Saturday, February 2, 2019
Elias Saldana, 57, was arrested and is facing multiple charges including second degree sexual assault, second degree reckless endangerment, fourth degree sexual assault, and second degree burglary.
Saldana is accused of sneaking into the 75-year-old non-verbal woman's room at Regal Care of Southport and sexually assaulting her.
Police say staff members reported that Saldana was observed exiting the woman's room. Upon further inspection of the patient, an employee discovered the woman's adult diaper had been opened.
Police say family members of the woman reported multiple previous incidents where Saldana had accessed the room specifically against the family's wishes. Police say staff at the home had also put a safety plan in place to prevent Saldana from entering the woman's room.
Police say Saldana has a long criminal history, and numerous convictions out of New York including felony DWI, criminal impersonation, criminal trespass and more.
They say Saldana was a patient at the facility since July 2017 and had a history of alcohol abuse. Saldana was undergoing physical therapy after being hit by a car.
Police say Regal Care has a policy where male patients are not permitted to enter female patients' rooms.
However, Saldana told detectives he would often go into the victim's room to kiss her on the head and face but denied inappropriately touching her.
Regal Care of Southport declined to comment on the incident.
Saldana is being held on a $100,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in Bridgeport Superior Court on Tuesday.
Full Article & Source:
Police: 75-year-old non-verbal woman sexually assaulted at Southport convalescent home
Full Article & Source:
Opinion: Prosecute financial exploitation of elderly
At Stonecreek Health and Rehabilitation in Paducah that same year, harried nursing staff dealt with a resident screaming about excruciating pain from a neglected urinary catheter — he had an infection that soon would require emergency hospitalization — by removing his speaking valve, a plastic prosthesis in his throat, to render him mute.
At Woodcrest Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Elsemere this year, a resident told state inspectors that he was ordered to empty his bowels in bed when nobody on staff was available to take him to the bathroom. The resident cried and said this was disgusting. A nurse’s aide who often cared for him confirmed this practice to inspectors, adding that “the facility was short-staffed all the time.”
These stories and many others taken from state inspections of Kentucky nursing homes over the last three years show a pattern — vulnerable people frequently are at risk because their caregivers are stretched too thin to be effective.
It’s a big reason why 43 percent of Kentucky’s 284 nursing homes this year were rated as “below average” or “much below average” by the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services because of serious problems discovered with the quality of care they provide their roughly 12,500 residents, according to a Herald-Leader analysis of federal data.
That’s among the worst collective ratings for nursing homes in the country.
The state’s nursing home lobby, while complaining about what it called a “gotcha” regulatory system, told lawmakers at a 2015 committee hearing that Kentucky’s facilities received six times as many “immediate jeopardy” deficiencies from inspectors as the national average and fines that were six times larger than the national average.
Fines are levied — and lawsuits are filed — over bedsores, infections, bone-breaking falls, choking, medication errors, untreated pain and neglect, as residents are left to lie in their own feces and urine for hours, according to the newspaper’s review.
“I don’t think the public really understands what goes on in some of these places. Reading the inspection reports, seeing what the citations are for, it opens your eyes,” said Wanda Delaplane, a nursing home reform advocate who has testified to lawmakers.
Delaplane’s 84-year-old father suffered an agonizing death at a Frankfort nursing home in 2002 from what she described as a lack of medical attention for an impacted bowel. Staff was nowhere to be found while he cried out for someone to help him, she said. A jury awarded her family $20 million in damages.
The General Assembly keeps responding to this plight with legislation that would make it harder to sue nursing homes. They have established “medical review panels” composed of doctors deciding the credibility of negligence suits before they can go to court, quickly creating a backlog of cases. They also have proposed placing caps on plaintiff’s attorneys’ fees in such suits and restrictions on how a nursing home’s safety violations can be publicized in lawyers’ advertising.
However, lawmakers won’t touch the underlying problem: There typically aren’t enough nurses and nurse’s aides on duty at nursing homes to properly care for residents. Some inspection reports describe a solitary direct-care employee rushing up and down hallways to assist so many elderly and ailing residents that injuries, even deaths, are almost inevitable.
“It’s the staffing,” said Sherry Culp, executive director of the Nursing Home Ombudsman Agency of the Bluegrass in Lexington. Culp’s nonprofit agency visits nursing homes in Central Kentucky to monitor living conditions and inform residents of their legal rights.
“A lot of the problems we work on, it all comes down to the fact that either there isn’t sufficient staff on hand to care for people or else they’re not being adequately trained, or both. Over and over and over we see this,” Culp said. “If you’ve got one nurse’s aide and 40 residents, there’s no ability to do any basic care, much less to develop any sort of a relationship with people.”
Kentucky nursing homes, on average, fall short of that goal, reporting 43 minutes of daily care from registered nurses and two hours and 19 minutes from nurse’s aides, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which collects staffing and resident population data from the facilities.
