Elders Warned of Rising Crime

Elders Warned of Rising Crime

October 22, 2010
DA tells seniors they must be vigilant
Warning that more elderly residents are falling victim to crime, Bristol County District Attorney Sam Sutter urged an audience of senior citizens and their caregivers to be more vigilant for all forms of abuse, including scams by strangers, unscrupulous insurance companies and the neglect and coercion of some relatives.

“Crimes against elders are rising and they’re rising because the elder population is rising,” Sutter told the annual elder abuse prevention conference Thursday sponsored by the Attleboro TRIAD.

More than 100 people gathered at the LaSalette Shrine Welcome Center to hear Mary Richardson, the former WCVB-TV Chronicle anchor and current liaison for Caritas Health Care, lead a discussion about the dangers faced by the elderly community.

“Many more seniors today I think are alert and are aware. They know a scam when they see one,” Richardson said. “Although it still happens.”

Richardson said the elderly have the right not to be pressured, not to be bullied, and the right to make their own decisions about their life and their finances. 

Assistant District Attorneys Paul Machado and Silvia Rudman touched on some of the laws protecting the elderly and ways to prevent victimization.

“There’s often a combination of neglect and financial benefit,” Rudman said. “There are some laws that have been created because we have become acutely aware of how seniors have become taken advantage of.”

Those laws include reckless endangerment and assault and battery of an elder person, she said.

“It can be avoided if you reach out to your community. It can be avoided if you make sure that your loved ones have regular care,” Rudman said.

Lucilia Prates, a representative from the Senior Medical Patrol addressed health care fraud, and stressed the importance of reading Medicare statements to look for fraudulent charges.

“Health care errors cost billions of dollars – your dollars, your tax dollars,” Prates said. “Massachusetts has been designated as one of the top 18 states where fraud is committed in the health care system.” 

Speakers stressed that preventing crimes against the elderly begins with awareness. Knowing about a scam ahead of time can help seniors avoid becoming victims.

Registrar of Probate Gina DeRossi spoke of important legal issues involving living wills and knowing the limits of granting the power of attorney.

Sutter said a 10 percent cut in his office’s budget has reduced his ability to fight abuse.

“For law enforcement, it’s trying to do the same job with less resources,” he said.

“I learned that there is only so much you can do with less,” Sutter said. “The more we can prevent crime the more we can save money on prosecuting crime.”

SOURCE:    The Sun Chronicle

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Only $50,000 left in estate for Tennessee Children’s Home

Executor accused of raiding funds
OCTOBER 14, 2010

Only about $50,000 remains of a nearly $800,000 estate left in a will to the Tennessee Children’s Home.

The former executor wrote $100,000 in checks to himself, invested in Iraqi dinar, and lost $340,000
after investing in Hanover Corp., an investment company later revealed as a Ponzi scheme, said Bill Alsup, 
development director at the home for abused, neglected or delinquent boys.
Now, Alsup and others with the home fear they won’t be able to find Daryl Bornstein to hold him
 accountable for the estate left by retired Metro firefighter Raymond Simmons, who died in 2006.
“That money would have been helpful, especially considering what we’re doing,” 
Children’s Home President Brian King said, explaining that the home’s antiquated facilities need to be 
rebuilt. King said the board would look at its options.

SOURCE:   The Tennessean


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Carers Jailed For Attachk on Patient in Residential Home (Scotland, UK)

22 October 2010

A carer at an Edinburgh residential home who hit a 79-year-old dementia patient on the head has been jailed for four months.
The city’s sheriff court heard that Valerie Stone, 49, also lost control on a separate occasion and shouted aggressively at the patient, Roy Brown.
Sheriff Deidre MacNeill QC said: “I cannot get away from how serious this is.”
But she added the sentence had been reduced to reflect Stone’s guilty plea.
At an earlier hearing, fiscal depute Aidan Higgins told the court Stone, who is morbidly obese and has mobility problems, had “particular difficulties” with Mr Brown as well as struggling generally in her job at Bupa-run Braid Hills Nursing Centre.
Struck out
Mr Higgins said Stone had hit Mr Brown as she and a colleague helped him to get out of bed one morning.
He said: “As they were trying to get him to his feet he seemed to fall forwards and seemed to lose control of himself and lose his balance.
“It would appear that the accused thought that he was lunging at her and it appears she thought she would get in first and she struck out and hit him forcefully on the head.
The one saving grace is she is no longer employed and will never be employed again in that position ”
Ross GardnerDefence solicitor
“The colleague who was with her shouted in shock and said ‘what on earth are you doing?’ and ‘that is completely out of order’.
The accused replied ‘he was going to hit me first’.”
The fiscal depute added that carers were expected to be able to cope with dementia patients, who could be unpredictable.
Mr Higgins also described how on another occasion Stone had been helping Mr Brown in his room when she became very angry.
“This was observed by a colleague and she seemed to lose control and started screaming and shouting at him,” Mr Higgins said.
He added that management were not told about the offending behaviour until January this year.
He said that as soon as managers were informed Stone was suspended and police informed.
Stone admitted ill-treating or neglecting Mr Brown under the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) Act 2003.
The offence happened on two occasions between 1 July and 30 November 2009, at the Liberton Drive home.
‘Real stain’
Defence solicitor, Ross Gardner said: “She knows this has been seen as a serious matter.
“Although she was not defenceless, the patient was.
“The one saving grace is she is no longer employed and will never be employed again in that position.
“She is unlikely to work again given her health difficulties.”
Mr Gardner added that the offence was a real “stain” on Stone’s character and that community service was not an option due to her health.
A letter from Stone’s doctor was previously read out in court which highlighted the high levels of stress she had suffered.
The letter said she had been given anti-depressants which had not helped and had also suffered from morbid obesity.



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