Monday, September 27, 2010

What's new with the flu?

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will kickoff the first in a series of ‘Know What to Do About the Flu’ webcasts on tomorrow, Tuesday, September 28th at 12:00 noon.  Sebelius will be joined by HHS Assistant Secretary for Health, Dr. Howard Koh and Dr. Anne Schuchat from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  The program will include a review of last year’s pandemic, a look ahead at the upcoming flu season and tips on staying healthy.
To take part in the webcast, please go to

September 27, 2010 in Health Care/Long Term Care | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Friday, September 24, 2010

SSRN: Health Care Law and Policy eJournal articles

Table of Contents

Lawrence O. Gostin, Georgetown University Law Center - O'Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law
Elenora E. Connors, Georgetown University Law Center

Dale B. Thompson, University of St. Thomas - Department of Ethics & Business Law

V. K. Agrawal, affiliation not provided to SSRN

Thaddeus Mason Pope, Widener University Law School - Health Law Institute

September 24, 2010 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Monday, September 20, 2010

Registration now open for CCEL

Don't miss the 5th Canadian Conference on Elder Law, to be held for the first time in Toronto this fall!

This Conference will bring together a unique gathering of experts and leaders in elder law and policy, with over one hundred presenters and plenary speakers on our Conference programme.  Our Keynote Speaker is the Honourable Mr. Justice Murray Sinclair, Chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, who will bring his distinctive experience to address law reform and access to justice for Aboriginal Older Adults.  Chief Commissioner of the Ontario Human Rights Commission Barbara Hall and Dr. Jane Barratt of the International Federation on Ageing will discuss the opportunities and challenges of a shift to a rights-based approach to elder law, and Public Law Commissioner Frances Patterson of the Law Commission of England and Wales, Justice Marcia Neave of the Victoria Supreme Court and Dr. Patricia Hughes of the Law Commission of Ontario will consider approaches to law reform that include older adults.

The Conference Dinner will celebrate the accomplishments of the Advocacy Centre for the Elderly and Ontario's legal clinic system in advancing the rights of older adults.  Our Keynote Dinner Speaker will be Roger Smith of JUSTICE, a leading United Kingdom law reform and human rights organization that works to improve the legal system and access to justice.

The 2010 Conference on Elder Law will take place October 29th to 30th at the Delta Chelsea Hotel in downtown Toronto. A Conference pre-day on October 28th will bring together the World Study Group on Elder Law.

Don't miss this rare opportunity to learn and meet the leaders in the field of older adults and the law!  Reduced room rates are available at the Delta Chelsea until September 26th, so be sure to book your room if you have not already done so.

Registration is now open and full details are available at  Early bird registration rates are available until September 30th, so don't wait to register!

To download the conference poster, please visit If you have already registered for the conference, kindly forward this e-mail to any colleagues who might be interested in attending.

September 20, 2010 in Discrimination, Other | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Friday, September 17, 2010

The Latest from SSRN ElderLaw journal

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Race, Poverty, Gender, Disability and Elderly Discrimination

 "End of Life Health Care: Race, Poverty, Gender, Disability and Elderly Discrimination"

CONSTANCE FAIN, affiliation not provided to SSRN

Race, poverty, gender, disability and age can have a serious impact on end of life health care decisions. Minorities, the poor, women, the disabled and the elderly are especially vulnerable populations that are susceptible to discrimination, abuse, negligence, or disinterest at the hands of physicians and other medical workers. Thus, they are less likely to receive satisfactory health care. For instance, some African Americans are afraid their doctors may try to terminate life support prematurely because of their race. It has also been reported that both African Americans and Hispanics have experienced more deficiencies in palliative care than whites. Women’s end of life wishes may not be respected, such as where a parent petitions to disconnect life support for his/her incompetent daughter. One source revealed that judges have ruled in favor of female patients less than fifteen percent of the time compared with seventy-five percent in the case of male patients in instances where parents have petitioned to terminate life support equipment for their incompetent minor or adult children. Another source indicated that competent women’s requests for aid in dying are rejected by physicians more often than men’s requests because women are viewed as irrational. Scare tactics have been used on disabled persons and the elderly, for instance, where an assisted suicide advocate described a person’s impairments in a most demeaning manner thereby implying: “Better Dead than Disabled.” It is clear that some populations in our country are regarded as less important than others; thus, their health care preferences are often ignored or rejected.

September 15, 2010 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

ADA: New final regulations published for state and local govt'ts; public accommodations

On Friday, July 23, 2010, Attorney General Eric Holder signed final regulations revising the Department’s ADA regulations, including its ADA Standards for Accessible Design. The official text was published in the Federal Register on September 15, 2010.

