Monday, August 19, 2013
Pennsylvania has become the hotbed of "filial support law" enforcement suits, with health and long-term care facilities leading the charge.
In 2012, in Health Care & Retirement Corp.(HCR) v. Pittas, an intermediate court of appeals held an adult son liable for more than $92k in nursing home costs incurred by his mother under Pennsylvania's filial support law, 23 Pa.C.S.A. Section 4603. For a brief video analysis of the Pittas case and Pennsylvania law, see here.
The Pittas case was controversial in part because the court did not point to any fault on the part of the son as justification for enforcement. For example, there was no discussion of "improper" transfers or theft of the parent's assets, facts that had sometimes been the background of previous cases.
The Pennsylvania trend certainly has not gone unnoticed by the media or courts and legislatures in other states. I receive regular calls from attorneys and parties on all sides of the "filial support" enforcement controversies asking me to compare their state's (or even foreign countries') laws to Pennsylvania. For more on comparative analysis of filial support enforcement issues, see my recent Elder Law Journal (University of Illinois School of Law) article here.
Perhaps we are now seeing the pendulum swing the other way, rejecting modern enforcement attempts. One of the latest rulings on filial support law occurred in Montana. In a July 2013 decision, the trial court granted summary judgment in favor of a son on a nursing home's claim of close to $15k incurred for his mother's care. The court declined to enforce a cause of action for filial support, citing a bar on "third-party guarantees" under federal Medicare and Medicaid law, and thus suggesting enforcement of the state's separate filial law was preempted. For a scanned copy of the decision in Heritage Place, Inc. v. Jarrell, Case No. DV-11-430(D), in the 11th Judicial District Court, Flathead County, Montana, see the link available through ElderLawAnswers.
Perhaps even more significant is recent action by the New Hampshire legislature, changing state law to eliminate a statutory basis for an adult child to be held liable to support his or her parents. See 2013 New Hampshire Laws Ch. 212 (H.B. 481), approved July 10, 2013 and effective on January 1, 2014, amending N.H. Rev. Stat. Sections 167.2 and 546.A:2.
Will Pennsylvania legislators take similar action? For an answer to that question, follow Pennsylvania Senate Bill 70 and House Bill 224, for the 2013-2014 legislative session. Both the nursing home industry and the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare have opposed repeal efforts in recent years, while the Pennsylvania Bar Association has supported repeal.
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
The 66th Annual Meeting for the Gerontological Society of America (GSA) takes place in New Orleans on November 20-24, 2013. As lawyers and law professors are aware, "Elder Law" is an inherently multi-disciplinary field. The GSA meeting is an opportunity to discover and share the latest in interdisciplinary research on medicine, clinical care, basic science, social science, behavioral science, and public policy for issues connected to aging. The meeting attracts an international audience, with more than 4,000 attendees, and some 400 substantive sessions.
The theme for this year's meeting is "Optimal Aging through Research," and there is a special workshop on the topic of family caregiving for persons with dementia, which should be particularly interesting for those seeking the latest in evidentiary bases for state or federal legislation to support caregivers. Further, the deadline for "late-breaking" abstracts for poster submissions is September 15.
Full details on the annual meeting are available at GSA's website.
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
On June 15, 2012, World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, Director Cordray announced a Request for Information (RFI) to learn more from the public about the growing issue of financial exploitation of older Americans and best practices for elder financial management. A recent study suggests elder financial abuse cost seniors more than $2.9 billion in 2010, a 12 percent increase from 2008.
The goals of the RFI are:
- To help us understand the senior financial advisor market so we can improve protections for older Americans.
- To help make the work of the office for Older Americans more effective.
Read and respond to the RFI:
The RFI poses the following questions:
- How seniors can best determine the legitimacy of the credentials of financial planners and advisors.
- What financial education, counseling, or management programs are tailored to the needs of older Americans, their families, and their caregivers.
- Asks for information about power of attorney and guardian abuse, affinity frauds, and the exploitation of older veterans.
The RFI closes Monday, August 20th. We want your voice to be part of the record.
The information you provide us will help us better understand the issues of elder financial abuse and other forms of exploitation.
