known as involuntary discharge, and in 2015 it brought in more than 9,000 complaints. Now, a couple of states are looking for ways to hold nursing homes accountable for unnecessary evictions.

One of those states is Maryland.

Brian Frosh, the state's attorney general, says that, in Maryland, more than half of all involuntary discharges have come from just one small chain of nursing homes run by Neiswanger Management Services, or NMS Healthcare.

"Your odds of getting evicted from an NMS nursing home are about a hundred times what they are of any other nursing home in the state," says Frosh.

Maryland is now suing NMS for Medicaid fraud. The suit alleges that the company charged the state for services it didn't deliver, specifically for discharge planning. Nursing homes are supposed to make sure a resident has a safe place to go. But Frosh says that NMS sent residents with complex medical needs to homeless shelters or to unlicensed board-and-care facilities.

For example, according to the complaint, a woman with severe dementia was dropped off in front her son's home. Someone from NMS "just opened the car door and let her out and drove away," says Frosh. "Her son found her wandering around several hours later when he came home from work."

Full Article and Source:
NPR:  As Nursing Homes Evict Patients, States Question Motive

To Be a Genius, Think Like a 94-Year Old

In 1946, a 23-year-old Army veteran named John Goodenough headed to the University of Chicago with a dream of studying physics. When he arrived, a professor warned him that he was already too old to succeed in the field.

Recently, Dr. Goodenough recounted that story for me and then laughed uproariously. He ignored the professor’s advice and today, at 94, has just set the tech industry abuzz with his blazing creativity. He and his team at the University of Texas at Austin filed a patent application on a new kind of battery that, if it works as promised, would be so cheap, lightweight and safe that it would revolutionize electric cars and kill off petroleum-fueled vehicles. His announcement has caused a stir, in part, because Dr. Goodenough has done it before. In 1980, at age 57, he coinvented the lithium-ion battery that shrank power into a tiny package.

We tend to assume that creativity wanes with age. But Dr. Goodenough’s story suggests that some people actually become more creative as they grow older. Unfortunately, those late-blooming geniuses have to contend with powerful biases against them.

Full Article and Source:
To Be a Genius, Think Like a 94-Year-Old

Students are unlikely housemates at retirement home — and wouldn’t have it any other way

On a clear day, the view from the rooftop patio of Kingsley Manor extends from the Pacific Ocean to beyond the downtown L.A. skyline. The ivy-covered brick walls of this four-acre Hollywood estate hold a gym, movie theater and an elegant dining room that serves three hot meals a day. This regal residence is an unlikely location for free student housing, particularly since it is a retirement community.

In a pioneering collaboration with the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology, at least 60 USC Davis students have called Kingsley Manor home since 1984, earning room and board in exchange for two days of service each week. They teach yoga and languages, lead group-game sessions and art classes, providing smiles and support when needed.

“It is good to have youth around,” said Barbara Rosenbaum, 85.

Studies suggest that she is right — intergenerational programs have been linked to stabilizing cognitive decline, improving moods and decreasing pain. In addition, participation in social activities, like those the students lead, has been credited with improving the physical and mental health of seniors.

The students benefit, too. They say having seniors as roommates has brought them wisdom, friendships and daily reminders that abilities, not disabilities, should define older adults. This is a lesson that student Yuting Guan learned when a woman who could not see well requested some computer assistance.

“It turned out she knew more than me,” she said of the resident who ran two websites and had worked as a technology expert. “She taught me to connect the hard drive and told me which programs to quit.”

A few similar residential programs have recently begun in places like Ohio, Spain and the Netherlands, but Kingsley Manor’s is believed to be the only one specifically for gerontology students and is designed to help train future leaders in the field.

Shaun Rushforth MS ’08 is one of those leaders. He lived in Kingsley Manor a decade ago and is now the executive director. He said his experience as a resident makes him more empathetic as an administrator.

“I don’t know what it is like to be an 84-year-old man,” he said. “But I do know what it is like to live in a retirement community.”

Full Article & Source:
Students are unlikely housemates at retirement home — and wouldn’t have it any other way

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Tonight on T.S. Radio: Danny Tate on Board - You Know This Will be Good!

5:00 pm PST … 6:00 pm MST … 7:00 pm CST … 8:00 pm EST
Danny Tate will join the show as co-host at least once a month. We will be covering guardian abuse, conservator abuse, corrupt courts and judges and whatever else pops up that needs to be talked about.

We cannot continue to go back to the same organizations, political operatives and "stakeholders" who created and facilitate this system of human trafficking for profit and expect them to change it. We need new ideas, fresh approaches and individuals willing to work as a team to effect a change.

We have seen several supposed corrective bills both state and federal that do nothing to protect individuals from the predators that access this system, that do nothing but further secure this system. We need ideas, input, and an end to this predatory system. We are up against a well funded and well connected system that is nothing less than organized crime. Its up to us to change it!

We will be taking calls during this show if you have questions, comments or suggestions on how to proceed.

To contact us:

LISTEN LIVE or listen to the archive later

MN: KARE11 Investigates Nursing Home Complaints, Chapter 1

She cried out in pain, but a Twin Cities woman says she was left in bed for 19 hours with two broken legs before a Twin Cities nursing home finally sent her to the hospital.

Her case is one of thousands of reports of possible abuse and neglect at Minnesota nursing homes that aren’t investigated by the state’s Department of Health. And because there is no investigation, the state keeps the complaints secret, hiding them from public view.

