Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Each year, through the Leadership Awards, NCCNHR: The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care, recognizes individuals who have demonstrated an exceptional commitment to improving the lives of long-term care facility residents. Award nominations may be made by individual or group members of NCCNHR and must be submitted no later than July 9, 2007. Award recipients each receive a beautiful plaque, awarded at NCCNHR�s 2007 Annual Conference and Meeting, held October 21-24, 2007 at the Hilton Crystal City Hotel in Arlington, VA.
For more information, including awards, criteria and nomination form, visit: http://www.nccnhr.org/public/50_158_436.cfm.
Monday, June 25, 2007
The Notre Dame Journal of Law, Ethics & Public Policy – which publishes symposia exclusively – has just published (v. 21, No. 2) its “Symposium on Aging America.” It includes articles on a variety of topics including public pensions, driving competence regulations, health disparities, and long-term care, the latter containing contributions by Dick Kaplan, Eric Carlson, Larry Frolik, and Peggie Smith.
HHS Online Tool Provides Hospital Care Comparison by Area
Thanks to Joe Hodnicki, Law Librarian Blogger King....
Dick Kaplan (Illinois) was quoted extensively in yesterday's Chicago Tribune. Here's an excerpt from the article:
"Richard Kaplan, a University of
Illinois law professor and faculty adviser to the university's Elder
Law Journal, believes more regulation is in order for these products,
particularly as the wave of Baby Boomers heads into retirement. Until that happens, he said, consumers need to arm themselves with as
much information as possible and push for the best features, including
inflation protection and shortened lock-in periods for retrieving money
from annuities, he said. Here are some other issues that Kaplan said seniors should watch out for as they consider money moves in retirement: Don't rely on regulations for protection. When retirees could rely on
permanent Social Security and private pensions, strictly regulated
annuities weren't a high priority, Kaplan said. Now defined
benefit-pension plans have waned, almost to the point of extinction, he
Read his every word at http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/yourmoney/chi-ym-journey-0624jun24,0,5056874.story?coll=chi-bizfront-hed
Saturday, June 23, 2007
A commission created to study Virginia's mental health system will examine the criteria used to force treatment of mentally unstable people — a topic that has invited scrutiny since a deadly shooting spree at a state university. Virginia's involuntary commitment laws are among several issues a special mental health commission of the Supreme Court of Virginia plans to tackle at a meeting Friday. The Commission on Mental Health Law Reform was created last year and has been working on a mental health reform package for the state's 2008 legislative session. The topic gained urgency in April, after Virginia Tech student Seung-Hui Cho killed 32 students and faculty at Tech before taking his own life. Cho had been ordered into involuntary outpatient treatment in 2005, after a special justice found that he presented "an imminent danger to himself as a result of mental illness."
Source: MSNBC/AP, http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19356421/
Toronto Homes for the Aged raised the rainbow flag at Fudger House for the third year in a row, to celebrate the diversity of all residents who call Fudger House home. The Home has gained international acclaim for being one of the first long-term care homes in North America to offer a gay-positive environment. The Honourable George Smitherman, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, joined this year's Pride Parade's Grand Marshal, Russell Alldread (a.k.a. Michelle DuBarry), residents, staff, family members and community partners to celebrate both Pride Week and the steps Toronto Homes for the Aged is taking to make its homes welcoming to all of Toronto's residents. The celebration will continue into Sunday, when the Home takes part in the Pride Parade. "Fudger House serves a very diverse community, and is committed to making sure that all members of the community have access to quality long-term care, and they are proud to have built such strong community partnerships to make sure this commitment continues," said Minister Smitherman. "I look forward to the day when all long-term care homes in Ontario are promoting a gay-positive environment."
Source: CNW Telbec, http://www.cnw.ca/fr/releases/archive/June2007/22/c8271.html
Hey Josefina Carbonel--which Pride parade will you be marching in this year?
