Saturday, December 31, 2022

Young@Heart Chorus: Forever Young

Young@Heart Chorus: Forever Young

109-Year-Old Veteran and His Secrets to Life Will Make You Smile

Meet Richard Overton, America's oldest veteran. In this lively short film by Matt Cooper and Rocky Conly, hear the whiskey-drinking, cigar-smoking supercentenarian reveal his secrets to a long life.

YouTube: 109-Year-Old Veteran and His Secrets to Life Will Make You Smile

93-Year Old Gets Tired of Boredom and Opens His Own Boozy Bakery

Retirement is usually a time to take it easy… slow down… and maybe take up a relaxing hobby. But Ray Boutwell – accomplished carpenter, portrait-painter, World War II veteran, and grandfather of two – got bored. And so at 93, he decided to embark on what he felt would delay the obituary and ensure longevity of life – he was going to make cupcakes.

When his wife died in 2012, Ray tried to stay busy, but he knew he needed to stay active. “I said to myself, ‘I’ve got to do something more physical, or I’m going to pass.’”

And now Boutwell has dusted off the cobwebs of retirement to make cupcakes. But these aren’t ordinary cupcakes! Ray’s Boozy Cupcakes were inspired by liquor-laced sweets he read in a magazine in his cardiologist’s office.

“I’ve got about 20 flavors, some for vanilla cupcakes and some for chocolate. I do one with tequila, I call it a ‘sunrise,’ another I call ‘sherry cherry,’ some with blueberry vodka, and one with a hazelnut filling and Angelica liqueur.”

It is evident that the business may contribute to longevity of life, as Boutwell intended. Each day he gets up at 4 o’clock, and his staff can hardly keep up.“Now I work eight, nine, sometimes 10 hours a day in the new place, and I really feel great.”

Sales are good and Boutwell is paying off his mortgage. “We ran out of everything,” he said. “They started out buying like one or two — now they buy ’em by the dozen.”

Full Article and Source:
93-Year Old Gets Tired of Boredom and Opens His Own Boozy Bakery

Secrets of ‘SuperAgers’ Who Possess Brains as Sharp as People 20 to 30 Years Younger

By Sandee LaMotte, CNN

Despite volunteering and working out at the gym several days each week, socializing frequently with friends and family, reading all manner of books and doing daily crossword puzzles, 85-year-old Carol Siegler is restless.
“I’m bored. I feel like a Corvette being used as a grocery cart,” said Siegler, who lives in the Chicago suburb of Palatine.

Siegler is a cognitive “SuperAger,” possessing a brain as sharp as people 20 to 30 years younger. She is part of an elite group enrolled in the Northwestern SuperAging Research Program, which has been studying the elderly with superior memories for 14 years. The program is part of the Mesulam Center for Cognitive Neurology and Alzheimer’s Disease at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago.

“I’ve auditioned twice for ‘Jeopardy!’ and did well enough on it to be invited to the live auditions. Then Covid hit,” said Siegler.

What is a SuperAger?

To be a SuperAger, a term coined by the Northwestern researchers, a person must be over 80 and undergo extensive cognitive testing. Acceptance in the study only occurs if the person’s memory is as good or better than cognitively normal people in their 50s and 60s.

“SuperAgers are required to have outstanding episodic memory — the ability to recall everyday events and past personal experiences — but then SuperAgers just need to have at least average performance on the other cognitive tests,” said cognitive neuroscientist Emily Rogalski, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Feinberg School of Medicine.

Only about 10% of people who apply to the program meet those criteria, said Rogalski, who developed the SuperAger project.

“It’s important to point out when we compare the SuperAgers to the average agers, they have similar levels of IQ, so the differences we’re seeing are not just due to intelligence,” she said.

Once accepted, colorful 3D scans are taken of the brain and cognitive testing and brain scans are repeated every year or so. Analysis of the data over the years have yielded fascinating results.

Full Article and Source:
Secrets of ‘SuperAgers’ Who Possess Brains as Sharp as People 20 to 30 Years Younger

Young@Heart Chorus: "Fix You"

Fred Knittle (RIP) of Young@Heart Chorus performs "Fix You" by Coldplay in a scene from the film. "Young@Heart"

YouTube: Young@Heart Chorus: "Fix You"

Friday, December 30, 2022

Buffalo woman saves a man from freezing to death in blizzard

Christmas Eve during the Blizzard of 2022 will be remembered for more than snow. It's the day one woman saved a stranger's life.


Author: Claudine Ewing

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Sha'Kyra Aughtry was on her couch inside her Thatcher Avenue home when she heard someone outside scream for help.

A man she did not know was literally freezing. 

"The winds were sweeping him away.  I seen his body and then I didn't see his body. He was stumbling and falling," she said.

Aughtry didn't know the man and was hesitant about opening her door, but she saw he needed help.

"I told my boyfriend Trent, hey, there is a guy outside we gotta bring him in," but she said he wasn't on board right away.

He went outside and had a hard time bringing him indoors because the man was nearly frozen, "Ice balls was on his hands. He was like frozen, his pants were frozen, his shoes were frozen."

She managed to cut a frozen bag off his hands, and get a ring off of his finger as she noticed he was losing circulation.

Aughtry called a family member out of state who is a nurse to get assistance on how to proceed with frostbite and poor circulation due to the cold.

Credit: Aughtry

She asked the man his name and he gave her the number of his sister. It's when she made the call and learned that the man Joe White, known as Joey was from a group home in the area. He was trying to go to work at the North Park Theatre.

Joey ended up staying with the family for two days. She was trying to get help through 911, and the National Guard to get him to a hospital in the blizzard.

Frustrated with no response, she made a plea on social media for help to get him to a hospital. Good Samaritans responded, including former football player Doug Worthington.

Two other men arrived in a truck after seeing the outcry for help and transported Joey to ECMC. He remains hospitalized.

