Tuesday, April 26, 2022

National Guardianship Network New Video

The National Guardianship Network [Has Released A] New Video with Recommendations for Reforming Guardianship System.This video 

showcases the highlights of the Fourth National Guardianship Summit and the 22 recommendations to reform and improve state guardianship systems. The video also addresses the history of these national summits, the importance of the Fourth Summit and the main topics discussed during the Summit:

  • Rights of Persons Subject to Guardianship
  • Supported Decision-Making
  • Limited Guardianship, Protective Arrangements, and Guardianship Pipelines
  • Rethinking Monitoring and Addressing Abuse by Guardians
  • Fiduciary Responsibilities and Tensions
  • Developing a Guardianship Court Improvement Program

To view the video, click here.

April 26, 2022 in Cognitive Impairment, Consumer Information, Current Affairs, Elder Abuse/Guardianship/Conservatorship, Other, Programs/CLEs, Web/Tech | 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)

Friday, March 18, 2022

New Nursing Home Regs Coming From Feds Within Year?

During the President's State of the Union Address, one of his initiative's is reforming of SNFs. So a flurry of articles have been published recently. Here are some highlights for you. 

Biden Pledges Better Nursing Home Care, but He Likely Won’t Fast-Track It (discussing lack of use of interim final rules). The article reports that we should expect CMS to study the issue, especially minimum staffing standards, before acting. 

Biden’s Promise of Better Nursing Home Care Will Require Many More Workers.   Regarding proposed regulations, "[t]he centerpiece of the effort is establishing minimum staffing levels for facilities. To date, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services requires “adequate” staffing but specifically mandates only a skeleton crew of round-the-clock nursing coverage and one registered nurse who works at least eight hours each day."

CMS eyes 'full-court sprint' to nursing home staffing minimums rule  (new rules expected within year) (subscription required to read the story).

The reforms just aren't limited to increasing staffing standards. Read the fact sheet from the White House, available here.

March 18, 2022 in Consumer Information, Current Affairs, Elder Abuse/Guardianship/Conservatorship, Federal Statutes/Regulations | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, March 2, 2022

Reconsidering the Implications of Togetherness As Couples Get Older

I have a fondness for California Rock & Roll from a certain era -- also known as my youth.  One of my favorites, Warren Zevon, is probably mostly remembered as a singer/songwriter, and he penned some great songs such as Hasten Down the Wind (performed by another favorite, Linda Ronstadt, who, like me was born next door to California in Arizona).  Some of his lyrics work equally well as poetry.  Right now I'm thinking to the opening lines to Reconsider Me, recorded and released by Zevon in 1987:   

If you're all alone

And you need someone

Call me up

And I'll come running

Reconsider me

Reconsider me

Those lines seem to echo in an article from the New York Times today, describing a trend among older singles -- they are willing to love again, but at least one half of the couple isn't willing to live together.  The article begins by describing a 78 year-old widow's friendship with a a widowed man that was turning romantic.   He wanted them to move into together.  She wasn't eager and she admits that his health woes were part of the concern.  She is quoted as saying "He was not in great shape."  Eventually, when he had surgery and needed recuperative care, she followed his directions and "using his funds, hired a live-in caregiver for him."  Once he recovered, they spent more time together.  

The NYT writer, Francine Russo, observes:

With greater longevity, the doubling of the divorce rate since the 1990s for people over 50 and evolving social norms, older people like Ms. Randall are increasingly re-partnering in various forms.  Cohabitation, for example, is more often replacing remarriage following divorce or widowhood, said Susan L. Brown, a sociologist at Bowling Green State University in Ohio.

 

These older adults are seeking (and finding) love, emotional support and an antidote to loneliness.  But many older women, in particular, fear that a romantic attachment in later life will shortly lead to full-time caregiving.

The New York Times article also echoes topics addressed in the article I linked to last week by Cahn, Huntingdon and Scott, Family Law for the One-Hundred Year Life.  For more from the Times, if you have a subscription, see Older Singles Have Found a New Wat to Partner Up:  Living Apart.  

 

 

March 2, 2022 in Current Affairs, Dementia/Alzheimer’s, Elder Abuse/Guardianship/Conservatorship, Ethical Issues, Health Care/Long Term Care, Housing, Retirement | Permalink | Comments (2)

Tuesday, February 22, 2022

2022 Adult Guardianship Guide

The National Association for Court Management announced the release of the updated Adult Guardianship Guide.

