Sunday, November 30, 2008

Paradise Costs-A Victim's Daughter Fights Back Against

Paradise Costs - 2ND RELEASE- A Victim's Daughter Fights Back Against Elder Abuse
Author: Irene A. Masiello
Afterword: Bennett Blum, M.D.

Sadly, the end of Mario Masiello's life became a text book case of elder abuse, neglect, exploitation, breach of fiduciary duty and misuse of Power of Attorney.

After he was seized from his family by neighbors in Walterboro, South Carolina, who, with the help of a failed system, exploited his diminished mental capacity and used undue influence, his premature death followed.
In this heartbreaking true story, Mario, a hearing impaired W.W. II veteran who also had severe Alzheimer's, was an insulin dependent diabetic and was receiving all nourishment through a feeding tube after he, also, had suffered a stroke.

His daughter, the author, offers readers a chilling forensic report resulting from expert forensic analysis within this book. And she utilizes her father's story to help others understand the nuances of elder abuse and exploitation by sharing this provocative, tragic tale.

Mr. Masiello represents millions of Americans who are victims currently or will be as the numbers of elder abuse victims explode; it is expected that one-in-six elderly will be victims.

Contained in this one-of-a-kind book are lists of 20 red flags suggesting elder abuse or exploitation may be underway, 15 techniques often used by abusers and over 25 personality characteristics that make some seniors high risk. Paradise Costs offers helpful hints for hiring caregivers, addresses dysfunctional family issues and more.

Through this powerful, thought provoking story, readers can acquire a clear understanding of what elder abuse and exploitation are, CRIMES, what the red flags are and offers the opportunity to take simple action to be proactive with sample tear-out letters to federal legislators.

Afterword by Bennett Blum, M.D.

Dr. Blum, an internationally acclaimed forensic and geriatric psychiatrist, shares his remarkable pioneering assessment techniques for evaluating undue influence and diminishing capacity making Paradise Costs a must read for every professional whose work includes the health, safety and welfare of the elderly and everyone who is concerned with the issues of aging.

Contained in this book are Dr. Blum's:

Undue influence worksheets for police, adult protective services and probate investigators documenting abuse and exploitation and instructions on how to use them through his "IDEAL" acronym (I)solation, (D)ependence upon the perpetrator, (E)motional Manipulation or (E)xploitation of Vulnerability, (A)cquiescence, (L)oss)

Also, normal aging, dementia (vascular or other types) overview, Alzheimer's: contributing factors, the 7 stages of in this disease, other cognitive impairments, who to hire: medical or mental health professional or attorney, guidelines for lawyers, what not to do, etc.

Dr. Blum's "PARADISE 2" acronym is included; a model on assessing diminishing mental capacity: 15 questions to consider, what about wandering, when to seek an expert's assistance, selecting a qualified expert, 7 types of experts, explaining medical terminology involved in assessing diminishing capacity, details and explanation of some common causes of dementia including Alzheimer's, substance abuse, depression, nutritional ailments, mental illness, definitions of "alert and oriented, etc. and more.

Also, included to educate professionals and family members: 16 ways to determine if financial capacity is affected; an article published online by the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, Feb. 8, 2008 by Martin, et al. "Declining Financial Capacity in Patients with Mild Alzheimer Disease: A One-Year Longitudinal Study" - available at:

Contact:Bennett Blum, M.D.5425 E. Broadway Blvd. PMB #358Tucson, Arizona 85711Telephone: (520)750-8868

Contact:Irene A. Masiello c/o HealthWise Magazine38-15 Bell BoulevardBayside,
New York 11361

Excerpt from Paradise Costs:

".it's absolutely critical that federal laws be amended and new ones be added as soon as possible to address the exploding and horrific issues of abuse and exploitation in probate law, powers of attorney, guardianship, breach of fiduciary duty and conservatorship, thereby, protecting the welfare of the largest number of elders.

Unfortunately, legislation is not a panacea though it is a vital step on a long and rigorous road.

No matter what the laws of the land are regarding elder abuse or exploitation, understanding and correcting the complex dynamics of these types of crimes will involve taking action while increasing education, improving mental health and examining one of the vast social ills that lie at its core.greed.

Materialism and its mantra-'dying with the most toys'-has reached the saturation point having generated nothing but hatred, frustration, social unrest, war, near destruction of our planet and, now, economic chaos. It's a dangerous and endless spiral leading to an abyss of human misery and spiritual degradation-a murky, meaningless blind alley of unconsciousness leading humanity and the earth to the brink of annihilation. It's imperative that we expand our perspective to a more universal understanding of a transcendental tapestry where we are united with each other and, ultimately, nature.

And as a society, it is our moral responsibility to weave the treads of empathy, compassion, decency, equality and human rights into every fiber of our civilization to create a future safe from exploitation or abuse for every citizen.

Meanwhile, the painful reality remains.predators stalk the innocent and the most vulnerable are their victims. Those at risk or victimized, especially the elderly, cannot understand the lurking dangers, walk a picket line of protest, tackle the issues of crime and violence aggressively nor lobby in Washington.

In view of the above, it may make sense, as suggested by a reader of the first edition of Paradise Costs whose deceased brother was a victim, that elder abusers be legally compelled to register like child abusers.

Sadly, the elderly serve to remind us of our own mortality with so few of us comfortable with this inevitable fact of life. The peripheral issue of denial (another deadly social ill) deepens the complexity of the issues.

And in the meantime, victims die ignored, quietly stripped of their dignity and right to life and, often times, in plain sight. Too many line up for the spoils of crimes and dignify their participation with a litany of excuses after what is, realistically, looting the assets of the vulnerable. Accountability must be put in place in a system that fails for ?too many reasons with those proven responsible facing harsh penalties including criminal charges, incarceration, suspension of professional licenses, fines, restitution, etc.

It's vital that the issues mentioned above and demonstrated throughout the pages that follow be viewed as a violation of human rights and solutions be vigorously pursued as such. Paradise Costs is a social and humanitarian movement in book form urging evolution of consciousness to address serious issues now before a worst case scenario manifests the projected numbers and beyond into reality we as a civilized nation cannot nor will not tolerate.

It is to that end this book was written. This is a proactive rally against the painful lessons taught by my own personal history, one many of us can relate to, and by other catastrophic world events that are remembered as blights upon humanity.

Apathy and denial always costs in this 'paradise' known as democracy and everywhere else on our planet.

As President John F. Kennedy once said, 'Let us resolve to be masters, not victims, of our history..' "
© Copyright September 2008-Irene A. Masiello & Bennett Blum, M.D. All rights reserved.
Irene A. MasielloAuthor: Paradise Costs-A Victim's Daughter Fights Back Against Elder AbuseAfterword by: Bennett Blum, M.D.www.ParadiseCosts.comContact: 718.776.5644

"Never doubt that a small group of committed citizens can change the world; indeed it is the only thing that ever has" - Margaret Mead

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