Wednesday, February 28, 2007

From the Folks Who Brought You “Friendly Fire”

Lisa Nerenberg, Consultant, Speaker, Trainer

What do the U.S. military and the long-term care network have in common?
It seems we’re competing for the same criminals reformed,(hopefully) to fill critical manpower shortages. In our case, the shortage is for nursing home employees and in-home attendants. In theirs, it’s for soldiers to fight an unpopular war. We’re both struggling with the uncertainties of deciding when past criminal conduct should not stand in the way. The military’s approach is to issue an increasing number of “moral waivers,” which permit would-be personnel who’ve committed disqualifying offenses to serve. ...the number of moral waivers granted to Army recruits with criminal backgrounds has grown nearly 65% in the past 3 years. the pool of long-term care workers is depleted, the number of people with criminal histories being hired by nursing homes and frail elders has gone up (See Criminal Caregivers). In Texas, where people with certain convictions are barred from working in long-term care facilities or home health care settings, employers are provided with reports of all potential employees’ convictions. In 1995, facilities received reports on 3.4% of the potential employees. By 2000, that percentage had risen to 9.1%. A 2005 study of nursing homes in Michigan found that almost 10% of the state’s nursing home employees had criminal backgrounds, which included homicide, criminal sexual conduct, weapon charges, and drug offenses.

Given the current shortages, our network, like the military, has to make allowances.

What we do know about recidivism isn’t reassuring. A study commissioned by the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (DHHS), Ensuring a Qualified Long Term Care Workforce: From Pre-Employment Screens to On-the-Job Monitoring, looked at whether nursing home employees with criminal histories are more likely to commit abuse. They are.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Stalking Predators who Prey on Seniors.

Feb 26, 2007 04:30 AM Nancy J. White Life Writer

The lowlifes who scam your grandma, or abuse your elderly neighbour's trust, aren't always strangers, authorities say

At a seminar on elder abuse and fraud last week....seniors at Scarborough Village Recreation Centre talked about the gamut of cons they've heard, from silver-tongued salesmen to phishing schemes (email attempts to get personal financial information) and ways to protect themselves. The raffle prize was, appropriately, a shredder.

"You just can't trust people," says one woman. "It's a shame, not like it used to be," adds her friend. Sadly, the financial abusers aren't always strangers.
"It's often someone known to the senior. It's broken trust," says Sharon Galway, owner of Home Instead Senior Care in North York, which provides non-medical home care.

And, as our population ages, elder abuse is expected to increase.

"An older adult can lose everything and become homeless," says Fleischmann. "When a stranger does it, the victim feels like a fool. But when it's someone close and personal, the feeling is horrid."

Legal Guardian or Guardianship

A legal guardian is a person who has the legal authority (and the corresponding duty) to care for the personal and property interests of another person, called a ward. Usually, a person has the status of guardian because the ward is incapable of caring for his or her own interests due to infancy, incapacity, or disability.

Courts generally have the power to appoint a guardian for an individual in need of special protection. A guardian with responsibility for both the personal well-being and the financial interests of the ward is a general guardian. A person may also be appointed as a special guardian, having limited powers over the interests of the ward. A special guardian may, for example, be given the legal right to determine the disposition of the ward's property without being given any authority over the ward's person. A guardian appointed to represent the interests of a person with respect to a single action in litigation is a guardian ad litem.

Most Estates have very detailed guardianship laws. Filing should only be done by an attorney. In order to have a guardian appointed for a person, the following steps must be taken:

• A petition must be filed with the circuit court to determine your incapacity.
• A petition must be filed to appoint a guardian.
• A budget and care plan must be prepared.
• The guardian must make periodic reporting.
• You will have an attorney appointed to represent your interests.
• You will be examined by a panel of three to determine the scope of your incapacity.

The costs associated with the guardianship may be borne by your estate, if you have personal property.

On ..........Being A Guardian

Monday, February 26, 2007

Countries With The Highest Quality of Life Issues On a scale 1 - 5

And the Winner is "The Netherlands"
*reprint from AARP magazine

Stories of Lives Lived and Now Ending

Stories of Lives Lived and Now Ending
Inquiring Mind, Spring 1994, vol. 10, no. 2
as told by Frank Ostateski, edited by Barbara Gatesphotographs by Raja Hornstein

Inspired by a 2500-year-old spiritual tradition, Zen Hospice Project encourages and supports a mutually beneficial relationship among volunteer caregivers and individuals, facing death. Volunteers work in San Francisco both at the Guest House, a home-like residence providing 24-hour care, and at Laguna Honda Hospice, a 28-bed hospice and AIDS unit, located in the nation's largest public long-term care facility.

