Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Legislation introduced to require informed consent to administer antipsychotics to dementia patients

Senators Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Richard Blumenthal (D- Conn.) and Herb Kohl (D-Wis.) have introduced introducing an amendment to S. 3187, the Food and Drug Administration
Safety and Innovation Act, that would require informed consent to administer antipsychotic drugs to elderly persons with dementia. Although the FDA has issued warnings expressing the serious risks of placing elderly patients with dementia on antipsychotic medications, these drugs continue to be administered frequently to nursing home residents
diagnosed with cognitive impairments and behavioral symptoms. Currently, twenty-six percent of nursing home residents in the United States are prescribed antipsychotics, despite the increased risks of death and medical complications such as stroke, heart attacks and falls that can arise from taking these medications.

The Kohl-Grassley-Blumenthal amendment to S. 3187 would ensure that nursing home residents or their legal representatives understand the risks, are given notice of alternative options for care and provide their informed consent when nursing homes seek to administer antipsychotics. It would also authorize any federal fines that are collected for the illegal marketing of antipsychotics for patients with dementia to be used for programs that would educate doctors about alternatives to treat symptoms of dementia.

More from Consumer Voice.

Ed:  Surely the common law doctrine of informed consent already requires this???

May 30, 2012 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Monday, May 28, 2012

AALS Aging and the Law Listserv for May 28, 2012

1. Older Workers Have Highest Long-Term Unemployment:

2. Obama Administration's 2013 Budget: Estate Tax Planning Changes:

3. Healthcare Access to Erode if Law Struck Down: Study:

4. Medicaid Payments to Primary Care Doctors Will Rise Under New Regulation:

5. Revived By Music:

6. New Drug Trial Seeks to Stop Alzheimer's Before It Starts:

7. Will Adult Children Have to Pay Mom's Nursing Home Costs?:

8. New Md. Law Aims to Halt Financial Abuse of the Elderly:,0,2547944.story

9. Missouri House Votes to Expand State's Elder Abuse Law:

10. Spousal Refusal: I Take Thee in Sickness and in Health, Except...:

11. National Alzheimer’s Plan:

12. 50 Years of Government Spending in One Graph (see Medicare):

Ann Murphy

Professor, Gonzaga Law School

Listserv Director

AALS Aging and the Law Section

May 28, 2012 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Free NSCLC Webinar June 11 on Long Term Services and Supports in Managed Care

ational Senior Citizens Law Center presents:

Long Term Services and Supports in a Managed Care Environment: Advocacy Strategies for Increasing Independence

Monday, June 11, 2012

11 a.m. – 12 noon PDT

This free webinar is for advocates interested in how to influence the future of long term services and supports as states increasingly look to the managed care model for care coordination, rebalancing of services and cost control. The one hour, free webinar will feature experts from the National Senior Citizens Law Center (NSCLC) and the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund (DREDF).

·        Eric Carlson, Directing Attorney, NSCLC

·        Georgia Burke, Directing Attorney, NSCLC

·        Mary Lou Breslin, Senior Policy Advisor, DREDF

·        Silvia Yee, Attorney, DREDF

The speakers will discuss public policy advocacy strategies to protect consumer interests in managed care, introducing and utilizing an LTSS consumer protection checklist developed by NSCLC and DREDF.

The University of California, San Francisco’s Center for Personal Assistance Services will host this webinar which is accessible to individuals who use screen readers; you will only need an updated version of Java on your computer (instructions on how to check for this are in your confirmation e-mail). Real time captioning will also be provided. However, if you require other accommodations, please send an e-mail to no later than June 6.




May 23, 2012 in Health Care/Long Term Care, Medicaid | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Upcoming webinar: Alternatives To Bankruptcy -- Advising Seniors When Bankruptcy Is Not An Option, Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Title: Alternatives To Bankruptcy -- Advising Seniors When Bankruptcy Is Not An Option

Date: Wednesday, May 30, 2012 Time: 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM EDT

According to an AARP study, between 1991 and 2007, bankruptcy filings by senior citizens went up by 150%. Many potential clients seek bankruptcy at the wrong time – when their economic situation is at the worst and they have no money.  Some clients are completely collection-proof and therefore have no need to file bankruptcy, and others should not or cannot file bankruptcy for other reasons.   Rather than simply rejecting cases as inappropriate or outside priorities, this webinar will provide guidance on how to advise clients why bankruptcy is inappropriate in certain situations, and suggest alternative strategies for dealing with their crushing debt burden.

The presenter is Michelle Weinberg, Supervisory Attorney of the Chicago Seniors/Consumer Practice Group of LAF - Legal Assistance Foundation.

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.