The state’s many substandard nursing homes have even worse numbers. At Hazard Health & Rehabilitation Center in Perry County, for instance, with $45,861 in fines accumulated from deficiencies over the last three years, residents can only count on 15 minutes daily with a registered nurse on average, CMS reports. (In a recent interview, facility administrator Charlotte Thornsberry said she disputed that figure, but she declined repeated requests to provide a sum that she believes is more accurate.)
Melinda Henshaw, a nurse who has worked as a unit manager in Western Kentucky nursing homes, said she quit because the conditions she witnessed upset her.
“The nurses on the floor are stressed,” Henshaw said. “They are missing so many of the changes in residents — and they know it. It’s not unusual for one nurse to have 30 residents. She’s gonna miss it when things start going bad. She does not have the time to notice everything she needs to and answer the phones and fill out the paperwork she’s supposed to. No one could do all that.”
Henshaw said her own mother was in a Kentucky nursing home and went eight hours on the overnight shift without anyone checking on her because the facility was short-staffed.
“People are going without baths. People are going without following their care plans,” Henshaw said. “I had one resident who was supposed to be up and about four hours a day so he could regain his strength. That wasn’t happening because there wasn’t enough staff to help him.” (Click to Continue)
Full Article & Source:
‘Patients are getting screwed’ as Kentucky’s under-staffed nursing homes go unfixed
Friday, February 1, 2019
|Jeremia Hodge died April 1, 2018, just hours after arriving to the Mt. Carmel ER and then being admitted to the ICU. (Courtesy: Hodge family)|
The Hodge brothers have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Dr. William Husel, and John Doe nurses and pharmacists who worked at Mt. Carmel Hospital. It's the latest wrongful death lawsuit filed against the doctor, the hospital, and other staff after the hospital revealed at least 34 patients were given excessive and potentially fatal doses of pain medication.
“We know about construction, not medicine,” the Hodge brothers said.
So the men say when they were told their mother Sue Hodge was “brain dead” after being admitted to the Intensive Care Unit on April 1st 2018, they had a difficult decision to make. The family had just wrapped up a family picnic at a park on Easter Sunday only to find themselves in the middle of a nightmare.
“We thought she just had a cold and that she was just, we thought she would be in the hospital for some time and would come out of it,” said Jacob Hodge.
He said Dr. Husel recommended taking Sue off life support because “there was nothing else to be done for her.”
“We all had a meeting together and decided to unplug her because that is, he said, that is the best, the best for her. That she would be out of pain and suffering if we just went ahead and did it,” Robert said.
Lawyer David Shroyer said Sue Hodge was given 800 micrograms of Fentanyl and another drug Versed. Shroyer said 100 micrograms would be a “comfort” dose.
“You cannot take a position that I am going to administer drugs that hastens death to put someone out of their pain. That is an act of euthanasia, that is illegal in Ohio. That’s murder,” Shroyer said.
The Hodges talked about how difficult it is coming forward to speak out about the case. Robert Hodge said his mother was his best friend. “I talked to my mom every day. I drove cross country talked to her for hours. I am disappointed in the medical field. Really just upset and angry.”
Steven Hodge said it’s rough on them as the investigation continues. “It was like opening the wound all over again. We gotta live with this again and share it with the public.”
“Why? Why would you do this to people? You are supposed to be trusted,” Steven said about Dr. Husel. “We trusted the doctor’s word. You are in the hospital that is what you do. You trust your doctor. In this case, it was wrong.”
Husel has been fired by Mt. Carmel and his medical license has been yanked. Fourteen nurses and six pharmacists are on administrative leave as the probe continues. “I can’t even comprehend any of this would happen and why there is not situations to stop something like this,” said Jacob Hodge.
Full Article & Source:
Family: Mom given fatal overdose of meds hours after going to ER with shortness of breath
Millions of elderly people (age 65 and older) experience falls. Further statistics show that; one out of five falls result in a serious injury, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). More than 300,000 elderly people are hospitalized each year for hip fractures, with 95 percent of hip fractures resulting from a fall. With the advancements in medicine and increasing life expectancy, it is predicted that the incidence of hip fractures of this nature will increase by 12 percent by 2030 (National Council on Aging).
This is a problem — and a growing problem at that.
Falling may result in broken bones, brain injuries, loss of independence, fear of future falls, and even death. Approximately 9,500 deaths in older adults are associated with falls annually. According to the American Family Physician, one fourth of elderly persons who sustain a hip fracture will die within six months of the injury, more than 50 percent of older adults who survive a hip fracture are discharged to nursing homes, and nearly half of that population will still reside in a nursing home a year later.
For those who survive a serious fall resulting in a significant injury, the impact on an elderly patient’s quality of life can be devastating. Falls have physical impacts but also psychological ones. Patients often become fearful of falling again, which in turn results in restriction of activities, decreased mobility and function, and loss of independence. Overall, there can be a substantial negative impact to someone’s quality of life. With declining independence comes the need for caregivers, community resources, and subsequently, financial concerns.