Each caregiver cultivates the "listening mind "through regular meditation or spiritual practice. This helps to develop the awareness, compassion and balance to respond to the needs of the dying and to hear their stories.

Frank Ostaseski, Founding Director of Zen Hospice Project, says, "As hospice workers, one of our central tasks is to be available when stories are ready to be told."

Recently, the Hospice has begun an' Oral History Project in which the volunteers support people who are dying in telling their stories. A volunteer either writes down a story in the form of a letter or, more commonly, records it. These stories are then sent to friends and family.
Adele was an old Russian, Jewish woman staying with us at the hospice. I got the call that she was dying and came to her room to find her curled over in bed, gasping for a breath. Her eyes were wide open with fear. An attendant tried to reassure her, "You don't have to be frightened." And Adele replied through her gasps, "If it was happening to you, you'd be frightened. Believe me."
The attendant began stroking her while she continued to heave. "You're awfully cold," the attendant said. And Adele, again through her gasps, replied, "Of course I'm cold. I'm almost dead!"

As I began to attend to her, I listened closely to try to understand what was actually needed. While she was gasping for the air, she was suffering. While she was pushing out the air, she was suffering. In the middle, right in between the breaths, was the place of relief.
I said simply, "There's a place to rest right there. Can you feel it?" In that moment, her attention went to that place, the in-between place. And, for an instant, she rested there. It was as if something washed over her face; her eyes softened and the fear dissipated. She took four or five more breaths and she died.

At Zen Hospice Project, we act with minimal intervention and attempt to meet whatever is arising in front of us. There's a place to rest right there. Can you find it?" That was all I said. And she did everything else. She was honest and straightforward in her process all the way.

The "Problem" With Elders

[EDITORIAL NOTE: Cowtown Pattie of Texas Trifles has been "podcasted" by John Lindner at The Baltimore Sun for his Blogography presentation. You can listen to her gorgeous Texas twang right here.]

A Tylenol PM commercial has been running for several months. Encouragingly, it opens with an older woman, passed her 50th birthday, who is not made up to appear younger. Then, unfortunately, she opens her mouth:

“Aging doesn’t happen one problem at a time,” she says. “First, there was high blood pressure. Then came arthritis…”

That, apparently, is how the owners, executives and creative types at Tylenol view the totality of aging – as one problem after another.

The company is not alone..... It is perpetrated by most product advertising and pervades all media influencing everyone – young and even the old – into believing that aging is the worst thing that can happen to a person.

Commercials are the one place on television where elders are numerous and in plain view. However, unlike beautiful young men and women, they are not driving shiny new automobiles.

And even the latest AARP commercials ............But who speaks for elders?

Joy of Six - Blogger For the Week

Each week we try to feature a blogger from our Blog Roll of Mature Bloggers, the content of which is unique, refreshing , interesting and funny.
The Joy of Six meets and exceeds all of those qualifications , and we are happy to feature her here.

Congratulations Joy on a great Blog , thanks for sharing with us.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Florida Leads California in Elder Abuse Cases Despite Differences in Population Rates

"Some Interesting Facts Floridians Should Know" -

Facts on Elder Abuse according to a Recent Press Releases by DCF, published by News-Press.Com on February 9Th, 2007 and a press release published by The Open Press on the same date.

In California, Elder Financial Abuse claims cases are estimated at 225,000 with a population according to the Census Bureau for 2005 of 36,132,147, and they are Passing Strict New Laws, appointing Special Prosecutors, Launching Statewide Elder Financial Abuse Prevention Initiatives, and Highly Publicizing Elder Abuse Cases.

Florida in contrast with a population in 2005 of 17,789,864 there were 348,000 abuse claims reported in 2006 , according to the DCF. - There are NO Statewide Elder Financial Abuse Prevention Initiatives, No new laws with Mandatory Reporting of Financial Abuse for our Elders, No Vulnerable Adult Task Force.

Florida, having 54.65% more reported Elder Abuse Cases than California and a population that's 50.55% smaller,you rarely hear about Elder Abuse Cases and I can tell you from my experience, when you approach the local news media with a request to publish a story to raise Elder Abuse Awareness, chances are exceptionally good that they will not publish your story. By Ray Fernandez

Woman Jailed for Elder Theft

By Michelle Durand

A short stint at the county jail appears to have pushed Gina Costello to do what a conviction for financial elder abuse, a court order and threats of prison couldn’t — cough up more than $100,000 to repay the elderly San Mateo man who showered her with gifts, cash and a trip to Las Vegas.

Costello reportedly persuaded the man she had met only months previously to give her money and take her to Las Vegas. She told the man, a widower in an assisted living facility, she was a friend of his deceased wife and needed the money to pay for cancer treatment. The total taken was about $140,000.

