Saturday, February 8, 2020

How Judge Elizabeth Lippitt and Coven of Evil Threaten the Lives and Property of the Elderly

by Richard Lee Abrams
ONE MAN’S OPINION--The coven of evil, which holds sway over the Los Angeles County Probate- Conservatorship court, is not limited to Judge Elizabeth Lippitt nor is it confined to Los Angeles County. 
When families seek judicial intervention, they have no clue of the web of judicial abuse, deception and theft of the family’s assets that will soon ensnare them.

One typical scenario, which compels a family to seek judicial help, is an elderly family member is being held hostage while his/her assets are drained. The family does not foresee that the abuse of the hostage taker is about to be replaced by the abuse by the probate court. The various mechanisms employed by the court are limited only by the ingenuity of the judges, but certain patterns are often seen.

As explained previously Financial Rape: Business as Usual in LA County Probate Court, Judge Lippitt forces the elder person to mediation where the person is subjected to fraud, coercion and exhaustion.  All the elder has to do to gain her freedom from the seemingly endless mediation is sign whatever documents the coven of evil shoves in front of her.

As Judge Paul Suzuki explained, all that matters is that she signed the settlement agreement.  The  Mozer v Augustine supports Judge Suzuki. It does not matter if the elder is comatose during the mediation, all that counts is that somehow the elder’s signature appears.  How it got there is irrelevant and no amount of fraud, threats, lies, etc. may ever be introduced into court to show that the elder was financially raped.  (Mozer cites: Evid. Code, § 1119 (a)-(c) mediation communications are confidential. “Sign this or never see you son again” – not admissible under Mozer)

How Judge Lippitt Champions Attorney Misconduct

As those who follow the Widow M’s saga realize, while under Judge Lippitt’s supervision, Attorney Audre Delahoussaye-Quantrell, the Widow M’s court appointed attorney, owes no duties to the Widow M.   The Rules of Professional Responsibility which allegedly govern the ethical conduct of all attorneys have become propaganda tools to mislead the public into falsely believing attorneys place the client’s interests before the attorney’s personal and financial concerns.
Let’s Take a Look-See at Some of State Bar Propaganda

State Bar Rule 3-310.  An attorney cannot represent a client when the attorney has “a legal, business, financial, professional, or personal relationship with another person or entity the member knows or reasonably should know would be affected substantially by resolution of the matter.”

Ha. Double Ha-Ha, Pshaw if you think that rule prevents CAC Delahoussaye from continuing her representation of the Widow M after admitting that she is forcing the widow to sell her property because CAC fears she will be sued if she follows the Widow M’s desire not to sell her property.  CAC exact words were:

“If I request that the petition to approve it be waived, I believe that I am putting myself in a position to be sued for breach of contract and I am not willing to do that.  If it's not approved, I can walk away and not have to be concerned about being sued for breach of contract.” CAC’s July 22, 2019 email [bold added]

How Should the Court and the State Bar React to Such a Written Admission?

“Lawyers owe every client an ethical obligation to represent the client free of competing interests or loyalties, including the lawyer’s own personal interests, that would materially impair the lawyer's representation of the client.” State Bar Ethics Opinion, 2019-197

In its propaganda campaign that attorneys owe duties of faithfulness to their client, the State Bar continues:

“The duty of loyalty owed to current clients "forbids any act that would interfere with the dedication of an attorney's 'entire energies to [the] client's interests . . . .'" Flatt v. Superior Court (1994) 9 Cal.4th 275, 289 State Bar Opinion 2019-197

The propaganda continues with the State Bar’s writing:

“"Conflicts of interest broadly embrace all situations in which an attorney's loyalty to, or efforts on behalf of, a client are threatened by . . . his own interests."). The duty of loyalty is reflected in the California Rules of Professional Conduct, including rule 1.7, as well as by case law and common law.”

The Widow M demanded to know who would be suing CAC Delahoussaye if the CAC placed the Widow M’s financial well-being ahead of the CCA’s fear of being sued.  No response. What misinformation does the State Bar have for the public about a client’s right to be kept in formed by his/her attorney?

“The fiduciary duty that attorneys owe to their clients includes a duty of communication. “[T]he dealings between practitioner and client frame a fiduciary relationship. The duty of a fiduciary embraces the obligation to render a full and fair disclosure to the beneficiary of all facts which materially affect his rights and interests.” Neel v. Magana, Olney, Levy, Cathcart & Gelfand (1971) 6 Cal.3d 176, 188-189 [98 Cal.Rptr. 837]. (referring to Rule 1.4)

How Do We Know That the State Bar Is Feeding Us Propaganda?

After Judge Lippitt sees the CAC’s conflict of interest admissions, Judge Lippitt affirms that Delahoussaye is The Widow M’s attorney and without notice fires the Widow M’s private attorney who brought CAC Delahoussaye’s misconduct to Judge Lippitt’s attention. Then Judge Lippitt and CAC engage in a cover-up where they withhold transcripts and orders from the Widow M so she has no idea what’s happening.  CAC Delahoussaye claims that she doesn’t have to show her client documents like transcripts as the widow can rely on whatever the CAC says!

We know that the State Bar’s lofty words are propaganda from the fact that Judge Lippitt and CAC Delahoussaye would not be so openly brazen about trashing the law if these rules were genuine.  Crooks know that when they operate under judicial immunity, the law does not apply to them.  All that matters is that the financial rape of the Widow M continues. The State Bar’s and the Commission on Judicial Performance’s true function is to protect the abusers.

“Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Lord Acton 1887.  The time to kill off judicial immunity is centuries overdue.

Full Article & Source:
How Judge Elizabeth Lippitt and Coven of Evil Threaten the Lives and Property of the Elderly

Lawmakers propose plan to treat mentally ill people without their consent

Bill plans pilot program placing people who are incapacitated in executorship, appoint guardian 

by Leona Vaughn

People unable to care for themselves due to mental illnesses could be subject to receiving treatment, even without their consent, if Washington state legislators pass a law to establish executorships for people who are incapacitated.

