LAW OFFICE OF JANE E. BEDNAR - Attorneys - Mediators

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Big win for victims of nursing home abuse
When the bank won't honor your power of attorney
World Elder Abuse Awareness Day
Nursing homes flouting the law, kicking out residents
Central Coast Elder Justice Summit June 10, 2016


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Big win for victims of nursing home abuse

Victims of nursing home abuse and neglect have won the right to have their cases heard by a jury. In a landmarkchange in regulationsby the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services  nursing homes can no longer require residents to submit claims to private arbitration. 

The change was prompted by high-profile cases in which residents and their families were barred from seeking relief in the courts from horrendous instances of physical abuse. In one of the cases, a 100-year-old nursing home resident was strangled to death by a roommate, and in another, a 94-year-old resident died of a head wound at a Pennsylvania facility.

When the bank won't honor your power of attorney

Most estate plan packages include a financial power of attorney. This document is intended to make sure that if you become unable to manage your financial affairs, your nominated agent can take over.

But more and more frequently, banks and brokerage firms reject these attorney-drafted powers and insisttheir own formsbe signed.

That's not a problem, unless you've already lost your capacity to sign such a document.

This can create a nightmare for relatives who urgently need to step in for an impaired parent or other family member.

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

Today, June 15, is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. How can you celebrate?

1. Visit with an elderly friend, family member or neighbor. Seniors who are isolated are more likely to be taken advantage of due to confusion, fear, poor health or loneliness. Gain this person's trust through regular contact. Listen closely. If something doesn't sound right, or you see unexplained injuries, take action!

2. Check up on elderly friends and relatives who live in nursing homes or other institutions. Observe how the staff responds to and treats him or her.

Nursing homes flouting the law, kicking out residents

Residential care facilities for the elderly must follow federal law when they decide to evict a resident. A recent article shows that some do not follow the law, and even if the patient successfully appeals a decision to evict, those directives are sometimes ignored.

Central Coast Elder Justice Summit June 10, 2016

This event should interest anyone involved in elder care and elder protection. Sounds very useful. See you there!

Register here for Elder Justice Summit.

The grandparent scam

There was a desperate edge to Nancy's voice as her daughter picked up the phone.

"Is Melissa OK?" Nancy asked, not even pausing to say hello.

"Sure, Mom," her daughter replied, "she's at college. Why?"

Moments earlier, Nancy had received a disturbing phone call informing her that her granddaughter was in a distant country and had been arrested. Bail money was urgently needed. The mysterious caller did not identify Melissa by name. But the call struck terror into Nancy's heart.

Whiplash? Why you need a lawyer.

If insurance adjusters made reasonable offers to people injured in car accidents, fewer of them might hire lawyers.

This is especially true when someone suffers so-called soft tissue injuries, like neck and back sprain and strain, with its cluster of symptoms like headache, sleeplessness, etc.

It's even more true if the at-fault driver struck your car at low speeds.

Extra points if you didn't go to the doctor for two days or a week, or if the only doctor you've seen is a chiropractor. Even more points if the chiropractor treated you for more than 6 weeks.

Consumer's can't win - literally

The deck is increasingly stacked against consumers. A New York Times investigation shows how American corporations have constructed an oppressive scheme designed to deny credit consumers their right to a jury trial. 

Americans by the millions are falling victim to arbitration clauses hidden in the fine print of contracts we all sign every day: credit card agreements, car loan contracts, utility bills. Under these clauses, consumers give up their right to challenge unfair charges in court, or even to defend themselves.

Time to plant your drought-resistant shrubs!

Gardeners flock to nurseries in springtime, but fall is the best time to plant. Plants are on sale, but more importantly, planting before the rainy season gives your new shrubby friends lots of rain water to help them develop their root systems and burst into growth come spring.

Here are is a nice collection of handsome specimens for California gardens:

Now, have a cup of tea in front of the fire and dream of abundant foliage and flowers.

Take No Prisoners

The Santa Clara County Public Guardian's Office (San Jose) is under fire following allegations that the office seized control of elders' assets - including their homes - secretly confined them in nursing homes and refused to let relatives visit them or even know their locations. 

In effect, the elders were kidnapped. The elders were not being physically or financially abused, neglected, or mistreated; in fact, they were exercising their right to live at home under the care of those they love.
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