More >>

Young Folk rip-off Elderly

ELDERLY Queenslanders are losing $2.5 million every month to rip-off merchants who often turn out to be their own children, in a financial scandal set to deepen over the coming decade.

The figures, given to a federal inquiry into the elderly and the law, are just part of the information being fed to the Federal Government about the problem, which is set to deepen as Australia's population rapidly ages.

"Some children try to acquire their parents' money before they die and beat their siblings to it," said Yvonne Zardani, secretary of the Queensland branch of the Australian Pensioners and Superannuants League.

"They use their parents to get everything they can get." Sons and daughters take money, promising to care for their parents and then abandon them.

Archived here >>

One in 12 Seniors Citizens Abused !

By Arthur Williams - Free Press

Of those abused, over half are exploited by a spouse, family member, caretaker or other close personal contact, she said. The average victim of financial abuse loses $20,000.

“It’s just about raising awareness of abuse,” Doerksen said.“These are people who actually see clients and might be able to spot things of concern. We need people to get involved and know who to call.”

Common indicators that someone you know may be financially abused include: the sudden appearance of previously uninvolved relatives, power of attorney granted under unusual circumstances, abrupt changes in wills or accounts, family members or representatives refusing to spend money on the senior’s behalf, and senior’s not knowing where their money or assets have gone.

In some cases, the victim may be unaware of what is happening to them until it is too late.

Brommeland said she is always watching for warning signs when she is working in the community...

“It’s widespread.”

for un-abridged copy of this article >>

Prison Wife charged with Elder Abuse

A story of elder abuse began to unfold Tuesday when Katherine Garcia-Herzog appeared before Superior Court Judge Susan Harlan on charges that she took advantage of an 88-year-old Fiddletown woman.

Garcia-Herzog, who is 53 and no longer lives in Amador County, was arrested earlier this month in Santa Rosa and booked into the Sonoma County Jail on charges that she bilked Fiddletown resident Helen Thompson out of more than $25,000. The investigation is ongoing.

The case, laced with intrigue from the onset, came to the attention of Amador County Sheriff's Office investigators in June 2006. Authorities were alerted by a neighbor of Thompson, who called to voice concern over the woman's welfare.

Thompson's granddaughter, Elaine Hyatt, told the Ledger Dispatch that she now lives with her grandmother and expects to testify against Garcia-Herzog in order to see justice done.

Hyatt said that Garcia-Herzog came into contact with her grandparents in October 2004 prior to the death of Thompson's husband, Leon "Whitey" Thompson in June 2005. Leon Thompson gained notoriety as a survivor of Alcatraz, where he served time for bank robbery.

Garcia-Herzog's financial trails with Thompson's money have led investigators to several local financial institutions, including Wells Fargo and Bank of America.

Hyatt said the woman convinced her grandmother to take out a reverse mortgage with Garcia-Herzog's name on it and that $30,000 soon disappeared.

Hyatt said she believes her grandmother's loss is far greater than the $25,000 figure being used and is probably closer to $100,000.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Robin Davis to be on panel of AARP workshop on Elder Financial Abuse Exploitation

By Chris Dickerson - Kanawha Bureau

CHARLESTON -- The AARP Foundation, West Virginia ElderWatch and AARP West Virginia are co-sponsoring an AARP National Legal Training Project Workshop on Elder Financial Abuse and Exploitation on Wednesday, at the Marriott Charleston Town Center.
"Since 1985 the National Legal Training Project has helped protect older persons from abuse, neglect and exploitation through its training programs across the country," said Scott Adkins, Director of the AARP Foundation's West Virginia ElderWatch program.
Topics for the daylong session include recognizing the signs and symbols of financial exploitation, elder financial abuse and exploitation prevention strategies and appropriate responses to financial abuse and exploitation in West Virginia. West Virginia Supreme Court Chief Justice Robin Davis will serve on a panel during the workshop.

Medication Abuse -

Medication abuse is the misuse of medications or prescriptions on purpose or by accident, such as:

Not providing your medications when they are needed or prescribed,

Providing dosages that cause you bodily harm or sedate you.

Don't Be a Victim Florida West Coast Free Workshop

By Betty Morrow

Free Public Workshop Offered ‘Financial Exploitation: Don’t Be a Victim!’ March 7th 2007
Tampa Area.

What is Financial Exploitation?

Referred to as fiduciary abuse, financial abuse, economic abuse, exploitation and financial mistreatment, financial exploitation of elders encompasses a broad range of conduct. Basically it is using the elder’s money or assets contrary to the elder’s wishes, needs or best interests – or for the abuser’s personal gain.

“We are seeing an increasing number of fraud victims coming to us seeking help in recovering from financial exploitation. As it only takes one unscrupulous individual to drain a lifetime of savings.."