“Our mental health and addiction system of care is failing, in my view, the most vulnerable,” said the proposed bill’s primary sponsor, Sen. Steve O’Ban, R-Pierce County.

If passed, Senate Bill 6109 will initiate a four-year pilot program in King, Pierce, and Snohomish counties, effective Jan. 1, 2021.

Each county would be responsible for treating 10 persons during the pilot.

The bill places people who are incapable of caring for themselves because of a mental health disorder in an executorship, and requires that the counties provide services, such as housing and treatment. The executorship may be renewed after one year if a petition is made to do so.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were almost 45,000 suicides in the U.S. in 2016 and 46 percent of suicides are committed by those with a known mental illness.

“We are losing hundreds, probably thousands, of our young people,” O’Ban said. “They’re our sons and daughters, and they could live lives of dignity, of creativity, and of service. The enormous waste of human potential is tragic.”

Jerri Clark, founder of Mothers of the Mentally Ill, lost her son when he took his own life last March. He suffered from severe bipolar disorder and made several suicide attempts before he succeeded, Clark said during a press conference held Friday, Jan. 31.

Instead of receiving effective treatment, he cycled in and out of hospitals, homeless shelters and jails, Clark said.

“He was forced into the margins of society by a system that not only refuses to help, but actually requires violence and destitution before help of any sort that is reasonable is available at all,” Clark said at the press conference.

Several people who suffer from a mental health disorder also experience anosognosia, a condition in which someone is unaware that they are suffering at all, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

“They do not have the ability to take care of this illness on their own because of the illness itself,” Clark said.

A person who has had “at least five detentions in the most recent 12-month period” is eligible for the executorship, according to the Senate Bill Report. An investigation is conducted by a court appointed resource executor officer who determines if an individual is incapacitated.

The bill defines a person as incapacitated when they are at a significant risk of personal harm based on their inability to care for their own health, housing, or safety. The person who is incapacitated will receive guardianship, the extent and duration of which is decided by the court.

Some mental health advocates worry that an incapacitated person may lose several of their rights to their guardian. A person may lose their right to, “marry, divorce, or enter into a domestic partnership; vote; enter into a contract, or make or revoke a will; have a driver’s license and drive; buy, sell, own, or lease property; consent to or refuse medical treatment; decide who will provide care, and; to make decisions,” under this guardianship, according to the Senate Bill Report.

“Guardianship is a complete loss of civil rights,” said Melanie Smith, a representative for the National Alliance on Mental Illness Washington and who testified in opposition of the bill at a public hearing held Jan. 31.

David Lord, director of Public Policy for Disability Rights Washington, suggested implementing a supported decision-making agreement instead of appointing a guardianship, which is outlined in Senate Bill 6287, at the Jan. 31 hearing.

The agreement is a “legally recognized strategy where people identify supporters, and then they’re able to make a plan,” Lord said.

The bill currently waits to be passed out of committee, and will move on to the Senate floor if it does.

“The cycle must end of refusing treatment, followed by hospitalization or jail, followed by refusal of treatment, followed by hospitalization or jail,” O’Ban said at the Jan. 31 press conference.

“The cycle must end.”

Full Article & Source:
Lawmakers propose plan to treat mentally ill people without their consent

Crime Insider: State investigating deadly stabbing at Richmond nursing home

By: Mike Bergazzi , Jon Burkett

RICHMOND, Va. -- The Virginia Department of Health has launched an investigation into the brutal death of a patient at a Richmond nursing home and rehabilitation center.

Kim Beazley, deputy director of VDH’s Office of Licensure and Certification, said that her office is handling the probe.

The on-site investigation began January 21, six days after the fatal stabbing of Robert Massie Willoughby, who was found dead inside his room at ManorCare Health Services-Imperial on Bellevue Avenue.

Richmond police have arrested Lynwood Lee Main, 65, and charged him with the murder of the 86-year-old.
Linwood Main
Main was Willoughby’s roommate.

“Reportedly, the residents were arguing and one resident fatally stabbed the other with a pocketknife,” a spokesperson for the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services in Philadelphia said. CMS officials are monitoring the situation and have been in contact with Virginia officials, they wrote in an email

A timeline for the state investigation is unknown. Within 10 days of its completion, VDH must submit a report to CMS, according to Washington

Willoughby’s death sent shock waves from Richmond to western Virginia, where he was born and raised.

“It’s been tough, that’s the best I can say,” said Randy Harris, Willoughby’s nephew. “It shouldn’t have happened the way it did.”

Family members say Willoughby – a veteran of the Korean War – was a man who always put his family first.

“Robert was there for me, supported me,” Harris said. “I’ll never forget him for it.”

Sources tell CBS 6 that Willoughby’s throat was slashed.

“No one ever wants to lose a loved one, but this was a particularly bad way to go,” he said.
Robert Massie Willoughby.jpeg
According to court records, Main has a long history of criminal activity and mental illness. In the past, he has been hospitalized at Central State Hospital, which houses some of Virginia’s most violent psychiatric patients.

So how did he end up sharing a room with the elderly Willoughby?

“I’ve been taught all my life that you don’t make decisions until you have all the information, but I will say that it’s concerning,” Harris said.

When CBS 6 reached out to the company that runs ManorCare, a spokesperson wouldn't go into details, but said that they monitor patients for behavior issues, and address those with a "care plan."

But a nurse who works at the Imperial location tells CBS 6 that staff knew that there had been confrontations between Main and Willoughby, and that they should been moved to separate rooms. But the nurse claims that did not happen because the facility is "short staffed."

In mid-January, the official Medicare website showed that ManorCare Health Services-Imperial had just a one out of five stars overall rating, which is described as "much below average."