Families who say their concerns were ignored first by their caregivers – and then by state regulators – have been left without answers. And they say other families are being left in the dark about possible problems.

Mary’s story

Eileen and Butch Cleary say their mom, Mary Cleary, lived a good life. But they can’t stop thinking about the end.

“Still a little bit of anger,” said Eileen as she laid flowers at her mother’s grave.

Eileen and her brother say Mary was still sharp, well into her 90’s. “She was real active,” Butch said. “Right up until the end, yeah. Right up until she fell.”

The incident happened at Martin Luther Care Center in Bloomington.

Before she died, Mary wanted to tell her story to help protect others. As her children recorded on a cell phone, she described a night spent in agonizing pain.

“I was screaming and I couldn’t really help it,” she said.

On the family’s video Mary describes how an aide used an EZ Stand to transfer her from a wheelchair into bed. She claims something went wrong during the transfer and she felt her legs break. A report by the nursing home says Mary, “yelled out in pain and her knees buckled.”

“I think they were broken when I fell,” Mary says in the video. “They said ‘Oh, you didn’t break any bones’ and I said I know I did. I could kind of hear them.”

But Mary said no one believed her. The nurse’s note from that night just says Mary “reported aching leg pains” and was administered Tylenol. No one called the doctor, records show.

“They laid me there and I didn’t have anything, really, that I could do except cry and yell,” Mary said.

It wasn’t until around noon the next day when the nursing home brought in a portable x-ray machine according to Martin Luther Care Center records.

The x-ray confirmed one broken leg.

By 4:54 p.m. that afternoon, 19 hours after the EZ Stand incident, Mary was finally sent by ambulance to the hospital. X-rays there revealed she’d actually broken both femurs.

“She was definitely in a lot of pain,” Butch said. And her kids recalled she was mad. “They were basically calling her a liar,” Eileen said.

In a mandated report to the Minnesota Department of Health, Martin Luther Care Center aides said they “didn’t notify a physician” because Mary had “chronic leg pain” and osteoporosis. The nursing home concluded it did nothing wrong.

“They never ever asked her what happened that night,” Butch said.

On October 26, 2016, less than three weeks after breaking her legs, Mary Cleary died.

TN: News Channel 5 Investigates: Who's Judging the Judges?

When it comes to allegations of misconduct inside the courtroom, who's judging the judges?

That's the question raised by a NewsChannel 5 investigation into a Nashville judge who's repeatedly late for court.

"I don't feel that it was investigated," said White Bluff resident Tommy Craig.

As a self-employed maintenance man, Craig knows the importance of showing up to work on time.

"I have to be there when I say I'll be there," Craig said, noting that if he doesn't show up "they'll get someone else."

Judge Rachel Bell
But when Craig went to court for a 9 a.m. hearing on a contract dispute last year, he says the judge, Rachel Bell, didn't even show up until 10:30 a.m.

And, right in the middle of his testimony, "She excused me from the witness stand and took a picture with a high school class from Whites Creeks High School."

A bit later, the Davidson County General Sessions judge decided to take another break.

"She announced she was going to take a 15-minute break and didn't come back for an hour and five minutes," Craig said. "We were sitting in the courtroom starving to death. It was almost like a joke."

In fact, a NewsChannel 5 hidden-camera investigation recently showed people waiting inside Bell's courtroom for hours, with the judge not even leaving her house until well over an hour after court was scheduled to start.

Bell blamed her diabetes and a thyroid condition, arguing the Americans with Disabilities Act allows her to adjust her schedule.

"I'm going to need ADA accommodations for the rest of my life until there is a cure," she said.

Full Article, Video, and Source:
News Channel 5 Investigates:  Who's Judging the Judges?

Minnesota Surveillance Camera Ruling a Victory for Nursing Home Residents

Early this year, an inexplicable blister developed on the heel of Mary Ann Papp’s foot — the size of a baseball and a shade of purplish red.

It appeared to be a serious infection, but Papp’s daughter, Lisa Papp-Richards, said the Bemidji nursing home where her 75-year-old mother lived was unable to provide a clear explanation. Papp-Richards said she grew more concerned after she discovered what she thought was a puddle of urine on the floor beneath her mother’s wheelchair.

So Papp-Richards, 49, a day-care worker and mother of two young children, did what a growing number of Minnesota families are doing: She installed a surveillance camera in her mother’s room to monitor her daily care.

To her surprise, staff at Neilson Place objected — even covering the camera with a towel on some occasions or unplugging it. Eventually the family filed a complaint with the Minnesota Department of Health, and even though the home said it tried to resolve the dispute, the agency last week issued a far-reaching ruling in favor of the family.

The maltreatment finding is significant because it is considered the first of its kind to affirm, in clear language, the right of a Minnesota senior home resident to use a camera in a private room without fear of harassment. It also comes at a time when state health regulators have publicly acknowledged they are failing to keep pace with a dramatic, sevenfold increase in maltreatment complaints since 2010.

With state health inspectors overwhelmed by maltreatment complaints, the tiny cameras have become an important tool for families who suspect abuse or neglect but feel nursing home authorities dismiss their concerns.

Yet the cameras — small enough to fit inside a potted plant or a stuffed doll — have become a major point of controversy. Relatives who install the devices at times face intimidation by nursing home staff, and conflicting guidance on whether such surveillance is even legal without the facility’s consent. State law is murky on the matter, even as hidden camera footage has become increasingly useful for law enforcement officers and regulators investigating allegations of criminal abuse.