Cotter Financial will present a free public workshop titled “Financial Exploitation: Don’t Be a Victim!” on Tuesday, March 6 at 10 a.m. at the Sun City Center Chamber of Commerce.

The workshop is designed to educate the public on the latest scams and exploitation, victim profiles, prevention tips and steps, and to provide useful resources and references. Light refreshments will be served. Registration is requested to assure that sufficient attendee materials will be available. Please call 634-2000 to register and for more information.

California Nursing Home Accused of Elderly Abuse

By Mary O'Keefe

A lawsuit seeking unspecified damages has been brought forth by an 81-year-old woman who accuses Pleasant Care Convalescent of Riverside of elder abuse and negligence. Pleasant Care Corp., owned by La Cañada resident Emmanuel I. Bernabe, owns or has interest in more than 30 nursing homes throughout California, including the one named in the suit.

According to the suit, filed in California Superior Court on Valentine's Day, caregivers at the Riverside facility allegedly ignored several falls, injuries and abrasions that occurred over three years. On the most recent occasion, in February of 2006, the woman complained of pain in her right knee. X-rays were ordered, a capability the facility has on its premise, however none were taken.

After almost two weeks without being given a proper diagnosis, the woman's family insisted an X-ray be taken. It was then discovered that the woman had a broken hip, Young said.

"The family had no idea of this condition until it was discovered at the hospital," Young said.She was also found to be suffering from malnutrition and dehydration.

The lawsuit also alleges that a female caregiver at the facility attempted to extort money from a family friend to ensure good care for the woman. It also list other incidents of this nature that occurred.

The lawsuit also names Bernabe. In March 2006, Bernabe and Pleasant Care Corp. agreed to pay $1.35 million to the state of Calfornia to settle civil allegations of negligent care in many of its facilities. In the last five years Pleasant Care has received more than 160 citations from the California Department of Health.

Article archived here >>

Thursday, February 22, 2007

California Takes Steps to Prevent Elder Abuse

Senior abuse targeted by countywide alliance

The Stanislaus Elder Abuse Prevention Alliance (SEAPA) offers resources to help seniors and senior advocates in Ceres battle abuse on all levels.

SEAPA is a non-profit agency operated under the auspices of Catholic Charities but does receive government funding as well as private funding.

The next meeting date is on Feb. 28. Meetings are open to the public.
“We talk about what's going on in their agencies ... on matters of senior abuse.”

For example, the district attorney's office might indicate how many convictions have taken place for the month and how many cases are being prosecuted while police agencies might share about scams being conducted by society.

SEAPA trains bank employees on how to recognize financial exploitation of seniors.

Story archived here >>

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Two Cases Studies Involving Caregivers Reveal Flaws in the System


"The way that society doesn't value these people is reflected in how we have been investigating and prosecuting these cases," said Deputy Prosecutor Page Ulrey.

"There's certainly a higher penalty for possessing a rock of cocaine in this state than for beating up elderly, bedridden grandparents," Ulrey said.

When police found Freddie Watkins rotting in the basement of his Algona home, the smell was overpowering.

The 38-year-old quadriplegic was caked in his own urine and feces. Bedsores covering his body had penetrated to the bone.

As Watkins was rushed to the hospital, officers wondered how he could have come so close to death under the care of his stepdaughter, who was being paid by the state, and his wife.

Nadine Howden wasn't as fortunate.

Newcastle police found the 68-year-old bedridden woman dead in her trash-filled home in November, one foot infested with maggots. She was being cared for by a developmentally disabled daughter and a son. Numerous home visits by public health and adult-protective care workers last year failed to prevent Howden's death.

A civil lawsuit pending in the case accuses the state Department of Social and Health Services and the city of ignoring the risks inherent in sending Freddie home.

Two vulnerable people, two victims of extreme neglect

Read the case history archived here >>

Tuesday, February 20, 2007


2007-02-20 Movie & Entertainment News

The family of an elderly woman who was moved from her hospital bed to accommodate MICHAEL JACKSON is suing the pop star.

The eight children of MANUELA GOMEZ RUIZ filed suit on Thursday (15FEB07) alleging Jackson and celebrity-obsessed hospital staff moved their mother out of her death bed and tormented her family.

The lawsuit claims she was "treated like cargo" and roughly moved from her emergency room bed when Jackson arrived at the hospital complaining of abdominal pains during his child molestation trial.The THRILLER singer demanded two beds after going to the Marian Medical Center in Santa Maria, California on 15 February 2005.Gomez, 74, died later that night.