The executive summary points out  the

Issues identified in this guide which are critical for planners to consider include: • Strengthening protections and enhancing rights of persons subject to guardianship • Identifying alternatives to guardianship including supported decision-making • Providing meaningful due process including access to counsel
• Identifying opportunities for modification, termination, and restoration of rights • Identifying, tracking, and documenting the number of guardianship cases and adoption of data standards • Implementing meaningful guardianship monitoring • Formalizing a process for bringing complaints or concerns to the attention of the court • Developing response protocols for abuse, neglect, or exploitation • Developing readily accessible materials for the public including clear, plain language forms and informational resources • Developing and institutionalizing training programs and materials for judges and court staff, judicial officers, managers, staff, and volunteers to include specialized training to recognize and identify abuse, neglect, and exploitation • Developing and institutionalizing training programs for guardians • Maintaining and strengthening relationships between the courts and the local probate bar while promoting the importance of court-community collaboration • Regularly evaluating guardianship processes and outcomes.

The guide includes several appendices and resources. The section on the future offers this "This Guide challenges court managers to make efforts that will lead to improvements in the way courts handle cases involving our most vulnerable adults. NACM underscores the need for prioritization and funding of the management of guardianship cases, while offering practices and models that can be implemented—some at little or no cost—to bring court practices in line with recommendations of the Fourth National Guardianship Summit and the NPCS."

If you go through the NACM website, although the guide is free, you may have to set up an account to download it. It will be posted on the National Center for State Courts website (I checked on 2/22/22 and the updated guide had not yet been posted).You can download the 76 page guide directly here.

 

On an unrelated note, University of Illinois College of Law is looking for a Dean of Students & Assistant Dean for Academic Administration.  For info about the position or to apply, "submit a resume, cover letter, and the names and contact information of three professional references at : https://jobs.illinois.edu/academic-job-board/job-details?jobID=159975&job=assistant-dean-for-student-services-dean-of-students-college-of-law-159975 by March 31, 2022. For assistance with the application system, please email rietz@illinois.edu."

The cool part of the job-you get to work with elder law Rockstar, Professor Richard Kaplan!

 

February 22, 2022 in Cognitive Impairment, Consumer Information, Current Affairs, Dementia/Alzheimer’s, Elder Abuse/Guardianship/Conservatorship, State Statutes/Regulations | Permalink | Comments (0)

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

Thursday, February 3, 2022

Webinar on Housing Rights Post-Disaster

The National Center on Law & Elder Rights has announced the following upcoming webinar, Addressing Housing Issues Facing Older Adults Following A Natural Disaster on February 9 at 2 eastern.

Older residents in areas affected by natural disasters face a number of challenges, including issues related to housing security and obtaining temporary shelter. Legal assistance and aging services professionals play a critical role in identifying these needs and providing assistance before, during, and after a disaster. This training will discuss common housing issues faced by homeowners and renters following a natural disaster, with a focus on how advocates and providers working with older adults can assist them pre-disaster to head off these housing issues. The webcast will also discuss post-disaster resources available to older adults and advocates to help address housing recovery needs following a natural disaster. 

Click here to register.

February 3, 2022 in Consumer Information, Current Affairs, Elder Abuse/Guardianship/Conservatorship, Federal Statutes/Regulations, Housing, Webinars | 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)

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

NY Times Investigation Into CMS Appeals Process for SNFs

The New York Times published the results of an investigation into SNF deficiencies in How Nursing Homes’ Worst Offenses Are Hidden From the Public opens with 3 examples of errors and notes "[s]tate inspectors determined that all three homes had endangered residents and violated federal regulations. Yet the federal government didn’t report the incidents to the public or factor them into its influential ratings system. The homes kept their glowing grades."

Describing the results of the investigation, the article notes

that at least 2,700 similarly dangerous incidents were also not factored into the rating system run by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, or C.M.S., which is designed to give people reliable information to evaluate the safety and quality of thousands of nursing homes.

Many of the incidents were uncovered by state inspectors and verified by their supervisors, but quashed during a secretive appeals process, according to a review of thousands of pages of inspection reports and nursing home appeals, which The Times obtained via public-records requests. Others were omitted from the C.M.S. ratings website because of what regulators describe as a technical glitch.

Knowing the importance of the results of the inspections, the article offers that "[o]n-the-ground inspections are the most important factor in determining how many stars homes receive in Medicare’s rating system. The reports that inspectors produce give the public an unvarnished view inside facilities that house many of the country’s most vulnerable citizens."  

