Article By Ronni Bennet
According to USA Today, elder Americans are rolling in dough at the expense of younger generations:
If the USA Today writer thinks an average net worth of $249,000 is excessive, he should try living on it. Invested in safe securities, it earns about $12,500 a year. And anyway, most of the net worth of elders is equity in their homes which is always a volatile number depending on the housing market and which is shrinking now that the housing boom has busted and prices are dropping. I checked some real estate listings here in Portland, Maine, and I'd be hard pressed right now, if I wanted to sell, to get what I paid for my home just a year ago.
There are many problems with the distribution of wealth in the United States. One of them is not that elders are ripping off the young, and USA Today should retract this story with its selective and misleading information.
Abridged Read it all here >>
Posted by: janinsanfran on May 29,
That expresses hatred of older people. Hatred and jealousy. Gramps bought a house in 1972 that has increased in value nicely, all the while bringing up the most expensive kids that ever existed with their $125 sneakers and $32000 a year colleges, and he saved and invested as he could, so now he's got some money and USA Today is paying someone who wants it to be taken away from him?
Thursday, May 31, 2007
Article By Ronni Bennet
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
By GINA KOLATA , New York Times
Dr. Diana Fite, a 53-year-old emergency medicine specialist in Houston, knew her blood pressure readings had been dangerously high for five years. But she convinced herself that those measurements, about 200 over 120, did not reflect her actual blood pressure. Anyway, she was too young to take medication. She would worry about her blood pressure when she got older.
“I called 911, but nothing would come out of my mouth,” she said. Then she found that if she spoke very slowly, she could get out words. So, she recalled, “I said ‘stroke’ in this long, horrible voice.”
Dr. Fite is one of an estimated 700,000 Americans who had a stroke last year, but one of the very few who ended up at a hospital with the equipment and expertise to accurately diagnose and treat it.
Stroke is the third-leading cause of death in this country, behind heart disease and cancer, killing 150,000 Americans a year, leaving many more permanently disabled, and costing the nation $62.7 billion in direct and indirect costs, according to the American Stroke Association.
But from diagnosis to treatment to rehabilitation to preventing it altogether, a stroke is a litany of missed opportunities.
Although tPA was shown in 1996 to save lives and prevent brain damage, and although the drug could help half of all stroke patients, only 3 percent to 4 percent receive it. Most patients, denying or failing to appreciate their symptoms, wait too long to seek help — tPA must be given within three hours. And even when patients call 911 promptly, most hospitals, often uncertain about stroke diagnoses, do not provide the drug.
“I label this a national tragedy or a national embarrassment,” said Dr. Mark J. Alberts, a neurology professor at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University. “I know of no disease that is as common or as serious as stroke and where you basically have one therapy and it’s only used in 3 to 4 percent of patients. That’s like saying you only treat 3 to 4 percent of patients with bacterial pneumonia with antibiotics.”
And the strokes in the statistics are only the beginning. For every stroke that doctors know about, there are 5 to 10 tiny, silent strokes, said Dr. Vladimir Hachinski, the editor of the journal Stroke and a neurologist at the London Health Sciences Centre in Ontario.
They are also warning signs that a much larger stroke may be on the way.
Most strokes would never happen if people took simple measures like controlling their blood pressure.
Stroke patients, unlike heart attack patients, are not moneymakers. Because of the way medical care is reimbursed, most hospitals either lose money or do little more than break even with stroke care but can often make several thousand dollars opening the arteries of a heart attack patient.
Treatment Barriers >>
The Joint Commission, which accredits hospitals, recently started certifying stroke centers, requiring that the hospitals be willing to treat stroke patients aggressively. But only 322 of the 4,280 accredited hospitals in the nation qualify, and most patients and doctors have no idea whether a hospital nearby is among them. (The list is available on the site http://www.jointcommission.org/CertificationPrograms/Disease-SpecificCare/DSCOrgs/ under “primary stroke centers.”) Some states, like New York, Massachusetts and Florida, do their own certifying of stroke centers.
Averting Catastrophy >>
By Felice J. Freyer Journal Medical Writer
Elderly people who need emergency help after hours now have a place to turn.
The state Department of Elderly Affairs has awarded a one-year $113,000 grant to Family Service of Rhode Island to operate the “After Hours Emergency Response Program for Elders in Crisis.”
The new program means that when the DEA shuts its doors at 4 p.m., there will be someone answering the phone and responding to any problems that arise — whether it be a medical or police emergency, or simply a neighbor who finds an elderly person who seems confused and “just not right,” said Larry Grimaldi, DEA spokesman.
The number to call is the DEA Protective Services reporting line: (401) 462-0555. If it’s after 4 p.m., someone at Family Service will pick up. A licensed clinician will make an initial assessment of what to do. The clinician will advise public safety personnel on the scene and, if necessary, arrange for emergency home health care or to move the person to an assisted-living facility or nursing home. The clinician may report to the scene to evaluate and help out.
The number to call is the DEA Protective Services reporting line: (401) 462-0555.
IAN JOHNSTON SCIENCE CORRESPONDENT (firstname.lastname@example.org)
A BREAKTHROUGH in imaging techniques could enable scientists to watch the moment that cancer first strikes, holding out the prospect of radical new treatments.
In a world first, researchers at Dundee University managed to film healthy, live cells within an embryo dividing and redividing after developing a new way of using a powerful microscope.
The film shows the birth of neurons - which form the brain and nervous system - as cells in a chicken's egg divide into two, a nerve cell and a "mother cell" that goes on to divide again.
This is the first time this stem cell pattern of division has been witnessed in real time. Stem cells can form any kind of cell in the body and it is thought that cancers may occur when those in body tissue make some kind of "mistake".
The team now plans to artificially induce a cell to become cancerous so they can watch what happens inside when a cancer is born.
This process is poorly understood at present and actually seeing what occurs could lead to a way of preventing it. In almost all cancers, stopping them from spreading renders them relatively harmless.
Cancer specialists described the film as excellent work. One expert expressed the hope that a film of a healthy cell turning into a cancerous one could shed light on the "critical thing" - the trigger for the disease in a cell.
One of the lead researchers, Dr Jason Swedlow, of Dundee University's College of Life Sciences, said watching the film of nerve cell division for the first time was a "eureka moment".
"We called the first really good film, Totally Rocking Movie'. It's one of those amazing moments - you get those once every ten years or so. It's an amazing thing to be able to watch this process," he said.
