Man Charged With Abuse of Elderly Mother (MI. USA)

Man Charged With Abuse of Elderly Mother (MI. USA)

by LaNia Coleman

The Bay City Times

June 25, 2009

Authorities claim an 84-year-old woman had to have her foot amputated because her 54-year-old son neglected her.

District Judge Stephen P. Carras has arraigned Jonathan P. Nelson of Midland on one count of first-degree abuse of a vulnerable adult.

The victim was taken to the emergency room at MidMichigan Medical Center – Midland on May 12 where staff reported she had a fractured ankle, open wounds on one foot and dried feces on various parts of her body, earlier reports indicated.

Nelson remained jailed on $250,000 cash bond. He is awaiting a Wednesday, July 1, preliminary hearing.

At that time, a judge will decide whether sufficient evidence exists for Nelson to face charges in Circuit Court.

First-degree elder abuse is a felony that carries a maximum 15-year prison sentence.

Nelson is 16 months in to a five-year probation sentence for domestic violence, third offense, and attempted resisting and obstructing a police officer, state Department of Corrections records show.

He pleaded no contest to the charges in Midland County.

SOURCE: The Saginaw News – MLive.com – Saginaw,MI,USA
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Summit Aims to Educate Clergy Members about Elder Abuse (CA. USA)

26 June, 2009

An educational summit was held in Cupertino Thursday to train clergy members on how to look for signs of elder abuse.

According to the Mercury News, clergy members were added to a state list of “mandated reporters” five years ago and are required by law to report to authorities if they suspect abuse or neglect of seniors.

But despite the new law, organizers of the abuse summit say the problem is continuing to grow and that no reports of abuse have been filed by any clergy members in the county since then. Betty Malks, project director of the Elder Abuse and Neglect Initiative, says it is very important for churches to be educated about this issue because elders have the highest church attendance rates.

According to Malks, sixty to ninety percent of all cases involve family members. Malk says financial elder abuse is a hidden crime that often goes unreported. National statistics show only one in 100 cases are ever reported.

“That’s due to the shame and humiliation that’s involved with financial abuse especially if it’s in your family. You know, many people will say to me, ‘I didn’t raise my kids to do this,’” said Malks.

In Santa Clara County, Malks says 39 to 40 percent of all reports made to adult protective services involve elder abuse.

The Mercury News reports there are an estimated 700 churches, temples and mosques in the county. Malks hopes that by working with these faith-based organizations, more awareness will be spread about the problem.

SOURCE: KCBS – CA,USA
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Carer Admits Pensioner Sex Attack (UK)

A male carer at an Edinburgh nursing home carried out a serious sex assault on an infirm 76-year-old woman as she held on to her walking frame.

The distressed victim later told another employee that Joseph Sinja had “done things her husband wouldn’t do”.

Sinja, 32, admitted carrying out the attack on 26 April this year, when he appeared at the High Court in the city.

He is due to be sentenced later but THE Kenyan national was warned he could be deported.


Advocate depute Alex Prentice QC told the court: “The victim describes feeling dirty and sick as a result of the incident and that the accused had done something to her that her husband had never done.

“Her age makes the offence particularly distressing and embarrassing to her and any mention of it causes extreme upset,” he said.

The prosecutor told the court that the woman, who has suffered strokes, irregular heart rhythm and reduced mobility, remains at the home run by Edinburgh City Council, but is now treated by female carers only.

Sinja, who was allowed into Britain on a student visa, was employed as an assistant at the home through Family Circle Care Ltd, which provided the agency staff.

Abridged

SOURCE: BBC News, UK

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Helpline for Adults at Risk of Abuse (UK)

2nd July 2009

A HOTLINE to help adults at risk of abuse has been launched.

AskSal, a partnership between Thurrock, Southend and Basildon Safeguarding Adults Boards and national organisations Action on Elder Abuse and Voice UK, is a hotline for people to call if they are suffering abuse themselves or suspect an adult they know is at risk.

The helpline, which is the first of its kind in the UK, is the adult equivalent of Childline.

Gary Fitzgerald, Chief Executive of Action on Elder Abuse, said: “Many people do not report the abuse they suffer due to fear, shame and embarrassment. We hope that this unique partnership will cut through some of these barriers and enable people to access the support they desperately need.”

People calling the helpline will speak to skilled operators who can refer them to another agency if required, without the caller having to re-dial or re-tell their story.

The AskSal hotline number is 0808 80 10 345.

SOURCE: Thurrock Gazette – Thurrock,UK
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Plan to Crack Down on Elder Abuse (MI. USA)

By ALEX DOTY
Sentinel-Standard writer

June 29, 2009

With baby boomers aging and more of the population entering their golden years, local lawmakers are doing their part to ensure that senior citizens don’t end up being victimized by those preying on the elderly community.

Rep. Mike Huckleberry, D-Greenville, called elder abuse a concern for residents of Michigan.