Assistant Director for Older Americans
Friday, June 29, 2012
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's Request for Information on Senior Financial Exploitation (RFI) is now in the Federal Register. The request seeks information on elder financial abuse and exploitation as well as certifications or designations of financial advisors who serve seniors. The Bureau is seeking as robust a response as possible. If you have regular membership calls or email communications (such as a listserv) and if you think it is appropriate to let your membership know about the RFI, please encourage comment submissions. There is a sixty (calendar) day window for responses. The last day for responses is August 17th.
Here is the link to the Request https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2012/06/19/2012-14854/request-for-information-regarding-senior-financial-exploitation
This is a unique opportunity for advocates and practitioners to let the CFPB know what they are seeing and experiencing personally and professionally on the issue of elder financial abuse and exploitation. In addition to questions about senior financial advisor certifications and advice, there are questions concerning financial literacy efforts, power of attorney and guardian abuse, affinity frauds and financial exploitation of older veterans.
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius:
"Our senior citizens have contributed so much to our nation. We owe it to them to make sure they can live out their later years in peace, comfort and safety.
That starts with doing a better job of protecting them from physical, mental and financial abuse. Each year, an estimated one in ten older Americans experiences some kind of abuse. Sometimes, it's an elderly woman left tied in her chair while her "caregiver" goes out. Sometimes, it's an aging parent who's bullied by a violent child. Other times, it's an older couple intimidated into turning over their life's savings to a crooked financial adviser.
This abuse is distressingly common. Yet it often goes undiscussed, and only an estimated one in 24 cases is ever reported to authorities.
As our population ages, we need a new commitment to fighting elder abuse.
That starts with making it part of the national conversation. Elder abuse has been able to flourish because witnesses too often fail to step in. Sometimes we simply don't recognize abuse, like when we assume an elderly friend gave his money away voluntarily. In other cases, we know what's happening is wrong but hesitate to speak out."
Wednesday, May 16, 2012
The National Survey on Abuse of People with Disabilities was released on May 1, 2012. In just over two weeks, 2,300 people have taken the survey.
To Take the Survey Now
The purpose of the survey is to seek input from the public, especially from persons with disabilities or those who interact with them, such as family members, caregivers, service providers, and advocates. Our intention is not to create a scientific research project, but rather a robust survey, the results of which may be used for research, education, and advocacy.
The survey, which takes just a few minutes to complete, gathers information about actual incidents of abuse as well as attitudes regarding the adequacy and effectiveness, or not, of official responses to such victimization.
The results will be shared with those who shape public policy and fund abuse-response programs (legislators), those who investigate and prosecute complaints of abuse (law enforcement), those who promote more effective protection and response systems (nonprofit advocacy groups), and most importantly, people with disabilities and their families.
After you take the survey, please forward it to your friends, family members, and colleagues. Mention it in your newsletter. Share it with your groups or listserv.
sexual, and emotional abuse of people with developmental or intellectual disabilities.
Our mission is to identify ways to reduce the risk of abuse, to promote healing for victims, and to seek justice for those who have been victimized.
The areas in which we take action include: public awareness, education and training, policy development, law enforcement, and professional consulting.
Missouri's elder abuse law could soon be expanded to protect older citizens from financial exploitation. The House voted 147-2 in favor of legislation that makes it a crime for those with authority over an elderly person to take advantage of that person's state of mind for financial gain. The provision would apply to people who have guardianship, power of attorney or some other financial management role for seniors. If someone steals money from an elderly person that had been intended to cover nursing home expenses, a judge could order that the money be paid to the home. Supporters say some senior citizens need more protection because of their age and health. The measure has already been approved by the Senate and now goes to Gov. Jay Nixon.
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Abuse in Later Life: Responses, Resources, Collaborations
Join us for a Webinar on April 11
Space is limited.
Reserve your Webinar seat now at:
In this session we provide an introduction for aging advocates to the universe of domestic violence and sexual assault services and resources available for older victims, including screening, safety planning, legal and social service responses, and community collaborations.
1. Understand abuse in later life as a subset of elder abuse
2. Learn how to effectively screen and safety plan with every client
3. Recognize services available to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault in later life
4. Identify potentially new community partners for collaboration and referral
- Rebecca Henry, Deputy Chief Counsel, ABA Commission on Domestic & Sexual Violence
- Bonnie Brandl, Director of the National Clearinghouse on Abuse in Later Life (NCALL), a project of the Wisconsin Coalition Against Domestic Violence (WCADV).
Additional sponsorship for this Webinar is provided by a grant from the Administration on Aging. This webinar is part of a series of National Elder Rights Training Project webinars for the National Legal Resource Center.