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
By NANCY H. GONTER email@example.com
HADLEY-Mass. A South Hadley man is facing elder abuse charges after his 88-year-old great-aunt was discovered covered with filth and bedsores and wearing nylons that had been on so long they had become embedded in her skin, according to police reports.
Kevin R. Pietruskiewicz, 38, of 19 Shadowbrook Estates, pleaded innocent on Thursday in Eastern Hampshire District Court to a charge of permitting serious injury to an elderly or disabled person. He was released on his own recognizance.
On April 29, Pietruskiewicz called an ambulance to the home of Jeanette P. Wysocki at 31 Boyton Ave. and when police and firefighters arrived, they were stunned....
Wysocki's feet and ankles were black to the point Leary initially believed she was wearing socks. When she looked closer, she realized the woman was wearing nylons that had been on so long the skin had grown around them, the report states.
At Holyoke Medical Center, a nurse said she believed it had been weeks since Wysocki had been bathed and a doctor said it was unclear if her feet would have to be amputated.
Pietruskiewicz told police he had not bathed her, but had "sponged her down a little," according to the report. He also told police that she was walking and changing her clothes "just fine," police said.
By RIANNA ROBINSON
Members of the law enforcement community, abuse experts and a state representative warned yesterday that mistreatment of senior citizens is a growing problem.
Speaking at the Senior Citizens Center, the group discussed signs of abuse, prosecution of cases and ways state lawmakers are working to solve the problem.
Marilyn Grove, director of the senior center, said the problem of elder abuse is something that is often overlooked.
"We're trying to raise awareness in the community," Grove said. "(Elder abuse) is one of those things where people want to deny that it happens, but it does."
"Adult protective services continues to be a national disgrace," Baker said. " It's at the point where child protective services were about 40 years ago."
"Our two biggest fears are change and death," Baker said. "Anytime you threaten to change a person's way of life, it scares them."
"I value our senior community. I think they're an asset that should be celebrated," Bell said. "Taking advantage of elders is an abomination, and anyone who does it should be prosecuted. Cases against elders should be treated no differently than any other types of cases."
Bell concluded by saying that local law enforcement and judicial officials do not take crimes against seniors lightly.
The picture of elder hands and blog you wrote..made me cry..
I am filled with emotion and so grateful to be a part of your efforts for elders..
If this world ever needed faith and hope, it is now..and you just gave us a little more..
Am on my way to Santa Maria Orphanage in Colon, Mexico to pay my respects to the priest, Father Norman Antonio who is ill..he founded the orphanage which at any moment houses 300 children which might otherwise be living on the streets or dead. The number of children this quiet man with a huge hearts, has kept alive will never be known..
He has an especially tender heart towards the elderly and built a house 25 homeless ones; age 70-105!
Thank You Joy for writing in to Elder Abuse your example is an encouragement to us and others . Please give Father Antonio our love as people like him and you that give so much of themselves so unselfishly to others is what keeps us going.
We would like to inform you that your blog http://elderabusehelp.org , has been selected featured blog of the week at blogging fusion blog directory!
You can view the featured blog by going to the main page where your blog will display for one full week!
Your blog will also be listed in the archive, for others to see and it will remain in the archive for 1 full year!
Congratulations once again Ray and keep blogging!
The Blogging Fusion Staff
Monday, May 28, 2007
Article written by Robert Spencer
Today is Memorial Day, and while Hugh grills the Jihad Watch burgers I thought I'd note that one of the reasons why the popular culture does not honor our fighting forces today or in general is that the politically correct mindset assumes that we have moved beyond all that. Conflicts don't ever need to be solved with wars, you see. All we need to do is understand each other a little better, show the opposition that we are really good fellows after all, win over a few hearts and minds, teach the children not to hate, and voila, all will be well, and all manner of thing will be well.
Unfortunately, in the real world, sometimes one may know someone else quite well, and see that he is a good fellow, and despite all the hand-holding and Kumbaya singing, still want to kill or subjugate for reasons of one's own, that don't proceed from the Kumbaya-singer's actions at all.
This is a point that all too many in Washington, at the highest levels, stubbornly refuse to grasp. It is axiomatic in the State Department, and in Europe, and at the UN, that all conflicts can be solved through negotiated concessions. This is so much a part of the air they all breathe that it would be unthinkable even to question it. No one would even think to ask, "What if we implement state-of-the-art hearts-and-minds initiatives, and conform to all their foreign policy and cultural demands, and they still hate us?" This cannot be. The non-Western man is just a reactor, not an actor. He has no imperatives of his own that might set him against us. He is, ultimately, at our mercy, and it is up to us and us alone to pacify him.
The unconscious paternalism of this is ironic, coming as it does from the most besotted of relativist multiculturalists, but in any case, the fact of Memorial Day, and the reality of those who died in this nation's conflicts, shows it all to be false. Sometimes there are disputes between peoples that can't be smoothed over by any amount of making nice. And then, if a nation does not have within it those who will fight and will die to defend it, it will perish.
Today those who believe we have moved beyond wars, beyond fighting, rule the day. Unfortunately, we face a foe who believes war and fighting is his religious duty. He will not be pacified. Our fight is not just military, although it has a military dimension, and a huge adjustment in our current foreign entanglements is needed to defend ourselves most effectively from this scourge. It is a matter of will. Of remembering that there is in Judeo-Christian civilization, and in all civilizations that are threatened by the jihadist imperative of Islamic supremacism, something worth fighting and dying for. Remembering that we are only here to fight this battle today because others fought and died throughout history for our nations, our people, and the principles for which we stand. Let us not just honor them today, but, each in our way, seek to emulate them.
Sunday, May 27, 2007
Hundreds of foreigners travel to Pakistan every
year to buy kidneys for transplant [EPA]
Nine people, including four doctors, have been arrested in Pakistan for abducting people before drugging them and stealing their kidneys for transplant operations, police said.
Police raided a house in a suburb of Lahore on Friday after a young man managed to escape and told police about the scam.
Ten people were found detained in the house and four of them had already had one of their kidneys removed, police said.
Malik Mohammad Iqbal, Lahore police chief, said: "These poor people were given tranquillisers and were deprived of their kidneys without their consent."
Mohammad Arif, the man raised the alarm, told Reuters news agency: "They promised me a job but instead brought me to a house where I was kept for about 15 days with the other people before I ran away."
"These people are not volunteers. They were duped. They were promised jobs by these criminals"
Malik Mohammad Iqbal, Lahore police chief Iqbal said: "These people are not volunteers. They were duped. They were promised jobs by these criminals."
