about the experience of making Last Will and Embezzlement
Last Will and Embezzlement director, Deborah Louise Robinson, hits the headlines as she speaks to journalists
about the experience of making Last Will and Embezzlement
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The benchmark of 65 for “old age” dates back to the days of Kaiser Wilhelm in the late 1800’s, followed by the creation of America’s Social Security program in the early 1900’s. But keep in mind, the average life expectancy back then was considerably shorter than it is now. We need to ask ourselves: just because Mama celebrated her 65th birthday, did that automatically drop her onto the slippery slope to dementia and incapacity?
Read the complete article here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/pamela-glasner/age-plus-bad-decisions-do_b_1635613.html.
And please … if, after reading the article, you can think of a friend or loved one or associate who might benefit from reading this, please do send it to them. And you might want to do it now, while you're thinking about it, so it doesn't slip through the cracks.
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“Local filmmaker releases documentary on financial exploitation of the elderly” ---- Karin Hamilton (Communications & Media Director for the Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut) wrote an excellent article about Last Will and Embezzlement in the Connecticut Episcopal Diocesan News, 18 June 2012. Read it in its entirety here: https://www.ctepiscopal.org/News/newsView.asp?NewsId=40968117&NewsCategoryID=1
It’s actually an article within an article, because within hers is a piece which I wrote: “a personal reflection,” Karin calls it, “about the work and the emotions of the past year, starting with a quote from St. Irenaeus which I recalled from a Grace Church parish retreat.” That “reflection” can be found here: https://www.ctepiscopal.org/images/customer-files//PamelaSKGlasnerReflectionApril29_2012.pdf
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Below are some excerpts from and interview with Deborah Louise Robinson and Pamela S.K. Glasner which was recently featured on Popcorn'n' Candy - please see the entire actual article here
WHAT IS YOUR GOAL FOR LAST WILL AND EMBEZZLEMENT?
Deborah Louise Robinson - "To raise awareness and to make people sit up and take notice and realise just how serious an issue this is."
MICKEY ROONEY SPEAKS CANDIDLY ABOUT HIS OWN EXPERIENCES IN SOME VERY EMOTIONAL SCENES. HOW IMPORTANT IS IT THAT HIGH PROFILED STARS LIKE MICKEY ROONEY SPEAK OUT?
Deborah Louise Robinson - "Very important – the film follows four very different stories, and I think it is really valuable that Mickey Rooney is one of them, it shows that elder financial abuse can happen to literally anyone, even an academy award winning Hollywood icon – people need to know that it’s okay to speak out about it, that it’s not something to be ashamed of. Mickey Rooney courageously speaking out will certainly help others to feel more comfortable doing so."
WHY NOW? OBVIOUSLY THIS PROBLEM HAS ALWAYS BEEN THERE, WHAT MAKES NOW THE RIGHT TIME TO ADDRESS THE ISSUE?
Deborah Louise Robinson - "Because right now we are heading toward the largest transfer of wealth from one generation to the next in history – what is already a very common crime, is about to become a global epidemic."
Pamela Glasner - "Because there are 500 million baby boomers in the world right now who are on their way to being senior citizens, at a rate of 61,000 PER DAY. And, since baby boomers control a full 80% of all the spendable personal money in the world, we are heading toward the largest transfer of wealth from one generation to the next in history. What is already a multi-billion-dollar crime spree is about to become a global epidemic."
HOW DO YOU THINK WATCHING THIS FILM WILL AFFECT PEOPLE? I WATCHED THE TRAILER, AND IN THOSE FEW BRIEF MOMENTS, I FELT A MIXTURE OF ANGER AND SADNESS. THERE IS BOUND TO BE AN EMOTIONAL RESPONSE TO THIS FILM, WAS THIS INTENTIONAL?
Deborah Louise Robinson - "Yes, I wanted this film to be much more than just a news piece – this is a very real issue that impacts massively on the families of those involved. There are real emotions here, and I wanted those raw emotions to be shown. I want people to know that this is a serious crime, and that it matters."
Please see the entire article at www.popcornncandy.com
A Wall Street Journal blogger posted a brief article on 14 June 2012 entitled “Financial Abuse of Elderly: Getting Worse.” (link below) Stated in this article, “…medical professionals can play an important role when they are trained to spot and report the warning signs of elderly investment fraud or financial exploitation. The Investor Protection Trust has trained 3,000 medical professionals so far to spot the impaired mental capacity that can leave older adults vulnerable to financial abuse.”
And that’s all well and good but, all due respect to the article’s author and those conducting the survey, the answer is just not that simple. In fact, the matter of vulnerability is addressed at length in our documentary, “Last Will and Embezzlement” (directed by Deborah Louise Robinson).
Mental impairment is far from the only reason an elderly person gets financially abused. Filmmaker Pamela Glasner’s mother did not have any such impairment. She had a whole different set of issues.
“My parents,” Glasner explains, talking about the neighborhood in New York City, where she grew up, “did what most of the parents did: they waited for their kids to graduate and then they moved to Florida.” But eventually, what started out as an escape and a dream became a prison and a nightmare.
Glasner's mother, an elderly woman of 89, had two children, but they lived 130 miles and 1300 miles away; the love of her life, her 90-year-old husband, whom she’d been with quite literally for 80 years, was permanently moved into a nursing home, leaving her suddenly on her own; a bout with glaucoma left her unable to drive. She was a proud and intelligent woman with a past history of being what Glasner describes as “the best business person my brother and I had ever known.” Then Glasner goes on to say, “She never let on that there was a problem and there was no reason for either my brother or me to presume to keep a watchful eye on Mom’s finances or on her choice of associates. We’d never been involved with financial abuse and had no notion of what was happening until it was too late.” Ethel Glasner was not impaired — she was 89 and lonely and dependent.
This is not to say that what the Investor Protection Trust is doing is a bad idea, but there are probably as many ways to financially exploit the elderly as there are elderly people to exploit. Vulnerability comes in all shapes and sizes and it’s vital that we, as a society, start learning what those shapes and sizes look like, and what the signs are, and stop assuming that dementia is the only cause.
“Vulnerability is absolutely NOT limited to mental impairment,” Glasner insists, “And it is, in my humble opinion, dangerous to assume that diminished capacity is the perpetrator’s only – or even primary – avenue in.”
Pamela S. K. Glasner is a published author and a filmmaker. More information about “Last Will and Embezzlement” and Ms. Glasner can be found at www.lastwillandembezzlement.com, http://youtu.be/WJCDQpqHPEQ, and http://tinyurl.com/2cn8bpo.
Copyright by Pamela S. K. Glasner © 2012, All Rights Reserved
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