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- 02/17/18--23:00: _Archangels of Justi...
- 02/18/18--22:00: _Dementia patient wa...
- 02/18/18--22:30: _Woman allegedly sto...
- 02/18/18--23:00: _How to avoid the co...
- 02/19/18--22:00: _Legally Speaking: D...
- 02/19/18--22:30: _Editorial: Governor...
- 02/19/18--23:00: _Civil liberties at ...
- 02/20/18--22:00: _New Yorker Presents...
- 02/20/18--22:30: _Ga. House passed bi...
- 02/20/18--23:00: _His elderly mother ...
- 02/21/18--22:00: _Joliet Woman Pleads...
- 02/21/18--22:30: _Nurses indicted on ...
- 02/21/18--23:00: _Nikolas Cruz's Care...
- 02/22/18--22:00: _FINRA Sets Standard...
- 02/22/18--22:30: _Downsizing plans "o...
- 02/22/18--23:00: _Relatives Of Elder ...
- 02/23/18--22:00: _Florida fails seniors
- 02/23/18--22:30: _What are lawmakers ...
- 02/23/18--23:00: _Murder charge filed...
- 02/24/18--22:00: _52-year-old Woman A...
- 02/17/18--23:00: Archangels of Justice - Week 1 - Guardian Abuse
- To protect the civil/human rights – life, liberty and property – of vulnerable persons described as “incompetent” and made wards of the state in unlawful and abusive guardianships and conservatorships;
- To end financial exploitation of their wards’ assets by court-appointed fiduciaries* who, instead of conserving their wards’ assets as required by law, force previously financially able wards onto Medicaid at Taxpayer expense;
- To be a support organization for families battling court-appointed “protectors” who permit due process and other violations of law to occur, including physical and mental abuse and isolation; and
- To obtain reform – through outreach, education and advocacy – by meaningful amendment of existing statutes and increased penalties against violations of law.
- 02/18/18--22:30: Woman allegedly stole $78,000 from great aunt with dementia
- 02/18/18--23:00: How to avoid the cost and headaches of probate court
- Write a living trust: A living trust is merely an alternative to a last will. But unlike a will, which merely distributes your assets upon death, a living trust places your assets and property "in trust," which is then managed by a trustee for the benefit of your beneficiaries. It allows you to avoid probate entirely because the property and assets are already distributed to the trust.
- Name beneficiaries on your retirement and bank accounts: By filling out paperwork on these forms, a person ensures that proceeds are dispersed at death without having to pass through probate.
- Create joint tenancy with a right of survivorship: Another way to keep your real estate out of probate is to consider holding your property jointly.
- 02/19/18--22:00: Legally Speaking: Don’t let a stranger be your guardian
- 02/19/18--23:00: Civil liberties at issue in latest push for conservatorship reform
- 02/20/18--22:30: Ga. House passed bill to protect elderly abuse; 2 more in line
- 02/21/18--22:00: Joliet Woman Pleads Guilty in Financial Exploitation Case
- 02/21/18--22:30: Nurses indicted on murder of elderly patient
- 02/22/18--22:00: FINRA Sets Standards Aimed at Protecting Senior Investors
- Firms are required to collect information for a “trusted contact” when an account is opened or updated. That includes the names of associated people who are responsible for the account and a record of their responsibilities for the account as long as it’s not an institutional account. (Institutional accounts are those owned by a bank, insurance company, savings and loan association or registered investment company; or owned by a registered adviser with the SEC or with a state securities commission; or owned by anyone with total assets of at least $50 million.
- The “trusted contact” is supposed to be a resource for firms in handling customer accounts, protecting assets and responding to possible financial exploitation of senior investors.
- Members don’t have to meet the rule’s requirements for accounts opened according to a prior FINRA rule until the member updates the information for the account.
- Creates a “safe harbor” period that makes it permissive for advisors to hold disbursements from the account of a “specified adult” if several criteria are met. That includes investors 65 and older or individuals 18 and older who have a mental or physical impairment.
- “It is a critical measure because of the difficulty investors face in trying to recover funds that they have inadvertently sent to fraudsters and scam artists,” FINRA states in the rule.
- “Financial exploitation” means the wrongful or unauthorized taking, withholding, appropriation or use of a senior’s funds or securities; any act or omission by a person, including someone with the power of attorney, guardianship or any other authority regarding the senior to get control through deception, intimidation or undue influence over the senior’s money, assets or property or convert the senior’s money, assets or property.
- A member who relies on the rule should establish and maintain written supervisory procedures. The procedures should identify the title of anyone authorized to place, terminate or extend a temporary hold on behalf of the member and who is an associate serving in a supervisory, compliance or legal capacity for the member.
- Members must retain records related to rule compliance and make them available to FINRA.
- 02/23/18--22:00: Florida fails seniors
- Expanding the rights of seniors, vulnerable adults and their families so they are empowered to report maltreatment and don’t fear retaliation.
- Strengthening criminal and civil penalties for maltreatment so prosecutors can more easily charge perpetrators and victims can seek compensation when their rights are violated.
- Clearer standards for licensing of assisted-living facilities and for training of staff.
