Thursday, August 27, 2020
Mark your calendars for the 2020 Schiller DuCanto & Fleck Family Law Center Virtual Symposium: The Current State of Elder Law. The symposium will be October 12, from 10-5:45 edt. Here's a description about the program
DePaul’s Schiller DuCanto & Fleck Family Law Center is hosting a full day virtual symposium on the area of elder law. Through various panel discussions with experts in the field, panelists and attendees will explore the intersection of family law and elder law, emergency guardianships, advance directives, public benefits, caregivers, choices in end of life matters, protecting your loved ones from financial exploitation, and LGBTQ Seniors. There will also be an elder law case law update that you don't want to miss.
Click here for more info and to register.
Wednesday, August 26, 2020
The DOJ announced a guilty plea in a huge prize notification scam, Defendant Pleads Guilty In Multi-Million Dollar Prize Notification Scam Affecting Elderly Victims.
Here's some of the salient information
A Las Vegas area resident charged with perpetrating a prize-notification scheme that bilked victims out of more than $10 million pleaded guilty... to conspiracy to commit mail fraud based on her participation in a scheme that preyed upon hundreds of thousands of victims, many of whom were elderly and vulnerable, with fraudulent prize notices. The notices led victims to believe that they could claim a large cash prize if they paid a small fee. This was false; victims who paid the fees did not receive anything of value.
. . .
“The defendant and her co-conspirators exploited the elderly and vulnerable by bombarding them repeatedly with false promises of wealth,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Ethan P. Davis of the Department of Justice’s Civil Division. “Today’s guilty plea demonstrates the Department’s continuing commitment to bring to justice those who prey upon the elderly.”
The good guys win! Thanks to my colleague, Professor Podgor, for alerting me to this.
Tuesday, August 25, 2020
The American Elder Abuse Conference announce its webinar, Elder Fraud Prevention and Response Networks – Building Collaboration, on September 17, 2020 at 2 p.m. edt.
This 90-minute session aims to help establish multi-disciplinary networks (MDTs) and expand the capacity of existing ones to better address the issue of elder financial exploitation. The webinar’s instructors are Jenefer Duane (Senior Program Analyst in the Office of Financial Protection for Older Americans at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau), and Talitha Guinn-Shaver (the Elder Abuse Multidisciplinary Team Technical Assistant for the Elder Justice Initiative at the US Department of Justice). The event is hosted by the American Elder Abuse Conference, the leading multi-disciplinary national conference dedicated to protecting our elders.
If you need further information, contact the American Elder Abuse Conference at: Events@ElderAbuseConference.org.
Click here to register for the conference.
Monday, August 24, 2020
There are now four digital publications available from the landing page, including the Journal, Generations Journal (quarterly), Generations Today (news publication, six times/year), Generations Now (blog and commentary) and finally, Generations Bylines, a new podcast that interviews authors and researchers in the field of aging. It's a great resource for our students, especially if you want them to stay updated on the trends in the field. (Full disclosure, I"m on the ASA board).
Sunday, August 23, 2020
Inevitably ... the virus has found its most ideal conditions in the warehouses storing America’s elderly population. No one knows the current death toll. As of early July, CMS put the number at 33,509, but the count covered only federally regulated nursing homes, not assisted-living communities. The homes, moreover, were not required to report deaths that occurred before May 8, although the agency said it was confident that “the vast majority” did so. One in five nursing homes didn’t bother to report their numbers at all. A New York Times study in late June put the number of deaths in U.S. nursing homes at a staggering 55,000, but even this figure did not necessarily include all of those who became infected in a home but died in a hospital, as was the case for Sharon Mitchell. In some states, the vast majority of COVID-19 deaths were in homes: 64 percent in Massachusetts, 68 percent in Pennsylvania, 77 percent in Minnesota. In New Jersey, one in every ten people housed in nursing homes or assisted-living centers died. This was a helpless population, helpless because so often confined in a state of neglect and squalor. But despite or perhaps because of their conditions, they were worth a lot of money. In effect, they were being harvested for profit.
The article looks at the financial model of long term care facilities in the U.S. It offers a comprehensive history of the development of LTC facilities in the U.S., culminating with a discussion of the ownership of LTC facilities by private equity firms. The article covers the impact of the pandemic and the efforts by the industry to get shield laws to provide them immunity.