"He said to me in the car and it touched me he said I'm scared. I said I'm scared too and he said am I gonna die. I said we're not talking about dying." Comforted with her by his side, she said Joey then, "looked at me and said I love you and I said I love you too Joey."

Her lifesaving effort has not gone unnoticed. Her name along with her boyfriend's name is now on a marquee at the North Park Theatre on Hertel Avenue in Buffalo. 

A worker there started a gofundme to show her appreciation.

"I appreciate it and my family appreciates it. I was just paying it forward like we all should do," Aughtry said in an interview with Two On Your Side's Claudine Ewing.

Credit: Aughtry

The mother of three owns Heartfelt Cleaning LLC and works for Global Industrial Services Inc. as a janitorial manager.

Christmas morning, Joey wanted pancakes and she made them for him and they watched football.

"He will forever be a part of my family, no matter the color of our skin," she said, "we have to work together."

Full Article & Source:
Buffalo woman saves a man from freezing to death in blizzard

Stories of survival and rescue emerge from ‘war with mother nature’ in Buffalo

Amid a deadly winter storm, heart-warming tales spring forth of neighbors assisting stranded tourists and helping deliver babies

Buffalo’s city hall during a snowstorm in November. Photograph: Lindsay Dedario/Reuters

By Victoria Bekiempis  

As the US reels from a winter storm that has killed nearly 50 people nationwide, stories of hope and resilience have nonetheless emerged from America’s hardest-hit region, western New York state.

This storm, which has resulted in 27 deaths around the city of Buffalo, brought hurricane-force winds and nearly four feet of snow in parts of the region, thwarting first responders’ emergency response and rescue efforts. “This is a war with mother nature, and she has been hitting us with everything she has,” New York’s Governor Kathy Hochul said.

But amid the tragedy and deadly conditions, stories of endurance, survival and rescue have emerged. Good Samaritans took stranded travelers into their homes; strangers worked together to help a snow-trapped expectant mother through home birth.

A South Korean tour group, which was headed for Niagara Falls, found their van stuck in the snow outside Buffalo. Two members of the group knocked on the door of a nearby house, and asked for shovels.

The homeowners, Alexander and Andrea Campagna, invited the nine travelers and their tour van driver into their home; the group stayed there over the weekend, departing Sunday, according to the New York Times.

“It was kind of like fate,” said Pyeongtaek resident Yoseb Choi, who was with his wife, Claire, on the tour, and describing the Campagnas as “the kindest people I have ever met”.

The Times quoted Alexander Campagna as saying: “We have enjoyed this so much … we will never forget this.”

A family of six from Williamsville, near Buffalo, tried to get to a hotel on Friday night after losing power, but soon found themselves stranded in the snow. Buffalo airport firefighters rescued the parents Demetrice and Danielle, as well as their four children, who ranged in age from nine months to eight years, CNN reported.

Demetrice and Danielle were the only people among the more than three dozen rescued near Buffalo’s airport who were traveling with small children, so the family got to spend the evening and Christmas Eve at the fire station, per CNN. The firefighters worked quickly to find presents to “make sure Santa paid a visit”, the outlet said.

Births during the blizzard have also shown neighbors’ heroic efforts to help one another. Mark Poloncarz, Erie county executive, said that a snowplow paved the way to bring a woman with a complicated pregnancy to the hospital, where she had a successful birth, reported.

Some women who didn’t make it to the hospital were guided through births with calls to midwives and doulas. Erica and Davon Thomas experienced this firsthand.

Erica, whose baby was due on Christmas, started to feel contractions on Friday night, as the blizzard peaked, according to the Buffalo News. While Erica and Davon lived just five miles from the birthing hospital, they were snowed in.

Davon sought help from 911, but was told that first responders couldn’t get to them because of the weather. Late Saturday morning, Erica’s contractions were a mere three minutes apart.

His friend logged onto a Buffalo blizzard Facebook group for assistance; a doula was offering to help. The couple and the doula, Raymonda Reynolds, got on a video chat. Reynolds guided Erica and then brought her friend, doula and nurse Iva Michelle Blackburn, on to the chat, according to the newspaper.

Around 3.30pm, with the doulas’ long-distance guidance, Erica gave birth to a healthy baby girl, Devynn Brielle Thomas. “She just looked at both of us … She just gave us a look like, ‘Well, I’m here,’” Davon told the outlet.

Early the next day, a woman called Davon to tell them that her husband, Angel Lugo, would drive them to the hospital in his truck. While Lugo couldn’t drive down their snow-covered street, he reportedly walked to the Thomases’ home, guided them to the truck several blocks away, and brought them to the hospital. “Buffalo is called the City of Good Neighbors for a good reason,” Davon told the newspaper.

Full Article & Source:
Stories of survival and rescue emerge from ‘war with mother nature’ in Buffalo

Thursday, December 29, 2022

State working through backlog of care facility investigations

By Brian Tabick

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - The Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals said it was making up for the lost time when it comes to inspecting care facilities.

The DIA said it was not allowed to conduct surveys during the 2020 pandemic so care facilities could learn to navigate COVID-19. The DIA interacts with and investigates care facilities in several different ways. A surveyor can show up unannounced to investigate, or people can fill out a complaint for the state to investigate.

“It’s not uncommon to see these problems,” said Marcia Southwick, a Director with the National Association to Stop Guardian Abuse.

She hears complaints about the DIA year-round but said that number went up since the 2020 pandemic.

“We’re all going to get old; you have to think about what you want for your elders,” she said.

The DIA said it had followed the state’s guidance to start catching back up, but the state’s Long Term Care Ombudsman, Angela Van Pelt, said it had dire consequences.

“We had some sad stories,” she said. “Staffing issues got to a point where sometimes a complaint would come in, and four months later the same administrator wasn’t there.”

Van Pelt said they were seeing more than double the complaints this year as in years prior. She said that was because of a lack of state inspectors, nursing facilities not being able to hire and train staff but also many care facilities closing.