- Improving enforcement of existing laws through more frequent inspections and expedited investigations of abuse complaints.
We asked Marcia a few questions about about the tricks guardianship companies use to get the elderly to sign over their rights (https://stopguardianabuse.org/10-dirty-tricks/).
Marcia, Sal and Ira share some stories about the people they have helped throughout the years and everything they had to go through even though their clients where in the right. This is a problem in every state and can effect every single person in the United States.
Next we talk about NASGA (National Association to Stop Guardian Abuse) and their mission:
Support the Archangels of Justice and get exclusive content on Patreon:https://www.patreon.com/archangelsofjustice
Full Article & Source:
Archangels of Justice - Week 1 - Guardian Abuse
ArchangelsOfJustice Facebook Page
James Hamilton told The News the decision to place his stepmother Cheryl Shaw-Hamilton into the Crown Heights Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation was heart-wrenching.
"I'm desperately trying to keep her safe,” said Hamilton, 37, of Rego Park. “From January 1 to January 10 she drastically changed.”
Shaw-Hamilton, 70, has suffered from lupus for much of her life, but over the last nine years — after retiring from a career in bookkeeping — she was ultimately diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease.
Shaw-Hamilton's stay at the St. Marks Ave. facility was only a brief stint before her expected transfer to the Linden Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation in East New York, which has a dementia unit for long-term care, Hamilton said.
He said on Feb. 8, he got a call around 1 p.m. that she was finally getting transferred to the Linden facility.
"When I arrived at the Linden Boulevard center around 6 (p.m.), they said she wasn't there," said Hamilton.
The worried son then called the Crown Heights facility, which told him his stepmom was transported by Royalty Transportation LLC ambulette services around 3:30 p.m. and arrived at 4:30 p.m.
"We checked the security footage and it shows a man guide her to the front door,” Hamilton said. “She then walked passed the door. He guided her again into the lobby, she walked in and he left. You see her scratch her head, look into her bag, turn around and walk out.”
Protocol for transporting drivers is to take the patient into the facility and complete the transfer with a staff member, a source told The News.
"This was an egregious violation of protocol by Royalty's driver and is totally unacceptable,” said Nelissa Garces, an administrator with Linden Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation. “By contrast, Linden Center staff followed all patient transfer procedures properly.”
The driver was fired, according to an employee of the transportation service.
After reviewing the surveillance video with the security guard, Hamilton said he immediately called the police to report his stepmom missing.
From 8 p.m. on Feb. 8 until 9:30 a.m. Feb. 9, Hamilton, his cousin and the police searched for Shaw-Hamilton throughout Brooklyn, in local hospitals and fast-food restaurants with 24-hour sitting areas — all to no avail.
"I went home and got a call from her transportation service confirming that she would be discharged from Jamaica Hospital. I told them not to let her go," said Hamilton who rushed over to the hospital.
Shaw-Hamilton was confused with a large gauze over the right side her forehead and dark circles around her eyes, he said.
"I was so happy to see her. The hospital staff was able to figure out who she was through her Medicaid cards," said Hamilton, who remembers his stepmom as a vibrant person who loved to travel and dance before she suffered dementia.
Hamilton's cousin Khadejia Bass, 47, contacted community activist Geoffrey Davis, who put the family in touch with civil lawyer Sanford Rubenstein.
"It was 10 degrees, she was out all night and didn't have on a coat,” said Davis. “Both facilities and the ambulette must be held accountable for allowing this to happen and not happen to anyone else."
"Clearly facilities and transportation companies that treat the elderly with Alzheimer’s have an obligation to the patient and families to safely transport them from one place to another. In this case, they woefully failed the patient and her family," said Rubenstein.
Royalty Transportation did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Full Article & Source:
Dementia patient wanders off in the cold after being dropped off at Brooklyn nursing home — found 12 hours later
Deanna Attinello, 23, was charged Thursday with second-degree misapplication of entrusted property and theft by failure to make a required disposition of property, following an indictment handed up last week by a state grand jury in Trenton.
"We allege that the defendant shamelessly exploited her position as her aunt's trusted guardian to raid the woman's bank account for own her personal use," New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal said in a news release.
Attinello was appointed her 86-year-old great aunt's legal guardian in January 2017, four months after the elderly woman was diagnosed with dementia and admitted to a long-term residential care facility in Warren County, prosecutors said.
Within days of being appointed, Attinello changed a PNC Bank account belonging to her great aunt to a guardianship account in both their names, and combined the aunt's five other accounts into the guardianship account.
With a balance of about $229,000, Attinello began withdrawing large amounts of cash from the elderly woman's account, investigators said.
About $125,000 was taken for the great aunt's expenses, including her residential case, healthcare costs, legal fees, and property taxes and repair, prosecutors said.
Full Article & Source:
Woman allegedly stole $78,000 from great aunt with dementia
How to avoid the cost and headaches of probate court
Full Article & Source:
Legally Speaking: Don’t let a stranger be your guardian
Major changes in the legislation on the way to Gov. Susana Martinez will open the now-secret process to the public and family members who for the most part have been shut out.
