Sunday, June 15, 2008

Wake Forest Elder Law Clinic--Spring 2008 newsletter now online

Upcoming settlement hearing in CA ADA class action

Chambers et al. v. City and County of San Francisco, Case No. C06-06346 WHAr 11, was filed on October 16, 2006 against the City and County of San Francisco alleging discrimination in the form of unnecessary institutionalization under the Americans with Disabilities Act. The purpose of the Settlement Agreement is to enhance community-based living options for class members, through the provision of services and housing.   A hearing to approve the final settlement will be held in the Federal District Court in San Francisco on September 18, 2008.

The Settlement provides for: Access to Medi-Cal Waiver funded home and community-based services; A Diversion and Community Integration Program, (DCIP) which will conduct assessments and prepare a Community Living Plan for each class member referred for admission to and/or recommended for discharge from LHH; Case management and wrap-around services and enhancement of mental health/substance abuse services; Affordable, accessible community housing, including the LHH Rental Subsidy Program (LHHRSP) through which the City will subsidize scattered site, accessible, independent housing for approximately 500 class members; Upon completion of the current rebuild project, the total bed capacity of the rebuilt LHH will not exceed 780 skilled nursing beds. The mission of the rebuilt LHH facility shall include as a goal that the facility is for short-term, rehabilitative treatment.

The complete agreement is available at or upon request from the attorneys listed below.

More info:

June 15, 2008 in Discrimination | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Ireland: study says most community nurses don't report elder abuse

Many community nurses don't intervene in cases of elderly abuse according to a new study.  The majority of nurses say they have witnessed this type of abuse at least twice but considered intervention to be beyond their authority.  Minister for Older People Máire Hoctor is launching a DVD today informing nurses on how best to deal with cases of elderly abuse.  Talking ahead of its release Head of Midwifery and Health Systems at UCD Amanda Phelan said many elderly people are afraid to come forward to report the abuse.

Source:  The Independent,

June 15, 2008 in Elder Abuse/Guardianship/Conservatorship | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Not elder law: Jamelao dies at age 95

Jamelao Brazilian samba singer Jose Bispo Clementino dos Santos, better known as Jamelao, has died at the age of 95.  His career spanned more than five decades during which he sang in countless carnivals and recorded more than 20 records.  With his smooth, melodic voice, Jamelao was a pillar of Mangueira - one of Rio de Janeiro's most traditional and well-known samba schools. Born in Rio de Janeiro in 1913, Jamelao began performing at an early age in the percussion section of Mangueira.  He moved on to play the cavaquinho - a small, four-stringed guitar central to traditional sambas - and quickly became a singer. He became the official singer at Mangueira carnivals and has toured Europe as a solo performer.  On his 90th birthday, Jamelao was asked by a local television station what he most loved about singing.  "The music. The music. I love the music," he said. "And the women I can get, too."


June 15, 2008 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Friday, June 13, 2008

Stetson L.R. special issue on guardianship

NO. 1, FALL, 2007.

Guardianship.  37 Stetson L. Rev. 1-295 (2007).

Morgan, Rebecca C.  Introduction. 37 Stetson L. Rev. 1-5 (2007).

Whitton, Linda S.  Durable powers as an alternative to guardianship:  lessons we have learned.  37 Stetson L. Rev. 7-52 (2007).

Frolik, Lawrence A.  Is a guardian the alter ego of the ward?  37 Stetson L. Rev. 53-86 (2007).

Hurme, Sally Balch.  Crossing state lines:  issues and solutions in interstate guardianships.  37 Stetson L. Rev. 87-142 (2007).

Karp, Naomi and Erica F. Wood. Guardianship monitoring:  a national survey of court practices.  37 Stetson L. Rev. 143-192 (2007).

Teaster, Pamela B., Erica F. Wood, Susan A. Lawrence and Winsor C. Schmidt.  Wards of the state:  a national study of public guardianship.  37 Stetson L. Rev. 193-241 (2007).

Johns, A. Frank.  Guardianship adjudications examined within the context of the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct.  37 Stetson L. Rev. 243-295 (2007).


June 13, 2008 in Elder Abuse/Guardianship/Conservatorship | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

2010 Conference on Aging will be in Melbourne

The 10th International Federation on Ageing (IFA) Global Conference on Ageing will be held in Australia as a result of a successful bid by the Victorian Council on the Ageing.

