This blog features a round up of elder justice related news items released in February 2014.
NATIONAL & INTERNATIONAL NEWS
Dental Elder Abuse Response Project (D.E.A.R.) officially launches
Toronto dentist Dr. Natalie Archer has launched the Dental Elder Abuse Response Project (D.E.A.R.) to raise awareness of dental elder abuse and neglect. Many older adults suffer from abuse and neglect related to oral hygiene. The program, which began when Dr. Archer was a mobile dentist specializing in wheel chair dentistry, distributes educational materials that educate the public about the signs and symptoms of dental neglect and suffering in older adults. It also creates a network of dentists and those concerned about dental neglect such as hygienists, caregivers and community organizations.
Challenges in being the abused caregiver of an older adult
Robert B. Blancato, the national coordinator of the Elder Justice Coalition, writes in the Huffington Post about the challenges a caregiver can face when they must care for their abusive parent in the later years of life. He cites a study in The Gerontologist that was mentioned in a New York Times article where researchers found that children who were victims of abuse have more frequents symptoms of depression when caring for an abusive parent that caregivers who had not been abused.
New program in Maine to target financial exploitation of older adults
Maine’s new Senior$afe program aims to prevent financial exploitation of older adults by training staff at banks and credit unions to be aware of red flags and to report them. Maine says that the program is the first in the nation to combat the growing issue. Maine has the highest percentage of baby boomers (more than 29%) and the oldest median age (at 43).
Advocates in San Francisco ask for elder abuse charges against landlords who wrongfully evict elderly residents
Housing rights advocates protested outside of San Francisco’s Hall of Justice to call on authorities to file charges against landlords who they say are wrongfully evicting older tenants. They say that the state’s Ellis Act law which allows owners to remove a building from a rental market to convert to other uses is being abused by speculators who are making profits at the expense of older residents.
STATE AND LOCAL NEWS (NEW YORK STATE AND NEW YORK CITY)
New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announces arrests of Suffolk County nursing home employees
Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced the arrests of nine employees of Medford Multicare Center for Living, Inc. in Medford New York. Seven of the arrests were in connection with the 2012 death of a 72-year-old resident. A civil lawsuit filed against the owners charged them with a pattern of neglect and paying themselves $60 million from the facility, which represents 22% of the Medicaid funding they received in that time.
NYCEAC AND PARTNERS IN THE NEWS
The Utility and Ethics of ‘Granny Cams’
NYCEAC Medical Director Dr. Mark Lachs reflects in the Huffington Post about the growing trend of surveillance cameras being used by family members to capture elder abuse in nursing homes and long-term care facilities. “Would you consent to be recorded continuously while being bathed, toileted, and more?” Dr. Lachs asks. “If you were recorded, would you trust that these videos would remain private?”
by Aries Dela Cruz, Social Media Associate, NYCEAC