Despite the importance of such info, the system isn't transparent.  "On the rare occasions when inspectors issue severe citations, nursing homes can fight them through an appeals process that operates almost entirely in secret. If nursing homes don’t get the desired outcome via the informal review, they can appeal to a special federal court inside the executive branch. That process, too, is hidden from the public." Even though CMS may prevail, the results don't always end up on the compare website.  Why not?  "Jonathan Blum, the chief operating officer for C.M.S., said that citations are omitted during state-level appeals to be fair to nursing homes that are disputing inspectors’ findings. He acknowledged that even after appeals are exhausted, some citations still don’t appear on Care Compare. He said C.M.S. is 'working to correct this issue.'"

The article offers an excellent overview of the inspection requirements and process, as well as pointing out some of the limitations of the process.

This is a really important report and I plan to make it required reading for my students. You need to read it also!

Thanks to my friend and colleague, Professor Bauer, for sending me the link to the article.

December 14, 2021 in Consumer Information, Current Affairs, Elder Abuse/Guardianship/Conservatorship, Federal Cases, Federal Statutes/Regulations, Health Care/Long Term Care, Medicaid, Medicare, State Statutes/Regulations | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

What Do We Mean by Care? Heather McGhee Interviews Ai-Jen Poo

The New York Times is a host for The Ezra Klein Show, a podcast (and short written commentary) with episodes that generally appear on Tuesdays and Fridays each week. Ezra Klein is on paternity leave right now, and in his absence, Heather McGhee, author of The Sum of Us, interviewed Ai-jen Poo, MacArthur grant winner and author of The Age of Dignity: Preparing for the Elder Boom in a Changing America.  The discussion is timely.

Interestingly, the title assigned by the NYT to this podcast is "Every 8 Seconds, an American Turns 65.  How Do We Care for Everyone?"  

Use of that statistic seems to be intended to shock, or at least, to cause a nervous, worried reaction.  Yet the "8 Second" rate is also used for new births in the U.S.  At the outset of the interesting interview, Heather asks Ai-jen for a definition of "care."  Ai-jen responds in her usual fashion -- thoughtfully and carefully -- and says, in essence, "Care is the most fundamental form of support we offer others.  We both offer and rely on care; care is essential." She adds, however, that for most families, private care is unaffordable, whether the need is for child care, disabled family member care, or elder care.

I wonder why it is that we so often ask whether "we can afford" the care of older adults?  That implies the public form of "we." Yes, too often the response (if not the answer)  is "no," but I tend to think that one of the reasons for that fact is that we continue to think that we, as individuals, have some "right" to stay in our homes no matter how long we live, and no matter how much this becomes impossible to manage.  Is it just "too" hard as individuals to plan for alternatives? I think the answer is "yes," but if we aren't going to plan as individuals, it seems likely that the costs will always be treated as unaffordable by "the public."

December 7, 2021 in Consumer Information, Current Affairs, Discrimination, Elder Abuse/Guardianship/Conservatorship, Ethical Issues, Federal Cases, Health Care/Long Term Care, Housing, Retirement | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Is Guardianship Replaceable?

The most recent issue of BIFOCAL (the publication of the ABA Commission on Law & Aging) contains an article by David Godfrey, Replacing Guardianship / Conservatorship.  He identifies three areas where folks may need help: "health care decisions, personal care decisions and financial management" and notes that the assistance provided often comes from "family and concerned friends."  Mr. Godfrey analyzes each area and discusses the options to provide support.

For health care decisions, he note family consent statutes will work, except "when the person has no identifiable family or friends willing to assist, when there is conflict between family members, or when the person making the choice appears to be committing abuse. It is possible for laws to be structured so that state actors can select someone to have legal authority to consent to health care under those
circumstances." (citations omitted).  For Personal Care Decisions,  "[these choices often have a low risk of harm...  and  choices  simply need to be made to keep the person happy, safe, and with appropriate nutrition. Where there are challenges in personal care decisions, support by family and friends will most often replace guardianship." Noting the increase in disputes regarding visitation, he references a trend where  folks "are increasingly being advised to leave specific written directions on contact or visitation in the event of a decline in capacity, to replace the use of guardianship to resolve concerns about contact or visitation."  He notes that living arrangements is a hybrid of personal and legal issues. ". Powers of attorney, authorized signers on financial accounts, and trusts are planning tools that can replace guardianship. When those options are not available, laws can be created to allow courts to issue limited protective orders, to approve leases, sales, or purchases of property, or
approve occupancy or admissions agreements, and are limited in scope to just that one issue, with oversight by the court and accountability to the court." 

