Archive for the ‘APS’ Category

VT Governor Peter Shumlin Expected to Sign Watered-Down Elder Abuse Bill

May 29, 2013

Gov. Peter Shumlin vetoed one bill last year. It was an innocuous-sounding piece of legislation that would have required the Agency of Human Services (AHS) to send monthly updates to the Legislature on how it screens and responds to reports of elder abuse.

Lawmakers gave it another go this session — both the House and Senate passed a similar bill — and this time around, Shumlin is unlikely to strike it down. That’s because lawmakers stripped a number of the more onerous reporting requirements in order to secure the administration’s support.

The bill deals with the Adult Protective Services (APS) division of the Department of Aging and Independent Living (DAIL). APS, which investigates reports of elder abuse, has been plagued with problems in recent years. Although DAIL dutifully chipped away at a backlog of hundreds of unaddressed cases,  advocates aren’t confident that the department has gotten its act together.

Full Article and Source:
Shumlin Explected to Sign Watered-Down Elder Abuse Bill

Elderly Couple’s Tale of Abuse Not so Uncommon

May 8, 2013

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.

It’s hard to imagine how a family home could sour and rot as the Jennings’ had, or how somebody could watch two elderly parents wasting away.

Full Article and Source:
Elderly Couple’s Tale of Abuse Not So Uncommon

Millions Stolen From Florida Woman

May 5, 2013

For nearly four years, Jeffrey T. Carr and his father allegedly used manipulation and a family rift to steal millions of dollars from a 91-year-old East Cobb woman.

But the alleged deception came to a halt around 10 a.m. Tuesday when investigators with the Cobb County Sheriff’s Office  Fraud Unit arrested the father and the son without incident, spokeswoman Nancy Bodiford said this morning.

Jeffrey Carr, 39, was arrested on charges that include four counts of theft by taking and exploitation of the elderly. Joseph T. Carr, 65, faces charges of theft by receiving stolen property and exploitation of the elderly.

According to Cobb County criminal warrants, Jeffrey Carr gained the trust of the woman in early May 2009 “by exploiting an ongoing sibling rivalry between the victim’s daughters, and allowing one daughter to isolate her mother from contact with other people and the other sibling.”

Despite ongoing efforts by Adult Protective Services to aid the woman, Jeffrey Carr allegedly allowed the isolation to continue, records show.

When the woman was hospitalized on Jan. 6, 2012, Jeffrey Carr allegedly arranged to move her to a Gainesville rehabilitation facility near him, “effectively isolating her from contact with her daughters and friends despite the victim’s initial request to go to a facility close to her residence in Cobb County,” an investigator with the sheriff’s office wrote in his warrant.

With the woman so close to him, he was able to monitor the people who had access to her.

At some point, Jeffrey Carr wanted to keep even closer tabs on the woman, according to the warrant. Father and son allegedly moved the woman in the middle of the night from the assisted living facility into the father’s Gainesville residence, a move that allegedly netted the son nearly $2.8 million “in the guise of fees, rent payments, commissions, legal fees and other charges in which the bank records subsequently showed the victim paid for directly,” according to Jeffrey Carr’s warrant.

Jeffrey Carr is being held in the Cobb County Adult Detention Center in lieu of $500,000 bond. Joseph Carr was released late Tuesday on a $100,000 bond.

Full Article and Source:
Millions Stolen From East Cobb Woman

Daughter Strapped Elderly Parents to Bed and Bilked Their Money, Police Say

April 20, 2013

Police have arrested a 65-year-old woman suspected of bilking money from her elderly parents while caging them in a room for up to 12 hours a day, the Redmond Police Department said.
Daughter Strapped Elderly Parents to Bed and Bilked Their Money, Police Say

Escondido Attorney Agrees to be Disbarred

February 7, 2013

An atttorney in Escondido recently admitted to stealing $275,000 from an elderly client’s inheritance and has agreed to be disbarred.