I can recall caring for an elderly woman a few years ago. She had entered the hospice program with advanced dementia, a diagnosis highly linked to falling. Her dementia had gotten to the point that she moved into an assisted living facility. Her hospice services continued in that setting. The patient was still ambulatory and enjoyed interacting with others. Unfortunately, a few months later she sustained a fall and fractured her hip. She was admitted to the hospital for evaluation. Hospice continued to visit her in the hospital. The patient was not a surgical candidate because of her advanced dementia and history of cardiac disease. The decision was made to seek palliative care at the Hospice of the Panhandle Inpatient Facility. She passed away a few weeks later — peacefully.†
What can be done to help? While there are interventions that can help decrease the risk of falling for an elderly person, there will always be incidence of falls and subsequent injuries and quality of life impacts. Once a frail elderly person falls and experiences a serious injury, patients, families and medical providers should consider a hospice referral. As mentioned above the morbidity and mortality for this patient population is high.
How can hospice help?
When a patient is admitted to hospice services, he or she gets an additional level of support that is aimed at improving quality of life. Physical, psychological, social, financial, and spiritual needs can be addressed by the hospice team. Hospice is an interdisciplinary service made up of:
• physicians (who can make house calls and are experts in pain and symptom management);
• nurses (who make weekly visits, coordinate the patient’s care with his or her physician, can help organize the patient’s medications);
• social workers (who can address emotional, financial and legal concerns);
• certified nursing assistants (who can provide baths, do light housekeeping, offer instruction on how to provide personal care);
• chaplains (who can provide spiritual support);
• volunteers (who can provide friendly visits, run errands, offer haircuts);
• nutritionists (who can offer dietary counseling);
• physical, occupational, speech and massage therapists;
• bereavement counselors.
These services can be provided in patients’ homes, assisted living facilities, and nursing homes. Hospice of the Panhandle also has an inpatient facility, which can serve as an alternative to hospitalization when symptoms need more aggressive management. Our inpatient facility also offers a place of respite when caregivers need to take a much-needed break or are traveling out of town.
Falls often cannot be avoided in the frail elderly. But with the grave impact these have on quality of life, an early referral to hospice can result in better pain management, increased support and advocacy from multiple disciplines, family and caregiver support, instruction on living with physical limitations, and a focus on comfort and quality.
Phillips has been medical director at Hospice of the Panhandle for six
years. She holds a certification as a hospice medical director. Hospice
is a not-for-profit agency that has cared for patients and families with
life-limiting illnesses in Berkeley, Morgan, Hampshire and Jefferson
counties since 1980. For more information on how hospice helps residents
of the four-county area live more fully, call 304-264-0406, or visit
on-line at www.hospiceotp.org
Full Article & Source:
Why falls and fractures in the elderly can be a trigger for hospice care
Medicare Advantage: Only an advantage for those glorious “stakeholders”~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
“It isn’t the patients who are bankrupting Medicare….its the service providers on all levels. If the states and insurance companies need to “recapture” their expenses…why not start with those who are gaming the system?”According to the US Census Bureau, annual home ownership rates between 1982 and 2017 shows the population of those 65 or older represented just over 80% of all homes owned. This statistic has made the elderly prime targets for estate theft by predatory guardians and attorneys, and now under Medicare Advantage, the state/insurance companies can attack the estate because for some reason they have to be able to recapture the costs of long term care that you financed to begin with.
Now, ask yourself why, after investing in Social Security and Medicare over your lifetime, and….having to pay in most cases exorbitant premiums each and every month once you retire, along with co-pays, deductibles and a host of non-covered services, what you could possibly owe to the state or the insurance company?
But under Medicare Advantage, the combining of Medicare and Medicaid, after you having invested a portion of your earnings over your working lifetime, paid premiums, co-pays, deductibles and paid taxes to support these healthcare programs, these “stakeholders”, the [state/insurance company] must recapture the costs associated with long term care you might have needed, once you pass away.
Now think about this. You worked all your life and invested in Social Security and Medicare. You paid income tax every year which helped pay for medical care for the poor called Medicaid. You bought your home and have been assessed property taxes every year just for doing so, and continue to pay property taxes while you remain there, and long after the mortgage has been paid off. If you hadn’t paid those property taxes they would have already taken your property from you!
Currently, the bills in each state covering this “recapture”, prohibit the state from seizing property if there is a surviving spouse living in or on the property. But once the surviving spouse dies or are themselves put into long term care, the state/insurance company can attack the estate in order to recover those costs. Even if there is joint tenancy or co-ownership of property by those who are not otherwise responsible for, or legally bound to the deceased, the state/insurance company has first rights to the assets. And this recapture takes place before any inheritance can be received by the beneficiaries of the estate. Of course there is no intention of anything to remain for heirs.
Medicare Advantage is a prime example of how to deal with a sector of the public that government views as a waste population and desperately desires to be rid of. The elderly. With the federal government now owing Social Security an estimated 3 trillion dollars in stolen surplus funds that they never had any intention of repaying, and the medical industry overall defrauding Medicare of an estimated 30-60 billion dollars each year (this by the government’s own estimates) Medicare Advantage is poised to be the coup de gras. By attaching Medicaid to Medicare under this ubiquitous plan, if you are in long term care or any facility like hospice, the state has the right to attach your estate, take your home and any other assets you might have in order to “recapture” those costs once you die.
