Archive for the ‘Senator’ Category

Senator Frankin Pushes Legislation to Protect Minnesota Seniors From Elder Abuse

May 28, 2013

U.S. Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) reintroduced a bill to guarantee Minnesota seniors basic rights and protections from abuse and neglect as they receive long-term services and support in their homes and communities.

Sen. Franken will push to get this bill included in the Older Americans Act when it comes up for reauthorization in this Congress, which is expected as early as this Thursday.

“Seniors from Moorhead to Winona have told me that remaining independent and at home is a top priority for them and their families,” said Sen. Franken. “We work to keep our seniors in their homes, we also have to make sure they’re safe.

This legislation would ensure that seniors who choose to receive long-term services and supports in their homes and communities have the same rights and protections from elder abuse that seniors living in nursing rooms already have.” Residents of nursing homes are guaranteed certain rights and protections from elder abuse, but Sen. Franken has heard from Minnesota seniors and their advocates that seniors who receive services in their homes and communities are often left without a place to turn if they feel unsafe or have problems with their services.

Sen. Franken has reintroduced the Home Care Consumer Bill of Rights Act to address these concerns.

Full Article and Source:
Senator Franken Pushes Legislation to Protect Seniors From Elder Abuse

NY State Senator John Sampson Charged With Embezzlement

May 26, 2013

A prominent New York state senator pleaded not guilty on Monday to embezzlement and other charges alleging he brazenly tried to sabotage a federal fraud investigation of his law practice by seeking inside information from an employee of the Brooklyn U.S. attorney’s office.

Sen. John Sampson told the employee – who has since been fired – that he wanted to identify cooperators in his case so he could arrange to “take them out,” prosecutors said in announcing an indictment against the former Democratic leader in the Senate.

The indictment alleges that Sampson embezzled $440,000 from escrow accounts under his supervision as a court-appointed referee for foreclosures.

Full Article and Source:
John Sampson Arrested:  NY State Senator Charged With Embezzlement

Alabama: Legislation Would Protect Seniors From Physical Abuse, Monetary Crimes

December 15, 2012

A group of Alabama legislators and government agency officials [12/10] announced proposed changes to state laws they said will boost protection for people 60 and older in cases of elder abuse, neglect and financial exploitation.

State Sen. Cam Ward of Alabaster and Rep. Paul DeMarco of Homewood attended the press conference at the Heardmont Senior Center to show their support of the proposed legislation they are sponsoring.

“This is the opportunity to finally go in and look at where some of the loopholes have been,” DeMarco said about state laws pertaining to elder abuse and financial exploitation.

The bill would target caregivers, people with power of attorney, legal guardians and anyone else who monetarily takes advantage of elderly or physically abuses them. It expands the criminal penalties associated with such acts and provides more avenues for prosecution.

Full Article and Source:
Legislation Would Protect Seniors From Physical Abuse, Monetary Crimes

Blumenthal, advocates for elderly target ‘chemical restraint’ abuse at care facilities

October 13, 2012

Calling it a form of chemical restraint, Sen. Richard Blumenthal and advocates for the elderly Tuesday blasted the practice of prescribing antipsychotic drugs for dementia patients in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities.

“It is a form of elder abuse. It’s chemical restraint — no less pernicious and insidious than physical restraint of patients — and it should be stopped,” Blumenthal said.

During a press conference at the Capitol, Blumenthal announced that he has introduced a bill to crack down on the overprescription of these off-label drugs. At the same time, health care advocates and advocates for the elderly announced that they have formed a statewide coalition that aims to reduce this type of off-label antipsychotic drug use in Connecticut by 15 percent.

Both Blumenthal and the coalition are trying to combat the practice of giving agitated or confused dementia patients antipsychotic drugs, such as Risperidone, Quetiapine and Olanzapine, to calm them down.

This type of “off-label” use has not been approved by the FDA. These drugs can cause excessive sedation and unresponsiveness and can increase the risk of stroke and death in fragile, elderly patients, Blumenthal said.

Connecticut nursing homes use off-label antipsychotic drugs 24 percent to 65 percent of the time, while the national average is 23.9 percent, said Nancy B. Shaffer, state ombudsman for the state’s office of long-term care.

“We have some work to do,” she said.

Full Article and Source:
Blumenthal, advocates for elderly target ‘chemical restraint’ abuse at care facilities

NY Senate Passes Bill Criminalizing Exploitation of the Elderly

June 22, 2012

The State Senate responded to the need for increased protection against financial exploitation of elderly and vulnerable adults by passing legislation to make such actions a crime. The legislation (S6712 ), sponsored by Senator Patrick M. Gallivan (R-C-I, Elma), gives district attorneys and police the tools they need to prosecute instances of financial exploitation of vulnerable elderly or people with physical or mental disabilities.

“Scams targeting the elderly and disabled have become increasingly more sophisticated and widespread in recent years,” said Senator Gallivan. “This legislation will give district attorneys and local law enforcement the prosecutorial powers needed to protect some of New York State’s most vulnerable citizens. Twenty-nine other states have enacted statutes specifically designed to protect senior citizens against financial abuse and I applaud my Senate colleagues for taking the first step towards ensuring that New York does the same.”