“(Elder abuse) often gets swept under the rug here in Michigan,” Rep. Mike Huckleberry, D-Greenville, said during the unveiling of the plan Monday afternoon.

Under a new plan backed by Huckleberry and recently introduced into the state legislature, there would be increased penalties for cheating or defrauding seniors, citizens would be empowered to file criminal complaints against those who scam seniors and they would require financial institutions to do more to disclose the rights of seniors and disclose against fraud.

“The penalties and protections on the books when it comes to elder abuse are not strict enough,” Rep. Mary Valentine, D-Norton Shores, said.

Valentine, who was in Ionia along with Huckleberry to announce the plan, knows all too well the affects of elder abuse on its victims and families.

“This is a topic that is near and dear to my heart,” she said, adding at one time her uncle had fallen victim to financial abuse.

In especially hard economic times, Valentine also said financial elder abuse can hit close to home, especially when some family members might prey on unsuspecting seniors as a means for financial well-being.

In addition to providing protection against fraud and scams against senior citizens, the plan would also create a special community alert in the event of a senior going missing.

Called the Mozelle Alert, it would be a way to notify the public in case a senior citizen goes missing.

It was named after Detroit resident Estella Mozelle Pierce who died after wandering from her home, would be similar to an Amber Alert.

Additionally, with many at the state level doing what it takes to improve the economy by releasing certain offenders from prison, legislators don’t see the elder abuse crackdown as something that will put people back in jail.

“This is stopping people from going to jail,” Huckleberry said, adding the plan would be a deterrent aimed at preventing abuse.

He also called the jail space well deserved for those who do happen to be abusing senior citizens.

“If someone is abusing a senior, they belong in jail,” Huckleberry said.

According to Huckleberry, now that the legislation has been introduced, it is anticipated that it will be further hammered out in various committees before any future legislative action is taken.

“I think we have a good chance of this going through,” he said.

Rep. Brian Calley, R-Portland, said although he hasn’t had the chance to look over the proposal, he believes with people living longer these topics deserve a more thorough look in order to better protect senior citizens.

SOURCE: Sentinel-Standard – Ionia,MI,USA

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Promoting Bill to Combat Elder Abuse (MI. USA)

Promoting bill to combat elder abuse

Last year, over 16,000 adults were abused, and it’s estimated that 73,000 adult abuse cases go unreported every year.

June 29, 2009

UP legislators are in Marquette Monday promoting a bill that would combat elder neglect, emotional, and physical abuse.

The bill would also focus on financial exploitation of the elderly.

It proposes tougher punishment for those committing offenses.

The legislators conducted an informal meeting at the Senior Center in Marquette today. Unfortunately, nobody attended the meeting, but with a 40 percent increase in elder abuse in Michigan, lawmakers say the issue is extremely important, and the the bill needs to be passed.

“Sometimes the people that gain these peoples trust are than taking their money, they abuse them in someway, and we just want to make sure that doesn’t happen,” says State Representative, Steve Lindberg.

SOURCE: WLUC TV6 – Marquette,Michigan,USA

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Panel Focuses on the Dangers of Elder Abuse (CA. USA)

Panel focuses on the dangers of elder abuse

By Michelle Knight

knight@theacorn.com

Esperanza Boggs, 89, lost everything after her son, David Boggs, 51, set fire to their Camarillo home and killed himself on June 11.

Described by his mother as armed and dangerous, David Boggs had been under investigation for alleged elder abuse, accused of holding his mother a virtual hostage for years in their home and embezzling $211,000 from her.

He set the home ablaze shortly after Ventura County deputies arrived at the mobile home to serve him with court papers to move out.

Esperanza Boggs’ story, although more extreme than most, is familiar to social workers who deal with the increasing problem of elder abuse in Ventura County.

To help protect the county’s growing senior population, a panel of experts recently addressed how the elderly can protect themselves from abuse, financial and otherwise, during a discussion at the Goebel Senior Center in Thousand Oaks.

Marcy Snider, coordinator of Ventura County Human Services Agency’s adult protective services, said her agency received 2,100 referrals of elder abuse last year.

“This year, we’ll easily surpass that,” Snider said.

Social workers with adult protective services investigate neglect or abuse and connect elderly victims to resources in the community. The statemandated program is voluntary, free of charge and available to those 65 and older.

Many referrals to the agency involve caregivers not taking proper care of their elderly charges, Snider said. But financial abuse of seniors has become the No. 1 complaint in the past four months, she said.

Snider described an elderly woman in the East County who was lonely and befriended by a salesperson over the phone. Eventually the salesperson scammed her out of $50,000. Scam artists have duped money from retired teachers, lawyers and other well-educated professionals.

Family members and friends have also taken advantage of the elderly, Snider said. Caregivers have bought groceries for the senior but also for themselves and have filled up their gasoline tank on the senior’s credit card. The elderly person may have poor eyesight and not notice the extra charges on the statement. A friend or family member may steal blank checks from the bottom of the senior’s checkbook so they won’t be missed right away.

