During the 2012-13 training period, will be offering seven basic enrichment trainings, two sessions of the basic PS trainings, a solicitors’ training, and three advanced/supervisor enrichment trainings. Below you will find a listing of our trainings as well as a link to training and registration information. Read more »
MT. UNION, HUNTINGDON COUNTY – Local and State officials who deal with elderly abuse investigations say they have a growing problem on their hands.
A large meeting was held in Huntingdon County on Friday to help seniors learn to protect themselves and their neighbors. Organizers of the session say there are too many people currently looking to take advantage of seniors. Area agency on aging representatives say the number of elderly abuse cases reported to them is going up at an alarming rate. That’s why they are looking for some additional help keeping seniors safe.
More than 150 older residents from across Huntingdon, Bedford and Fulton counties gathered in the mount union senior center to learn how they can avoid becoming a victim. The seniors were warned that they can fall victim in a number of different ways and often that physical or financial abuse can come from people they know. Some of seniors attending the elder justice seminar say their next step will be to urge others to watch out for cases of possible senior abuse. Because the number of fraud cases involving seniors continues to grow, organizers of the conference say they are delivering a very important message to those who attended.
A regional agency on aging official attending the Huntingdon County Conference said there were more than 18-thousand cases of elder abuse reported in Pennsylvania last year and the number of cases continues to grow each year.
(Editor’s Note: Dr. Ronald Costen, Esq,, Director of the Institute on Protective Services, served as emcee of the program)
This article by Kevin Flanigan highlights the WTAJ evening news story which can be viewed on We Are Central PA.com
NPR Aging and Abuse Series: Part 3
Laura Nichols has heard it all — everything from broken air conditioning in the middle of the summer to diapers not being changed for hours at a time. She is with the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program that covers Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, and Prince William counties, serving 119 facilities and 12,000 beds. WAMU 88.5’s Northern Virginia reporter Michael Pope interviewed Nichols at her office in the Pennino Building at the Fairfax County Government Center. Following are highlights of their conversation.
Nichols on a particularly memorable site visit:
“There was a site visit a number of years ago. The resident was requesting help in the middle of the night, but couldn’t raise anybody to respond to his request for help, so he ended up calling 911, and police came out. We did go out a couple of nights later to see what was going on in the night shift. We did find staff sleeping. We did find that medication wasn’t stored correctly, and that their call system was not working, so they weren’t getting assistance at night.
“There were a lot of meetings. In that case, we ended up working with corporate to get an answer about what they were going to be doing. Obviously they needed a new call system. There was some staff fired in that case. We, of course, cannot guarantee that something is not going to happen again. But we do try to negotiate with them and get it where they see it’s to their benefit to do things the way they should be done.” Read more »
NPR Aging and Abuse Series: Part 2
Bonnie Klem calls her Adult Protective Services (APS) office in Rockville “chaotic.” It’s full of folders and binders stuffed with papers detailing hundreds of cases of alleged abuse or neglect. But despite that chaos and the grim contents of those folders, Klem is endlessly upbeat.
“What we have to do is walk into somebody’s house and somehow convince them that we are really good people,” she says. “We really want to help, and we just want to take some of their time. You have to be upbeat to get anything accomplished.”
APS investigates reports alleging abuse, neglect and exploitation of frail elderly and disabled adults and intervenes to protect vulnerable adults who are at risk. Klem, who was a field investigator for 18 years, now oversees eight social workers handling suspected abuse cases in Montgomery County.
It’s a difficult job with long hours, but the team is proud of the work they are doing, says Klem. Read more »
NPR Aging and Abuse Series: Part 1
James and Etta Jennings moved to the Forest Hill neighborhood of Richmond in 1959. They were young – just married – and the first owners of their red brick ranch house. They had children and then grandchildren, who gathered in their family room for holidays and learned to swim in their backyard pool.
But when their granddaughter, Jeannie Beidler, approached the home on July 27, 2010, she was confronted by a grim reality. Paramedics, police and Adult Protective Services social workers were on the scene.
“You could smell the stench of urine and feces,” she says, standing at the foot of the driveway. ”From this point, we already knew what we were about to walk into.”
The Jennings’ son, Beidler’s uncle, was supposed to be caring for them, but it became clear very quickly that something had gone horribly wrong. The Jennings were living without running water or even a fan. James was confined to a chair. His blood pressure was high and he was fading in and out of consciousness. Etta was living on a broken bed crawling with maggots.
Beidler was overwhelmed.
“To think how could this have happened to her? I can’t think of a sadder moment in my life or a heavier moment in my life than that,” she says. Read more »
NPR Aging and Abuse Series: Part 4
Rosetta Skipper met a woman at St. Luke’s Catholic Church along East Capitol Street in southeast D.C. in 2007. Skipper’s husband had died five years earlier; they had no children, and she lived alone in her northeast D.C. home. Her closest family was in New York City.
Skipper had Alzheimer’s disease, and was briefly hospitalized in 2007, as her health worsened. That’s when the woman at the church took control of her life and moved Skipper into her own home.