“The system is overwhelmed,” she said. “Because of the closures, there were complaints of people not responding to requests for assistance, maybe that’s call lights, and also personal hygiene issues.”

Van Pelt said they were seeing 2-4 facilities closing each month. A total of 55-closed this year. She said she hopes families do research on nursing facilities before making it their home.

“Look at what kind of facility, she said. Is it privately owned that’s been there for 20 years,” said Van Pelt. Or, is it owned by a corporation?”

Van Pelt said people can file complaints on the state’s website and can use the Medicaid Nursing facilities.

Full Article & Source:
State working through backlog of care facility investigations

Sheriff: Woman accused of hitting 92-year-old mother with wrench, told her to kill herself

by Kennedy McKinney

Susan Delaney was arrested and charged with aggravated battery on a person 65 years or older, abuse of an elderly or disabled person, neglect of elderly person, and domestic battery. (PBSO)

BOCA RATON, Fla. (CBS12) — A woman is in jail after her mother told deputies she abused her.

On Dec. 1 around 8 p.m., deputies with the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office went to Boca Raton in reference to a domestic battery.

Deputies met with the 92-year-old victim who told them that her daughter Susan Delaney, 65, abuses her and that is has worsened in the past year.

The victim told deputies that when she doesn't follow the rules, Delaney hits her. 

The deputy asked the victim for an example. She told deputies that earlier that same day, she went to the kitchen to wash dishes. However, her daughter was unhappy with the result of the dishes and and began to yell and strike her. Delaney then told her mother to leave the house, kicked her out, and locked the doors. The victim fled to the neighbors house.

In the arrest report, the victim continues to tell deputies about the abuse and how when Delaney is upset, she'll grab her arms and hands and shake her. She also said Delaney kicks her on her legs when she gets upset.

The victim told deputies that Delaney got mad at her and used a wrench to strike her several times on the head. She also said that in the past Delaney tried to suffocate her with a pillow.

Deputies observed multiple bruises from her forehead to her chin and a laceration on the victim's forehead. There were also bruises under and around her eyes and on her neck and upper torso. She also had large bruises on both arms between the shoulder and elbow, showing indication that she was grabbed. On her left leg there was a large bruise on the font between the knee and ankle.

The deputy wrote in the arrest report that the bruises had various shades showing that some were new while others were healing.

Delaney allegedly took away the victim's glasses so that she couldn't see very well and coerced her into signing paperwork that gave Delaney power of attorney over her finances and real estate.

There is also alleged verbal abuse. The victim told deputies that Delaney curses at her and tells her to kill herself.

When deputies mentioned the possibility of bringing her back to her home, the victim said that she did not want to go because she feared Delaney would hit and kill her.

The neighbor, whose house the victim went to, said they heard screaming and shouting coming from the victim's house over the past months. The neighbor also told deputies they heard Delaney tell the victim to kill herself.

Delaney was arrested and charged with aggravated battery on a person 65 years or older, abuse of an elderly or disabled person, neglect of elderly person, and domestic battery.

Full Article & Source:
Sheriff: Woman accused of hitting 92-year-old mother with wrench, told her to kill herself

Wednesday, December 28, 2022

Kim Gregory, Acclaimed Actor and Filmmaker, Works to Take Care of His Mother

News Provided By
December 27, 2022, 22:22 GMT

Kim Gregory
Making sure one’s family gets the best care can be a challenge.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, USA, December 27, 2022 / -- In November, Kim Gregory’s mother (Maralyn Hough) called for help with severe hip and eye pain. The police came out and contacted Kim’s brother who had her transported to a hospital for treatment. Other than x-rays and analgesics, there was no treatment for the hip dysplasia which continued to cause Kim’s mother severe pain. They never offered any treatment for her eye pain. The hospital kept Kim’s mother for thirty days and, in that time, the hospital billed taxpayers over $88,000.00.

Kim’s mother is severely hard of hearing. Without her hearing aids, she has tremendous difficulty understanding what is being said to her. Even so, for 30 days in a row the hospital psychologist subjected her to a multi-point cognitive test.

Kim Gregory's Mother
The AMTS (Abbreviated Mental Test Score) is designed to detect cognitive impairment in a patient. It asks questions like “What is your age?” or gives instructions like “Count backwards from 20 down to 1.” Kim’s mother couldn’t hear the questions and the psychologist administering the test offered a negative report of her cognitive state.

Kim had to rush home from Los Angeles to help his mother and learned it was recommended his mother be placed in an $11,000.00 per month, 24/7 memory care facility two hours away from her home and family, but an APS (Adult Protective Services) agent was called in to visit her and check out her home environment. The agent did a full investigation and found no reason why she should not be allowed to stay in her own home.

Judge David M. Murkowski, Chief Judge Probate Court for Kent County, Michigan, appointed Kim as temporary guardian for his mother. (Case Number 08-185377-GA).

Kim Gregory's Mother Writing
Kim says, “My mother is fully aware and has requested that I draw up paperwork for me to be her power of attorney.”

Kim Gregory is working with a number of people and organizations who help educate families and get them the assistance they need in his effort to end the poor care of his mother and others:

* Michigan Statewide Advocacy Services

* Michigan Long Term Care Ombudsman Program
* Emma White 
Director of Constituent Relations
Office of State Senator Winnie Brinks
* Mark E. Huizenga Senator, District 28
* Michigan Elder Justice Initiative
* Alzheimer’s Foundation of America
* National Association to Stop Guardian Abuse (Great)
* Peter Falk’s Daughter 
* Kent County Elder Abuse Coalition
* NCEA Team  
Department of Family Medicine 
Keck School of Medicine 
University of Southern California 
* Elder Law of Michigan
* Alzheimer's Association

To help Kim and his mom, he can be reached at:

Aurora DeRose
Boundless Media Inc.
+1 951-870-0099
email us here

Full Article & Source:
Kim Gregory, Acclaimed Actor and Filmmaker, Works to Take Care of His Mother

‘It makes you think how lucky you are.’ The painstaking mission to find guardians for hospital patients in legal limbo.

