3 Cases Revealed, But Elder Abuse Largely Hidden (USA)

3 Cases Revealed, But Elder Abuse Largely Hidden (USA)

3 cases revealed, but elder abuse largely hidden

May 08, 2011
Donna Tower’s uncle told his family that someone was stealing his money, but the family didn’t believe him at first because he has Alzheimer’s.
In the end, the family learned that he was telling the truth – that the administrator of a Winterville nursing home was taking his money, and his brother’s, but no one would believe him.
“(She) had been taking their checks and we didn’t realize it,” Tower said. “My uncle with Alzheimer’s had said someone was stealing his money all along, but we just brushed it off because we thought it was just in his mind.”
Sherrye Dianne Huff, former administrator of the Winterville Retirement Center, was arrested Monday on five felony charges – three counts of theft and two counts of exploiting an elderly or disabled person – and one count of misdemeanor theft for stealing from the Alzheimer’s patient.
The investigator, Winterville police Sgt. Jimmy Fulcher, discovered while looking into the theft case that elder abuse is more widespread than people realize.
He arrested another Winterville Retirement Center employee on charges she punched another Alzheimer’s patient in the face for taking some butter off a food cart in the facility’s dining hall.
The 82-year-old resident died a few weeks later and authorities are investigating to see if her death was related to the assault.
Soon after, police say another employee of the Winterville Retirement Center stole drugs that had been prescribed for the patient who died, and police later found out the administrator was stealing money from other residents.
The three cases of abuse and financial exploitation happened in less than three months.
“More than likely, (elder abuse) it’s more widespread than we know,” said Fulcher, who last week launched a fourth investigation into the possible theft of money from another Winterville Retirement Center resident.

The first case Fulcher investigated at Winterville Retirement Center happened Feb. 22, when employee Cynthia Ann Barrow punched the Alzheimer’s patient, then told police that she only pushed the woman, who then slipped.

“Elder abuse is one of the most unrecognized and under-reported crimes,” said Ravae Graham, a deputy director with the state Department of Human Services. “Many abuse victims don’t realize it, don’t know what to do about it, or are too afraid to report their abuse or neglect.”

The National Center on Elder Abuse estimates that for each documented case of neglect or abuse, five cases go unreported.
Though people place trust in professionals to take care of their loved ones, relatives need to look for signs of abuse, according to an Athens woman, who took her mother out of an area nursing home after only a month when she discovered employees weren’t giving her mother the medication she needed.

Complaints about abuse or neglect can be made with the ORS online at https://services.georgia.gov/dhr/reportfiling/searchFacility.do?action=constituentComplaint.

Anyone who suspects that elder abuse is occurring should call Adult Protective Services at (888) 774-0152 or the state Department of Community Health’s Healthcare Facility Regulation Division at (800) 878-8442.

SOURCE:    OnlineAthens.com


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Rochester Man Accused of Neglecting His Elderly Mother, 85 (UK)


April 20, 2011
A Strafford County Superior Court grand jury has indicted a Rochester man on felony and misdemeanor level offenses alleging he neglected his elderly mother.

Leo Gordon Carter, 55, of 12 Crockett St., was indicted on Class B felony charges of criminal neglect of an elderly, disabled or impaired adult and second-degree assault as well as a misdemeanor charge of endangering the welfare of an incompetent person.

According to a news release from the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office, in July 2010, emergency medical services responded to Carter’s residence, where he was the sole caretaker of his 85-year-old, bedridden mother. The woman was found to be suffering from malnutrition, severe dehydration and infected bedsores.

The Attorney General’s Elder Abuse and Financial Exploitation Unit, headed by Assistant Attorney General Tracy Culberson, is prosecuting the case, which was originally investigated by the Rochester Police Department.

“We see anywhere from three to five cases a year come in, where there is an allegation of criminal neglect,” Culberson said. “Our goal is to investigate and prosecute cases of elder abuse, neglect and financial exploitation.”

Culberson said his unit also consults on similar cases being prosecuted by county attorneys across the state. He added that a grant has, over the past year, enabled the performance of statewide training for police and prosecutors aimed at increasing public awareness and “awareness among law enforcement and what to do when you see it.”

Culberson said Carter is not currently being detained, and no arrest was made, rather the case was a straight indictment. Carter is due to be arraigned on April 28 at 9 a.m. in Strafford County Superior Court.

An indictment is not an indication of guilt; rather, it means a grand jury has found sufficient evidence to warrant a trial. 

SOURCE:    Fosters.Com

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Haverford Nursing Home Loses License Over Elder Abuse (USA)


April 30, 2011

The family of Lois McAllister, a 78-year-old dementia patient, used a hidden camera to catch nursing-home workers physically abusing her, making her stand partially naked in front of them, and taunting her when they visited her room in late March.
The 12-minute video prompted an investigation by the state Department of Public Welfare, and the agency yesterday stripped Sunrise Continued Care, the parent company of the nursing home, of its license to run the home.
Ronald Melusky, acting DPW director, said in a letter to the company that the investigation revealed gross incompetence, negligence and misconduct at the Quadrangle, the Haverford nursing home McAllister was living in when she was abused.
According to reports, the elderly population is a little less than a quarter of Michigan’s total. But crimes against them recently have been nearly one-third of the state’s total. Many elderly are lonely and happy to engage with friendly types. Some are more gullible and naive, even if they were less so when they had many more daily interactions with others.