The revised regulations amend the Department’s Title II regulation, 28 C.F.R. Part 35, and the Title III regulation, 28 C.F.R. Part 36. Appendix A to each regulation includes a section-by-section analysis of the rule and responses to public comments on the proposed rule. Appendix B to the Title III regulation discusses major changes in the ADA Standards for Accessible Design and responds to public comments received on the proposed rules. The Department’s Final Regulatory Impact Analysis will be posted on this page as soon as it is available.

These final rules will take effect March 15, 2011. Compliance with the 2010 Standards for Accessible Design is permitted as of September 15, 2010, but not required until March 15, 2012. The Department has prepared fact sheets identifying the major changes in the rules.

Title II: Final Rule amending 28 CFR Part 35: Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability in State and Local Government Services (HTML) | (PDF)  (as published in the Federal Register September 15, 2010)

Title III: Final Rule amending 28 CFR Part 36: Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability by Public Accommodations and in Commercial Facilities (HTML) | (PDF)  (as published in the Federal Register September 15, 2010)

Appendix B to Final Title III Regulation:

Appendix B: Analysis of the 2010 ADA Standards (HTML) | PDF format

Fact Sheets: 

Highlights of the Final Rule to Amend the Department of Justice’s Regulation Implementing Title II of the ADA

Highlights of the Final Rule to Amend the Department of Justice’s Regulation Implementing Title III of the ADA

Adoption of the 2010 Standards for Accessible Design

September 15, 2010 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The story of an unbefriended elder...

A wartime heroine who was captured three times by the Germans and endured spells in concentration and labour camps is to be buried by a council because no friends or family can be traced.  Eileen Nearne, 89, who died in her Devon home on 2 September, was one of 39 female agents sent to occupied France in her capacity as a member of the Special Operations Executive (SOE) during World War II.  Miss Nearne, who was fluent in French, was captured by the Germans just four months after arriving in France, but managed to persuade them she was an innocent French woman.  Her bravery and resilience continued throughout the war - she was caught again and sent to a concentration camp before being transferred to a forced labour camp in Silesia where she managed to escape.  She was later recaptured in Germany by the SS, but was again able to persuade her captors of her innocence and was released.  According to reports, she was hidden by a priest in Leipzig until the arrival of US troops.  Despite her daring adventures on the continent in the 1940s, Miss Nearne survived the war and ended her days in Torquay. 

The church venue for the funeral service has yet to be announced, but a Union Jack flag is to be placed on her coffin and the Royal British Legion has said its organisation will be at the funeral.  John Portreath, Devon manager for the Royal British Legion, added: "I'm sad to say that we had no idea she existed until the news came through yesterday...She was clearly a remarkable woman."

Read the full story at the BBC.

How very, very sad...

September 14, 2010 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

There'll always be an England....

A BBC presenter who admitted wasting police time after claiming on air that he smothered his dying lover has been given a suspended prison sentence.  Ray Gosling, 71, of Nottingham, was charged over claims he made to BBC Breakfast's Bill Turnbull in February.  He was initially arrested on suspicion of murder, but charged with wasting police time after the confession was determined to be false.  At Nottingham Magistrates' Court, he was handed a 90-day suspended sentence.  Gosling's claim was first made in a BBC Inside Out documentary about so-called mercy killings, broadcast on 15 February.

He said: "I killed someone once. He was a young chap, he'd been my lover and he got AIDS.  I picked up the pillow and smothered him until he was dead."  He was interviewed on the Breakfast programme the following day and asked about his claims and again confessed to the mercy killing.  He was charged with wasting police time after the Crown Prosecution Service decided there was enough evidence to "provide a realistic prospect of proving that Mr Gosling's confession was false".  A BBC spokesman said: "In the light of the plea given in court today, we regret that we broadcast a claim by Ray Gosling which has effectively been withdrawn by him. 

Wasting police time? Seriously?

September 14, 2010 in Advance Directives/End-of-Life | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Proposals sought for 2011 Equal Justice Conference

The American Bar Association and the
National Legal Aid & Defender Association present the

May 19 - 21 with pre-conferences on May 18 
Hilton San Francisco at Union Square · San Francisco, California

  Request for Training Proposals

Proposal Guidelines  ·  RFP Submission Form

If you have problems filling out the online form, please contact
Meaghan Cotter Sherer at

Proposal submissions are due no later than
Friday, October 8, 2010.

Mark your calendar and make arrangements to attend the conference now!
Please forward this RFP to others by e-mail, list service posting and through social media networks.

September 14, 2010 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

September issue of NCEA newsletter now available online

Get it here.