By Kay Lazar

Sturdy Memorial Hospital’s Deb Hansen is director of case management and works with a team of nurses who try to find friends or family for patients who have no legal guardians. She spoke with a team member, David Field.John Tlumacki/Globe Staff

They are the patients who have no family members, no friends, no one able to step up and speak for them. Scores of people, young and old, who are unable to make decisions for themselves are stuck in legal limbo, medically ready to be discharged from Massachusetts hospitals. But they lack a guardian to sign off on discharging them to a nursing home or rehab center.

The odyssey that follows is cited by hospital leaders as one of the most challenging they face in the ongoing health care crisis in Massachusetts, with hospitals filled to capacity and new patients waiting for hours in emergency rooms for available beds.

The guardianship process, say those on the front lines, is also one of the most soul-wrenching tasks they encounter.

“It pulls at your heartstrings, and it makes you think how lucky you are that you have a family who is supportive of each other,” said Deb Hansen, a registered nurse and director of case management at Sturdy Memorial Hospital in Attleboro.

“Your heart goes out,” Hansen said, “because they don’t have that support except for us to be holding their hand and talk to them.”

At least 958 patients statewide were awaiting discharge in November, many for more than a month, to a nursing home or other post-acute facility, according to the most recent monthly survey from the Massachusetts Health & Hospital Association. Exactly how many of these patients are mired in legal issues related to guardianship is unclear, but the association estimates that more than 100 patients are languishing in this state.

Hospital leaders in the recent survey listed guardianship problems as the second most challenging issue they faced when trying to discharge patients, right behind dealing with insurance company delays in authorizing coverage.

Hospital administrators say too often patients, before they are hospitalized, fail to complete a health care proxy form, a simple document that designates a representative to make health care decisions for the patient if he or she is incapacitated.

“It’s such a simple document, anybody can pull it off online to do this,” said Joan Smith, director of social work services at Tufts Medical Center. “You don’t have to be in the hospital to do it.”

Without that form, incapacitated patients, most often older people with dementia, or younger patients who’ve had a brain injury, get stuck in the hospital as administrators embark on a legal maze seeking a court-appointed guardian. That guardian will have the authority to sign off on transferring the patient to more appropriate post-acute care.

The legal part of the process, administrators say, usually takes about a month. But there are cases that drag on much longer.

Earlier in the pandemic, Sturdy Memorial cared for a young man in his 20s who was with them for a year. His medical care was completed in a couple of months, but the courts, backlogged by the pandemic, took a few more months to appoint a social worker as guardian. By then, the man’s family had stopped visiting, and it became clear they were not going to take care of him when he was discharged.

The young man’s cognition level was high enough that staffers could hold a conversation with him, and to know he was desperately seeking friends, but it was not enough to live alone or take care of himself.

“There was a vulnerability about him and we understood that he felt abandoned by his family,” said Robin Morris, the hospital’s senior vice president of clinical operations.

More months went by as the guardian struggled to find an appropriate place. The patient celebrated a birthday, with staff bringing him a cake.

“He wanted a life outside of the hospital; he wanted someone to care about him,” Morris said.

More months dragged by.

“He became part of the family here,” Morris said. “Staff came in with their families so he wouldn’t be alone on Christmas.”

While the Sturdy case stretched longer than most, the painstaking steps that staff at most hospitals take are similar as they try to find someone to speak for a patient so their case doesn’t end up in the courts.

“We start by trying to track down anyone we can,” said Dr. Rachel Kester, medical director of inpatient geriatric services at Cambridge Health Alliance.

“Usually, we can get in touch with a neighbor,” Kester said. “We usually find someone who knows them, at least a little bit.” A friend or neighbor could file with the state’s Probate and Family Court to become a legal guardian. But Kester said friends and neighbors are not often willing or able to do that.

Hospital case workers say they scour patients’ medical records, going back years, searching for a health care proxy. Failing that, they may reach out to social service agencies from the patient’s community, as well as local senior service offices, in case they have records of a family contact who may be willing to be appointed as a legal guardian.

Seeking a court-appointed guardian, they say, is a last resort.

“One thing that makes me feel very sad is that our [guardianship] patients have to wait so long in the hospital before they can move on,” Kester said. “No one should have to live in a hospital.”

The Massachusetts Health & Hospital Association said it has made recommendations to the state’s court system to try and streamline the guardianship process. For instance, it suggests family and probate courts reserve blocks of time each week, in each county, devoted to these cases.

“We are aware of three counties that have implemented the dedicated block days within the courts,” the association said in a statement. “We are grateful for those and hope to ... see that grow.”

Jennifer Donahue, a trial court spokeswoman, said in a statement that Suffolk County, where many hospitals are located, is among those instituting the dedicated weeks.

And, she said, the Probate and Family Court has expanded electronic-filing options in every county for conservatorships. That’s when a court appoints a person to manage the financial and personal affairs of a minor or incapacitated person. A conservator may also serve as a guardian.

The electronic filing can save lawyers time and shorten the process a bit, but she said there is a good reason that cases can take a long time.

“Massachusetts guardianship law is complex and filled with procedural safeguards to protect the rights of persons alleged to be incapacitated,” Donahue said.

But as the cases drag on, patients can grow despondent, hospital case workers said. And many patients are not getting the level of rehabilitation they would receive in post-acute care.

Some patients may not have the mental capacity to understand why they have been stuck in a hospital so long. But others, like the young man at Sturdy Memorial, was keenly aware.

Finally, a year after he entered Sturdy, his court-appointed guardian found an adult-care foster family who stepped forward, and he went to live with them.

Shortly after, the family sent the hospital staff a picture of the young man from a trip they took him on to the beach.

He was smiling.

Full Article & Source:
‘It makes you think how lucky you are.’ The painstaking mission to find guardians for hospital patients in legal limbo.

