Monday, April 30, 2007

Man Arrested in Mugging of Woman, 101

By TOM HAYS, Associated Press Writer Sat Apr 28, 6:36 AM ET

NEW YORK - She was brutally mugged in a crime that outraged New Yorkers, but the 101-year-old victim said the attack hasn't intimidated her.

VIDEO: Vicious Assault on Granny Caught on Tape

"I'm not fearful at all," Rose Morat said Friday as police made an arrest in the case. "Whatever is going to happen is going to happen."

Jack Rhodes, 44, was arrested on charges of robbery, grand larceny, burglary and assault, police said. They did not have an address for Rhodes, who was also accused of robbing an 85-year-old woman the same day Morat was attacked, police said.

He got away with $33 and Morat's house keys. She suffered a fractured cheekbone and spent time in the hospital.

Currently, the crime is a misdemeanor, punishable by no more than a year in jail.

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

This is a follow up on the story published on EA on March 29, 2007 >>

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Blogger of the Week - "Leaves Of Grass" in Sao Paulo - Brazil.

This album is powered by BubbleShare - Add to my blog In order to preserve what little sanity we have left in this 'insane world', every weekend we try to change the topic and find Blogs that are unique for their contents and that are visually aesthetic to give our readers an experience that can "take them there".

This week for 'Blogger of the Week,' we take you to "Leaves of Grass" in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Thank you Sonia, for the amazing pictures of your city, what a vibrant place!

Your article on "Shoes", is entertaining and unique, as well as educational.
From the 'Shoes you Ride' to the ones 'You sit in' , 'Old shoes' , 800 B.C. ' New shoes' , 'Future shoes .

Wow! I never realized there was so much to know about shoes.

Your interest in books is quite admirable, and your combination of pictures and quotes enable the reader to become quickly entranced with your subject matter!

"When I am attacked by gloomy thoughts, nothing helps me so much as running to my books. They quickly absorb me and banish the clouds from my mind"
-Michel de Montaigne, French essayist (1533-1592)

THE FUTURE IS NOW ! "Underwater Living".

Hydropolis will be the world’s first “luxury” underwater hotel.
It's location, in Dubai UAE. (Where else?)
The 220 room hotel will be 60 feet below sea level. Rooms will rent for $1,500 a night.
Besides the expected amenities, there will be a missile defense system to protect it from terrorist attack (somehow that’s not comforting).
It is scheduled to open in 2008. Crescent Hydropolis site here.

Another hotel in the 'underwater race' is Poseidon Undersea Resort, just off the coast of Fiji.
The 24 suites will rent for $2500-3000 a night, but you get a great view of one of the world’s liveliest coral reefs (plus, there’s little fear of terrorist attack —it’s a really long flight).
It is scheduled to open in mid-2008, however, the reservation desk is open now.

History of the Underwater Habitat:
"From Vision to Reality".

At the 1964 World’s Fair in New York City, General Motors’ Futurama II featured “near future” undersea homes, 10,000 feet under water, and reached by atomic subs.
A Captain Nemo vision, science-fiction Futurama II attracted as many eyeballs as Zillow.

But there’s more from the amazing architect Giancarlo Zema.
Now about the Jelly-fish 45 Habitat which is a smaller floating home for six, or Neptus 60, a cliff house with above and underwater sections, so you can gaze over the ocean or under it. Then there’s Lake Washington, a combination 'commercial and recreational' area that is complete with an underwater restaurant created on an artificial lake.
And Frond Village 30, thirty over/under water duplexes floating in Tahiti.
We recently posted on existing Underwater Hotels around the world including the first one, 'Jules Undersea Lodge' in Key Largo, Florida.

In May, we wrote an article on the 'ultra-cool' Trilobis 65, a $5 million floating home with underwater living space from the Giancarlo Zema Design Group in Italy.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Abused Elder's Family Tries in Vain to Break Through DCF's Veil of Secrecy

Please click to enlarge

DCF - Child welfare officer jailed

LARGO - Pinellas County sheriff's detectives arrested one of their investigators Thursday, alleging that in a least two dozen cases she failed to visit homes where child abuse had been reported, then wrote fake reports.

Megan Gallagher, 25, also submitted bogus overtime slips for hours she never worked, sheriff's officials said. She was booked into the Pinellas County Jail Thursday on felony charges of grand theft and falsifying records.

Gallagher, who has worked for the agency since March 2002, was placed on paid administrative leave.

This is an older story but for the benefit of our on going discussion on the need to reform the laws that protect our most vulnerable part of society and in view of prior articles we thought it be appropriate to pull from the archives and re post .

Thursday, April 26, 2007

"Nobody wants to believe we pick on our older people."

Elderly being abused By FAYE ADAMS - Eastern Courier Wednesday, 25 April 2007

A new case of an elderly person suffering abuse or neglect is discovered on average every two weeks.

And Counties Manukau Age Concern says that is just the tip of the iceberg in the district.

The charity aims to raise awareness about what might be a growing problem across the country as the population ages.

Last month Counties Manukau staff received 14 inquiries about suspected abuse cases - four were later confirmed.

Six hundred victims of elder abuse, which is classified as harm at the hands of someone they trust, were dealt with nationally by Age Concern in 2006.

Incidents can range from psychological or physical abuse to financial maltreatment or neglect.

Elder abuse and neglect coordinator Janenne Nicholson says many more go unreported, partly because it is still a taboo subject.

"It's very much like child abuse. It's not talked about.

"Nobody wants to believe we pick on our older people."

The organisation has likened the issue to domestic violence in the 1970s or child abuse in the 1980s, when the size and severity of the problem was questioned and some doubted it existed.

"It occurs behind closed doors," says Ms Nicholson. "

Counties Manukau has found one of the most prevalent forms of abuse is financial. That can be accompanied by psychological pressure.

The most common offenders are the older person's own children.

Abuse can be caused by a lack of understanding about legal responsibilities such as enduring power of attorney, or spending the parent's money in the belief "it's what they would have wanted".

Other factors are a lack of knowledge about a person's right to make decisions or their mental abilities.

Another frequent form of abuse is psychological, which can be verbal intimidation or harassment.

"A number of older people are told they are useless and a burden on society." They then tell us the same thing, that: 'I'm useless, I can't do this any more and I'm no good to my family'.

"Withholding affection happens. They are told they're not allowed to see their grandchildren any more."

Last year Age Concern took part in the first World Elder Abuse Day. It also runs an education programme for social workers, nurses or staff in residential facilities.

They highlight signs that might be masked by ageing, such as weight loss or bruises that might be mistaken for liver spots There is also hope that when baby boomers hit their senior years things may change.

"They are more likely to speak out," says Ms Nicholson. "This generation has come through the war and Depression, where you didn't complain because it didn't do any good."

For information, contact Age Concern field worker Yvonne Glassborow, phone: 279-4331.

Caption and bold mine for emphasis abridged for EA read it all here >>

Oregon State University Player Charged with Financial Elder Abuse

By Andy Gates - Argus Observer OSU ball player, mother charged with theft

VALE - An Oregon State University baseball player and his mother, an Ontario restaurant operator, were charged with theft crimes in a case involving more than $30,000 that police allege was stolen from an 85-year-old family member.

Malheur County District Attorney Dan Norris charged OSU ball player Michael James Lissman, 21, Corvallis, Friday with four counts of second degree theft, misdemeanors, in connection to swiping $200 or more from his elderly family member between August and October 2006.

Lissman’s mother and owner of Sansei Cafe in Ontario, Margie Yasuda, 53, pleaded guilty to first degree aggravated theft April 10 for taking $10,000 or more from an 85-year-old family member between July 2006 and February 2007.

The alleged thefts were apparently exposed through another family member and the victim’s bank, Wells Fargo, which notified authorities about suspicious, sizable transactions occurring on the victim’s bank account, according to the Ontario Police Department report.

A family member told police he tried to settle the matter with Yasuda civilly but an appropriate response was not received, according to the police report.

