Attorney General Dave Yost (R) is holding a series of forums to spread awareness about elder abuse in the state.
In a press release announcing the next event in the series of forums, called “Responding to Financial Exploitation, Scams and Fraud in Facility Settings,” Yost told the following story of an Ohio senior who was defrauded out of his own money:
An 84-year-old Army veteran suffering from renal failure entered a Columbus-area skilled nursing and rehabilitation center in July 2021, only to find his placement there jeopardized less than six months later for lack of payment.
A relative of the veteran’s — entrusted with his power of attorney — had been withdrawing money from the patient’s account and refusing to cover the bills for his medical and long-term care.
In late December, the facility reported the alleged misappropriation of funds to the Ohio Attorney General’s Office (AGO).
Sadly, such scenarios are all too common.
Yost’s next forum aims to educate Ohioans on how to prevent such scams.
The event is being held in conjunction with the Elder Abuse Commission (EAC), part of Yost’s office.
“Ending elder abuse is everybody’s responsibility,” said Judith Brachman, chairwoman of that organization. “Whether we are young, old or somewhere in between, we can work together to prevent and stop elder abuse and financial exploitation.”
Yost’s office did not return a request seeking further comment.
Elder abuse has been a hot topic in Ohio for several years.
In December, Governor Mike DeWine (R) signed Esther’s Law, which passed unanimously through the Ohio General Assembly, helping Ohioans protect their elders from abuse.
The law is a realization of years of effort on behalf of an activist named Steven Piskor, who in 2011 used a hidden camera to catch employees at a nursing home facility run by MetroHealth Medical Center abusing his mother, Esther.
The abuse was so severe that two members of the staff were jailed.
Since then, Piskor fought to create and pass the legislation named for his mother, which allows Ohioans to put cameras in the care facility rooms of elders under their care, as long as they disclose the cameras to facility staff.
Piskor inspired activists in other states, too.
Illinois, Kansas and Minnesota all have their own versions of Esther’s Law.
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Pete D’Abrosca is a contributor at The Ohio Star and The Star News Network. Follow Pete on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Dave Yost” by Dave Yost. Background Photo “Nursing Home” by Ann. CC BY 2.0.