Monday, August 29, 2022

Manager of Supportive Services Agency Charged With Financial Exploitation

Tennessee Bureau of Investigations issued a press release, Columbia Woman Charged with Financial Exploitation of Vulnerable Individuals. "At the request of Adult Protective Services, in August 2021, agents began an investigation into an allegation of financial exploitation of two  vulnerable adults. During the course of the investigation, agents developed information that identified ... the now-former manager of a service that provides support to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, as the individual who used some of her clients’ finances on two dates in July 2021 for her own personal gain.

August 29, 2022 in Consumer Information, Crimes, Current Affairs, Elder Abuse/Guardianship/Conservatorship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, August 8, 2022

No Victim Blaming in Financial Fraud

A recent report from AARP and FINRA reminds us to not blame victims of financial frauds. The new report, Blame and Shame in the Context of Financial Fraud points out that "[t]The practice of victim blaming—assigning responsibility to the targets of a crime rather than to the perpetrators—is not a new practice in American society. But this project unearthed ample evidence that victim-blaming practices can shift, and that although often our words blame fraud victims, it isn’t necessarily our intent to hold them accountable." The report discusses why we blame victims, examined the "dimensions of victim blaming", and "reframing" our habit of blaming the victim.  The report gives 5 suggestions for shifting the focus of the conversation and concludes with opportunities for changing the focus.

August 8, 2022 in Consumer Information, Crimes, Current Affairs, Elder Abuse/Guardianship/Conservatorship, Other, Statistics | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, June 30, 2022

Oregon AG 6th Annual Elder Abuse Conference Announced

The 6th Annual Oregon AG Elder Abuse conference will be held October 20-21, 2022 in Bend, OR. Conference organizers are seeking proposals. Here is the info

Request for Presentations is NOW OPEN! Presenters at Attorney General Rosenblum’s Annual Elder Abuse Conference are the heart and the soul of this annual event. Each year over 20 professionals with expertise related to elder abuse are selected to present to nearly 200 attendees. If you would like to be a presenter at the 2022 conference, please complete the Request for Presentations by July 1, 2022 and submit it electronically to ElderAbuse@doj.state.or.us.

If you want to submit a proposal, remember the deadline is tomorrow!

June 30, 2022 in Consumer Information, Crimes, Current Affairs, Elder Abuse/Guardianship/Conservatorship, State Cases, State Statutes/Regulations | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day 2022

Tomorrow is the day-World Elder Abuse Awareness Day 2022. Lots of activities are happening in observation of the day.  Here are just a couple.  Register for the 8th Global Summit here. Or check out the Connecticut program, "On World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, June 15, Danbury Age Well Community Council presents a panel of experts to identify, prevent, and address financial exploitation of older adults in our community." To register for this Connecticut zoom program, click here. (Thanks to Judge Yamin (one of the speakers) for alerting me to the Connecticut program).  What are you doing to observe the day?

June 14, 2022 in Consumer Information, Crimes, Current Affairs, Elder Abuse/Guardianship/Conservatorship, International | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, June 11, 2022

Two Hundred Years of Guns.... What if you knew the outcome when you were writing the Second Amendment?

Alexander Merezhko, a good friend since he was a visiting Fulbright Scholar at Dickinson Law from his home country of Ukraine, is now a member of Ukraine's parliament and a senior legal advisor to President Zelenskyy.  We email regularly about events in our respective countries; of course, there is a lot for us to discuss.  Recently, Alexander mentioned that discussions were underway about legalizing individual gun ownership in his country.  Suffice it to say, Professor Merezhko is worried about what happens after the war.  It seems likely the assault by Russian forces motivates those debates in Ukraine, but what about the future?  A similar struggle, America's own then-recent war for independence, was part of the context for the language of the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, beginning with the words, "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State...."  