The victim gave Yasuda power of attorney over his finances in August before he entered an area hospital for a medical procedure to ensure his bills would be paid, according to the police report.

He withdrew Yasuda from his power of attorney, though, in October, after he learned from family members that $36,000 of his money was spent, according to the police report.

Other examples of alleged theft include unauthorized transactions for $670 from Wal-Mart in Ontario, $638 from Red Apple in Ontario and the closure and partial withdrawal of two certificates of deposit for $16,500, authorized by Yasuda and issued to her husband via a cashier’s check, according to the police report.

One of the victim’s family members told police that bank statements were intercepted by Yasuda before the 85-year-old could see them, according to the police report.

Norris said he discussed the charges against Lissman with other members of the victim’s family and the victim before they were filed Friday.

Yasuda is scheduled to be sentenced May 29, and she faces a presumptive sentence of 24 months probation, or a maximum of 10 years in prison.

According to her plea agreement, Yasuda will pay back $31,601.88 to her elderly family member, which, if not paid within 12 months, would mean she could be sent to prison for 19 months.

Ontario Police Chief Mike Kee said cases like this of elder abuse occur around 20 to 30 times per year in the city.

“It happens a lot. It’s kind of a dirty little secret,” Kee said.

Kee said some people in older generations hate to believe bad things about people, and can be financially victimized because of that mindset.
It has been estimated that only one of every 25 cases of financial exploitation involving elderly people are reported, according to statistics posted on the National Center on Elder Abuse Web site.

Kee said he wants the community to keep an eye out for elderly people who could be victimized locally.

“Ms. Yasuda is fairly well known in this community — if she’s capable of doing it — anybody could be capable of doing that,” Kee said.

abridged for entire article go here >>

Is it accepted practice for old people to be treated in a low level way?

There is a widespread failure to deliver care that meets the needs of people with dementia in care homes and hospitals, a leading charity has claimed.

Andrew Chidgey, head of policy and campaigns for the Alzheimer's Society, said: "In the past five years there has been a deterioration in the standards of supporting people with dementia in hospitals."

He said the Alzheimer's Society heard of daily incidences where people with dementia were subject to neglect or other forms of abuse.

He added: "There are a catalogue of incidences in which people's needs are not being met."

Also giving evidence was Gary Fitzgerald, chief executive of Action on Elder Abuse, a charity that reports to routinely hear of examples of abuses in hospitals and residential care such as physical assaults, failures to provide adequate food and drink and elderly people being left in soiled or wet incontinent pads.

Mr Fitzgerald said: "We are seeing too many instances where it is accepted practice for old people to be treated in a low level way. What we have got is an environment of acceptance. Old people don't object; they have been conditioned to accept the way they are treated."

abridged entire article here >>

East Bay Area Nursing Home Served With Two Wrongful Death Lawsuits Claiming Husband and Wife Lost Both of Their Elderly Mothers Due to Abuse

WALNUT CREEK, Calif., April 24 /PRNewswire/ -- The Nursing Home & Elder Abuse Law Center announced today that a local San Francisco East Bay Area nursing home was served today with two wrongful death elder abuse lawsuits filed by Nancy and Jack Roberts. Nancy and Jack Roberts live in Pacheco,California, they have been married for 42 years, they are both retired and,until recently, neither of them has ever filed a lawsuit. However, in two Contra Costa Superior Court civil suits served today on the corporate offices of Windsor Manor, a nursing home in Concord, California, both Jack and Nancy are alleging that their respective elderly mothers died as the result elder abuse and neglect by the Concord skilled nursing facility.

PDF copies of the two lawsuits, the Statement of Deficiencies from theCalifornia Department of Health issued on May 11, 2006 and the August 7,2006 SF Chronicle article can be obtained by e-mailing Jay P. Renneisen or by calling the Nursing Home & Elder Abuse LawCenter at 925-280-8900. For more information regarding the Nursing Home & Elder Abuse LawCenter see its website at NURSING HOME & ELDER ABUSE LAW CENTER ATTORNEYS AND COUNSELORS AT LAW 1931 San Miguel Drive, Suite 210 Walnut Creek, California 94596 Telephone: (925) 280-8900 - Facsimile: (925) 955-1601 This release was issued on behalf of the above organization bySend2Press(R), a unit of Neotrope(R).

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Elder Abuse Awareness Month

Elder Abuse Awareness Month - Chas Gayheart Reports in Hazard ,Kentucky.

Elder abuse awareness month is quickly approaching and there are several ways you can become more involved and educated.

Senior citizens are thankful to have a safe place to meet everyday and friends to share their time with. But other elders throughout eastern Kentucky and the country are dealing with a growing problem.

Elder abuse is something that affects us all," says Stacie Noble of KRADD. "It can affect your parents it can affect your grandparents and create awareness in the community on who to report to what the physical signs are."

There are several ways noble says elders are abused. Some are physically abused while others are taken advantage of through financial scams.

.....members of the Kentucky river council against maltreatment of elders say it's important to make yourself aware of uniforms worn by police and other legitimate groups so you don't let anyone into your home that doesn't belong there. One thing everyone should do is report possible elder abuse to authorities.

She also asks you to report elder abuse and you can remain anonymous.

For more information about the Kentucky River Council Against Maltreatment of Elders you can call 436-3158.

Hazard , Kentucky what a beautiful town nestled in the Appalachians Mountains where I used to take my German Shepperd out to climb the explore the hills, abandoned mines, creeks, and the many arrowheads I found on the river beds, was a very fond memory I have of growing in that house perched on Broadway Av. a winding road away from town, just short of an overpass, what a beautiful city, I think of you, when I was growing up in my early teens, while my dad Dr. A.J. Fernandez practiced medicine in Hazard General Hospital, before migrating to Florida.

Congratulations Hazard, Ky by taking a strong stand against Elder Financial Abuse,Exploitation and other kinds of elder abuse.

In Memory of Dr. Fernandez and Hazard Kentucky. Please watch the Video on Youtube

" I'd Love You All Over Again" which was made after his wife was recovered on a early morning raid by the police and brought back to A.J. Fernandez. Dr. Fernandez died a short time after being re united with his wife.

Special Needs Adaptive Clothing

Fashion Clothing for Seniors • Adaptive Clothing for Elder Seniors
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Adaptive elderly clothing reduces the pain, frustration and stress involved in dressing for both the caregiver and those they care for.

Silvert’s clothing and footwear is designed specifically for those facing physical challenges or for elderly seniors with arthritic, handicapped, disabled and/or lowered mobility issues. Silvert’s adaptive clothing incorporates domes/snaps, VELCRO®, Easy Touch and Zipper closures in order to facilitate ease of dressing.

We found a store that caters to elders, their families and needs, and thought this is great and wanted pass along the information to anyone who is involved in elder care and might find these resources helpful......

How to Live with an Elderly Person

Living with the older person has unique rewards and may have challenges for all concerned. Patience is needed as well as understanding. They may well prefer to be self sufficient, and will certainly dislike being patronised. But there are some occasions when they may not be able to care for themselves or need help to do so. By being yourself and listening to them, being honest about your own limitations (of time, skills and resources), you can live happily with an older person and they can live happily with you.

read the article here >>

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Our Legal System And Our Elders: Analysis of a Failure

by Ray Fernandez 3/27/07 revised on 4/23/07

On August 21 2004 Clara was improperly removed from her home and her husband Dr. A.J. Fernandez. Note prior to that, Dr. Fernandez and Clara had not as much as spent a day apart from each other.

During the weeks and months that followed, Dr. Fernandez was not allowed to see or talk to his wife of 58 years, and after receiving news that the joint accounts he held with Clara were being 'Overdrawn' and all the accounts held in a Trust under Clara's name for protection were being liquidated, and all property held by Clara was being Quit claimed.

It has been very expensive for Clara G. Fernandez,who has been a victim of Financial Elder Abuse to be re-united with her husband who died on January 9Th 2006, three (3) days after Judge Richard Payne ruled that Clara could stay and continue to live in Key West with her husband Dr. A.J. Fernandez.

