Archive for the ‘Alzheimer’s’ Category

Tonight on T.S. Radio: Probate Court Fraud With Guest Judy Barnes

November 17, 2013

Ohio, a state rife with probate abuses and predatory guardians, has another case you just cannot believe took place.  Between stolen property, funds and fraudulent POA’s, an elderly woman with Alzheimer’s was robbed of a million dollar estate.

Her daughter fought back.  The result?  The family home, built by the family,  on valuable shorefront property was intentionally reduced to rubble.  Even with the known threats that this would happen if the daughter didn’t back off, the courts and law enforcement did nothing.

Just goes to show you what a crooked attorney and an immoral probate can accomplish when no one holds them accountable.

5:00 PST … 6:00 MST … 7:00 CST … 8:00 EST

LISTEN to the show live or listen to the archive later

Worldwide Effort Identifies 11 New Alzheimer’s Genes

November 1, 2013

A collaborative worldwide effort resulted in the identification of 11 new Alzheimer’s genes — doubling the potential for medications, U.S. researchers say.

Margaret A. Pericak-Vance, director of the John P. Hussman Institute for Human Genomics at the Miller School of Medicine at the University of Miami, and Lindsay A. Farrer of Boston University, led the analysis teams for the American Alzheimer’s Disease Genetics Consortium.

 The international team collected genetic information from 25,500 Alzheimer’s disease patients and 49,038 controls from 15 countries to perform this two-stage meta-analysis that resulted in the discovery of 11 new genes in addition to those already known, and the identification of 13 other genes, yet to be validated.  One part of the genome, which plays a role in the immune system and inflammatory response, is associated with multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease, suggesting the diseases might have a common mechanism involved, and potentially a common drug target, the researchers said. 

Worldwide Effort Identifies 11 New Alzheimer’s Genes

7 Signs Your Aging Parent Needs Financial Help

October 28, 2013
The Alzheimer’s Association says that one in three seniors dies with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia. If that weren’t bad enough, by 2050, the number of people with Alzheimer’s is expected to nearly triple.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t take an advanced case of Alzheimer’s to disrupt one’s ability to manage money. The concentration and memory skills required for many financial tasks means that even those in the beginning stages of Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia may find it impossible to keep their finances on track.
“Early stages (of dementia) involve forgetfulness,” says Kelly Thomas, a social worker with the Alpena Regional Medical Center and a nearly 20-year veteran in the field of home care. “By the time they are in the middle stages of dementia, they are already having financial problems.”
While it may often be obvious that a confirmed Alzheimer’s sufferer needs assistance, even those who haven’t been diagnosed with a specific type of dementia may need help with their finances as they age. If you see the following signs around your parents or other older relatives, it may be time to ask what you can do.

1. Overdraft and shut-off notices

If you see notices on the table when you come to visit or your parents complain about mounting bank fees, it could indicate they are no longer able to balance their checkbook or keep track of the due dates for their bills.

2. Growing credits on recurring bills

On the flip side, some individuals with dementia may end up with large credits on their bills. Since they don’t remember sending in a payment, they may send in multiple checks each month.

3. An empty bank account at the start of the month

If it is the start of the month and your parents have already burned through their money, they obviously have a money-management problem. If they don’t know where the money went, it could also be a sign of dementia.

4. Stacks of unopened mail or items filed in unusual places

When visiting, a stack of unopened mail is a red flag. Adult children should also watch for items stored or filed in curious places. If your parent is filing paperwork in a new or random spot, it that could be a sign they have either forgotten what to do with the paperwork or, for those with early dementia, are compensating for their forgetfulness by trying a new method of organization.

5. Uncharacteristic purchases

If your normally prudent parent suddenly buys a new car, flashy smartphone or other major purchase that doesn’t fit their needs or lifestyle, it could be an indication of slipping financial management skills caused by declining cognitive abilities.

6. Increased gambling

Thomas says she often sees gambling problems with seniors who have dementia. They may no longer be able to keep track of how much they have in their checking account or how much they have lost while playing. While spending a day at the casino may be normal behavior for some seniors, a change in habits could signal a bigger problem.