Could America's Founding Fathers have dreamed that the contextual phrase would be dismissed as significant and the remaining words of the Second Amendment would be treated as a mandate that permits unrestricted sales of weapons to individuals who are not part of any well-regulated system?  There is a very interesting article with historical  details I've never considered in The New Yorker, titled How Did Guns Get So Powerful?From the article by Phil Klay:

We wonder how we got here. How did guns grow so powerful—both technically and culturally? Like automobiles, firearms have grown increasingly advanced while becoming more than machines; they are both devices and symbols, possessing a cultural magnetism that makes them, for many people, the cornerstone of a way of life. They’re tools that kill efficiently while also promising power, respect, and equality—liberation from tyranny, from crime, from weakness. They’re a heritage from an imagined past, and a fantasy about protecting our future. It’s taken nearly two hundred years for guns to become the problem they are today. The story of how they acquired their power explains why, now, they are so hard to stop.

Why am I writing about guns (again) in the Elder Law Prof Blog?  The need for better support for mental health for youth and elders is part of what needs to be addressed.  Sadly, guns are part of a larger story not just for 18 year-olds in New York or Texas, but also for older Americans, as "firearm suicides are one of the leading causes of death for older Americans."  See Firearm Suicides in the Elderly: A Narrative Review and Call for Action, published in 2021 in the Journal of Community Health.  

June 11, 2022 in Cognitive Impairment, Crimes, Current Affairs, Ethical Issues, Federal Statutes/Regulations, Health Care/Long Term Care, International, State Statutes/Regulations, Statistics | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, June 8, 2022

FDIC & CFPB Upcoming Webinar

Mark your calendars for a June 15  3 p.m. eastern webinar from the FDIC and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for a webinar on  learning about ways to fight elder financial exploitation by using "Money Smart for Older Adults." Click here to register. If you aren't familiar with the FDIC's Money Smart program, click here to learn more.

 

 

June 8, 2022 in Consumer Information, Crimes, Current Affairs, Elder Abuse/Guardianship/Conservatorship, Webinars | Permalink | Comments (0)

FBI & Others Offer Elder Justice Initiative Webinars

With World Elder Abuse Awareness Day fast approaching, I'm getting several emails about various educational opportunities during the month of June. Several agencies have partnered to offer a health care fraud webinar series.  The upcoming webinars include Elder Justice: A Case Study of Abuse/Neglect  on June 15, Elder Justice: A Case Study in Health Care Fraud on June 22, and Elder Justice: A Q&A about health care fraud, abuse, and neglect on June 29.  The webinars are all free and open to everyone.

June 8, 2022 in Consumer Information, Crimes, Current Affairs, Elder Abuse/Guardianship/Conservatorship, Federal Statutes/Regulations, Webinars | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, May 26, 2022

Cognitive Aging, Maturity and Guns

Yesterday I wrote a blog post about gun use that several of my friends correctly characterized as heartfelt.  Of course, legal research is merited, and I find that my view echoes what is written in a key section of a very recent opinion:

Beyond these significant safety concerns, contemporary scientific research increasingly sheds light on the relative immaturity and incomplete cognitive development of young adults. California cites to evidence that young adults are less mature than older adults, which leads them to take more risks and behave more reactively than their elders. Young adults are thus quicker to anger than older adults and more vulnerable to intense mood swings and to making instinctive, rather than considered, decisions. This cognitive immaturity makes young adults more likely to use firearms in situations of significant emotional arousal or perceived threat, or other situations that require rapid, complex information processing. Other Circuits have credited similar evidence to uphold regulations on firearms affecting 18 to 20-year-olds. NRA, 700 F.3d at 208; Horsley v. Trame, 808 F.3d. 1126, 1133 (7th Cir. 2015). The semiautomatic rifle regulation helps to “ensure that access to these weapons is restricted to mature individuals who have successfully completed safety training,” such as members of law enforcement and the military, “furthering the public safety objectives and ensuring that the Founding Era balancing of Second Amendment rights with safety concerns continues today.” Jones, 498 F. Supp. 3d at 1328.