I can only sympathize with the family of other elders who find themselves in a similar situation and they are not able to pay for a lawyer's services because the victim has never had much money or because the victim's life savings were lost as a result of the exploitation that would be the subject of the lawsuit and they are unable to pay huge sums of money to be reunited with their loved ones or to see that justice is done in compensating the victim for damages, enabling victims to recoup financial losses they've suffered, or punishing the perpetrator(s).

"The slow pace and customary delays of the legal process are
particularly onerous to older persons in general and to those who have been abused in

Lori Stigel, J.D.

abridged read it all here >>

Is This Any Way To Close An Assisted Living Facility?: Matilda Brown Home Tells 105-Year- Old Oakland Resident “It’s Time For You To Go.”

by Felicia Curran

What happens to the elderly residents of a residential care facility when the facility decides to close? Do existing laws provide adequate legal protection to elders in those situations? Look at what's happening in Oakland, California to 105-year-old Josephine Dukes, as reported by the Oakland Tribune.

In the 1990s, her home and rental properties were sold after her husband passed away. She should have been sitting pretty, but she was the victim of financial elder abuse.

abridged read full article here >>

Anonymous Poem from Elderly Woman

What Do You See? What do you see, nurses, what do you see,
what are you thinking when you're looking at me?

A crabby old woman, not very wise, uncertain of habit, with faraway eyes.
Who dribbles her food and makes no reply when you say in a loud voice, "I do wish you'd try?"

Who seems not to notice the things that you do, and forever is losing a stocking or shoe.

Who, resisting or not, lets you do as you will with bathing and feeding, the long day to fill.
Is that what you're thinking? Is that what you see?

Then open your eyes, nurse; you're not looking at me.
I'll tell you who I am as I sit here so still, as I use at your bidding, as I eat at your will.

I'm a small child of ten with a father and mother, brothers and sisters, who love one another.
A young girl of sixteen, with wings on her feet, dreaming that soon now a lover she'll meet.

A bride soon at twenty-my heart gives a leap, remembering the vows that I promised to keep.
At twenty-five now, I have young of my own who need me to guide and a secure happy home.

A woman of thirty, my young now grown fast, bound to each other with ties that should last.

At forty my young sons have grown and are gone, but my man's beside me to see I don't mourn.

At fifty once more babies play round my knee, again we know children, my loved one and me.

Dark days are upon me, my husband is dead; I look at the future, I shudder with dread.....
For my young are all rearing young of their own, and I think of the years and the love that I've known.

I'm now an old woman and nature is cruel; 'tis jest to make old age look like a fool.

The body, it crumbles, grace and vigour depart, there is now a stone where I once had a heart.

But inside this old carcass a young girl still dwells, and now and again my battered heart swells.

I remember the joys, I remember the pain, and I'm loving and living life over again.

I think of the years; all too few, gone too fast, and accept the stark fact that nothing can last.

So open your eyes, nurses, open and see, not a crabby old woman; look closer - see ME!!


This anonymous poem has been attributed to several sources. It is generally described as having been found among the possessions of an older woman who died in a geriatric ward of a hospital.

The Nightmares Begin - The Frank Punito Story

Bob Butterworth Recommended for Confirmation as Secretary of DCF in Florida

Bob Butterworth was recommended for confirmation as secretary of the Department of Children & Families by the Senate Children, Families, and Elder Affairs Committee.

Butterworth - one of the state's best-known Democratic politicians - was nominated by Republican Gov. Charlie Crist to try to steer what has been one of the most difficult agencies to run. DCF has been plagued by scandal for years, and Butterworth has said he looks forward to trying to change it.

Butterworth, 64, was the state's elected attorney general for 16 years before being forced out by term limits in 2002, when Crist was elected to succeed him. Before being tapped by Crist to head DCF, he was dean of St. Thomas University Law School in Miami. He has also been a Broward County prosecutor, judge and sheriff, mayor of Sunrise and head of the state's Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.

He still needs confirmation from the full Senate.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Woman Charged with Elder Abuse in the Care of her Mother

ROCK SPRINGS Montana - A Superior woman has been charged with abuse of a vulnerable adult in the care of her 60-year-old mother.

Tisha Ann Niemiec, 31, made her initial court appearance and Circuit Court Judge Dan Forgey set bond at $5,000.

The charges stem from incidents from July 2006 through Oct. 21, 2006, according to court papers.

If convicted, Niemiec could face a maximum 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Nevada Assembly Getting Tough on Elder Financial Abuse - Passes Bill Requiring Banks to Spot Elder Abuse

CARSON CITY,NEVADA The state Assembly has passed a bill that would require banks to train employees to spot elder abuse.

Assemblywoman Sheila Leslie sponsored the elder abuse bill, which was amended after banks protested that it could make criminals of tellers.

The bill, now moving to the Senate for final action, requires a training course for tellers, and mandates that banks appoint a manager to review suspected cases of abuse. Civil penalties are imposed if suspected abuse is not reported.

Leslie says the bill is particularly important given the sentencing last week of a Sparks man who depleted 250-thousand dollars from a 91-year-old woman's life savings.

McGuinty Government Continuing To Protect Ontario Seniors


- The McGuinty government is investing more than$1.6 million over the next two years to combat elder abuse and neglect,Minister Responsible for Seniors Jim Bradley announced today.

Ontario's Elder Abuse Strategy, the first of its kind in Canada, focuseson three priorities: co-ordination of community services, training for front-line staff, and raising public awareness about this important issue. The funding will go to the Ontario Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse(ONPEA) to support its regional elder abuse consultants for another two years.The consultants have helped support more than 50 elder abuse networks orcoordinating committees across the province.

"Our government will not tolerate the abuse or neglect of seniors," said Bradley. "That is why we are working with community partners to intervene,
prevent and combat this growing problem."

The Ontario Seniors' Secretariat (OSS), ONPEA Abuse and the Ministry of
the Attorney General joined forces five years ago to initiate the province's
Elder Abuse Strategy.

"Victims of elder abuse often feel isolated and may not be aware of the
services available to them," said Attorney General Michael Bryant. "Our goal
is to ensure that Ontario's agencies work together to end elder abuse at the
community level."

According to experts in the field, elder abuse has many forms including
financial, physical and verbal abuse, and neglect of older persons.
Other McGuinty government initiatives to support Ontario's aging
population include:

- Expanding the award-winning to
provide one-stop access to programs and services for seniors living in
smaller municipalities across the province

- Enhancing the Ontario Property and Sales Tax Credits for seniors once
again in 2007; this will result in $97 million in property tax relief
this year for eligible seniors

- Ending mandatory retirement

- Implementing Ontario's Wait-Time Strategy that has resulted in a
41 per cent reduction in wait times for cataract surgery; a 30 per
cent reduction for knee replacements; and a 16 per cent reduction for
cancer surgery.

Disponible en français

Federal, state officials to mark 'Crime Victim Week' Sunday

By: John Munford The Citizen.Com

David E. Nahmias, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia, and all heads of federal investigative agencies in the Northern District of Georgia announce that the 27th Annual Crime Victims Rights Week is scheduled for April 22-29.

The first event commemorating Crime Victims Rights Week is the annual Memorial Service, which will be held at Northside United Methodist Church, 2799 Northside Drive, Atlanta, GA, on Sunday, April 22, 2007, at 7:30 p.m. The service will include a remembrance of the victims of the Virginia Tech killings. The theme of Victims' Rights Week this year is “Victims' Rights: Every Victim. Every Time.”

“The theme is an important reminder to all of us who work with victims that we must do the right thing in every case, with every victim,” said David E. Nahmias, United States Attorney.

“The attack at Virginia Tech has again shown the nation and the world the terrible impact of crime on its victims.

..... Our first thought, of course, is with the primary victim, who in many cases has suffered a deep personal loss. These courageous people are the backbone of the criminal justice process. Without victim-witnesses, we would not have strong cases to prosecute, and law enforcement officers would have even a tougher job. Victims deserve the greatest legal, financial and emotional support we can provide.”

