Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Nursing Home Bed Shortage For Men

Yesterday's New York Times highlighted a little-discussed issue that I have seen grow worse as the total number of nursing home beds has decreased:  an absolute shortage of beds for men seeking a nursing home placement.  As noted in the article, the majority of nursing home beds are in semi-private rooms.  Since over 75% of nursing home residents are women, that leaves precious few available beds for our elderly male population.

I have seen a number of instances recently in the Hudson Valley where a family has had to scramble to find a nursing home bed for an elderly male parent or other relative.  With the possibility that Valley View may be shut down this summer, and the general decline in nursing home beds throughout the region, I don't see the problem improving anytime sone. 

Friday, January 13, 2012

I Should Have Gone To Nursing School

Not that I'm complaining about my career choice, but practicing elder law seemingly pales in comparison to serving as a private nurse for a wealthy client.  

Hadassah Peri was the long-time private nurse for eccentric copper heiress, Huguette Clark.  Ms. Clark, who died childless in May 2011 at the age of 104, had a $400 million fortune that she inherited from her father, former U.S. Senator and copper magnate William A. Clark. 

During the last five years of Clark's life, Peri received "gifts" of approximately $26 million. In addition,  Clark's will left Peri another $30 million.  This information has come to light during the administration of Clark's estate.  Clark's accountant, Irving Kamsler, and her attorney, Wallace Bock, were recently suspended from serving as executors for the estate by New York Surrogate Kristen Booth after evidence surfaced that both men engaged in tax fraud by failing to pay to the IRS $90 million in unpaid gift taxes, interest and possible penalties.

Both Kamsler and Bock claim they at all times acted in Clark's best interest, and have denied the allegations.   The Manhattan D.A. is investigating, and it is likely that the Justice Department will launch an investigation into the alleged tax fraud.  It probably won't help Kamsler's case that he is already a convicted felon and registered sex offender, having plead guilty in 2008 for attempting to distribute child pornography.

Click here to read more details about this case.