Unfortunately, this is from the dissenting opinion in Jones v. Bonta, decided by the 9th Circuit with an opinion issued less than two weeks before the shooting in Uvalde, Texas.  Sigh.  

Or, as the always astute Professor Naomi Cahn observes, "The irony of the timing of such a ruling is beyond distressing." 

May 26, 2022 in Crimes, Current Affairs, Ethical Issues, Federal Cases, Science, State Statutes/Regulations, Statistics | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

When It Comes to Guns, Age Matters

I suspect I'm not alone in thinking about guns this morning in the wake of the Texas shooting at a grade school in Uvalde Texas.  This post reflects matters I've been thinking about for a long time.  Indeed, thirty years ago I considered making gun violence a core academic research topic, until I realized how potent is the lobby supporting gun sales, and therefore gun ownership.

First, this morning I listened to a young man, David Hogg, speaking to an NPR interviewer about his own frustrations in opposing gun violence.  He urged legislators at state and national levels to do at least "one thing" to move forward on gun safety legislation.  My first reaction was "one thing?"  How is that going to help?  

Second, I heard a bit more about the background of the 18 year old shooter in Texas, as well as the background of the similarly-aged shooter in Buffalo New York.   More memories.  In one of my previous lives, I volunteered for a neighborhood tutoring program in New Mexico.  My first two students, in high school, had been sent to the program by judges trying to help youths in crime-related incidents.  One young man attended once -- and then disappeared.

I managed to have a good session with the other student, a junior in high school, who at my request wrote a short essay about what he saw as his future.  The 500 word piece was quite well written, and gave us something we could definitely use to gently work to improve his reading and writing skills.  The focus, however, proved to be a window into the bleak outlook of a young man who was involved in a so-called gang.  To put it simply, he saw no future for himself after high school.  He said with utter confidence that his high school "had" to graduate him regardless of whether he did any more work, as long as he merely attended class.  I didn't want to believe that, but he had plenty of evidence to support his hypothesis. He didn't have any post graduation plans.  He had equal confidence that he probably wasn't going to make it to age 21.  The following week during our tutoring session, he was creative in his resistance to my role as a tutor.  He turned in his next essay, but it was written entirely in what was some sort of "tagger's script," the stylized script he used when spray-painting his messages on public building.  Tagging was his only crime at that moment.  

I eventually decided to volunteer for younger students, and in fact I had a two-year working student-tutor relationship with a grade school boy who was in the program at his mother's insistence.  Actually, I got to know the whole family, including his parents and a sister who also sometimes attended our reading sessions (and she helped turn reading into a competitive adventure).  To mark the success of his "graduation" from the program, we went to a Phoenix Suns basketball game, because the opposing team that day had a player much admired by my student.  At his comparatively "youthful" age, he had written about his plans for the future, including somehow, against all genetic odds, planning to "grow" tall enough to be a professional basketball player, like his idol, Nate Archibald.  We talked about coaching as an alternative -- just in case.

I remember the difference in these individuals as I listen to the troubled histories of the two "boys" who bought guns as part of their 18th birthday celebrations.  I don't know what happened to most of the other the students involved in the tutoring program.  The second student dropped out of the program for reasons I never learned, but I later saw his name in the newspaper when he was accused of being the driver in a car-jacking where his "friend" shot the woman who resisted having her car taken.  Sadly, that student's essay was prophetic, as any true dreams for a future may have ended with that crime.

So, if we are going to do at least "one thing," could we -- should we -- focus on raising the threshold age for gun ownership?  Should we give young people in their late teens more  time to grow older (and "taller" or more mature) and thus to reach a point where the future seems brighter?  I'm not suggesting they cannot participate in shooting sports, hunting, and the military, where we hope their use and skill building would be supervised by knowledgeable people. I am suggesting making it unlawful for them to "own" or at least to purchase guns until they are older. Research suggests that substantially more crimes of gun violence against others are committed by individuals between the ages of 17 and 21.  There is research to support restricting gun ownership (and therefore gun sales) to individuals over 21 as one step forward in terms of safety. 