More here >>

A Matter of Trust

February 18, 2007 at 10:46 pm by Casey McNulty

For many older people (and, in a few cases, younger people), dementia and Alzheimer’s disease are inescapable part of life. Characterized by the inability to create new memories and recall old ones, disorientation and confusion, dementia is a progressive brain dysfunction.

There are 4.5 million Americans suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. (For a guide to symptoms and warning signs of dementia, click here.) There is little difference between dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. (Alzheimer’s disease is a specific disease, while dementia is a broader dysfunction.

Both have the similar symptoms and require the same care. People who suffer from dementia often require full-time care because they are not able to function correctly and efficiently doing normal daily activities.

Read it all here >>

Dementia's Shadows

By TOM KEYSER, Staff writer

Memory loss, blurred vision, confusion, isolation: what it's like for some nurshing home residents

I was trapped in the bathroom during my "virtual dementia tour" at Daughters of Sarah Nursing Center in Albany. It's the same tour that all 315 employees at the nursing home are taking, a 10-minute simulation of dementia and old age designed to help workers better understand the residents.

Continued >>

Steps Illinois Has taken to Curb Elder Abuse

As of January 1, 1999, professionals are required, for the first time, to report suspected abuse, neglect and exploitation of persons over 60 who, because of dysfunction, are unable to report themselves. The mandatory reporting requirement applies only to an older person who is unable to seek assistance for himself or herself in order not to compromise the older person's right to self-determination. Voluntary reporting continues to be encouraged for suspected mistreatment of older citizens who have the ability to self report.

archived here >>

N.J. man arrested in attack on Wiesel

By JASON DEAREN, Associated Press Writer Sun Feb 18, 12:48 AM ET

SAN FRANCISCO - A man accused of roughing up Nobel laureate and Holocaust scholar Elie Wiesel at a San Francisco hotel earlier this month was arrested Saturday, authorities said.

Police have said they were aware that a man claimed responsibility for the attack in a posting on an anti-Semitic Web site registered in Australia. Police have not commented further on the case.

Wiesel, who survived the Nazi death camps at Auschwitz and Buchenwald during World War II, has worked for human rights in many parts of the world and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986.

Nevada Sheriff "Zero Tolerance" on Elder abuse

What is Elder Abuse ? Neglect ? -

Criminal Isolation of the Elderly -

Penalties for Elder abuse include incarceration for up to 20 years and/or fines of up to $25,000

{"Our Hats off to Humboldt County, Carson City, Reno, Elko, Las Vegas for sending such a strong message at would be Elder Abusers and making our cities a safer place for our Elders."}

Area Partnership Aims to Curb Elder Abuse

By Liesel Nowak / 978-7274 February 19, 2007

Social workers, police and prosecutors in Albemarle County are teaming up to help protect elderly and disabled residents from physical, sexual and financial abuse in a new program seeking to open the lines of communication among investigators.

“We’ve gone from 145 investigations of abuse, neglect and exploitation in 2000 to over 370 last year,” Cattell-Gordon said, pointing to a “rapid rise” in financial scams.

Also disturbing is the prospect that a family member is exploiting his or her elderly relative. This is not uncommon, according to assistant prosecutor Rick Moore, and difficult to prosecute.

Read it all here >>

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Zsa Zsa -- Prisoner of Bel Air?

Sources tell TMZ that Zsa Zsa Gabor might be a virtual prisoner in her Bel Air home. We're told she doesn't leave the house and is not allowed to have visitors. Is the "Prince" preventing any contact with the much-married star of "Queen of Outer Space?" She has not been seen in public for over two years.

A source tells TMZ that Zsa Zsa's own daughter, stand-up comic Francesca Hilton, is not permitted to see her mother, because her ninth husband, the "Prince," keeps strict guard on the former Miss Hungary of 1936, who is now 90.

Read it all here >>

"People Need To Be Aware," The Reality is it's Very Easy to Steal From Sick and Old People."

By Alejandro Alfonso, STAFF WRITER Article Last Updated: 02/18/2007

CASTRO VALLEY — Dawna Smylie went to Greece with her daughter, bought a car, bought several thousands of dollars' worth of merchandise online and, in total, ran up more than $40,000 in credit card bills by the time she turned herself in to police.

"People need to be aware," said Eileen McAnderew, a senior deputy district attorney with the Alameda County Elder Abuse Unit. "Even with a trusted caregiver, you need to have a system of checks and balances. The reality is it's very easy to steal from sick and old people."

Read it all here >>

Arkansas "Zero Tolerance" on Elder Abuse


“I believe if we really get together and do this all over the city, all over the county, do the same thing in Lincoln County and in Pulaski County, it can spread all over the state. We will send a message to the criminals and those that are deciding that they want to steal and rob and mistreat people that they have to get out of Arkansas.”

