Monday, March 23, 2009

New Report - Elder Abuse a Growing Threat

PA Elder, Estate & Fiduciary Blog gives a good rundown of a newly issued study by Met Life Mature Market Institute here. The study is called Broken Trust: Elders, Family, and Finances.

"Elder financial abuse is a problem in every community and among all social strata. It is underrecognized, underreported, and underprosecuted.

From what source data were these key points and overview derived? News articles." (emphasis mine)

Every single day you can google "elder abuse" and come up with a news stories that should scare anyone with an older relative or anyone that is expecting to grow old. In other words all of us.

Here's the results of today's quick search . . .

Albertlea (MN)
In December, Broitzman and Larson were charged as adults with 10 or more charges each, ranging from fifth-degree assault, criminal abuse of a vulnerable adult and mandated failure to report suspected abuse of residents at Good Samaritan Society of Albert Lea. Four others were charged as juveniles for mandatory failure to report suspected abuse.

The charges came after an investigation into allegations of abuse by the Albert Lea Police Department, the Freeborn County Sheriff’s Office and the Minnesota Department of Health. The details of the allegations surfaced after the release of the Department of Health’s report in August that concluded four teenagers were involved in verbal, sexual and emotional abuse of 15 residents at the nursing home in Albert Lea. The residents suffered from mental degradation conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

Danville Weekly
Aging and Adult Services Department Director John Cottrell takes issue with a report made last week by a Contra Costa County Civil Grand Jury that claimed that, as of January, the county had stopped providing services to protect elderly residents from financial abuse.

Cottrell said that while his department has been slashed to the bone in all of the recent rounds of budget cuts, it is still providing basic services to the elderly in the county.

In the past two years, nearly one-third of the 3,500 reported cases of elder abuse in Contra Costa County (population 1,024,319) were financial in nature. And of those, Cottrell said 50-60 percent were perpetrated by family members.

wtok Newton County, MS
Sheriff Jackie Knight said 30-year-old Ann Burnham, and her husband, Timothy Burnham, 32, were charged after allegedly whipping an elderly woman with a belt.
Knight said the victim was in her late eighties.

Osawatomie Graphic (Florida)
The Osawatomie Police Department investigated a possible case of elder abuse or mistreatment of a dependant adult Monday.

An 89-year-old female was transported by Miami County EMS to an area hospital from her residence at 607 First Street for treatment and evaluation, said Osawatomie Fire Chief DuWayne Tewes.

LA Times
Live-in caretaker charged with financial elder abuse, fraud and forgery
Police say Cindi Dee Powell bilked an 84-year-old Huntington Beach woman out of about $200,000 and put the woman's house at risk of foreclosure.
Insurance Agent Carlos Chavez of Long Beach, Calif., has been charged with one felony count of elder abuse, three felony counts of computer fraud and four felony counts of grand theft, the California Department of Insurance announced. If convicted on all counts, Chavez faces a maximum of six years in prison. Bail is set at $130,000.

Chicago Tribune
On Tuesday, Heidi Leon of Bensenville, a 23-year-old nursing assistant, was charged with criminal neglect of a long-term care facility resident, criminal neglect of an elderly person and obstruction of justice in connection with the death of Sarah Wentworth, 89, whose body was found in an Itasca nursing home's courtyard after she was outside for perhaps as long as five hours.

You can download the highly readable 40-page report at the PA blog linked to above.

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