For example, in June 1999, a "collaborative report" under the auspices of the U.S. Department of Justice noted in part:

In 1996, 26,040 people in the United States were killed with guns.  In 1997, offenders age 18, 19, and 20 ranked first, second, and third in the number of gun homicides committed.  Of all gun homicides where an offender was identified, 24 percent were committed by this age group, which is consistent with the historical pattern of gun homicides over the past 10 years.  

Other statistics suggest that gun-related suicide death rates are highest for females age 45 to 64 and for males age 75 and older, statistics that point to another form of age-specific gun tragedies. Age matters.

That first boy who "disappeared" after the first tutoring session?  I later learned he had been killed in a neighborhood shooting.  Would younger adults support delayed lawful-ownership as one form of protection against gun violence?   Certainly, more is needed on so many other levels including mental health supports. But could "one thing" -- at least -- include blocking gun sales to people who are still in the process of learning to plan for the future, for their futures?  

 

May 25, 2022 in Cognitive Impairment, Crimes, Current Affairs, Ethical Issues, Federal Statutes/Regulations, Science, State Cases, State Statutes/Regulations, Statistics | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, April 29, 2022

Filial Friday: Virginia Governor Blocks Attempt to Repeal Virginia Filial Support Law

As is true with several U.S. states, Virginia has a filial support statute that can obligate adult children to support their parents.  The key language of VA Code Ann. Section 20-88 provides:

It shall be the joint and several duty of all persons eighteen years of age or over, of sufficient earning capacity or income, after reasonably providing for his or her own immediate family, to assist in providing for the support and maintenance of his or her mother or father, he or she being then and there in necessitous circumstances. 

 

If there be more than one person bound to support the same parent or parents, the persons so bound to support shall jointly and severally share equitably in the discharge of such duty. . . .

 

This section shall not apply if there is substantial evidence of desertion, neglect, abuse or willful failure to support any such child by the father or mother, as the case may be, prior to the child's emancipation or, except as provided hereafter in this section, if a parent is otherwise eligible for and is receiving public assistance or services under a federal or state program. . . . 

There are few modern cases applying this law. In Peyton v. Peyton, an "unreported" Virginia chancery court decision from 40 years ago, the court applies the law to obligate one brother to reimburse another brother $8,000, representing half of the past out-of-pocket expenses for their mother's care in a nursing home. A careful reading of the Peyton case reveals one of the challenges of applying filial support laws when used to collect "back" expenses; here the second son was willing to pay a portion of their mother's monthly costs going forward but he was not successful in arguing a statute of limitations should apply to prevent liability for multiple years of back claims. 

As with other American states that have had forms of filial support laws, Virginia's law was enacted as an alternative to public welfare laws because the common law generally found no legal duty for adult children to support indigent parents.  But, in Virginia, again as in most American states, the filial support laws are largely dormant, misunderstood or ignored, especially after Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid laws were enacted on a federal level beginning in the 1960s.  

Virginia's  statute was amended decades ago to restrict use of the law by the state to seek reimbursement for its costs in providing public services (such as "medical assistance" a/k/a Medicaid).  However, unlike the filial laws of most states, Virginia's law permits criminal prosecution as a misdemeanor for "any person violating the provisions of an order" of support under this statute, with a fine not exceeding $500 or imprisonment in jail for up to 12 months.  I find no reported cases of criminal enforcement actions.