The more extensive measure sponsored by Sen. James White, R-Albuquerque, took on a guardianship system that can generously be described as “broken.” It is an industry dominated by insiders that has allowed wasting of assets, outright theft, and mistreatment of wards and families by for-profit guardians and conservators.
Court oversight has been inadequate at best as millions of dollars have either been wasted by for-profit insiders or siphoned away from the assets of some of our most vulnerable people – those declared by a judge to be incapacitated.
In other cases, family members who objected to mistreatment of their loved ones or profligate spending by court-appointed conservators and guardians found themselves barred from even seeing their family member. Their complaints were often dismissed as “emotional.”
“This is long overdue reform,” says Ely, D-Corrales, who worked hard in the House Judiciary Committee to save the bill by stripping measures from White’s bill that imposed major changes on the judiciary – changes the courts said they were not yet prepared to deal with. In the end, the judiciary agreed reforms are needed and has pledged to work on additional changes – some contained in a model national statute drafted by the Uniform Law Commission.
Make no mistake. Even with the governor’s signature and the $1 million that comes with it to implement a revised system, there is much work left to be done. White told the Judiciary Committee that if someone asked him now whether they should get a guardian appointed for a loved one, “I’d say, don’t do it. This system is so broken right now.”
Abuses of the system have been chronicled in the Albuquerque Journal for more than a year – coverage originally met with protests from the industry and some judges. But as the story has unfolded – including federal criminal charges against commercial guardian firm Ayudando Guardians, which is accused of stealing millions from its clients, the tide of public opinion has turned.
Mary Darnell, whose family’s issues were featured in the Journal Series “Who Guards the Guardians,” asked members of the House Judiciary Committee to picture themselves in the place of families caught up in the system and pleaded with them to help those in guardianships “who don’t have a voice.” There could be as many as 7,000 people in New Mexico under guardianships – although the courts don’t actually know how many such cases exist. Some of the appropriation will go to determining the status of these cases.
Other necessary changes that are needed going forward involve a system by which a petitioning lawyer can’t also in effect name the guardian ad litem who will decide if a guardianship is needed. A formal method that allows families to put forth grievances is essential.
There has been a national movement to reform guardianships, and as usual New Mexico has lagged behind. But lawmakers have taken an important first step that moves us toward the forefront and deserves the governor’s signature.
Sen. White deserves great credit – especially as a non-lawyer taking on an attorney-dominated industry. Other key players include Sen. Daniel Ivey-Soto, D-Albuquerque; House Speaker Brian Egolf, D-Santa Fe; House Judiciary Committee Chair Gail Chasey, D-Albuquerque; and Rep. Ely.
Now it’s up to Gov. Martinez to make sure this first step takes effect July 1 – with the modest appropriation needed to make it work. Thousands of vulnerable people and their families are counting on it.
This editorial first appeared in the Albuquerque Journal. It was written by members of the editorial board and is unsigned as it represents the opinion of the newspaper rather than the writers.
Full Article & Source:
Editorial: Governor should sign first step in vital guardianship reform
Wiener said at a press conference on Monday that the current conservatorship laws are not allowing cities to help the homeless population suffering from mental illness:
“The public conservatorship laws are simply too rigid to allow counties to help those who are the greatest distressed on the streets.”Wiener said those with severe mental health or drug addiction problems that are put under a 72-hour or 14-day hold by The City, sober up, become lucid, and may appear fit to take care of themselves in front of a judge, usually end up back on the streets and back in The City’s hands:
“This is a life or death situation, and it is beyond humane to just sit back and watch as these people die.”Wiener addressed the civil liberties concerns over Senate Bill 1045, acknowledging that taking a person’s civil liberties and making decisions for them is serious. He said the proposed legislation will include the state’s existing checks and balances system, which include a judicial oversight committee.
Barbara Garcia, director of public health department, in support of SB 1045, said:
“The laws today inhibit us to do the kinds of work we that believe that they need.”Mayor Mark Farrell and Board of Supervisors President London Breed both support Wiener’s legislation.
“We have to explore new ways to help these individuals. The status quo is unacceptable.”Breed will introduce new legislation at the Board of Supervisors Tuesday to transfer the responsibility of non-criminal mental health conservatorship cases from the district attorney to the city attorney. Breed said:
“These cases should not be treated as a crime, but as a civil matter. The same way we treat child and family law in The City.”Breed will also request a drafting of legislation to create a Mental Health Services pilot program involving the Department of Health, Department of Aging and Adult Services, Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing, The City’s Police Department and BART’s Police Department.
Under the pilot program, the agencies would create a list of “high-risk” individuals suffering from mental illness, substance abuse or chronic homelessness. The agencies would then meet bi-weekly do discuss way to help those individuals on the list.
Full Article & Source:
Civil liberties at issue in latest push for conservatorship reform
The New Yorker editorializes that footage of Terri Schiavo appearing conscious and aware “had been edited, giving the illusion that she was tracking people with her eyes, even though she was blind”.