Experts on ageing from around the world will converge on Melbourne in 2010 to discuss ageing populations and new ways to improve the quality of life of older people.


June 13, 2008 in Other | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Egypt bans May - September marriage

Egyptian authorities have banned a 92-year-old man from marrying a 17-year-old girl, the Egyptian al-Akhbar newspaper has reported.  The ministry of justice invoked a law which says the age gap between spouses should not exceed 25 years.  Egypt brought in the law prohibiting the marriage of elderly men to very young girls during the Gulf oil boom.  It was an effort to prevent wealthy men from the Gulf states seeking young poor brides from the Egyptian countryside.  Not much is known about the 92-year-old man who tried to marry an Egyptian girl of 17 except that he is an Arab from the Gulf.  An Egyptian justice official said by refusing to endorse their marriage it would now be impossible for the girl to travel abroad with her husband.

More in the BBC Online,

June 13, 2008 in Discrimination | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Urban Institue to host webcast on the retirement

The Urban Institute, Civic Ventures, and Public Agenda will host
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
9:00-10:30 a.m. ET

To attend this event in Washington, D.C., RSVP at,
e-mail, or call (202) 261-5709.

To listen to the live audio webcast, register at

    * John Gomperts, president, Civic Ventures; CEO, Experience Corps
    * Eugene Steuerle, senior fellow, Urban Institute
    * Ruth Wooden, president, Public Agenda
    * Sheila Zedlewski, director, Income and Benefits Policy Center,  Urban Institute

At the Urban Institute, 2100 M Street N.W., 5th Floor, Washington, D.C.

June 11, 2008 in Retirement | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

KFF issues 2008n update on Medicare Advantage

Medicare Advantage plans enrolled a record 9.8 million beneficiaries, more than one in five of the nation’s 44 million people on Medicare as of April 2008. That represents an increase of more than 800,000 beneficiaries in just four months, continuing a period of unprecedented growth for private plans in Medicare since 2003.

This issue brief, prepared for the Kaiser Family Foundation by Marsha Gold of Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., analyzes recent developments in the Medicare Advantage marketplace, including plan choices available to beneficiaries and enrollment trends by plan type and geography.

The brief also examines market share for the companies offering Medicare Advantage plans and the role Medicare Advantage plans play in providing employer-sponsored retiree health benefits.

Issue Brief (.pdf)

June 10, 2008 in Medicare | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Related: OIG report discusses role of nursing homes, pharmacies in Part D plan selection

"Role of Nursing Homes and Long Term Care Pharmacies in Assisting
Dual-Eligible Residents With Selecting Part D Plans" (OEI-02-06-00191,
June 2008, .pdf format, 7p.).


This memorandum report provides information about the role of nursing
homes and long term care pharmacies in assisting dual-eligible residents
with selecting their Part D plans. This information was gathered as part
of another study, entitled "Availability of Medicare Part D Drugs to
Dual-Eligible Nursing Home Residents" (OEI-02-06-00l90). Nursing homes and
long term care pharmacies reported providing different types of assistance
to dual-eligible residents who were selecting their Part D plans. The
types of assistance included: identifying multiple plans that met
residents' needs, enrollng residents in a single plan or recommending one
plan to residents and providing general information. Some nursing homes
and long term care pharmacies provided no assistance, at alL. It appears
that some of these practices may not be in accordance with the Centers for
Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) guidance that does not allow nursing
homes to request, require, coach, or steer residents to select plans. We
further note that the Federal regulations that apply to hospital discharge
planning may serve as a useful model for Part D. For example, as part of
the discharge-planning process, hospitals must provide a list of home
health agencies or skilled nursing facilities available to patients.

June 10, 2008 in Medicaid | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

HHS OIG report discusses Medicare Pard D and dual eligibles


"Availability of Medicare Part D Drugs to Dual-Eligible Nursing Home
Residents" (OEI-02-06-00190, June 2008, .pdf format, 28p.).


This final report provides an assessment of the availability of Medicare
Part D drugs to dual-eligible nursing home residents.  Our review focused
on ongoing implementation issues as opposed to the issues related to the
transition from Medicaid to Medicare that arose in the early stages of the
benefit.  The study is based on structured interviews with a sample of
nursing home administrators, medical directors, and directors of
operations for long-term care pharmacies.