The doctors, from two private hospitals, were arrested later on Friday and charged with violating a ban on organ trading.
"The doctors have been arrested on charges that these operations were carried out in their hospitals without the consent of the people," Iqbal said.
"The investigation will reveal how far they were involved in this heinous crime."
Hundreds of rich foreigners travel to Pakistan every year and buy kidneys from live, impoverished donors, in a business thought to be worth millions of dollars.
Pakistan currently has no legislation governing the trade in organs but a law is going through parliament aimed at stopping their sale.
As reported May 26 2007 by Al Jazeera
Saturday, May 26, 2007
BY BARBARA ROSS, THOMAS ZAMBITO and TINA MOORE
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITERS
Alberto Braunstein, 73, is the father of Halloween sex fiend Peter Braunstein.
Peter Braunstein's dad sat through days and days of bizarre testimony about his son's 13-hour sexual assault on a Chelsea woman.
But, yesterday, when the jury read its guilty verdict, Alberto Braunstein, 74, was nowhere to be found.
By the time he returned, the panel had left the courtroom and his son had been led away in handcuffs.
"I don't suppose anybody cares," the elder Braunstein said, "but you can't imagine how painful this is as a parent to watch this happen to a child."
Braunstein's half-brother Allan Starkie did not share his father's grief.
He said yesterday that he thought the verdict was "pretty fair."
"He was guilty. He was convicted in a fair trial," Starkie said.
Starkie, who had just flown in from Los Angeles and heard the verdict from a reporter, said Braunstein had problems through his childhood.
"He was just a very, very, very strange kid," Starkie said. "Growing up, he was intolerable. It got worse as he got older."
Starkie said Braunstein's trouble started soon after he learned of a well-kept family secret.
Braunstein was born after his mother had an affair with her sister's husband, Starkie's father.
"Peter is the offspring of my father and my aunt," Starkie said. "As soon as he found out, he committed his first crime."
"A lot of lives have been really badly damaged," said Starkie, a businessman. "Reputations ... take a long time to build. Then one nut case relative does all this damage."
Prison Scandal Is Latest Ethics Lapse
From kickbacks to jobs, some staffers chosen by Gov. Bush have dodgy morals.
TALLAHASSEE -- Immediately after Gov. Jeb Bush took office in 1999, he announced a code of ethics that he said would raise the state Capitol to a higher standard.
It included a wide range of requirements of his employees. No gifts worth more than $25 could be accepted and employees had to take a course on ethics, among other things.
The expectations, though, haven't always been met, and perhaps the worst breach of the standards he set came this week when former Corrections Secretary James Crosby was charged with taking kickbacks from a company that sells snacks to prison visitors.
Crosby however isn't the first of Bush's appointments to face questions on ethics, but rather the latest addition to a list of agency heads who haven't made the best choices.
• In 1999, Department of Business and Professional Regulations Secretary Cynthia Henderson said "I didn't use my best judgment" after taking an Outback Steakhouse corporate jet to the Kentucky Derby. She was in charge of regulating restaurants, among other businesses.
• In 2001, the head of the State Technology Office, Roy Cales, resigned after he was arrested and charged with grand theft. Authorities said he forged a letter to secure a $36,600 bank loan on which he later defaulted. The original document, however, was missing and a jury acquitted Cales.
• In 2003, investigators found former Lottery Secretary David Griffin broke ethics codes by accepting gifts of food from companies doing business with the department. Griffin had already left the position before the investigation began.
• In 2004, Department of Children & Families Secretary Jerry Regier resigned after an investigation showed he took favors from contractors.
• In 2005, Bush fired Elder Affairs Secretary Terry White after sexual harassment allegations were made against him.
• In April, Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Guy Tunnell resigned after accusations that he mishandled the investigation into a death at a juvenile boot camp he created when he served as Bay County sheriff.
And while not illegal, two former department heads raised eyebrows when they resigned to take jobs with companies they contracted with or regulated.
Former State Technology Office head Kim Bahrami went to work for BearingPoint, a company she awarded a controversial $126 million contract. Former Department of Environmental Protection Secretary David Struhs took a job with International Paper Co. As the department head, Struhs put together a government-financed project designed largely to help bring the company's Pensacola area mill into compliance with pollution standards.
"We have been incredibly fortunate to have some truly dedicated public servants working in the governor's administration through his tenure. We have agency heads who are serving with distinction," said Bush spokeswoman Alia Faraj. "Unfortunately sometimes the actions of a few detract from the good work of the majority."
Unless the appointees had a history of ethics problems, there was no way for Bush to know that there would be problems with agency heads, said former Gov. Bob Martinez.
Former Democratic Gov. Bob Graham would not address Bush's choices directly, but said a governor not only needs to know his appointees very well, but has to make sure there are checks in place to catch problems.
"You need to have some systems in place to alert you if you have someone that's going off the reservation," Graham said. "You don't want to find out about an ethical mistake by reading it in the newspaper. If you do, your management systems have failed."
Former Bush Chief of Staff Kathleen Shanahan emphasized that Bush has made thousands of appointments and there have been problems with very few.
"He can't micromanage everybody's decisions," she said.
Key West,Florida. By Alyson Crean firstname.lastname@example.org Revised 5-26-07
Investigation finds misspent money, illegal staff orders
A month after her resignation after three years on the job, a state investigation has disclosed that former Monroe County Health Department Director Susana May refused treatment to some patients, misappropriated state money and was rude to her staff and associates.
A report issued April 5 by the Office of the Inspector General from the Florida Department of Health and signed off by Director of Investigations Charles Page responds to numerous complaints against May.
Among the findings, May:
Spent thousands of dollars on food and refreshments despite department policy that prohibits such spending.
Made threatening statements to Health Department employees.
Issued a directive to employees to deny treatment for patients with sexually transmitted diseases if the patients were unable to pay.
Gave excessive and unauthorized pay raises to several employees “when funds were tight.”
Cut off funding to two local non-profits with little or no warning.
Disrupted operation of an emergency shelter during a hurricane evacuation by what one witness said was “constantly yelling and screaming down the halls demanding things be done differently...”
In probably the most scathing finding, the investigation discovered that May directed staffers to demand that all patients pay for services, despite state law that says the Health Department cannot deny communicable-disease services based on patients' inability to pay.
