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Elder abuse – a growing problem
by Becky Ginos
Jun 29, 2015 | 39 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print

DAVIS COUNTY – As the saying goes, “getting old isn’t for sissies.” But of all the problems that come with old age, abuse should not be one of them.

“Usually when it comes to abuse it doesn’t come at the hands of strangers,” said John Cowan, senior long-term care ombudsman for the Davis County Health Department Division of Family Health & Senior Services. “It comes at the hands of family members or caregivers.”

June 15 was World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. Its purpose is to bring to light an ever-growing problem among the elderly.

“We are in the process of pulling together a group over the next four years to look into abuse,” said Kristy Cottrell, Davis County Health Department Division Director of Family Health & Senior Services. “We’ll have various stake holders such as police, attorneys and financial institutions to become aware of exploitation and who they can go to for help.”

Abuse can come in many different forms. “In my role as long-term care ombudsman I mostly deal with seniors residing in those facilities and interact with Adult Protective Services,” said Cowan. “We see a little bit of everything including a fair amount of caretaker neglect in nursing homes and in the home by family members or paid caregivers.”

Cowan breaks down abuse into these categories, neglect, exploitation, sexual/physical, unlawful restraint and financial.

“Someone with power of attorney can overstep their bounds and harm a vulnerable adult,” he said. “Signs of physical abuse can be unexplained injuries, fractures or wounds – just any kind of changes. They may be fearful, have low self-esteem or withdraw.”

A Bountiful woman, who asked to remain anonymous, knows all too well what it means to be financially exploited. After allowing a long-time neighbor’s daughter to help her with household chores, she discovered the young woman was writing out checks against a home equity loan she had never used. She managed to bilk her out of $180,000 before she was caught, a sum the now 79-year-old who is battling cancer couldn’t afford to lose.

“One mistake I made was leaving her money to go to the store,” she said. “At one point I noticed my check book was missing. I called the police and we’ve gone to court off and on but she just whines and complains that she doesn’t have the money.”

Cottrell said 43 percent of perpetrators are relatives or family members, 23 percent are caregivers or a person the senior knows.

“You should be watching for sudden withdrawals of funds or if the senior can’t afford items,” said Cowan. “They might even change the name on a deed. But many seniors have a deep rooted fear of reporting abuse because they might lose the care giving family member.”

Cottrell believes that any community member should report possible abuse. “If you are aware or suspicious you have an obligation to report it to Adult Protective Services or the police,” she said.

“Make sure you are visiting your elderly love one and neighbors,” said Cowan. “See what day-to-day life is like for them. People with good intentions can suffer burnout and cross the line from caregiver to perpetrator.”

For more information about elder abuse and helpful resources go to ncea.aoa.gov or call Davis County Aging Services at 801-525-5050.

“Be very observant of any changes,” said Cowan. “Always report even when in doubt.” 

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Stella Lavon Bitton Hampton
Jun 29, 2015 | 23 views | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print
September 9, 1930 – June 26, 2015 Two months before her 85th birthday our beloved mother, grandmother, great-grandmother passed away peacefully in her sleep. Stella was born Sept. 9 in Ogden, to William Ernest and Ada Bitton. She was the second of six children, her other siblings were five brothers. Stella grew up in Wellington, Utah. She met and married the love of her life, Wayne, with whom she shared life, love, and family for 64 years. During the period of Wayne’s military service they moved often and traveled widely and thoroughly enjoyed the experiences of seeing new places and cultures. They moved to Bountiful following Wayne’s military retirement from the Air Force and have resided there since. Wayne and Stella served as temple workers for seven years at the Salt Lake Temple and a full time temple mission to help open the new St. Louis, MO Temple. Wayne and Stella were avid square/round dancers for 22 years in several clubs in Davis and Weber counties. Stella enjoyed painting, sewing, and spending time with family and friends. She was an accomplished family historian and occasionally traveled abroad to research original historical information. The joys of her life were her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death when Wayne died in March. She is survived by her children, Carl Wayne Hampton, Yvonne (Grant) Phillips, and Kevin Lafayette (Diana) Hampton; by 10 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren; and by four of her brothers, Louvaine, Edward, Elbert and Eugene (Tony). Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m., Thursday, July 2, 2015 at the Bountiful 37th Ward chapel 1450 N. 400 East, Bountiful. Friends and family may visit Wednesday, between 6 and 8 p.m. at Russon Brothers Mortuary, 295 N. Main St., Bountiful; or Thursday before the funeral between 9:45 and 10:45 a.m. at the church. Online guestbook at www.russonmortuary.com.
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Conrad Elliot Irwin
Jun 29, 2015 | 34 views | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print
1938-2015 Conrad Elliot Irwin, age 76, passed away peacefully in his sleep on June 24, 2015 at home in Bountiful. Conrad was born Aug. 8, 1938 to Ralph and Mary Ethel Irwin. He married Loretta Elaine Burton on July 17, 1959 near Evanston, WY and solemnized in the Salt Lake Temple. Conrad was raised in Laketown, Utah and graduated from North Rich High School and Weber State Electronic School. He started working at Sperry in 1959 and continued there through the late 1980’s. He enjoyed traveling with his wife and family to all fifty states. His greatest accomplishment and his life revolved around his family and grandkids. He was always planning the next big party to get everyone together and loved making everything he could for them. Nothing was too small to have a celebration to get everyone together in Bountiful or his home in Laketown. To know Conrad was to know how much he truly cared for others and his willingness to give and help someone; that was who he was. He had many close friends from childhood to present that he was grateful for and they meant so much to him. He is survived by his wife Loretta, daughters Tammy Irwin, Natalie Payne (Craig); son Clark Irwin (Annette); nine grandchildren and one great-grandson. Loretta and the family would like to thank Avalon Bountiful, Brighton Hospice, and the Heart Clinic and Rehab doctors and staff for their care of Conrad. Funeral services were held Saturday, June 27, 2015, at the Bountiful 16th Ward Chapel 720 E. 550 North where friends and family visited prior to the service. Interment followed at the Laketown,Utah Cemetery.
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