According to most respondents, dual-eligible nursing home residents are
receiving all necessary Part D drugs.  However, nursing homes and
long-term care pharmacies sometimes pay for Part D drugs that are not
covered by plans.  Administrators and pharmacy directors explained that
the drugs they most commonly pay for either are not on the residents plans
formularies or require prior authorization.  In addition, respondents
express concerns that formularies, the prior authorization process, and
copayments may pose problems for dual-eligible nursing home residents.
Concerns also exist that long-term care pharmacies generally do not
disclose to physicians the rebates that they receive from drug

We recommended that CMS work with plans to ensure that formularies meet
the needs of dual-eligible nursing home residents; continue to work with
plans to improve the prior authorization process; ensure that copayments
for dual-eligible nursing home residents are fully subsidized, as
appropriate; and consider methods to encourage long-term care pharmacies
to disclose to physicians information about rebates that they receive from
drug manufacturers.  CMS concurred with our first two recommendations and
the intent of our third recommendation; it did not concur with our last

Get it here:

June 10, 2008 in Medicaid, Medicare | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

UN releases latest world aging population data on CD-ROM

World Population Ageing 2007 is a CD-ROM with the Population Division’s new estimates of population by age and includes information for the major areas, regions, and countries of the world. The CD-ROM contains a set of Excel tables with the data and a methodological note that describes the procedures used to obtain the estimates.

The deliberations during the last session of the Commission on Population and Development held in April 2008 dedicated to the theme “Spatial Distribution of the Population, Urbanization, Internal Migration and Development” and the discussions of the Expert Group Meeting on the same theme held in New York in January 2008, highlighted the need for more detailed and systematic data on the urban and rural populations throughout the world. The new information presented here makes a significant contribution in this regard, and should be of value for research and policy analyses of the spatial distribution of the population and of the trends in urbanization and their relationships with development.

Order form available at:

June 10, 2008 in Statistics | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

SSA will offer SS debit card

The government plans to announce today that it will offer MasterCard debit cards to the estimated 4 million Social Security recipients who don't have bank accounts.  Instead of getting a paper check, a recipient's monthly benefit would be electronically transferred, at no cost, to the debit card's balance. Using the card to make purchases ould be free, as would one ATM withdrawal a month. Switching from paper checks to the debit card would save recipients -- and taxpayers -- a fair amount of money. It costs the government 88 cents more to send a paper check than it does to transfer money electronically. And people without bank accounts pay on average $6 to cash a check, according to the Treasury Department.

Source/more:  LA Times,,0,27432.story

June 10, 2008 in Social Security | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

GAO reports on incentives for small businesses to fund IRAs and related issues

Congress created individual retirement accounts (IRAs) with two goals: (1) to provide a retirement savings vehicle for workers without employer-sponsored retirement plans, and (2) to preserve individuals’ savings in employer-sponsored retirement plans. However, questions remain about IRAs’ effectiveness in facilitating new, or additional, retirement savings. GAO was asked to report on (1) how IRA assets compare to assets in other retirement plans, (2) what barriers may discourage small employers from offering IRAs to employees, and (3) the adequacy of the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) and the Department of Labor’s (Labor) oversight of and information on IRAs. GAO reviewed reports from government and financial industry sources and interviewed experts and federal agency officials.
What GAO Recommends.

GAO believes Congress should consider whether payroll-deduction IRAs should have some direct oversight in response to Labor’s comments that it does not have jurisdiction over these IRAs. GAO also recommends Labor examine ways to encourage employer sponsorship of IRAs, and evaluate ways to determine whether employers offering IRAs are in compliance with the law, and ways to collect additional information on IRAs. GAO recommends IRS routinely publish and give Labor data on IRAs. Neither IRS nor Labor agreed or disagreed with the recommendations.

To view the full product, including the scope
and methodology, visit
For more information, contact Barbara Bovbjerg at (202) 512-7215 or

June 10, 2008 in Retirement | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Monday, June 9, 2008

Website lets you plan your own funeral--for free

A new website,, is aimed at boomers who want to take charge of their own funeral arrangements. The goal is to help people who might otherwise resist thoughts of the hereafter to plan their exit strategies.

