Archive for the ‘Program’ Category

Michigan Scheduling Statewide Elder Abuse Summit in June

May 19, 2013

FLINT, MI — Genesee County will host a statewide summit exploring elder abuse — a problem that officials say is only expected to get worse.

Catherine A. Emerson, from the Prosecuting Attorneys Association of Michigan, said Genesee County was selected to host the summit in part because of the success of an elder abuse task force headed by Genesee County Sheriff Robert Pickell.

Pickell said his program, which is funded through a county millage, has obtained more than 400 felony warrants, including about two dozen so far this year.

The sheriff added that his elder abuse program has the time and manpower to handle incidents that local police agencies may not have the time or specialized skills needed to properly investigate.

Emerson said the issue of elder abuse is a growing problem, particularly as a large number of Baby Boomers age.

“There’s a perfect storm out there,” said Emerson, noting the aging population and continued financial hardships felt by many in the state.

Full Article and Source:
Genesee County to Host Statewide Elder Abuse Summit in June

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Attorney Leads Effort to Educate Minnesota About Elder Abuse

May 14, 2013

A once-small group that Anoka County Attorney Tony Palumbo started to confront elder abuse is about to unleash an arsenal of resources to help educate Minnesotans about the problem.

With nearly $50,000 in donations, Minnesota SAFE Elders has created a tool kit that includes a video and training materials that it will provide free to interested groups; it is expected out next month.

The group also developed an app for first responders to guide them through such cases and a community resource list they can immediately offer to victims.Another piece of the initiative is a “prosecutor’s trial notebook,” a collection of abuse cases that attorneys can use as a reference when developing their own cases.

A statewide help number and website also will be available.Minnesota SAFE Elders, which grew out of the group that first met in 2011, now includes county attorneys and others from across the state.

The SAFE stands for Stop Abuse and Financial Exploitation.While the topic of crimes and neglect against seniors has been examined by various groups over the years, Palumbo is excited because this program can systemically reach a statewide audience with practical information that will increase awareness while putting more perpetrators in jail.

Full Article and Source:
Anoka County Attorney Leads Effort to Educate Minnesota About Elder Abuse

Florida Launching Project S.A.F.E.

May 8, 2013

In honor of Older Americans Month in May, Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater is launching Operation S.A.F.E., a new initiative to “Stop Adult Financial Exploitation” and turn the tables on fraud artists who target Florida’s seniors. CFO Atwater is seeking to combat statistics that estimate at least one in five seniors has been a victim of financial fraud.

Initial workshops will be held this month in Cape Coral, Venice, Delray Beach, Clearwater, the Villages and Miami, with other locations to be scheduled throughout the year. “Our seniors contribute greatly to Florida’s economy and as a result many have built a nest egg that makes them targets for fraud,” CFO Atwater said. “It is my mission to ensure that they can better enjoy their retirement knowing they are armed with information to safeguard their finances.”

The workshops, titled Be Scam Smart, are part of CFO Atwater’s On Guard for Seniors initiative that he launched last year to educate seniors on specific financial products such as annuities, identity theft, reverse mortgages and long-term care insurance. Operation S.A.F.E. will focus on frauds and scams, such as fake lotteries and repair scams, and how these scams work on the psyche to convince seniors to take a chance on something that is too good to be true.

The Operation S.A.F.E. workshops are being provided by the Department of Financial Services, which CFO Atwater oversees, and will be presented by representatives from the Department’s Division of Consumer Services, Division of Agent and Agency Services and Division of Insurance Fraud; U.S. Senator Marco Rubio’s office; the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office; the Lee County Sheriff’s Office; the Miami-Dade Police Department; the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office; and the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.

Source:
CFO Jeff Atwater Launches Operation S.A.F.E. to Stop Adult Financial Exploitation

Florida: Operation S.A.F.E. (Stop Adult Financial Exploitation)

April 19, 2013

On Friday May 10, 2013, the Department of Financial Services, overseen by Florida’s Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater will present OPERATION S.A.F.E. (Stop Adult Financial Exploitation) at the South County Civic Center, Jog Rd., Delray Beach beginning at 1:00 pm. CFO Atwater’s office is partnering with the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office to present this program and to ensure that our Palm Beach County residents get the latest on local frauds and scams and who to call and what to do if they are a victim.

Details on numerous scams and frauds including identity theft, insurance and health care fraud, reverse mortgage scams, investment scams, contractor fraud and lottery and sweepstakes scams will be presented and you will learn how NOT to become a victim and how to protect your information and yourself. Representatives from the Department of Financial Services and PBSO will be there to answer your questions and assist you with any problems. Also at the event will be representatives from AARP, Elder Affairs, Consumer Affairs and other senior advocacy groups and agencies.

Current statistics show that one in five seniors has been a victim of financial fraud yet only one in 44 will report it.

Source:
Operation S.A.F.E. (Stop Adult Financial Exploitation) to be Presented

New Jersey: Volunteers Needed for Guardianship Monitoring Program in Hunterdon

April 9, 2013

Surrogate Susan J. Hoffman, announces that Hunterdon County is the first county to participate in the New Jersey Judiciary Statewide Guardianship Monitoring Program. The Guardianship Monitoring Program utilizes volunteers to review annual guardianship reports filed by guardians on behalf of their wards.

There is currently a need for volunteer researchers in Hunterdon. Researchers examine documents contained in guardianship files and enter information about the guardianships into a statewide database.

