The NPR on May 3, 2013 launched a five-part story on elder abuse. all segments can be viewed on their website even if you missed the first airing. Topics covered over the course of the 5 part series include:
· Part 1: Elderly Couple’s Tale Of Abuse Not So Uncommon
James and Etta Jennings moved to the Forest Hill neighborhood of Richmond in 1959. They were young – just married – and the first owners of their red brick ranch house. They had children and then grandchildren, who gathered in their family room for holidays and learned to swim in their backyard pool.
But when their granddaughter, Jeannie Beidler, approached the home on July 27, 2010, she was confronted by a grim reality. Paramedics, police and Adult Protective Services social workers were on the scene.
“You could smell the stench of urine and feces,” she says, standing at the foot of the driveway. “From this point, we already knew what we were about to walk into.”
The Jennings’ son, Beidler’s uncle, was supposed to be caring for them, but it became clear very quickly that something had gone horribly wrong. The Jennings were living without running water or even a fan. James was confined to a chair. His blood pressure was high and he was fading in and out of consciousness. Etta was living on a broken bed crawling with maggots.
· Part 2: Adult Protective Services Fight Against Elder Abuse – The Uphill Battle To End Elderly Abuse
Bonnie Klem calls her Adult Protective Services (APS) office in Rockville “chaotic.” It’s full of folders and binders stuffed with papers detailing hundreds of cases of alleged abuse or neglect. But despite that chaos and the grim contents of those folders, Klem is endlessly upbeat.
“What we have to do is walk into somebody’s house and somehow convince them that we are really good people,” she says. “We really want to help, and we just want to take some of their time. You have to be upbeat to get anything accomplished.”
APS investigates reports alleging abuse, neglect and exploitation of frail elderly and disabled adults and intervenes to protect vulnerable adults who are at risk. Klem, who was a field investigator for 18 years, now oversees eight social workers handling suspected abuse cases in Montgomery County.
· Part 3: Tackling Nursing Home Complaints With Ombudsman Programs
Laura Nichols has heard it all — everything from broken air conditioning in the middle of the summer to diapers not being changed for hours at a time. She is with the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program that covers Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, and Prince William counties, serving 119 facilities and 12,000 beds. WAMU 88.5’s Northern Virginia reporter Michael Pope interviewed Nichols at her office in the Pennino Building at the Fairfax County Government Center. Following are highlights of their conversation.
· Part 4: Financial Exploitation Of Elderly Difficult To Detect
Rosetta Skipper met a woman at St. Luke’s Catholic Church along East Capitol Street in southeast D.C. in 2007. Skipper’s husband had died five years earlier; they had no children, and she lived alone in her northeast D.C. home. Her closest family was in New York City.
Skipper had Alzheimer’s disease, and was briefly hospitalized in 2007, as her health worsened. That’s when the woman at the church took control of her life and moved Skipper into her own home.
“She had somehow gotten power of attorney done,” says Stephen Skipper Jr., Rosetta’s great nephew. “We don’t know how she did. As soon as my aunt got home from the hospital, it only seemed like two weeks later. This lady, who no one had ever met, was now her caretaker and power of attorney over everything”
Financial exploitation of seniors is a problem that’s estimated to cost nearly $3 billion per year. Now, some states — including Maryland — are trying to put a stop to that abuse. But this type of exploitation is difficult to spot.
· Part 5: House Calls A Better Option For Some Elderly
Elouise Cain is a 90-year-old Washingtonian, who lives in a row house in Northwest D.C. She has dementia and low vision, and she has a history of blood clots, high blood pressure, diabetes and kidney disease.
Despite Cain’s medical history, she is thriving. Her daughter, Corrine Dubose, and her granddaughter, Monica Johnson, are fierce advocates for her. They document each medication and each blood test, and they take turns sleeping in a cot by her bed at night. They keep her mind as nimble as possible – practicing spelling and drawing with her. In a quiet voice, Cain sings along with them.
“We have fun together,” Dubose says. “And I always say she would do the same for me. I know she would.”
But Johnson and Dubose say Cain wasn’t always doing so well. Toward the end of 2009, she was living in a nursing home with a history of neglect accusations and health code violations. For a while, it was on a federal list of facilities with persistently poor care.
Be sure to read the other two articles on this site about Elder Abuse; Should Craigslist Caregivers be taking care of your parents at home and California Attorney General to ramp up elder abuse prosecutions against nursing homes. This is such an important subject as we age that we suggest not only do you come in to talk to us free of charge, but to read up on what is happening and even signs of elder abuse.
Gary R. Lieberman and Josh Eisenberg or caring Elder Law Specialists in Marin County California. They both belong to the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys. They care deeply about elder abuse and making sure all of your paperwork is in order so when it comes time for someone else to make decisions for you, it is the right person. If you think your parents or grandparents are being abused they want to sat down with you free of charge and discuss that as well.
Please take advantage of our free consultation where we will look at all of your papers, your retirement plans, Trust Accounts, Asset Protection plans, Power of Attorney, Medical Proxy, Estate Preparation, etc. Let us help you make sure ALL of your paperwork is in order, we recommend you do this every 5 years as laws change from time to time, and our lives change on a daily basis as well. People should at least review their documents to make sure that changed circumstances in their lives haven’t altered the efficacy of their documents and to make sure that they still want the same person to hold both their medical Proxy as well as their Power of Attorney, and further to make sure that there are people to check up on you before you become a target of elder abuse including financial abuse. Call us for a free consultation in person either at one of our offices or in the comfort of your home, call toll free at (866) 410-3126.
Our website is California Living Trust but Gary Lieberman is the principal for the Law Offices of Gary R. Lieberman LLP in Marin County.
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©Law Offices of Gary R. Lieberman, LLP
June 3, 2013
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*The foregoing report is designed solely for the purpose of providing very general and limited information on the subject matters. Readers should have their estate planning documents reviewed to determine their legal sufficiency and whether they need to be amended or replaced