Last week, that rating was upgraded to two stars, or "below average."

Specifically regarding staffing, the facility currently has a "below average" rating. Per the Medicare site, the total number of licensed nurse staff hours per resident per day at ManorCare Imperial is 1 hour and 31 minutes, which is below the state and national average.

During the most recent health inspection, the facility received 24 citations, double the statewide average, and triple the national number.

Willoughby's family said they are glad that the state is investigating his death because they want to know how this tragedy occurred, and if it could have been prevented.

In the meantime, their thoughts are not just with their lost loved one, but also his accused killer.

"We’re gonna pray for him, and we hope that God will forgive him," Harris said.

"Hopefully one day we’ll find the strength to do the same."

Full Article & Source:
Crime Insider: State investigating deadly stabbing at Richmond nursing home

Friday, February 7, 2020

EXCLUSIVE: Former Mrs. Florida, sentenced to jail for stealing her mother's Social Security checks, blames the nursing home for her mom's death saying she spent the money on private care because the center 'neglected' her

  • Karyn Turk, 47, was sentenced this month to jail time and house arrest after she pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of Social Security Insurance fraud
  • Turk was Mrs. Florida in 2016 and works as a conservative commentator having rubbed elbows with the likes of Donald Trump and Rudy Giuliani
  • She confessed to taking the money from her dying, bed-ridden mother's Social Security but tells DailyMailTV it was to pay for a private full-time aide
  • 'I made mistakes,' she said. 'Legally, I should have automatically forwarded the checks to the nursing home. I just didn't like how they were treating her'  
  • She claims the West Palm Beach nursing home is responsible for her 83-year-old mother's death and says the staff neglected her  
  • Turk provided photos to DailyMailTV of horrifying bed sores her mother had  and other wounds which she says 'speaks for themselves'
  • She is expected to report to prison on March 2 in Florida and then serve five months on house arrest and serve 100 hours of community service

Mrs. Florida is headed to prison for stealing her dying, bed-ridden mother's Social Security checks - crushing her dream of becoming a Real Housewife.

It's a sexy headline, says ex-beauty queen Karyn Turk, mom-of-four and socialite wife of a well-known lawyer, but she tells DailyMailTV that her upcoming sentence doesn't reflect what really happened.

Turk, 47, who along with being Mrs. Florida 2016 is also a conservative political commentator who rubs elbows with the likes of Donald Trump and Rudy Giuliani, tells DailyMailTV that she only stole the checks to pay for her mother's private full time aide. 

Turk pleaded guilty in September to stealing $17,320 worth of Social Security checks from her mother. Turk paid back $46,000 and is expected to spend most of the month of March in a prison camp located in the swampy Everglades. 

The checks should have been going to the Finnish-American Village, a nursing home in the West Palm Beach suburb of Lake Worth, where Turk's mom, retired New Jersey housewife Ilse Schafer, spent four years until her death June 10, 2019 at the age of 83. In December, Finnish-America filed a lawsuit against Turk that claims she still owes them $220,000 for her mother's care.

But now Turk is hitting out against the nursing home in a lawsuit, claiming they neglected her mother and are responsible for her death and says that's why she refused to pay the home for their services.

Former Mrs. Florida Karyn Turk, 47, was sentenced this month to jail time and house arrest after she pleaded guilty to Social Security Insurance fraud for stealing from her mother
Turk is seen with her adoptive mother, Ilse Schafer, who died in June at the age of 83
Turk is seen with her adoptive mother, Ilse Schafer, who died in June at the age of 83
Turk was Mrs. Florida in 2016 and works as a conservative commentator having rubbed elbows with the likes of Donald Trump and Rudy Giuliani
In an exclusive interview with DailyMailTV in her Boca Raton dockside condo, Turk said there's a back story to her descent from conservative talk-show personality and potential reality TV star to bottom-of-the-barrel nickel-and-dime thief. 

And at times, that story makes her sound like her political hero, President Donald Trump.

Turk is a conservative commentator who is often pictured with Republican figures in Palm Beach, such as this 2018 photo with President Donald Trump
'It's a conspiracy and a witch hunt,' she says. 'The story on how I could end up in prison – I just filed my appeal, by the way – started when I complained about my mother's treatment in her nursing home.

'The nursing home administrators knew my mother's death was going to be a problem, so they figured they'd discredit me and create a false narrative to save themselves from scrutiny.' 

A court-appointed guardian accused Turk of using her mother's Social Security checks to promote her dream of appearing on 'The Real Housewives of Palm Beach' and to garner publicity.

The guardian accused Turk of using the money to rent large homes and buying tables at fancy equestrian events. 

At 83, Turk's adoptive mother Ilse Schafer suffered from a series of ailments, including respiratory problems and dementia, and she was bed-ridden.

But degenerative diseases that couldn't be blamed on anyone, Turk says, is just a part of what killed her.

'What killed her is neglect,' Turk says, 'Neglect that caused nine bed sores on her back and legs.

'One of the bed sores on her back got so bad that you could see the vertebrae from her spine through a gaping hole in her flesh.

'They were gaping holes that the nursing home staff just filled with cotton.

'My mom was in excruciating pain when she died, and folks at the nursing home didn't lift a finger. They actually tried to hide it by attempting to have her cremated. But I managed to get the body and an autopsy by a private doctor.'

Turk provided photos to DailyMailTV of her mother's wounds taken about a month before she died, saying 'they speak for themselves.'

According to the private autopsy that Turk paid for, Schafer died of respiratory failure caused by pneumonia and bronchitis. The report also mentions 'infected decubitus ulcers (bed sores) and dementia' were 'contributing causes.'

Turk filed a lawsuit against the nursing home in early September, according to Palm Beach County court records, alleging that the staff failed to monitor her mother's health properly and neglected her care as bed sore developed into open wounds that made her body more vulnerable to infections.

