Friday, October 16, 2020

Webinar: Tools for Financial Caregivers

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau  and the National Alliance for Caregiving are offering a free webinar on Tuesday, October 20 at 2 p.m. eastern on Tools for Financial Caregivers of Older Adults.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the National Alliance for Caregiving (NAC) will provide a free webinar on Tuesday, October 20, 2020 from 2-3 pm ET. NAC will share findings from its joint study with AARP on caregiving, including ways financial strain can affect caregivers and older adults. The CFPB will share free resources for financial caregivers of older adults, with an emphasis on tips and tools that can be used during the Pandemic to manage someone else’s money.

Presenters:

  • Gabriela Prudencio – National Alliance for Caregiving
  • Lisa Weintraub Schifferle – CFPB, Office for Older Americans
  • Kate Kramer – CFPB, Office for Older Americans

Click here to register. You can download the corresponding report here.

October 16, 2020 in Consumer Information, Current Affairs, Elder Abuse/Guardianship/Conservatorship, Health Care/Long Term Care, Programs/CLEs, Webinars | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, October 2, 2020

National Guardianship Ass'n Releases Guardian FAQ on COVID

The National Guardianship Association (NGA) has released a September 21, 2020 FAQ for guardians about the pandemic. Frequently Asked Questions by Guardians About the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Here are the top takeaways


• Contact with My Client or Loved One – Maintaining contact is essential, whether remotely or in person.
• Special Considerations for Nursing Home Residents – New federal guidance provides ways you can safely visit a resident in person. While there still may be some restrictions on in person visits, you have a responsibility to maintain contact and monitor well-being through remote access.
• Special Considerations for Residential Groups Settings and Hospitals – While there may be restrictions on in-person visits, you have a responsibility to maintain contact and monitor well-being through remote access.
• Protections and Services for My Client or Loved One in the Community – Maintain contact with your client or loved one in the community, and make sure he or she gets services and supports to maintain health and well-being.

• Access to Courts – Each state determines its own procedures during the pandemic. Courts have made many changes, including implementing or expanding remote hearings, and there may be changes in requirements for timelines, notices, and submission of reports.
• Protecting the Rights and Well-Being of My Client or Loved One – The rights of your client or loved one have not changed, but the pandemic makes it more difficult to exercise certain rights. Take actions to ensure the person receives fair health care treatment, facilities follow safety protocols, and support the individual during this difficult time.
• Protecting the Medical Decisions for My Client or Loved One – Work with health care
providers to ensure that the health care choices and values of your client or loved one are
respected.
• Protecting the Finances of My Client or Loved One – As guardian of the estate or conservator,
ensure that your client receives all COVID-19 and other benefits for which he or she is eligible; develop and implement a financial plan that is flexible enough to accommodate demands due to COVID-19; and manage investments and financial affairs with increased vigilance during the pandemic.
• Safety Precautions – Take steps to make sure you are not exposed to or transmitting illness, and to respond if your client or loved one is exposed to COVID-10, shows symptoms, or is hospitalized. Be alert to COVID-19 frauds or scams.

The 20 page FAQ with detailed explanations is available here.

October 2, 2020 in Cognitive Impairment, Consumer Information, Current Affairs, Dementia/Alzheimer’s, Elder Abuse/Guardianship/Conservatorship, Health Care/Long Term Care, State Statutes/Regulations | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, October 1, 2020

New Fact Sheet from National Center on Elder Abuse

The National Center on Elder Abuse has released a new fact sheet,  Communicating with
People with Limited English Proficiency. Here are a few of their tips:

We encourage the use of these best practice tips to aid your communication efforts:
• When anticipating a need to hire a new role on your team, screen for bilingual or multilingual candidates.
• Identify members among your team who speak other languages who you know can assist with outreach when connecting with people who speak different languages.
• Establish a list of translated basic phrases, such as “Do you speak English?”.
• If someone is contacting you by phone and has reception issues (Are they trying to reach you from somewhere remote or out of the country?), try to obtain as much information as possible to contact the person back, in the hopes of establishing a clearer second communication attempt.
• For people requesting information with language barriers or who may be hard-of-hearing, slow down your speaking pace, pronounce words clearly, and repeat phrases when necessary.

The full list of tips is available here.

October 1, 2020 in Consumer Information, Crimes, Current Affairs, Elder Abuse/Guardianship/Conservatorship, Health Care/Long Term Care, International | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, September 28, 2020

Guardianship Court Monitoring Survey

Two researchers are collecting data on court monitoring involving conservatorships and guardianships.