Table of Contents

Research Highlight: Considering the Role of Clergy in Elder Abuse Response
Anatomy of a Grassroots Public Awareness Effort: Soroptimist International of Indian Rock, Pennsylvania Elder Abuse Awareness Initiative
Ideas for Public Awareness Activities
Call for Promising Practices
Call for Presentations
Office of Victims of Crime Releases New Video Series
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month
CANE Highlights of Elder Abuse Research and Literature
Editorial Note
Calendar of Events

September 14, 2010 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

New issue of BIFOCAL now available online

The latest edition of BIFOCAL, the e-journal of the ABA Commission on Law and Aging Is now available online Get it here.

Table of Contents

Helping States Establish POLST Programs to Honor Patients’ Wishes for Advanced Illness Care

ABA Family Law Section Committee Keeps Focus On Vulnerable Adults and Special Needs Families

Summary of Health Care Decision Statutes Enacted in 2010

Links to State-Specific Advance Directive Forms

CLE: Three (Free) Webinars on Advanced Topics in Representing Veterans with Veterans’ Benefits Claims and What Every Attorney Representing Elderly Clients Needs to Know

Recommended Reading: Residence Options for Older and Disabled Clients And the Home Visitor Manual: An Advocate’s Guide for Helping Homebound Elderly

New! Web Site Helps Consumers Choose Best Health Insurance Options

Register Now for the National Aging and Law Conference at:

To have BIFOCAL delivered six times a year to your email, subscribe at

September 14, 2010 in Advance Directives/End-of-Life, Elder Abuse/Guardianship/Conservatorship | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Monday, September 13, 2010

GAO report discusses "What Seniors Want"

Summary:  Administered by the Administration on Aging (AoA) in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Title III of the Older Americans Act (OAA) is intended to assist individuals age 60 and older by providing supportive services. Title III, Medicaid and Medicare, state, and other sources of funding provide for several types of services, including congregate and home-delivered meals, transportation, and support for caregivers. This testimony reports on ongoing GAO work in preparation for the reauthorization of the OAA and a full report to be issued by GAO in 2011. Based on preliminary findings, GAO describes (1) Title III services most requested by seniors and how state and local agencies reach those most in need, and (2) how agencies have coped with increasing requests in the current economic environment. To do this, GAO reviewed aging plans from the 50 states and District of Columbia; conducted site visits to 4 states; interviewed national, state, and local officials; and analyzed preliminary responses to a Web-based survey of 125 Local Area Agencies on Aging for fiscal year 2009. The survey data used in this document reflect a 54 percent response rate as of July 30, 2010. The survey is still in progress and our results are not generalizable at this time. GAO shared its findings with AoA and incorporated their comments as appropriate.

Seniors frequently requested home-delivered meals and transportation services, and based on preliminary responses to GAO's survey and information from site visits, demand for some Title III services may be increasing. Some agencies said they were unable to meet all requests for services in fiscal year 2009. For example, 13 of 67 survey respondents said they were generally or very unable to serve all seniors who requested home-delivered meals, and 15 of 63 said they were generally or very unable to serve all who requested transportation assistance. Local officials cite seniors' desire to remain in their homes as they age, and the economic downturn as possible reasons for increased requests. Given this demand, providers must make decisions about which applicants will receive services. OAA requires providers to target those with the greatest economic and social need,--low-income, minority, lacking proficiency in English, and rural residents--and local officials said they advertise, conduct outreach, and coordinate with other local organizations to identify and serve these groups. Additionally, most local agencies reported screening potential clients to assess level of need, for example, to determine those most at risk of hospitalization due to poor nutrition. In addition to these known service needs, an unknown number of other seniors may need services but not know to contact OAA providers, some officials told GAO. Local agencies who responded to GAO's survey reported using the flexibility afforded by the OAA to transfer funds among Title III programs to meet increased requests for specific services.

Twenty-eight of 61 local agencies said they transferred funds in fiscal year 2009, most often removing funds from congregate meals to home-delivered meals or other services. Although the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act) provided an additional $97 million specifically for meal programs, Title III programs are heavily reliant on state funds, and 44 of 64 local agencies responding to our survey said their state funding was reduced for fiscal year 2010. To cope with funding reductions, some reported cutting services to seniors. Twenty-seven of 65 local agencies said they cut administrative expenses in fiscal year 2010; others relocated offices or left agency positions vacant. Some state and local officials said they provided less service to individuals so that more could get some amount of assistance. Some agencies said they used Recovery Act funds to replace lost state and local funding or created new programs, but the funding was restricted to meal services and was a relatively small percentage of total OAA allocations. The proportion of Americans age 60 and over will continue to grow over the coming decades, and demand for Title III services also will likely grow. Therefore it will be increasingly important for service providers to focus services on those most in need.

Get the full report here.

