Sunday, August 20, 2017

Nursing home residents make meals for needy

Residents of Vienna Nursing & Rehabilitation Center
At least 30 residents at the Vienna Nursing and Rehabilitation Center got up early Thursday morning to prepare a lunch to serve to the 40 people involved with he Women Helping Women group at the Salvation Army.

Residents at the facility gathered in the dining hall and eagerly chopped vegetables and meats for chef salads. Other residents prepared rolls and baked cookies to go with the meal.

“I’m doing an important thing — people need to be fed,” 93-year-old Shirley Graese said as she stuck wedges of butter in the rolls.

“They need good, healthy food. We have it here and they are getting ready to put it on the plate. It’s really a privilege and helpful and we like it. As long as we’re going to be here, we might as well be productive if we can do it.”

Lillian Granger, 93, who also prepared rolls, said she has been helping people all her life, so this was nothing new.

Gwen Showalter, 74, cut up chunks of turkey to go in the chef’s salads. She said she was glad that she was given this opportunity because she enjoys helping people.

Jonathan Ibarra said in the past he has worked with the Salvation Army and it’s nice to help some of the people he met in the past.

Shirley Klinker, 86, prepared the cookies for dessert. With six children, she describes herself as sort of a pro at baking cookies.

“I baked a lot of cookies. Chocolate chip was their favorite and they would tolerate oatmeal,” she said.

After the food was prepped and ready to go, seven residents were chosen to go serve the meal at the Salvation Army. Transportation was provided by the city’s Dial A Ride program.

According to Jamie Vilinskas, Vienna’s marketing director, in an effort to give back to the community the center started the Serving Smiles program. Once a month the residents prepare and serve a meal to the Women Helping Women group at the Salvation Army.

“We’ve been trying to find something where the residents can give back to the community and have a role and a responsibility,” Vilinskas said.

She said they were inspired by a documentary about a similar program called Heart to Serve and decided to start their own program.

“You might have tremors, you might not be able to use one arm, you might have dementia or something, but if your heart still wants to give back, you should still be able to have that opportunity to give back,” Vilinskas said.

According to Vilinskas, many residents at Vienna have been caring for others and feeding people most of their lives. The program gives residents a chance to reconnect with their former identity of being a provider and caregiver, and really makes a difference in the lives of others.

Families of Salvation Army benefit not only with the meals, but Vilinskas said it also provides them an opportunity to connect with seniors in the community and share genuine, intimate moments of bonding.

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Nursing home residents make meals for needy

Cornell woman charged with stealing from disabled relative

Cindy L. Dicus
Cindy L. Dicus didn’t waste time.

At about 9:30 a.m. April 25, she attended a hearing before Judge James Isaacson where she was removed as a guardian of the estate of one of her relatives. The hearing ended about 10 a.m.
Prosecutors said at 10:05 a.m. Dicus withdrew $995 from the relative’s account, leaving a balance of $5.36.

Dicus, 62, of Cornell is charged in Chippewa County Court with felony theft on April 5 and seven counts of misdemeanor theft on dates ranging from April 7 to May 15. The felony charge is from the city of Chippewa Falls, and the misdemeanor charges are from Chippewa Falls, Cornell and the town of Lake Holcombe.

Dicus is scheduled to appear before Judge Steven Gibbs at 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 22. She has signed a $1,000 signature bond.

According to a criminal complaint: A Chippewa County social worker contacted the Cornell Police Department on July 1 over a reported fraud case.

Police found Dicus had become guardian of a relative’s estate on Sept. 22, 2015 and was removed as guardian for not finishing required federal paperwork. Because of that, her relative lost his Medicaid benefits, including his living expenses at a nursing home.

Dicus was officially removed as guardian on April 25, 2017, and the county took over as the guardian for Dicus’ relative and the relatives’ bank records were turned over to the county.

It was found the relative was issued a back payment from Social Security of $19,180 on April 3, 2017, and the check was made out to the payee, “Cindy Dicus for (the relative’s initials).” Dicus then opened an account for the relative at a financial institution in Chippewa Falls on April 5, where she deposited $10,180. “A transaction slip showed defendant Dicus had taken $8,000 in cash,” the complaint said.

A bank account statement dated May 30 showed 69 transactions from the account, but none were for the care of Dicus’ relative. Among the transactions were $1,435 to Xcel Energy, $217 for Charter cable, $766 for Larson’s Auto in Cornell, $303 for the Holiday store in Cornell and $60 to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation to reinstate a driver’s license.

A check dated May 3 for $1,009 from the U.S. Treasury was deposited into the account of Dicus’ relative about a week after Dicus was removed as the relative’s guardian. Several transactions were made using the funds. When the bank account was closed May 30, a total of $8.37 was left in the checking and savings accounts.