If they cannot pay, May wrote in the directive, “All patients for [sexually transmitted diseases] should have a chart made up and the counseling and referral documented. In this way, we cannot be accused of refusing care.”
abridged for brevity read it all here >>
When I went to the State Attoneys office papers in hand to make a case for elder abuse before the State Attorneys office , I did not get a chance to even open my case and present the evidence, the Bigfoot case was expected to eat up a lot of resources and time over the next three months. Clara G. Fernandez who had been a taxpayer and a productive citizen for the past 30 years and desperately needed help would have to wait her turn, which never came.
Please Click to Enlage
And would not get involved even thou my mother was spirited away in secret, transported thru 4 counties,drugged, her assets stolen and was in danger of her life and became totally incapacitated as a result of her injuries, help from the State Attoney was not be forthcoming..
My mother was secreted away, a Doctor that managed to talk to her told us she appeared very groggy and appeared as thus drugged, we knew she was in serious danger , we begged the State Attorney for help, they could not help, they were busy with other cases more important than saving my mother from being drugged, neglected, incapacitated, at best..... killed at worst.
The State Attoney could not help my mother , that was a "Civilly" matter , Big Foot was not !
My mother received incapacitating injuries due to neglect in a hotel room on November 17,2004
The Perpetrators are loose, they want to negotiate with her booty!
It is at is a sad day for Monroe county, for Florida for our Country when we put the values of dogs above elders. Dogs are taken to shelters and fed, when they are sick and suffering they are humanely put to sleep when sick to spare then further suffering.
And we call Elder Abuse a "Civilly Matter."
No arrests were made and police gave no indication of what might have motivated the attack.
The 30-year-old homeless man, whose name was not released, told police he was awakened by the men kicking him in Langone Park in the city's North End.
He drifted back to sleep after the assault, but the men returned, drenched him with a flammable liquid and set his legs on fire, police said.
An old Italian man lived alone in the old country.
He wanted to dig his tomato garden, but it was very hard work as the ground was hard.
His only son, Vincent, who used to help him, was in prison.
The old man wrote a letter to his son and described his predicament:
I am feeling pretty bad because it looks like I won't be able to plant my tomato garden this year. I'm just getting too old to be digging up a garden plot. If you were here my troubles would be over.
I know you would dig the plot for me.
>>A few days later he received a letter from his son:
Don't dig up that garden. That's where I buried the BODIES.!!!
>>At 4 a.m. the next morning, FBI agents and local police arrived and dug up the entire area without finding any bodies.
They apologized to the old man and left.
>>That same day the old man received another letter from his son:
Go ahead and plant the tomatoes now. That's the best I could do under the circumstances. I hope it helped.
Thanks to Laurie Borguss
Count every " F" in the following text:
FINISHED FILES ARE THE RE SULT OF YEARS OF SCIENTIFIC STUDY COMBINED WITH THE EXPERIENCE OF YEARS...
HOW MANY ?
WRONG, THERE ARE 6 -- no joke.
READ IT AGAIN !
Really, go Back and Try to find the 6 F's before you scroll down.
The reasoning behind is further down.
The brain cannot process "OF".
Incredible or what? Go back and look again!!
Friday, May 25, 2007
In this case study filed in 1992 by Lee Anderson Minnelli , Lisa Minnelli's 94-year-old stepmother, who sued the singer for breach of contract and elder abuse. Lee Anderson Minnelli claims that she was guaranteed housing in the will of her late husband Vincente Minnelli (Liza's pop), but that the performer is trying to force her from her Beverly Hills home by allowing the property to deteriorate, firing household employees, and allowing electricity to be shut on March 27. "While defendant is honeymooning all over the world, having fed 850 of her closest friends a 12-foot cake, plaintiff is alone in a cold, dark house," according to the lawsuit.
The senior citizen had been invited to Minnelli's wedding to David Gest, but the offer was rescinded via this cold letter from the singer's lawyer
Follow up story by Ray Fernandez
When we look at case histories of Elder Abuse we always look for the common thread that makes these cases stand out. In Dr.Fernandez's and Minnelli's case we don't know the final disposition of the case, we strongly suspect that the latter was settled out of court.
This tactic of trying to force the Elder from their familiar surroundings (their home) and on the street is rather common, and often done for purely financial motivations, in a lot instances the Elders properties have accumulated a lot of equity and have appreciated substantially over the years.
Dr. Fernandez whom we write about often in this blog received messages from his elder son Al Fernandez, a Social worker for West Palm Beach, Florida whom after having tricked Clara , who suffers from dementia into signing a Quitclaim Deeds for all properties contained in her Trust and Dr. Fernandez's home and latter threatned to the effect of " Do you vacate the house voluntarily or do we force you out! Clara's car which was now Dr. Fernandez sole source of transportation was also UN successfully attempted to be repossessed.
When the perpetrators overdrew his bank account, causing it to be closed his utilities could not be paid under automatic pay and were turned off, a false complaint was made to Food and Drug Administration (FDA) alleging that Dr. Fernandez was using medications without a prescription thus effectively cutting off his flow of expensive medications needed to keep him alive .
Every effort was made to remove Dr. Fernandez from his home, the Florida Children and Families (DCF) continually hammered Dr. Fernandez with questions to see if Dr. Fernandez would admit to being mistreated in order to remove him from his home.
Even thus a concerted effort was made to remove Dr. Fernandez from his home so that it could be sold Dr. Fernandez insisted that he wanted to stay in his home and did not budge....
Dr. Fernandez's heroic efforts to resists being removed from his house are well documented, when allegations and false reports of Elder and Financial abuse were filed against Dr. Fernandez's caregivers, an exhaustive investigation ensued during which long private question and answer sessions were held, Dr. Fernandez always insisted that he was well taken care of, and was where he wanted to be, and all efforts to remove him from his home failed.
Dr. Fernandez frail health suffered during the onslaught, and the illegal separation from his wife was too much for him to take he died on January 9, 2005 exactly one year and six months after being ' improperly' separated from his wife Clara whom he was married to for 58 years.
Courtesy of Judy Jones
I am a painter and only bought a camera to take pictures of the homeless I see. One day as I was sitting in front of a store eating,and a homeless man across from me had tears in his eyes. It so overwhelmed me, that I left my camera on the bench and never bought another.
Please support Judy's work for the homeless and visit her site Judy Jones >>
"Banks used to be the target because that's where the money was," said Suchowski. "But Now Seniors are The Target."