Tuesday, December 27, 2022

A woman was asked for directions outside Costco before thousands disappeared from her bank account

By Candace McCowan

FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. — A Forsyth County family is warning others after their mother had her wallet stolen and more than $10,000 charged to her credit cards.

It all started with a simple request for directions in a Cumming Costco parking lot.

The 75-year-old was loading up her car at the Costco on Bald Ridge Marina Road in broad daylight, but her daughter claims a pushy couple asked for directions in a successful effort to distract her.

“Her purse unfortunately was still in the buggy, and she looked at the phone and said, ‘That’s not far’ and started to give them directions, being a helpful person,” said Ashley Glass, who said it appears the couple helped themselves to her 75-year-old mother’s wallet when she wasn’t looking. It wasn’t until the victim got home that she realized something was wrong.

“They walked away, and less than two hours later (we) got calls from credit card companies. Within two hours the charged $10,000 Best Buy, Nordstrom,” said Glass.

Investigators with Cumming Police Department are now looking for the pair, trying to find images from store cameras. They are warning others: thieves are looking for targets.

“I wouldn’t carry a large amount of cash on you, just a card on you. And if you are using cash, don’t take it out of your pocket until the cashier ask(s) you for that,” said Cumming Police Sgt. PJ Girvan.

Glass said her mother didn’t need the eight different credit cards she had on her when this happened, and she made the classic mistake so many have made of leaving a purse in a grocery cart. This is why her mother will likely get a crossbody purse for Christmas.

As for holiday shopping, Glass said her mother had enough.

Law enforcement also recommend avoiding any distractions by staying off your phone, and if you can shop with someone, that can often deter criminals.

Full Article & Source:
A woman was asked for directions outside Costco before thousands disappeared from her bank account

Attorney suspended from practicing after explosive conversation with client

By Sarah Motter

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - A Missouri attorney has been suspended from practicing law in the State of Kansas following an explosive conversation with his client.

The Kansas Supreme Court says in Case No. 125,417: In the Matter of Troy J. Leavitt, an original proceeding in attorney discipline, that Leavitt - a lawyer out of Blue Springs, Mo., - “stipulated” to violations of the Kansas Rules of Professional conduct.

The Court indicated that Leavitt broke rules in regard to diligence, communication, judicial and legal officials and reporting professional misconduct.

Due to the violations, the Court said it suspended Leavitt’s license to practice in Kansas for one year. His suspension has been ordered to be stayed upon his successful participation and completion of a probation period of one year. 

Court documents indicate that Leavitt’s discipline from the State of Missouri for representation of a client in a paternity matter that involved custody and child support triggered the move. During the case in question, a father searching for an amended parenting agreement failed to attend co-parenting classes required by the Court. The failure to do so led Leavitt to not respond to a motion to dismiss the case and believed it moot as a parenting plan had been filed.

Court documents further indicate that Leavitt did not apprise his client of the judge’s decision to dismiss the case and award the mother more than $4,300 in attorney fees to be paid by the father. Instead, he filed a motion for reconsideration. About a week later, Leavitt claimed he had then remembered to advise his client of the outcome.

Court records indicate that the conversation which resulted from the notification of the case’s outcome had become explosive and ended when Leavitt used profane language and made disrespectful comments to his client and blamed him for the outcome due to his failure to attend counseling.

The Court noted that Leavitt’s probationary period started on Friday, Dec. 9. 

Full Article & Source:
Attorney suspended from practicing after explosive conversation with client

Cop Laughs as Elderly Woman Is Arrested Over $77 Trash Bill

by Helen Holmes

New body-cam footage has emerged of an 82-year-old Alabama woman being arrested last month for not paying a $77 trash bill. The arrest drew outrage earlier this month, prompting police to say they had no choice but to carry out the arrest warrant and that the woman, Martha Louis Menefield, “was treated respectfully” by officers. In the new video, an officer can be heard laughing when Menefield seems taken aback to see police at her door and asks to see the arrest warrant. “I’m so serious, it’s a warrant,” the officer says. “I’m not joking.” “So you’re going to handcuff me to take me to jail?” Menefield asks, adding: “You’re arresting an 82-year-old woman.” The officer then apologizes as she is handcuffed, saying,“I’m so sorry, but the law’s the law, Ms. Menefield.” Local authorities said repeated attempts had been made to contact Menefield about the overdue bill, but when she failed to appear for a court appearance, a warrant was issued. She said her daughter was the one who handled the bills and she had not been aware. 

Full Article & Source:
Cop Laughs as Elderly Woman Is Arrested Over $77 Trash Bill

Monday, December 26, 2022

Wendy Williams' Guardian Cuts Family Ties Amid $40 Million Dollar Fortune Grab

Photo byiStockbyUnsplash

by Sharee B

Wendy Williams is a famous ex-talk show host that made her fortune as a tabloid gossip host as well as other lucrative business ventures. However, her current financial situation is no laughing matter.

Recently, the embattled entrepreneur has been appointed a financial guardian, ordered to serve out her best interests as she has amassed a fortune worth over $40 million dollars. Specializing in estate administration and guardianship, Morrissey has been tasked with the handling of Williams' assets for more than half of the year as she reportedly sufferers from dementia-induced financial exploitation.

Two of the people who stood to lose the most from the arrangement are William's ex-husband Kevin Hunter Sr and her adult son Kevin Hunter Jr.

Apparently, she had been paying an undisclosed amount of alimony each month, including a lump sum $250,000 payment. In addition, she was furnishing the rent for her son's $6,000 per month South Florida apartment.

Earlier in the year, she had a brief situation with Wells Fargo regarding access to her accounts that warranted further inquiry into her state of being. After her show was canceled earlier this year following mental health complications and physical illness issues, Williams is no longer receiving her prior salary of nearly $10 million annually.

Once the financial guardian discovered that the younger Kevin was no longer attending college, she determined that he was fully able to work for a living. As for her ex-husband, who fathered a child during their more than twenty year marriage, Williams' prenuptial agreement was honored which disallowed his alimony once she was no longer working.