Bed sores, according to Florida health regulators, can be 'very painful' and 'extremely difficult to heal.'

They're usually caused by breakdowns in the skin that touches bed sheets in the same way for long periods of time.

They're also avoidable, and the number of patients with such injuries is used by regulators to judge the level of care in a nursing home.

Turk claims the West Palm Beach nursing home is responsible for her 83-year-old mother's death and says the staff neglected her. Sheprovided pictures showing her mother with a mark on her head and deep bed sores
Turk claims the West Palm Beach nursing home is responsible for her 83-year-old mother's death and says the staff neglected her. Sheprovided pictures showing her mother with a mark on her head and deep bed sores
'My mom was in excruciating pain when she died, and folks at the nursing home didn't lift a finger,' Turk said. She provided this photo of her mother at the nursing home hunched over
'I made mistakes,' she said. 'Legally, I should have automatically forwarded the checks to the nursing home. I just didn't like how they were treating her' She provided this photo of her and mother from childhood
Turk claims the Finnish-American Village, a nursing home in the West Palm Beach suburb of Lake Worth, neglected her mother who lived there for four years
Finnish American was on the state's nursing home watch list since July 2017, according to the Agency of Health Care Administration, because, in some instances, it didn't meet the minimum standards of elderly care, according to the agency's website.

She is expected to report to prison on March 2 in Florida and then serve five months on house arrest and serve 100 hours  of community service
Records show 'pressure ulcers,' or bed sores, were found on a randomly checked resident. State regulators fined Finnish-American $2,500 and placed the home on administrative probation.

State inspectors gave the nursing home a one-star overall rating, out of a possible five stars. They gave one star for its quality of care, two for quality of life and one star for 'pressure ulcers.'

'It's false,' said Daniel Benson, the facility's executive director and chief financial officer, when asked about the low ratings and probation. 'We're not commenting on anything that has to do with Karyn Turk.'

Later, Benson emailed a statement that read: 'The 2017 citation was for an isolated incident which has no bearing on this case, but unfortunately still affects our star rating. Mrs. Turk is again attempting to redirect attention from the crime she committed. Due to ongoing litigation, we cannot comment any further.'

The nursing home, by the way, received five stars for the nutrition and hydration of its 45 residents, and five stars for the residents' dignity.

As bad blood festered between Turk and the nursing home's administration, she said Benson even took to writing a letter about her to local U.S. Congresswoman Lois Frankel. 

His email to Democrat Frankel obtained exclusively by DailyMailTV shows Benson asking for further investigations into Turk after she copped the plea to a misdemeanor. 

Daniel Benson, the facility's executive director sent an email to Democrat Frankel obtained exclusively by DailyMailTV that shows Benson asking for further investigations into Turk after she copped the plea to a misdemeanor
DailyMailTV obtained court documents filed in September by Turk against the nursing home which she says neglected her mother
Benson wrote he worried that Turk benefited from her Republican connections and that 'the sentence will not equate to the magnitude of the crime.'

According to news reports, six employees of the nursing home attended Turk's sentencing on January 10.

'They were actually lobbying the federal government to discredit me when I was already down,' she said.

Turk, meanwhile, doesn't dispute the facts that are likely to land her in prison camp despite her lack of a criminal record.

She is also scheduled to serve five months on house arrest and serve 100 hours of community service.

'I made mistakes,' she said. 'I was using my mother's checks to pay for a private full-time aide to be with my mom at the nursing home. That stuff is expensive.

'Legally, I should have automatically forwarded the checks to the nursing home. I just didn't like how they were treating her.'

Turk and Don Trump Jr strike a pose in 2018. She was accused of her mother's Social Security checks to promote her dream of appearing on 'The Real Housewives of Palm Beach'
Turk and Roger Stone are seen at an October 2018 event. She is a staunch supporter of the former Trump campaign advisor, who awaits sentencing on federal convictions
Turk poses with Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani at an event last February
She said she's paying for the crime in more ways than her sentence.

In December, Finnish-America filed a lawsuit against Turk that claims she still owes them $220,000 for the care of her mother.

Her social standing that made her a regular at Mar-a-Lago, President Trump's private club, is now in question.

Several reality TV opportunities have since vanished.

And people who recognize her from the media coverage of her sentencing look at her with a hint of disgust.

'In my neighborhood and my condo building, I can see little old ladies looking at me sideways,' Turk said. 'One even clutches her purse when I walk by.

'I guess I can't blame her.'

Full Article & Source:
EXCLUSIVE: Former Mrs. Florida, sentenced to jail for stealing her mother's Social Security checks, blames the nursing home for her mom's death saying she spent the money on private care because the center 'neglected' her

Video shows caregiver beating 93-year-old grandmother with a belt
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A Louisiana woman is accused of beating a 93-year-old grandmother in a disturbing video. Lottie Morgan, 57, is facing a felony charge of aggravated second-degree battery.

In a short video shared online and with police, Morgan is allegedly seen beating a person with a belt inside a home earlier this month. Family member Lenny Morgan told WAFB-TV he recorded the video. He said the 93-year-old is his grandmother and Lottie Morgan is her caregiver.

Lottie Morgan was arrested Jan. 12 and charged with cruelty to persons with infirmities, news outlets reported. She posted a $1,500 bond, and Lenny Morgan said she then returned to the same home as the grandmother she's accused of beating.

East Baton Rouge District Attorney Hillar Moore added the new battery charge, and the DA's office has filed a motion to increase bond for Lottie Morgan and change the conditions to possibly add a protective order, WBRZ-TV reported.

It's unclear whether Lottie Morgan had an attorney who could comment on her behalf.

Full Article & Source:
Video shows caregiver beating 93-year-old grandmother with a belt

This Nursing Home For The Elderly With Mental Problems Took An Unusual Approach To Design

None of us can honestly predict what life will be like for us when we retire. While many spend their golden years doing whatever they always wanted to but never could, some aren’t so lucky.