Health Fair helps seniors better their lives
By BOB OTTO
Three trillion dollars. That's a lot of dough. And con men, swindlers and former bank robbers would love to get their greedy hands on it.
Which makes the senior citizen crime-fighting efforts of people like Phil Suchowski, a 29-year law enforcement detective, so vital. Suchowski is assigned to the Elder Abuse unit of the Fontana Police Department.
"Banks used to be the target because that's where the money was," said Suchowski. "But now seniors are the target. They represent three trillion dollars in assets in this country." And that amount is sure to continue growing with the surge of baby boomer retirements, he added.
FRENCH CAMP - A San Joaquin County Sheriff's Office detective was honored Tuesday by the California Peace Officers Association for her work investigating elder abuse, the Sheriff's Office said.
Tracy Nugent has investigated elder abuse for two of the 18 years she has been with the Sheriff's Office.
In those two years, she's been able to see $1 million returned to elderly scam victims, she said.
Fighting elder abuse, much of which is financial, honors people who deserve better treatment, she added.
"You work so hard, build a nest egg, take care of your children, and that day comes when a kid, a neighbor up the street or someone else wipes that away," she said. "I don't want that to happen if I can stop it."
Nugent was among law enforcement officers honored the California Peace Officers Association's annual meeting, held this year in South Lake Tahoe.
We are happy to start the weekend on this good note and only pray that the ratio of news favorable to the victims will continue to increase as people everywhere say Enough ! to Abuse.
Ottawa Police have charged a third person in connection with alleged assaults at the Perley and Rideau Veterans Health Centre.
The Elder Abuse Unit launched an investigation earlier this year after witnesses came forward to file a complaint.
Perley Rideau says up to eight male veterans and four staff members are the alleged victims
On Tuesday, 47-year-old Valerie Gallagher was charged with two counts of criminal harassment and one count of uttering threats.
Police say she was charged with harassing two witnesses.
43-year-old Allan Foubert was charged earlier this year with 20 counts of abuse and criminal harassment. A 42-year-old man was also charged.
By: Haley Huie
Whether inflicted by a caregiver or self-inflicted, abuse of the elderly is a growing concern.
Gov. Tim Kaine designated May as Elder Abuse Prevention Month in Virginia, and many say there is a need for awareness in the community.
According to a 2004 Adult Protective Services study, there was a 19.7-percent increase in the combined total reports of elder and vulnerable adult abuse.
Judith Sterling and Michelle Tucker, Attorneys at Law
Are you aware that nursing homes cost as much as $84,000 a year and even more in Hawaii today?
Most thoughtful people who see themselves or their parents aging are concerned about how such a large expense can be handled if a loved one needs nursing home care. Are you aware that there is a public assistance program that helps people with the cost of nursing home care? This program is a Federally and state funded program and it is called the Medicaid program. In Hawaii the Medicaid program is called MEDQuest.
People want to know how to get the Medicaid program to help pay for nursing home expenses. They frequently ask others who do not really know the ins and out of the program about how to qualify for Medicaid. There is a lot of misinformation floating around about the Medicaid program. Even attorneys often do not know the Medicaid law.
You need accurate information, or you can fall into traps that will prevent you or your loved ones from getting help with nursing home bills. Here are some of the traps for the unwary:
Read it all here >>
Thursday, May 24, 2007
by John Stossel
Mary Baker and Ruth Neikirk love to cook. What's more, they love to cook for poor people. They do it frequently, preparing meals at home and bringing them to their church in Virginia.
"I love it," Mary says. "I can take a little bit of something, like a soup bone? And I can make a whooole pot of something. Tastes good. With some cornbread you got 'em a meal!"
People hold candles in support of homeless people who have died living on the streets during a Christmas ceremony at Grand Central Station in New York December 25, 2006. REUTERS/Keith Bedford (UNITED STATES) The people they cook for love it too. But there's a problem. It was "criminal activity." The Fairfax County health department points out that -- horrors -- Mary and Ruth are actually preparing food and serving it to people! Without a license!
The health department said it was just looking out for the homeless. But did the officials ever think about where street people eat when they don't eat at these churches?
"They've never stopped me from eating out of a dumpster or a trash can," says James, an astute homeless man who understands Henry Hazlitt's "economics in one lesson," namely, look for the secondary results of government policy. The government can close down the church kitchens, but that'll only send the poor to the garbage cans. Is that better?
"Some of them take their jobs just a little too seriously," said James. "They got nothing better to do than sit around and write legislation."
James has put his finger on another important point: the perverse incentives facing bureaucrats, who get no credit if they never meddle in our peaceful activities.
An old, near-toothless man agreed with James. "I thought they was crazy. I mean, they're [the church people] helping people, and they're trying to stop it."
Rev. Kathleen Chesson said her First Christian Church would not obey the rules. "Our agenda is to feed the hungry. We're going to feed the hungry. That's it."
I asked him, What if the health department had been around when Jesus was feeding the poor? "He might have been, you know, cited," Connolly replied with a laugh.
John Stossel is an award-winning news correspondent and author of Myths, Lies, and Downright Stupidity: Get Out the Shovel--Why Everything You Know is Wrong.
Many of you have written to me and asked to please clarify the 'Chain of Catastrophic Events' that befell Dr. A. J. Fernandez and his wife Clara , the events that took them from enjoying their retirement with 'Full Social Life' which revolved around "Charity Luncheons" and then unto Dr. A.J. Fernandez's passing, to Clara Fernandez having to fight for her life at numerous hospitals and nursing homes she was placed in. As well as why Dr. A. J. Fernandez was left wondering why his wife was taken away without due process.
Rather than put it all down in my own words , I have taken excerpts from the various letters and documents that Clara's Neurologists, M.D.'s, Psychiatrists and her other physicians as they spoke, interviewed, examined the patient Clara and placed copies of such on this page, as I feel these documents serve as a more qualified story than the one I could ever tell.
Dr. Kaplitz M.D. - Neurologist, August 11th 2005.
Basically the patient appears to have been taken against her will and kept at her other son's house in West Palm Beach. It was in November that the patient apparently fell in the bathroom when she was in a hotel room (her son from West Palm Beach had apparently come down with her and had left the patient alone in a hotel room)...., she slipped when getting out of the tub.
She seems quite content being with her son, Ray and back in her Key West Home.
Mrs.Fernandez has changed compared to when I saw her in August of 2004....She does have higher cognitive deficits. She also has proximal weakness, which is probably due to the fact that there was disuse-probably not getting much activity when she was in West Palm Beach , I should also mention that she has very poor dentition and does not appear to have been care for appropriately when she was in West Palm Beach.