Read it all here >>

Charity’s Appeal to Marathon Runners

Wiltshire Times - Sport News

With thousands participating in April's Marathon, running for Help the Aged will make a huge difference to the lives of 500,000 older people who are believed to be abused at any one time in the UK.

Some Final Thoughts - Great Blogs don't Die They Just Fade Away

Today my hat goes off to Some Fianal Thoughts for having one of the most unique interesting web sites from our blog roll of mature bloggers. Here you will find some interesting pictures and articles. Thanks Alan G.
This blog has since retired and left is with blank in out hearts

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Are we protecting our vulnerable elders?

In July, when Anthony Marshall — the only son of well-known philanthropist and socialite Brooke Astor, himself 82 years old — was accused by his own son, Philip, of mistreating Astor and forcing her to live in what her grandson described as wretched conditions, elder abuse was much in the news. After all, the stories implied, if a woman worth some $45 million could be mistreated, with her own son allegedly refusing to spend money for her care, what did this portend for those with lesser means?

Experts estimate that only 1 out of 14 domestic elder abuse incidents (excluding the incidents of self-neglect) come to the attention of authorities, while the overall reporting of financial exploitation may be only 1 in 25 cases.

by Lois Goldrich

Read it all here >>

Thursday, February 15, 2007

New Statewide Elder Financial Abuse Prevention Initiative To Be Launched At Upcoming Event

CALL TO ACTION’ event to address the growing crime of Elder Financial Abuse - A new statewide public awareness initiative to be launched.

"Elder Abuse is one of the worst crimes because it is committed against vulnerable elders who should be treated with respect for all they have given to our families and communities," said Kamala Harris, District Attorney, City & County of San Francisco.

Approximately 300 people, including elected officials, elder advocates, bank and credit union representatives, law enforcement and social service agency representatives from across California are expected to attend. "Call to Action" is the only event with such a broad reach across these disciplines and has become the premier elder financial abuse prevention event in California.

“Public awareness and community education is the key to stopping this devastating crime against elders,” Said Jenefer Duane, EFPN CEO and Executive Director “This is a Call to Action for banks, credit unions, law enforcement and social service agencies to step up their efforts to collaborate in the prevention, investigation and prosecution of this crime against California’s older residents.”

Experts say that elder financial abuse is the “crime of the 21st century.” Tragically, it is estimated that in California 225,000 seniors are financially abused in California each year. According to the California Welfare Directors Association, only one in 100 cases are actually reported due to shame, fear of retaliation, family connection, lack of awareness, isolation and other factors.

Jenefer Duane, CEO and Executive DirectorElder Financial Protection Network415.897.9555

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Nevada Legislators Debate Elder Abuse: Since 90 percent of Elder Abuse is Committed in Homes by Family Members.


CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) - The Nevada Senate Judiciary committee voted Monday for a bill to let the state's elder abuse investigators get criminal histories of suspects from police agencies.

Division of Aging Services administrator Carol Sala said the change was necessary because some of her 12 her investigators, who are licensed clinical social workers, have been exposed to dangerous situations, and even threatened by family members.

Since 90 percent of elder abuse is committed in homes by family members, social workers sometimes must go to homes where they could confront suspects with histories of drug use or domestic violence. Often, elder abusers have problems with gambling or drug addiction, said Sala.

In those situations, she added, her division should be allowed to access criminal records to know whether or not to ask for law enforcement escorts.

The proposal, SB31, would add the Division of Aging Services to a list of government agencies authorized to get criminal records, including child welfare agencies, the Gaming Control Board, and the state Board of Nursing.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Senior Fiscal Abuse Fought

New law to protect the elderly requires banks to report their suspicions.

By Chelsea Phua - Bee Staff Writer Published Sunday, February 11, 2007
Story appeared in METRO section, Page B1

Financial abuse of the elderly -- whether by rogue contractors, caregivers, close family members, remote phone solicitors or lottery scams -- is on the rise, advocates and legislators say.

In California, the number of reported cases has increased by 55 percent, in 2005, according to the California Department of Social Services. Under the new law, also known as the Financial Elder Abuse Reporting Act of 2005, financial employees join nursing care and home health care workers, law enforcement officers, members of the clergy and other government officials required by law to report suspected financial abuse.

"Individuals 65 and older control over 70 percent of the nation's wealth," said Peggy Osborn, of the elder and dependent adult abuse prevention at the California attorney general's office. "That's not lost on people who want to take advantage of them."

"It's not like they can go out to work and recoup," Osborn said. "Anytime a senior loses the money that they have worked a lifetime to earn, it's tragic."