Sydney Claire Kirkland drained all but $10,000 from a trust account that an 80-year-old client set up. That client put the money in a client trust account with Kirkland, who had previously done legal work for him. In June 2011, the county’s adult protective services got a complaint from a bank manager and intervened. When APS questioned Kirkland, she lied to the agency. In addition to being disbarred, Sydney Claire Kirkland faces criminal charges of grand theft and stealing from an elderly adult. Kirkland became ineligible to practice law on January 19.

Full Article & Source:
Escondido Attorney Agrees to be Disbarred

Data Gaps Hamper Elderly-Abuse Review in VT

January 29, 2013

Vermont has made big progress in clearing up a backlog of investigations into reports of abuse, neglect and financial exploitation of the elderly and other vulnerable adults, according to both critics and defenders of the state’s Adult Protective Services system.

But there’s concern among some lawmakers and advocates that the division of the Department of Disabilities, Aging and Independent Living may be clearing the backlog, in part, by being too selective in taking new cases.

And the department’s commissioner acknowledged in an interview and in testimony to the House Human Services Committee that there are big gaps in the data used by lawmakers trying to measure the division’s performance.

The House Human Services Committee heard testimony Thursday that APS failed to intervene in a Bennington County case of an 89-year-old woman whose daughter was threatening to kill her.

Sandy Conrad, executive director of the Southwestern Vermont Area Agency on Aging, said repeated calls from her office to APS beginning at 1:13 p.m. on a Friday in November drew no response until the following Monday. After a cursory review, APS sent a letter to Conrad’s agency saying, “The available evidence indicated that abuse, neglect or exploitation did not occur,” she told the committee.

Despite appeals to more senior APS staff, there’s been “nothing to date that changes this decision,” Conrad said. “And that perpetrator still lives in that household and is still a threat to that situation.”

Full Article and Source:
Data Gaps Hamper Elderly-Abuse Review in VT

Dear Abby:

January 29, 2013

DEAR ABBY – My husband’s younger sister, “Cindy,” is mentally ill. She has caused tremendous problems in the family. She has been arrested too many times to remember and is now on five years’ probation for injury to a child. My in-laws continue making excuses for her and are the worst enablers I have ever known.

My husband once urged his dad to put Cindy into a group home or program that will take care of her because his parents are getting up in years. They refuse because it would mean they’d have to have Cindy officially committed, and they think there is still some magic doctor out there who will fix her.

Can my husband do anything as a last effort before something happens to one of his parents, or she winds up in jail?

DEAR SAD – Your husband should try to convince his parents to get some family counseling. It might help them accept that their daughter needs more help than they are equipped to give her. An outside, objective person should weigh in so that Cindy can get the professional help she so obviously needs.

If she is physically, psychologically or emotionally abusing her parents, Adult Protective Services can step in to be sure they are protected. When your in-laws pass away, if your sister-in-law becomes a danger to herself or those around her, a family member can request a commitment and psychological evaluation.

Dear Abby

Tonight on T. S. Radio: Alternatives to Guardianship

December 30, 2012

Join us this evening as Beverly Newman, Elder Advocate, Florida, discusses the alternatives to guardianship that most people never know exist.

The courts won’t tell you …and neither will any of the attorneys, predatory professional guardians, or those agents of doom and gloom from APS who stand to gain financially from the exploitation of the elderly for profit. Know your rights!

And know when a probate judge operating what is in essence a kangaroo court is violating not only the victims rights, but the law as well.

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

LISTEN LIVE or come back later and listen to the archive

Ohio Resident and Advocate Reaches Out to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)

December 3, 2012

This summer, I attended the forum on financial abuse whose agenda appears online(see FN:1). Hubert “Skip” Humphrey III, the head of the CFPB’s effort to protect older Americans, gave the keynote speech. Other presenters included Bob Blancato, the Elder Justice Coalition’s national coordinator, and Richard Browdie, current chairman of the National Council on Aging’s board of directors. I introduced myself to each of these presenters and delivered to them a document which, with a few changes, the CFPB now makes available for viewing at and downloading (see FN:2) This document focuses on the need to: (1) prevent the financial exploitation of individuals with severe cognitive impairment at the time they execute wills, trusts, POAs, deeds, mortgages and other important legal/financial documents, and (2) prevent the ruinous litigation which often results under such circumstances.