Friday, June 22, 2007
As the number of farms dropped during the last century, the age of the remaining farmers has steadily increased, experts told a Senate panel Thursday. In 2002, nearly a quarter of American farmers were 65 or older compared with about 8% in 1910, Agriculture Department census reports show. That has caused concern among agriculture-dependent communities about their economic vitality in the future. "As our population has aged, so has America's farmers," said Sen. Gordon Smith, R-Ore., the top Republican on the Senate aging committee, which held a hearing on farmers. #We need to be proactive in recruiting more youth into farming to effectively turn their current trend around." Smith said another reason for concern about the lack of young farmers is that the United States could face a security risk if it is forced to become a food-importing nation. Although American farmers grew a record crop of food last year, the country also imported a record amount, he said. Keith Collins, chief economist of the Agriculture Department, said the average age of farmers increased by nearly five years to 55.3 in 2002 from 50.5 in 1982.
More in Detroit Free Press, http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070622/NEWS07/706220334/1009
"You get confused, especially when you're alone," said Roberts,
who played matriarch Marie Barone on "Everybody Loves Raymond" for nine
seasons. "Don't sign any papers. Ask someone. Ask SEAPA," she said.
The acronym refers to the Stanislaus Elder Abuse Prevention Alliance, a group of county
agencies, law enforcement and community organizations committed
to tackling elder and dependent abuse. Roberts visited the Samaritan
Village retirement community on Wednesday to celebrate the alliance's
10th anniversary. Speaking in a noticeably lower voice than her most memorable
character — Roberts said Marie's voice is an octave higher than her own
— the five-time Emmy
winner, 76, said, "We need to be protected. We
need helpers. A lot of people don't have that. They need help. That's
what SEAPA does." For example, an ombudsman from Catholic Charities, one of the
alliance's members, may visit an elderly person to be sure he
understands he's giving up his power of attorney. Stepping up, literally,
to the podium by way of a riser, TV's favorite meddling mother-in-law,
Doris Roberts, warned her fellow seniors not to sign anything without
asking for help.
More at Inside the Bay Area Dot Com, http://www.insidebayarea.com/trivalleyherald/localnews/ci_6193411
Thursday, June 21, 2007
usually I resist the temptation to post interesting news stories that have nothing whatsoever to do with elder law or even the "world's oldest" something or other, but I couldn't help myself today:
Scientists in Chile are investigating the sudden disappearance of a glacial lake in the south of the country. When park rangers patrolled the area in the Magallanes region in March, the two-hectare (five-acre) lake was its normal size, officials say. But last month they found a huge dry crater and several stranded chunks of ice that used to float on the water. One theory is that an earthquake opened up a fissure in the ground, allowing the lake's water to drain through. "In March we patrolled the area and everything was normal," Juan Jose Romero from Chile's National Forestry Corporation, Conaf, said. "We went again in May and to our surprise we found that the lake had completely disappeared. All that was left were chunks of ice and an enormous fissure." Geologists and other experts are being sent to the area, which is some 2,000km (1,250 miles) south of the capital, Santiago, to investigate.
More in the BBC online edition, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/6225676.stm
If you are a regular reader and you find this annoying, well...I apologize. But I can't promise it will never happen again.
Campaigners reacted with anger today to a ruling that residents of private care homes are not covered by human rights law. The decision, which could affect up to 300,000 residents in the UK, came in the case of an 83-year-old Alzheimer's patient whose lawyers argued that her threatened eviction from a private home would violate her right to family life. The House of Lords, by a 3-2 majority, rejected the argument the home was carrying out a public function by caring for people referred by a council, and was therefore bound by the Human Rights Act. Kate Jopling, head of public affairs at Help the Aged, said today's decision was "a sickening blow to older people and their families". "The vast majority of vulnerable older people receive their care from the private or voluntary sectors. Today they remain without protection from abuses of their most basic human rights," she said.