The loss of a loved one to a homicide or DUI accident is a terrible tragedy, and the Crime Victim’s Advocacy Council (CVAC), the Metro Atlanta District Attorneys and the U.S. Attorney's Office hope you will join us in honoring these victims. The Memorial Service is designed to be a healing event for all victims of crime. A memorial wall of those murdered in Metro Atlanta from 1991 to 2006 will be on display, and families and friends will stand united as crime survivors who have experienced a tragedy in their families.

Crime Victims’ Week is marked nationwide not only by the Department of Justice and all of its United States Attorney’s Offices, but by other federal, state and local participating agencies. Many of the agencies and community programs get financial, volunteer, and other support to maintain their services for crime victims nationwide.

Here in the Northern District of Georgia, the number of federal cases alone demands an extraordinary effort to support and notify victims. Just since the first day of this year, 2007, our office, through our Victim/Witness Unit, has provided victims with over 38,500 notifications including but not limited to victims’ rights, scheduling of hearings and outcomes of court events.

In 1981 there was no federal funding for crime victims that supported the provision of quality victim services. Since then, the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA), the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act, and the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) have provided billions of dollars to support a wide range of crime victim services that address victims' needs for information, protection, counseling, and help in exercising their rights throughout the criminal and juvenile justice systems. Now there are over 10,000 nationwide community and justice system-based programs that help victims of crimes such as sexual assault, domestic violence, stalking, drunk driving, elder abuse, child abuse, hate violence, terrorism, identity theft, and survivors of homicide victims.

Every year, the United States Department of Justice’s Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) awards millions of dollars to supplement Georgia’s crime victim compensation program, which allows crime victims to receive financial help with their medical bills and other crime-associated expenses.

In addition, fines and penalties collected each year by U.S. Attorneys, the U.S. Courts and the Bureau of Prisons are deposited into the federal Crime Victims Fund and are available for grant awards the following year. Last year, $650 million was deposited. That Fund was established by the Victims of Crime Act of 1984 (VOCA) and is administered by OVC.

abridged read it all here >>

Sunday, April 22, 2007

$89,000 grant helps to fund help for Victims of Elder Abuse

VANCOUVER - The Vancouver Sun 2007 Outreach support services for elderly victims of abuse in Vancouver will be strengthened and enhanced thanks to an $89,000 grant from the province, Ida Chong, minister responsible for seniors and women's issues, announced Monday.

"Until recently, abuse of the elderly remained a private matter, well hidden from public view and discussion," said Chong

abridged for brevity read it all here >>

The Role of the Criminal and Civil Justice Systems in Elder Abuser Prevention

"Holding abusers accountable and ensuring that elderly victims are protected and compensated for their losses requires that lawyers, law enforcement personnel, prosecutors, judges, and victim advocates are sensitive to the special vulnerabilities and needs of elderly victims. New approaches are needed for handling cases involving both victims and perpetrators who have physical and cognitive impairments." - LisaNerenberg

Conference focuses on elder abuse

PAXTON —WORCESTER COUNTY , MASS. Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Tracy Breton will deliver the keynote address, “Elder Abuse and Exploitation,” during a conference from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday in the Zecco Performing Arts Center at Anna Maria College.

Worcester County District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr. will participate. The conference, which is free, is sponsored by the college’s Molly Bish Center for the Protection of Children and the Elderly and commemorates National Crime Victims’ Rights Week. It is geared toward law enforcement, counselors, educators, advocates, members of the community and college students.

Three sessions will focus on dating and domestic violence and men’s resources; family violence and psychological trauma; and victim rights and the post-conviction process.

Participating in the conference are: Carmen Nieves of Women Shelter/Companeras of Holyoke; Scott Girard of the Amherst-based Men’s Resource Center for Change, who has appeared on “Oprah” and CBS’s “48 Hours”; Jessie Stanley of the New Hope Shelter in Webster; psychotherapist Kathleen Norbut, coordinator of the Family Violence Intervention Coalition in Palmer; Lory Santoro of Daybreak Shelter in Worcester; Erin Gaffney, director of the Victim Services Unit for the Massachusetts Department of Corrections, and Margaret Kwaramba-Baez, director of the Victim Witness Assistance Program of the Worcester district attorney’s office.

The conference, which includes lunch, is funded by a Community Awareness Program grant from the National Office for Victims of Crime. Registration is required. To register, call the Molly Bish Center at (508) 849-3257.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Open Letter to the Chinese People - 公开信中向中国人民

Since our Inception in November 2006 with the aim of raising awareness towards Elder Abuse , our web site has had a number of Chinese Readers.

The Chinese culture is very family oriented and although Elder Abuse is not quite an Epidemic in your country as it is in ours, you continue to follow Clara's and Dr. A.J. Fernandez story of Elder Abuse closely.

We have about as many Chinese readers, as readers from Key West ,Florida the town where Clara and Dr.Fernandez gave the best 20 years of their life in dedicated public service.

Dr. Fernandez in his contribution for Cancer Research, contributions to the AMA, the local law enforcement agencies, the U.S. Navy and Clara in her volunteer efforts as a hospital axillary(pink ladies) and efforts to raise money through the Garden Club, Beta Sigma Phi Catholic Daughters and others.

I am proud to announce that starting today Elder Abuse website will be available in Chinese, both Cantonese and Mandarin, as well as Russian,French,Spanish, Italian, German, Arabic, Korean, Portuguese, and Japanese.

This thanks to good old American technology and the freedom that has been earned by our forefathers by blood and tears. We hope that you will continue to spread the word that Abuse is not acceptable in any language and will continue to benefit from the articles published here.

Thank You


Rent a Robotic Exoskeleton for $590 per month!

Nursing-care, rehab robots gaining practical use
Kyodo News Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Robots are becoming active in the medical and welfare fields due to the labor shortage resulting from the increase in the number of elderly people and the falling birthrate.

A man walks with the help of a robotic suit developed by professor Yoshiyuki Sankai of the University of Tsukuba. KYODO PHOTO

Their increasing popularity is raising expectations that the domestic robot market will soar to 900 billion yen by 2025.

Secom Co., Japan's largest security service company, has marketed a prizewinning robot dubbed My Spoon, whose hand picks up food and carries it to the mouth if a lever is adjusted by the jaw.

A standard model is priced at 400,000 yen but can be purchased for about 40,000 yen if a buyer can get a subsidy from the Japanese Federation of Organizations of the Disabled Persons in Tokyo.

"I am pleased to have become able to eat together with my family," said one user, noting that without the robot, a family member would have to feed the user.

Yoshiyuki Sankai, a professor at the graduate school of the University of Tsukuba in Ibaraki Prefecture, has developed a cyborg-type robot suit.

If a wearer wants to move a limb, its motor, reading signals from the brain, will go into action, and the hands and legs will move together with the suit.

Its special feature is that the suit's hands and legs do not move on their own, but the person can move them at will, Sankai said.

A polio sufferer could walk, although with a limp, and even a person with a spinal disability could walk with its help, he said.

The professor has already tied up with Daiwa House Industry Co. and the company started constructing a manufacturing facility recently to produce 400 to 500 suits annually starting in 2008.

For an individual, the suit will be leased for 70,000 yen a month plus a maintenance fee.

According to an estimate by the Japan Robot Association, the scale of the domestic market for robots in the fields of medicine and welfare in 2025 will be 931 billion yen.

The New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization, an independent administration entity that is supporting robot development, said the target for the popularization of robots is 20 years from now, when the baby boom generation will enter their 80s.

"We want to make it available when the aging of society becomes serious," an official of the organization said.

When it comes to anti-wrinkle creams the only thing that will vanish is your cash,

Time to Face Facts? - MSN Beauty – beauty, make up, cosmetics, face, skin, body, hair, protection, moisturiser & more

They promise to erase the lines from our faces, but when it comes to anti-wrinkle creams the only thing that will vanish is your cash, according to a new investigation. What’s more, there’s no correlation between the amount of money you spend and how effective an anti-ageing cream is.