Finally, for financial decisions,  he discusses various devices that empower another to make financial decisions for a person and oversight mechanisms such financial management professionals or giving family members access to view the person's account statements online.  He discusses protective arrangements and the risk of elder abuse and offers this conclusion:

Successful planning and legal alternatives can replace many guardianships. In many states, laws and practices need to be changed to allow more alternatives. All of these can fail. No one tool is a guarantee of safety. Criminals have used every tool in the box to abuse and exploit. Everyone needs to be urged to plan for incapacity; we are all only one health care event away from needing help meeting our basic needs and protecting ourselves from harm. Currently, we fail to plan more often than plans fail. Guardianship becomes the replacement for failure to plan, or for plans that have failed. It is time to turn that on its head and replace guardianship.

 

November 23, 2021 in Consumer Information, Current Affairs, Dementia/Alzheimer’s, Elder Abuse/Guardianship/Conservatorship, Health Care/Long Term Care, State Statutes/Regulations | Permalink | Comments (0)

COVID and Elder Abuse

A  recently released article from the Fall 2021 publication of the National Association of Social Workers explores the impact that COVID had on the number of elder abuse cases. Elder Abuse & COVID-19 explains that "[t]he novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has had a profound and disproportionate impact on older adults, including apparent increases in elder abuse. This publication explores these effects and highlights resources developed by social workers and other service providers to support practice with older adults."  The article cites a study by Dr. Pamela Teaster and others (Dr. Teaster is a friend and ROCK STAR researcher) that showed that "81 percent of Adult Protective Services (APS) personnel related having received “fewer or many fewer” reports of adult maltreatment within the first six months of pandemic shutdown."  Citing a number of other studies, the author notes that COVID led to an increased risk of elder abuse.  The article discusses the impact of sheltering at home and a freeze on visitation in long-term care facilities as heightening the risk of elder abuse.

[T]he pandemic has provided fertile ground for multiple types of fraud and scams, many of which affect older adults. Common schemes include (a) COVID-19 testing, treatment, and vaccine scams; (b) imposter scams, in which an individual pretends to represent a relative, charitable organization, government agency, or other trusted source to steal money or financial information; (c) Economic Impact Payment (stimulus check) scams; (d) home and mortgage scams (to make improvements, prevent foreclosure, or modify loans; and (e) identity theft. The financial strains many older adults experience during the pandemic can increase the risk of experiencing fraud and scams.  (citations omitted). 

The article concludes by highlighting some of the actions of social workers to "prevent, identify, and respond to elder abuse."

November 23, 2021 in Consumer Information, Crimes, Current Affairs, Elder Abuse/Guardianship/Conservatorship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, October 22, 2021

More Resources on COVID Scams

Following up on my October 5 post on the APS TARC brief on COVID scams, the FTC is offering consumer info on avoiding COVID Scams.   The post offers extensive resources designed to provide accurate information to consumers on a variety of topics, including avoiding various scams, vaccinations, treatment claims,  privacy/online security, up to date info on scams, government resources, and more. I thought the section on avoiding scams to be helpful:

AVOID CORONAVIRUS SCAMS

  • COVID-19 vaccines are free. If anyone charges you for help signing up or the shot itself, it’s a scam.
  • You can’t buy the COVID-19 vaccine anywhere. It’s only available at federal- and state-approved locations.
  • Always talk with your doctor or healthcare professional before you try any product claiming to treat, prevent, or cure COVID-19.
  • Don’t post your vaccination card to your social media account. Someone could use the information for identity theft.
  • Right now, there are no official plans to create a national vaccine verification app or certificate or passport.
  • If someone asks you for personal information or money to get a national vaccine certificate or passport, that’s a scam.
  • Contact your state government(link is external) about its vaccine verification plans and requirements.
  • Check with airlines, cruise lines, and event venues about their vaccine verification or negative testing requirements.
  • When you’re looking for pandemic-related help, start with sites like coronavirus.gov and usa.gov/coronavirus.

October 22, 2021 in Consumer Information, Current Affairs, Elder Abuse/Guardianship/Conservatorship, Health Care/Long Term Care | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

New Brief on COVID Scams

The Adult Protective Services Technical Assistance Resource Center (APS-TARC) released a new brief, COVID-19 Fraud and Scams: What APS Needs to Know. Noting the pandemic causes greater use of technology, increased isolation and changes to personal circumstances, the Brief discusses several COVID-related scams. These include healthcare scams, government impersonator scams, money transfer scams, charity scams, mortgage relief scams, helper scams, and scams around vaccinations, treatments for COVID, and tech. The Brief offers suggestions for prevention, agencies to contact for help,  and dealing with misinformation. 