More: The Guardian Unlimited, http://society.guardian.co.uk/longtermcare/story/0,,2107275,00.html
Populations in many countries of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union will be among the oldest in the world by 2025, the World Bank said Wednesday. It urged governments to shed their complacency and act now to deal with the trend. The median age of populations in Europe will increase from 38 today to 49 in 2050, more than 20 years beyond the median age in Africa, the bank said in a report. Spain, with half its population older than 55 by 2050, will be the oldest country in the world followed closely by Italy and Austria, with median ages projected to be 54. But the fastest aging countries over the next two decades will be in those of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, the result of unprecedented declines in fertility and rising life expectancies,» said the report. The analysis concludes that although aging in the region is occurring in the context of unprecedentedly weak institutional development, countries can avoid severe economic consequences if they accelerate their economic transition and undertake pension and health care changes to meet the aging challenge.
Source: PR Inside.com, http://www.pr-inside.com/study-finds-that-eastern-europe-former-r158887.htm
Get the report "From Red to Gray", at http://tinyurl.com/2jstswl
Universal pensions of just $1 a day in developing countries would significantly reduce old age poverty, a United Nations report said Tuesday. The World Economic and Social Survey 2007 called that ``an affordable option'' for heading off the problems of aging as the growth in the numbers of elderly accelerate in poor nations, catching up with a trend already evident in wealthy countries. Jose Antonio Ocampo, U.N. undersecretary-general for economic and social affairs, said even a basic benefit equivalent to the extreme poverty level of $1 a day would achieve the long-term U.N. goal of eliminating the worst privation ``for all the older people now.'' At a news conference, Ocampo said aging populations is ``a phenomenon that is universal now,'' - with the number of people 60 and older expected to increase from about 670 million in 2005 to close to 2 billion in 2050. ``Although the phenomenon is more advanced in the industrial economies, it's going to grow at a much faster rate in the developing world,'' he said.
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973: Prohibiting Discrimination Against Individuals with Disabilities in Programs or Activities Receiving Federal Assistance
June 13, 2007
Summary: Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 prohibits discrimination against an otherwise qualified individual with a disability solely by reason of disability in any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance or under any program or activity conducted by an executive agency or the U.S. Postal Service. Section 504 was the first federal civil rights law generally prohibiting discrimination against individuals with disabilities. This report examines Section 504, its regulations, and Supreme Court interpretations. Emphasis is placed on its differences from the ADA, and on its relationship to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). It will be updated as necessary.
In November 2006, the city launched the Manteca Transit system, a
two-route bus service that includes dial-a-ride service to qualified
individuals six days a week. The system replaced the city's taxi voucher program which had
been in place since the early 1980's, which gave about 550 disabled and
elderly people a deep discount for taxi rides. The vouchers were deemed no longer cost effective by city staff, as Manteca spent
$299,000, or $585 per person, for the vouchers in 2006. Once the
city grew past 50,000 residents, a transit system was needed to
accommodate more of the community as a whole, said Finance Director
Suzanne Mallory. The city's Finance Department and Public Works Department are
jointly responsible for the Manteca Transit while the vacated position
of transportation analyst is filled, she said. Funding for the taxi-voucher program basically went to the
transit program, with added assistance from federal grant money. The
buses had a ridership of about 3,000 passengers in May, according to
city staff. The majority of those who spoke Monday night felt the buses
have jeopardized the freedom of those who used city-funded
transportation the most. It was supposed to be a
routine update on the status of the city's new transit system. Instead,
several members of the community — many there on behalf of the elderly
and disabled — urged bringing back a city-subsidized taxi voucher
Source: Tri-Valley Herald, http://www.insidebayarea.com/trivalleyherald/localnews/ci_6184474
Mea culpa...The owner of "Baby", the 37 year old cat from Duluth, Minnesota whose existence I publicly doubted in a post earlier this week, contacted me today about my (arguably) derisive comments about the world's oldest cat. Here's our email exchange:
Hi. My name is Al Palusky. I own Baby the cat.. Yes he is 37. Yes. I do have more proof than most people.. So, you had better start looking for that guy at the North Pole..
I did not think it was physically possible for a cat to live that long (isn't that, like, 300 human years???) but yes, Al, I NOW BELIEVE!!!