Volunteers will receive detailed training from the judiciary on how to read and analyze the guardians’ annual reports and how to gather data for the statewide database. Volunteer monitors will flag inconsistent or incomplete financial information, which will be reported to volunteer coordinators for further action.

The submission and review of the annual reports is essential to ensure that the susceptible adult population — the elderly and disabled — are being treated with dignity and are free from exploitation. Guardians may benefit by referral to sources of help and information that they may not be aware of.
Hunterdon County has had a similar program in place since 1996.

Information about the program and how to volunteer can be obtained on the judiciary’s website, njcourts.com, by calling toll-free 855-406-1262, or by emailing njguardianship.mailbox@judiciary.state.nj.us.

Source:
Volunteers Needed for Guardianship Monitoring Program in Hunterdon

Current Women’s Equality Issues Public Policy Conference

February 3, 2013

CANHR’s Executive Director Patricia McGinnis will be a speaker at the Current Women’s Equality Issues Public Policy Conference on Saturday February 9, 2013 at the Ontario Airport Hotel in Ontario, CA.

For More Information

New Guardian Oversight Program in Lubbock, TX

November 14, 2012

A program launched in May to oversee guardianships in Lubbock County has closed more than 50 cases because either the guardian or the ward has died, County Judge Tom Head said.

Head held a brief news conference during an Adult Protective Services conference in Lubbock on fraud and exploitation of the elderly.

Guardians are appointed in situations where someone is considered legally incompetent to make decisions or sign contracts — a situation that can arise because of mental infirmities such as dementia.

The guardianship oversight program is part of the county’s Office of Dispute Resolution, and has a goal of making contact at least once a year with each legal guardianship, using court investigator and court visitor services.

The county launched the program May 1, and, according to a news release, has conducted 80 investigations into guardianship applications and modifications, and reviewed more than 140 old cases.

So far, there have also been eight court-initiated guardianship applications, and five cases referred to either law enforcement, Adult Protective Services or the state Department of Age and Disability Services for investigation.

Full Article and Source:
New County Guardian Oversight Program Poring Over Old Cases

New National "Hotline" Set Up for Fraud

November 10, 2011

A new national hotline for seniors and adult children of the elderly [starts today} November 10th to deal with one of America’s biggest fraud problems: the estimated one out of every five citizens over the age of 65 who have been victimized by a financial swindle. Of particular concern are seniors with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) who can perform most daily functions, but have trouble or become confused when it comes to managing their finances.

The toll-free hotlines will address questions and offer free advice in the following key areas:

General Finance Questions 888-227-1776. Callers are encouraged to dial into this number to speak with an expert from the Financial Planning Association about their family financial security.

Medical Questions 888-303-0430. Callers to this number can get advice from health care professionals about medical issues such as mild cognitive impairment that can impact an older person’s ability to make wise and safe financial decisions and can increase their vulnerability to elder financial abuse and exploitation.

Financial Abuse Questions 888-303-3297. Callers to this number will speak with an adult protective services (APS) professional about elder financial abuse and strategies for keeping themselves or older loved ones independent.

Full Press Release and Source;
Stopping Elderly Fraud Cold: States, Doctors, Financial Planners, Others to Launch National Hotline November 10th to Fight Swindlers Targeting Older Americans

Arizona Forms ‘Taskforce Against Senior Abuse’ (TASA)

November 9, 2011

Seniors and the elderly are easy targets for predators.

This vulnerable demographic is being described as one of America’s biggest fraud problems. An estimated one out of every five citizens over the age of 65 have been victimized by a financial swindle.

To protect Arizona’s senior citizens, Attorney General Tom Horne formed the Taskforce Against Senior Abuse (TASA) earlier this year as an integral part of the Public Advocacy Division of his office.

In a statement, Horne said he is committed to making elder abuse awareness, prevention and prosecution a priority.

“Our seniors need to feel safe and secure in their homes. The Attorney General’s Office is aware of the vulnerability of these citizens and is working to make sure older Arizonans are not victimized.”

To reach TASA, the dedicated phone number is (602) 542-2124. Citizens may also email TASA at SeniorAbuse@azag.gov

Full Article and Source:
Ariz. Taking Steps to Halt Financial Abuse of Seniors

>Responsibility for a Deceased Relative’s Debts

May 18, 2011

>The loss of a loved one is tough to begin with, but if the loved one left debts behind, it can be even tougher. Family members generally should not have to pay for a decedent’s debts, but it is important to know your rights because collection agencies may target the decedent’s relatives.

Usually the loved one’s estate is responsible for paying any debts. If the estate does not have enough money, the debts will go unpaid. The debt collectors may not collect payment from relatives (unless they were co-signers or guarantors). However, if you are the spouse of the decedent, you may have responsibility for any debts that were jointly held. Depending on state law, some assets — such as a house or car — may be exempt from debt collection. You should talk to an attorney to determine your responsibility, if any.

If a debt collector contacts you, give the collector the contact information for the personal representative (also called the “executor”) who is handling the estate. It is the personal representative’s responsibility to make sure all bills are paid. Whatever you do, do not give any personal information to debt collectors. Scam artists sometimes pose as debt collectors to prey on relatives.

If a debt collector won’t stop contacting you, send a certified letter to the collector saying you do not want to be contacted again. Once the collector receives the letter, the collector can contact you only to tell you that there will be no further contact or to inform you of a lawsuit. Report any problems with debt collectors to your state’s attorney general or to the Federal Trade Commission.

Source:
Responsibility for Deceased Relative’s Debts