These “fact free” assertions dramatically misleads readers about the nature of the early 2000s Terri-related footage. A much more objective and medically sound characterization in the form of a correction was proposed to the New Yorker but rejected: “Short video footage of Dr. Ronald Cranford’s neurological examination of Terri Schiavo on behalf of her husband, Michael Schiavo, remains controversial, due to the uncertain nature of her visual and cognitive abilities”. CONTINUE
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New Yorker Presents Editorialized Speculation on Terri Schiavo, Offers No Correction
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF)– Two House Bills paired with one Senate Bill to protect the elderly could soon be going to Governor Nathan Deal’s desk.
House Bill 635 passed unanimously Thursday, which could more efficiently tackle elderly abuse throughout the state.
“[It] looks at the success the C.A.V.E. group has had in Augusta and suggests that it be replicated across the state,” Kathy Floyd, the Executive Director of Georgia Council on Aging, told NewsChannel 6.
The C.A.V.E task force, Crimes Against the Elderly, is comprised of people from the District Attorney’s office, Sheriff’s and Marshal’s offices and the coroner’s office.
The group was recognized last week at the state capital by the G.B.I and a House legislature.
The second bill, House Bill 803, focuses on trafficking disabled adults. Law enforcement has discovered some illegal care home owners are moving disabled adults around to avoid detection. And in some cases, they are taking residents in specifically to control their social security benefits.
“They don’t take enough to pay for their residents,” Floyd explained. “They take the entire amount.”
The last bill, out of the Senate, would tighten the process of how caregivers are hired: “This is a part of the governor’s criminal justice proposal, and it would require fingerprint background checks for all care workers in long-term care settings,” Floyd said.
This will be especially effective for Georgia cities that border other states, like Augusta touching South Carolina– to detect crimes that happened in states besides the one he or she resides in.
“One of the things we want to start looking at after this legislative session is over is at the fines and sanction of personal care homes,” Floyd told us. “They have not been updated for a number of years.”
Full Article & Source:
Ga. House passed bill to protect elderly abuse; 2 more in line
On a frigid night last March, Ellen Hinds, who was 85 and had dementia, left her apartment building in her retirement community north of Philadelphia wearing only light pajamas. There was snow on the ground, and her feet were bare. She carried a potted plant but no key. It was 2:15 a.m.
Five hours later, she was found near a different door lying facedown in the snow. She was turning blue. Her feet showed signs of frostbite. There were icicles on her hands and feet, according to a report from first responders.
She died a week later having never regained consciousness. Family members said she appeared to be in “great agony.” Her death certificate lists “complications of hypothermia” as the cause of death.
Her son, Blake Rowe, a drug company scientist, has filed suit against Shannondell at Valley Forge in Audubon and its security company, Universal Protection Service LLC, claiming that they should have done more to protect his mother. She had been allowed to stay in an independent-living apartment after Shannondell knew she had a tendency to become confused and wander aimlessly, the suit says.
“I put my trust in them. They said they would do an assessment they never did,” said Rowe, who got the “horrible” news that his mother was in the hospital as his plane landed in Florida for his honeymoon. As for the security company, he said, “If they were doing their rounds, someone would not be at a door for five hours freezing to death.”
Rowe’s King of Prussia-based lawyer, Robert Snyder, said Shannondell should have put Hinds “in the right place to get the right care so she’d still be alive today.”
The case is a nightmare scenario for many families. The Alzheimer’s Association estimates that up to 60 percent of dementia sufferers will wander, a hard-to-define behavior that involves traveling by foot (or car) in ways that don’t make sense to the rest of us. A man who hasn’t worked for years may head for the office. A woman may pace the halls of her assisted-living facility with no goal she can name. The danger comes when brain damage causes wanderers to get lost and then makes it hard for them to seek help in a rational way. It’s particularly scary in the winter, when frailty mixed with subfreezing temperatures can quickly turn deadly.
The Hinds case also illustrates a trend in senior housing — at all levels of care, including independent living, residents are older and have more health problems than in the past — with safety implications that may surprise families. Most seniors want to be as independent as they can for as long as they can.Families shopping for senior apartments may want to look beyond the quality of the food or beauty of the grounds and ask what will happen when a loved one declines: Were your buildings and security designed with dementia in mind? Whose job is it — the family’s or the facility’s — to start the conversation when a resident needs more help?
‘Nobody’s bothered to notice’
It is impossible to know how many caregivers have gotten calls like the one Rowe received. Many wandering incidents never involve police or health authorities. Spokesmen for the Pennsylvania and federal human services agencies said they could not find statistics on people who had left assisted-living facilities and nursing homes or on deaths related to wandering. Laurie Brewer, chief of staff of the New Jersey Long-Term Care Ombudsman, said there were 65 cases of wandering from nursing homes and 26 from assisted living or other residential health care in 2017. Reporting is not required for wandering from independent-living facilities or for private homes.
Robert Koester, an expert on search and rescue with special expertise in elders who wander, estimates that roughly 250,000 people with dementia will be reported missing to police this year. The number will rise as baby boomers age. About half of older people wander from their homes, he said, while the rest find their way out of institutions like nursing homes and assisted-living facilities. In an analysis of 800 searches involving people with dementia, 6 percent of those in urban areas died compared with 8 percent in wilderness.