Full Article & Source:
Wendy Williams' Guardian Cuts Family Ties Amid $40 Million Dollar Fortune Grab

Mount Vernon lawyer disbarred for misappropriating client funds

By Bill Heltzel 

A Mount Vernon lawyer has been disbarred for misappropriating client funds and has admitted that even more money might be missing.

Alvin James Thomas submitted an application to the state Second Appellate Division on Oct, 17 to resign as an attorney, acknowledging that he is the subject of two investigations by the local lawyers’ grievance committee.

The investigations concern “willful misappropriation” of $50,000 from Afsana Chowdhury and $188,000 from Oluwaleke Osinubi, according to the appellate court’s opinion.

Thomas admitted that he had failed to maintain bookkeeping records for his escrow account, the opinion states, “and that there may be more client funds misappropriated or misapplied because he has not done a complete accounting of his escrow account.”

Thomas also declared that he cannot successfully defend himself against allegations of professional misconduct.

Thomas was admitted to the practice of law in 2001, and for the past dozen years he has filed nearly three dozen bankruptcy cases.

One of his purported clients, LaVerne B. Reece of Yonkers, accused him last year of falsely filing two bankruptcy cases on her behalf in 2017 and 2018.

“At no time did I authorized him to do so,” Reece stated in a complaint filed last year in U.S. District Court, Manhattan, “and have not met with him in over a decade.”

Reece said she hired Thomas in 2000 to manage a rental property. Then in 2021 she discovered that the mortgage had not been paid for 19 months.

She claimed that Thomas had taken out additional mortgages on the property, without her knowledge, and collected tenant rents but did not pay the mortgages.

Reece said “fraudulent bankruptcy entries” have ruined her credit.

Chief U.S. District Court Judge Laura Taylor Swain dismissed the complaint citing lack of jurisdiction and recommended that Reece seek assistance from a legal clinic.

In the current disciplinary action, a panel of five appellate court justices granted Thomas’ resignation on Dec. 21, and disbarred him.

They ordered him to pay restitution to Osinubi, the Lawyers’ Fund for Client Protection,” and to “any other individuals who filed or may file claims against him.”

Full Article & Source:
Mount Vernon lawyer disbarred for misappropriating client funds

A Caretaker Is Charged For Robbing $30k From A Guy In Greensburg

By Sebastian Martin

According to the court documents, a former caretaker for an elderly man who lived in Greensburg is suspected of stealing $31,600 from that guy between the months of May and September.

Gede L. Stewart, age 48, of Greensburg was arrested on Thursday and charged with forgery, theft, access device fraud, and other connected charges. The financial exploitation of an older adult or a care-dependent person is a federal crime.

After discovering in September that many checks had been used to take more than $30,000 from his bank account, the guy, who receives daily care from aides and other individuals, is reported to have informed the Greensburg police department of the situation.

According to the court documents, bank records revealed that Gede Stewart was the recipient of 44 checks with sums ranging from $18 to $990. These checks were drawn out to Stewart.

The authorities were able to verify that the man’s signature and the signature on the checks were not identical by making a comparison between the two. According to the court documents, an investigation of Stewart’s bank records revealed that she deposited 16 checks with a combined amount of $11,000.

When Stewart was informed by authorities that she was a suspect, she demanded legal representation and verified to them that she had cared for the man for around six months. She had not been arraigned, and there were no court proceedings planned for the day.

Full Article & Source:
A Caretaker Is Charged For Robbing $30k From A Guy In Greensburg

Saturday, December 24, 2022

Ray Stevens: Mary and Joseph and the Baby and Me

YouTube: Mary and Joseph and the Baby and Me

Dad Bought an Ice Cream Truck So His Two Kids with Down Syndrome Can Run Their Own Business

Thinking of a way to give back to the community and support people with Down syndrome, Joel Wegener of Ohio decided to buy an ice cream truck to create a career path for his special needs children.

What’s the best way to get people and a community together? Food, yes, but ice cream? Even better! Joel, 61, and his wife Freida have 10 children, two of whom were born with Down syndrome, Mary Kate and Josh.

People with Down syndrome are born with an extra chromosome, which leads to a wide range of physical and developmental problems. Down syndrome is a lifelong condition and cannot be cured.

Why an ice cream truck?

He explained, “The reason the ice cream truck is so perfect is that it has allowed them both to develop their interactive and social skills in a comfortable environment.”

Full article and source:
Dad bought an ice cream truck so his two kids with Down syndrome can run their own business

Wife Who Has Dementia Remembers Husband on Their 72nd Anniversary Photo Shoot

It was an eventful day for Grace Manor Care Center, a senior living facility in Burlington, Colorado. Leonard and Shirley Matties were about to celebrate their 72nd wedding anniversary, but this time, it will be the most memorable one yet.

When Ardis Behrendsen, a Certified Nurses Aide, discovered the 91-year-old couple’s anniversary was nearing, she planned and organized an entire celebration for the lovebirds’ special day. Shirley and Leonard have been together for seven decades, and Behrendsen wanted to go the extra mile. Reaching your 72nd year as a married couple is not something you can celebrate every day.

The Matties family was already planning for an anniversary party, but Behrendsen thought a photo shoot would be a perfect memento for the couple’s everlasting love. She got a beautiful pink gown for Shirley, and it didn’t take long before the whole senior living facility took notice of the 91-year-old’s gorgeous dress and charming smile.

When everything was all set, a staff member of the senior living facility wheeled Shirley out into the hallway and onto where Leonard was staying. When Leonard saw her wife roll towards his direction, his face became filled with color—he was absolutely delighted to see the love of her life in a flowy pink gown.

Despite more than 13,000 views of the Behrendsen’s Facebook post, not everyone knows that the 91-year-old woman in the pink gown has dementia. In the video posted by Ardis, Shirley seemed to recognize Leonard’s face. She even reached his man’s hand as the couple held hands.