The nursing home where the relative is staying reported on June 1 no financial transactions or money from the relative’s Social Security proceeds was turned over by Dicus for the relative’s care.

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Cornell woman charged with stealing from disabled relative

T. S. Radio Shut Down While Discussing Grazzini-Rucki Case

Journalist and author, Michael Volpe says,
Broadcast was hacked twenty minutes in. Someone must not like what I’m saying about this case.


Listen Here: TS Radio:Mike Volpe & Sandra Grazzini..Minnesota, Dakota County battle continues

Hosted by Marti Oakley:
"Join us this evening as Mike Volpe and Sandra Grazzini talk about the latest developments in what has to be THE divorce case of the century here in Minnesota. Dakota County, notoriously infamous for its blatant corruption continues its aggression against the defendant. Tune in for the latest in this extremely strange case. Just goes to show you….money talks and can buy you all sorts of things in the right places!"

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Families fear death for patients told to ship out from SF hospital

Leneta Anderson,
For more than a year, 77-year-old Leneta Anderson has taken both the bus and train from her home in Silver Terrace to visit her husband at a hospital in the Mission District.

Richard Anderson, 82, was hooked up to a breathing tube at St. Luke’s hospital in March 2016 after a medical procedure went wrong and landed him in the emergency room, nearing death.

Leneta Anderson spends hours at the hospital keeping her husband company, often staying until Family Feud comes on the television in the evening. She plays her husband music from the 1950s. She spoon feeds him and rubs his back.

But Lenata Anderson fears their time together could be cut short in October, when Sutter Health’s California Pacific Medical Center is slated to close the skilled nursing facility and subacute unit at St. Luke’s, relocating the patients outside of The City.

The skilled nursing facility is the last in San Francisco to provide long-term subacute care for patients with tracheostomies who are on ventilators and use feeding tubes. The patients are just a step away from being in intensive care units.

Meanwhile, city health officials say there are a limited number of subacute units in the Bay Area and all of them are running at or near capacity. Richard Anderson could be moved as far away as Los Angeles.

“It will, I would say, kill my husband if they take him out of San Francisco and I can’t get to him,” Leneta said. “And I’m not just talking about Walnut Creek or San Mateo, they’re talking about Los Angeles … I would have to fly there.”

On Tuesday, the Health Commission delayed voting on a resolution on whether the planned closure of the skilled nursing facility at St. Luke’s will have a detrimental impact on health care services San Francisco.

San Francisco is projecting a shortage of skilled nursing facility beds as the population ages and hospitals in The City and across the nation continue to remove the beds, resulting in what some are calling a health crisis.

San Francisco has lost 30 percent of the beds since 2003, according to according to city health officials.

The Health Commission does not have the authority to overturn the decision but can put pressure on hospitals that are cutting health services under 1988’s Proposition Q, which requires private hospitals to give public notice.

Sutter Health notified city officials in June that it would remove all 79 skilled nursing beds, including 40 for patients that need subacute care. The company is planning to open two hospitals in San Francisco, but neither will include skilled nursing beds under a development agreement with city officials from 2013.

CPMC CEO Dr. Warren Browner told the Health Commission that the company has recognized since 2011 the need for skilled nursing beds in San Francisco.

“We are disappointed that that agreement was changed in the process of the negotiations,” Browner said. “There’s a lot of blame to go around. We accept some. I think The City should accept some.”

Richard Anderson is one of two dozen patients remaining on the subacute floor.

His daughter, Laurie Anderson, has had trouble finding subacute care for him. Laurie Anderson said she has been turned away from six nursing homes, including one as far away as San Jose.

“If they move him to Los Angeles or something like that, what does that mean,” she said. “I can’t even think about that.”

“It would just kill her and him,” she said of her parents.

Browner said the hospital will provide treatment for the patients until they are moved to another facility.

“We will of course work with any of our patients who remain at St. Luke’s after Oct. 31 and their families to find the very best fit,” Browner said.

Raquel Rivera, whose sister is mentally disabled and a patient in the subacute unit, disputed whether the hospital is working with families to relocate patients as it claims.

“You need to have a dead heart to move these patients away from their families,” Rivera said Tuesday at a news conference outside City Hall.

CPMC is building two new hospitals in San Francisco, with a Mission Bernal Campus replacing St. Luke’s in June 2018 and another on Van Ness Avenue set to open in early 2019.

At the Health Commission, Vice President David Pating asked Browner to consider delaying the closure beyond October.

“It concerns me that we don’t have a plan in The City about how to replace the beds,” Pating said. “We’re a sinking ship without a lifeboat.”

Browner said that CPMC has “to prepare for the transition to new facilities.”