“Nobody’s bothered to notice how big this problem actually is,” he said.
An Allentown nursing home lost its license in October in response to the death last summer of a 77-year-old resident with Alzheimer’s who wandered from the facility. Her body was found in a ditch three weeks later. A 2016 lawsuit involved a man in his 90s who managed to leave the Arden Courts Memory Care Community in King of Prussia in February 2014 and suffered frostbite. An 87-year-old man was found dead on a cold night in 2014 after wandering outside of Arden Courts of Cherry Hill, an assisted-living facility.
But Rowe’s lawsuit explores relatively new legal territory. While lawyers have sued nursing homes and assisted-living facilities, Snyder and other local elder law experts said they were unaware of cases involving residents of independent living who have wandered. Ellen Hinds got about 20 hours a week of extra help from a retired nurse but was not under constant supervision.
Shannondell is a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC), a common form of senior living meant to help people remain in the same development as they need more care. According to its website, Shannondell offers a continuum from independent living to nursing home. It has a memory unit for people with dementia.
How independent is independent living?
Snyder argues that the expectation of support is different for a resident of independent living in a CCRC than for regular apartment dwellers.
“You’re not independent,” he said. “You’re buying a program for multiple steps for the rest of your life. You’re buying a first step.”
Hinds had moved from her longtime home in California in September 2016 to be near Rowe, who lives in Skippack. She paid a $145,000 entry fee and monthly rent of $1,845 to live in a gated community with 24-hour security, meals, and activities. While some CCRCs offer stable rents regardless of their level of care, Hinds would have had to pay more for personal, memory, or nursing-home care.
Michael Ringold, a Marlton lawyer who specializes in nursing-home abuse cases, said this case would be “difficult” because independent-living facilities are not expected to provide supervision. His own mother died after wandering from a memory unit in California in 2016. Even in locked facilities, residents can get out, he said, often because of short staffing.
While independent living is not regulated as a health provider, experts on aging said the line between it and assisted living — adding help with activities like dressing and taking medicine — is blurring.
“Independent living communities are more and more ‘independent’ in name only,” said Jerold Rothkoff, an elder law attorney in Cherry Hill.
These days, people tend to be older when they first come to independent living, and many hire aides to help them stay there. Many resist moving to a higher level of care, either because they don’t want to pay extra or, more often, don’t want to admit they need extra help.
“Family members hate, hate, hate moving their family members out of independent living,” said Julie Thomas, associate director of clinical services for the Alzheimer’s Association Delaware Valley Chapter.
Some independent-living facilities said they will admit people they know have dementia, although that typically happens when there is also a well spouse in the picture or an aide.
“These places were not designed to take care of people with dementia,” Rothkoff said.
‘She hated the cold’
Rowe intervened, and his mother wondered if the medicine she was taking for nerve pain was making her hallucinate, but realized she needed more help. She agreed to move to Pennsylvania. Her only concern, said Jenny Hinds, her ex-stepdaughter-in-law and frequent companion, was the climate. “She hated the cold,” Hinds said.
Ellen Hinds toured Shannondell and one other facility and liked them both. Rowe pushed for Shannondell because it had more residents, and he wanted her to “get out and meet people.” She loved how new and clean everything was. Rowe has pictures of her dancing on New Year’s Eve. She walked unaided and had enough stamina for 12-hour excursions to casinos or the mall with Jenny Hinds. Before her death, the two were planning a trip to the Philadelphia Flower Show.
Rowe says he told Shannondell officials from the beginning that his mother had a history of wandering and memory problems, though her symptoms had improved after surgery for the nerve problem in California.
Not long after she moved in, Rowe began getting calls from Shannondell that his mother had been found wandering. At least twice, he was told she’d gone into the parking lot late at night, and he needed to come to her apartment. He took her to his house and brought her back when she seemed all right. He says he took her to a doctor with an office in the Shannondell community, who diagnosed her with Lewy body dementia and told him she would eventually need more care. He assumed, he said, that that information would be shared with Shannondell.
In their response to the lawsuit, Shannondell said that doctor did not work for them, but had an independent practice that leased space.
Rowe said his mother had $900,000 when she died, plenty to pay for a higher level of care. He would have moved her to Shannondell’s memory unit, but no one from the retirement community brought it up. Neither did he.
“Their nurses were the ones calling me” about wandering, Rowe said of Shannondell. “I was figuring they should be doing something.” Ellen Hinds’ agreement with Shannondell gave either her or the community the right to ask for a higher level of care.
Jenny Hinds said the family felt Ellen Hinds was safe at Shannondell. “We were looking to them to guide us,” she said. “They said they would help us through this journey.”
Snyder says security footage viewed by Erik Snyder, his son and law partner, shows Ellen Hinds trying to get back in the building the night she went out without her key card. The doors have keypads that allow residents to call security with a four-digit code. Hinds, the lawsuit says, is seen repeatedly touching the pad as well as tugging and banging on doors. Robert Snyder said he can’t tell whether she failed to punch the right code or the guard failed to respond.