People with dementia, especially the elderly, find it more difficult to store and remember new memories or information they got within a short period. But this was not the case with Shirley—she was able to recognize her husband, react accordingly, and be in the ‘present’.

Full Article and Source:
Wife Who Has Dementia Remembers Husband on their 72nd Anniversary Photo Shoot

On the Road with Steve Hartman: Christmas Grannies Make Triumphant Return After Waukesha Christmas Parade Tragedy

Last year, an SUV tore through a Christmas parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin, killing six and injuring dozens. Some of the victims were members of the Milwaukee Dancing Grannies. The group made a triumphant return to this year's parade, sending a message to others still recovering from the tragedy. Steve Hartman shares more in "On the Road."
YouTube: Dancing Grannies Make Triumphant Return After Waukesha Christmas Parade Tragedy

Young@Heart Chorus: Merry Christmas Baby

YouTube:  Young@Heart Chorus: Merry Christmas Baby

Friday, December 23, 2022

Levittown Woman Indicted for Allegedly Stealing Over $150,000 from Ward Through Guardianship

By Chris Boyle

Nassau County District Attorney Anne T. Donnelly announced that a Levittown woman was indicted on charges of grand larceny for allegedly stealing more than $150,000 from a developmentally challenged man for whom she acted as legal guardian between July 2016 and June 2019.
Luigia a/k/a/ Gina D’Amore, 57, was arraigned before Judge Fran Ricigliano on one count of Grand Larceny in the Second Degree (a C felony); one count of Endangering the Welfare of an Incompetent or Physically Disabled Person in the First Degree (an E felony); and two counts of Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree (an E felony.) The defendant pleaded not guilty and was released on her own recognizance. She is due back in court February 15, 2023. If convicted, D’Amore faces up to five to 15 years in prison. 
“This defendant befriended her alleged victim when they worked together for the Town of Hempstead, ultimately becoming his legal guardian after his retirement and taking control of the man’s finances,” said DA Donnelly. “For the next several years, this defendant allegedly siphoned more than $150,000 from her elderly victim’s accounts and failed to pay his bills, leaving him to live in a mouse-infested home. The residence fell into disrepair and was nearly lost due to non-payment of taxes. This charged conduct is reprehensible, and my office will ensure justice for the victim in this case.”
DA Donnelly said that, according to the charges and NCDA’s investigation, between July 2016 and June 2019, while serving as a court appointed guardian for the victim, a developmentally challenged Town of Hempstead Parks Department retiree, D’Amore allegedly stole more than $150,000 from the victim’s bank accounts without providing proof to the court that the funds were used for the victim’s benefit as required as part of the guardianship.
The defendant allegedly skimmed checks she received on behalf of the victim, depositing portions of the checks into the victim’s account, and taking out the rest in cash. The defendant also allegedly made additional cash withdrawals from the victim’s banking accounts and wrote checks out to “cash” for tens of thousands of dollars that were negotiated through D’Amore’s personal account. 
D’Amore failed to provide receipts for the cash withdrawals and checks when she submitted her accounting to the court as the victim’s guardian. 
In addition, D’Amore allegedly failed to pay the victim’s utilities or for repairs to the home, leaving the property to fall into disrepair.
The defendant also allegedly failed to pay property taxes on the home between 2018 and 2019, leading to a tax lien being placed on the victim’s home and the property nearly being auctioned in February 2020 for non-payment. 
Before the defendant was removed, she resigned as the victim’s Guardian in April 2019. 
D’Amore surrendered to Nassau County District Attorney Detective Investigators on December 16, 2022.
NCDA thanks the New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) Bureau of Adult Services for referring this matter for prosecution.
The case is being prosecuted by Senior Investigative Counsel April Montgomery of the Financial Crimes Bureau. The defendant was represented by Tim Aldridge, Esq. at arraignment.  The defendant is represented by Russ Kofman, Esq.
The charges are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless found guilty.

Full Article & Source:
Levittown Woman Indicted for Allegedly Stealing Over $150,000 from Ward Through Guardianship

“An ongoing fight”: Elder abuse in South Dakota remains widespread despite years of effort

by Michael Patton

RAPID CITY, S.D. – From financial scams to neglectful nursing homes, seniors in South Dakota are at risk of falling victim to elder abuse. Despite years of efforts to combat the problem, the situation remains bleak.

In 2015 the South Dakota Elder Abuse Task Force issued a series of recommendations to combat elder fraud and abuse, such as making financial exploitation of seniors a felony and clarifying mandatory reporting requirements. Many of these recommendations were implemented, but the problem remains.

According to the Department of Health website, complaints at nursing homes have increased 117% from 2021, with 39 complaints filed compared to the previous year’s 18.

Beyond just nursing homes, a study by Wallethub ranked South Dakota 5th worst in the nation for the prevalence of elder abuse, factoring in the number of abuse and neglect complaints as well as the rate and severity of elder fraud.

Taking advantage

The 2015 Task Force report found that over 5 million seniors fall victim to financial exploitation each year nationally, with only 1 in 25 of those instances being reported.

South Dakotans are particularly vulnerable to this form of abuse. The WalletHub study estimated that 12.11% of elders in South Dakota have been the victims of fraud, the 17th highest rate in the nation. The average amount lost per fraud was $12,785.

“By nature, South Dakotans are hardy, trusting folks. Unfortunately, that trust can be taken advantage of, and there are many tools that are used by scammers and fraudsters to take advantage of that trust, particularly among seniors,” said AARP South Dakota Associate State Director for Advocacy Erik Nelson. “We’re a midwestern state with a high percentage of seniors, trusting seniors, which we appreciate, but unfortunately it means the bad guys target our population for fraud and scams.”

And whether it’s calls pretending to be from law enforcement demanding money for made-up fines, emails claiming that the recipient won a sweepstake they never entered, or fake fundraisers exploiting the generosity of victims’ donations, scammers have no shortage of ingenuity.

Beyond just scams, there are a number of ways people try to take advantage of senior citizens.