Saturday, February 10, 2007

A Story Worth Telling - Proud Of Our Ancestry

I renamed your link ' Advice That Could Save Your Parents' so that it would appear on the top of the list because I think that the advice that you are giving comes from experience, and even when you took so many precautions the quote; "They are very clever, very resourceful and they know how to trigger people's emotions."
Times Standard Comes to mind when reading your site. "An Italian American Family."

Thanks for the fascinating story of your forefathers history, I'll keep coming back to it.

God Bless You and Your Sisters,
Raul (Ray)

From: Fran [] Sent: Friday, February 09, 2007 1:49 PMTo: RaySubject: Re: I renamed your link

The quote from the Times Standard was interesting and very true.

The woman who abused my parents and murdered my dad was a genius in knowing how to control us, how to push all those little buttons that we all have, how to separate one of the sisters and use her and the youngest whom we had sent out of town to agitate the situation. When all around you is turmoil it is hard to see what is really happening.

The police who investigated the case told us that these abusers are very clever and it would be difficult to see what they are doing because they are practiced at hiding it. I looked up the % of sociopaths in the population -- about 4% which is a huge number. That is 4 out of every hundred people you meet! For a good book about the issue see "The Sociopath next Door" by Martha Stout.

I am very proud of what these people were able to do, of how courageous they were. I am grateful for what they gave to us and very glad to be part of them. Thanks for reading that part of the site. I know you are overwhelmed with what you are trying to do.

God bless you too.

February 10th 2007


I think that we have so much in common , our fathers came a long ways looking for the American dream. Our stories are so different yet so similar.

In your valiant and determined effort to tell the story of your brave father, that risked it all for a dream, so that you could live a better life you has inspired and given me courage to tell the story of my father.

-The Story of Dr.A.J.Fernandez-Sosa -A Story Worth Telling >>

AARP's Ageism is Showing

AARP sells a lot of different kinds of insurance to its age 50-plus members and some critics argue that its lobbying efforts (it supported the Medicare – Part D prescription drug coverage legislation) have less to do with benefiting members than maintaining and increasing its product revenue.

It is not unreasonable to assume from that mission statement that it is in AARP's DNA to respect aging and elderhood, and that they hold themselves up as an advocate for elders, a bulwark against ageism.

It is the same old ageist language that appears all over the media every day perpetuating the same cultural insistence that age is bad and everyone must do everything within their power to look as young as possible unto the grave. But this time it is worse coming, as it does, from an organization that says it represents elders. Or maybe they represent only youthful-looking elders.

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Editorial by Blog Administrator -

As you know from reading my posts , there are people all around the country , that create wealth by plundering elders, some are experienced and zero in on wealthy widowers with little family, "It's amazing how creative some perpetrators are, and the complexity of how they can create a situation that they benefit from,” Hufft said. “They are very clever, very resourceful and they know how to trigger people's emotions.” Times Standard

"This stuff is happening all over the place." Cases that are reported often aren't prosecuted because police and prosecuting attorneys historically have viewed them as civil matters, Dimitrov said. They go under the radar screen . People don't want to recognize it. They don't want to hear about it. ... Sometimes it just takes a long time before it permeates the psyches and people say, “Oh, wow, that really does happen” . " Sarah Flohr, Trust officer for Cowlitz Bank.

And hence the purpose of our elder abuse blogs is to convince people that this is happening, and that sooner is better than later to stop the people that are doing this . If you think I am exaggerating, you are not alone, most people are in denial, kind of where we were on child abuse 15-20 years ago, we are pioneers breaking new ground, because of your efforts and the efforts of people like you in 5 years there will be new laws in Florida to protect the elderly, pretty much as other estates are scrambling everyday to appoint new prosecutors, and pass new laws to protect their elders.

I will close this post with a quote from an article published in the AICPA Wealth Managament Insider on January 24 2007 .

'As Willie Sutton is famously known to have said, when explaining why he robbed banks: "That’s where the money is." It seems that a number of individuals, and some organized gangs, have realized that many single elderly persons have that in common with banks: they have money, and it is all too often available for the taking.'

By Ray Fernandez

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Man accused of elder abuse turns himself in

By ABBY FOX-DN Staff Writer Article 02/07/2007

REDDING - Friday, a Redding resident turned himself in to Shasta County on a felony warrant for elder abuse and neglect, according to the Redding Police Department.


Sentence less than eight months

By Layla BohmNews-Sentinel Staff Writer Last updated: Wednesday, Feb 07, 2007 - 07:01:01 am PST

She could have faced up to 13 years in state prison for charges of elder financial abuse, but Jan Ann Pestana instead accepted a deal with a judge Tuesday that will put her behind bars for no more than eight months.


OTH wrote on February 07, 2007 8:51 AM:"I get the impression this lady still does not take responsibility for what she did. Perhaps some of her time can be spent reading about Karma. It does exist."