Dr. Corliss Rupp M.D. October 18Th, 2005.
The Patient is an 87 year old Latin female who states she " was abducted by my eldest son, Al,"
According to Mrs.Fernandez and Raul,she was "tricked" by Adalberto into leaving her home in Key West on 8/21/2004 and kept against her will at his residence in West Palm Beach, Florida for nearly one year. She was said to have been kept Incommunicado , Isolated, and Drugged.
While under Adalberto's influence, Mrs. Fernandez signed various documents which allowed without her knowledge, the Liquidation of most of her funds.
Since her return to Key West, Florida , on 08 /05/2005 , Mrs. Fernandez has experienced nightmares (awakens screaming) , flashbacks of negatives experiences while with Adalberto, avoidance talking about those events , social withdrawal, depressed or anxious mood, hyper vigilance (startles easily), and has developed a reluctance to leave the home for fear of her safety.
...The focus of her treatment is to improve her memory difficulties and to treat post traumatic stress.
Dr. Jorge A. Aguinaga M.D. October 21, 2005.
Mrs. Clara Fernandez is an 87 year old Cuban-American Female,brought in by her son Raul Fernandez at the suggestion of his attorney. On October 29, 2004, Mrs Fernandez signed a power of attorney naming her oldest son Adalberto . At this time Mrs. Fernandez has expressed clear wishes of staying in her home in Key West with her younger son Raul, and of revoking her present power of attorney. Because of past events, Raul would like to confirm that she has the mental capacity to do so.
When discussing her time spent with her eldest son during 2004-2005, she was not able to give specific details of her experience with him. She did express very clearly that she was not interested in living with him or having any contact with him. "He has something wrong." He wants to get more out of me."
She was prescribed medication for anxiety, pain and insomnia by Dr. Maria Lopez of Ambien, Darvacet, and Ativan at doses much higher doses than commonly used for a person her age.
When asked about her older son, she reported "My son took my money, my property."
She became upset at telling her story about her oldest son's attorney coming by every two or three days to have her sign something.
She does not remember giving Power of Attorney to her oldest son.
Dr. Bruce Boros M.D. Cardiologist 8/24/2005.
When asked her preference of location to live, Key West Vs. Palm Beach,..Clara was emphatic about staying in Key West.
Dr. Elias Gerth M.D. F.C.C.M. - September 2, 2005.
Her Bone Density worsened due to disuse as her meds were with-held.
Lilah R.Brand M.S. / P.T. , August 9Th, 2005.
Clara G.Fernandez Recently brought back to her home in Key West, Allegedly abducted by eldest son Al. She is 'Alert' to person and place only , her Balance and Gait dysfunctional. Possible due to disuse(?) Cerebellum insult (?)
The practice of putting infirm people out on the street and leaving them to their own luck, is similar to calling Financial Elder Abuse a 'Civilly Matter'. We know that many elders will not survive a long and expensive drawn out legal battle, to recover the assets that the elder needs to survive in their final days.
"Use of any acute ER as a free primary care clinic by a significantly large population places an incredible financial strain on that facility. There are hospitals on the west coast that have been forced to close because of this issue".
If this statement justifies 'Disposable Elders' can State Sponsored euthanasia be far behind ?
Then we have the moral question ? We put animals to sleep when they are sick to spare then any further suffering, why should we be less merciful with humans beings? .
When an infirm Elder who suffers from Dementia lacks the assets to pay for care because of Elder Financial Abuse , or other causes is left out out on the street, penniless and destitute, does this not constitute cruel and unusual punishment?
We would not do this to a dog, why would we do it to our elders"?
In Germany, Robert J. Lifton (1986) documents in 'The Nazi Doctors', how these doctors took the lives of thousands of their fellow citizens on orders from the government. These unfortunates were institutional residents who required shelter and care but were neither terminally ill nor in pain. They were labeled 'Useless Eaters' by their government.
Do elders of a government that fails to protect them in cases of "Financial Abuse" in which Independent Financial Elders are left destitute and dependent on government services fall under a category of 'Useless Eaters' ?
One of the most controversial issues centers on the use of 'active versus passive' euthanasia. Active euthanasia occurs when something is done with the specific intention of ending a person's life, such as injecting a lethal medication.
Passive euthanasia occurs when interventions that might prolong life are withheld, such as deciding against connecting a dying person to a life support or allowing a person assets to be distributed to younger recipients without due process or intervention.
What about the practice of separating married elders that have been together a long time, hastening their death, the taking of an elder out of their surroundings and moving them around strange settings with unknown caregivers? Are these all not practices of 'passive euthanasia' that are widely used today and documented in this web site?
No matter how they are disguised or justified, passive euthanasia of our elders is alive and well in the today's modern world.
As authorities turn their backs on Elder Abuse with 'Slaps on the Wrists' of the perpetrators and 'Shrug on the Shoulders' for others, and even encouraging the practice of Passive Euthanasia by neglecting our elders to the point of no return, the science fiction scenario of euthanasia for our elders being discussed behind closed doors might one day become a reality.
An ethical adviser to the British Medical Association has firmly backed non-voluntary euthanasia for patients who are too ill to ask for death.
....to spare patients needless suffering, direct killing is preferable, presumably by a lethal injection. He contends that "regulated, intentional active killing can have a proper place in good medical practice"....
"What would be the moral point," he asks, "in expending such valuable resources on severely incompetent patients whose best interests will be served by a quick and painless death?"
Please join our fight against Elder Abuse in all it's forms, the elder you save might be your own or even yourself someday !
60 Minutes did a report on Sunday May 20, 2007 showing how some hospitals in the Los Angeles area, including HMO giant Kaiser Hospital, dump their disabled patients on Skid Row. Kaiser has an ad campaign that implies that its patients "thrive" with the care they provide.Take a look at this video, showing 62-year-old Carol Ann Reyes, who has dementia, walking around on the street in a hospital gown after she was dumped by Kaiser in the Los Angeles Skid Row area.
Carol Ann is walking around in her hospital gown, because Kaiser hospital lost her clothes, according to 60 Minutes. When Kaiser decided it was time for her to go, they put her in a taxicab, wearing nothing but a hospital gown, and told the taxi to head for a rescue mission on Skid Row. The taxi dumped her on the street. The head of the rescue mission saw the whole thing and came to her aid. Carol Ann was readmitted to another hospital, because she was not well enough to be discharged.
