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OAPS Training Calendar for 2014 – 2015

Monday August 11th 2014
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During the 2014-15 training period, will be offering seven basic enrichment trainings, two sessions of the basic OAPS trainings,  two five year refresher trainings, 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.  These course are open to Area Agency on Aging staff only.

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Personal Care Home Administrator Training: 2014-2015

Sunday August 10th 2014
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The Institute on Protective Services, funded by Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare Bureau of Human Services Licensing, offers training for Personal Care Home Administrators. Course provide 6 credit-hours of continuing education and are offered at no cost to administrators.

Sign-in for trainings is from 8:00 am – 8:30 am and the training runs from 8:30 am – 3:30 pm. Please be prompt. Certificates will not be issued for late arrivals. Lunch is on your own at each training location. Read more »

Supreme Court announces new measures to combat elder abuse

Thursday November 20th 2014
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Pennsylvania has the fourth largest population of senior citizens in the country – and that number is growing.

Come January they will have an office within the state court system dedicating to improving the response of the judiciary and government agencies to elder abuse and neglect.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court said today it wil open an Office of Elder Justice in the Courts, which is one of 130 recommendations made by the court’s Elder Abuse Task Force.

In its 284-page report, the 38-member panel detailed a slew of recommendations to tackle issues in the courts and other government agencies involving guardianship, elder abuse and neglect and overall access to justice.  (Access report here)

“If societies are judged on how they help their most vulnerable, then now is the time to craft solutions as older Pennsylvanians increasingly face life-altering, physical, emotional and financial abuses by those who take advantage of our elders,” said Chief Justice Ronald D. Castille.

Task force chair Justice Debra Todd said it was imperative the state make changes to address the rapidly aging population.

“The increasing population of elders anticipated during the next 20 years is likely to result in a substantial increase in court cases regarding the protection of vulnerable elderly persons, including guardianship, elder abuse proceedings and other types of cases. This report is a blueprint on how the courts and others can tackle that challenge.”

There are nearly 2.7 million people (21.4 percent) of the population age 60 and older and by 2020 about 3.3 million residents are expected to be over 60.

Research suggests that one out of every 10 people 60 years and older who lives at home suffers abuse, neglect or exploitation and that 44 percent of nursing home residents report abuse or neglect,

Also approved was the creation of an Advisory Council on Elder Justice in the Courts, to serve as a liaison to the executive and legislative branches and to advise the Supreme Court.

Other recommendations include:

Distributing a “Bill of Rights of an Alleged Incapacitated Person” to inform alleged incapacitated persons, interested family members, concerned parties and guardians when a person is served with a petition for guardianship and at the time the person is adjudicated incapacitated.

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Man faces up to 62 years in prison for bilking woman

Friday November 14th 2014
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With his response becoming quieter and quieter as he pleaded guilty in Crawford County Court of Common Pleas to each of eight charges, an elderly Meadville woman’s former financial adviser now faces more than six decades in prison.

When he is sentenced in January, David E.A. Seagren, 69, of Bradford could be sentenced to up to 62 years in prison, receive $140,000 in fines and have to pay nearly $190,000 in restitution.

Seagren pleaded guilty Thursday before President Judge Anthony J. Vardaro to a total of six counts of theft by deception and two counts of forgery filed by Meadville Police Department for taking thousands of dollars from a 97-year-old woman’s bank accounts and using the money himself. Read more »

Attorney General Kane announces arrest of Philadelphia man for Medicaid fraud

Friday November 7th 2014
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HARRISBURG – Attorney General Kane today announced Medicaid fraud and other charges against a Philadelphia man for defrauding more than $82,000 by claiming to care for his brother when he was being cared for by a hospital, and after he died.

The Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Section presented evidence to a statewide investigating Grand Jury, which recommended charges against Terrance Jenkins, 61, 535 Mckinley St., Philadelphia.

According to the Grand Jury, Jenkins was responsible for providing care for his brother and was reimbursed through the Department of Public Welfare’s Independence Waiver Program. Read more »

York County forms task force to combat elder abuse

Wednesday November 5th 2014
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A new task force will aim to combat an increasing problem in York County: Elder abuse.

The new initiative will see members of the private sector team up with local law enforcement and county officials to identify needs of the county’s older adults in order to better protect them from abuse.

Dianna Benaknin, director of the county’s Area Agency on Aging, said her office receives 60 reports of abuse a month. But there could be even more that are never reported to officials.

“We worry about the cases of abuse that (are reported), that we see, but there are many that we don’t know about,” Benaknin said.

Task force: The task force, one of many already up and running in counties across the state, is a collaboration with the Pennsylvania Institute on Protective Services at Temple University and the Pennsylvania Department of Aging. Read more »

My child, my abuser

Wednesday November 5th 2014
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(SINGAPORE) An elderly widow entrusted the sale of her Housing Board flat to her only child, only to have her daughter pocket the proceeds, dump her mother in hospital and disappear.

Three years on, the daughter is still missing. The mother is still alive, with dementia and in a nursing home.

Around a third of close to 100 victims of elder abuse were cheated of their savings or property or harassed for money by family members, according to a new study by Trans Safe Centre, a voluntary welfare agency which specialises in the issue.

