New Study Suggests Hearing Aids May Reduce Risk of Dementia

A recent study in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society suggests that use of a hearing aid by seniors with hearing loss can reduce the risk of dementia, The Washington Post reports. University of Michigan researchers examined managed-care insurance claims from 114,862 adults 66 years or older with hearing loss, finding that those prescribed a hearing aid had significantly lower rates of dementia, depression and falls than those who didn’t get the devices. The study considered only data on existing health outcomes, rather than testing the effects of a hearing aid, and did not speculate whether hearing problems can actually cause dementia.

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Stan Lee's Daughter Sues Ex-assistant Over Elder Abuse Allegations

The daughter of comic book legend Stan Lee is suing her father’s former personal assistant and a podcast host for allegations of elder abuse made against her, People reports. Lee filed the slander suit regarding comments made by the ex-assistant, Bradley Herman, on the Stan Lee’s World podcast saying that she had become physically abusive with her father, and in one case "grabbed his neck and slammed his head back into the wood portion of (a) chair.” Lee says that the allegations are in retaliation for the firing of Herman, whom she claims would steal from her father and forge his signature to obtain loans. The host and creator of the podcast, Alan Duke, is also named as a defendant in the suit. View the complaint here.

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4th Judicial District Attorney General Speaks out on Elder Abuse

Fourth Judicial District Attorney General Jimmy Dunn last week spoke with the Citizen Tribune regarding Tennessee’s District Attorney Generals’ efforts to combat elder abuse in the state. Dunn emphasized that elder abuse can assume many forms beyond obvious neglect or physical abuse, particularly the growing problem regarding financial exploitation of older adults. “We are improving laws, increasing public awareness and, with the help of other partners, using criminal investigations and courtroom prosecutions to protect our seniors from elder abuse,” Dunn said. "But we need the help of informed citizens to win this battle.” Concerned citizens can report suspected elder abuse by calling 1-888-APS-TENN (277-8366) or going online to the Tennessee DHS website.

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Elder Law Section Member Named Tennessee Commission on Aging and Disability's South-Central Representative

TBA Elder Law Section member Tracy Moore was recently named by Gov. Bill Lee as the South-Central Tennessee representative with the Tennessee Commission on Aging and Disability, The Daily Herald reports. Moore is a partner at Moore & Peden PC in Columbia where his practice focuses on elder law, wills and estates, personal injury, workers’ compensation and nursing home liability. Regarding his selection, Moore said, “As an elder law attorney and member of the South-Central Tennessee Adult Abuse Coalition, I am familiar with many of the programs and services administered by the Commission … I am honored by this appointment and look forward to serving the citizens of Tennessee to the best of my ability.”

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TennCare Seeks Public Comments on Block Grant Proposal

The Tennessee Division of TennCare is seeking feedback on Amendment 42, regarding its Block Grant Proposal, prior to its submission to Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Members of the public are invited to offer comments regarding Amendment 42 until Oct. 18, 2019. You can view more information, including the proposal using this link. Comments can be submitted by email or by mail to:

Gabe Roberts, Director
Division of TennCare
310 Great Circle Road
Nashville, TN 37243

Individuals who prefer to make their comments in person may attend one of the following public hearings:

East Tennessee
When: Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2:30 p.m., EDT
Where: Burlington Branch of the Knox County Library, Community Meeting Room, 4614 Asheville Highway, Knoxville
West Tennessee
When: Thursday, Oct. 3, 2:30 p.m., CDT
Where: Jackson-Madison County Library, Program Center, 433 East Lafayette Street, Jackson
Additional Public Hearings
TennCare is in the process of scheduling two additional hearings on Amendment 42, to take place in Chattanooga and in Memphis. Details of these hearings will be announced when finalized.
Individuals with disabilities or individuals with limited English proficiency who wish to participate in one of the hearings and who may require language or communication assistance to do so should contact Talley Olson of TennCare’s Office of Civil Rights Compliance by phone at 855-857-1673, or by email prior to the date of the hearing.
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This Friday: Elder Law Basics in Jamestown

The Elder Law Basics Forum this year will hit the road, taking place in Jamestown on Nov. 22. An annual favorite of attorneys in the field, the program will feature timely topics such as the ins and outs of public benefits as pertaining to seniors, special needs trusts, veteran's benefits, general practice tips and more. Don't miss this opportunity to obtain necessary CLE credits while learning important skills and networking with attorneys of a similar focus. Here are the key details.

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Adult Children Describe the Life of a Caregiver

The New York Times today published an article featuring personal comments from readers describing the unique challenges of adult children who have put their lives on hold to assist aging parents. The piece details not only the financial strains and sacrifices made by some of these children, but also the joy and enrichment of caring for a loved one through this stage in their life. The readers’ comments came in response to two recent NYT stories regarding a Connecticut home health aide and another about women forgoing careers to care for older relatives.

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How Financial Planners Can Combat Elder Abuse

Financial planners who assist elderly clients might be a first line of defense in recognizing elder abuse, which makes spotting these signs of abuse and knowing how to assist abused seniors by these professionals imperative, according to a recent piece in Financial Planning. In fact, 23 states — including Tennessee — have adopted model legislation by the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) that addresses such issues because of advisors’ distinct ability to notice early warning signs of abuse. Tennessee codified its version of NASAA’s model legislation in 2017.

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Report: Tennessee Ranks 49th for Support of Family Caregivers

The Council on Aging of Middle Tennessee recently released a report regarding its study on supporting working caregivers, offering an overview of issues faced by relatives and others who assist older adults, and insight on how the state might assist with the needs of these individuals. The study, The Case for Care Giving: Why Middle Tennessee Employers Should Support Employee Caregivers, shows that Tennessee ranks 49th for support of family caregivers and 32nd for support of working caregivers. Another highlighted concern is the lack of preparation in providing care for aging persons. You can read the report in its entirety using this link.

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TBA Public Education Committee Teams Up with Elder Law Section on Aging Matters Series

The Tennessee Bar Association’s Public Education Committee and Elder Law Section recently teamed-up to participate in a screening of the Nashville Public Television (NPT) Aging Matters legal help documentary at the Lee Chapel AME in Nashville. Aging Matters provides information on resources available to seniors in the state and identifies where to turn when legal help is needed. Public Education Committee Chair Amy Bryant hosted the event, with Elder Law Section members Sonya Bellafant, Karl Walden, Adam Hill and Travenia Holden taking part in a panel to discuss the film and answer general legal questions for the 50 plus attendees. Stay tuned for future Aging Matters screenings, including one this fall in Memphis. You can view photos of the most recent event here.

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