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September 13, 2010 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Update to offers more info and assistance

The Department of Labor’s website was recently updated with several new resources about communicating with, and about, people with disabilities. It provides examples of appropriate and inappropriate phrases to describe persons with disabilities. Also included is information about the importance of using person-first language and tips for interviewing applicants with disabilities. To access the updated website, please go to

September 11, 2010 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, September 9, 2010


"Health Care Reform – A Historic Moment in US Social Policy" Free Download


Journal of the American Medical Association, Vol. 303, pp. 2521-2522, 2010
Georgetown Public Law Research Paper No. 10-46

LAWRENCE O. GOSTIN, Georgetown University Law Center - O'Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law
Georgetown University Law Center

On March 23, 2010, President Obama signed into law the first U.S. comprehensive health care reform bill, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). After almost a century of failed attempts, the U.S. now has a national health care system which promises to increase access to care, increase consumer choice, and ban insurance discrimination for individuals with preexisting medical conditions. The PPACA is expected to expand insurance coverage to 32 million individuals by 2019 through a variety of measures. At a cost of $938 billion over 10 years, the PPACA is projected to reduce the deficit by $143 billion in the first decade and $1.2 trillion over the second.

Almost everyone will be required to purchase health insurance by 2014, with certain exceptions, or face a penalty. The mandate is coupled with sliding scale subsidies to make the purchase more affordable, and it limits annual and out of pocket spending. If the penalty is strong enough, the mandate will be effective in expanding the pool of insured people, spreading the health risk, and eventually decreasing premiums. Key coverage expansions, such as expanding Medicaid benefits to individuals and families with incomes up to 133% of the federal poverty line (FPL), are critical, but access to providers must also be ensured. By 2014, states must set up exchanges where consumers can shop for health insurance at competitive rates. Subsidies will be provided to individuals and families under 400% of the FPL and not eligible under Medicaid to help purchase insurance in the exchange. Additionally, small businesses with fewer than 100 employees will receive tax credits for offering insurance. The PPACA reverses common industry practices that have, in the past, created barriers to coverage. It prohibits insurers from denying coverage to those with preexisting conditions and allows young adults to remain on their parents’ plans up to age 26. For Medicare patients, the Part D coverage gap is closed and cost sharing for preventative care is eliminated, while the amount of out-of-pocket costs paid per year is limited.

This historic legislation takes great strides towards providing everyone with medical care, irrespective of income or health status. It will improve public health, and place more emphasis on primary and preventive care. However, issues still remain surrounding difficult choices on how to reduce increasing costs, improve quality, and ensure appropriate payment reimbursement for providers.

September 9, 2010 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Friday, September 3, 2010

Follow up on creepy story

Prior post:

Two women who were arrested after trying to take a dead relative on to a plane will not face charges.  Gitta Jarant and her daughter, Anke Anusic, were arrested at Liverpool John Lennon Airport when it emerged Curt Willi Jarant, 91, was dead.  The women - his widow and stepdaughter - protested their innocence and said they thought he was asleep.  Greater Manchester Police revealed on Friday the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) had decided not to prosecute.  Mr Jarant, known as Willi, was wearing sunglasses in a wheelchair when staff checked his pulse and found no signs of life.  He had been taken by taxi to the airport from their home in Oldham, Greater Manchester, by Mrs Jarant, 66, and 41-year-old Mrs Anusic.  Although the pair insisted he was alive, a pathologist called out to examine the body concluded he had been dead for up to 36 hours.

Read more.

September 3, 2010 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Sept. 23 is National Falls Prevention Awareness Day

National Falls Prevention Awareness Day (NFPAD) is the first day of fall. This year, it will be observed on September 23. Falls are the leading cause of fatal and nonfatal injuries to older adults. NFPAD was established in 2007 to promote and increase public awareness about how to prevent and reduce falls among older adults.

A range of tools and resources to recognize Falls Prevention Awareness Day are available at the Falls Prevention Awareness Day Resource Center housed at the National Council on Aging (NCoA) website. Included among the provided information are guidance on writing a press release, promotional materials and activity ideas. For helpful tips on planning and implementing Falls Prevention Awareness Day in your community, visit the Center for Healthy Aging website External Web Site Policy.

Additional information on National Falls Prevention Awareness Day is also available at the American Occupational Therapy Association website External Web Site Policy.

The Falls Free Coalition, sponsored by NCoA, is a group of national organizations and state coalitions working to reduce the growing number of falls and fall-related injuries among older adults. To learn more about this organization, including how to join and a list of organizations represented by coalition members, go to The Center for Healthy Aging website External Web Site Policy.


September 3, 2010 in Health Care/Long Term Care | Permalink | TrackBack (0)