He contends that facilities like Shannondell should make doors safer for residents who can’t remember the code needed to summon help, perhaps with vestibules protected from the weather and red buttons that make it easier to call security. David Danton, senior principal with KDA Architects in Voorhees, which specializes in designs for senior housing, said vestibules are unusual for anything other than main entrances.
The lawsuit said the security film showed someone inside the building looking out shortly after 5 a.m. and failing to notice Hinds slumped over a trash receptacle 15 to 20 feet away. By 5:52, the video showed that Hinds had fallen in the snow. She was found around 7 a.m. and an ambulance arrived at 7:20.
Rowe said he filed the suit because “I don’t want it to happen to someone else.”
Full Article & Source:
His elderly mother wandered out into the cold and died. Whose fault was it?
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Joliet Woman Pleads Guilty in Financial Exploitation Case
Wanda Nuckles of Buford, also a former licensed nurse practitioner, is charged with depriving an elder person of essential services, while Mable Turman, a certified nurse assistant from College Park, is charged with neglect to an elder person. All three women were also indicted on a single count of concealing the ceath of another in the five-count indictment returned by Grand Jurors Tuesday afternoon.
The charges against the women stem from the Feb. 27, 2014 death of 89-year-old James Dempsey, a patient in their care at Northeast Atlanta Rehabilitation Center in Brookhaven. Video surveillance shows the patient suffering in respiratory distress and repeatedly calling out for help. Soon after his distress calls, the victim became unresponsive. The indictment alleges the Defendants, in varying degrees, failed to provide timely and necessary medical assistance, ultimately resulting in Mr. Dempsey’s death.
The video surveillance of the incident was made public in November 2017 following a civil lawsuit, prompting a joint investigation between law enforcement and the District Attorney’s Office.
Following their indictment, grand Jury warrants were issued for the arrest of each defendant.
The case will be prosecuted by the District Attorney’s Elder Abuse and Exploitation Unit. A trial date has not been set.
Full Article & Source:
Nurses indicted on murder of elderly patient
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Nikolas Cruz's Carer Wants Control of Florida Shooter's $800K Inheritance
"These important changes, developed in collaboration with our members, provide firms with tools to respond more quickly and effectively to protect seniors and vulnerable investors from financial exploitation," said Robert L.D. Colby, FINRA's chief legal officer, in a statement. “With the aging of the U.S. population, financial exploitation is a serious and growing problem, and protecting senior investors remains a top priority for FINRA.”
Although the new rules were approved by the Securities and Exchange Commission a year ago, FINRA set the effective date for this year to allow firms to develop policies and procedures.
The need for the new rules became evident after FINRA talked to firms and also learned that calls to the Securities Helpline for Seniors revealed some of the issues they face.
Here’s a snapshot of the new rules:
Rule 2165: Financial Exploitation of Specified Adults
Full Article & Source:
FINRA Sets Standards Aimed at Protecting Senior Investors
In January, the Harold and Grace Upjohn Community Care Center sent out a letter announcing imminent plans to downsize by 42 residents as part of a larger facility overhaul, saying some would have to "transition" to other locations.
But the Michigan Long Term Care Ombudsman’s office calls that unacceptable. It says state and federal law allows nursing homes to remove residents for just a few very specific reasons -- and that’s not one of them.
“None of those circumstances apply in this case,” said Alison Hirschel, legal counsel for the Ombudsman’s office. “And so we’re deeply troubled that very fragile residents are being forced to leave when it doesn’t appear it meets any of the federal or state requirements for an eviction.”
Hirschel says nursing home residents also weren’t properly informed of their legal rights in an “involuntary discharge” situation -- including the right to appeal an eviction, and have that appeal heard before removal -- and that some have already left the Upjohn Center. The affected residents are mostly in their 80s and 90s, including at least one in hospice.
Hirschel says these concerns have been repeatedly communicated to the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, the agency responsible for oversight at long-term care facilities, but LARA has not intervened. “Despite our many conversations with them, they have not stepped up to protect these residents,” she said.
In a written statement, LARA says there has been "no formal finding of non-compliance with regulations against the home has been made at this time, and the home has been taking the necessary steps to correct any concerns raised by the department,” according to Bureau of Community and Health Systems Larry Horvath.
LARA says the Upjohn Center, which is part of the larger Heritage Community of Kalamazoo, is “proposing a reduction in licensed bed capacity,” which was communicated via several “informational letters.”
According to an agency statement, “the provider has been very cooperative with the department’s review of this matter and has taken steps to correct any misperceptions that the letters were intended as a formal discharge of any individual specific resident.”
Heritage Community CEO Jay Prince echoed that, saying via email Tuesday that there’s been “a great deal of confusion” about the matter.
“The simple answer is, no resident has been notified to leave, nor asked to leave, nor is being forced to leave,” Prince said.
Prince also said the proposed changes are “on hold” for now. Should the project move forward eventually, we will make sure every appropriate step is taken to inform and support our residents in every way,” he said.
Prince said there is “no timetable” for proceeding with the downsizing plan, saying that Heritage awaits “further direction from LARA.”
