The Allure of a 2015 Guardianship and a Burial in the Wrong Cemetery, Excuses and Covid-19

Comedian Elayne Boosler visited her cousin Dorothea Buschell in Brooklyn’s Hamilton Park Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in August 2018.
Comedian Elayne Boosler visited her cousin Dorothea Buschell in Brooklyn’s Hamilton Park Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in August 2018.
Photo: Courtesy of Elayne Boosler

Dear Reader:

The following story, one partially told on Facebook and to The City by comedian Elayne Boosler, is a developing story and one we will cover in depth. When we started this blog in 2016 one of our goals was to draw attention to the deplorable treatment of the elderly and most vulnerable at the hands of nursing home owners and managers. Our intent was to uncover the depth of the depravity of some owners and managers of many of the world’s nursing homes, particularly those in New York and New Jersey, who choose profit over care, bottom lines over human life and lined pockets over dignity.

There can be no greater example of that choice than the story of Elayne Boosler’s elderly Jewish cousin who died in the care of an Allure nursing home, which had in 2015 obtained custodianship over Boosler’s cousin, despite the existence of a living relative. Ms. Boosler’s story is shocking insofar as her cousin was not only denied a dignified death but a dignified burial. While Covid-19 may have played a role in the absurdity of the story that follows, it does not tell the whole story and cannot be used to mitigate the responsibility of the owners/managers of the nursing home that not only deprived Ms. Boosler’s cousin of her family, but of a Jewish burial.

There can really be no greater indignity and no more astonishing tragedy.

When Ms. Boosler’s cousin died (allegedly) of Covid-19, instead of being buried in a Jewish cemetery with all of the Jewish rites and customs which had been provided to the nursing home, she was interred in a Christian cemetery at an astronomical fee.

Boosler’s story is not surprising to those of us who have been following nursing homes in general and Allure in particular. What is surprising, however, is the ease with which nursing homes can obtain guardianship over the elderly in their care.  As legal guardians, these nursing homes and long-term care/rehabilitation facilities have access to finances, decisions, medical choices and ultimately the life and death of those in their care. And most do not do the due diligence required before obtaining guardianship. Or, they simply falsify statements and records. Moreover, it is not even clear that such due diligence is ever required or if there is any oversight, particularly in New York where the systems in place have run amok.

Once guardianship is obtained whether legitimately or otherwise, as this story suggests, decision-making authority on burials and interment among all of the other life-shattering decisions, rests in the hands of the court-appointed guardians. They are free to throw caution and care to the wind.

The Boosler story, raises questions about New York’s Guardianship Services, which in the Boosler case, remains something of a mystery. We are hoping that some law enforcement agency will take the bull by the horns and look into this case as it is neither unique nor surprising. We are hoping that Boosler’s status as a entertainer will light a fire under those who should be investigating the treatment of the elderly in nursing care and long-term facilities.

There is money to be made in human life and in death and apparently once guardianship of a family member is “signed-over” to a nursing home moral and ethical compasses can shift. The elderly deserve better. 

 

Comedian’s Kin Sent to Wrong Cemetery After Brooklyn Nursing Home Death

Comedian Elayne Boosler says her elderly Jewish cousin, who died last month, inexplicably got saddled with a pricey Christian burial package while in a Brooklyn nursing home.

“Now my beautiful Jewish cousin is clutching rosary beads after a fake funeral that never — couldn’t have — happened because of coronavirus,” Boosler, who grew up in Sheepshead Bay, told THE CITY from her California home.

She noted that her first instinct was to “go for the funny and try not to bleed on my audience, if you will. Also, going for the joke is how I distance myself and my emotions.”

But she confessed she hasn’t slept in days.

“I am horrified at how she must have died,” she said, “at how she was swindled and at how she is now far from her family in a strange grave.”

‘Are You Sitting Down?’

The ordeal began, Boosler recalled, when her cousin Harriet Saltzman phoned her from Florida on April 14 and said, “Are you sitting down? Pull the chair closer to the table in case you fall over.”

Saltzman told her that she had been trying to reach their mutual first cousin Dorothea Buschell at the Hamilton Park Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, to wish her a happy 83rd birthday.

When no one answered in Buschell’s room, Saltzman said she began leaving voicemails at the main number, but no one returned her calls for weeks.

Finally, on April 14, a frazzled staffer who happened to pick up the phone said, “Oh, no one called you yesterday? Uh, she died this morning.”

“And then Harriet said, ‘Why would someone have called yesterday if she died this morning?’,” Boosler said.

Buschell died April 13.

The Hamilton Park Nursing and Rehabilitation Center was blocking visitors during the coronavirus outbreak.
The Hamilton Park Nursing and Rehabilitation Center
Ben Fractenberg/THE CITY

By the time Saltzman called, Buschell’s body had already been transferred to Forest Green Park cemetery in Morganville, N.J. — not her intended, already-paid-for, family plot in New Montefiore Cemetery in Farmingdale, L.I. She was buried on April 15.

“Because they figured it was the virus that she died from, there was no autopsy,” Saltzman wrote Boosler in an email. “She was double bagged, put into the coffin, doubled bagged again and shipped.”