There is no charge for this webinar.
All time listings are in Eastern Standard Time.
If you have any questions email email@example.com
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), Office for the Financial Protection of Older Americans hosts March 16 teleconference
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), Office for the Financial Protection of Older Americans invites you to join us for a teleconference on March 16, 2012 from 11:30 AM to 1:00 PM PST.
Hubert H. ("Skip") Humphrey, Assistant Director of the Office for Older Americans, Jenefer Duane, Older Americans Senior Program Analyst, and Naomi Karp, Policy Analyst will provide an overview of the responsibilities included under the statute for the Office for Older Americans and an update on the progress towards these goals. Edwin Chow, CFPB Regional Director, will provide an overview of the CFPB's Supervision and Examination activities.
We will have ample time for questions and suggestions on how the Office for Older Americans can "Lead, Serve and Innovate" in collaboration with community stakeholders.
Participant access information:
Conference number: 7129273
To register for this event:
1. Go to the URL listed above and choose Web RSVP under Join Events.
2. Enter the conference number and passcode.
3. Provide your information for the event leader and then click submit.
RSVP's are not required, but will expedite your participation in the conference call.
Please join us! If you have questions, please contact Jenefer Duane at Jenefer.firstname.lastname@example.org
Friday, February 17, 2012
The NGA Review Course for the national certification exam is available in March as a webinar, offering you a group study experience for the examination right from your own desk using a computer and a toll free phone number.
The deadline to register is February 28.
The webinar study course is scheduled for four successive Tuesdays beginning March 6. All of the one-hour sessions begin at 1:00 pm Eastern Standard Time (Noon, Central; 11:00 am, Mountain, and 10:00 am, Pacific). These virtual review courses are also tentatively planned for late spring and mid-summer. Participants can register for all four sessions or just those where brush-up training is desired. However, your registration for March must be received by February 28.
NGA Also Has Guides for Independent Study
If you want to prepare for the national certification exam without taking a Review Course or if you plan to register for a Review Course at a later time, you can also purchase a study guide without registering right now for the course. State-specific study guides are also available for California and Florida. NGA does not offer a state-specific study guide for any other state.
Important Reminder: NGA does not administer the Certification Exams. The Center for Guardianship Certification (CGC), which conducts exams, is an entirely separate organization with a different staff and offices located in a different city than NGA. Registering for NGA's Review Course or ordering study materials does not automatically register you for the exam and vice versa.
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Consumer Voice hosts two-part Webinar Series on Guardianship, Financial Powers of Attorney, and Advance Care Planning
Join Us for a Two-Part Webinar Series on
Guardianship, Financial Powers of Attorney, and Advance Care Planning
The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care (the Consumer Voice) is hosting a two-part webinar series designed to give advocates, ombudsmen, consumers, families, providers and others a deeper understanding of guardianships, financial powers of attorney and advance care planning. Participants will gain a basic understanding of these three important legal protections and how best to work with and support an individual who has a guardian or agent. Suggestions and approaches for handling challenging situations will also be covered.
The series is designed for both beginners and those with advanced knowledge!
Series Topics and Dates:
- Guardianship, Financial Powers of Attorney and Advance Care Planning: What You Need to Know (Beginner/Refresher) - March 13, 2012; 3:00 - 4:30pm ET
Three national experts from the ABA Commission on Law and Aging will provide an overview of guardianship, financial powers of attorney, and advance care planning. For each of these topics, speakers will present the fundamentals, explain the individual’s rights, and discuss the roles and responsibilities of guardians, agents, nursing home or assisted living providers and staff, ombudsmen, and consumer advocates.
- Guardianship, Financial Powers of Attorney and Advance Care Planning: Taking it to the Next Level (Advanced) - April 4, 2012; 3:00 - 4:30pm ET
What do you do when a nursing home resident with unclear decision-making capacity disagrees with her daughter who is the agent? What happens when a guardian wants to make a decision that the resident adamantly opposes? Members of a panel representing the legal community, advocacy and providers will discuss how to approach and resolve these and other difficult situations.
- Consumer Advocates: $35 per session or $65 for the series
- Providers: $99 per session or $175 for the series
- Recording (mp3 by e-mail): $15 per session or $25 for the series
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
The View From the Summit:
Guardianship in the Next Decade and Beyond
Friday, May 18, 2012
We’ve read the recommendations from the Third National Guardianship Summit that took place in October, and attendees at NGA’s 2012 Colloquium on Guardianship will review those recommendations and learn how to put them into practice.
