Office of Conservatorship Management Offers Free Training Program

The Davidson County Office of Conservatorship Management (OCM) introduced its OCM Conservatorship School this year that consists of a series of videos and quizzes that detail the statutorily required fiduciary duties of a conservator. This online training program allows a conservator to receive a certificate of completion after successfully passing the quiz associated with each training video. OCM is offering this service free of charge to all conservators and potential conservators in the state of Tennessee, and the entire program can be completed in one hour. To learn more and access the Conservatorship School visit the OCM website.

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Deadline Extended: Elder Law Section Lunch at Annual Forum

The TBA Elder Law Section will host its annual lunch business meeting at the Elder Law Forum in Nashville on July 12. In this meeting we will discuss current and future initiatives, while allowing section members to meet and plan with section leadership. Lunch will only be provided for TBA Elder Law Section members who respond that they will attend this event.

Please RSVP with Section Coordinator Jarod Word by July 9, 5 p.m., CDT  if you would like to attend this annual lunch business meeting.

When: Friday, July 12, 11:45 a.m. – 12:45 p.m., CDT
Where: AT&T Building, 333 Commerce Street, Nashville
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LGBT Seniors Face Unique Aging Challenges

As cities across America celebrate diversity, AARP brings to attention unique problems faced by seniors of the “Stonewall generation.” In addition to practical problems such as lack of social and familial support and being three to four times less likely to have kids, these older adults may also face abuse, harassment and isolation in long-term care settings. There are an estimated three million LGBTQ Americans age 50 and older, with that number expected to reach seven million by 2030.

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DOJ Launches Transnational Elder Fraud Strike Force

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) this month introduced a new initiative that will incorporate law enforcement efforts with other federal agencies to address fraud schemes that target the elderly. The Transnational Elder Fraud Strike Force will feature an amalgamation between the DOJ’s Consumer Protection Branch, U.S. Attorneys’ Offices for six federal districts, the FBI, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and several other organizations. In addition to this partnership, each U.S. Attorney’s Office will have an Elder Justice Coordinator to assist with operations. FBI Director Christopher Wray said of the strike force: “We’re committed to keeping our elderly citizens safe, whether they’re being targeted door-to-door, over the phone, or online … Our new Transnational Elder Fraud Strike Force will give us additional resources and tools to identify and stop those who are targeting our senior communities.”

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Ageism and Multinational Corporations

Lawsuits against major corporations like Ikea and Volkswagen (VW) alleging discrimination against older adults are putting the ostensible practice of ageism under the microscope, according to a recent piece in Forbes. Multinational companies are becoming a lightning rod for such lawsuits, likely because of more stringent legal protections for American workers. IKEA is currently facing at least five age discrimination lawsuits, with four VW employees at its Chattanooga plant recently filing a lawsuit maintaining the company’s “Pact for the Future” program — touted as making VW “slimmer, leaner and younger” — is, in fact, a labor campaign designed to eliminate 30,000 jobs of employees mostly born between 1955 and 1960. Ageism can have more dire consequences in the U.S. compared to other nations, particularly European, where retirees enjoy subsidized pensions and universal health care.

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Tomorrow: Elder Law Forum 2019

The 2019 TBA Elder Law Forum will return to the illustrious ‘batman’ building in downtown Nashville on July 12. This forum offers top-notch programming, with essential information for both seasoned practitioners and attorneys interested in adding elder law to their practice. The program will feature timely topics such as updates on TennCare, uniform powers of attorney, recent changes to VA benefits, annuities, ethics and more. Don't miss this opportunity to connect with colleagues from across the state and catch up on the latest developments in this practice area. Section members receive a discount to attend the program. Here are the key details:
When: Friday, July 12, registration begins at 8 a.m., CDT
Where: AT&T Building – Auditorium, 333 Commerce St., Nashville 
CLE Credit: 5 General, 1 Dual
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Hamilton County to Consider Tax Relief Program for Seniors

Facing a tax hike for Hamilton County residents, Commissioner David Sharpe plans to propose an initiative to soften the blow to seniors on a fixed income, the Chattanooga Times Free Press reports. The program will supplement the state’s existing Property Tax Relief Program of 2018 that aids elderly homeowners, disabled homeowners, disabled veteran homeowners and widows of disabled veteran homeowners. Early estimates show that the program will cost the county about $360,000 annually.

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Heritage Law Group to Host Elder Care Expo on May 23

The Heritage Law Group will host the third annual Elder Care Expo on May 23 at Gallatin First United Methodist Church. The program provides older adults with information on healthy aging, dementia, general primary care for seniors and understanding the continuum of care. Attendees will also have the opportunity to meet local exhibitors specializing in senior concerns and enjoy complimentary breakfast and lunch. There is no charge for this event. Here is the key info:

When: Thursday, May 23, Registration at 8 a.m., CDT
Where: Gallatin First United Methodist Church, 149 West Main St., Gallatin

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Wife of Warner Bros. Executive Who Suffers from Alzheimers Accused of Elder Abuse

The son of former Warner Bros. chief and Alzheimers sufferer Terry Semel filed a petition in Los Angeles County Superior Court to appoint a temporary conservator for his father, accusing his stepmother of elder abuse, The Los Angeles Times reports. That son, Eric Semel, says that his stepmother is “in serious breach of her fiduciary duties” and “causing serious harm to Terry’s health and safety,” further accusing her of telling his father’s caregivers to change the dosage of his medications, refusing to take him to routine exams, refusing to let him leave the facility and limiting his social interactions, among other claims. The elder Semel is one of the most powerful men in Hollywood and has an estate valued at several hundred million dollars.

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Tennessee Nursing Home Chain Ordered to Pay $1.8 Million Regarding Resident's Brain Injury

Chattanooga-based nursing home conglomerate Grace Healthcare Support Services has been ordered to pay the family of a woman who suffered a brain injury in one of its homes after an employee rolled the patient out of a bed, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports. The fall happened in the Grace Healthcare facility in Tucker, Georgia, when only one employee attempted to change the bedsheets of the resident, Christine Mitchell, despite a policy requiring two employees when changing the linens on the facility’s rail-less beds. Mitchell died just one month after the incident. A jury in the case did not find the nursing home responsible for her death; however, it ultimately held the provider responsible for pain and suffering throughout Mitchell's final days and awarded the family $1.8 million. The Grace Healthcare facility in Tucker currently holds one-star ratings in every category on Medicare’s Nursing Home Compare list, which is the lowest designation possible.

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