"What this audience really wants are tools to make their lives easier - how can this help me save time, how can this help me cross one more thing off of my to-do list?" said founder Sue Kruskopf, whose Minneapolis ad agency Kruskopf Coontz spent a year designing and developing the site with Nancy Bush.

The free site lets people (who become members after signing up) plan their funerals right down to music, readings and photographs. The information is in a password-protected area available only to selected friends and family. Your site also tells survivors how to find such key documents as your will and financial information.

Source:  Reading Eagle/McClatchey News Service,

June 9, 2008 in Advance Directives/End-of-Life | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Universal design becomes more common as Boomers remodel, build

As baby boomers age, and issues such as compromised eyesight and dexterity become apparent, there's a lot more thought being given to design and remodeling concepts that make physical tasks easier. Design modifications are being made both in architecture and products that are better suited for multigenerational audiences with varied requirements.  Universal design is the buzzword, and it's being incorporated into new and existing housing to allow aging in place. Baby boomers from ages 43 to 61 number nearly 80 million. With those numbers, boomers will significantly impact the remodeling industry over the next five years, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).

It's much more people-friendly than the older barrier-free concept that was part of the Americans with Disabilities Act package. That resulted in ramps at some entrances of public buildings for wheelchair-bound Americans and bathrooms with wide stalls that called attention to their limitations. New universal designs are about eliminating handicapped stigmas while marrying barrier-free function with aesthetics.

An estimated 30 million Americans use wheelchairs or walkers, according to the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP). But the concepts of universal design are attractive to all generations.

Source/more:  Orange County Register/UPI,

June 9, 2008 in Discrimination | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

June 15 is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

Purple The International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (INPEA) announces the 3rd Annual World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) on June 15, 2008.  Communities and municipalities will make proclamations declaring June 15, 2008 as World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) and hold events designed to raise their communities’ awareness of elder abuse. The first Awareness Day in 2006 involved several hundred organisations and governmental bodies at international, national, regional, local, community and neighbourhood level, in every continent in the world.

The day is in support of the United Nations International Plan of Action which recognizes the significance of elder abuse as a public health and human rights issue. Governments, non-governmental organizations, educational institutions, religious groups, professionals in the field of aging, interested individuals as well as older persons themselves will promote a better understanding of abuse and neglect of older persons by organizing activities around the world to raise awareness of the cultural, social, economic and demographic processes affecting elder abuse and neglect.

Throughout the world, abuse and neglect of older persons is largely under-recognized or treated as an unspoken problem. Unfortunately, no community or country in the world is immune from this costly, public health and human rights crisis. Research indicates that public education campaigns like World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) are vital for informing people in a growing number of countries
about elder abuse and active involvement of the media is central to its success.

People worldwide will be wearing purple to show that elder abuse is a global problem.


June 9, 2008 in Elder Abuse/Guardianship/Conservatorship | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Medicare drug coverage is costing most seniors more

Most seniors in Medicare's prescription-drug program are paying considerably higher monthly premiums for coverage this year, according to a study to be released today. Those in the 10 largest plans -- which account for nearly three-fourths of seniors signed up for drug coverage -- are paying an average of $26.39 a month, or 16% more than last year, according to the analysis by Avalere Health, an information company serving the healthcare industry.

The rise is modest in dollar terms, and some of the top plans actually lowered their premiums for 2008. But on average, the percentage increase for the drug plan is greater than the change in Medicare's Part B premium for outpatient care, which rose only 3% in 2008.

Medicare officials say the prescription program, with more than 25 million beneficiaries, is a successful example of how private companies can improve the delivery of government benefits. They point out that in many cases, monthly premiums are lower than estimated at the program's inception, and they credit that to competition among private plans.  But independent experts say the initial estimates may have been too high for several reasons, including the fact that the government had no previous experience with such a program.

Source and more - Los Angeles Times,0,1486824.story

June 5, 2008 in Medicare | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Immune block tackles Alzheimer's

The body's immune system could be harnessed to fight back against Alzheimer's disease, research suggests.  Turning off a part of the immune system cleared away harmful brain deposits and improved memory, the mouse study found.  US scientists, reporting their discovery in the journal Nature Medicine, said it was like a "vacuum cleaner" had been working in the brain.  The Alzheimer's Society said more research would reveal if the process also worked in humans.


June 1, 2008 in Other | Permalink | TrackBack (0)