7. Strange mail and phone calls

Nicholas Reister, an attorney with Smith Haughey Rice & Roegge in Grand Rapids, Michigan, says once a senior has started making poor financial choices, scammers can come out of the woodwork.
“Once there is some blood in the water, it seems to trigger all sorts of things,” says Reister. “Things looking like charity, things looking like offers to claim large prizes.”
Strange mail and an uptick in telephone solicitations may be a sign Mom and Dad are giving their money to the wrong people.

Options for stepping in

According to Reister, there are several ways to take over the finances for an aging parent.
  1. If a trust has been set up, a successor trustee may be able to step in and take over money management.
  2. If a durable power of attorney has been created (one is often drawn up at the same time as a will), the person appointed to that role can take over finances.
  3. If neither a trust nor a durable power of attorney exist, children can petition probate court for a conservator or guardian to be appointed.
Both Thomas and Reister say it’s always best to set up these types of arrangements with your parents long before you think there may be a problem. If you wait too long, a parent may no longer be deemed legally competent to create a trust or name a power of attorney. That leaves adult children with the only other option: going to court.

Starting the conversation

Conversations about money can be awkward for adult children and parents alike. Children may want tackle less sensitive topics like health insurance and long-term care preferences before jumping straight into a discussion of day-to-day finances.
When it is time to talk money, Thomas says new estate recovery laws may make some seniors warm up to creating a trust in advance. Some estate recovery laws now require the sale of a house to reimburse the state for Medicaid care. Children can research the laws in their state and use that knowledge to open a discussion. Parents who may otherwise be defensive about discussing money may open up if they know the family house could be in jeopardy, Thomas says.
“Most (seniors’) main concern is staying in their house, followed by giving it to their children,” she says.
If you see signs that your parents are not managing their money well, Thomas recommends first ruling out other medical issues, such as vision and hearing problems, before assuming they have dementia. In addition, she notes some conditions such as bladder infections can cause symptoms that mimic dementia. A complete physical should be able to rule out other causes of an apparent mental decline.
Finally, Reister cautions adult children to tread lightly when helping their parents. Asking your parents if you can help them open the mail and balance the checkbook can be a respectful way to offer assistance. Hiding their checkbook or even removing it from the house, while a tempting strategy for some, is theft.
“Kids should only take the most minimally intrusive steps needed,” says Reister, noting that seniors are still adults and have been for many, many years.
His final word on handling aging parents is one that all adult children may do well to remember: “Protect them with dignity.”

The original article can be found at
7 signs your aging parent needs financial help

Full Article and Source:
7 Signs Your Aging Parent Needs Financial Help

Texas Police Repeatedly Shot and Tasered a 67-Year-Old Alzheimer’s Patient – In Her Own Home

September 28, 2013

September 26, 2013  |

SHERMAN, Texas (CN) – As her husband begged them to “put the gun away,” Texas police repeatedly shot and Tasered a demented 67-year-old woman because she wouldn’t drop a letter opener, then told the husband they had “saved his ass,” the man claims.
David Seyfried sued the City of Lewisville Police Department and six of its officers in Federal Court, for his wife Dolores Seyfried.
Seyfried says he called the Dallas Alzheimer’s Association hotline after “Dolores had become agitated with (him) and had a four [to] five-inch letter opener in her hand” at their home in Lewisville, a Dallas suburb.
The Dallas Alzheimer’s Association then contacted Lewisville police without his consent, Seyfried claims.
Defendant Lewisville Officers George Reed and Sgt. Courtney Letalien arrived as David tried to calm Delores down in their back yard, the husband says.
“Letalien immediately attempted to remove David from the back yard while holding an orange shotgun in his hand,” the complaint states. “David became very upset once he saw the shotgun and believed at that time that there was no need for such measures. David repeatedly pleaded with Letalien to ‘put the gun away’ and explained that he can calm her down and that no force would be needed.

Full Article and Source:
Texas Police Repeatedly Shot and Tasered a 67-Year-Old Alzheimer’s Patient – In Her Own Home

I-Team: Court Disregards Preneed Plan, Appoints Professional Guardian

September 27, 2013

 We’ve learned that even when a person has legal protections in place to avoid being assigned a professional guardian, the court can disregard signed and notarized legal documents and appoint a guardian anyway.

This latest case involves 90-year-old Paulette Karpa, whose family and friends have been fighting against Florida’s guardian system for years.