Recognizing that other states (including neighboring Maryland in 2017) had recently taken formal action to repeal filial support laws as outdated or impractical, Virginia Senator Adam Ebbin introduced 2022 Senate Bill 389 to repeal Virginia's law. Senator Ebbin's bill passed with no dissenting votes in the Virginia Senate.  The final vote in the Virginia House, on March 11, 2022, supported repeal with 81 voting in favor, and only 16 members voting in opposition to repeal. In other words, repeal was not a controversial measure; rather it appeared to be part of an attempt to clean-up hoary laws, and it attracted strong bipartisan support.

Nonetheless, Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin (sworn into office in January 2022) vetoed the repeal on April 11, 2022.  His reasoning for preserving filial support laws is unique, at least in my 20-some years of experience researching filial support laws (see e.g., Filial Support Laws in the Modern Era: Domestic and International and International Comparison of Enforcement Practices for Laws Requiring Adult Children to Support Indigent Parents, 20 Elder Law Journal 269 (2013)).  

The governor's veto statement explains:

"Primarily, the Commonwealth's filial responsibility law supports those who care for their elderly parents.  In establishing a bankruptcy budget, the court allows for necessary and reasonable expenditures and the repeal of Section 20-88 could prevent an individual from covering these expenses within the budget of their debtor.  For those undergoing bankruptcy proceedings, there is a grave risk of unforeseeable and unintended consequences, which may harm people going through some of the most difficult times in their lives."

On the one hand, in today's torn asunder political scene, no one should be surprised that a newly elected governor of one party would be vetoing legislation sponsored by a member of the other party -- and that is true here, with a Republican governor vetoing a bill proposed by a Democrat.  

But what about the proffered reason for the veto?  Virginia's law does not "primarily" support those who care for their elderly parents.  Rather, it creates an obligation for adult children. Is there any precedent for a theory that Virginia's filial support law permits some type of sheltering of assets for a debtor in bankruptcy court, to provide a means of financial support for the (also) destitute parent?  Certainly I find no modern cases on Lexis or Westlaw suggesting such use or even a need for such use.  

There is a reported case from 1938 in Virginia.  In Mitchell-Powers Hardware Co. v. Eaton, 198 S.E. 496 (Supreme Court of Appeals, VA 1938), the court addressed a question of whether a transfer of valuable stock by a debtor to his sister was voidable as an invalid gift.  Was this an invalid attempt to defeat a legitimate creditor's lien against the asset? The court recognized that under Virginia's predecessor version of Statute 20-88, the debtor "could" have an obligation to assist his sister in the care of their elderly mother. The appellate court remanded the case for a jury determination of whether the mother was actually destitute and in need of the son's financial support. (The sister had further transferred the stock in question onward to the debtor's son).  This hardly seems a persuasive case for characterizing filial support laws as necessary "support for those who care for their elderly parents."

April 29, 2022 in Crimes, Current Affairs, Estates and Trusts, Ethical Issues, Federal Statutes/Regulations, Health Care/Long Term Care, Medicaid, Medicare, State Cases, State Statutes/Regulations | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

What Are Your Examples of Scarecrow Laws?

I'm working on a book chapter about filial support laws, where families (usually adult children) may be surprised to learn that their state or their country has a seldom-used law that mandates financial support or maintenance for indigent family members. In working on this chapter, I was considering using the concept of "scarecrow laws" as a metaphor.  This label can apply to laws which are seldom enforced but legislators resist repeal because the very existence of the law might serve as a warning -- a scarecrow -- about the consequences of bad behavior.

While working on the metaphor, I came across an interesting application from Shakespeare's play, Measure for Measure.  In Act 2, Scene 1, we hear a harshly ambitious deputy administrator calling for the ultimate punishment -- beheading -- of Claudio, a man convicted of a crime.  But the law in question, prohibiting sexual relations outside of sanctioned marriage, is "rarely enforced."  One of Angelo's subordinates objects to the harsh sentence. Angelo responds:

We must not make a scarecrow of the law,

Settling it up to fear the birds of prey,

And let it keep one shape, till custom make it 

Their perch and not their terror.

