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Granting Relief to Caregivers: Hospice of the Valley wins Grant Money

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AZ Dementia caregiversAs elder law practitioners, the staff and attorneys of Berk Law Group, P.C. understand the toll that caregivers may experience taking care of patients with dementia or Alzheimer’s. Many caregivers are willing family members with no formal training or medical backgrounds. Often, when a family member does have medical experience they are expected to drop paying work in order to remain actively participating in the care of an elderly, chronically ill, or otherwise vulnerable adult.

Caregivers who are able to stay at home with the patient provide a special kind of care, especially when the patient suffers from dementia. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, the impact that caring for someone with dementia has on caregivers heavily affects the caregiver in many areas, including finances, emotional resiliency, and overall well-being. “Due to the physical and emotional burden of caregiving, Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers had $9.3 billion in additional health care costs of their own in 2013. Nearly 60 percent of Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers rate the emotional stress of caregiving as high or very high, and more than one-third report symptoms of depression.” [Read more…]

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Long term Care of Elderly and the Role of Informal Caregivers

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Caregivers and Elder CareEvery family differs in its approach to caring for aging relatives.

Many families look to themselves to provide long term care as their parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles (etc.) age.  Indeed, according to statistics from the U.S. government’s Administration on Aging, “families are the major provider of long-term care, but research has shown that caregiving exacts a heavy emotional, physical, and financial toll.”  Caregivers have to juggle conflicting responsibilities and can experience a great deal of stress.  It is reported that nearly half of all caregivers are over the age of 50, “making them more vulnerable to a decline in their own health,” with up to one-third describing themselves as being in fair to poor health.

In light of these, and other, difficulties, it is the unfortunate reality that some families cannot provide long term care for an elderly relative themselves, possibly leaving the relative in a vulnerable or risky position.  Therefore, before family members reach the point of needing long term care or assistance, they should take steps to proactively plan and protect themselves.

If you or someone you know anticipates caring for an elderly or otherwise vulnerable adult, these tips from the Arizona Attorney General (via AARP) may be helpful to pass along. These tips are intended to help prevent abuse or exploitation of those relying on advanced long term care.

First, remember that “ that no one, at any age, should be the victim of violent, abusive, humiliating, or neglectful behavior.”  A few of the “dos” and “don’ts” include the following: [Read more…]

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Casey Kasem – Fame No Insulation From Elder Law Struggles

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Casey Kasem Elder Law | Arizona Elder Abuse Lawyer | Berk & Moskowitz, PC

Casey Kasem is the well-known host of the nationally syndicated countdown show “American Top 40” and for voicing Shaggy in the Saturday morning cartoon franchise “Scooby-Doo.” The iconic disc jockey recently passed away at the age of 82.

Preceding his passing, Mr. Kasem’s family had been in and out of Los Angeles courts, bitterly trying to win conservatorship, assert decision-making rights on his behalf, and ultimately, to ask the court to allow Mr. Kasem to be removed from artificial hydration and feeding.

The public became aware of the acrimony in May when Mr. Kasem temporarily dropped out of sight before finally being found in the state of Washington. Mr. Kasem was living with the advanced stages of Parkinson’s disease, a degenerative disorder affecting the central nervous system.

Mr. Kasem’s eldest daughter from his first marriage, Kerri Kasem, requested and was granted temporary conservatorship from a California Superior Court Judge. The status of her father’s health, finances, and potential elder abuse were the basis for granting conservatorship, according to this news article. The hearing revealed a shocking fact—the people left in charge of Mr. Kasem’s safety and welfare claimed to be unsure of his whereabouts.

