Caregivers who collude together, commit elderly financial abuse together.

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A daughter regularly goes to visit her elderly mother in a high-profile NZ-based Retirement Home Provider.

A state-funded Caregiver is appointed by the Retirement Home Provider to provide in-home caregiving services to the elderly mother.

Over time, the daughter notices that the caregiver appears to be spending a lot of time with the daughters mother, and that the daughters mother talks about “how wonderful” the caregiver is.

One day, the daughter arrives at the mothers unit, and sees two caregivers working on site.

“This is one of my team, and I’m just training them up” is the explanation given by the original caregiver.

On a subsequent visit, the daughter visits her mother, and finds the “junior” caregiver sitting in the lounge of the unit, but the caregiver is not doing any work.

“Where’s Mum?” enquired the daughter.

“In with my Team Leader, but you can’t go in there, they are having a private conversation”.

Yes, the Team leader was indeed “having a private conversation” with the daughters elderly mother.

10 points for anyone who can guess what the daughter (as EPOA) found out when she checked her elderly mothers bank statements, and cross-checked the sharp rise in account debits leaving her mothers account (money going into two separate third-party accounts), since the caregiver began providing state-funded service delivery?

Age Concern more concerned with its reputation, not the financial abuse of the elderly?

So, I wrote this:

https://www.bhb.nz/straight-talk/open-season-on-the-elderly

And Age Concerns Response was this (see page 8):

Discuss.

BewareCare NZ Press Release 12/11/20.

Age Concern, BewareCare New Zealand dispute erupts into the public domain, over protection of elderly from Caregiver financial grooming and abuse.

A growing dispute regarding the effectiveness of advocacy for elderly who are financially abused by their state-funded and private caregivers has erupted into the public domain, with Age Concern scrambling to protect their community advocacy brand against an opinion piece recently published by BewareCare NZ.

The original BewareCare NZ article is here:

In response, the CEO of Age Concern, Kevin Lamb, took pains to refute the claims by BewareCare New Zealand:

Stephen Taylor, Convenor of BewareCare NZ, is both bemused and satisfied by the response of Age Concern.

“In their public reply to BewareCare NZ, it seems to me that the CEO of Age Concern, Kevin Lamb, is confirming the central premises of our original article, these premises being that Age Concern receives state funding; they receive complaints; and they have absolutely no power to enforce, sanction, or hold those people who commit financial grooming and abuse in any way accountable for their actions against a very vulnerable population” says Mr Taylor.

Rather than trying to minimise their brand damage against what are legitimate concerns being raised by BewareCare NZ, it would make more sense for Age Concern to support BewareCare NZ in the petition we are preparing to the incoming Government regarding the steps needed to minimise the possibility of financial abuse against the elderly.

BewareCare NZ exists:

1/ To publicly expose the rampant “open season” upon the vulnerable elderly who are being financially groomed and abused by Caregivers in New Zealand;

2/ To lobby Government to create meaningful protective factors for this vulnerable population who are being financially groomed and abused by Caregivers;

3/ To encourage the NZ legal system to enforce meaningful sanctions against Caregivers who commit acts of such financial grooming and abuse against this vulnerable population.

Ends

Stephen Taylor

Convenor

BewareCare NZ

bewarecarenz@gmail.com

Age Concern Auckland CEO Kevin Lamb publically responds to BewareCare NZ article, and in doing so, confirms their “state-funded echo-chamber” status.

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The original article was here.

Age Concern Auckland CEO Kevin Lambs response is below:

Straight Talk

Elder Abuse something we all must fight

It was disappointing to read in the recent opinion article from Stephen Taylor that he thinks Age Concern is a state funded echo chamber that does not take complaints of elder abuse seriously.

As the CEO of Age Concern Auckland I know this is simply not the case and that his comments are far from reality.  Firstly, and very briefly, to say we are a state funded organisation is simply not correct. Age Concern receives only partial funding from the government, (so, you are state funded – ed) however, to deliver the services and essential support we provide we rely on the generosity of the community.

Secondly, and far more importantly, we investigate all elder abuse complaints we receive. (No you don’t. I have evidence that you don’t. What you do is offer simpering faux-empathy, and then admit that your organisation has no powers to meaningfully investigate complaints, or effect any sanctions – you are just a complaints echo chamber-ed). In the last 12 months our dedicated team of specialist Elder Abuse Response Workers supported 617 older people across Auckland to address the abuse they were experiencing. We worked closely with a plethora of organisations including New Zealand Police, banks, lawyers, doctors and many others during this process. All of us working for the same goal of stopping the abuse and protecting the older person involved.