From: A Palusky
Sent: Wednesday, June 20, 2007 2:12 PM
To: Dayton, Kim
Subject: Re: oldest living cat
It all depends on who writes the years down. I have been told that it is 7 to 1, but others are different. I entered my cat into the contest at Cat Fancy, becaue I saw it online. Yes he won, but all I ever have been trying to do is get his picture and age on the Today show where Willard Scott does the ages of people on there birthdays over 100. At 259 years that makes those others not even born yet. Baby is doing pretty good for his age. His big sceret is.. He has never been out of the house. He eats his wet, and dry cat food, along with bits of what ever we are eating.. Al
From: "Dayton, Kim"
To: "A Palusky"
Sent: Wednesday, June 20, 2007 2:12 PM
Subject: RE: oldest living cat
I say: let's do some DNA testing on that kitty and find out what his secret is!! (My three cats are 16, 10, and 6, and we're putting Baby's picture on the fridge as inspiration to them to lead a healthy lifestyle and quit pooping on the rug...)
From: A Palusky
Sent: Wed 6/20/2007 2:22 PM
To: Dayton, Kim
Subject: Re: oldest living cat
I think they all poop on the rug. Mine does now. i think it is because he sleeps so hard that he doesn't realize that he has to go untill it is to late. Another thing that we don't do is go to the vet.. We brought Baby to the vet when he was 28. The vet gave him a bunch of shots. After 6 months the vet wanted to give him a booster round of shots.. Come on now... The cat is always in the house. Granted I give him grass from outside, but he pukes that out pretty quickly. I won't be going to the vet unless the cat looks
like he is in bad shape.. .
Never let it be said that I don't admit my mistakes...Ed.
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
The Supreme Court refused to review a case today that undercuts Michigan’s use of inmates’ pensions to pay the costs of imprisonment. A federal appeals court ruled that pension managers can disregard directives from Michigan wardens to deposit inmates’ pension money in their prison accounts. The DaimlerChrysler-UAW pension plan argued successfully that the state ran afoul of federal pension law, which prohibits transfers of benefits without the pensioner's permission. The state says the appeals court voided Michigan’s powers restricting an inmate’s access to funds. The Michigan State Correctional Facility Reimbursement Act requires prisoners to reimburse the state for their confinement costs from their own assets, including pensions. In addition, state corrections officials require inmates to receive all money through their prison account, to limit any potentially illegal or fraudulent activities outside prison. See http://www.supremecourtus.gov/orders/courtorders/061807pzor.pdf
The Sixth Circuit decision is available at
Saturday, June 16, 2007
At its International meeting in Las Vegas, the Canadian Academy of Senior Advisors (CASA) awarded Patrick Murphy of Ottawa its Award of Merit for outstanding service to the Canadian Boomer and Senior communities. CASA is the Canadian licensee of the international Society of Certified Senior Advisors (SCSA), a group of geriatric physicians, gerontologists, elder law lawyers, accountants, financial planners, and others trained and certified in senior issues. Certified Senior Advisors (CSA's) participate in the world's largest membership organization training professionals about aging, and through CASA, can access a single, credible source of information for professionals serving the 55-plus population. Murphy was among the first estate lawyers in Ottawa who saw changes in the legal and estate planning needs of the Senior population. In the last 10 years of his esteemed 40-year career, he has focused on assisting Seniors and their families with a uniquely personalized approach to estate planning. Pat established an Estate Planning Academy for over 70 Ottawa lawyers, has chaired Ottawa's "Make a Will Month" program and has presented his tax savings inspired strategies to a myriad of local and national organizations ranging from Algonquin college students to professional members of Advocis. Murphy recognized CASA as a means by which he could expand his elder law practice by offering advice to Canada's maturing population. According to Murphy, "Matters of money and planning can be an incredibly stressful exercise for most people. It's vitally important for each client to have their individual concerns addressed, and understand the planning process provides great peace of mind once complete."
Read more: CNW Group, http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/June2007/13/c3956.html