The irony is that Angelo also seeks to violate the same law with a woman who has attracted his attention, but he discounts his own admission as, so far, mere temptation.  

Shakespeare's use of the scarecrow characterization raises a legitimate question.  Should laws, little known and rarely enforced, be removed from the books, or allowed to remain, perhaps on the justification they serve as moral guidance?  

April 26, 2022 in Books, Crimes, Current Affairs, Discrimination, Ethical Issues | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, April 14, 2022

AARP BankSafe Initiative Training for Retail

AARP has launched a new initiative to fight gift card scams. This is a super important project!  According to the website, 

With gift card fraud, a scammer may pretend to be someone they are not in an attempt to convince the unsuspecting person to pay them in gift cards. This type of scam can take many forms: • The scammer, claiming to be from “tech support,” says there is something wrong with a person’s computer, and that the person will need to pay in gift cards in order for tech support to fix the problem. • Posing as a user of a dating site, the scammer says they have an emergency and need another site user to help them by buying them gift cards. • Through a phone call the scammer pretends to be a relative in trouble who needs their target to send them gift cards. • Claiming to be from the IRS or Social Security, the scammer states that the person has a fine or owes back taxes that can only be paid by gift card. • The scammer impersonates the target’s utility company and threatens to shut off service unless they pay an overdue bill with gift cards.

More information about the scam and the training of retail employees is available here.

April 14, 2022 in Consumer Information, Crimes, Current Affairs, Elder Abuse/Guardianship/Conservatorship, Federal Statutes/Regulations, State Statutes/Regulations | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Victoria Law Foundation Hosts International Access to Justice and Legal Services Forum in Australia March 30 through April 1

Victoria Law Foundation International Access to Justice and Legal Services Forum
I had the unique privilege of joining an interdisciplinary team of professionals discussing timely concerns about access to justice for older persons, not only in the host country of Australia but around the world.  Our session, entitled Legal Need, Empowerment and Older People, began with Susannah Sage Jacobson and Eileen Webb, academics from the University of South Australia, who addressed ageism and specific examples of abuse, followed by Frances Batchelor, Acting Director of the Australian National Ageing Research Institute, discussing new consumer-based research on quality of residential care.  The International Access to Justice Online Forum is hosted by the Victoria Law Foundation and the UCI Law Civil Justice Research Initiative, with panelists across the three days of programming from Australia, the U.S, Canada, New Zealand and the U.K.  There is still time -- depending on which side of the international date line you reside -- to catch more presentations as the event runs through April 1, 2022.

In addition, research papers and reports and video captures of the program are being posted online.  Take a good look!  

March 30, 2022 in Advance Directives/End-of-Life, Cognitive Impairment, Consumer Information, Crimes, Current Affairs, Dementia/Alzheimer’s, Discrimination, Elder Abuse/Guardianship/Conservatorship, Ethical Issues, International | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Slam the Scam Day

What will you be doing on Slam the Scam Day? Being a safe and smart consumer?  The SSA Inspector General announced in a press release that Slam the Scam day will be held on March 10, 2022.

Slam the Scam Day is an initiative to raise public awareness of the pervasive scams that continue to plague the nation and is part of the Federal Trade Commission’s National Consumer Protection Week, (NCPW) happening March 6-12, 2022. The initiative, which began in 2020 to combat Social Security-related scams, is now expanding to include other government imposter scams. In a government imposter scam, someone claims to be an SSA, or another government employee, and may ask for personal information, demand payment, or make threats. These scams primarily use the telephone, but scammers may also use email, text messages, social media, or U.S. mail.

The focus of this year's initiative is spotting the scams. "SSA OIG provides resources on its website and posts tips and warnings on social media platforms.  There will be webinars and social media chats to give the public information that empowers them to Slam the Scam."