In its January issue, the American Consumer magazine reports that one of the cheapest anti-ageing ranges – Olay Regenerist, which offers a 'regenerating serum' for £16.87 – performed slightly better than premium products costing hundreds of pounds. But none of the formulas tested produced effects visible to the naked eye.

So, can these anti-ageing elixirs ever really be worth it?

First off, whatever the marketing says, no topical product (ie: something applied to the skin as opposed to a medically invasive procedure) in existence is going to make you look 21 if you are 42.

Sun damage, the inevitable breakdown of collagen and loss of elasticity as we age, smoking and environmental factors all take their toll on our delicate facial skin. While anti-ageing formulas might seem to have a positive effect on your skin for a while, giving it the appearance of being plumper or more blemish-free, this is merely cosmetic according to beauty expert Rebecca Prescott writing on

She says: "Whilst it (your skin) may play the game for a little while, plumping up nicely to give the appearance of looking younger, more even and less lined, this is only a temporary, somewhat cosmetic ruse. It is actually a biological trick of the light, a chimerical nod to the quest for youth. Don't be fooled."

Guns Don't Kill People - People Kill People

The shooting has rekindled debate over U.S. gun laws, the gun grabbers are uniting again , calling the NRA the America’s Cosa Nostra .

When the Government fails to protect the people there is a higher law at work, it's called the 'Law of Self Preservation' .

If it one thing most cultures can agree upon is the principle that the only time the taking of a human life is justified, it is when protecting your life or that of your loved ones.

Do you think for one minute that if Professor had a Walter PPK available that he would have been able to better protect his students ? or Do you think if one of Virgina Techs disproportionate high number of females staff killed , had a Beretta in her purse and knew how to use it, that thirty-three (33) people would have been killed ?

New York City which has strict Handgun Laws and rates a B+ according to the Brady Campaign has a murder rate that despite the impact of zero tolerance policies, New York City's homicide rate - at 16.8 - is eight times London's."

In contrast while we debate whether more or fewer guns could have prevented the tragedy at Virginia Tech , a notable anniversary passed last month in a Georgia town that witnessed a dramatic plunge in crime and violence after mandating residents to own firearms.

In March 1982, 25 years ago, the small town of Kennesaw – responding to a handgun ban in Morton Grove, Ill. – unanimously passed an ordinance requiring each head of household to own and maintain a gun. Since then, despite dire predictions of "Wild West" showdowns and increased violence and accidents, not a single resident has been involved in a fatal shooting – as a victim, attacker or defender.

The crime rate initially plummeted for several years after the passage of the ordinance, with the 2005 per capita crime rate actually significantly lower than it was in 1981, the year before passage of the law.

Police Lt. Craig Graydon said: "When the Kennesaw law was passed in 1982 there was a substantial drop in crime … and we have maintained a really low crime rate since then. We are sure it is one of the lowest (crime) towns in the metro area." Kennesaw is just north of Atlanta.
Virginia Tech, like many of the nation's schools and college campuses, is a so-called "gun-free zone," which Second Amendment supporters say invites gun violence – especially from disturbed individuals seeking to kill as many victims as possible.

Besides we don't enforce the laws we have that favors the perpetrators. See recent post titled 'When Laws Aren't Enforced Innocent People Die' and 'Who are Agency Investigators Protecting'.

"We believe that based on existing Federal law, Cho Seung-Hui should not have passed his Brady background checks and should not have been allowed to purchase firearms. Read the full statement.
So before we declare war on the NRA and seek to hide behind a false sense of security, remember that "When guns are outlawed , only criminals will have guns".

So before you go on a campaign to take away the right to defend our most valuable possession, our life, remember the people of Kennesaw, Georgia and the example they have set for us.

And while we are at it - Should we Outlaw Hammers Too !

posting by Ray Fernandez

Friday, April 20, 2007

Senators From Florida Vote Down Bill to Criminalize Sex with Young Girls Under 14

Senate panel says no to requiring DNA from young pregnant girls
By DAVID ROYSE Associated Press Writer TALLAHASSEE, Florida.

A Senate committee on Thursday voted down a bill that would have required health care providers to notify police whenever they learned a young girl was pregnant, and abortion providers to collect DNA samples.

The measure was defeated 4-3 in the Senate Children, Families and Elder Affairs Committee, even though the sponsor of the bill was the committee's chairwoman, Sen. Ronda Storms.

The bill (SB 2546) initially would have required that any doctor, nurse or other health care provider report to police within 24 hours when they learn, or reasonably should have learned, that a girl under 16 is pregnant. Storms reasoned that any girl under 16 who was pregnant was the victim of a crime, and the state had a legitimate interest in finding out who impregnated her because it would be illegal.

The bill immediately drew criticism from opponents who said it was an invasion of privacy.

Storms, R-Tampa, changed the bill Thursday, lowering from 16 to 14 the age at which the requirement would come into play, saying it was so clearly a crime to have sex with a child under 14 that it would make the bill more palatable to critics.

It apparently didn't
, however, as three Democrats and one Republican on her committee voted against Storms and two other Republicans. Voting against the measure were Democratic Senators Tony Hill of Jacksonville, Nan Rich of Weston and Gwen Margolis of Miami Beach and Republican Evelyn Lynn of Ormond Beach. Joining Storms in favor of the measure were Sen. Carey Baker of Eustis and Sen. Mike Haridopolos of Indialantic.

Abortion rights advocates had said the bill would have discouraged young pregnant girls from going to the doctor because of the fear that a boyfriend might be reported to police.

Some opponents also worried that it specifically erased the confidentiality privilege that normally exists between a doctor and a patient.

Opponents also said the measure essentially would have criminalized sex between two teenagers. That was what led Storms to lower the age to 14 - saying that anytime a child under 14 was having sex, it should be illegal.

In addition to requiring health care providers to notify police when they learn a young girl is pregnant, the measure also would have required abortion providers to collect DNA from the mother and the fetus. The DNA samples would have been given to police to help identify the person who impregnated the girl, and help prosecutors convict him of sexual abuse.

Current law does require health care providers to notify authorities if they learn of child abuse.

The defeat of this bill will serve to protect the perpetrators and NOT the victims, any adult that has sex with a child under 14 deserves to go to jail - shame on the Democratic Senators Tony Hill of Jacksonville, Nan Rich of Weston and Gwen Margolis of Miami Beach and Republican Evelyn Lynn of Ormond Beach who voted down the bill , all concerned citizens should voice their concern.

About the confidentiality factor, that's a hard call but I prefer to err on the side of the Victim, anyone that practices abuse , whether it is by having sex with a child or swindling a vulnerable adult should be held responsible for his actions.

One of the pretenses that this bill was not passed was that it would criminalize children that engaged in sexual activity.

We all know that children are curious and will engage in sexual curiosity experiments amongst themselves when they are growing up. No body is going to be persecuted for this.

Clearly this bill was designed for adults, if you feel that reporting a pregnant child for investigation is a 'Violation of Privacy' , maybe we should start looking at your Internet files!

In other words senator, ' If you get a child pregnant, you better go to jail or have a really good explanation'. This was a good bill .

Any child under 14 that has sex with another child should not be prosecuted , unless is rape, and the perpetrator has a pattern , maybe the wording can be changed to make this clear, So lets stop kidding ourselves

and ..........Lets start passing some legislation that DOES protect the Victims!

Caption and bold mine for emphasis.

Bank your Body

Freezing your physical assets - from skin to eggs - is a controversial new trend in anti-ageing. So will you invest? CLAIRE COLEMAN investigates more:

Remember a few years ago when your skin was clearer, your body was thinner and you could run up five flights of stairs without breaking into a sweat?

And now imagine how seductive it would be if someone offered you the chance to freeze time, halt the ageing process and always look and feel as great as you did at the age of 21.

Until recently, the possibility of doing anything remotely resembling this would have been considered science fiction.