The day-long exploration of these issues features speakers that have been hand-selected for their high level of proficiency and breadth of knowledge. Each presenter brings skills based on experience and has recognized expertise.
In the past, your peers have called their Colloquium experience “a day well spent” with accolades for the sessions, the quality of the speakers and the exceptional networking. This year’s Colloquium will be no exception.
Featuring a one-day educational schedule and an interesting destination that makes a fun weekend getaway, NGA’s Colloquium is designed to give guardians a quality education and networking experience while minimizing the expense.
Friday, February 3, 2012
Call for Presentations!
2012 National Conference on Guardianship
October 20 – 23, 2012 in Portland, OR
Deadline is March 2
Please go here for detailed information about this Call for Presentations for the NGA’s National Conference on Guardianship. You are encouraged to forward this information to other people who you believe have important knowledge, opportunities, or ideas to share at the 2012 NGA Conference on Guardianship.
The NGA membership covers the gamut of guardianship work and we are hoping to balance the 2012 program among the various populations and types of cases served. We are particularly interested in topics in the following
areas, though all proposals will be considered:
• Developmental Disability Programming and Person-Centered Planning
• Traumatic Brain Injury: Understanding the Issues
• Mental Illness: Advances in Treatment, New Medications, etc.
• Dementia: Clinical Presentation or Management of Difficult Behavior
• Capacity Assessment Estate Management
• Establishing a Private Guardianship Business.
• Public Guardianship: Trends and Issues
• Ethics: End of Life Decisions
• Ethics: Conflicts of Interest for Guardians and Attorneys
• Alcohol/Drug Addiction in Older Adults
• Working with Difficult Families
• Tax issues for Guardians and Clients
Proposals will only be accepted by email (email@example.com)
Call 877-326-5992 for more information.
Proposals will be reviewed by the program committee and selected upon the criteria of overall quality, originality, CEU applicability, and appropriateness to this program. Presenters will be notified of their acceptance by the beginning of April.
Thursday, November 10, 2011
AARP’s Public Policy Institute today released a new research report focusing on older investors with diminished capacity—and how financial services professionals can best meet their needs.
Older people are increasingly responsible for their own retirement security in an era of defined contribution plans and other forms of “do-it-yourself” retirement. Financial capacity is the first kind of decision-making capacity to decline with the onset of dementia and other causes of cognitive impairment. Are financial services industries prepared for the age boom and increased incidence of diminished capacity?
This report includes extensive background information on diminished financial capacity, the risk of financial exploitation, and the financial professionals who serve older clients. It shares results of a national survey of financial professionals and an interdisciplinary roundtable about current practices, protocols and needs—and makes recommendations for federal and state policy-makers, industry, aging organizations and other stakeholders. You can find the report at:
Thursday, October 27, 2011
Sen. Al Franken introduced a bill Friday that would offer seniors who receive long-term care at home the same protections from abuse as those afforded to seniors living in nursing homes.
The bill, which Franken expects to roll into the Older Americans Act later this year, would require states to pass a Home Care Bill of Rights that protects consumer rights, safety and access to information.
“It became very clear to me after meeting with seniors from Moorhead to Winona that remaining independent and at home is a top priority for our seniors,” Franken said in a press statement. “But in order to keep our seniors in their homes we 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 homes already have.”
The bill would also create a voluntary ombudsman to deal with complaints about the system, as well as the development of a set of standards that the public could use to assess the quality of long-term care services.
Thursday, September 8, 2011
The American Bar Association Commission on Law and Aging, co-sponsored by several other ABA entities, is providing a CLE-accredited Webinar titled “Elder Abuse: What Every Lawyer Needs to Know” next Tuesday, the 13th, from 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm ET. The program is intended to provide lawyers with an overview of the problem; its complexities, extent, and impact; how it manifests and may be prevented or remedied; and ethical issues that may arise in elder abuse cases. Presenters include Alison Hirschel of the Michigan Poverty Law Program, Richard Milstein of Akerman Senterfitt, and me.
Reduced registration rates are available to government and legal services attorneys, as well as to members of the sponsoring entities. For more information about the Webinar and to register or purchase the recording, visit http://apps.americanbar.org/cle/programs/t11wln1.html. Any questions about the Webinar should be directed to the registration telephone number provided on that page.