Of course these new “advantage” policies include vision, dental, hearing and other items not normally covered by Medicare. But it seems to me, if an effort to stop the massive fraud taking place by the medical industry with regards to Medicare were to be addressed with as much vigor as they apply to finding ways to cut benefits, limit services and deny coverage, we could easily pay for any and all services for the elderly with a few billion annually to spare.
The states routinely request bids from insurance companies to offer these policies. The state does not of itself sell insurance. It negotiates contracts with insurance companies. It is the insurance company that sells the insurance the state is promoting. Several plans offered by several insurance companies at varying rates of cost and coverage are all sponsored by the state via corporate contracts. The state is itself the top stakeholder in the negotiations and they are negotiating to see who will benefit most from contracting against you, the public, for profit.
The question you need to be asking is: Which “stakeholder” is actually going to be entitled to recapture the costs?” Is it the state? Or the insurance company? Or both?
If there is one term that has come to signify corruption, collusion, and an all out assault on the public in any area of government, it is has to be the term “stakeholder’s”. What this term signifies are those entities, organizations, corporations and others who have a vested financial interest in the issue at hand and who will enjoy increased profits even at the cost of human rights, life or liberty. These precious “stakeholders” write the bills, send swarms of lobbyists into the halls of congress and contribute handsomely to the campaign coffers of politicians who willingly sell their votes in lieu of those contributions. And even when commenting is requested from the public, unless the comments are in line with the proposed plan they are summarily ignored and/or disposed of. They don’t care what you think or want anyway. YOU are the commodity they are negotiating over.
The public is not a stakeholder…only a recipient and financier
Both state and federal legislators routinely vote to pass bills they have neither read, nor understand and obviously do not care how adversely it may affect the public at large. A reading of any bill dealing with health, insurance, prescription drugs or other topics makes it readily apparent that the sponsor or supposed author of the bill could not have possibly written the bill themselves, or had any part in it. They don’t have that kind of technical knowledge nor the interest in acquiring it. The bills are written by the corporations who will benefit from it. The bills are presented once the corporations have paid the financing fees, also known as campaign contributions.
Medicare Fraud by Providers is Massive!
It isn’t the patients who are bankrupting Medicare….its the service providers on all levels. If the states and insurance companies need to “recapture” their expenses…why not start with those who are gaming the system?
In 2017, an article from the Center for Public Integrity, titled..Fraud and Billing Mistakes Costs Medicare ..and Taxpayers…Tens of Billions Last Year, written by Fred Schulte:
“Adding in the over-payments for standard Medicare programs, the tally for last year approaches $60 billion — which is almost twice as much as the National Institutes of Health spends on medical research each year.” (end quote)
An article from John Minnino: Medicare Scammers Steal $60 Billion a Year. This Man Is Hunting Them
“Luckily, there is another defense against Medicare fraud: whistle-blower lawsuits. Under the federal government’s false claims statute, any insider can sue a company that’s providing fraudulent services, on the government’s behalf. If the whistle-blower lawyers are successful, the plaintiffs collect 15 to 30 percent of the settlement as a bounty. In 2014 there were 469 of these health care fraud settlements—many involving huge pharmaceutical corporations and hospital networks—resulting in $2.2 billion in fines.” (end quote)
As far back as 2010, Forbes was reporting on the massive frauds taking place in Medicare and Medicaid
There are a few common types of Medicare fraud that include:
- Identity Theft: When a medical professional steals patient information to use to over-bill Medicare.
- Equipment Substitution: An order for medical equipment may be intercepted, with Medicare being billed for newer or more expensive equipment and the patient being provided with cheap or used equipment.
- Phantom Billing: A doctor’s office may bill for services never performed.
- Upcoding: A medical provider may submit bills to Medicare for a more expensive service than the one actually performed.
- Unnecessary Procedures: A doctor may perform procedures that are not medically necessary in order to bill Medicare for the cost.
- Generic Drugs: Medicare is often billed for name brand medications when generic drugs were actually provided to the patient.
At what point will the public be a consideration in these negotiations that cost us all so much both financially, as well as being the intended recipients of all this corruption?
https://www.forbes.com/sites/bernardkrooks/2012/10/04/seniors-need-to-be-wary-of-medicare-fraud/#43b553508d07From: Physicians for a National Health Program
CMS is giving unfair competitive advantage to private Medicare Advantage plans
What is really offensive is that they are taking our tax dollars and giving them to the private insurers so that they can increase benefits and reduce cost sharing for those enrolled in the private plans while they are denying those same benefits and reduced premiums, deductibles, coinsurance, and stop loss coverage for those of us enrolled in the traditional Medicare program. That is patently unfair. If they were honest about wanting true competition between the private plans and the traditional public program they would fund them at the same risk-adjusted level. Instead they are starving the traditional program – a process that will accelerate – while they are enriching the private insurers, though only temporarily until the traditional program is wiped out (then premium support).