More than half of the victims were physically abused – beaten up, punched, pushed or scratched – and seven in 10 reported being psychologically abused, facing threats, taunts and insults.  Eight in 10 victims were women, usually mothers, while half of the abusers were sons, and a fifth of them, daughters.

The study by social workers Odelia Chan, Ho Gang Hiang and Tan Ching Yee looked only at “substantiated” cases of abuse, where there was physical evidence of wrongdoing or where the abuse had been witnessed by a third party. The victims were aged 60 and above.  While there were fewer cases of financial exploitation than verbal or physical abuse, the numbers may well rise with the increase in the number of better-off older people, said Ms Chan, the main author of the Trans Safe report.

“It’s happened in countries like the United States. More cases may well happen here,” she said. Read more »

N.J. attorney pleads guilty to stealing from elderly clients

Wednesday November 5th 2014
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An attorney who was once a respected practitioner of elder law in Atlantic County, N.J., pleaded guilty Monday to stealing millions of dollars from her clients.

Barbara Lieberman, 62, of Northfield, will lose her law license in New Jersey and must pay $3 million in restitution to her victims, the state Attorney General’s Office said. She also will have to give up a BMW.

Lieberman, who pleaded guilty to money laundering in Superior Court in Mays Landing, faces up to 10 years in prison. She used to offer seminars on wills to senior citizens.

She was arrested in March along with Jan Van Holt, 58, of Linwood, whose case is ongoing. Van Holt operated an in-home senior care company called A Better Choice. She and Lieberman allegedly referred elderly clients to each other between 2006 and 2013.

Lieberman sought senior citizens with large assets and few immediate family members, making the scheme easier to cover up, the Attorney General’s Office said.By naming herself as power of attorney on wills and other documents, Lieberman was able to transfer victims’ assets into bank accounts that she and Van Holt then used, authorities said. Lieberman paid off six-figure credit-card bills, while Van Holt bought a Florida condominium and two Mercedes-Benzes, authorities said. Read more »

Former Phila. City Hall Clerk Sentenced For Stealing Elderly Neighbor’s Benefits

Friday October 31st 2014
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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A former clerk to Philadelphia City Council was sentenced today to four years’ probation and ordered to make restitution after admitting she stole Social Security benefits from an elderly neighbor in her care.

Investigators say defendant Nancy Gonzalez and her then-boyfriend, the victim’s great-nephew, stole more than $30,000 intended for victim Iris Galarza.  Gonzalez was the victim’s Social Security payee.

The 88-year-old victim was left to live in squalor and roam the streets with bags on her feet for shoes.

“And instead of using the money to Miss Galarza’s benefit, Miss Gonzalez, along as well with her co-defendant, used the money for their own gain — to pay their own bills, to go on vacation, and so forth,” says Philadelphia prosecutor Michael Bonner. Read more »

Pennsylvania woman gets prison for abusing elderly husband

Tuesday October 28th 2014
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DOYLESTOWN — A 74-year-old suburban Philadelphia woman has been sentenced to at least a month in prison for beating her elderly husband and locking him, naked, outside their home in freezing temperatures.
Dolores Labrum pleaded guilty in Bucks County Court to charges that include simple assault, false imprisonment and reckless endangerment, the Bucks County Courier Times reported.
She was sentenced to one to 23 months behind bars.
Newtown Township police found Labrum’s 78-year-husband standing bruised, naked, shivering and unresponsive on the balcony of their apartment in December. Court documents describe him as frail, weak and suffering from dementia.
He told police it was at least the fifth time in the past year his wife had made him strip and stand naked on the balcony after an argument.

This article was written by The Associated Press as reported on Triblive.com.

Stewart to serve jail time for thefts

Thursday October 23rd 2014
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Frank Stewart, 48, of Ramey was sentenced to serve nine months to two years in the Clearfield County Jail by Judge Paul Cherry for stealing from a disabled elderly client and a charity organization. Stewart was also ordered to pay $137,248 in restitution to the victim and $10,496 to the Lance Cusick Memorial Foundation.  Stewart’s attorney, Ron Collins of Clearfield, said Stewart has submitted certified checks to the state police for $10,496 to restitution to the Lance Cusick Memorial Fund.

Last August, Stewart was found guilty of forgery, theft by unlawful taking and theft by deception, victim over 60, defendant under 60, at jury trial. According to testimony at the trial, Stewart forged paperwork and stole $120,000 from the victim who now resides in a personal care facility. Stewart pleaded guilty to the charge of theft by unlawful taking on Oct. 2 for stealing $10,496 from the Lance Cusick Memorial Foundation, a charitable organization in which he served as treasurer.  Clearfield County District Attorney William A. Shaw Jr. said these are serious crimes and Stewart deserves to be punished commensurate with his crime but said this has to be balanced with the fact that the victim needs to be compensated in a timely manner, especially considering her age. Read more »

Five Year Refresher – November 13, 2014 – York

Tuesday October 21st 2014
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On November 13, 2014 we are offering a five-year refresher training in York.

This one-day training will refresh and review critical elements of doing protective services in the Commonwealth including investigative techniques, updates to the regulation, interpretation of regulations, guardianship and power of attorney laws, etc.

The Department of Aging is requiring all protective service investigators to take this course every 5 years, in addition to their annual enrichment training. This year, all PS investigators and PS supervisors with 5 years of experience must attend one of the classes. Read more »

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