As noted by the article, it's not only U.S. facilities that have faced these deaths from the pandemic. It notes one company that made changes early in the pandemic, which resulted in less cases, at least in some facilities. If we are to change the way we provide ltc in this country, in my opinion, this article is important. I'm assigning it to my students.
Friday, August 14, 2020
Earlier this week, the GAO issued a new report, CHILD WELFARE AND AGING PROGRAMS: HHS Could Enhance Support for Grandparents and Other Relative Caregivers.
Here are the highlights
In 2018, an estimated 2.7 million children lived with kin caregivers— grandparents, other relatives, or close family friends—because their parents were unable to care for them. Most of these children were cared for outside the foster care system, which can affect the types of services and supports available. While children did not live with parents for a variety of reasons, parental substance abuse and incarceration were often cited in data and in interviews with program officials.
Challenges faced by kin caregivers include having limited financial resources and needing legal assistance, particularly when caring for children outside foster care, according to survey data and studies GAO reviewed. This is, in part, because licensed foster parents generally receive foster care maintenance payments and other services. Officials in selected communities said they have addressed some challenges by, for example, providing temporary payments or legal representation to eligible kin caregivers. However, officials also said that program eligibility criteria or insufficient funds can limit availability or result in waiting lists.
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) provides technical assistance and other support to help states use federal programs and initiatives established to serve kin caregivers. HHS officials said that these programs are optional, so they mainly provide assistance in response to states' requests. However, this approach has not led to widespread use. For example, 23 states used the option under the National Family Caregiver Support Program to serve older relative caregivers with 1 percent or more of their fiscal year 2016 funds (spent through 2018). State officials said they would like more guides or tools for using these programs. By not proactively sharing information and best practices, HHS may be missing opportunitiesto help states better support kin caregivers.
GAO is making two recommendations to HHS on sharing information and best practices with states about federal programs that serve kin caregivers. HHS did not concur, stating that the agency already provides ongoing support. GAO maintains that implementing these recommendations would be helpful.
The full report is available here.
Thursday, August 13, 2020
At the recent annual meeting, the ABA House of Delegates Urges Congress to Invest in a Guardianship Court Improvement Program.
A Guardianship Court Improvement Program will provide states with the necessary federal
funding and support to improve their court processes and thus the lives of individuals with
guardians by improving outcomes for adults in the system, increasing the use of less restrictive options other than guardianship, and enhancing collaboration among courts, the legal system, and aging and disability networks.
RESOLVED, That the American Bar Association urges Congress to create and fund a Guardianship Court Improvement Program for adult guardianship (following the model of
the State Court Improvement Program for child welfare agencies created in 1993) to
support state court efforts to improve the legal process in the adult guardianship system, improve outcomes for adults subject to or potentially subject to guardianship, increase the use of less restrictive options than guardianship, and enhance collaboration among courts, the legal system, and the aging and disability networks.
Tuesday, August 11, 2020
I hope everyone knows the story of the Rosie the Riveter, and the difference they made during WWII. One of the Rosie the Riverters is still making a difference, according to a recent story in the Washington Post. 94-year-old ‘Rosie the Riveter’ once made warplanes and red bandannas. Now she makes face masks with the same cloth. features Mae Krier, who has continued to make a difference. "For many years, Krier has paid tribute to her beloved Rosie the Riveters by making red bandannas with white polka dots — a style shown in J. Howard Miller’s iconic Rosie the Riveter “We Can Do It!” poster for Westinghouse Electric. Since the war against the novel coronavirus started, Krier shifted her energy from making Rosie bandannas to Rosie face masks, cut from the same cotton cloth."
The article provides a nice history of the Rosier the Riveters, which is a good read for our students, who may not know the story. Ms. Krier also explains the can do attitude of the Riveters and how she sees it applying to the pandemic. She also expressed to the reporter her reactions to the pandemic and masks:
[S]he is frustrated and disheartened to see how many Americans are fighting safety measures and refusing to wear masks. Nurses, she said, are the new Rosie the Riveters, and hospitals are the new battlefield with coronavirus patients.
“We’re fighting a different kind of war — a terrible virus,” she said. “Where is the ‘We can do it’ spirit?”