Saltzman noted that Forest Green “will not be able to dis-inter her for a while because of the pandemic, and they will call me when they are ready to do it.”

The Plot Thickens

In a phone interview with THE CITY, Boosler added, “But wait. There’s more. Much more.”

The saga began in either late 2016 or early 2017, Boosler recounted, after Buschell, an artist who had taught English on U.S. Army bases in Italy for a quarter century, landed in Hamilton Park after a series of mini-strokes.

On April 28, 2017, she was sold an irrevocable $15,000 pre-need funeral plan which she never signed — and which Boosler stressed Buschell never would have consciously agreed to since she already had a family plot.

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California Nursing Homes and Raging Covid-19 Infections – Hiding the Truth, no Oversight

Residents of Magnolia Rehabilitation and Nursing Center are evacuated in April.
Residents of Magnolia Rehabilitation and Nursing Center are evacuated in April after staff refused to show for work amid a COVID-19 outbreak. A day earlier, state health inspectors found no problems at the facility in Riverside.
(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

As coronavirus raged through nursing homes, inspectors found nothing wrong

In early April, state inspectors completed a survey of Magnolia Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Riverside as part of a federal effort to make sure nursing homes were protecting elderly residents from the coronavirus.

Their one-page report concluded: “No deficiencies.”

The next day, April 8, a fleet of ambulances lined up outside Magnolia to evacuate all 83 residents after the staff refused to show up for work, terrified of the deadly infection already spreading within the facility.

Similar scenarios played out across California this spring, survey records show. Time and again, inspectors sent to assess nursing homes’ ability to contain the new virus found no deficiencies at facilities that were in the midst of deadly outbreaks or about to endure one.

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PE or Publicly Traded Equity Owned Nursing Facilities, Covid-19 And the Profit in Negligence – No Oversight

Granite Creek Health and Rehabilitation would never require a worker to come to work sick. But they might ask.
Granite Creek Health and Rehabilitation would never require a worker to come to work sick. But they might ask.
Google Maps

Dear Readers:

We will say it once. We can say it 1000 times.

Nursing homes, rehabilitation facilities and elder care institutions are not burdened by appropriate oversight. In reality, they largely report to no one. And, with combined ownership on the real estate side and on the management/operations side in the hands of private equity firms and publicly traded companies, the flow of money is endless and nearly untraceable. 

These homes churn owners, in some cases so they can change oversight records, wiping the slate clean when abuse and neglect results in patient death. They collect money from the government in the form of payments, reimbursements and for some even PPP loans or SBA loans, which should trigger government oversight. But sadly oversight is simply in short supply. 

And alas, with front-facing ownership changes, history gets scrubbed. It is all a shell game; and one that traffics in human life. With Covid-19, these homes can profit from death. 

In many states, the owners of these facilities are largely exempt from liability, even in the case of gross negligence – a highly profitable exemption. And the politicians who have collected donations can look the other way as the owners profit and those most vulnerable die. Humanity be damned.  

State Investigating a Nursing Home That Allegedly Kept COVID-Positive Workers on the Job

A nursing assistant at a Prescott nursing home says she was told to continue to work with patients after informing her supervisor that she was symptomatic for COVID-19 — and also after she later tested positive for the disease.

Now, the state is investigating.

The facility, Granite Creek Health and Rehabilitation Center in Prescott, a skilled-nursing facility with more than 100 long-term residents and rehab patients from the local hospital, had been spared until early June from the pandemic. But as certified nursing assistant at the facility told Phoenix New Times, things spiraled out of control quickly after an employee tested positive for the novel coronavirus on June 9.

New Times is not disclosing the name of the worker based on her request for anonymity. Sick with COVID-19 and still trying to beat back the virus in home quarantine, she doesn’t want to return to Granite Creek and doesn’t want publicity.

“The state surveyor told me that they’re keeping my identity secret and calling me by the code name ‘Hero Worker’ LOL,” she wrote in an email on Tuesday. “I am still concerned that it being known that I reported this could affect my ability to find another job once I’m recovered.”

Mike Rasmussen, the facility’s administrator, confirmed on Tuesday that 16 staff members and 25 residents at Granite Creek have tested positive. He acknowledged in an email that the company would allow a COVID-positive staff member to come to work, and might ask but would not require that a sick staff member come to work.

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OHEL – Allegations the Agency Ignored Warning Signs of Sexual Abuse

NYC foster care agency ignored child’s abuse: suit

 

A Brooklyn foster care agency prioritized placing Jewish kids into Orthodox Jewish homes over safety, resulting in a girl’s sexual abuse at the hands of a deviant dad, a new lawsuit charges.

The alleged victim, who used the pseudonym Jane Doe in court papers, says she was abused in the 1980s while in the care of OHEL Children’s Home and Family and Services. The agency allegedly ignored obvious warning signs that emerged when she was around 7, including her loss of weight and an extreme change in behavior.

“OHEL’s case workers didn’t just fail to protect me. They falsely branded me a liar. They told me never to talk about being abused because no family will let a liar into their home,” the woman, who is now in her 40s, said in a statement.