May 22, 2012 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Genworth 2012 Cost of Care Survey

Via Oast & Hook:

Genworth has surveyed long-term care service providers for the past nine years.  The 2012 survey included 437 regions that cover all Metropolitan Statistical Areas defined for the 2010 U.S. census.  CareScout, a Genworth company, contacted more than 46,000 providers for 15,300 surveys of assisted living facilities, nursing homes, home care providers and adult day care providers.  CareScout provides both national rates, state rates, and regional rates by type of care provider.  Genworth has identified emerging trends across long-term care services.  The cost of care among facility-based providers has steadily increased, while the rates charged by home care providers for “non-skilled” services has remained relatively flat over the past five years.  The following information is a compilation of Genworth’s data sorted by type of provider. 

Read more here.

Access the full report/look at care costs in your state.

May 22, 2012 in Health Care/Long Term Care | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Monday, May 21, 2012

The staff of the Federal Trade Commission is seeking information from the public on how identity theft impacts senior citizens, which the agency will use to inform its law enforcement agenda, policy initiatives and consumer education efforts.

Seniors may be particularly susceptible to identity theft. They are often targeted for phishing scams; some seniors have granted powers of attorney giving wide access to their personal information; and most seniors' Medicare cards list their Social Security numbers. In addition, the personal information of senior citizens may be vulnerable in hospitals, nursing homes, and other care facilities.

In order to learn more about this problem, FTC staff seeks information, including original research, on the scope of senior identity theft, challenges to combating it, and solutions. The agency is particularly interested in data on the prevalence of identity theft targeting senior citizens; types of identity theft schemes and the extent to which thieves use them to target seniors; precautions seniors can take to protect their identity; and public and private sector solutions to senior identity theft.

Comments can be submitted through July 15, 2012. Interested parties can submit information electronically or in paper form. Hard-copy comments should be mailed or delivered to: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, Room H-112 (Annex L), 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20580. The FTC requests that any comment filed in paper form near the closing date be sent by courier or overnight service, if possible, because U.S. postal mail in the Washington area is subject to delay due to heightened security measures.

Here is a link to the text of the announcement.

May 21, 2012 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Not elder law: World's oldest football found in Scottish castle

_60327109_ballcloseupAs footballing history is made at Hampden, Scots fans are being offered the chance to get up close and personal with the oldest football in the world.  Made from cow leather and a pigs bladder, it was found behind panelling of the Queen's chamber in Stirling Castle, which was decorated in the 1540s.  But it could be even older than that.  "There were four footballs bought for the Castle by the king (James IV) in the 1490s," said Michael McGinnes, collections manager at the Smith Museum in Stirling.  "So it could be one of those balls, that has actually lasted through the years and was given to Mary (Queen of Scots) as a young child, to play with."

Source/more:  BBC

May 19, 2012 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Katie Beckett, disability rights advocate, passes away

Via the Family Voices website:

Family Voices would like to extend our deepest sympathy to Julie Beckett and Mark Beckett on the occasion of their daughter Katie Beckett's passing this morning, as well as to Katie's family, friends, colleagues, and loved ones. Julie Beckett is one of the founders of National Family Voices and both Julie and Katie have been dedicated advocates for children with special health care needs for decades.

It was in support of her daughter's in-home medical care that Julie successfully advocated for a waiver of the rules that required children with special health care needs to be in the hospital in order to receive Medicaid funding for acute care. In November of 1981, when Katie was three, President Reagan allowed Katie to go home in time for Christmas and receive her Medicaid-funded treatment at home. At a press conference, Reagan explained the child was being kept in the hospital because of Medicaid rules which forbade paying for her home care, even though the cost to the government would be one-fifth the hospital charges of $10,000 to $12,000 per month.

Read more about Katie and the Katie Beckett waiver.

May 19, 2012 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Friday, May 18, 2012

Register now for June 1 SS Disability Webinar at Stetson's Center for Excellence in Elder Law

The Center for Excellence in Elder Law

at Stetson University College of Law


Social Security Disability Webinar: What Elder Law Attorneys Need

to Know About Social Security's Disability Determination 

Process and Electronic Filing Procedures Webinar, June 1, 2012  

 Webinar Information l Register I Faculty 

This webinar will explain Social Security's disability determination process from the initial application through the four levels of appeals available when an applicant is denied benefits or receives notice that existing benefits will be terminated. The session will also explain the procedures for electronic filing with DDS and Social Security.


May 18, 2012 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Participate in a national survey on abuse of persons with disabilities

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.

The Disability and Abuse Project focuses on physical,

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.


More info here.

May 16, 2012 in Discrimination, Elder Abuse/Guardianship/Conservatorship | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Missouri house votes to strengthen state's elder abuse law

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.

May 16, 2012 in Elder Abuse/Guardianship/Conservatorship | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Online tool helps to estimate Social Security benefits

On May 1, Social Security launched a feature on its website,, that allows workers to view an online version of their Social Security earnings and benefits statements. The program also allows you to estimate your retirement, disability and survivors benefits.