LARA says it has received two formal complaints about the proposed changes at Upjohn. The agency says it continues to review the case.
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Downsizing plans "on hold" at Kalamazoo nursing home as advocates challenge possible evictions
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Dozens of families demanded action at the State Capitol Wednesday after their loved ones were abused in Minnesota senior care facilities.
The Minnesota Senate hearing room was filled with families, many of them weeping openly. All of those who testified described in detail what happened to their loved ones.
Kent Edwards displayed his mother’s image, and her ashes. He described how hard it was to get anyone to listen to his complaints about nursing home abuse.
“She was taunted, abused, threatened to be burned to death, stripped down naked, mocked for her body,” he told lawmakers.
Others, like Irene McCormick, were forced by their senior care facilities to move out for making too much trouble.
“So I took her to an assisted living that was more homey, and while she was there, they dropped her and they broke her femur in half,” she said.
And some, like Lisa Papp-Richards, resorted to hidden cameras.
They were confiscated by the care facility, which she says retaliated against her mother.
“I can deal with a lot,” Papp-Richards said, “but this I need help with.”
The Minnesota Senate is now considering emergency legislation to overhaul how the state monitors abuse.
“Elder abuse can happen to anyone — a loved one, a neighbor — and as we age, it could happen to us,” said Cheryl Hennen, the Minnesota long-term care ombudsman.
The Senate Committee on Aging and Long Term Care is investigating how the State Health Department dropped the ball on thousands of abuse complaints.
The department announced this week that it is making major headway on a backlog of those cases, many of them left un-investigated for years.
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Relatives Of Elder Abuse Victims Give Powerful Testimony At Capitol Hearing
It ranks below average in terms of elder abuse and neglect protections and dead last nationally when it comes to resources, such as funding for long-term care ombudsmen and eldercare organizations and services, according to WalletHub.
A separate recent canvass of Florida residents revealed that concerns regarding elder care and nursing home costs are also at an all-time-high, with almost three in four saying they’re "somewhat concerned" or "very concerned" in a USF- Nielsen Sunshine State Survey. According to the research, residents are worried about and aware of the same problems highlighted by WalletHub -- the state is not putting enough money into these senior services, there is not enough funding for key help such as caregivers, and the amount of services are lacking despite such a large 65-plus community.
Nursing home emergencies and deaths during power outages in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma recently highlighted significant flaws in elder care protocols and regulations.
Reacting to the crisis, during which Gov. Rick Scott was accused of not following up on calls for help, the state put in an emergency generator rule requiring nursing homes and assisted living facilities to have a working generator and 96 hours of fuel.
That was too late for at least a dozen residents who died in sweltering conditions at The Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills, which was located adjacent to a medical center. But legislators say they’re poised to address the challenges in the industry.
"Apparently not everyone has common sense to call 911 in an emergency and evacuate people to the hospital across the street," state Rep. Katie Edwards said. "They have to get their act together, they have to have a plan, and damn it, it’s ridiculous that we have to mandate that people have to do that."
During the ongoing legislative session, Edwards and others are targeting Florida’s Long-Term Care Ombudsman program, which records show has regularly turned up fewer complaints each year under Gov. Scott for the state’s 3,772 registered nursing homes and assisted living facilities.
The elder care issue, as USF- Nielsen highlighted, is of high interest in a state where Pew Research Center found that "53 of 67 counties have an above-average share of people 65 and older." Charlotte has the second-largest percentage and Sarasota fourth in the U.S., among counties of more than 25,000 residents, according to a Pew analysis of 2014 Census data.
The concern is unless more action is taken to prevent further abuse, the problem will grow as Florida becomes an increasingly aging state. The U.S. Census Bureau projects the national population of senior citizens is expected to double by 2050, from 43.1 million to 83.7 million.
Already, nearly 96 percent of elder abuse instances go unreported or unresolved, according to WalletHub.
That’s why increasing public awareness and training are the two most important factors of preventing and addressing neglect or worse, said BeLinda AmanKwaa, Adult Protective Operations Program Administrator for the state Department of Children and Families in Charlotte County, North Port and other nearby communities.
State records obtained by the Sun show that of Florida’s 34,792 cases in 2017, only 12 percent were verified. Of 67 counties, Sarasota and Charlotte ranked 13th and 23rd, respectively, in the number of complaints.
Dade County led the state in total numbers but fares better than Charlotte and Sarasota counties when it comes to the rate, according to a Sun analysis of the data using U.S. Census numbers. Dade had one complaint for every 158 residents who are 65 or over; both Charlotte and Sarasota have one for every 153.
While the lack of verification of complaints could partially be the result of no abuse actually occurring in a case, many are dismissed because evidence is sparse or does not meet certain standards, AmanKwaa said.
The standard: "Abuse means any willful act or threatened act by a relative, caregiver, or household member, which causes or is likely to cause significant impairment to a vulnerable adult’s physical, mental, or emotional health. Abuse includes acts and omissions," AmanKwaa said.
Victims are not always able to speak out or get necessary help for themselves, making a support system, reliable witnesses or trustworthy homes and facilities key in obtaining justice, she said.