 

February 22, 2022 in Consumer Information, Crimes, Current Affairs, Elder Abuse/Guardianship/Conservatorship, Federal Cases, Federal Statutes/Regulations, Other, State Statutes/Regulations | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, February 14, 2022

Maine Releases Elder Justice Roadmap

A couple of weeks ago Maine's Governor released the new Elder Justice Roadmap.

Two years of work went into developing the road map, resulting in "the 21-member Elder Justice Coordinating Partnership [identifying] challenges to the prevention of, detection of, and response to elder abuse in the State of Maine and [developing] strategic priorities across the public and private sectors to prevent and respond to elder abuse. These recommendations, contained in the Elder Justice Roadmap, range from improvements in direct victim services, public and professional education, public policy and data collection and evaluation." 

The snapshot of the roadmap leads off with noting that  "There is a health, justice, financial, and social crisis facing Maine: • Research shows that one out of ten adults aged 60 and older have experienced abuse in the past year. That means tens of thousands of older Mainers experience elder abuse every year. • Abuse is most often committed by a trusted person, including intimate partners, adult children, and other family members. • The adverse health and broad economic impacts of elder abuse are well documented."  The snapshot notes that "[t]he Roadmap contains recommendations to achieve three desired results: 1. Decrease the incidence of elder abuse; 2. Increase the number of elder abuse victims who seek and receive help in stopping abuse; and 3. Improve the multidisciplinary response to elder abuse."

The full 122 page roadmap is available here.

 

February 14, 2022 in Consumer Information, Crimes, Current Affairs, Elder Abuse/Guardianship/Conservatorship, State Statutes/Regulations, Statistics | Permalink | Comments (0)

Podcast on Nursing Home Neglect

The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care is offering a podcast with Dr. Laura Mosqueda on Nursing Home Neglect: Preventing It and Getting Help. Here's a description of the podcast:

The pandemic has renewed concerns about the quality of care that residents receive in some nursing homes, and many family members have reported significant decline in the condition of their loved ones. Neglect and abuse of older adults is a long-standing problem that is under-reported and has not received the necessary attention and response from policymakers, yet it results in needless and preventable suffering and harm.

In this episode with Dr. Laura Mosqueda, a professor of Family Medicine and Geriatrics at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California, we talk about neglect, which is the failure to provide goods and services to an individual that are necessary to avoid physical harm, pain, mental anguish, or emotional distress. Neglect may or may not be intentional.

The link to the podcast is here. You can subscribe to the podcast series from this page as well as find information about the Consumer Voice's YouTube channel.

February 14, 2022 in Consumer Information, Crimes, Current Affairs, Elder Abuse/Guardianship/Conservatorship, Federal Statutes/Regulations, Health Care/Long Term Care, Programs/CLEs, State Cases, State Statutes/Regulations, Web/Tech | Permalink

Wednesday, February 2, 2022

Senior Abuse Financial Tracking and Accounting (SAFTA) Toolkit

The Department of Justice Elder Justice Initiative u has announced the release of Senior Abuse Financial Tracking and Accounting (SAFTA) Toolkit.

Guided by the adage “A picture is worth a 1000 words”, the Senior Abuse Financial Tracking and Accounting (SAFTA) tool provides elder justice professionals with a simplified forensic instrument for illuminating suspicious financial patterns and facilitating the prosecution of suspected elder financial exploitation.

Developed by a forensic accountant, the SAFTA tool is an Excel macro-enabled worksheet into which financial records are entered and pivot tables and graphs are automatically created to provide a visual depiction of financial data. The tool is downloaded onto the user’s computer to ensure a secure working environment.

SAFTA is not intended to turn law enforcement officers into forensic accountants. Rather, it is designed to enable law enforcement officers to gather financial records and convert those records into forensically relevant visual depictions of the financial records. SAFTA works best on cases of low to moderate complexity.

A short training video about the toolkit is available here.