“We can’t keep pushing everything back and do everything at the last minute,” Browner said. “It would not be a responsible solution.”

The Health Commission resolution on whether the closure will have a detrimental impact on San Francisco will be heard again Sept. 5.

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Families fear death for patients told to ship out from SF hospital

CA: Judicial Watchdog Issues 'Severe Public Censure' Against Judge Kreep, Who Remains on Bench

The state judicial discipline agency issued a “severe public censure” against San Diego Superior Court Judge Gary Kreep on Thursday, stopping just short of removing him from the bench.

The punishment is the second most-serious that the Commission on Judicial Performance can assess against a judge. Kreep came close to losing his seat on the bench, with four of the 10 commissioners — including all three active judges who are part of the commission — voting for removal.

The commission leveled 29 charges of misconduct against Kreep, most of which related to his judicial campaign and his first year on the bench in the downtown San Diego Superior Court. Lawyers for the commission had argued he should be removed from office because the misconduct was so serious.

Despite the large number of violations the commissioners did not kick him off the bench, because it said in its decision that most of the violations occurred during his 2012 campaign for the seat and in his first year or so as a judge.

Full Article and Source:
Judicial Watchdog Issues 'Severe Public Censure' Against Judge Kreep, Who Remains on Bench

Casey tackles aging issues

WILKES-BARRE — Staffers who work with U.S. Sen. Bob Casey on the Senate aging committee have a joke about the scope of their work.

“As soon as you’re born,” he said, “you’re aging.”

Advocating for that all-encompassing constituency includes an obligation to protect programs like Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, said Casey, the committee’s ranking Democrat, on Monday at a conference on aging at Wilkes University.

The next fight on that front will come with the federal government’s 2018 budget, the Scranton resident said. The plan from the U.S. House of Representatives includes cuts to Medicare over the next 10 years, as well as cuts to discretionary spending that Casey said could eventually affect other programs seniors care about.

For example, a cut in discretionary funding could affect how much money is available for Community Development Block Grants, a Department of Housing and Urban Development fund that supports a variety of local programs. With the federal government distributing less funding, states and local organizations have less money for initiatives like Meals on Wheels or heating assistance programs.

“We have a lot of fights ahead of us. We have to fight against those kinds of cuts,” Casey said.

Seniors are a major part of Casey’s constituency, and they account for a major part of federal spending. The 2010 budget allocated 20.4 percent of federal spending for Social Security and 13.1 percent of federal spending for Medicare, according to

Among the issues addressed at the conference was the threat of seniors being targeted by scams intended to rob them of their savings.

Scammers might pretend to be IRS agents claiming they’re owed money and threatening arrest, or lottery officials promising a bogus windfall.

The best course of action if someone threatens punishment for nonpayment is to hang up, said Tim Camus, an inspector with the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration.

The IRS won’t contact anyone first by telephone, and it also won’t threaten arrest or a lawsuit, he said.

Pennsylvania Secretary of Aging Teresa Osborne spoke about drug abuse. Even though they’re not often the face of the opioid crisis, older Americans are not immune from the problems caused by the drugs, which have led to an increase in overdose deaths in recent years.

“We really have to elbow our way into the discussion about the opioid crisis,” she said.

Senior citizens can be addicted themselves or face having to care for a family member who is addicted or left vulnerable because of someone else’s addiction, Osborne said.

Conference panelists also addressed funding of programs that affect seniors.

Mary Roselle, executive director of the Area Agency on Aging for Luzerne and Wyoming Counties; Tim Camus, a deputy inspector general for the U.S. Treasury Department; and Gail Roddie-Hamlin, president and CEO of the Greater Pennsylvania Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, all had a simple answer when asked what they wanted Casey to know: They could use more funding for their missions.

That’s the central challenge of government, Casey said, citing research into Alzheimer’s disease as an example.

Because of investments in research, Pennsylvania has the potential to be the place where there’s a major breakthrough on a cure for Alzheimer’s, he said.

“But we can’t continue that research on Alzheimer’s or anything else unless we continue to pound the table” for funding, he said.

Full Article & Source:
Casey tackles aging issues

Friday, August 18, 2017

Conditions at state institutions unacceptable

It’s a track record that can’t be tolerated.

Data compiled from 2016 inspections of Washington’s four state-run residential habilitation centers (RHCs)--including Rainier School in Buckley--detail shocking accounts of abuse and neglect toward developmentally disabled residents.

The 2016 reports read like documents from the 19th century when people with Down syndrome, autism, or other disabilities were isolated in asylums and often neglected.

The state’s own surveyors reported 257 allegations of injuries with origins unknown, 25 accident allegations, and 16 reports on the misuse of seclusion and restraints both physical and chemical.