The woman immigrated to the U.S. from the Soviet Union when she was 3 with her mother, who suffered from bipolar disorder. In less than two years she was placed in the care of OHEL, which the suit charges puts “undue emphasis” on connecting biologically Jewish children with Orthodox Jewish foster homes.

OHEL CEO David Mandel said the company trains staff on how to respond to allegations of sexual abuse and thoroughly vets prospective foster parents.

“The complaint in this case was filed today. It involves alleged conduct from 35-40 years ago. As stated above, OHEL takes any such allegations seriously,” Mandel said in a statement.

The agency placed the girl in the Elizabeth, N.J. home of Moshe Aharon Jacobs, who lived with his wife and two daughters, the suit states. Jacobs allegedly violently sexually assaulted the girl while in his care.

Jacobs now lives in Israel, according to the suit. He could not be reached. The alleged victim claims she told an OHEL case worker she’d been repeatedly sexually abused and could not sit comfortably. The worker agreed to transfer her out of the house — but only because “she had lied” and could no longer live in the home, the suit states. The “liar” label followed her while she remained in OHEL’s care, the suit states.

To continue reading, click here.

The Jig May Be Up for Predatory Lenders – Tish James, What About the Brokers, the Credit Card Swipes, etc?

PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, BY LETITIA JAMES V….

Dear Reader:

Please, Please, Please be advised if it looks too easy, it’s because it IS TOO EASY.

Merchant Cash Advance Lenders (most not all) have one thing in mind and that is all… money. They traffic in the vulnerability of borrowers who cannot get traditional bank loans. They make accepting cash easy for anyone cash poor. They make paying it back in full next to impossible. 

Once you are in, you are in, ensnared. They trap the most needy into “stacking” these loans (taking one out to pay another or having multiple loans) in order to keep the borrowers in a cycle of financial shortfalls. All the while, you, the borrower are paying their fees: brokers, lawyers, financial institutions. It is a no-lose for the lender and a no-win for the borrower. 

They obtain a “Confession of Judgement” (“COJ”) which borrowers unwittingly sign for the total amount of the debt + fees + collection fees + court costs + legal fees. A default on the loan allows them to obtain the total value of the COJ even if the lender has paid back part if not almost all of the debt. And, Governor Cuomo in New York still has not signed the legislation de-legalizing the use of a COJ. 

Up until now, this was all quite legal. This type of lending represents a loophole in the banking system. It is unregulated as a bank. It is an industry unregulated by the rules governing any form of traditional Lenders. And, up until now, these type of lenders were not governed by usury laws.

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Those Who Allow the Practice of Metziza’ B’Peh are Accountable for the Suffering of Herpes Infected Infants

Charedi Infant In Critical Condition After Contracting Herpes At His Bris

 

A three-week-old infant, born to a Charedi family in Haifa, was brought to the Bnei Zion medical center in Haifa in serious condition. It is believed that the infant contracted the Herpes virus during his Bris Milah. The infection caused serious contamination in the young boy’s brain that caused seizures. Lab results showed that the infant was suffering from herpes.

Head of the Pediatrics Department in Bnei Zion, Professor Yitzchak Serugo said: “The infant has been hospitalized in serious condition. It appears that he has a brain infection that is causing prolonged seizures and a serious infection of his skin.”

The baby was rushed to the hospital by his parents who noticed the infection a number of days after his bris. During his time in the pediatrics department, the herpes virus was discovered in his spinal fluid, his brain, and on the lesions on his skin. The infant seized for the first three days after being hospitalized in spite of receiving anti-seizure medication.

According to Professor Serugo, the infant is receiving anti-viral treatment to remove the virus from his brain but will have to undergo continuing treatments for the next six months in order to eradicate the disease completely.

To continue reading click here.Hared

“Shalom Bayit” Gel… Bnei-Brak Israel – Is this Legal? – A Good Laugh – NOT an Endorsement!

Image may contain: ‎text that says '‎בס"ד בשורה משמחת הגיע כמות מוגבלת של "ג'ל בטעמים" "שלום בית" 100% הצלחה לחיזוק חיי המשפחה "שיפור ביצועים מעולה" יותר יעיל מיותר מהיר משפיע להרבה זמן משלוח דיסקרטי חינם 054-8677230 התכשיר לגברים בלבד‎'‎

Translation:

Arrived – Limited Quantity

of “Flavored Gels”

“Shalom Bayit” – (meaning Peaceful Home)

100% Success

More Useful  Faster

Effective for a Lot of Time

Sent in Discreet Packaging Free

054 – 8677230

Intended For Men Only

NOTE TO READER: THIS IS POSTED BECAUSE IT IS SIMPLY HILARIOUS – NOT AN ENDORSEMENT. IT WAS SEEN IN BNEI BRAK, ISRAEL. NO WAY TO KNOW WHY IT NEEDS TO BE FLAVORED, IF IT IS KOSHER OR WHAT IT IS USED FOR.

WE DO NOT ADVISE FOR OR AGAINST GETTING YOUR “HAPPY HOME GEL.”