Now advances in medical technology mean that increasing numbers of us can, to a certain extent, if not stop time, at least freeze our assets at the point at which they are most valuable so that we can return to them when we need, literally, an injection of youth and vigour in the future.

Banking your body is the latest trend in anti-ageing and with the huge advances being made in cell collection, storage and replication, it looks set to grow and grow over the next decade. And the implications, for everything from our skin and our hair, to our fertility, are staggering.

As we age, the quantity and quality of collagen in our skin degenerates, resulting in skin that is less toned and prone to wrinkles. Injecting new collagen can counteract these problems and, while collagen can be obtained from various sources - including cows, pigs and even dead bodies - many people prefer the thought of autologous collagen (reinjection of one's own collagen).

in the USA some will separate it from other tissues after one type of operation (liposuction/breast reduction) and store it for use in the patient's face in the future. Dr Thierry Vidal of London's Skin Health Spa thinks that such procedures will be commonplace in the future.

there's no doubt that in the future it could be quite common for young people to store samples of collagen and other tissues that degrade with age, with a view to using them in an anti-ageing process in later life.'


Maintaining baby soft skin forever might be a real possibility in the future. A product currently available called ReCell or CellSpray uses a sample of the patient's own skin to create a sprayable skin solution that contains all the skin cells necessary for healthy skin growth and can then be applied to a wound or damaged area of skin.

The company is also able to replicate the skin cells in a lab, should more cells be required. At the moment the technology is predominantly used on burns patients but, according to Matthieu Leclerc-Chalvet of Clinical Cell Culture, the company behind ReCell:

'The cosmetic applications for this treatment can be combined with something like laser resurfacing or dermabrasion to reduce the risks of scarring and improve healing.'


Although fat has its drawbacks as a filler for wrinkles (it tends to be reabsorbed by the body and so needs regular top ups), fat transfer, where fat is removed from one area of the body and then re-injected into another part, is a relatively commonplace procedure.

One significant advantage is that the body's own fat cells are less likely to cause an allergic reaction or be rejected by the body than a synthetic or foreign substance. In most instances, surgeons will remove and re-inject the fat at the same time.

However it is possible to freeze fat so that a patient can have top-ups of their own cells over a longer period of time, a popular practice in the US.

Danya Hoenig, a medical assistant who works with her husband, Los Angeles plastic surgeon Jonathan Hoenig explains, 'We have a clinical-grade freezer here which stores fat at minus 30 degrees Fahrenheit.

We will keep fat samples for around a year, defrosting small amounts at a time so it can be used for cheek augmentation and similar facial procedures.'


The idea of taking out parts of your body that you don't want and then recycling them in ways that you do has a certain satisfying symmetry about it. And fat is not the only substance to be used in this way.

It has been reported that some cosmetic surgeons in the US are storing varicose vein tissue, that has been removed from a patient's legs, and subsequently using the collagen it contains to inject it into their face as a filler.


Help may be at hand for those concerned about hairloss, or hair that thins with age. While hair transplants are relatively common procedures at the moment, where hair follicles are removed from one part of the scalp and reimplanted in another area, new technologies which allow scientists to replicate hair follicles in the lab could mean that, in theory, young healthy hair follicles could be removed from a small, inconspicuous area at the nape of the neck, multiplied in the laboratory and then stored to be reimplanted at strategic locations, either to thicken existing hair or where baldness has set in.

'While it's not happening at the moment, storing hair follicles in case you suffer from hair loss in later life could certainly be a possibility in the future," says Consultant Plastic Surgeon Jim Frame, of the Capio Springfield Hospital in Chelmsford, Essex.

He also believes this sort of hair grafting could also come in handy when performing facelifts. 'In a lot of cases, when a facelift is performed, the hairline moves and this can look unnatural,' explains Mr Frame. 'Reimplanting hair follicles to recreate a more natural hairline could be a solution to this.'


In a society where we're increasingly having children later in life, be it due to careers or simply not finding the right man, the prospect of putting healthy, young eggs on ice is very attractive.

But while sperm banking is nothing new, egg freezing is much more complicated, less effective and, therefore, less common. However, new technologies are currently being worked on that could change all that within 12 months.

Dr Fishel estimates that while the majority of egg freezing cases Care Fertility sees are women who wish to freeze eggs for medical reasons (such as before having cancer treatment), around one in three cases are for lifestyle reasons.

And he believes that as the new techniques are introduced this trend will become more commonplace.

'If I had a daughter in her mid-20s who was on a career path and not considering conception until her mid to late 30s, I would certainly suggest that she went through a couple of cycles of egg stimulation with a view to freezing around 30 healthy eggs.'

Dr Fishel says he would not be surprised if egg freezing became routine.

'When you think about the cost of endless cycles of IVF for older women, plus the elevated risks of Down's Syndrome when using older eggs, in a society where women are increasingly having children later, freezing eggs is, frankly, a sensible thing to do.'


One of the other alternatives to egg freezing is a technique called ovarian cryopreservation where, pre-treatment cancer patients have slivers of their ovaries removed and frozen, and then subsequently reimplanted after treatment and, once transplanted, begin to release eggs and work in the same way as undamaged ovaries.

This is a procedure that Kylie Minogue underwent prior to her cancer treatment. But a company called Alcor in the US lets you go one step further and freeze your entire body. Believers in cryogenics are convinced that, one day in the future, the technology will be available to bring them back to life once more.

To be accurate, the process Alcor uses is not freezing, but vitrification, where more than 60 per cent of the water in the body's cells is replaced with protective chemicals which means that rather than actually freezing and forming ice crystals which can destroy body tissues, it is just deep cooled and then suspended in a tank of liquid nitrogen.


Stem cell banking hit the news recently as Richard Branson announced the latest Virgin venture, Virgin Health Bank, a company that offers new parents the opportunity to preserve cells from the blood of their newborn child's umbilical cord. Stem cells are the cells from which all other cells form - everything from the teeth and skin to bone and the heart.

Although the research is still in its infancy, many in the industry believe that stem cells are the future of medicine. 'Stem cells literally have the ability to turn back time,' says medical scientist, Dr Cuross Bakhtiar of London's Harley Street Cosmetic.

'They have the potential to regenerate blood cells damaged by heart attacks and even improve sight damaged by retinal degradation.'

Dr Donald Gibb, an obstetrician in private practise in London's Harley Street, has seen the number of parents looking to bank stem cells increase over the past few years.

'For several years now I've made my patients aware of the possibility of banking stem cells when their child is born and I would say roughly 20 per cent of them do so.' He believes this number could well increase further.

abridged read it all here >>

Human Liver Grown from Cord Blood Stem Cells

This is an older story because of it's relevance to our on going discussion about anti aging and stem cell technology, we are republishing it.

By Gudrun Schultz

NEWCASTLE, United Kingdom, November 1, 2006 ( - A group of British scientists has achieved a major breakthrough in stem cell technology, growing the world’s first artificial human liver in a laboratory, using stem cells obtained from umbilical cord blood. The achievement has been largely ignored, however, by North American mainstream media.

The UK Daily Mail reported yesterday on the work of Newcastle University researchers Nico Forraz and Colin McGuckin, who have successfully grown ‘mini-livers’ capable of being used to test new drugs and, in future years, of providing life-saving treatment to patients in need of liver transplants.

Researchers predict the science, with none of the ethical concerns associated with the use of embryonic stem cells, will be used to repair damaged livers within the next five years, and within 15 years whole artificial livers will be grown to be used in transplants.

No mainstream media source in either the United States or Canada, however, has reported on the achievement thus far. Leading bioethics critic Wesley J. Smith, writing for the Weekly Standard, said the absence of press coverage indicates just how strong the media bias is for stem cell research using human embryos.

“A story that doesn’t validate the stem-cell mantra that embryonic stem cells offer the “best hope” for future cures isn’t worth much attention,” Smith wrote. “Even the most important adult or umbilical cord blood stem-cell breakthroughs usually receive only minor, inside-the-paper coverage.”