February 2, 2022 in Consumer Information, Crimes, Current Affairs, Elder Abuse/Guardianship/Conservatorship, Federal Statutes/Regulations, Programs/CLEs | Permalink

Friday, January 21, 2022

Webinar Elder Justice Decision-Making Capacity Symposium

Register now for this important virtual symposium from DOJ's Elder Justice Initiative, scheduled for April 19th through April 21, from 1-5 eastern.  Here's a description about the Symposium.

Every day the lives of older adults are profoundly and negatively impacted in both the criminal and civil justice systems based on mistaken assumptions and inadequate assessments of their capacity to make decisions for themselves. In order to raise greater awareness of these issues and improve how elder justice professionals approach these issues, the Department of Justice will be hosting the Elder Justice Decision-Making Capacity Symposium, a three-day virtual conference on April 19-21.

The Symposium will highlight what we know today about the aging brain and its impact on decision-making, and discuss the protocols and tools available to assess decision-making capacity. The Symposium will then focus on the myriad of ways that perceptions of an older adult’s decision-making capacity can have profound implications on their treatment in criminal and civil proceedings. These may include elder abuse or fraud prosecutions not being pursued; unnecessary or inappropriate guardianships being imposed; and civil legal remedies being denied to older victims of elder abuse, neglect and financial exploitation.

By shedding light on the latest science as well as best clinical, legal and judicial practices, the Symposium aims to increase access to justice while promoting the autonomy of older adults.


Free Symposium provided by the Elder Justice Initiative, U.S. Department of Justice.

Click here to register.

January 21, 2022 in Cognitive Impairment, Consumer Information, Crimes, Current Affairs, Dementia/Alzheimer’s, Elder Abuse/Guardianship/Conservatorship, Federal Statutes/Regulations, Programs/CLEs, Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Register Now: EJI Webinar: Trauma Informed Counseling for Older Adults – 1/27/22

DOJ's Elder Justice Initiative announced an upcoming webinar on Trauma Informed Counseling. Here's info about the webinar

Many older adults have been exposed to trauma in their lifetime. They may have been exposed to violence, discrimination, natural disasters or have survived a past crime.

The accumulation of past trauma experiences can exacerbate symptoms related to a current trauma.

In this webinar, attendees will learn:

- the importance of referring older survivors of crime to counseling services,

- the factors that increase an older adult's risk for future victimization,

- how counseling services can help a survivor and aid in your professional role,

- and what types of counseling resources are available to older adults.

Issues pertaining to cultural sensitivity and ethical dilemmas will be explored.



Speaker:

Sheri Gibson, PhD

To register, click here.

January 19, 2022 in Consumer Information, Crimes, Current Affairs, Other | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, December 17, 2021

Using Dark Web to Steal Older Americans' Identities

The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Georgia released a press release that Two Georgia men sentenced for using Dark Web to steal identities of elderly victims. According to the press release, here's how the scam worked. "[T]he charges, and other information presented in court: [two perpetrators] purchased personal identifiable information (PII) from dark net markets and used the information to open credit accounts using the victims’ information. They then forwarded the phone lines, mailing addresses, and the emails of their victims to their control. This allowed [the perpetrators] to impersonate victims with creditors and prevented victims from learning about the fraud."

One defendant "was sentenced to three years, ten months in prison for access device fraud, to be followed by two consecutive years imprisonment for aggravated identity theft.  He was also sentenced to serve three years of supervised release and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $108,397.55.  [He] was convicted on these charges on May 14, 2021, after he pleaded guilty."  The other defendant "was sentenced to one year, six months in prison for access device fraud, to be followed by two consecutive years imprisonment for aggravated identity theft.  He was also sentenced to serve three years of supervised release and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $66,097.55.  [He]was convicted on these charges on September 9, 2021, after he pleaded guilty."

Thanks to my friend and colleague Professor Bowman for sending me the link to the press release.

 

December 17, 2021 in Consumer Information, Crimes, Current Affairs, Federal Cases, Federal Statutes/Regulations | Permalink | Comments (0)