Unfortunately, the reality is that Elder abuse is a complex and frequently hidden problem, that occurs far too often. An analysis of data from the New Zealand Longitudinal Study of Ageing concluded that 10% of the population aged over 65 years who are living in the community experience abuse. However, it is estimated that only 1 in 14 of all abuse incidents come to the attention of a service agency, like Age Concern, that can intervene to help stop the abuse. (Age Concern has no powers of intervention, which is why 75% of people with a complaint don’t contact you – they already know that Age Concern has no ability whatsoever to help them – ed).This is for a variety of reasons but not least because in 4 out of 5 cases of Elder Abuse the offender is a family member of the victim.

I wholeheartedly agree that more has to be done to protect older members of our community from elder abuse and we need to stop it. How do we do that? A first step, is if you see abuse, speak out against it.

Elder Abuse can be a very sensitive and distressing matter to speak openly about, but I encourage everyone in the community to be aware of the risk factors and speak out if they are experiencing abuse or are concerned that someone they know is. Age Concern will listen to your concerns, and we will look at what can be done to assist (This admission confirms my original premise -you have no agency powers whatsoever – ed). We must work together to protect the older members of our community.

We are appreciative of Stephen raising this important issue. (No you’re not – you’re embarrassed that I have raised the issue, and you are now scrambling to protect your service brand in the public space -ed). It is a matter that needs and deserves a far higher level of public dialogue. Age Concern Auckland actively works to support all those who need our help and we are thankful to the community for their support in assisting us to do this.

If you have any concerns about Elder Abuse you can speak confidentially to Age Concern Auckland by calling us on 09 820 0184.

Kevin Lamb

CEO Age Concern Auckland

www.ageconcernauckland.org.nz

Alexis Sawyers

Fundraising & Communications Manager

Age Concern Auckland Incorporated

PO Box 19542, Avondale, Auckland 1026

57 Rosebank Road, Avondale

Mob: 021 120 5989 Fax: +64 9 8281660

email: AlexisS@ageconak.org.nz I www.ageconcernauckland.org.nz

Like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ageconcernauck/

Financial elder grooming and abuse set to increase if Euthanasia Bill passed, says NZ Aged Care Founder.

New agency to fight Covid-19? - NZ Herald
Brien Cree, Executive Chairman and founder of Radius Care.

Key quote in the article:

“I have seen elder abuse up close,” he says, “and I know there are people out there who would move heaven and earth to end the life of a person if it meant they could get their hands on the money. I have seen and heard of some terrible experiences”.

https://www.nzherald.co.nz/sponsored-stories/assisted-dying-could-increase-elder-abuse/MGPZLHLZFS22GRNPLU7HXNGFKU/

Agency-employed Community Support Worker jailed for stealing $16k from elderly men she was caring for.

Greedy' east Hull support worker jailed for stealing £16,000 for takeaways  and Asda shopping - Hull Live
Community Support Worker Claire Ostler

A support worker who was supposed to protect the interests of two vulnerable men instead plundered their bank accounts – and spent their money on pet insurance, “dance equipment”, takeaway food and her weekly shopping.

https://www.hulldailymail.co.uk/news/hull-east-yorkshire-news/hull-claire-ostler-jailed-asda-3254772

California “Prohibited Trustees” rule has it right, regarding third-party employed Caregivers being named as beneficiaries of a clients estate.

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In California, certain groups of people, including caregivers, are considered “prohibited transferees” under the California Probate Code. This means that if a caregiver is named as a beneficiary of a Trust or Will, there is a presumption that the Trust or Will was the product of fraud or undue influence.

In addition, if someone does attack or contest the validity of the Trust or Will in court, the caregiver will have the burden of proving that he or she did not use fraud or undue influence to coerce the client into designating him or her as a beneficiary—a difficult standard to meet in most cases.

Furthermore, if the caregiver is unable to prove to the court by clear and convincing evidence that the Trust or Will was not the product of fraud or undue influence, the court may order the caregiver to pay the costs and expenses of the court proceedings, including attorneys’ fees. That means the stakes are high for any caregiver looking to defend their gift under a Trust or Will.

In New Zealand, various Agency & Industry Codes of Conduct expressly forbid private or state-funded Caregivers and / or Community Support Workers from engaging themselves in the personal and financial affairs of their clients.

Trouble is, the Codes aren’t often enforced by the agencies that create them.

Laws, not Codes, is what NZ needs to fortify this gaping familial abuse hole.