The 60 Minutes Report said that patient dumping by hospitals on Skid Row is commonplace: hospitals think they can get away with it because dumped homeless patients blend in with the other homeless. Homeless patients probably don’t have family to make a complaint on their behalf, and they may not even be able to reconstruct what happened to them if, like Carol Ann Reyes, they have a memory impairment such as dementia.
This is the same dynamic present in most cases of elder and dependent adult abuse, where the perpetrator exploits the victim’s impairments and vulnerabilities to get away with abuse.
Another attempted patient dumping of a paraplegic homeless man in LA was also caught on tape:
This story was originally reported by NPR in November of last year. To watch Anderson Cooper’s report from 60 Minutes, which discusses both incidents, click here.
The Los Angeles city attorney is investigating 10 area hospitals accused of wholesale dumping homeless patients on skid row, and plans to take legal action to stop them. The city attorney, the American Civil Liberties Union and pro-bono law office Public Counsel are jointly pursuing the cases. The groups are filing a civil action, but haven't ruled out criminal charges.
Hospitals suspected of engaging in these practices include Kaiser Permanente's Bellflower Medical Center, Martin Luther King Jr./Drew Medical Center and Los Angeles Metropolitan Medical Center. Before considering legal action, officials had attempted to broker a binding agreement with the Hospital Association of Southern California, but the association balked at the proposed rules, which included monitoring by the ACLU.
When 57-year-old Lynda Gardner offered to help a 77-year-old woman with her errands and shopping, she wasn't just trying to be nice. Gardner was not interested in the elderly woman's well-being, but her retirement account. Within three months Gardner siphoned the woman's life savings, sold her car and cashed in the life insurance policies.
"It was devastating," said John DeMattia, a Connecticut prosecutor who specializes in elder abuse, handled the criminal case against Gardner. "Unfortunately, we couldn't catch her fast enough."
Retirees work their whole life to build a nest egg, but instead of enjoying their golden years, many fall prey to financial exploitation by family members interested in early inheritance or strangers that seek out widows and older people they can take advantage of.
Each year between 500,000 and five million older citizens in the nation are neglected, abused or exploited financially. In the next 30 years 76 million of the nation's population will approach retirement age and the number of victims will also increase. Some don't even make it to retirement before someone skims their savings, DeMattia said.
"Sixty is the magic number. We expect the amount of victims will only increase in the near future as will the need for services," he said.
Six years ago DeMattia and an investigator were appointed to prosecute cases involving crimes against the elderly including financial exploitation and physical abuse and neglect. Since then the Elder Services Unit of the Connecticut Chief State Attorney's Office has grown to include 13 more lawyers, investigators, and specialists.
Elder abuse can be intentional or negligent physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, exploitation, neglect or abandonment. It's a crime that does not discriminate among race or gender and a victim isn't always considered wealthy, but often loses what possessions they have accumulated over the years including their homes, possessions and savings.
The older person who is isolated from family and friends is an easy target..
Senator Hatch said "It is time for Congress to make the Elder Justice Act the first comprehensive federal law to address elder abuse and ensure that those in the twilight of life are protected from abuse that threatens their safety,independence, and productivity,"
"The penalty for physical abuse has been set but it has taken some time for the system to impose punishment for financial exploitation," DeMattia said. "Before it was thought of by police and attorneys as a civil matter for the probate courts, or if the family member stole it and put it back, it was okay. But the courts are taking a different view because of the devastating effects financial exploitation has on a victim. If a 78-year-old loses everything what are they going to do? Go back to work? I know victims who were not only broke but become physically sick from this. The courts have recognized this and the penalties have gone up as a punishment but also as a deterrent to let those out there know this is a horrible crime."Tracy Kennedy can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com.
The new science of resuscitation is changing the way doctors think about heart attacks—and death itself.
By Jerry Adler Newsweek
May 7, 2007 issue - Consider someone who has just died of a heart attack. His organs are intact, he hasn't lost blood. All that's happened is his heart has stopped beating—the definition of "clinical death"—and his brain has shut down to conserve oxygen. But what has actually died?
As recently as 1993, when Dr. Sherwin Nuland wrote the best seller "How We Die," the conventional answer was that it was his cells that had died. The patient couldn't be revived because the tissues of his brain and heart had suffered irreversible damage from lack of oxygen. This process was understood to begin after just four or five minutes. If the patient doesn't receive cardiopulmonary resuscitation within that time, and if his heart can't be restarted soon thereafter, he is unlikely to recover. That dogma went unquestioned until researchers actually looked at oxygen-starved heart cells under a microscope. What they saw amazed them, according to Dr. Lance Becker, an authority on emergency medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. "After one hour," he says, "we couldn't see evidence the cells had died. We thought we'd done something wrong." In fact, cells cut off from their blood supply died only hours later.
But if the cells are still alive, why can't doctors revive someone who has been dead for an hour? Because once the cells have been without oxygen for more than five minutes, they die when their oxygen supply is resumed. It was that "astounding" discovery, Becker says, that led him to his post as the director of Penn's Center for Resuscitation Science, a newly created research institute operating on one of medicine's newest frontiers: treating the dead.
Biologists are still grappling with the implications of this new view of cell death—not passive extinguishment, like a candle flickering out when you cover it with a glass, but an active biochemical event triggered by "reperfusion," the resumption of oxygen supply. The research takes them deep into the machinery of the cell, to the tiny membrane-enclosed structures known as mitochondria where cellular fuel is oxidized to provide energy. Mitochondria control the process known as apoptosis, the programmed death of abnormal cells that is the body's primary defense against cancer. "It looks to us," says Becker, "as if the cellular surveillance mechanism cannot tell the difference between a cancer cell and a cell being reperfused with oxygen. Something throws the switch that makes the cell die."
With this realization came another: that standard emergency-room procedure has it exactly backward. When someone collapses on the street of cardiac arrest, if he's lucky he will receive immediate CPR, maintaining circulation until he can be revived in the hospital. But the rest will have gone 10 or 15 minutes or more without a heartbeat by the time they reach the emergency department. And then what happens? "We give them oxygen," Becker says. "We jolt the heart with the paddles, we pump in epinephrine to force it to beat, so it's taking up more oxygen." Blood-starved heart muscle is suddenly flooded with oxygen, precisely the situation that leads to cell death. Instead, Becker says, we should aim to reduce oxygen uptake, slow metabolism and adjust the blood chemistry for gradual and safe reperfusion.