The National Center for State Courts would like to learn about your experiences with court monitoring practices of guardians and conservators.

This survey is part of the research that [two researchers] are conducting in preparation for the 4th National Guardianship Summit to be held in May 2021, at the Syracuse University Law School.

Please answer the questions with reference to the jurisdiction you are most familiar with. Responding to the survey will take less than 15 minutes of your time. You will not be identified in any manner, as findings from the study will be presented only in the aggregate.

The researchers acknowledge the assistance of the State Justice Institute in conducting this survey.

 

September 28, 2020 in Cognitive Impairment, Consumer Information, Current Affairs, Dementia/Alzheimer’s, Elder Abuse/Guardianship/Conservatorship, State Cases, State Statutes/Regulations, Statistics | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Upcoming Virtual Elder Law Symposium

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.

August 27, 2020 in Consumer Information, Current Affairs, Elder Abuse/Guardianship/Conservatorship, Health Care/Long Term Care, Programs/CLEs, Webinars | Permalink

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Guilty Plea in Prize Notification Scam

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.

August 26, 2020 in Consumer Information, Crimes, Current Affairs, Elder Abuse/Guardianship/Conservatorship, Federal Cases, Federal Statutes/Regulations | Permalink

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Webinar on Elder Fraud Prevention and Response Networks – Building Collaboration

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.

August 25, 2020 in Consumer Information, Current Affairs, Elder Abuse/Guardianship/Conservatorship, Programs/CLEs, Webinars | Permalink

Thursday, August 13, 2020

ABA House of Delegates Resolution on Guardianship Courts

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.

The report, along with the proposed resolution, is available here. The final resolution reads as follows:

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.

August 13, 2020 in Cognitive Impairment, Consumer Information, Current Affairs, Elder Abuse/Guardianship/Conservatorship | Permalink

Friday, July 24, 2020

New Brief from APS Technical Assistance Resource Center

APS TARC has released a new brief, Trauma-Informed Approach for Adult Protective Services. This brief includes a discussion trauma and of "The Four Rs of a Trauma-Informed Approach" (realize, recognize, respond and resist). The brief includes information from experts in the field,  discusses COVID and APS, and then concludes 

As outlined in this brief and highlighted by the guest experts above, there are tools to approach recent challenges posed by COVID-19 using trauma informed approaches. APS research and practice was already beginning to understand the critical intersections between adult maltreatment and trauma and now it’s time to pivot quickly and move forward with research, practice, and training for all levels of APS staff using a trauma-informed framework.

The American Public Human Services Association (APHSA), recommends these steps for organizations to “Lead Ahead” during times traumatic times:
 Vision - Developing a vision for moving forward
 Ask questions – Be curious, be direct
 Plan – Develop a plan
 Respond – Execute the plan
 Innovate – Practice continuous quality improvement (CQI)
(American Public Human Services Association, 2020)
All the APHSA steps listed above can be conducted through a trauma-informed approach framework to  cultivate safety, support and resiliency.  The road ahead, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, will be challenging to navigate for everyone. Let us all maintain and grow the resiliency of leadership, staff, and clients to move from urgent, trauma response to recovery response and planning in the days and weeks ahead.

July 24, 2020 in Consumer Information, Crimes, Current Affairs, Elder Abuse/Guardianship/Conservatorship | Permalink

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Topics and Speakers Announced for AALS January 2021 Program on Intersectionality, Aging and the Law

Hard to believe we are scheduling for January 2021, isn't it!  Here's the scheduled speakers and topics for the co-hosted program during the AALS Annual Meeting in San Francisco on "Intersectionality, Aging and the Law:"

July 2, 2020 in Advance Directives/End-of-Life, Cognitive Impairment, Discrimination, Elder Abuse/Guardianship/Conservatorship, Ethical Issues, International, Programs/CLEs, Statistics | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Upcoming Webinar: Extreme Home Takeovers - Dealing with "Concerned" Relatives

On Monday, June 22, 2020, I'm joining the 3rd Annual Memorial Elder Abuse Sympsium hosted by Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma and being delivered as a webinar over the course of several sessions.  On Monday, the first set of speakers includes deeply experienced professionals in banking and securities, both potential avenues for elder fraud, as well as Judge Scott Roland of the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals.  I follow them with the topic "Extreme Home Takeovers - Dealing with Concerned Relatives" -- the clever title supplied by our hosts!  

