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CARIE Connection

Quote of the Month
“Every man I meet is in some way my superior; and in that I can learn
from him.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD)
The seventh annual World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) was held on June 15. The goal of WEAAD is to increase awareness of elder abuse throughout the world and bring attention for the need for prevention and action. Every year, millions of older adults are abused, neglected or exploited, with many cases never being reported. Diane Menio was invited to the White House to participate in the White House Symposium on Elder Abuse on June 14.  Diane blogged about her experience.  To view the Presidential Proclamation for World Elder Abuse Awareness Day 2012 click here.  Here is a Wordle collage of the proclamation.  Click here to view the event. Here is a pocket guide that was distributed at the event: Pocket Guide on Elder Investment Fraud and Financial Exploitation.

At the event, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced “a $5.5 million funding opportunity for states and tribes to test ways to prevent elder abuse, neglect and exploitation.”  This opportunity is the first funding dedicated to the Elder Justice Act (EJA), which was enacted as part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2010.  Secretary Sebelius also announced that she would convene the first Elder Justice Coordinating Council meeting, as required in the EJA.  “The council, comprised of federal agencies that have responsibilities or programs related to elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation, will work to address the cross-agency coordination of activities relating to elder abuse, neglect and exploitation.”
 
CFPB Seeking Input
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) created by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 just celebrated its first anniversary.  The Washington Post evaluates its first year. The January CARIE Connection featured a story describing its Office of Financial Protection for Older Americans. The CFPB recently released a report on reverse mortgages as directed by Congress. The CFPB is seeking input on a number of issues including a Request for Information (RFI) on Senior Financial Exploitation (by August 20) posted in the Federal Register. Skip Humphrey posted a blog, Protecting Older Americans from financial abuse, which describes the Office for Older Americans desire “to learn more about the many ways in which older Americans are financially exploited and about the best practices for elder financial management.”  Advocates and practitioners are encouraged to submit comments about what they are observing and experiencing about elder financial abuse and exploitation. The issues are related to financial literacy efforts, power of attorney and guardian abuse, financial exploitation of older veterans, and senior financial advisors.
 
Medicare Myths
Richard Kaplan, Professor of Law from the University of Illinois, published the Top Ten Myths of Medicare.  The top ten myths include:

  1. There Is One Medicare Program
  2. Medicare Is Going Bankrupt
  3. Medicare Is Government Health Care
  4. Medicare Covers All Medical Costs for Its Beneficiaries
  5. Medicare Pays for Long-Term Care
  6. Medicare Is Politically Immune to Budgetary Reduction
  7. Medicare Wastes Much of Its Money on Futile Care
  8. Medicare Is Less Efficient than Private Health Insurance
  9. Medicare Is Not Means-Tested
  10. Increased Longevity Will Sink Medicare
 
Pennsylvania Updates
Pennsylvania’s photo Voter ID law is being challenged in Commonwealth Court in an attempt to overturn or delay implementation of the law.  (Applewhite et al v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania)  The hearing began on July 25 and is expected to last 5-7 days.  Judge Robert Simpson, the presiding judge, plans to rule on the case during the week of August 13; however, the case is expected to be appealed to the PA Supreme Court.  ACLU of PA wrote a blog about what happened during the first day in court.  The Free and Equal PA blog provides even more detailed information about the photo Voter ID lawsuit and the opening statements.  The SeniorLAW Center wrote an Amicus Brief that includes CARIE’s support, along with several other organizations, supporting the petitioners and expressing concern about the impact of the Photo ID law on older voters.  The Amicus Brief documents how the law will place a heavy burden on older voters because they lack photo ID at higher rates than the general population and will have difficulty traveling to a Drivers License Center to get one. At the same time state officials stated in a stipulation agreement that they have no evidence of any in-person voter fraud, some estimates of those without the needed photo Voter ID continues to grow.  Here are data spreadsheets of congressional, state Senate and state House districts that includes the number of voters who may be impacted by the new voter ID law.  Dr. Matt A. Barreto, from the University of Washington, provided expert testimony in court about his research report “to determine the rates of possession, and lack of possession of valid photo identification among the eligible voting population, the registered voter population, and 2008 voters in Pennsylvania.”  One finding:  “Despite the high rates of perceived compliance with the law, a large number of potential voters in Pennsylvania lack a valid photo ID (non-expired1 with name confirming): 14.4% of eligible voters lack a valid ID (1,364,433 people), 12.8% of registered voters (1,055,200), and 12.6% of those who voted in the 2008 election (757,325 people).” The judge expects to make his ruling by mid-August and regardless of his decision, the case is expected to be appealed to PA’s Supreme Court.  The Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Justice Department has initiated a probe about the possibility the law is in violation of federal voting rights laws.  PBS Newshour also featured a story about the potential impact of PA's photo Voter ID requirements. 
 
CARIE is part of the PA Voter ID Coalition working to help get voters educated so they won’t be disenfranchised at the polls.  The Coalition is being led by the Committee of Seventy who has posted important educational materials on its website.  Apparently, the Department of State now plans to issue new voter photo IDs that will become available in late August for those who provide their name, Social Security number and two proofs of residence.  Since the legal outcome is not known, it is important that all advocates ensure clients, friends, neighbors, and family are educated about the new requirements and that they have the proper ID to vote.  SeniorLAW Center, with partners Face to Face and area law firms, is leading the launch of pro bono Voter ID legal clinics to help voters of all ages procure birth certificates and other required documentation to vote and counsel clients on the new law.  Their first clinic is Friday, August 3, 2012 at Face to Face in Philadelphia.   Individuals needing assistance should call the PA SeniorLAW HelpLine 877-727-7529 to register.  
 