Full Article & Source:
There’s No Place Like Home…Especially if they can take yours!
Paul Remy, who was licensed to practice law in Utah and Idaho, was disbarred for three years after a judge ruled that Remy had violated state rules for lawyers multiple times since 2011. The findings in the case were entered into court records on Dec. 19, 2018.
Court documents illustrate six cases where Remy, who has been licensed with the Utah State Bar since 2003, reportedly failed his clients. The complaint against Remy outlines a number of rules he broke while being paid by his clients, including failing to timely file court documents, failing to respond to his clients’ concerns, and collecting fees for meets he did not attend, among other complaints.
In one case, Remy represented a woman in a guardianship matter in 2014 and paid him as a retainer for his services. In January 2015, the court notified Remy that the case would be dismissed unless he filed a response. Remy filed a motion to extend the deadline, however, he did not file any response to the original motion. The case was later dismissed due to inactivity, and he failed to notify the woman that her case was dismissed.
Remy later claimed that he was relying on a paralegal to work on the woman’s case, but later learned the paralegal had not done the work.
In another case named in the report, a woman paid Remy to be on retainer for a bankruptcy matter in 2016. The two met for an initial consultation, but she did not hear back from Remy for over three months. She believed that Remy was still working on her case, but she was unable to meet with him and Remy did not return her phone calls in that time, the complaint says.
Remy’s assistant told the woman to stop by his office to sign some forms and release letters, and required that she pay hundreds for the office visit and forms. No bankruptcy forms were filed, and no work was done to stop creditor harassment, the woman said.
The office later charged her for an office visit that was cancelled. She requested a full refund from Remy’s office and only received part of the money back, the complaint says. By the time she contacted the state bar’s Office of Professional Conduct weeks later, Remy’s office had not sent the woman’s file back to her.
Two other cases would also culminate in complaints filed to the OPC. Those complaints would cause the office to send Remy NOICs, or a Notice of Informal Complaint, to which Remy was instructed to respond within a certain amount of time. In both of those cases, Remy failed to respond to the informal complaints, leading to a formal complaint being filed on Jan. 17, 2018.
During a Nov. 13, 2018 hearing to decide what Remy’s sanctions could be, he did not appear. Judge Mark DeCaria ruled at the hearing that Remy’s license be suspended for three years. A formal letter spelling out the details of Remy’s shortcomings as an attorney and his suspension was filed on Dec. 19, 2018.
Remy was also an accredited attorney in Idaho since 2001, but according to the Idaho State Bar, his license is currently inactive. A public reprimand was filed against Remy in 2017 by the Idaho State Bar, which reported that he took several-month gaps to respond to a civil suit on behalf of his client. The case was later dismissed due to inactivity. Remy told investigators that he relied on a paralegal to do the work in the case, and discovered after she was terminated that she had not done the work.
The public reprimand did not limit Remy’s ability to practice in Idaho, but as of January, his Idaho Bar status is listed as inactive.
Full Article & Source:
Roy-based attorney disbarred for 3 years for not responding to clients, billing issues
Bernadette Branson-Lawler, 52, of the first block of Meetinghouse Lane, allegedly stole $337,715 from her mother over a period of nearly seven years.
The defendant used the stolen money to pay for various personal expenses such as her interior design business, gym membership, and cell phone, in addition to writing herself personal checks, according to a prepared release.
“Our older residents deserve to fully enjoy their well-earned retirement without the fear of being victimized,” District Attorney Katayoun M. Copeland stated in the release. “In this case, Bernadette Branson-Lawler stole that liberty from her own mother, who is not able to speak for herself, betraying the trust of the entire family, and stealing her mother’s life savings for her own leisure and selfish pursuits.”
Charges filed against Branson-Lawler include theft by unlawful taking, theft by deception and false impression, and receiving stolen property, all second-degree felony offenses. Her arrest followed an investigation by Detective Sergeant Anthony Ruggieri of the Delaware County District Attorney’s Office Criminal Investigation Division Senior Exploitation Unit.
According to Copeland, in September 2017, an investigation was launched after information was received about the possible financial exploitation of a 78-year woman residing at an assisted living facility located in Delaware County where the victim lives in a secure unit for individuals with dementia. She is non-verbal, and is predeceased by her husband, who died in August of 2009.
Following the death of her husband, the victim appointed her daughter, Bernadette Branson-Lawler, as her power of attorney. Branson-Lawler remained as agent for the victim until July 2013 when she petitioned the Orphan's Court of Delaware County to become guardian for her mother due to her diminished mental capacity and other health related issues. Branson-Lawler was appointed plenary guardian by the court until she was removed by the Orphan's Court in October 2017 and replaced by a court-appointed attorney.
In January 2013, Brandon-Lawler sold her mother’s house in Springfield for $269,000. After the sale of the victim’s home, Branson-Lawler moved her mother to an assisted living facility. In July 2017, Branson-Lawler failed to file the annual guardian's inventory and the annual reports of the person and the estate, as required by the Delaware County Orphan’s Court. After failing to submit the required guardian paperwork and not appearing for court, a court-appointed attorney reviewed all of the victim’s financial records and discovered suspicious withdrawals made by Brandon-Lawler. When questioned, Branson-Lawler admitted that she withdrew money from her mother’s accounts for personal expenses, such as her interior design business, her electric and insurance bills and gym membership. She also indicated she wrote herself checks, according to the release.