To report elder or dependent adult abuse, call the 24-hour hotline at (805) 654-3200.

To talk to Pollara, call (805) 654-2505.

Abridged

SOURCE: Camarillo Acorn – Camarillo,CA,USA

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Elder Abuse, Fraud Reports Rising As Economy Sinks

By Mike Sever

Record-Courier staff writer

It’s the same old see-saw — as the local economy sinks, reports of elder fraud and abuse are on the rise, officials say.

The number of elder abuse cases opened last year was 60 percent higher than in 2007, according to Cathi Rufener, family assessment supervisor for the Portage County Department of Job and Family Services. And, in the first quarter of this year, the department opened upwards of 70 cases.

A total of 210 cases of elder abuse were opened last year compared to 127 in 2007, Rufener said. How high the case load goes this year “probably depends on how the economy goes, how hot it gets this summer and how cold it gets this winter,” she said.

The department is working closely with the Portage County Sheriff’s Office, which has two investigators working with Adult Protective Services.

The close collaboration is important, Sheriff David Doak said. Caseworkers and investigators will respond together in serious cases.

“They are able to pick up those cases and run with them from start to finish,” he said. “If there is an in-house perpetrator we need to get on it right away.”

People who might suspect abuse or victimization of an elderly person can report it to the CARES Line (330-296-273). It’s the same hotline used to report suspected child abuse.

Abridged
SOURCE: Ravenna Record Courier – Ravenna,OH,USA
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Elder Fraudster Found Guilty (CA. USA)

Man faces more than 300 years for $11 million Ponzi scheme

By RACHANEE SRISAVASDI

THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER

June 30, 2009

A San Juan Capistrano man faces more than 300 years in prison after being convicted of almost 700 felonies for defrauding 125 people of $11.4 million, a prosecutor said Tuesday.

In a case billed as one of the largest elder-abuse cases ever handled by the Orange County District Attorney’s Office, Jeffrey Butler, 51, was deemed guilty of 693 counts – the majority of them involving financial elder abuse and the sale of unqualified securities, according to Deputy District Attorney William Overtoom.

The jury deadlocked on another 86 counts – leading Orange County Superior Court Judge James Stotler to declare a mistrial on those charges.

Butler was found not guilty on another 30 counts.

The reading of the verdicts began Monday morning and ended at about noon Tuesday.

Butler’s wife, Peggy Warmuth Butler, 49, was found guilty of four counts of filing false tax returns. She began crying when Stotler said he would allow her to remain free until sentencing for the couple, which is scheduled for Sept. 18.

Jeffrey Butler remains in custody at Orange County Men’s Jail until sentencing.

He was arrested in February 2006 and accused of defrauding senior citizen clients by pretending to help them prepare their wills and trusts.

The trial, which began in November, last almost eight months and included testimony from 92 victims, prosecutors said.


Abridged

SOURCE: OCRegister – Santa Ana,CA,USA

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Carer Guilty of Elderly Patients Assaults (UK)

by Tom Rowley

July 01, 2009

A SENIOR carer brushed an excrement-smeared nail brush across the mouth of a care home resident.

Linda Platt also pushed another dementia sufferer, Tameside Magistrates heard.

She left court in tears after being found guilty of two counts of common assault against two residents in their 80s at Heritage House nursing home in Stalybridge. She denied the charges.

The court was told the excrement incident happened in the early hours of 30 November after one of the elderly residents had soiled her bed.

Under cross-examination from defence solicitor Richard Birtwistle, Ms Platt, 59 – who had worked as a carer for 25 years and joined Heritage House in October 2007 – told Tameside Magistrates Court: “She was screaming in her bed. She did not like her hands being touched or let anyone near her nails. I tried to talk to her and reassure her and explain in detail that her nails were dirty and demonstrate what I was going to do.”

She denied that the nailbrush had made contact with the resident’s lips. She admitted she had called her a ‘dirty girl”’ but this was not said aggressively.

But prosecutor Kirstin Beswick said Platt’s workmate Janet Judge was stood beside her and had a clear view of the incident. Ms Platt said her colleague must have ‘misinterpreted’ her actions.

Another workmate, Hazel Tetlow, complained that one week later Platt ‘manhandled’ another resident in a corridor at the home. Platt, of Warrington Street, Stalybridge, had denied she had pushed the resident.

Chairwoman of the bench, Hilary Healey, told Platt that magistrates found the evidence against her credible and cogent.

“We believe that the brush did rub against the patient’s lips but you did not ram or shove it in.”

Mr Birtwistle said Platt was on medication for depression and anxiety. Magistrates extended unconditional bail until a probation report is ready at the court on 20 July.

Platt declined to comment after leaving the court in tears.

A spokeswoman for the home said: “The health and safety of our residents is paramount and our stringent whistle blowing policies and procedures brought these matters to light. We welcome the verdict of the court, which sends out the message that the abuse of vulnerable elderly people will not be tolerated.”

SOURCE: Tameside Advertiser, UK
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