At the time of the May hearing, there were conflicting reports about whether Mr. Kasem was being deliberately kept away from some of his family, or whether he may be in a location unknown to everyone. Since that time, it has been alleged that Mr. Kasem’s wife, Jean, purposefully removed him from his feeding tube while in nursing care and moved him to Washington in order to evade Kerri and her siblings. Kerri Kasem reportedly will file elder abuse charges based on this and other actions taken by Jean. [Read more…]

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Mickey Rooney’s Family Accused of Elder Abuse, in Court Following Actor’s Death

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Mickey Rooney Estate Drama | Probate Litigation Attorney | Scottsdale, AZ | Berk & Moskowitz, PCTo a certain generation, Mickey Rooney evokes memories of Hollywood’s golden years, where going to the movies was a happy, music-filled, and glamorous experience. Classic film fans mourned the loss of an icon after hearing news of Rooney’s passing on April 6, 2014.

Quickly following on the heels of this tragic news, however, was word that Rooney’s extended family was openly feuding about everything from who would claim his body to who should lay claim to his somewhat meager estate. News of his final years also included stories of possible elder abuse by those same relatives.

The years before his death seem to have foreshadowed his final decline. Since 2011, he had fought legal and personal battles, struggling to maintain his dignity.  In that year, Rooney and his attorneys filed a financial elder abuse lawsuit against Chris Aber, his wife’s son from a previous marriage, and Aber’s wife. The lawsuit accused the Abers of robbing Rooney of millions of dollars and of elder abuse. [Read more…]

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Trust and Financial Exploitation

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Estate Litigation Attorney | Scottsdale, AZWhat does it mean to be in a position of trust and confidence?

When pursuing claims that someone financially exploited a vulnerable adult, this question becomes key.

A recent court case explored this important question. The case involved Helen P. Kousoulas, Kalliope Marinis, and Sotirios Marinis. [Read more…]

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Financial Abuse Runs Rampant among Elderly

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Financial abuse | Elder Law AttorneysIt is a sad fact that elderly Americans are often severely mistreated. The elderly are abused and taken advantage of not only by strangers but also by the people who are supposed to be caring for them.

It is estimated that about four million older Americans become the victims of various forms of abuse. Unfortunately, this number is likely just the tip of the iceberg: the American Psychological Association estimates that, for every abuse case reported to the authorities, 23 cases go unnoticed. [Read more…]

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Can You Avoid Dementia?

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Older Americans | Elder Law Attorneys | Scottsdale, AZ | Berk & Moskowitz, P.C.As the U.S. population ages, it is only likely that the number of people with dementia will increase. You may be worried that you—or your parents—will develop dementia. If this happens, how will you take care of yourself? Do you have a plan in place to take care of your finances, health care, and day-to-day living? An estate plan can help you to outline these things and make sure that you are protected later in life. [Read more…]

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Dementia: What It Is and How You Can Reduce Your Risk

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Berk Law Group, P.C. Announcement

What is dementia?The elderly & dementia | Berk & Moskowitz, P.C.

Dementia refers to a group of cognitive disorders characterized by impairment of a person’s memory, language skills, motor activity, and executive function.

The most common form of dementia, and the most widely recognized, is Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive disease that begins with some memory loss. [Read more…]

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Nursing Homes in Arizona Lack Adequate Sprinkler Systems

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Nursing home - Berk & Moskowitz, P.C.Placing your loved one in a nursing home is a difficult decision. The event requires extensive thought as well as research into the quality and affordability of nursing homes in your area. Most people looking into nursing homes on behalf of their loved one think to check the quality of nursing home care as well as the facility itself. [Read more…]

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Signs of Elder Abuse

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Elder abuse - Berk & Moskowitz, P.C.Elder abuse is a serious matter, but it often goes unreported. Why? People often simply don’t recognize the signs of elder abuse.

At Berk Law Group, P.C., we’ve seen the devastation that can occur when a loved one is abused, neglected or exploited. We’ve compiled the following warning signs of elder abuse from the Arizona Attorney General. If you recognize one or more of these symptoms, don’t hesitate to report the abuse and contact us or an experienced elder law attorney for assistance.

Physical abuse: This type of abuse involves intentionally causing physical pain or injury. The warning signs of physical abuse include: [Read more…]

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