Tuesday, August 2, 2011
The National Guardianship Network (NGN) is a working group of ten national organizations dedicated to good guardianship practices. The NGN is currently comprised of AARP; the American Bar Association (ABA) Commission on Law and Aging; the ABA Section of Real Property, Trust and Estate Law; the Alzheimer’s Association; the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel; the Center for Guardianship Certification; the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys; the National Center for State Courts; the National College of Probate Judges; and the National Guardianship Association.
In October 2011, NGN will convene a Third National Guardianship Summit: Standards of Excellence at the University of Utah S. J. Quinney College of Law. The Summit is a multi-disciplinary consensus conference of NGN delegates (and representatives of national co-sponsoring organizations) that will focus on developing and implementing basic uniform standards for post-appointment guardian performance and decision-making. The Summit is supported by grants from the State Justice Institute and the Borchard Center on Law and Aging, a program of the Albert and Elaine Borchard Foundation, as well as by donations from the NGN organizations.
NGN has created a Web site at www.guardianshipsummit.org that includes information about the Summit, as well as background information on adult guardianship reform and on existing guardianship standards. Also posted on the site are abstracts of nine law review articles commissioned for the Summit delegates. The site has an interactive comment feature, and your comments are welcome.
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
An orderly at a Spanish retirement home has admitted killing 11 residents, reports say.ccJoan Vila, 45, said he poisoned them with bleach, an overdose of insulin or drugs at the home in the north-eastern town of Olot, Spanish media reported. He had confessed to killing three residents "to end their suffering" when he was arrested in October. He then told a judge on Tuesday that he had killed another eight, the Spanish news agency Efe reported. The confession came 10 days after a judge ordered the eight bodies exhumed as part of an investigation into suspicious deaths at the La Caritat home. Doctors first alerted police after they found burns to the mouth and throat of an 85-year-old woman who died last month. Mr Vila then confessed he had killed the woman and two others by forcing them to drink bleach. In his latest confession Mr Vila told a judge he killed another six with a mix of drugs and two from an overdose of insulin, Efe reported.
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Via Lori Siegel/ ABA Eldebar Listserv:
The FEATURED TOPIC this week on the home page of the National Institute of Justice (NIJ)—the research, development, and evaluation agency of the U.S. Department of Justice—is “Preventing and Prosecuting Elder Abuse.” This highlights and provides easy access to a transcript and podcast of a session by that name from the NIJ annual conference last June. Participants at that session included:
- Andy Mao, Senior Counsel for Health Care Fraud and Elder Justice, Civil Fraud Section, Civil Division, U.S. Department of Justice, Washington, D.C.
- Shelly Jackson, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences, University of Virginia, Charlottesville
- Lori Stiegel, Senior Attorney, Commission on Law and Aging, American Bar Association, Washington, D.C.
- Page Ulrey, Senior Deputy Prosecuting Attorney, King County Prosecutor's Office, Seattle
The session focused on two NIJ-funded studies. Shelly discussed her study that looked at factors affecting a prosecutor’s decision to bring an elder abuse case. I had the privilege of presenting preliminary findings of our study assessing five court-focused elder abuse initiatives across the country. Page discussed our findings and their implications to the field; Andy facilitated the session.
Thanks go to Carrie Mulford of NIJ, whose portfolio includes elder abuse, for organizing the conference session and for doing whatever it took to have NIJ give elder abuse such prominent coverage on its home page.
Through this week, you can access the transcript and podcast on the NIJ home page:
After this week, you can still find the transcript and podcast (and lots of other good information) on NIJ’s elder abuse page:http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/nij/topics/crime/elder-abuse/welcome.htm
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
The October 2010 edition of the National Center of Elder Abuse newsletter is now online.
Table of ContentsOctober Observances Provide Opportunities to Address Elder Abuse
Healthcare Infrastructure Grant to Foster Elder Abuse Research among Chinese Americans
Promising Practices Programs: Highlights from Florida, Massachusetts, and California
Call for Promising Practices
New Network Created for Violence Prevention throughout the Lifespan
Advance Notice – Second Opportunity for Background Check Program Funding
Elder Abuse Awareness Campaign Receives 2010 National Mature Media Award
Calls for Presentations
Requests for Nominations and Recognitions
State News: Delaware, Louisiana, and North Carolina