“This is the primary reason why so many people still don’t know about the many advances being made on a continual basis in human research with ethical, adult and umbilical cord blood stem cells.”

Research using embryonic stem cells is highly controversial because it requires the destruction of embryos in order to “harvest” the cells. Further, to this date there has not been success in using embryonic cells to treat any disease or disorder.

In contrast, the use of adult stem cells or of cells harvested from umbilical cord blood shortly after the birth of a baby have already been used successfully to treat multiple conditions, including spinal injury and blindness.

“[I]f this new breakthrough had been accomplished with embryonic stem cells instead of umbilical cord blood stem cells, the headlines would have been enormous,” Smith predicted. “Instead, we hear the sound of silence--thanks to the news blockade that doesn’t care much about stem-cell breakthroughs unless they come from destroyed embryos.”

An online news search shows several alternative media sources covering the story along with coverage by press in Australia, India, Qatar, South Africa and Turkey, but the material is “conspicuously absent” from the Associated Press, the Canadian Press, Reuters, or any of the dominant media outlets in North America.

See related LifeSiteNews coverage:

Canadian Stem Cell Expert Speaks Out on Adult vs. Embryo Stem Cell Research

Adult Stem Cell Research: True Potential Sacrificed for Other Possibilities Says Biotech Writer

Adult Stem Cells used to Cure Blindness

The Victims of Virgina Tech

In Memory of the Victims We will observe a moment of silence

Our prayers and thoughts are with the Victim's Families -

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Adult Stem Cell Patch Restores Vision

Corneal cultivation opens way to assist people with eye surface damage

MELBOURNE, April 18, 2007 ( - A man's vision has been restored by a corneal patch grown from adult stem cells by a team at the University of Melbourne's Centre for Eye Research Australia (CERA) and the Bernard O'Brien Institute of Microsurgery (BOBIM).

The patch, which replicates the cornea, was cultivated from a single stem cell from a donor eye and was transplanted to the surface of the man's eyes.

The research team was led by Dr Mark Daniell (CERA) and Dr Erik Thompson (BOBIM).

The process, known as a limbal stem cell transplant, is thought to be the first of its kind in Australia. The Melbourne success significantly advances international research in limbal stem cell transplantation in the eyes.

The patient had severe vision loss caused by stem cell failure on the surface of the eye, causing scarring and a vascularised and opaque appearance.

"He had reduced mobility, could not read and could not work, but he has now resumed duties as an accountant, enjoys sight (slightly lower than normal 20/20 acuity) and has increased mobility and quality of life and renewed optimism," Dr Daniell reports.

He says the surface of the man's eyes was removed and the patch (about 50mm long and a micron thick) was applied and is healing well. "This technique can now assist people with alkaline burns who have damage to the surface of their eyes."

Dr Daniell and his team are now working toward developing a totally bio-engineered cornea, using a stem cell extracted from elsewhere on a person's body other than the eye.

Senate Bars Medicare Talks for Lower Drug Prices

By ROBERT PEAR Published: April 19, 2007

WASHINGTON, April 18 — A pillar of the Democrats’ program tumbled on Wednesday when the Senate blocked a proposal to let Medicare negotiate lower drug prices for millions of older Americans, a practice now forbidden by law.

Fifty-five senators, including six Republicans, supported a Democratic motion to limit debate and proceed to consideration of the bill; 42 senators voted against it. The Senate had a brief debate on the merits of the bill, which is a priority for the new Democratic majority in Congress.

Republicans framed the issue as a choice between government-run health care and a benefit managed by the private sector. The benefit is delivered and administered by private insurers under Medicare contracts.

Senator John Cornyn, Republican of Texas, denounced the bill as “a step down the road to a single-payer government-run health care system.”

Democrats said they were merely trying to untie the hands of the secretary of health and human services so he could negotiate on behalf of 43 million Medicare beneficiaries.

“The Department of Veterans Affairs is able to negotiate for lower-priced drugs,” said the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, Democrat of Nevada. “H.M.O.’s can negotiate. Wal-Mart can negotiate. Why in the world shouldn’t Medicare be able to do that?”

A 2003 law prohibits Medicare from negotiating or setting drug prices or establishing a uniform list of covered drugs, or formulary.

Mr. Reid said Democrats fell short because of “the power of the insurance industry and the pharmaceutical industry,” which spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on lobbying and advertisements against the bill.

The vote also reflected ineffectual advocacy by Democrats, who were slow in responding to the vehement arguments of well-prepared Republican senators like Charles E. Grassley of Iowa.

“Private competition works,” said Mr. Grassley, a principal author of the 2003 law. “The Department of Health and Human Services has had very little experience and a dismal track record” figuring out what to pay for drugs.

Big companies that offer the Medicare drug benefit, like Caremark and Medco Health Solutions, “have more market power than Medicare” because they negotiate for tens of millions of people in private plans, as well as for Medicare recipients, Mr. Grassley said.

Senator Ron Wyden, Democrat of Oregon, said he did not want the government to supplant private plans. But, Mr. Wyden said, Medicare could negotiate better bargains on selected drugs that have no therapeutic equivalents or competition.

The House passed a bill requiring the secretary of health and human services to negotiate drug prices by a vote of 255 to 170 on Jan. 12, eight days after Congress convened. The Senate bill permits but does not require negotiations.

President Bush had threatened to veto both versions. AARP, the lobby for older Americans, supported both.

The Republican senators who joined Democrats in voting to take up the bill on negotiating prices were Norm Coleman of Minnesota, Susan Collins of Maine, Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, Gordon H. Smith of Oregon, Olympia J. Snowe of Maine and Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania.

Two candidates for the Republican presidential nomination, Senators Sam Brownback of Kansas and John McCain of Arizona, were not present.

An aide to Mr. McCain said he was campaigning in South Carolina and would have voted with the Democrats. An aide to Mr. Brownback said he would have sided with most Republican senators.

In creating the benefit in 2003, Congress made a radical departure from traditional Medicare, which has uniform benefits defined by law. Medicare recipients in every state have a choice of prescription drugs plans with different benefits, premiums, co-payments and deductibles. The 2003 law prohibited the government from interfering in negotiations between drug manufacturers and companies that provide the benefit. The House and Senate bills would repeal that ban.

Employers and health plans typically obtain discounts on particular drugs in return for encouraging patients to use those medicines, rather than competing products.

The Congressional Budget Office said that the Senate bill, like the House measure, “would have a negligible effect on federal spending.”

“Without the authority to establish a formulary or other tools to reduce drug prices, we believe that the secretary would not obtain significant discounts from drug manufacturers across a broad range of drugs,” the budget office said.

Some Republicans prepared to filibuster the Senate bill, but that proved unnecessary. Their whip, Senator Trent Lott of Mississippi, said Republicans had blocked consideration of the bill because they did not want to dicker with Democrats over amendments on unrelated topics, “with no happy end in sight.”

Mr. Wyden predicted that the Senate would vote again on the issue, perhaps as an amendment to a spending bill or other measure. “The fight will go on,” he said.

Senator Amy Klobuchar, a freshman Democrat from Minnesota, said the vote showed that “the power of big pharma,” the pharmaceutical industry, “is still a presence in the halls of Congress.”

How Old Can Humans Get?

It is as much a philosophical question as a scientific one: How old can humans get? The evidence from a new study published in the journal Science suggests we have yet to find the answer.

The study shows the maximum life span increase in Sweden -- and by inference, other industrialized countries -- has continued to rise in the past century, but most especially during the past 30 years. From 1861 to 1969, maximum age at death in Sweden rose less than half a year per decade. Since then, the rate's more than doubled -- to 1.11 years per decade. The oldest Swedes now die at an average age of 108 -- eight years older than their counterparts from the 1860s.

"It's clear that people are living longer, and it's clear we can see no end with the improvement of life span," says Richard Suzman, PhD, associate director of Behavioral Social Research at the National Institute on Aging. "What accounts for the improvement in life span is a complex question that I don't think we have the full answer to. ... How much of it is related to medicine, public health, improved education, wealth, improved prenatal care, and early childhood conditions? I think all of these factors play a role, and we don't fully understand how to rank their importance."

