25 February 2014

As Common As Child Abuse, Silent Epidemic, Prosecuting Elder Abuse

"Charlotte Miller never imagined her father, Douglas Smith was being abused. He was 80 years old and lived in Fairfield with Charlotte's mother. But the last few years of his life he was distant and quiet.

"When you're threatened that bad, you don't want anybody to know. Every time we brought it up, he would say, ‘It's none of your business, I'll take care of it,’" Miller told WLWT News 5's Sheree Paolello.

Miller watched her dad sell his home, his boat, everything. He even took on a job after retirement.

Finally, on Nov. 1, 2006, the secret was exposed.

Miller's nephew Joey Feltner beat and kicked Smith at a storage unit in Fairfield for almost an hour.

Smith was able to drive home but he died a few days later."

Read more: http://www.wlwt.com/news/local-news/butler-county/wlwt-investigates-elder-abuse-in-the-tristate/24648088

"The actual number of incidents is impossible to know, largely because victims often don’t report the abuse, said Eileen Mullarkey of the NYC Department for the Aging (DFTA) during her testimony.

The abuser exploits the elder’s vulnerabilities: isolation, cognitive loss, dependency on the caregiver, embarrassment, as well as physical fragility.

Most of the time the perpetrator is a family member, according to a study by the N.Y. State Bureau of Adult Services. The study found that family members are responsible for 85 percent of physical abuse, 81 percent of the physiological abuse, and 65 percent of financial abuse.

Entangled in family ties and knotted with fear, the elderly may not want to report the abuse, or if they suffer from dementia or similar conditions, they may not remember what happened. These factors add to the complexity of tackling elder abuse."

Read more: http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/528337-elder-abuse-a-nearly-silent-epidemic/

"House Bill 409 proposes to modify existing laws to create a "presumption of exploitation" when someone takes advantage of an elderly or disabled victim. It also would provide criminal penalties for joint holders of a senior or disabled person's bank account who take money for their personal use.

Gainesville attorney Shannon Miller, who specializes in elder law, is part of a panel of lawyers, legislators and others from across Florida who developed the bill.

"When it comes to getting these criminal cases prosecuted we have literally beat our heads against the wall. Before this year we had no prosecutions in Alachua County on elder exploitation cases. None. Not a single prosecution," Miller said. "The problem the prosecutors have had is the statutes are really hard. You have to prove deception and intimidation. This legislation that is pending is literally groundbreaking.""

Read more: http://www.gainesville.com/article/20140222/ARTICLES/140229868/1002/news01?Title=Prosecuting-elder-abuse-bill-goes-to-committees

Just because the victim had died that doesn't mean that the abuser(s) should not be brought to justice.  The Ones should treat elder abuse as if it were a homicide, sometimes it is.

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