Criminals see seniors as easy marks. Also, many relatives of seniors find it easy to take advantage of their elders. These individuals often see the older family member as merely a source of extra revenue. They don’t have the care and respect for the seniors that they should have.

There are metro area organizations, such as Citizens for Better Care, that can help identify abusive situations. Elder abuse educators provided by the Detroit-based organization work with long-term care staff, residents and their families to recognize and combat sexual, physical, emotional and financial abuse, neglect, exploitation and abandonment.

Elder abuse shouldn’t be happening. People are supposed to respect their aging parents and grandparents. However, the problem is pervasive throughout our society and anything that can help fight it should be instituted or utilized.

So, mom and dad – grandma and grandpa deserve all of the help we can muster.

–Courtesy of The Oakland Press

SOURCE:     Philly.com


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Nun Scammer Found Guilty of Financial Elder Abuse (USA)

Nun Scammer Found Guilty of Financial Elder Abuse

Jury Convicts Denise D’Sant Angelo on 12 Felony Counts
May 11, 2011
A Santa Barbara jury today found Denise D’Sant Angelo guilty of embezzling $30,000 from an elderly couple whose home was about to go into foreclosure. The bespectacled fraudster, convicted last year of lining her pockets with money meant to save housing for a group of nuns, convinced the husband and wife she was skilled in the ways of financial and legal maneuvering and could save their home if they paid her.
She didn’t, and Deputy District Attorney Brian Cota proved in court that D’Sant Angelo used the money to pay for her rent and other personal expenses. She met the victims while going door-to-door on behalf of the nuns, and it was revealed during the trial that D’Sant Angelo often pitted members of the victims’ family against one another to her advantage.
The jury convicted D’Sant Angelo on six counts of felony financial elder abuse, six counts of felony grand theft, and one count of misdemeanor unlawful practice of law. She was also found guilty of the special allegation that she committed the crimes – spread out over the course of a year-and-a-half – while she was out on bail during her prior embezzlement case. If she receives the maximum sentence this time, D’Sant Angelo faces 11 years in prison.
Judge Frank Ochoa granted Cota’s request that D’Sant Angelo’s bond be forfeited and she be immediately taken into custody. He argued she’s a threat to the public and showed herself willing to continue scamming people while out on bail. Ochoa agreed, and D’Sant Angelo was lead out of the courtroom in handcuffs shortly after the jury was dismissed.
Cota said immediately after the verdicts were read it was telling that the jury, after deliberating for only three hours, reached a unanimous decision after listening to D’Sant Angelo tell her side of the story on the stand for four days. During closing remarks, Cota called D’Sant Angelo a “textbook case of a con artist, plain and simple,” and that she “gained [the victims’] confidence in order to steal their money.”
D’Sant Angelo will be back in court on Monday, June 6 for a sentencing hearing.

SOURCE:     Independent.com

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New Federal Estate Tax and Income Law Enacted
By Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq., a NJ Estate Tax Attorney On December 17, 2010, the president signed into law an $858 billion federal tax package. The main elements of the legislation are a two-year extension of the reductions of income, capital gains, and dividend taxes en-acted during the Bush Administration and a one-year extension on unemployment […]
Source: hnlawfirm.com

Elderly Abuse rife Since Earthquake (NEW ZEALAND)

Elderly abuse rife since earthquake

 30th May 2011
The elderly are taking the brunt of earthquake stress, with elder abuse rife in the suburbs.

Age Concern community nurse Kerry Howley estimated cases of reported elderly abuse had increased by 40 to 50 per cent since the earthquake.

“There’s a huge increase in stress and there has been some abuse related to financial issues. Some families in financial hardship treat an elderly person like a bank- using them for money.” she said.

Ms Howley knew of one case where a 91-year-old woman had been a targeted in an earthquake shelter by a 41-year-old man.

“A gentleman met an older lady at a shelter and took her home. He built up her trust and then took lots of her money. They didn’t know each other before the earthquake. He just saw the opportunity and moved on her,” she said.

Much of the abuse was verbal, but could also be physical or neglectful, Ms Howley said.

“I had one elderly couple in their 90s who were put into respite care because their home was so damaged in the earthquake. But their daughter wanted them to return home, even though they had no sewage or water, because she was in charge of their money. When they were in care their social worker wanted to know where all the money was going,” she said.
With thousands of houses ruined in February’s earthquake, many people have been forced to move in with their elderly relatives.
Police Inspector Dave Lawry said: “There’s been a lot of elder abuse going on. People’s houses are trashed so they’re moving in with mum and dad, or other family members, who they don’t necessarily get along with.”

Inspector Lawry said fights had been developing, with the elderly often being “pushed around.”

Some of the abuse had been “historic,” only coming to light after the earthquake as neighbours and friends checked on the usually isolated elderly.

“Sometimes the relationship with the family has always been abusive, but the elderly person just thought it was normal or that nothing could be done about it,” Ms Howley said.

SOURCE:      starcanterbury.co.nz

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Employment Retaliation Claims Surging
By Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq., a NJ Employment Law Attorney in Retaliation Cases The case can be made that discriminating against an individual in the workplace because of the person’s gender, race, religion, and similar characteristics is something of a behavioral aberration that is not a part of human nature—or at least most people would like […]
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