After receiving this information, Branson-Lawler was removed by court order as victim’s guardian and a criminal investigation into the fraud was launched by Ruggieri. Through the course of the investigation and a forensic analysis of financial records, it was determined that Branson-Lawler stole a total of $337,715.61 from the victim, from January 2011 to October 2017.
“We consider crimes against seniors especially heinous and we will continue to prosecute those who commit these terrible crimes to the fullest extent of the law,” Copeland states. “I would like to CID Detective Sgt. Anthony Ruggieri for his work on this complicated and disheartening case, and our Senior Exploitation Unit in their efforts to diligently to protect our older residents and bring justice for individuals and their families.”
Branson-Lawler was preliminarily arraigned by Magisterial District Judge Wendy B. Roberts on Jan. 25. Bail was set at $10,000 unsecured. Branson-Lawler faces a preliminary hearing on Feb. 5.
It was not immediately known if she had retained an attorney.
Assistant District Attorney and Chief of the Senior Exploitation Unit Erica Parham will be prosecuting the case.
If you suspect a senior resident is being financially victimized, please contact the Senior Exploitation Unit at 610-891-5249 or email email@example.com.
Full Article & Source:
D.A.: Springfield woman stole $337G from her 78-year-old mother
Thursday, January 31, 2019
Mable Turman, a certified nurse assistant, is facing charges of “neglect to an elder person,” former licensed practical nurse (LPN) Wanda Nuckles is facing a charge of “depriving an elder person of essential services,” and former LPN Loyce Pickquet Agyeman is facing charges of both neglect and felony murder.
“These charges come nearly four years after the 2014 incident in which the nurses ignored Dempsey as he cried out for help, saying that he couldn’t breathe. Eventually, he became unresponsive, at which point the nurses failed to perform CPR immediately and didn’t call 911 until 57 minutes after he became unresponsive, according to 11Alive. In the meantime, Nuckles even started laughing while trying to start up an oxygen machine.” 2
It goes without saying that this type of behavior is utterly unacceptable and disgusting.
“The nursing home wasn’t made aware of the video that captured these events until 2015, and the nurses weren’t fired until an additional ten months after that. Finally, the video only became public after 11Alive got approval from a judge to release it this past November as part of a lawsuit filed by Dempsey’s family.
The lawsuit and the 11Alive investigation then prompted local authorities to re-open the case, leading to the new indictments for the three nurses. Arrest warrants have since been issued for all three as well, although no trial date has yet been set.”3We are grateful for the work of the 11Alive investigation as we are sure his family is as well. Our hearts go out to them now and hope that they can finally have a bit of closure. We will update this story once we have additional information.
Nurse caught on video laughing as elderly veteran died has been charged with murder
Dr. Maurice Zagha said he evaluated the 85-year-old Conway on Jan. 5. His findings were outlined in court papers filed in Los Angeles Superior Court by attorneys for Conway’s wife, Charlene. She opposes an effort by her stepdaughter, Kelly, to be named Conway’s conservator. Kelly Conway maintains her father has dementia.
Charlene Conway says her husband does not need to be placed under a conservatorship, but that if a judge decides he needs such protection, she should be the person selected as conservator.
According to Zagha, Conway understands what people are saying to him, but is unable to reply. He said the verbal impediment makes it hard for him to determine Conway’s overall mental capacity, but that over time he has been able to read the actor’s facial expressions.
Zagha says Conway usually shows his emotions only when someone like his daughter visits.
In a separate report filed Jan. 22, Conway’s court-appointed attorney, Michael Harris, says a hearing scheduled in December on the conservatorship issue was delayed until Feb. 5 so that the two opposing sides could try and agree on who would be the best conservator and how to accommodate the person not selected.
Harris said he believes Charlene Conway would be the best choice for a conservator, but that if she is chosen, Kelly Conway should be notified about important issues concerning her father, including when he is uprooted from one facility to another.
Harris said Conway has been moved many times to different places for his care. He said in a previous report filed in December that Conway has been transferred seven times in 12 weeks between rehabilitation centers and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.
On Sept. 14, Judge Robert Wada rejected Kelly Conway’s petition for a temporary conservatorship, finding that her concerns about her stepmother’s medical decisions regarding her father were moot at the time because he was hospitalized Sept. 3 and underwent brain surgery.
Conway was a cast member on the 1961-62 ABC variety series, “The Steve Allen Show” before landing the role of Ensign Charles Beaumont Parker on the 1962-66 ABC comedy “McHale’s Navy.” In the 1970s, he became a cast member on “The Carol Burnett Show.”
Conway also starred as the title character in the “Dorf” comedy films and voiced the character of Barnacle Boy in the animated series “SpongeBob SquarePants.”