I'll be offering comparative statutory and common law approaches for recovering a house. including my own experiences while supervising Dickinson Law's Elder Protection Clinic.  The need is usually triggered by a transaction often tied to the worries of the older person, hoping or believeing that a family member, friend or new "befriender" would be more likely to save them from the dreaded nursing home if they give the hoped-for-caregiver "the house."  I'll be using cases from Ireland, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma (of course) and beyond for strategies, and discussing everything from filial support laws, to improvident tranaction laws, to the common law concept of failure of consideration in "support deeds." 

20200618_171222

June 18, 2020 in Elder Abuse/Guardianship/Conservatorship, Ethical Issues, Health Care/Long Term Care, Housing, International, State Cases, State Statutes/Regulations | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Nursing Homes and the Right to Visitors During a Pandemic

The seminal 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act requires all nursing facilities to care for their residents in a manner that that "will promote ,maintenance or enhancement of the quality of life of each resident." 12 USCA Section 1396r(b)(1)(A).  The same law, at Section 1396r(e)(3),  addresses "access and visitation rights:" 

A nursing facility must - ... 

(B) permit immediate access to a resident, subject to the resident's right to deny or withdraw consent at any time, by immediate family or other relatives of the resident;
 
(C) permit immediate access to a resident, subject to reasonable restrictions and the resident's right to deny or withdraw consent at any time, by others who are visiting with the consent of the resident;
(D) permit reasonable access to a resident by any entity or individual that provides health, social, legal, or other services to the resident, subject to the resident's right to deny or withdraw consent at any time .... 
During the pandemic lockdown, states prohibited most visitations, citing the risk of infection from the outside community that could endanger not just the visitor's loved one, but potentially all residents.  States are now beginning to lift or at least ease visitation restrictions, and families are beginning to talk more openly about the impact of the isolation on residents who have not contracted the virus.  
 
This week, NPR has begun airing stories about the challenge of balancing the risks of visitors against the benefits of not just family member visits, but family member involvement in care and socialization for residents.  From one story about Luann Thibodeau and her husband Jeff, who has multiple sclerosis:
 

It wasn't candlelight and soft music that made the 40th anniversary of Luann and Jeff Thibodeau so memorable. It was gazing at each other through the window of Jeff's nursing home in Texas and eating carryout from the Olive Garden. Just the two of them. And a nursing assistant.

 

"She fed him, and I ate mine, and that was it," Luann Thibodeau says. "So that was our 40th wedding anniversary."

 

Luann Thibodeau would bring her husband, Jeff, dinner every night, except Tuesdays, when she had Bible study. Since she's been unable to visit, she says that her husband has become increasingly disinterested in food as his multiple sclerosis has worsened.
 

The Thibodeaus have not been in the same room since mid-March. That's when visitors were banned from nursing homes to slow the spread of the coronavirus. But family members say that talking via FaceTime and holding up signs at windows are no substitute for the hands-on care and emotional support their visits provide.

 

Family members often are an integral part of the care residents in nursing homes receive. They make sure meals are being eaten, clothes are being changed. They also offer invaluable emotional support. . . . 

 

Luann Thibodeau has seen that decline in her husband. She used to bring dinner for him every night except Tuesdays when she goes to Bible Study. She says that as his multiple sclerosis has worsened, he's become increasingly disinterested in food. [She explains]. "I bully him into finishing a meal. And I'll say to him, 'Jeff, you know, this is what an adult man eats. So you need to eat this.' "

 

A staff member can't do what she does. Nursing home residents have rights. So if Jeff Thibodeau tells a nursing assistant that he's done eating after three bites, she has to abide by his wishes.

 

Without his wife's push, the results of her absence is striking.

For more, listen to the NPR podcast or read the parallel written narrative in "Banned From Nursing Homes, Families See Shocking Decline In Their Loved Ones." 

The federal Nursing Home Reform Act's Bill of Rights has never been an easily enforceable mandate, and particularly in a global crisis the needs of the many can override the rights of individuals.  But there does need to be a long-range plan on how better to facilitate visitation, recognizing it as an important part of any person's quality of life.  