Likewise, the stigma surrounding abuse in this plays a concerning role on whether or not a case is reported, according to AmanKwaa. Bringing light to such a situation can often make the victim feel even more vulnerable, potentially dissuading affected individuals from coming forward. Others, as studies have shown, keep quiet "to maintain their independent living arrangement," said Thomas G. Blomberg, Florida State Professor of Criminology and the university’s Executive Director of the Center for Criminology and Public Policy Research.
"They do not want to move in with their children or to be moved to assisted living facilities," said Blomberg, who has studied elder abuse. "As a result, elders often suffer from abuse and financial exploitation in silence, for fear that their "well-meaning" children, if they are aware of the abuse, will take away their independent living arrangement. Families need to be open with elders and supportive of their wishes -- letting them know that as long as humanly possible, they will live as they choose and are able."
Florida consent laws state that anyone of sound mind has the right to refuse services and interventions; therefore, even outside witnesses to neglect or abuse are not always enough to make a case if the victim themselves do not want to prosecute.
"A vulnerable adult who has the mental capacity to consent may opt to refuse all services," said AmanKwaa. Meaning that withheld treatments or under-medication -- which could look like signs of neglect to a third-party -- could actually be what the patient is requesting.
While legislators consider additional statutes, one current law couldn’t be more clear: "Florida law requires the reporting of known or suspected abuse, neglect, exploitation or self-neglect of vulnerable adults (elderly or disabled)," AmanKwaa said.
Like the TSA and Homeland Security campaigns, or even on Buzzfeed, if you see something, chances are you should say something.
Sun-Sentinel reporter Dan Sweeney and former WalletHub writer Richie Bernardo supplemented this report.
Full Article & Source:
Florida fails seniors
In the meantime, lawmakers are expected to use recent recommendations from an elder abuse task force as a guide to craft new rules and regulations to help keep Minnesota’s most vulnerable citizens safe.
Gov. Mark Dayton says he’ll work with his new lieutenant governor, Republican Michelle Fischbach, and leaders in the GOP-led House and Senate to implement the task force recommendations.
He also recently appointed Jan Malcolm as health commissioner to replace Dr. Ed Ehlinger, who resigned after the department’s failure to protect vulnerable adults came to light. Malcolm’s top priority is to improve the state’s oversight of assisted-living facilities.
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What are lawmakers going to do to protect seniors and vulnerable adults?
The channel reported that Brookhaven Police launched an investigation and on Wednesday a grand jury returned an indictment.
Loyce Pickquet Agyeman’s top charge is felony murder; Wanda Nuckles, a nursing supervisor, is charged with depriving an elder of essential services and Mable Turman is charged with neglect to an elder, the report said. Warrants were issued for their arrests.
The nursing home’s attorneys attempted to stop media news outlet WXIA-TV from getting the video, but a DeKalb County judge ruled to unseal the footage.
Nuckles told Dempsey’s family lawyers in the deposition that when she learned the veteran had stopped breathing, she rushed to his room and took over CPR, keeping it up until paramedics arrived, WXIA-TV reported.
However, the secret video showed that nobody was doing CPR when she arrived, and she did not start immediately. After the attorneys showed Nuckles the video, she told them it was an honest mistake, based on her normal reactions.
When the attorneys asked why Nuckles was laughing, she said she did not remember.
WXIA-TV reported the nursing home was told of the video in 2015 but did not terminate the nurses until 10 months later. Nuckles and another nurse did not surrender their licenses until this September, when the Georgia Board of Nursing was sent a link to the video by the news station.
Records showed the nursing home continued to have problems, including $813,000 in Medicare fines since 2015, WXIA-TV reported. It said the nursing home got a good inspection report in May, but still has Medicare's lowest score, a one-star rating.
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Murder charge filed in fallout from video that shows nurses laughing as dying WWII vet struggles for air
Detectives found twenty checks written out to Britton from the victim’s account, for a total of $5,354.27. Britton had also been added to the victim’s savings account in January 2016. The balance of the account at that time was nearly $16,000.00, but it dwindled each month until September of 2017 when the balance stood at $70.35.
In May of 2016, Britton purchased an air conditioning system for $4,554.00 using money from the victim’s account. Britton acknowledged this to the detective, saying that she was willing to pay the woman back.
The victim told investigators that she did ask for Britton’s help managing her finances, but never authorized her to write checks or purchase an air conditioner.
“The victim reached out for help after her boyfriend died, and rather than seeing the opportunity to do something good, Cathy Britton did the exact opposite—she stole thousands of dollars from the woman instead. How someone could do something like this is just baffling.” – Grady Judd, Sheriff
After deputies obtained a warrant for her arrest, Britton was located and arrested in Marion County, Florida on Thursday, February 8, 2017. She will be transported back to Polk County.
She is charged with 20 counts of Forgery (F-3), 20 counts of Uttering a False Instrument (F-3), Grand Theft (F-3), Use/Possession of ID of Another (F-3), Exploitation of the Elderly (F-3). Her prior criminal history includes two convictions for theft in Ohio.
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52-year-old Woman Arrested For Fraud And Elderly Exploitation Charges