Researchers are still working out how best to do this. A study at four hospitals, published last year by the University of California, showed a remarkable rate of success in treating sudden cardiac arrest with an approach that involved, among other things, a "cardioplegic" blood infusion to keep the heart in a state of suspended animation. Patients were put on a heart-lung bypass machine to maintain circulation to the brain until the heart could be safely restarted. The study involved just 34 patients, but 80 percent of them were discharged from the hospital alive. In one study of traditional methods, the figure was about 15 percent.
Becker also endorses hypothermia—lowering body temperature from 37 to 33 degrees Celsius—which appears to slow the chemical reactions touched off by reperfusion. He has developed an injectable slurry of salt and ice to cool the blood quickly that he hopes to make part of the standard emergency-response kit. "In an emergency department, you work like mad for half an hour on someone whose heart stopped, and finally someone says, 'I don't think we're going to get this guy back,' and then you just stop," Becker says. The body on the cart is dead, but its trillions of cells are all still alive. Becker wants to resolve that paradox in favor of life.
RED BLUFF - A 20-year-old woman was arrested on charges of elder abuse after she was accused of using an elderly person's ATM card to take approximately $3,000.
Anna Marie Griffin had been employed by the 91-year-old victim. The case had been referred to Adult Protective Services, which had notified the Tehama County Sheriff's Department.
Griffin was booked and placed into the Tehama County Jail.
Bail was set at $10,000.
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
by Felicia Curran www.boxerlaw.com
Do you know what a pressure ulcer is? I didn’t, until my mother acquired a Stage 4 pressure ulcer during a hospital stay ten years ago. I had no idea what they were, or how they were formed. I learned quickly, though, and helped my mother get appropriate care that got her back home with my Dad -- though only after a two-month stay at a convalescent hospital.
Don’t let pressure ulcers happen to your Mom or Dad. Educate yourself on the causes of pressure ulcers. If your loved one develops a pressure ulcer, be pro-active in getting appropriate treatment, and don't let them tell you that it can't be healed. A general guide to prevention from the National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel (NAPUAP) is available online, in PDF format.
Abridged Read it all here >>
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
Recent research carried out at the University of Wisconsin-Madison suggests that attention can be improved by meditation - UniWisconsin. Your brain has only a finite amount of power and if you pay close attention to one thing this means you may miss something else. If two visual signals for example are shown a half-second apart, people often don’t see the second one.
"The attention momentarily goes off-line," says Richard Davidson of the UW-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health and the Waisman Center. "Your attention gets stuck on the first target, then you miss the second one." This effect is called "attentional blink," as when you blink your eyes, you are briefly unaware of visual signals.
But given that people can sometimes catch the second signal suggests that the limitation is not strictly physical and may be subject to mental control.
Davidson's research group in the Waisman Laboratory for Brain Imaging and Behavior under the leadership of postdoctoral fellow Heleen Slagter, studied whether meditation can affect attention.
The study examined the effects of three months of intensive training in Vipassana meditation (10 – 12 hours a day). After the training volunteers were asked to look for target numbers in a series of distracting letters quickly flashed on a screen. Their brain activity was recorded using electrodes on their scalps.
It was discovered that 3 months of intensive Vipassana meditation improved people's ability to detect a second target within the half-second time window. In addition the amount of brain activity associated with seeing the first target was reduced.
The results suggest that as fewer neural resources are devoted to the first target there are enough left over to attend to another target that follows shortly after it.
"Their previous practice of meditation is influencing their performance on this task," Davidson says. "The conventional view is that attentional resources are limited. This shows that attention capabilities can be enhanced through learning."
Vipassana meditation is a traditional Buddhist form of meditation known as ‘choiceless awareness’ or ‘to see things as they really are’. There are numerous organisations and meditation groups around the world or websites that explain how to practise vipassana. It is very straightftorward as the term choicelss awareness suggests. It merely requires seeing that whatever arises passes away and is not you. In the UK the best place to practise vipassana, in my experience is Amaravati a Buddhist centre run by an American Buddhist monk Ajahn Sumedho. They have numerous branches in various countries around the world, including the US Abhayagiri, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Italy and Switzerland.
Here is a link to the file containing the posters our group designed for World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. Please feel free to share them on your blogs or with colleagues that might be interested in using them to promote their local awareness events.
http://homepage.mac.com/clintonf/posters.zip This link will be available for you to download from for one week. If you need more time, you will need to contact me again to arrange a download.
We do ask that you also supply any users with the Read Me file included in the archive as well. This provides them with instructions and copyright information.
On behalf of the design team here at City College of San Francisco, thank you. We hope you get good use out of all our efforts!
Clinton Froehlich firstname.lastname@example.org
Art Director, EAA Project
City College of San Francisco
Today, in part two of our new interview, she talks about the real life family feud she is suffering through. “It's awful,” Marcia tells Access Hollywood’s Billy Bush. “I've been going through hell for three years.”
As in many family disputes, money seems to be at the heart of this one.
“Never in a million years would I have thought that this was happening to my family.”
Note From: Irwin N. Perr, MD , JD - Fraud involves trickery, deception, artifice.
An example of fraud is the situation where one influences a testator that another relative has stirred up trouble....statements.
(Orangeburg) SC - Orangeburg Deputies say 28 year old Albert Smith murdered 77-year-old Hattie Hunter, stabbing her inside her home Friday.
Hattie Hunter's newphew drove to Orangburg Sunday from Durham, North Carolina.
Robert White says the perpatrator took advantage of his aunt's kindness.
After a glimpse of police tape, White says the only way this could have happened was through someone his aunt helped.
"She was probably reaching out to help somebody and they saw how nice she was and turned on her," White says.
28 year old Albert Clayton Smith is the man Orangeburg Deputies believe killed 77 year old Hattie Hunter.
"It's a shame that somebody lives a godly life and then a horrible crime like this happens," White added.
A window in the back of Hunters home, now boarded up could indicate forced entry but that hasn't been confirmed.
White says his aunt was a big supporter of her community and loved all she came in contact with. Her only children he says were those she claimed inside her former classroom at South Carolina State University.
More than anything else, White said he will miss "When we had a problem, she would always give sound, God fearing advice. She was just a no nonesense easy going, soft spoken, sweet aunt."
The family is still finalizing funeral arrangements.
Meanwhile, a bond hearing for Smith is scheduled to take place Monday.