Full Article & Source:
Doctor Says Actor/Comedian is Nonverbal, Bedridden
Judge Rejects Conway Daughter’s Temporary Conservatorship Petition For Now
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Tim Conway's daughter gets temporary restraining order against his wife over star's care
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Reporting nursing-home deaths to Pa. coroners is a necessary change | Editorial
Wednesday, January 30, 2019
|Click to Watch Video|
David Ruiz, a father of three, suffered a stroke and subsequent brain injury that left him in a coma on December 31. Doctors declared David brain dead about two weeks ago, despite him twitching, raising his toes, and moving his fingers when his mother and other family members talked to him.
His mother, Patricia “Tricia” Adames, 51, made an emotional appeal on Facebook last week to anyone who could help save her son.
“As you can see, his body is emaciating. His body is literally deteriorating, it’s disappearing before us because he is being denied nutrition. He is starving in a hospital,” she said in her Jan. 24 video while panning to her son lying in a hospital bed hooked up to tubes and monitors.
“I am coming to you...asking, ‘please help me get my son the treatment that he needs, nutrition and hydration.' He’s being starved at this very moment.”
Adames said that she believes that if the heart is beating, “there is life.”
“He’s starving in our country. How can that be okay? How is that humanity? No one in this country should ever be denied food and water,” she said.
Adames told LifeSiteNews that David had not been receiving nutrition since January 9 and that her son was receiving a fraction of the hydration he needed for survival.
Life Legal Defense Foundation heard of the case and organized a news conference yesterday at St. Joseph's Hospital in Tucson where David is being hospitalized.
"Nutrition and hydration are basic human rights. It is outrageous that a hospital would deny these most basic provisions to a disabled patient. Ms. Adames is not looking for the hospital to keep her son indefinitely. She is only asking that they give David the nutrition and hydration he needs in order to be transferred to a facility that can provide appropriate care," stated Life Legal Defense Foundation’s Alexandra Snyder, Esq.
Glenn Beck on his radio show today criticized the hospital for ignoring the mother’s pleas for her son.
“This is wrong to do to people. And we must not go down this road,” said Beck on his show.
It appears that the hospital caved today to outside pressure and restored David’s food and water.
“I am so happy. I am so grateful to God. Hallelujah for this miracle,” said Adames to LifeSiteNews after news came that her son would receive food and water.
“I choose to believe, and I am very very grateful. The hospital didn't have to keep him on.”
“So, I have to say I am so grateful to everyone who has helped and prayed. Glory to God. It's a long road, but through prayer and learning and understanding we can do it. Hopefully, they're going to keep their end of the agreement and continue helping me get David to a place of long-term care and get him stable so he can recover,” she said.
Right to life activist Bobby Schindler also confirmed to LifeSiteNews that hydration and nourishment were being restored to David by the hospital.
In a phone call, Bobby Schindler of the Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network told LifeSiteNews that it’s critical for the hospital to treat David.
“Right now, even if we were able to find a facility that would accept him he has been without nourishment and little to no hydration for almost three weeks now. He’s medically fragile and I don’t know if we’re able to transfer him,” he said.
Schindler told LifeSiteNews that he cannot understand why “there was such a rush to stop treatment,” adding that the family is now fighting for time to “see if we can get this kid treated and to have the opportunity to improve.”
Adames is seeking to raise funds necessary for air transport to hospitals in other parts of the country that can accept David as a patient. She calculated that the transportation would cost at least $25,000. A GoFundMe page has been established to receive donations.
St. Joseph’s Hospital is part of the Carondelet Health system and traces its origins to the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, who came to Tucson in the 1870s. In 2015, the Texas-based Tenet Healthcare Corp. assumed majority ownership of the Carondelet Health Network. The Catholic hospital chain then went from nonprofit to for-profit. Local media reported at the time that the "joint venture will maintain Carondelet’s Roman Catholic heritage and identity through an agreement with the Diocese of Tucson."
Regarding the provision of life support to patients, according to the National Catholic Bioethics Center, “The Catholic Church teaches that life is an intrinsic good. Even when a person is afflicted with illness, that value remains intact. In fact, the sick and the elderly deserve our special care.” It goes on to say, “The default position for the care of those who are suffering from diminished consciousness and have not begun the death process, as well as for those at the end of life, should be in favor of providing food and water even by artificial means. If the provision of food and water proves to be useless (if they are not being assimilated by the body) or if it causes serious complications (such as aspiration pneumonia or infections), it can be stopped.”
The bioethics center notes that “unfortunately” the removal of nutrition and hydration from incapacitated patients is “fairly common.” It says: “Whenever a recommendation is made to withhold food and water, one should ask, ‘What will be the cause of death?’ If the answer is dehydration or starvation, and assisted nutrition and hydration can be easily supplied and assimilated, then not supplying them is a form of euthanasia. Unconsciousness is not a fatal disease. No one dies from unconsciousness.”