The body grows weak and the risk of physical as well as mental illness increases significantly as the years go by. The time that many of us are prematurely planning to be spent finally writing that book or finally getting that hobby workshop set up may be cut short by things like Alzheimer’s or Dementia.

A nursing home in Ohio that takes care of many elderly people that are suffering from memory problems decided to rethink the traditional nursing home formula.

An assisted living facility in Ohio decided to break with tradition when it comes to nursing homes


Image credits: Lantern

Lantern, an assisted living facility in Ohio and a number of other locations around the US, revamped their indoor spaces to look like an authentic neighborhood. The facility features living units that look like houses, equipped with porches and everything. There’s carpeting that looks like grass, ceiling lighting that mimics a partly-cloudy sky, and other decorative elements like street lights and garden-like flora.

Bored Panda got in touch with Jean Makesh, the CEO of Lantern and the man behind this idea. We asked him about the origins of this idea: “I simply wanted to address the pain. I always believed and to this day believe that if I don’t, who else will?

He continued: “As an occupational therapist, a caregiver, a care provider, and a businessman, it is my responsibility to take care of my elderly clients and families. The design I have in all my communities are influenced by the elderly clients that I served over time and serve now. I made a conscious and a difficult decision to only listen to my elderly clients. They taught me everything I know today.”

Image credits: Lantern

Its “neighborhood” design aims to provide a healthy environment to the elderly with memory problems


Image credits: Lantern

Besides the looks, the nursing home also strives to mimic the feel of the place by setting up ambient sound and smell. So, whenever the inhabitants leave their units, they are greeted by friendly bird chirping and the smells of the outside. This way, all of their senses are stimulated to feel as if they never left their homes to live in a nursing facility.

Makesh explained that the environment is key in dealing with memory illness and other typical mental problems of the elderly years. Alzheimer’s patients, for example, experience a great amount of confusion in elderly homes, so creating a more familiar setting helps to alleviate their struggles.

“As an occupational therapist, I was trained to approach everything scientifically. I researched every concept to ensure that my designs were scientific and had elements of science to support everything that my elderly clients taught me,” explained Makesh.

Image credits: Lantern

The setup features houses with porches, grass carpets, lit sky with clouds, and even specific smells and sounds


Image credits: Lantern

Instead of getting a room, residents get a “house” in a little quiet street that is reminiscent of the place they grew up in. Instead of a dull ceiling and floor, they get “sunny skies” and “green grass”. Instead of the sound of the AC and the typical indoor smells, they experience bird melodies and flower fragrance. There is even a Main Street area for the residents to spend their downtime between personal and facility-organized activities like family fun nights, cooking lessons, weekly shopping trips, and jive class.

We also asked Jean Makesh if the residents can put up their own decorations or to even have pets to make it feel more like home: “The space we live in directly influences our overall health and wellness. It is vital and important that the elderly could relate to their surroundings and their space—space breathes life into us. So, yes, they are welcomed to design their space to their will and desire. Pets and children breathe life into us as well and we encourage our elderly to bring pets if they desire so.”

Image credits: Lantern

Elderly care is never without its challenges, not only because care is often very individualized depending on the patient, but also because it is a very complicated and delicate process, if the aim is to do it correctly all the way through.

“The challenges and difficulties are plenty,” explains Makesh. “The biggest challenge is the lack of understanding of the disease and the elderly’s needs and preferences in general. My staff and I cannot do it alone. It is important for families of the elderly to understand the disease process. It is critical for medical professionals and support staff to understand the disease process. Caring for one with the disease is a partnership with the family and medical professionals that are involved in the client’s care.”

He continues: “The elderly client’s interests and needs should be the primary focus. Unfortunately, self-interest, ego, guilt, and a lack of understanding of the disease influence the elderly’s wellbeing. Dementia, and especially Alzheimer’s, not only affect the individual, but also their family and friends. The signs and symptoms are not consistent across patients. They vary from one individual to another. It is simply because all of our brains are wired differently.”

There is even a “Main Street” where residents can have some downtime between activities


Image credits: Lantern

Makesh’s ingenious idea serves as proof that if the environment is strategically redesigned and the process is made rehabilitative (as opposed to just managing a disease), where patients actually relearn and practice life skills, then it makes pushing away illness that much more possible.

We asked Makesh what is one thing he wishes more people knew about memory and mental illness. He had this to say: “Memory and mental illness are treatable. Early diagnosis and timely intervention could help individuals live a meaningful and functional life. The brain is like a muscle, so it can be rehabilitated. Numerous times we have been told that nothing can be done for the individuals with Alzheimer’s disease. However, where there is no hope, there is no life. Hope gives life! Hope paves the path for new ideas. If all of the care givers and providers start thinking and approaching every individual with Alzheimer’s from a treatment and care perspective, imagine what we could do collectively to impact the larger good. If we give up hope, the incentive and motivation towards fixing a problem or an issue is destroyed.”

Full Article & Source:
This Nursing Home For The Elderly With Mental Problems Took An Unusual Approach To Design

Thursday, February 6, 2020

PAMLICO CO: Pastor found guilty of embezzlement, elderly exploitation

PAMLICO COUNTY, NC (WITN) - A pastor was found guilty of embezzling more than $100,000 from an elderly woman here in Eastern Carolina.

Thomas Steele, 63, a pastor at New Life Baptist Church in Concord, was convicted Friday on embezzlement charges and four counts of exploitation of an elderly adult.

District Attorney Scott Thomas says Steele took more than $120,000 from an elderly woman from Grantsboro in the month's after her husband's death.

The victim, who is now 85, testified that she did not authorize for Steele to take her money and did not know that he had access to her accounts. Thomas says a family friend noticed the suspicious activity and reported it to law enforcement.

"This case demonstrates the importance of being aware of our older relatives and friends," said Thomas.