 

June 11, 2020 in Consumer Information, Current Affairs, Dementia/Alzheimer’s, Elder Abuse/Guardianship/Conservatorship, Ethical Issues, Federal Statutes/Regulations, Health Care/Long Term Care, Housing, Medicaid, Medicare | Permalink | Comments (2)

Monday, June 8, 2020

Oklahoma Legal Aid Services Update: 3rd Annual Memorial Elder Abuse Symposium Goes Virtual, Starting June 15

This year, the Sonya L. Patterson Elder Abuse Symposium hosted annually by Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma, will take place over the course of several weeks, in bite-size programming, rather than in a single, all-day conference format.  In light of the online setting, the organizers are also able to open up registration and attendance to interested people outside of Oklahoma; however, there are limits on the number who can attend each session, so I recommend registering early. In past years, the symposium has drawn an audience of attorneys, law enforcement and social workers, with CLE credits available.

I'm very pleased for the opportunity to be a speaker this year. In addition to attorneys and judges, the speakers include health care professionals and bankers.  The program honors the life and advocacy of a young Oklahoma public interest attorney, Sonya L. Patterson, who passed away far too soon in 2015, as the result of an accident at the age of just 30. 

Here's the line up for the midday Symposium Webinar Series , with all sessions taking place on Central Daylight Savings Time:

Session 1: Monday, June 15th (11:00 am to 1:45 pm)

  1. The Psychic Effect on Victims of Elder Abuse by Family and/or Caregivers- Dr. Nancy Needell, M.D., Weill Cornell Medicine
  2. Attorney Responsibility to Client’s Ward or Principal- Rick Goralewicz, Staff Attorney, Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma

 

Session 2: Monday, June 22nd (11:00 am to 1:15 pm)

  1. Financial Exploitation of the Elderly- Justice Scott Roland, Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals with Elaine Dodd, Executive Vice President/ Fraud Division at Oklahoma Banker's Association and Jennifer Shaw, Oklahoma Securities Commission
  2. Extreme Home Takeover: Dealing with the “Concerned Relative”- Katherine C. Pearson, Professor of Law at Dickinson Law, Pennsylvania State University, Carlisle Pennsylvania

 

Session 3: Wednesday, June 24th (11:00 am to 1:15 pm)

  1. Elder Abuse General Topic- Stacey Morey, Oklahoma Attorney General’s Office, Chief of Consumer Protection Division
  2. Experts: Identifying and Utilizing in Elder Abuse Litigation- Kara Vincent, Attorney, Barber and Bartz

 

Session 4: Monday, June 29th (11:00 am to 1:15 pm)

  1. Domestic Violence and Seniors- Melissa Brooks, Staff Attorney at Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma and Gail Stricklin, Attorney at Law
  2. Abuse in Institutional Settings- William Whited, State Long Term Care Ombudsman and Nicole Snapp-Holloway, Attorney at Maples, Nix and Diesselhorst

 

Session 5: Wednesday, July 1st (11:00 am to 1:15 pm)

  1. Incompetency, Incapacity and Vulnerability- Mark Holmes, Attorney at Holmes, Holmes and Niesent, PLLC, Travis Smith, Attorney at Holmes, Holmes and Niesent, PLLC and Cathy Wood, Adult Protective Services
  2. Isolation and Loneliness- Laurel Dinkel, LCSW, Norman, Oklahoma

Click HERE for access to registration information for individual sessions or  the entire series. My thanks to Oklahoma Legal Aid Staff Attorney Rick Goralewicz for the invitation.  

June 8, 2020 in Advance Directives/End-of-Life, Cognitive Impairment, Consumer Information, Crimes, Current Affairs, Dementia/Alzheimer’s, Elder Abuse/Guardianship/Conservatorship, Ethical Issues, Housing, State Cases, State Statutes/Regulations, Statistics, Webinars | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, June 6, 2020

NYT: "Detecting" the Reasons for a Death in Nursing Home

From a sad, powerful story about one of many deaths at Isabella Geriatric Center, carried in the New York Times:

A little after 1 in the afternoon, Aida Pabey got the call from the nursing home: Her mother was not going to make it. It was April 6, nearly four weeks after the state had barred all visitors to nursing homes, and Aida and her sister, Haydee, had been struggling to get even the most basic information about their mother. Was she eating? Had the coronavirus reached her part of the home?

 

Now this dire call. Just the day before, the sisters had been assured by an aide that their mother was “fine.”

 

They were both detectives in the New York Police Department, 20-year veterans. They were used to getting information, even from people determined to withhold it. But the nursing home had been a black box.