“Elder abuse can take on a few different forms whether it’s physical abuse, emotional abuse, or financial abuse,” Nelson said. “It’s not just one thing.”

And in many cases, it isn’t anonymous scammers taking harming the elderly. It’s their own caretakers.

A strained system

Many nursing homes are unable to recruit and retain the staff they need to care for those under their supervision. According to Cole Uechre, Executive Director of Disability Rights South Dakota, this lack of manpower can cause harm to nursing home residents.

“I can say the system is strained to the breaking point,” Uechre said. “I’m sure you know staffing is a major problem in our facilities. Any time that you have people that provide support to individuals and they’re spread thin, and they’re overworked, they’ll get to a point where they’re careless, agitated or worn out, then things like abuse can occur,”

The problems were only exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, which prevented family and friends from being able to visit their loved ones living in nursing homes out of concern for the residents’ safety.

“Any time you have a situation where there’s not great communication or visitation and things like that, that creates an environment where abuse can occur,” Uechre said.

This abuse can be intentional and malicious, such as nursing home workers stealing medications or hitting patients, but it can just as often be a case of well-workers lacking the resources to provide proper care.

“It could be a lack of resources available to provide adequate meals or medications at the right time. It could be that there aren’t enough staff to provide supervision for people that maybe have a tendency to get up and fall, and so without the resources, staffing, they may resort to inappropriate restraint to keep them in place and avoid physical injury.” Uechre said. “Well now you’ve just put them into a restraint situation because of a lack of available staff resources, and that type of thing would be an abusive situation.”

Combatting abuse

Elder abuse is a multifaceted issue, and solving it requires solutions that come at the problem from many different angles. One of these angles is reducing the strain on nursing homes by making it so people don’t need to enter them in the first place.

“Community supports weren’t always being provided. Nursing homes were being overutilized. Since then, there have been measures that have been put into place that have been, I think, effective in many ways, but that process should continue to work toward providing people the opportunity to live in the community as long as possible,” Uechre said.

One of these measures is the HOPE waiver system, which provides low-cost access to a variety of assisted-living services to help seniors who aren’t capable of living completely independently access assisted-living resources at a reduced cost. Programs like these help keep seniors in the community when they may otherwise be forced to move into a nursing home.

At the same time, a combination of education and prosecution is making progress in fighting financial fraud.

“All those mass targeted scams are targeted usually towards seniors, and we work to alert our members in cooperation with state officials and state agencies to know what frauds are out there,” AARP South Dakota’s Nelson said, “We also hold seminars to let them know what to look for, and it’s an ongoing process of education.”

Meanwhile, the South Dakota Attorney General’s office has been instrumental in working to crack down on the financial exploitation of seniors from the legal side, according to Nelson. Increased prosecution efforts and stricter penalties were one of the most significant measures to come from the 2015 workgroup proposal.

“Unfortunately it’s not a matter of time.” said AARP South Dakota Associate State Director for Advocacy Erik Nelson “When it comes to frauds and scams, it feels like the bad guys are always one step ahead when it comes to finding new ways to try and force scams upon our senior population. It’s an ongoing fight.”

What to do

If you or someone you know is being abused, there are many resources available in South Dakota to help.

  • In the case of any criminal abuse, including physical abuse, sexual abuse, or neglect, contact your local law enforcement office, or call 911
  • In the case of abuse of care at a long-term-care facility (such as a nursing home) contact the State Ombudsman Office at 866-854-5465.
  • In the case of Medicaid fraud, file a complaint with the South Dakota Attorney General.
  • In the case of financial fraud, call the national elder fraud hotline at 833–372–8311
  • In the case that you suspect someone you know is being abused, report it to South Dakota Adult Protective Services.

Full Article & Source:
“An ongoing fight”: Elder abuse in South Dakota remains widespread despite years of effort

The Positive Effect of Therapy Dolls for Dementia

A helpful, non-drug way to calm and soothe agitated seniors with Alzheimer’s or dementia is to give them a soft, lifelike baby doll to cuddle.

These therapy dolls can even be effective in calming someone with severe agitation or other significant behavioral challenges.

Why therapy dolls for dementia work

Therapy dolls can help seniors feel useful and needed and give them something positive to focus on.

Similar to the effect of soft toys like stuffed animals, hugging something soft helps someone with dementia feel comforted and soothed.

Another reason therapy dolls are helpful is that they can bring back happy memories of early parenthood for both women and men.

Many older adults enjoy rocking and cuddling their doll. Some even adopt the baby as their own and make caring for it part of their daily routine.

Having a child to care for can also ease feelings of isolation and sadness.

After all, when interacting with real babies, many people find their spirits lifted and their nerves calmed.

How to introduce doll therapy

The best approach is to casually introduce the doll to your older adult and let them decide if they like it or not.

If they have no interest in the doll or get upset, don’t make an issue out of it.

Even if someone isn’t interested in the moment, they may change their minds in the future so you could try again in a few weeks or months.

A few tips:

Don’t act like the doll is a doll, refer to it as a baby and treat it like a real child.
Get a lifelike doll, but one that doesn’t cry – that might be upsetting.
Don’t force it, allow your senior to get to know the doll slowly.

Some caregivers find dolls controversial

A doll can be a safe and inexpensive “treatment” for someone with dementia.

We’ve heard from many family caregivers that say their older adults are calmer and happier now that they have their own baby doll. They’re relieved to have found a non-drug solution that eases their senior’s dementia symptoms.

However, some people are concerned that giving their older adult a doll would be demeaning or patronizing. But when someone has dementia, helping them feel safe and happy in their current reality is the top priority.

So if trying unconventional ideas like baby dolls, fidget blankets, and other simple activities and toys might help them feel better and enjoy life more, why not give them a try?.

If they do get upset or offended by the doll, you’ll know to cross that off the list of potential calming activities. Or, you could put it away and try again as their dementia progresses.

Full Article and Source:
ThePositive Effect of Therapy Dolls for Dementia