In November of 2016, a staff member at the Rainier School sexually assaulted a female resident. An investigation revealed later that several other residents had allegedly been raped by the same staff member. The accused awaits trial in the Pierce County jail.

Employees at Rainier School said training on how to identify sexual trauma in nonverbal adults was never administered.

At that same institution, in the span of less than two years, two residents choked to death, and a man nearly drowned during a lake trip. A staff member left him alone on a dock strapped into his wheelchair. When he fell into the water, he was unable to free himself.

The report also detailed how staff at the Lakeland Village facility near Spokane withheld food to “manage” behavior. The plan called for staff to “only provide diet supplements” if they saw the resident come out of his room.

Nurses at other facilities worked with expired licenses.

In 2015 and 2016, federal experts found so many violations, ones that included leaving residents strapped to toilets or exploiting them financially, they froze federal funding for new admissions. The Developmental Disabilities Administration, which oversees operations, is given 11 months to get back into compliance.

Washington is one of only 13 states still operating large institutions for people with developmental disabilities. Oversight authority lies with the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services and The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

Surveys are conducted every 15 months; when an infraction occurs, the facility in question responds with a “Plan of Correction,” an inadequate method of accountability considering the ongoing problems with safety and substandard therapeutic conditions.

Don Clintsman, a top DSHS official charged with overseeing the state RHCs, said corrections have been implemented. He also mentioned the facilities are crumbling. “Some of the buildings are 50, 60 and 70 years old.” He’d like to see real investment coming from the state Legislature.

Disability Rights Washington is entreating the public for help, calling for a panel, one that includes both state officials and concerned citizens.

Reisha Abolofia, author of No Excuses: shining a light on abuse and neglect of people with developmental disabilities in Washington institutions, says lawmakers and public officials are aware of the report’s findings. To her knowledge, no special investigations have been assigned.

“People with disabilities are viewed as less than human,” says Abolofia. It’s the only answer she can give for why state officials have not done more.

Sue Elliott, executive director of the Arc of Washington says, “Washington ranks 42nd in the nation for how we treat our DD (developmentally disabled) residents.”

This kind of treatment wasn’t acceptable in the 19th century, and it isn’t acceptable now.

But until Governor Inslee and the state Legislature take concerted action, more than 800 of our most vulnerable citizens remain at risk.

Full Article & Source:
Conditions at state institutions unacceptable

DA To Review Metro Audit Of Autumn Hills

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The Davidson County District Attorney has been asked to review a recent Metro audit into the city-owned home for seniors.

The audit found there was no documentation for more than a million dollars in spending at the Bordeaux home and that the former managers had raided the residents' Trust Funds and spent more than $125,000 of their personal money.

Metro councilman Jim Shulman called for the audit a year ago after NewsChannel 5 Investigates exposed financial problems at Autumn Hills last year. The audit found Autumn Hills still owes nearly a quarter of a million dollars to creditors.

Earlier this year, after the problems came to light, the city cuts ties with the management company that it had hired to run Autumn Hills.

A new interim company was brought in to run the place which is now using its former name, the Knowles Home.

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DA To Review Metro Audit Of Autumn Hills

NYC court worker calls reporter, admits he 'barely shows up' for $166K job

A longtime spokesman for the state court system accidentally butt-dialed a Post reporter — yukking it up about how “I barely show up to work” while pocketing a $166,000-plus salary and boosting his taxpayer-funded pension.

After speaking by cellphone with the reporter about a planned exposé on his cushy schedule, David Bookstaver butt-dialed back, and unwittingly left a four-minute voicemail while chatting with at least two other people.

On the voicemail, Bookstaver admitted lying to The Post about how he spent his weekdays and confirmed the accounts of court-system sources who said he’s been working as few as two days a week.

“I spoke to [the reporter] on the record for awhile. I said, ‘I’m in a much less visible position; that doesn’t mean I’m not doing anything,’ ” Bookstaver said.

“But, frankly, look, the bottom line: the story’s true. I’m not doing anything. I barely show up to work and I’ve been caught.”

The remark promoted laughter, after which Bookstaver explained that he didn’t need to show up “because they took away all my responsibilities and left my pay.”

At one point, he lamented over having bragged about his ability to play hooky. “They left me alone and look, I have a big mouth. I told people I’m not doing much. I do take a lot of time off,” he said.
“I kind of asked for it. You know, if you have a big mouth, you know it catches up with you.”

Bookstaver, who’s planning to retire Oct. 1, also raised the possibility he could get fired “because of a story in The Post,” but said it “would probably affect my pension check by $6 a month.”

“Look, the bottom line is, I’ll suffer through a terribly embarrassing story and then go get my f–king pension and retire,” he said.

Full Article & Source:
NYC court worker calls reporter, admits he 'barely shows up' for $166K job