King County Elder Abuse Project

In a Seattle Times editorial, the piece asked for support of the King County Elder Abuse Project. King County, Washington, has nearly 30% of Washington State’s 85 and over adults. It is predicted that by the year 2025, this community will increase by 53%. In 2002, 2,637 case of adult abuse were reported and this was, in part, the impetus to create the King County Elder Abuse Project.

The King County Elder Abuse Project has three goals:

  1. Prosecute cases of neglect of elderly and disabled adults
  2. Enhance collaboration between agencies and medical professionals to investigate and prosecute cases of abuse and neglect
  3. Provide training to first responders to recognize and respond to cases of abuse.

A couple of weeks ago, we reported on an elderly dementia patient who was taken from his nursing home by a masseuse who married him and then attempted to empty his bank account. The clerk at the Bellevue Bank of America alerted the man’s guardian and police were called. The 78-year-old man did not remember meeting the woman who presented herself at his bank as his wife nor did he remember their “marriage.” Now, 56-year-old Sujinda Yahatta and her accomplice, 29-year-old Kulany Roeksbutr face kidnapping, attempted theft and obtaining a signature by deception or duress.

This story is illustrative of why we all need to work together to protect the elderly and infirm from abuse. We wondered why the nursing home allowed an unlicensed massage therapist to remove the patient from the nursing home. One also wonders how a judge could marry this unlikely couple when the 78-year-old man clearly was suffering from dementia. That is why we support the King County Elder Abuse Project and its goal of training people to recognize and respond to cases of abuse. In this case, we were glad that the Bank of America’s employee was vigilant.

If your loved one has been the victim of nursing home neglect or abuse, you should contact The Farber Law Group. We take nursing home abuse and neglect very seriously and we will work to insure your loved one’s rights are protected and we will help them receive compensation for the damage done to them.

See our Nursing Home Resources.