Financial exploitation of the elderly or those who have a physical or mental disability that prevents them from caring for themselves is a pervasive and often unseen form of abuse. The National Center on Elder Abuse defines elder financial exploitation as “the illegal or improper use of an elder’s funds, property or assets.” Such instances of exploitation can include credit card fraud, real estate scams, identity theft and burglary, which are also notoriously difficult to combat. Even when reported to local authorities, antiquated criminal statutes make it difficult to prosecute these offenses.

The bill establishes exploitation of a vulnerable elderly, incompetent, or disabled person as a form of larceny. It also requires adult protective services officials to report all instances of suspected exploitation to their district attorney’s office.

The bill will be sent to the Assembly.

Senate Passes Bill to Create New Crime of Exploiting the Elderly and Vulnerable Adults

Senator Lois Wolk Honored for Her Work to Protect CA Seniors

June 7, 2012

The Elder Financial Protection Network, the primary provider of elder financial abuse prevention programs in California, honored Senator Lois Wolk Thursday for her work to protect the state’s seniors throughout her tenure in the Legislature.

The group’s board of directors presented Wolk with the Donald N. Phelps Visionary Award at the 9th Annual “Call to Action 2012” in San Francisco, an event where law enforcement, consumer advocates, banking institutions, legal experts, and consumers come together to share best practices to prevent elder financial exploitation and fraud, including advances in community education and consumer protection.

“It is a great honor to be recognized by the Elder Financial Protection Network, which provides such vital services to help protect our state’s seniors,” said Wolk, D-Davis. “As our senior population continues to grow at a rapid pace, so too does the need to provide them with the information and tools they need to protect themselves. Perhaps the most important thing I’ve learned working on senior issues is that the best thing anyone can do to protect themselves is to stay informed and aware.”

Full Article and Source:
Wolk Honored for Work to Protect CA’s Seniors

Senators Press for Solution to Painkiller, Antipsychotic Abuses

April 5, 2012

Fearing an “epidemic” of death and defects from the illegal use and improper prescribing of painkilling and antipsychotic drugs, senators Thursday pressed a panel of doctors and health-care officials about how to stop the problem.

“It is tragic, it is sad, it is needless, it is fraudulent, it is horrible,” said Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D.,W.Va), chairman of the Finance subcommittee on health. “And it is costing so much money that could be spent elsewhere.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention used the term epidemic in the fall in reporting that deaths from overdoses of painkillers had more than tripled in the last decade and surpassed heroin and cocaine deaths combined. State and federal authorities have tried to arrest those running so-called pill mills, at which painkillers are sold illegally.

Senators Press for Solution to Painkiller, Antipsychotic Abuses

MO Senator Wants to Expand Law on Elder Abuse

March 11, 2012

A Missouri senator wants the state to expand its law on elder abuse by adding language to protecting older citizens from financial exploitation.

Sen. Kevin Engler is proposing to make it a crime for those with authority over an elderly person to take advantage of the older person’s state of mind for financial gain. The legislation would apply to people who have guardianship, power of attorney or some other financial management role for seniors.

Full Article and Source:
MO Senator Seeks to Expand Elder Abuse Law

Senator Gillibrand Promotes Legislation to Help the Aging

March 4, 2012

The growing number of senior citizens in the North Country will benefit from programs in the Older Americans Act that U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York is supporting in the Senate, the Albany-area native and Democrat says.

According to Census Bureau figures cited by Gillibrand, 7,529 people in St. Lawrence County will reach 60 years old in the next five years. Her report says that there are now 21,907 people 60 or older in the county.

“When seniors stay in their homes and maintain their independence, they live longer, healthier, happier lives, and taxpayers save millions,” said Gillibrand, a member of the Senate’s Special Committee on Aging. “From opportunities to continue living independently, to access to better nutrition, empowering our seniors with better financial literacy and protecting them from abuse, these are the priorities I will be fighting for to ensure the Older Americans Act works for New York’s seniors.”

Gillibrand, who is running for re-election this year, says her priorities include providing better aging-in-place opportunities so more seniors can get the care they need in their own homes instead of moving to costly nursing homes, providing more effective financial literacy services, improving nutrition, and preventing elder abuse.

Sen. Gillibrand Promotes Legislation to Help Aging

Bob Queener Guardians Deal With More Care Hurdles

February 18, 2012

Bob Queener of Des Moines, a dementia patient who has become the face of what some say are injustices in how elderly and mentally disabled Iowans are treated, is again facing uncertain living arrangements that his guardians describe as cruel.

The latest news: Queener was shipped to a psychiatric ward at the Veterans Administration hospital in Des Moines about 10 days ago, and his court-ordered care facility — Trinity Center at Luther Park — is now taking steps to assure that he won’t return to its care, his co-guardians say.

The guardians also say they were not notified of a commitment hearing in Polk County on Friday, and that the situation has left people who oversee Queener’s care to scramble in an attempt to find suitable living arrangements for the 80-year-old Korean War veteran, who also has autism.

“He’s a fine man,” Sen. Dennis Black, D-Grinnell and Queener’s co-guardian, said on the Senate floor Monday. “He’s done great things for this country. He’s always attended to his own business and never has been involved in crime, and now he’s being thrown away by the system.”

Full Article and Source:
Queener Guardians Deal With More Care Hurdles

See Also:
Bob Queener: “Slowly Tossed Away”