 “She kept a beautiful house and she always dressed nicely. She took care of herself,” said neighbor Nancy Leewe, describing Paulette Karpa,

 Karpa, Leewe’s former neighbor, was known for taking long walks, gardening and weekly card games.

 But in 2009, Karpa’s life changed.

 After making a series of calls from her house to police about attempted burglaries…each turning out to be unfounded….the Florida Department of Children and Families was called.

 Soon after, professional guardian Patricia Johnson asked the court to have Karpa declared incapacitated, even though Karpa had made prior arrangements for a family member to care for her.

 In Florida, guardians can be given complete control over their wards’ lives.

I-Team: Court disregards preneed plan, appoints professional guardian

See Also:
Elderly Pinellas Man Freed From Alzheimer’s Unit After I-Team Looks at His Case

Elderly Pinellas Man Freed From Alzheimer’s Unit After I-Team Looks at His Case

September 26, 2013

On a Sunday morning last month, a spry 99-year-old Pinellas County retiree got his first taste of freedom in weeks.

William Berchau says he doesn’t get out of an assisted living facility much anymore. “No, I’m not allowed,” Berchau told the ABC Action News I-Team. “My court-appointed guardian doesn’t allow me to leave the premises.”

A month before his Sunday visit to church in August, Berchau was placed in a locked Alzheimer’s unit at the Grand Villa of Pinellas Park. Berchau and his pastor contend Florida’s guardianship system has let him down and their complaints about his guardian have been ignored by the Pinellas judiciary.
“He seems to be very mentally sharp and alert,” Berchau’s pastor, David Priebe, said of his church member. “I just can’t believe that somebody would think he’s incompetent mentally.”

The I-Team pointed out to the clergyman that the Pinellas probate court has ruled Berchau to be incapacitated three times since 2010. Priebe just shook his head. “Wow,” the pastor said.

“There’s nobody that’s more vulnerable than a ward who has assets and can’t keep track of where they’re going or what’s happening with them,” said Robert W. Melton, who retired in 2009 as inspector general for the Pinellas circuit court clerk. “The ward basically has no rights.”

During his nine years as the Pinellas clerk’s internal watchdog, Melton was a critic of the county guardianship system’s lack of transparency. “It’s a very closed process and, in many cases, the public is not aware of the things that have gone on or are going on in guardianships,” Melton said.

Pinellas Circuit Judge Jack St. Arnold, who presides over the Berchau guardianship and hundreds of others, says he doesn’t believe the secrecy surrounding guardianships is a problem. “I think our professional guardians do a wonderful job,” St. Arnold told the I-Team. “I’m really pleased with them.”

Full Article and Source:
Elderly Pinellas Man Freed From Alzheimer’s Unit After I-Team Looks at His Case

See Also:
I-Team: Court disregards preneed plan, appoints professional guardian

Alzheimer’s Cure on the Horizon

September 24, 2013

In a recent interview with Ira Flow at NPR, Stephen Strittmatter explained his new research published in the journal Neuron.  He is Vincent Coates Professor of Neurology at Yale University’s School of Medicine and cofounder of Axerion Therapeutics, a private biotechnology company specializing in the research and development of treatments for Alzheimer’s disease.  His new study offers key insights into Alzheimer’s disease and gives hope that a cure might be on the horizon.

Since we have not proven what actually causes the disease, Strittmatter worked off the theory that Alzheimer’s disease is caused by abnormally folded proteins called amyloid oligomers.  It is believed that these toxic oligomers are the primary cause of all amyloid-related degenerative diseases.   They interact with neurons in the brain to damage synaptic function, creating memory deficits.  According to this theory, amyloid plaques build up in the brains of patients suffering from Alzheimer’s as a result of these protein interactions.  Strittmatter focused his study on figuring out exactly how these irregularly folded proteins interact with the neurons.  They already knew that the bad proteins interact with prion proteins on the neuron’s surface, but they didn’t know how the interaction was communicated to the inside of the cell.