Bewildered wrote on February 07, 2007 7:42 AM:"How does she continue to get away with this type of behavior? Honestly, eight months?!! She exhibits no remorse and will continue to be a threat to our community."

'Half a million old people suffering abuse' in the UK alone

By Sarah Womack, Social Affairs Correspondent updated Last Updated: 07/02/2007

Abuse of the elderly must be treated with the same seriousness as child abuse, with police receiving special training to protect older people from what has become a "national scandal", a charity said today.


Couple beaten; grandson sought

"My nephew just tried to kill his grandparents – and he was going to kill me, too," Ms. Boan, 52, told a 911 operator about 4:30 a.m. Friday. "You might want to bring an ambulance, too, because he hit my mother and she's down on the ground and she's got osteoporosis real bad."

read the story here >>

Letters to the Editor

What kind of people are victims of elder abuse ? the short answer is OTHER PEOPLE - in an effort for readers to meet some of these ' other people' I have received permission from Fran to print the moving letter she wrote us, this letter shows that the other people that are victims of this horrible crime are people just like you ........ Blog Administrator


I have re-read your email several times. You have been through a horrible experience and from the text of your letter, the pain continues for you. I know how difficult it is to work with the legal authorities, but it is well worth the effort. My sisters and I worked for almost a year before we had any resolution to our parents' case. The sentence given by the court was not sufficient, in my mind, but I believe that life itself will provide the ultimate justice to the perpetrator.

I wish that there was something that I could say that would be a help to you. The only thought that helps me keep my sanity is that my parents had a wonderful life. In this world where so few people find real and lasting happiness, my parents found that special someone who made their life complete. From the pictures on your blog, it appears that your parents found that special someone too.

Though I have three sisters, only one of my sisters and I are caring for our mom. Another sister is disabled and the other -- well, we called the police and had her thrown out of town because she was abusing our parents and stealing the money mom and dad had saved for their "golden years." It is unthinkable to me that this sister could have been raised in the same home with the same parents as I had. She was loved "to distraction" just as I was. Why did she consider it her right to take what my parents had saved? You must be asking yourself the same question about your brother!

The most that I can do right now is keep my website going "An Italian-American Family" and tell everyone I know what happened to my family. I hope that the information I have learned will help others. It appears that your website is well read and though you may never know how many or who you have helped, I believe that you are helping others. Your parents would be proud of your efforts and they love you more than you will ever know. Though our fathers are gone from this life, I really believe that they are still here with us, still loving us as they always did.

If you think it would be helpful, I could put a link from my site to your blog. My experience is very different than yours and it might be helpful to others to link the sites to one another.

Please keep in touch with us. I believe that someday our efforts will be rewarded.


Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Bloomingdale Man Admits to Attacking Elderly Women; Victim's Family Speaks Out

Savanah Georgia
Etta Dickey surrounded by four generations of women in her family, from a family photo.

William Dixon pled guilty in a Chatham County court today to beating an elderly woman to death with a brick and attacking another with a frying pan.

First, he attacked 77-year-old Evelyn Page, his wife's grandmother. His second victim was 82-year-old Etta Dickey.

Read the whole story here >>

Monday, February 5, 2007

County commissioner backs move to establish Cowlitz Vulnerable Adult Task Force

County commissioner backs move to establish Cowlitz , Longview Washington Vulnerable Adult Task Force By Amy M. E. Fischer Feb 03, 2007 - 11:57:39 pm PST

In her role as a trust officer for Cowlitz Bank, Flohr has seen disturbing cases of financial exploitation, abuse and abandonment of elderly and/or vulnerable adults --- but little in the way of prosecution. If agencies that deal with such victims communicated, pooled resources and learned more about elder abuse laws, perpetrators of such crimes against vulnerable adults might be brought to justice, she said.

About 95 percent of the cases Dimitrov sees involve family members who illegally use power of attorney and quitclaim deeds to plunder the assets of vulnerable elderly relatives, she said. The formerly financially secure victims are often left penniless and reliant on state-provided services, she said.

"This is not uncommon," she said Thursday. "This stuff is happening all over the place." Cases that are reported often aren't prosecuted because police and prosecuting attorneys historically have viewed them as civil matters, Dimitrov said.

"It's going to be such a huge issue in years to come," she said. "We're like 30 years behind child abuse and 20 years behind domestic violence. People don't want to recognize it. They don't want to hear about it. ... Sometimes it just takes a long time before it permeates the psyches and people say, 'Oh, wow, that really does happen.' "

"A lot of time it was a senior citizen population calling us for help," Swanson said Thursday. "We saw lots of people get taken for lots of money. It's so sad."