October 5, 2021 in Consumer Information, Crimes, Current Affairs, Elder Abuse/Guardianship/Conservatorship, Federal Statutes/Regulations, Other, State Statutes/Regulations | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, September 24, 2021

DOJ Elder Justice Initiative Fall Webinars

DOJ's Elder Justice Initiative has announced its fall webinar series.  

Thursday September 30, 2021 2-3 p.m.,  INNOVATIONS IN GUARDIANSHIP: MAXIMIZING AUTONOMY AND ENSURING ACCOUNTABILITY.

Guardianship is one approach to providing support and assistance to adults who need help with decision-making about finances and personal issues. However, as recent high-profile and less visible cases illustrate, guardianship can also infringe on personal rights and can lead to mistreatment of older adults and adults with disabilities.

 

Join us for a webinar to discuss current trends and challenges in state guardianship systems, policies and practice. Using real-life guardianship scenarios, the webinar will explore ways to maximize autonomy and ensure accountability throughout the guardianship process. Presenters will discuss less restrictive alternatives to guardianship as well as ways to improve adjudication and post-appointment oversight of guardians.

To register, click here

Thursday October 21, 2021 2-3 p.m., IMPLEMENTING ELDER ABUSE RESTRAINING ORDERS

With the growing criminalization of elder abuse, greater attention has focused on elder abuse restraining orders, which are commonly used in the domestic violence context. Approximately sixteen states have an elder abuse restraining order statute, including California, with an additional three states having a financial exploitation only restraining order statute. Learn how one county-level adult protective services program in California implemented their restraining order statute. Overcoming some initial challenges, the presenters will share their lessons learned.

To register, click here.

Thursday November 18, 2-3 p.m., IDENTIFYING AND PROSECUTING POWER OF ATTORNEY ABUSE

Financial powers of attorney are legal tools commonly used to plan for the possibility that an adult may need help with financial decision-making in the future, but they can be used to steal money and property. Presenters will discuss common scenarios and recent prosecutions.

To register, click here.

September 24, 2021 in Consumer Information, Crimes, Current Affairs, Dementia/Alzheimer’s, Elder Abuse/Guardianship/Conservatorship, Federal Statutes/Regulations, Programs/CLEs, State Statutes/Regulations | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Highlights from Touro Conference on Aging, Health, Equity, and the Law (9.13.21)

Touro College's Jacob Fuschberg Law Center hosted a fabulous half-day, interdisciplinary program on Aging, Health, Equity and the Law.  Among the highlights:

  • A perfect kickoff with opening remarks on the theme of the conference from Syracuse Law Professor Nina Kohn, who outlined the civil rights of older persons, reminding us of existing laws and the potential for legal reforms;
  •  A unique "property law" perspective on the importance of careful planning about ownership or rights of use, in order to maximize the safety and goals of the older person, provided by Professor Lior Strahilevitz from University of Chicago Law School;  
  • Several sessions formed the heart of the conference by taking on enormously difficult topics arising in the context of Covid-19 about access to health care, including what I found to be a fascinating perspective from Professor Barbara Pfeffer Billauer  from her recent work in Israel. She started with an interesting introduction of three specific pandemic responses she's identified in her research. She then focused on how "Policy Pariah-itizing" has had a negative effect on health care for older adults, with examples from Israel, Italy, and China.  I was also deeply impressed by the candid presentations of several direct care providers, including nursing care professionals Esperanza Sanchez and Nelda Godfrey, about the ethical issues and practical pressures they are experiencing; 
  • Illinois Law Professor Dick Kaplan offered  timely perspectives on incorporating cultural sensitivity in Elder Law Courses.  His slides had great context, drawing in part from an article he published about ten years ago at 40 Stetson Law Review 15;
  • Real world examples about tough end-of-life decisions involving family members and/or formally appointed surrogates, with Deirdre Lock and Tristan Sullivan-Wilson from the Weinberg Center for Elder Justice leading breakout groups for discussions.

I know I'm failing to mention other great sessions (there were simultaneous tracks and I was playing a bit of leap-frog).  But the good news is we can keep our eyes out for the Touro Law Review compilation of the articles from this conference, scheduled for Spring 2022 publication.  I know it was a big lift to pull off the conference in the middle of the fall semester.  Thank you!

September 14, 2021 in Advance Directives/End-of-Life, Books, Cognitive Impairment, Consumer Information, Crimes, Current Affairs, Dementia/Alzheimer’s, Discrimination, Elder Abuse/Guardianship/Conservatorship, Ethical Issues, Health Care/Long Term Care, Housing, International, Property Management, Science | Permalink