Steele was sentenced to up to 8 years in prison. He was also ordered to pay restitution of more than $123,000 to the victim.

Full Article & Source:
PAMLICO CO: Pastor found guilty of embezzlement, elderly exploitation

Committee hears bill intended to streamline services for vulnerable adults

JEFFERSON CITY — Rep. Holly Rehder, R- Sikeston, wants to make it easier to provide services to vulnerable adults.
The Health and Mental Health Policy Committee heard her bill, House Bill 1484, on Monday. The bill would allow prosecutors to establish “adult protection teams” for elderly, vulnerable or disabled adults.

Under the bill, local prosecutors could establish multidisciplinary teams with professionals like psychologists, law enforcement officers, guardians and financial professionals to handle specific cases of reports of abuse or exploitation.

This would streamline cases and prevent victims from having to relay the same information over and over, said Rehder, R-Sikeston.

A similar system is in place in Missouri for victims of child abuse.
Benjamin Miller, assistant prosecutor in Callaway County, spoke in support of the legislation. He has worked with the system for child abuse victims.

“It is a resource that has made our job in protecting victims so much easier,” Miller said. “One of the things you find is not that agencies duplicate resources, (but) they assume they’re going to duplicate resources and it causes inaction.”

“By having this body where the right hand knows what the left hand is doing at all times, it streamlines it so that pieces of evidence don’t slip through the cracks and it makes it so that the most vulnerable victims we have are protected,” he said.

A similar bill failed to pass last year. This amended version does not cover people in long-term care facilities, whose employees already face a set protocol for reporting suspected abuse and exploitation to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.

“We don’t want to have the Department of Health saying, ‘Oh, well. I thought the multidisciplinary team was doing this,’ and the multidisciplinary team saying, ‘I thought you guys were doing it,’ and then having this elderly person’s case fall through the cracks,” Rehder said.

The committee also voted to pass a bill that would decriminalize needle and syringe exchanges. House Bill 1486 also sponsored by Rehder, would exempt registered syringe exchange programs from drug paraphernalia laws.

“If you’re using a needle, getting a free one isn’t going to make you use a needle, you’re already using a needle,” Rehder said. “I haven’t seen any negative statistics about them.”

Drug users who use needle exchange programs are five times more likely to enter drug treatment, according to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Missouri has 13 counties in the top 220 at risk of infectious disease outbreaks from IV drugs, according to the CDC.

Full Article & Source:
Committee hears bill intended to streamline services for vulnerable adults

Attempted scam nearly costs Genesee County couple more than $9,000

GENESEE COUNTY, Mich. - Financial exploitation and fraud incidents have become far too common and can target anyone.

However, elderly are more likely to be taken advantage of by scammers.

In a press conference Wednesday, Interim Genesee County Sheriff Chris Swanson reported a case of financial exploitation.

According to Swanson, a Genesee County couple received a new computer from their son.

Within the first few weeks, they got a message to buy an extended warranty for the computer.

Thinking it was a good idea, the couple paid $100 for the warranty, which was actually a scam.

The couple contacted an individual to get the warranty and are convinced to pay the $100 for an unlimited warranty.

The couple gives out their bank information for the $100 to the scammers.

Scammers transferred $10,000 from a savings and secure funds account the elderly couple had without the couple knowing.

Scammers tricked the couple saying they made a mistake and put $10,000 in the couples's account when the money was actually their's the whole time.

They then told the couple to send $9,600 "back" and keep $400.

The scammers told the couple to send the cash via Fed Ex in a box with packing and to wrap it in tin foil.

Wrapping it in foil prevents scanners from seeing it's currency.

If currency is detected by any delivery service or the United States Postal Service it is pulled out of the shipping line.

The couple's daughter-in-law notified authorities to what was going on and the money was recovered 20 minutes before it was sent out for delivery.

Full Article & Source:
Attempted scam nearly costs Genesee County couple more than $9,000

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Mason pushes bill inspired by RTD's 'Unguarded' investigation

By Bridget Balch
Sen. Monty Mason, D-Williamsburg

The Senate Judiciary Committee is considering a bill introduced by Sen. Monty Mason, D-Williamsburg, aimed at preventing ethical conflicts from arising in guardianship cases.

Mason was prompted by “Unguarded,” a three-part Richmond Times-Dispatch investigative series published in November, which revealed that VCU Health System and other health care providers in the Richmond region had taken hundreds of low-income patients to court and asked to have their lawyer appointed the patients’ guardian, putting him in charge of the person’s medical decision-making and finances.

The attorney frequently had the patients discharged from expensive hospital beds, placed in poorly rated nursing homes, maintained a list of up to 120 wards at a time and rarely visited them, the investigation found.

“I understand there’s a shortage of guardians,” Mason said in his testimony before the committee Monday morning. “What I’m trying to get at is ... if you come to the court on behalf of the hospital, you cannot then become the guardian to the person you’re trying to get out of the hospital.”

Mason referenced a fact exposed in the Times-Dispatch investigation that, in at least 13 cases, the lawyer resigned from being the patient’s guardian unless the person was admitted to VCU Health System again, in which case he could resume his authority.

“I am not making that up,” Mason said. “You ought not to be able to do that.”

Laura Rossacher, spokeswoman for VCU Health System, said that the health system does not take a position on Mason’s measure, Senate Bill 1072. She said last month that the health system is in conversations with community partners about possible collaborations on guardianship, but would not give further details.

“It’s one of the most horrific situations that I have ever seen,” said Sen. Joe Morrissey, D-Richmond. “It was shocking in all of its aspects.”

Morrissey said that he would have proposed legislation on the issue himself, but didn’t believe there was enough time to pull it together.

“It’s not the individual’s attorney who becomes the guardian; it’s the hospital’s attorney trying to kick the person out and then becomes the guardian,” clarified Sen. John Edwards, D-Roanoke, the committee chairman, who was learning of the scenario for the first time. “That’s a conflict of interest — a clear-cut case of a conflict of interest.”