According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, “Whatever its motives and means, direct euthanasia consists in putting an end to the lives of handicapped, sick or dying persons. It is morally unacceptable. Thus an act or omission which, of itself or by intention, causes death in order to eliminate suffering constitutes a murder gravely contrary to the dignity of the human person and to the respect due to the living God, his Creator.”
Jan. 29, 2019 update: This report contains more information about current ownership of St. Joseph's Hospital.
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Food, water restored to comatose man in US Catholic hospital after mom fights for his life
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Delaware County woman stole more than $337K from her elderly mom, authorities say
|The Virginia Capitol in Richmond.|
On Friday, a senate subcommittee unanimously approved Chafin’s SB 1224 and Wednesday a house committee voted unanimously in favor of Pillion’s HB 2560. With broad bipartisan support, these proposals are expected to move forward with full consideration of the General Assembly in the next few weeks.
The legislation sets forth a framework for localities to establish multidisciplinary team reviews of elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation cases. Multidisciplinary teams are groups of professionals from diverse disciplines who come together frequently to discuss abuse cases at all stages of investigation and prosecution, to address specific problems with enforcement, and to increase communications between different stakeholders.
Commonwealth’s Attorney Chuck Slemp, who testified before committees in Richmond earlier this week, said, “Elder abuse is a growing epidemic in our Commonwealth, but these cases are under-reported and remain very difficult to prosecute for various reasons. Recognizing these challenges, we started a ‘team approach’ to fighting elder abuse in Wise last year and the effort has made a significant difference in countless cases. I am so thankful for the leadership of Delegate Pillion and Senator Chafin on this important issue and I know their efforts will serve to further protect vulnerable adults across Virginia.”
Senator Ben Chafin said, “Everyday, the elderly are taken advantage of financially and abused and it is our responsibility in the General Assembly to help protect the most vulnerable of our citizens. Commonwealth Attorneys and law enforcement need all of the tools available to effectively prosecute elder abuse and financial exploitation. Multidisciplinary response teams will aide in the prosecution of these crimes and will bring these criminals to justice.”
Delegate Todd Pillion said, “Protecting our citizens and their rights is the most important work of government. With an aging population, particularly in rural areas, it’s critical that we form the systems and processes needed to help safeguard folks who may find themselves in abusive situations. We look forward to this legislation passing and hope localities will join Wise County in using this opportunity to address the complex challenges of elder abuse.”
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Elder Abuse Bills Clear First Steps at Virginia GA
Tuesday, January 29, 2019
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‘No one knew she was dead’: Family demands answers after finding relative dead at nursing home
Investigators say man with dementia was severely beaten by caregivers at assisted living facility before he died
The Star Tribune reported that Chappy’s Golden Shores in Hill City recently closed after state regulators suspended its license for “multiple and repeated serious incidents affecting vulnerable persons.”
Steven G. Nelson, 58, was beaten shortly after being admitted to the facility, according to a state investigation. Nelson had cognitive disabilities and depended on a wheelchair.
One employee punched him in the face, another held him down and a third watched, according to the investigation.
Nelson died weeks later at St. Mary’s Medical Center after suffering internal brain bleeding.
Tricia Olson, who owns Chappy’s, said the assault never happened and that the investigation is based on false statements from disgruntled former employees.
Chappy’s has appealed the 90-day suspension of its license and the people living there has been moved to other locations.
The state substantiated 10 incidents of maltreatment at Chappy’s including cases involving abuse, neglect and in one case, financial exploitation, according to the paper.
One employee who had worked at the facility for more than a year was also found to have been registered as a predatory offender, according to state investigators.
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Investigators say man with dementia was severely beaten by caregivers at assisted living facility before he died
|Casey Moreland mug photo|
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WZTV) — Former Nashville Judge Casey Moreland received a 44-month prison sentence Friday.
Moreland pleaded guilty to five counts of relating to obstruction of justice, witness tampering, and stealing money from an organization receiving federal funds in late May.
According to Acting Assistant Attorney General John Cochran, the FBI began investigating back in Jan. 2017 whether or not Moreland offered sexual favors for favorable treatment as a General Sessions Judge.
Moreland later admitted that he actively took steps to obstruct the investigation in Feb. 2017 by paying a witness to sign a false affidavit to recant her previous statements. The Department of Justice also said Moreland planted drugs in the witness's car so she would be arrested and her credibility would be destroyed.
He used a burned phone registered to Raul Rodriguez to carry out these plans, working with someone who would become in an information for the FBI.
Back in March, Moreland faced more charges of tampering with a witness, victim, or informant and destruction, alteration, or falsification of records in a Federal investigation.
Moreland resigned in March 2017 amid an FBI investigation charging him with public corruption.
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Former Judge Casey Moreland sentenced to 44 months in prison
Casey Moreland to stay in jail after second round of obstruction charges
Undercover Recordings At Center Of Moreland Case
Nashville judge faces federal criminal charges
Casey Moreland to take leave from bench
Judge dismissed tickets, fines for female friend
Metro General Sessions Judge Casey Moreland resigns as presiding judge
Ethics Complaint Levels Charges Against Two Judges, Lewis
Investigation underway into inmate/deputy relationship in judge’s court