I began the original document with an introduction to the 3-minute video that ABC News broadcast and currently presents online (see FN: 3) as part of the full report which appears online (see FN: 4). Those who have watched this video and read the full report appreciate the following:

(1) the video was recorded in a hospital by the attorney who appears in the video;
(2) this attorney was disbarred and indicted for the actions he recorded in this video, in which he takes advantage of an 88-year old widow’s infirmity to obtain from her a Will and Power of Attorney;
(3) this video and report exemplify the lack of protection provided under such circumstances by our current laws and legislation, including the Elder Justice Act, the Elder Abuse Victims Act, the Older Americans Act, the Americans With Disabilities Act, state APS laws, and state guardianship laws.

I also discussed in the original document the 5-step forensic interview protocol for preventing such abuse which I advocate. This protocol is based upon recommendations of the American Medical Association and others. I identify and link many of my sources on pages 9 and 10 of the document (see FN:5).

The changes to the original document are discussed on the document’s first page. One of the changes is the addition of proposed legislation which I was encouraged to draft after the forum by the board of directors for the Ohio Association of Senior Centers. Another change is the CFPB’s redaction of some of the material. Exactly what the CFPB redacted can be easily determined by comparing pages 3 and 5 of the CFPB’s redacted version to the same pages of the unredacted version which I post online (see FN:6).

I am now waiting for the CFPB and others to answer the drafting questions which the Ohio Legislative Service Commission (LSC) has posed in its analysis of the proposed legislation.

~Tom Fields

1. Agenda
2. Document
3. ABC 3 Minute Video
4. ABC Full Report: Mary Ellen’s Mansion
5. Unredacted Version

Linda Kincaid Reports: Silicon Valley Tax Dollars Fund Elder Abuse, Part III

November 25, 2012

Gisela Riordan is a victim of elder abuse by the Santa Clara County Public Guardian. Gisela is falsely imprisoned and unlawfully isolated at Villa Fontana, a residential care facility in San Jose, California. That abuse is ordered by the Public Guardian and funded by taxpayer dollars.

In 2010, the Probate Court appointed the Public Guardian as Gisela’s conservator. The Court ordered the Public Guardian to manage visits with Gisela’s adult children. The court did not authorize any further restrictions on Gisela’s right to visitation.

Since 2010, the Public Guardian has denied visitors, phone calls, and mail. Family and advocates have pursued every avenue to establish contact with Gisela, determine her condition, and assure her she is not forgotten. When the ABC 7 News I-Team asked to visit Gisela, the Public Guardian instructed Villa Fontana to call 911.

Apathy &  Negligence by Governmental Agencies

California’s Resident’s Personal Rights and Notice of Conservatee’s Rights both guarantee Gisela’s right to visitation. California’s Probate Code requires the least restrictive residence. However, government agencies tasked with protecting those rights are entirely apathetic.

Adult Protective Services routinely refuses to intervene in cases of elder abuse by court appointed guardians or conservators. They did not respond to multiple complaints from this reporter. APS can be reached at 408-975-4900 or 1-800-414-2002.

Long-Term Care Ombudsman Wanda Hale stated to this reporter that Gisela is allowed to have visitors. Hale said she reached that conclusion based solely on discussion with staff at Villa Fontana, the facility that unlawfully enforces the isolation. Wanda Hale can be reached at 408-944-0567.

Community Care Licensing Division of Department of Social Services has authority to order compliance with regulations and to assess civil penalties for violations of resident’s rights. However, their June 19, 2012 Complaint Investigation Report on Gisela’s case indicates Licensing in Santa Clara County will allow violations of personal rights, provided the resident’s file contains “parameters” for those violations.

“Based on our investigation visits and phone calls are permitted within the parameters established in the resident’s file. Allegation is unfounded at this time and no citation is issued.”

Community Care Licensing San Francisco Coastal Regional Manager Pam Gill approved the report quoted above. Ms. Gill can be reached at 650-266-8800.

Full Article and Source:
Silicon Valley Tax Dollars Fund Elder Abuse, Part III