Sen. Tommy Norment, R-James City, agreed.

“I support what Senator Mason is trying to do,” Norment said. “In the practice of law, there is a very fundamental caveat and that is to avoid even the appearance of impropriety, and at a minimum, that is the threshold of this situation.”

Sen. Scott Surovell, D-Fairfax, said that he agreed with the spirit of the bill, but thought that the language was too broad and would ultimately raise costs for guardianship cases without conflict. He suggested focusing the bill to hospital-sponsored guardianship petitions.

The Office of the Executive Secretary of the Supreme Court of Virginia did not take a position on the policy proposed by the bill, but had technical concerns, including that some rural jurisdictions may have no eligible guardians for incapacitated people under the proposed law.

The committee instructed Mason to work with the Office of the Executive Secretary to refine the bill and to come back with amendments on another day.

Full Article & Source:
Mason pushes bill inspired by RTD's 'Unguarded' investigation

Police: Woman paid mortgage from dependent's bank account

Maryann Avery (Photo: Polk County Jail/Special to the Register)
A Des Moines woman was arrested early Tuesday morning and charged with theft after stealing more than $24,000 from a person whose money she managed. 

Marryan Avery, 66, served as as the power of attorney for an adult person, according to a criminal complaint. Avery paid for her mortgage and wrote herself more than $24,500 in checks from the victim's bank account over seven months in 2019, though she lacked the authorization to do so, police said. 

Avery faces charges of theft and dependent adult abuse. An attorney was not listed.

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Police: Woman paid mortgage from dependent's bank account

Local families share struggles of getting mental health help for loved ones

Click to Watch Video
SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - Two weeks ago, the kidnapping of an 11-year-old girl in Springfield prompted an amber alert, a statewide search, and a community effort to bring the child home safely.

In a matter of hours, both the child and the kidnapping suspect were tracked down, but in the days following Miguel Rodriguez being charged with kidnapping, his family raised concerns about his mental stability.

In fact, they told Western Mass News the 24-year-old Rodriguez had been struggling with mental illness for years and that efforts to medicate him were unsuccessful.

"Multiple times, cops have come here, because of him," Miguel Rodriguez's sister tells us.

In an interview with Western Mass News weeks ago, the sister of Miguel Rodriguez says it wasn't unusual for her family to call the cops on her brother.

Though she didn't want to show her face on camera, his sister told us that Miguel suffered from schizophrenia and paranoia, which resulted in hospitalizations and restraining orders against him from his own family members.

"Last time with the hospital, before he got let go and released, and I said, 'Please don’t release him. He is not mentally stable'," explained Rodriguez's sister.

But she says her brother, Miguel, was let out of the hospital and on January 15, the day an 11-year-old Springfield girl was kidnapped while walking home, Miguel's sister recognized the car in the amber alert and had to call the cops on her brother once again.

"He was not medicating himself. We tried. I want people to understand and know that my mom has tried various times to get him Roger's Orders to control him," stated Rodriguez's sister.

Now facing kidnapping, assault, and rape charges, Miguel Rodriguez is being evaluated in a hospital, but his family said their attempts to force Miguel to take anti-psychotic medication through the courts were unsuccessful.

"In order to have a Rogers guardianship, you need a guardianship, so the court has to make a base determination that the individual is incompetent to manage their affairs," Michelle Feinstein, an estate attorney for Shatz, Schwartz and Fentin, stated.

Michele Feinstein is an estate attorney, who handles Rogers guardianship in the local courts.

She says it's an uphill battle for families to get their loved ones declared mentally incapacitated in the courts.

"We place a great premium in our society on individual independence and liberty, so a guardianship is effectively eroding someone’s liberty and it’s not something that the court takes lightly," said Feinstein.

"He was an adult, had an episode, was diagnosed as schizo-affective bipolar, psychotic," local resident Kristina says.

No one knows the difficulty of getting guardianship over a loved one like Kristina.

"He doesn’t want help," continued Kristina.

According to Kristina, her brother has refused to take anti-psychotic medication for more than fifteen years.

"He's smart, so he knows his rights. He knows that he doesn’t have to be treated if he doesn’t want to, He wouldn’t say, you know, 'I’m going to hurt myself or hurt anyone', but he would break into homes. [It’s been twenty years and you still haven’t been able to get any kind of Rogers guardianship?] You need a psychologist or a psychiatrist orders or input in order to get Rogers guardianship and we can never get that," stated Kristina.

Because her brother refuses to see family members when admitted to hospitals, Kristina says it's become a repeating cycle of dangerous behavior and hospitalization.

"They just medicate him and let him go and that’s happened probably about fifteen times," says Kristina.

Without the guardianship, Kristina says she was forced to watch her brother's condition deteriorate.

"Talking about women, we clearly saw that he might, he could do something. [What are your concerns for him?] My biggest concern is his safety. I’m afraid he’s just going to sleep outside and freeze to death one night. I’m afraid he’s going to starve to death, because he doesn’t feed himself," said Kristina.

And those concerns only multiply when she says the only other alternative for care is behind bars.

"I was really hoping he would go to jail just to get the help he needs. I’m worried for others. I’ll admit I’m afraid he’ll just, you know, break into another home. I reached out to you with the recent case against Miguel Rodriguez, because I thought there wasn’t really help until something bad happens and that’s not fair. It’s not fair to society. Would he do something like that? Maybe," added Kristina.

Full Article & Source:
Local families share struggles of getting mental health help for loved ones

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

'I want my sister home.' Family claims local Adult Protective Services worker hid their relative

By: Heather Catallo

(WXYZ) — She’s supposed to protect vulnerable adults, but a local Adult Protective Services worker is accused of hiding a relative from her siblings.

