Dec 17, 2014

Crimes Against the Elderly, 2003-2013

Nov 2014 NCJ 248339 National:

Presents estimates on property and fatal and nonfatal violent victimization against persons age 65 or older from 2003 to 2013.

The report examines patterns of victimization over time and the distribution of violent victimization by the victim-offender relationship, victim 's disability status, victim and incident characteristics, reporting to police, injuries sustained during the victimization, and identity theft victimization against the elderly.

Nonfatal violent and property victimization data are from the National Crime Victimization Survey and homicide data are from mortality data based on death certificates in the National Vital Statistics System of the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS).

Highlights:
  • The rates of nonfatal violent crime (3.6 per 1,000 persons) and property crime (72.3 per 1,000) against elderly persons were lower than those of younger persons.
  • The ratio of the estimates of property crime to violent crime was higher for the elderly (13 to 1) than for younger persons ages 25 to 49 (3 to 1) and persons ages 50 to 64 (5 to 1).
  • Elderly homicide rates declined 44%, from 3.7 homicides per 100,000 persons in 1993 to 2.1 per 100,000 in 2011.
  • More than half (56 percent) of elderly violent crime victims reported the victimization to police, compared to more than a third (38 percent) for persons ages 12 to 24.
  • Among elderly violent crime victims, about 59% reported being victimized at or near their home.
..Source.. by Britney J. Mason, BJS Intern, Rachel E. Morgan, Ph.D., BJS Statistician

Dec 13, 2014

Nursing home residents’ aggression is studied

12-13-2014 National:

When people talk about abuse in nursing homes, they generally are referring to staff members victimizing the elderly. But researchers say an even more pressing, prevalent problem might be the violence that can — and does — erupt between residents.

According to a new study by Cornell University, nearly 1 in 5 people living in nursing homes is involved in at least one aggressive encounter each month.

“These altercations are widespread and common in everyday nursing-home life,” said Karl Pillemer, who is a professor at Cornell and at the Weill Cornell Medical College and a co-author of the study.

Resident-to-resident mistreatment is under-reported to the point that, at some long-term-care centers, “staff members seem almost unaware,” Pillemer said.

Nursing homes provide care for about 1.5 million older Americans nationwide, including about 90,000 in Ohio. By 2030, the number of U.S. adults 65 and older will more than double, to about 71 million.

Research has mostly focused on older adults who have been mistreated by their family and caregivers in the community or by staff members in nursing homes, said Dr. Mark Lachs, who is the other author of the report and a professor of medicine at Cornell’s medical college.

Dec 11, 2014

Doctor on Demand launches virtual mental health visits

12-10-2014 National:

Mobile telemedicine company Doctor on Demand has found a promising new use for its technology platform — enabling customers to have virtual visits with a mental health professional.

The San Francisco-based startup has completely redesigned its app to reflect the expansion of its services to mental health. It has also set up a whole new network of mental health professionals in all 50 states to answer customers’ calls. In total, the network consists of 300 licensed therapists.

Providers must have a PhD or an MD behind their name to participate. They also have to commit to 15 hours a week to take calls on the service.

Unlike Doctor on Demand’s virtual medical doctor visits, the mental health sessions aren’t “on demand.” Rather, they’re scheduled in advance. Customers can, however, specify in their request that they’d like a same-day therapist meeting, Doctor on Demand cofounder and CEO Adam Jackson told VentureBeat.

Another difference is that customers can choose their therapist for mental health sessions, while in the medical part of the app, a doctor is chosen for them.

The mental health sessions cost $50 for 25 minutes (Doctor on Demand takes $10 of it), or $95 for a full 50-minute meeting (Doctor on Demand takes $15).

A virtual therapist meeting starts with the customer answering a few logistical and demographic questions in the app. The customer is then asked a series of questions about the mental health issue or issues he or she is seeking help with. The app might ask how often the person is experiencing anxiety, for example. Then the customer selects the duration of the meeting, inputs payment information, and the session begins.

According to the CDC, 50 percent of Americans will experience mental and emotional health issues at some point in their lives, but only 40 percent receive treatment.

Can a Wife With Dementia Say Yes to Sex?

12-11-2014 Iowa:

More than 350 people attended the wedding reception of Donna Lou Young and Henry V. Rayhons in Duncan, Iowa, on Dec. 15, 2007. Family and friends ate pork roast and danced polkas to celebrate the union of a widow and a widower, both in their 70s, who had found unexpected love after the deaths of their long-time spouses.

For the next six-and-a-half years, Henry and Donna Rayhons were inseparable. She sat near him in the state House chamber while he worked as a Republican legislator. He helped with her beekeeping. She rode alongside him in a combine as he harvested corn and soybeans on his 700 acres in northern Iowa. They sang in the choir at Sunday Mass. “We just loved being together,” Henry Rayhons says.

Today, he’s awaiting trial on a felony charge that he raped Donna at a nursing home where she was living. The Iowa Attorney General’s office says Rayhons had intercourse with his wife when she lacked the mental capacity to consent because she had Alzheimer’s. She died on Aug. 8, four days short of her 79th birthday, of complications from the disease. One week later, Rayhons, 78, was arrested. He pleaded not guilty.

To convict Rayhons, prosecutors must first convince a jury that a sex act occurred in his wife’s room at the Concord Care Center in Garner, Iowa, on May 23. If prosecutors prove that, his guilt or innocence will turn on whether Donna wanted sex or not, and whether her dementia prevented her from making that judgment and communicating her wishes.