Bob Roush, EdD, MPH, of the Huffington Center on Aging at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, says preventing senility and frailty are two of the key challenges facing an aging population. "'Don't do me any favors making me live until 110 if I don't know what's happening at 98.' That's the conundrum," he says.

"My whole pitch on increasing the quality of one's geriatric life is not just for today's older people but tomorrow's older people," Roush tells WebMD. "[You can live well] by staying strong, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, keeping your cholesterol down, alcohol in moderation ... don't outlive your resources. Prepare for a long life -- physically and financially -- and don't forget the spiritual side of things. Plan on living for a long time -- because you probably will."

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Holocaust Survivor Shot Dead at Point Blank Range

Liviu Librescu a professor at Virginia Tech, ran to the door of his classroom and blocked it with his body – preventing the gunman from entering but getting shot to death himself as a result. His actions saved many of his students.

A leading aeronautics expert in Romania, the communist regime refused his application to emigrate to Israel until 1978 after late prime minister Menahem Begin’s intercession on his behalf with former President Ceaucescu.

After spending some years in Israel, the professor took a sabbatical in the United States and stayed on to teach at Virginia Tech and pursue research. He is a former adviser to NASA. One of Prof. Librescu’s sons lives in Raanana north of Tel Aviv and a second in California. He will be buried in Israel.

The gunman who killed 32 people and himself on the campus of Virginia Polytechnic Institute Monday was identified today as a student who lived in a dormitory on campus and kept to himself but caused deep concern among some of his professors who considered him “troubled.”

Law enforcement authorities said the gunman was Cho Seung-Hui, 23, a senior English major at Virginia Tech who came to the United States with his parents in 1992.

Clara's Horrific Case of Elder Abuse - Were There Flaws in the Investigation ?

In this Sheriff Report #MCSO050FF007917 by investigator Henry B Hamilton dated 9/5/2005
in the paragraph (1) Raul Fernandez is mis-quoted as saying " Mr Raul Fernandez advised that he will be pursuing this matter civilly with his attorney."

I can assure you that I didn't even have an attorney at the time , which brings me to this question-

As a citizen , Do we have the right to be accurately quoted and represented in a police report when attempting to report a crime against an elderly person ?

Paragraph (2) states and I quote " Since there was no signs of physical abuse and the matter should be handled civilly between the brothers."

Photo taken of Clara G. Fernandez during the summer of 2004 dining out with her family and 'legally appointed caregivers' before she was abducted.

Photo taken of Clara with her new self appointed caregiver, Social Worker Al Fernandez Jr. shortly after her abduction in November 2004.

When the Investigator said " There were no signs of physical abuse" did he fail to notice that Clara was in a wheelchair! Where as "There have been no recent has been good. Past Medical History : UNREMARKABLE over the past several months." -Dr.Nancy Kaplitz, Neurologist, June 17, 2004 . and her gait was excellent before she was taken!

Small details, perhaps easily passed over during an investigation of elder abuse. This should have never happened and needs to be addressed in a properly executed investigation of Elder abuse by the State of Florida and Department of Elder Affairs.

article by Ray Fernandez

Let The People Responsible Know - The Elder You Save Might Be You !

These are the people responsible for our elders , and they are very much in our thoughts during Abuse Awareness Month .

Please Call/Email/Write in to them and support our elders and let them know how you feel about Clara G. Fernandez and other elders who have been neglected and failed to receive the protection they deserve from the society the so much contributed to!

Graduate Center for Gerontology
306 Wethington Health Sciences Building
The University of Kentucky
Lexington, KY 40536-0200
Phone: (859) 257-1450 x80196
Fax: (859) 323-5747
Joanne M. Otto, M.S.W.

National Adult Protective Services Association (NAPSA)
1900 13th Street, Suite 303
Boulder, Colorado 80302
Phone: (720) 565-0906
Fax: (720) 565-0438

Sara Aravanis, Director
National Center on Elder Abuse
National Association of State Units
on Aging
1201 15th Street, NW, Suite 350
Washington, DC 20005-2800
(202) 898-2586 / Fax: (202) 898-2583
Joseph Snyder, President

National Adult Protective Services Association
Director, Adult Protective Services Unit
Philadelphia Corporation for Aging
642 North Broad Street
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 14130-3409
(215) 765-9000 / Fax: (215) 282-6611
Joanne Marlatt Otto, Executive Director

National Adult Protective Services Association
1900 13th Street, Suite 303
Boulder, Colorado 80302
(720) 565-0906 / Fax: (303) 443-3361
Karen Stein, Director

Clearinghouse on Abuse and
Neglect of the Elderly/CANE
University of Delaware
Leadership Program/School of Urban Affairs
and Public Policy
111 Academy Street, 188-C Graham Hall
Newark, Delaware 19716
(302) 831-3525 / Fax: (302) 831-6081
Lori Stiegel, Associate Staff Director
Commission on Law and Aging

American Bar Association
740 15th Street, NW, 9th Floor
Washington, DC 20005-1022
(202) 662-8692 / Fax: (202) 662-8698
Randolph W. Thomas, President
Robert B. Blancato, Immediate Past President

National Committee for the
Prevention of Elder Abuse
1612 K Street, NW, Suite 400
Washington, DC 20006
(202) 682-4140 / Fax: (202) 223-2099,

A Report of the National Center on Elder Abuse
Prepared by The National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse
and The National Adult Protective Services Association

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Disease in The System

April 17, 2007 Victoria Australia

THE first symptoms were isolated cases of vomiting and diarrhoea. It was the Thursday before Easter and staff at the up-market Broughton Hall nursing home in a stately old mansion in Melbourne's eastern suburbs were initially not alarmed. As more came down with the same symptoms, however, it was clear there was not only a problem, but that the problem was spreading.

The best guess by the nursing staff at the home, which also houses 50 low-care hostel residents, was they were dealing with an outbreak of viral gastroenteritis.

On Good Friday it was decided to alert Victoria's public health authorities. A call was placed to the main health department switchboard but, in the words of Sharon Callister, the chief executive of Benetas, the Anglican Church's aged-care organisation, "the phones rang out". It was a public holiday. The home's staff had the option of calling an after-hours emergency number. "They chose not to take that option," Callister explained yesterday. "But that was based on their professional expertise at the time and the symptoms that were prevailing."

Things at Broughton Hall started to deteriorate, with more residents falling ill. The total would eventually reach 21. The first death, that of a 73-year-old man, occurred on Easter Sunday. A second male resident died the next day. But staff did not at first associate it with the gastro outbreak racing through the home.

"These deaths were not unexpected as both residents were elderly and frail," Broughton Hall's executive manager Sharon McGowan says. But more deaths were to come.

On Tuesday, April 10, Broughton Hall staff finally called the health department to alert it of the outbreak, as required by law. But no mention was made of the two deaths. It was only the following day, when a third male resident died, that the home told the department of the mounting death toll.

The fourth victim, an 88-year-old woman, died the next day.

On Friday, tests from a Broughton Hall resident taken to hospital showed she was suffering from salmonella; in layman's terms, food poisoning. Salmonella is particularly deadly in the very young and very old.

While public health officials swung into action to try to identify the cause of the deaths, no one within the health department had apparently thought it necessary to tell state Health Minister Bronwyn Pike that people were dying just down the road in Camberwell. She learned of the growing tragedy on Saturday, the same day her department issued a media release revealing the deaths.

On Sunday, a "very distressed, very angry and very disappointed" Pike took what she described as the drastic step of sacking the state's top public health bureaucrat Robert Hall, saying the communication breakdown was the latest in a string of such failures that had caused her to lose confidence in him.

The last to discover the tragedy were the people of Victoria. Asked why it had taken so long to make the details public, the assistant director of the health department's communicable diseases control unit, Rosemary Lester, says authorities had been "very busy" dealing with the matter.

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