7 Investigator Heather Catallo first exposed this APS worker last year during a guardianship case that involved a Detroit grandmother. Now that worker is under fire again.

Family members are accusing Tresna Tupper of taking their loved one and hiding her away from them. They are also questioning whether Tupper should be in a position of power with vulnerable seniors in our community.

Clyde Edmonds has a message for his sister: “We miss you and we coming for you.

“I want my sister home,” Edmonds added. He says he hasn’t seen his sister, Paula Tupper, in months – not even for the holidays.

“It wasn’t right. We always get together during the holidays,” said Edmonds as he held back tears. “Thanksgiving and Christmas, we [were] together. We’re family, that’s how we were brought up.”

Clyde says after Paula had a stroke last summer, he tried to get guardianship of his 68-year-old sister to help her make medical decisions. But Clyde and Paula missed their hearing date in Wayne County Probate Court, so the case was dismissed.

Last fall, Paula was hospitalized again. But this time, Clyde says the sister of Paula’s late husband checked her out of the hospital and he hasn’t seen Paula since.

“I’ve been so stressed out trying to get help to locate my sister. I’ve been to the police station, I’m telling them that she’s been missing for months, and I haven’t been able to get no help from no one,” said Edmonds.

That sister-in-law is a woman named Tresna Tupper. Tresna is an investigator for Adult Protective Services, or APS, which is a division of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

Last fall, the 7 Investigators first exposed the role that Tresna played in a different high-profile guardianship case.

Bessie Owens told us that Tupper, in her role as an APS Investigator, came into her home uninvited last year and then filed a petition to place the 78-year-old Detroit grandmother under guardianship: a guardianship Owens did not want or need.

“Did you have any notice that a guardianship case had been opened about you?” Catallo asked Owens.

“No,” Owens said.

“Nothing in writing?” Catallo asked.

“Nothing in writing,” Owens added.

A judge later dismissed the guardianship and questioned why Tupper filed without notifying Owens children.

Clyde Edmonds also says he did not get any notice, as required by law, that Tresna was petitioning the court to become his sister’s guardian.

Tresna said in her petition that Clyde and Paula’s friends were financially exploiting her.

Clyde says that’s not true, and he alleges Tresna is the one doing the exploiting.

“She wants Paula’s house and she want Paula’s money,” said Edmonds.

Edmonds says Tresna’s name is now on Paula’s bank account. He finally got to see his sister during a court hearing earlier this month. Her face lit up with a huge smile when she saw Edmonds in the courtroom.

At that hearing, he learned Tresna had placed Paula into a group home in Detroit, and that’s not all.

“Upon further inquiry, it does appear that the guardian has added her name to the title to the home owned by the ward. It appears there is an apparent conflict of interest,” said Renita Forrest, the court-appointed attorney (known as a Guardian ad Litem) assigned to advise the ward (Paula Tupper) of her rights.

About a month after Tresna was granted guardianship of Paula, she filed a deed with Wayne County, putting her name on Paula’s house.

So even though Tupper told the judge Paula wanted her to continue as her guardian, the deed transfer prompted Judge David Perkins to appoint an independent guardian.

“She asked me to stay,” said Tresna Tupper in court.

“I understand what she asked,” said Judge David Perkins. “I would like to see a third party appointed for now.”

After that hearing, while Paula’s friends and relatives enjoyed a reunion, we tried to talk to Tresna Tupper.

“Why haven’t you let Paula’s siblings talk to her?” Catallo asked Tupper.

“Have a good day ma’am,” said Tupper.

“Why haven’t you let her siblings talk to her?" asked Catallo.

“Ma’am you’re being rude,” said Tupper. “Have a good day.”

“No, I’m not being rude, you work for the state, and we have some questions for you about how you conduct your business. Why do you keep filing petitions for guardianship instead of contacting family members?” asked Catallo.

Tupper refused to answer and fled into an adjoining courtroom to further avoid our cameras.

She also refused to answer our questions about why she put her name on Paula Tupper’s home.

The 7 Investigators asked a spokesman of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, which oversees Adult Protective Services, whether they have done any additional training with their APS workers because of what we’ve uncovered.

They would not answer specific questions about employees, but did say that as a result of the questions raised by the 7 Investigators in our last story that involved Tresna Tupper, “Wayne County Adult Protective Services... reviewed the policies and procedures staff are required to follow prior to filing petitions.”

The independent guardian is in place until a court hearing next month.

Full Article & Source:
'I want my sister home.' Family claims local Adult Protective Services worker hid their relative

2 Elderly Women Bilked Out Of $35,000; Miami-Dade Man Charged

A 37-year-old Miami-Dade man has been accused of stealing $35,000 from two elderly women.

By Paul Scicchitano

Aquiles Brito-Bigott is accused of bilking two elderly women out of $35,000. (Via Miami-Dade Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation)
MIAMI, FL — A 37-year-old Miami-Dade man has been accused of stealing $35,000 from two elderly women by convincing them that a relative had been arrested for causing a traffic crash.

Aquiles Brito-Bigott was charged with organized scheme to defraud, grand theft and theft from the elderly, according to Detective Lee Cowart of the Miami-Dade Police Department.

"The investigation revealed that the scheme began when both victims received telephone calls reporting that a relative had been arrested for causing a traffic crash with serious injuries," Cowart said. "The caller advised the victims that an attorney was going to assist them in preventing their relative from going to jail."

Cowart said another person posed as an attorney and instructed the elderly victims to Another to withdraw a predetermined sum of cash to be turned over to a security courier who would visit them at their homes.

"Mr. Brito-Bigott posed as the security courier in both thefts," Cowart said. "Investigators are seeking the assistance of the community to locate any additional victims that may have been defrauded by Mr. Brito-Bigott and his accomplices."

Full Article & Source:
2 Elderly Women Bilked Out Of $35,000; Miami-Dade Man Charged