 

They raced to the home. Haydee got there first and managed to get upstairs. Aida, arriving second, identified herself as a crime scene investigator and brought safety gear. “I had my face shield, my bootees, my mask, my gloves,” she said. The security guard refused to let her in. “No. It was, ‘No way.’”

For more read, When Their Mother Died at a Nursing Home, 2 Detectives Wanted Answer.  As one of our Blog's readers has commented recently, "we need to go a step deeper to the ROOT cause of these serious breaches of safe practices in care facilities."

June 6, 2020 in Cognitive Impairment, Consumer Information, Crimes, Current Affairs, Dementia/Alzheimer’s, Elder Abuse/Guardianship/Conservatorship, Ethical Issues, Health Care/Long Term Care, Housing, State Cases, State Statutes/Regulations, Statistics | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Pandemic Scams

Not surprising, but come on scammers.  Well anyway, there's a proliferation of scams tied to COVID, not that any of us should find this unexpected.  See, e.g., Corona Virus Scams,  recently published in the ABA Senior Lawyers Division magazine, Voice of Experience.

So it was good news to see The Protecting Seniors from Emergency Scams Act would help prevent scammers from taking advantage of seniors during the coronavirus pandemic and future emergencies introduced in the Senate.  Here's the info about the bill:

The Protecting Seniors from Emergency Scams Act directs the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to report to Congress on scams targeting seniors during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and make recommendations on how to prevent future scams during emergencies. The bill also directs the FTC to update its website with information that will help seniors and their caregivers access contacts for law enforcement and adult protective agencies, and directs the FTC to coordinate with the media to distribute this information to ensure seniors and their caregivers are informed. 

Keep an eye on this bill; hopefully it will get some traction!

June 3, 2020 in Consumer Information, Crimes, Current Affairs, Elder Abuse/Guardianship/Conservatorship, Federal Statutes/Regulations, Other | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, May 31, 2020

Webinar: State Elder Justice Coalitions

Busy tomorrow, June 2, at 2 edt? Take a break and register for this webinar from DOJ's Elder Justice Initiative. State Elder Justice Coalitions: Informing Services and Influencing Public Policy:

Join us for the webinar, State Elder Justice Coalitions: Informing Services and Influencing Public Policy. With increased attention to elder justice, Elder Justice Coalitions are forming throughout the country. While their composition varies, state Elder Justice Coalitions address such issues as public policy, practice, professional training, and public awareness. Members of the National Network of State Elder Justice Coalitions (NNSEJC) Steering Committee will illustrate examples from coalitions across the nation. Topics include development and structure; priorities and notable accomplishments; sustainability; and the roles of the NNSEJC. Time will be allotted to answer attendee questions. 

Please view our recent article, Building a National Elder Justice Movement, State by State
(pp. 111-116), at: https://online.flippingbook.com/view/185807/112/

Click here to register for this webinar.

May 31, 2020 in Consumer Information, Current Affairs, Elder Abuse/Guardianship/Conservatorship, Federal Statutes/Regulations, Programs/CLEs, State Statutes/Regulations, Webinars | Permalink

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Updates on Elder Abuse Statutes from the ABA-COLA

The American Bar Association Commission on Law & Aging (COLA) has released their annual update of elder abuse statutes. The chart runs 61 pages, is organized by state, and can be accessed here.

The chart includes statutes & case law, mandatory reporters, when & how to report as well as other resources.  Bookmark this-it's an important resource!

May 26, 2020 in Consumer Information, Crimes, Current Affairs, Elder Abuse/Guardianship/Conservatorship, State Cases, State Statutes/Regulations | Permalink

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Elder Abuse in the Time of COVID

A reporter recently asked me whether I'd been hearing about an uptick in elder abuse cases during the pandemic. So I was interested in the release of this research letter, Elder Abuse in the COVID-19 Era.

Consider this: "[t]he many necessary social distancing programs currently in place additionally create a growing dependency on others for the completion of daily living activities, and this dependency can be viewed as another vulnerability. The documented negative health effects of social isolation and loneliness in old age will undoubtedly intensify during this pandemic, and social isolation has been established as one of the strongest predictors of elder abuse."