The study’s main discovery was the protein called mGlur5 or Metabotropic Glutamate Receptor Five.  It is the protein responsible for the communication between the abnormally folded proteins and the inside of the neurons in the brain, triggering the internal chemistry that changes the synapses causing the neuron to lose synaptic function.  In essence, the protein mGlur5 crosses the cell membrane of the neuron and activates changes on the inside of the cell triggered by the bad, misfolded proteins causing the damage to the synapse.  Additionally, Strittmater found that blocking the mGlur5 protein using a drug called MTEP not only prevents the damage to the neuron, but may even reverse the loss of synaptic function, bringing back the lost memory.  This new knowledge of Alzheimer’s means a cure could be on the horizon.

Full Article and Source:
Alzheimer’s Cure on the Horizon

Bergenfield senior found, but a troubling trend grows

August 27, 2013
Donald Wicklund

Last Wednesday, Connie  Wicklund was downstairs in her Bergenfield home when she heard a main-floor door open and shut. Her husband, Donald, had likely taken the trash out, she reasoned.
But when she came upstairs, he was gone, sparking what started as a desperate search by family and friends — and then early the next morning by law enforcement.

Those four days of anguish and uncertainty ended happily early Sunday evening when Wicklund, 81, was found in a back yard less than seven houses away from his own home. He was “conscious and verbal” but “dehydrated and malnourished,” police said.

The 5:51 p.m. discovery was sparked in part by a reverse emergency call the police initiated on Sunday — the third since Wicklund was first reported missing at 12:34 a.m. on Thursday — asking residents to check their back yards.

One of Wicklund’s neighbors, following the police advice, found a shoe next to a koi pond in his back yard. Upon further investigation, the neighbor located Wicklund and called 911, said Capt. Cathy Madalone.

Madalone said dogs had helped search that area before Sunday.

“He was probably trying to get back home,” she said late Sunday. “We don’t know for sure. We are waiting for him to get back from the hospital, and we are waiting for him to be coherent enough to speak with him.”

Full Article and Source:
Bergenfield senior found, but a troubling trend grows

The 5 Most Controversial Decisions Alzheimer’s Caregivers Will Ever Face

August 20, 2013

1. Should the Person Stop Driving?

Late one evening, I was deeply immersed in editing the photographs I’d taken at the Cincinnati Zoo that day when I was startled by the phone ringing. I thought it was probably Ed, my Romanian life partner and soul mate.

But it wasn’t. It was a sweet female voice I didn’t recognize calling to tell me she’d found Ed driving on the wrong side of the road. He’d pulled over and so she’d stopped too, and seeing how confused he was, she offered him a ride home.

Suddenly, I realized the cold hard truth: He could no longer drive safely. My heart sank and I told him very quietly that he had to stop driving.

Sooner or later, driving becomes a problem for all people with Alzheimer’s. There are usually many warning signs that it is no longer safe for them to be driving. The Alzheimer’s Association lists five primary ones:

  • Forgetting how to locate familiar places
  • Failing to observe traffic signs
  • Making slow or poor decisions in traffic
  • Driving at an inappropriate speed
  • Becoming angry or confused while driving

I would add two obvious items to this list: Causing an accident or running into another car while parking.

When loved ones exhibit one or more of these, it’s time to get them to stop driving. This will be one of the most difficult actions you will ever have to take. We all cherish the independence of being able to drive anywhere we want — any time we want — and people with Alzheimer’s are no exception.

It’s highly likely that you will face all manner of resistance, but you are ultimately responsible for getting the person to stop driving, one way or another.

2. Should the Person Be Placed in a Long-Term Care Facility?

Placing a loved one with Alzheimer’s in a long-term care facility is highly controversial. The vast majority of families don’t want to do it, and many refuse to even think about it. Some feel it’s the most cruel, shameful thing they could possibly do to their loved one, even if they have access to a high-quality facility nearby.

Full Article and Source:
The 5 Most Controversial Decisions Alzheimer’s Caregivers Will Ever Face

Woman indicted in patients’ jewelry theft

July 23, 2013

Lacey R. Simmons, 25, of 1824 N. Sheridan Road is charged with three counts each of burglary and financial exploitation of a person with a disability. She faces up to five years in prison if convicted.
Simmons is accused of taking jewelry from three patients at the Grand View Alzheimer’s Special Care Center in May.

Police said she told them she took some of the $3,000 in jewelry that was missing from the care center in late May.

Full Article and Source:
Woman indicted in patients’ jewelry theft