On July 5, 2012, Governor Corbett signed House Bill 1720 (Act 108) into law.  The law is known as the Uniform Adult Guardianship and Protective Proceedings Jurisdiction Act (UAGPPJA), a model law.  The Uniform Law Commission describes the law as follows: “Addresses the issue of jurisdiction over adult guardianships, conservatorships & other protective proceedings, providing a mechanism for resolving multi-state jurisdictional disputes. The goal is that only one state will have jurisdiction at any one time.”  The Commission has more information on its website including a chart of the states that enacted the law.  Here is a fact sheet, Adult Guardianship Jurisdiction, from the Alzheimer’s Association that highlights the importance of the law.  The American Bar Association posted a related article in 2009, Nine Ways to Reduce Elder Abuse Through Enactment of the Uniform Adult Guardianship and Protective Proceedings Jurisdiction Act
 
Recent regulatory and rate changes to the Aging Waiver are already having a detrimental impact.  CARIE’s Legislative Committee will discuss the issues at tomorrow’s meeting.  All are welcome.  If you are not able to attend, but want to share your thoughts or concerns, please contact Kathy Cubit.  If there are consumers in need of help, please contact our CARIE LINE at 214-545-5728 or 1-800-356-3606.
 
Just the Links
The Diverse Elders Coalition released a new policy report, Securing Our Future: Advancing Economic Security for Diverse Elders, which describes the issues facing elders of color and LGBT elders.
 
“The Working Mother Research Institute surveyed nearly 2,500 women, including more than 1,200 who have cared for a loved one with Alzheimer's, to get a clear picture of how the responsibility of caregiving affects their emotional, financial and work lives, as well as their families.”
 
The Institute of Medicine released a new report, The Mental Health and Substance Use Workforce for Older Adults: In Whose Hands?, outlining the geriatric mental health and substance use workforce needs for the nation.
 
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) a issued report, Multiple Chronic Conditions Among Adults Aged 45 and Over: Trends Over the Past 10 Years, that finds for adults aged 65 and over, the prevalence of multiple chronic conditions increased by 32% for Hispanics, 22% for whites and 18% for African Americans over the 10-year period. This trend “presents a complex challenge to the U.S. health care system, both in terms of quality of life and expenditures from an aging population.”
 
The Congressional Research Service released a report, Health Care: Constitutional Rights and Legislative Powers.
 
Kaiser Family Foundation’s KaiserEDU.org has a new tutorial about the financing of the U.S. long term care system including key policy issues.
 
AARP Public Policy Institute (PPI) released a report, Nightmare on Main Street: Older Americans and the Mortgage Market Crisis, which shows over 1.5 million older Americans have lost their homes since 2007 and millions more remain at risk.
 
AARP PPI, the SCAN Foundation, and The Commonwealth Fund released three publications in follow-up to last year's state-by-state long-term services and supports (LTSS) scorecard.  The reports include Assessing Family Caregiver Needs: Policy and Practice Considerations, Assisted Living and Residential Care in the States in 2010, and The State of Measurement of Respite Care.
 
Professor Katherine Pearson's (from the Dickinson School of Law at Pennsylvania State University) published an article: "Filial Support Laws in the Modern Era..."
 
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) posted Improving Patient Safety in Long-Term Care Facilities: Training Modules.
 
The PA Homecare Association has added four new videos and four additional videos in Spanish to My Learning Center, the free online training program for homecare aides and family caregivers.
 
It’s not too late to register to attend the Alzheimer’s Association Town Hall Meeting at Arcadia University on August 6 to discuss the nation’s first National Alzheimer’s Plan and its implementation.
 
Just for Fun
In memory of the recent loss of Nora Ephron who died in June, enjoy a PBS interview (27 minutes) televised last year about her insights into her writing, movies and aging.

CARIE News
Diane Menio provided testimony at a public hearing on the Pennsylvania State Plan on Aging 2012-2016 before the Pennsylvania Department of Aging.
 
Lauren Zenel, CARIE Intern and MPH Candidate Drexel University School of Public Health, is writing blogs for the CaregiverGPS website.  Read her blogs about How Social Media Helps Caregivers and Protection from Medication Misuse and Abuse, and share your comments.
 
The Pennsylvania Senior Medicare Patrol (PA-SMP) is warning older adults of two scams currently on the rise: “New” Medicare Card Scam and a Utility Bill Scam.
 
Are you looking for an archived PowerPoint presentation from a senior victim' advocates training? Archives are posted here.  David Hoffman’s keynote presentation from the Elder Justice: Protection and Advocacy 2012 Technical Assistance Regional conferences is also available.


August Meeting Announcement
The next Dorothy S. Washburn Legislative Committee’s meeting will be held from 9:30 to 11:30 on Thursday, August 2, 2012 at CARIE.  Here is the agenda.  All are welcome.  Hope you can join us.  
 
As always, please contact me if you have any questions.
 
Thanks,
Kathy
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