“She had somehow gotten power of attorney done,” says Stephen Skipper Jr., Rosetta’s great nephew. “We don’t know how she did. As soon as my aunt got home from the hospital, it only seemed like two weeks later. This lady, who no one had ever met, was now her caretaker and power of attorney over everything”
Financial exploitation of seniors is a problem that’s estimated to cost nearly $3 billion per year. Now, some states — including Maryland — are trying to put a stop to that abuse. But this type of exploitation is difficult to spot. Read more »
Pennsylvania Department of Aging’s Institute on Protective Services and the Beasley School of Law at Temple University are pleased to announce a legal education course, Strategies for Investigating and Prosecuting Crimes Committed Against Older Pennsylvanians. This training will provide 6.5 Hours of Continuing Legal Education (5.5 substantive and 1 ethics). Read more »
Carrie got concerned when her brothers suddenly began to exclude her from their Mom’s financial affairs. It didn’t feel right, but she wasn’t sure she could do anything about it. When she called, I got that “slow burn” feeling that comes over me when I hear about financial elder abuse. As a consultant for folks with aging parents, it’s not the first time I’ve heard this kind of story.
Carrie and her brothers were supposed to all share authority on the Durable Power of Attorney for Mom. Mom and her lawyer had set it up that way, at Mom’s request. It’s nice in theory, this idea of being democratic. It’s just not practical. Unwittingly, the lawyer had put the 3 siblings into a trap. One could say “no” to any decision and none of them could move forward. They didn’t all trust each other and clearly, there was a deliberate attempt to exclude Carrie from the money decisions.
Mom has dementia, Carrie reports. This makes her vulnerable, even if she is functioning fairly well in caring for herself at this time.
Carrie’s brothers are starting down the path of making themselves suspects of the crime of elder abuse. Besides shutting Carrie out of the decisions, they’ve taken her car, and are using her credit cards for personal things. This is a brewing crisis.
Here are 7 warning signs everyone needs to know about if this is happening in your family. These are, by themselves, not necessarily dangerous, but any combination of them should raise suspicion and trigger action from those who worry about abuse. Read more »
Bail remained at $600,000 Tuesday for the man accused of stealing two vintage vehicles and the South Philadelphia home of a World War II veteran through a yearlong deception scheme.
Public defender Beena McDonald asked Judge Nazario Jimenez Jr. at a morning hearing to lower Melvin Mcilwaine’s bail to $60,000 and put Mcilwaine on house arrest. She said Mcilwaine, 59, is a married father with three children and has “strong ties to the community.” McDonald said Mcilwaine had heart disease and high blood pressure. She did not have any medical documentation.
The prosecutor, Deborah Cooper Nixon, said the alleged scam against Ray White, 88, “is one of the most egregious cases of elderly abuse,” adding: “He was scammed out of everything he owned. He’s now homeless.” Read more »
The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania has formed an Elder Law Task Force, chaired by Justice Debra Todd, to study the growing problems involved in guardianship, abuse and neglect, and access to justice. The task force has been charged by Chief Justice of Pennsylvania Ronald D. Castille with recommending solutions that include court rules, legislation, education and best practices.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the “over-65 population” is now larger in terms of size and percentage of population than it has been in any previous census. Pennsylvania currently ranks fourth in the nation in percentage of people 65 and older. As of the 2010 census, almost 2 million Pennsylvanians – 15.4 percent of the state’s population – were over 65 and that number is projected to continue to increase substantially through the year 2020.
“The increased population of older Pennsylvanians has strained the resources of our courts and their ability to provide services to these individuals,” Chief Justice Castille said. “The needs of this growing population will continue for years to come, especially in regards to guardianships, elder abuse and access to justice. Now is the time to put in place solutions that will allow older Pennsylvanians to age without worries that they will be abused or their money will be taken.” Read more »
A free guide for senior citizens on how to avoid falling prety to financial fraud and abuse has been published by the CFP (Certified Financial Planner) Board of Standards.
Financial Self-Defense for Seniors is designed to give seniors guidelines on what to watch for and how to avoid being victims, according to the board. The need for such a publication is based in part on the results of a CFP survey about the financial exploitation of seniors, CFP officials say.
The guide provides warnings about what to look out for and tips for how to avoid being a victim of financial exploitation. It includes 10 tips for senior citizens:
Look beyond the letters after a financial advisor’s name.
If you don’t understand what is being sold, don’t buy it.
There’s no such thing as a free lunch.
Just because a so-called expert recommends it, doesn’t mean it is right for you.
If it sounds too good to be true, it’s probably not legitimate or safe.
Don’t confuse familiarity with trust.
The final sign-off should always be yours.
Make sure the money others are making is not yours.
Get the full story: Who gains the most – you or the financial professional?
You have rights as a homeowner. Know them.
This is an excerpt of an article written by Karen Demasters for Financial Advisor Magazine online. Click here to read the full article.