You can use this tool to show your kids how little you made when you started working (after you've reminded them that you walked 5 miles to get to school, without an iPod or cellphone). But more important, it can help you receive all of the benefits you're due, and make smart decisions about when to claim them.

Social Security used to mail workers an annual earnings statement, but suspended those mailings last year to save money. Starting in February, Social Security resumed mailing paper statements to workers 60 and older who aren't already receiving benefits. Later this year, it will mail paper statements to workers in the year they turn 25.

Source/more:  USA Today

May 16, 2012 in Social Security | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Recession linked to increase in hunger among seniors

A new study that looked at the hunger trends over a 10-year period found that 14.85 percent of seniors in the United States, more than one in seven, face the threat of hunger. This translates into 8.3 million seniors.  "In 2005, we reported that one in nine seniors faced the threat of hunger," said Craig Gundersen, University of Illinois associate professor of agricultural and consumer economics and executive director of the National Soybean Research Laboratory who led the data analysis on the study. "So, unlike the population as a whole, food insecurity among those 60 and older actually increased between 2009 and 2010."  According to the study, from 2001 to 2010, the number of seniors experiencing the threat of hunger has increased by 78 percent. Since the onset of the recession in 2007 to 2010, the number of seniors experiencing the threat of hunger has increased by 34 percent.  Gundersen said that the fact that seniors in our country are going without enough food due to economic constraints is a serious problem that will have greater implications for senior health.  The increases in senior hunger were most pronounced among the near poor, whites, widows, non-metro residents, the retired, women, and among households with no grandchildren present.


Source/more:  EurekaAlert


May 16, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Romney debt plan includes SS, Medicare overhauls

Mitt Romney, in a speech before a conservative group here on Friday, offered his most detailed plan yet to cut government spending and lower the federal debt, including an overhaul of Medicare and significant changes to Social Security.  Speaking at the Americans for Prosperity Foundation’s annual meeting, Mr. Romney said his plan would cap spending at 20 percent of gross domestic product by 2016, and would require $500 billion a year in spending cuts. To accomplish this, Mr. Romney explained, he would eliminate all nonessential government programs, including Amtrak, return federal programs like Medicaid entirely to the states and improve the productivity and efficiency of the federal government. He would also immediately cut all nonsecurity discretionary spending by 5 percent across the board.

Read more in the New York Times.

May 16, 2012 in Health Care/Long Term Care, Social Security | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

AALS Aging and the Law Listserv, May 8, 2012

Listserv Member News: A new international elder law book has been published by Springer Publications, entitled Beyond Elder Law: New Directions in Law and Aging. authors are the following:

Terry Carney, Professor of Law University of Sydney, Australia;

Israel Doron (CO-EDITOR), Professor of Law at the Department of Gerontology at the University of Haifa, Israel;

Albert Evrard, Member of the Law Faculty, Facultes Universitaires Notre-Dame de la Paix, Namur, Belguim;

Jonathan Herring, Professor of Law at the University of Oxford, United Kingdom;

Nina A. Kohn, Associate Professor of Law, Syracuse University, USA;

Clemence Lacour, Member of the Law Faculty, Facultes Universitaires Notre-Dame de la Paix, Namur, Belguim;

Helen Meenan, Solicitor and Visiting Professor at Kingston University, United Kingdom;

Ann Murphy, Professor, Gonzaga University School of Law, USA;

Charles P. Sabatino, Director of the ABA Commission on Law and Aging, USA;

A.M. Soden (CO-EDITOR), Executive Director of the National Institute of Law, Policy and Aging, Montreal, Quebec, Canada;

Benny Spanier, Ph.D. Candidate, Faculty of Law, University of Haifa, Israel;

Erica Wood, Assistant Director of the ABA Commission on Law and Aging.

Listserv Items:

  1. Preparing For A Future That Includes Aging Parents:
  2. Summer 2012 Volunteer Opportunities for Seniors:
  3. 'Unique' Character Makes Debut on 'Glee' While Seniors Struggle to Find 'Direction':
  4. Medicare Bidding Program Boosts Savings on Medical Equipment:
  5. Medicare Trustee Report Hangs on Uncertain Assumptions:
  6. Big Gaps Found in Nursing Homes' Disaster Plans:
  7. Tips for Fighting Fraud:
  8. Heart Transplants for Older Patients:
  9. VIVA Su Segunda Juventud Talk Show - Spanish radio program on SiriusXM Focuses on Issues of Interest to Older Hispanics:
  10. Frontotemporal Dementia Seen in Elderly:
  11. National Alzheimer’s Dinner:

12. NFL Great Dan Marino One of New Spokespersons for AARP:

13. Discovering the True Cost of At-Home Caregiving:

14. Long-Term-Care Insurance: who Needs It?:


May 8, 2012 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)