Add to that the following:

With numerous “shelter-in-place” orders in effect to promote social distancing during the COVID-19 era, and increased dependency of older adults on others, the potential for elder abuse is all the more heightened, particularly since perpetrators of abuse are often close relations, and as more strangers opportunistically strive to take advantage of the fearful situation to exploit older adults for financial gain. Older adults with dementing illness are known to be of higher risk for abuse and neglect. With the shuttering of adult daycare programs, senior centers, and outpatient programs occurring concomitantly with adult children working from home, the possibility of unbuffered time together may contribute to circumstances leading to greater incidents of abuse.(citations omitted)

The authors offer suggestions to minimize the potential for instances of elder abuse in the time of COVID-19, which need to be

proactively addressed with organized, systematic, and creative efforts. Older adults within families and local communities can be contacted on a regular basis by those who are designated as advocates. Multiple communication methods can be leveraged for this purpose, ...  Creativity in the development of resources to address specific vulnerabilities should be encouraged. …

Ways to address the potential threat of a trusted other range from increasing penalties for elder abuse at the societal level to the creation of an individualized safety plan that incorporates the wishes and preferences for autonomy and self-reliance of the older adult. Caregivers of older adults with dementia or other medical conditions … should be offered additional means of support and guidance. To combat rampant and increasing ageism, the perspective of older adults can be elevated by increasing representation on panels with significant decision-making power in public and private sectors during the pandemic. Those who have a substantial social media footprint can be of particular help combating ageist sentiments. Creative community-based resources that address any of these three intersecting domains of elder abuse must be rapidly developed and implemented. ….

May 14, 2020 in Cognitive Impairment, Consumer Information, Crimes, Current Affairs, Dementia/Alzheimer’s, Elder Abuse/Guardianship/Conservatorship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, May 11, 2020

Professor Nina Kohn's Important Op-Ed in the Washington Post

Syracuse Law Professor Nina Kohn (currently a visiting professor at Yale Law), has an important Op-Ed in the Washington Post, in which she tackles the not so subtle ageism that accompanies response to COVID-19 -- while making it clear that the issues are much deeper than a single disease.  She writes:

Of course, older adults are at heightened risk, even though covid-19 strikes younger people, too. But across America — and beyond — we are losing our elders not only because they are especially susceptible. They’re also dying because of a more entrenched epidemic: the devaluation of older lives. Ageism is evident in how we talk about victims from different generations, in the shameful conditions in many nursing homes and even — explicitly — in the formulas some states and health-care systems have developed for determining which desperately ill people get care if there’s a shortage of medical resources.

For more, read The  Pandemic Exposed a Painful Truth:  American Doesn't Care About Hold People.  The subtitle?  "We speak of the elderly as expendable, then fail to protect them."

May 11, 2020 in Consumer Information, Current Affairs, Dementia/Alzheimer’s, Discrimination, Elder Abuse/Guardianship/Conservatorship, Ethical Issues, Health Care/Long Term Care, Statistics | Permalink | Comments (0)

COVID-19 Resources for Guardians

With stay at home orders and LTC facilities prohibiting outside visitors, how do guardians discharge their duties?  The National Guardianship Association (NGA), along with the ABA Commission on Law and Aging, and the National Center for State Courts have compiled a list of useful resources for guardians, available here, along with a list of FAQs for guardians about serving in the time of COVID-19. The FAQ list is available here.   Here are the top points from this 11 page FAQ

Top Take-aways
• Access to My Clients or Loved One in Nursing Homes – While federal guidance restricts in person visits to residents in nursing homes, you have a responsibility to maintain contact and monitor well-being through remote access.
• Access to My Clients or Loved One in Residential Groups Settings and Hospitals -- State requirements may restrict in-person visits to residents in residential group settings, and federal guidance sets limits on visits to hospital patients, but you have a responsibility to maintain contact and monitor well-being through remote access.
• Access to Courts – Each state determines its own procedures during the pandemic. While many are placing a priority on keeping courts open for cases involving the protection of vulnerable individuals, hearings may be delayed or conducted remotely, and there may be changes in requirements for timelines, notices and the submission of reports.
• Protecting My Clients’ or Loved One’s Rights and Well-Being – The rights of your client or loved one have not changed, but the pandemic makes it more difficult to exercise certain rights. Take actions to ensure the person receives fair health care treatment, facilities follow safety protocols, and support the individual during this difficult time.

 

May 11, 2020 in Consumer Information, Current Affairs, Dementia/Alzheimer’s, Elder Abuse/Guardianship/Conservatorship, Health Care/Long Term Care, State Cases, State Statutes/Regulations | Permalink | Comments (0)