At the beginning of the year, the state of California amended its statutory definition of “undue influence” in section 15610.70 of the Welfare and Institutions Code. California Civil Code Section 1575 describes undue influence as “The use, by one in whom a confidence is reposed by another, or who holds a real or apparent authority over him or her, of such confidence or authority for the purpose of obtaining an unfair advantage over him or her; Taking an unfair advantage of another’s weaker state of mind; or Taking a grossly oppressive and unfair advantage of another’s necessities or distress.”
According to a government report, One-in-three patients in skilled nursing facilities suffered a medication error, infection or some other type of harm related to their treatment. The majority Fifty-nine percent of errors and injuries to patients were preventable. At an estimated cost of $208 million for the month studied (which is about 2 percent of Medicare’s total impatient spending), more than half of those harmed had to be re-hospitalized. Physicians who reviewed the patient records found that much of the preventable harm was due to “substandard treatment, inadequate resident monitoring, and failure or delay of necessary care.”
According to a federal consumer activist, professor of elder law, and representatives from the AARP, financial abuse of elders could grow worse.
Currently, Florida is ranked number one in the country in the number of all fraud complaints which has a high senior population. With more than 500,000 elderly in Miami-Dade and Monroe counties, the area is a prime target.
A recent study has determined that financial abuse of seniors has reached epidemic proportions.
Three defendants charged with eight counts of abusing elderly patients at Kern Valley Hospital waited quietly outside Kern County Superior Court Friday.
Los Angeles-based attorney Donald Etra, representing Dr. Hoshang Pormir, predicted, “This will be a lengthy trial. With three defendants charged with eight counts each, there will be a lot of motions.” Pormir, former staff physician at Kern Valley Hospital, who served as medical director of the skilled nursing facility, declined comment saying, “I’m not allowed to (talk to the press.”)
On July 29, 2010 the House of Representatives passed H.R. 3040, the Senior Financial Empowerment Act.
Annuities are complex financial products with widely varying fees, costs and features and many brokers/salespersons target the elderly which is a form of elder abuse.
In a strongly worded ruling, a Sacramento Superior Court judge has upheld a $29 million verdict against a Rocklin nursing home company in the 2005 death of an elderly patient.
Candee said "overwhelming" and "devastatingly powerful" evidence in the trial in May supported the jury's verdict and damage awards against Horizon, which owns 33 nursing homes mostly in Northern California.
Mandated by the State of California, Adult Protective Services (APS) defined by the Welfare and Institutions Code 15610.10 and is a 24-hour service program designed to investigate all reported at-risk situations without regard to income involving individuals 65 or older and dependent adults (18-64 who are physically or mentally impaired). Types of referrals include physical, sexual or financial abuse, isolation, neglect, or self-neglect. Referrals are received through the Elder Abuse Hotline or from other entities.
At a recent free-lunch "financial seminar" for seniors, the speaker kept asking whether participants remembered the huge losses in the stock market in 2000-2002 and again in 2008.