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This blog features a round up of elder justice related news items that were released in December 2012. 

National News
  • The National Adult Protective Services (APS) Association launched a new website for the National APS Resource Center (NAPSRC), featuring information on their latest research, training opportunities, policy and advocacy initiatives, as well as ways to stay connected and get involved.
    • The NAPSRC and National Association of States United for Aging and Disabilities released their annual survey: Adult Protective Services in 2012: Increasingly Vulnerable can be view here (PDF).
  • The Administration on Aging (AoA) is sponsoring the Year of Elder Abuse Prevention (YEAP) to encourage national, state, and local organizations to protect seniors and raise awareness about elder abuse, neglect and exploitation.
    • AoA has developed a YEAP Toolkit Information Sheet, Outreach Guide, multiple fact sheets and other online and social media resources to support their partners efforts to raise public awareness about elder abuse related issues and prevention, all of which are available online here.
  • The National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) is calling for President Obama and the Senate to reject legislation passed by the House of Representatives that would repeal the Social Services Block Grants (SSBG) that provide vital funding to Adult Protection Services and community services for the disabled, low-income children and elderly Americans.
    • NAELA argues that ending these programs, which provide over 40% of state expenditures on care and services to vulnerable and elderly adults, could lead to the abuse and exploitation of many older adults.
    • Charlie Sabatino, NAELA’s former President and the current Director of the ABA Commission on Law and Aging, said “Many in Congress don’t realize the impact that SSBG funding has back in their states and districts. For example, Adult Protective Services programs are a lifeline for abused and neglected elders and funded by SSBG. While the incidence of elder abuse is increasing, elders will be left to fend for themselves if SSBG is eliminated.”
Local News (New York State & New York City)
  • Anthony Marshall, the 88-year old son of the late philanthropist Brooke Astor, is appealing his 2009 charges of high-level grand larceny in a Manhattan Appellate Court.
    • Marshall has been accused of taking advantage of his mother’s mental vulnerability and robbing her of over $60 million  of dollars and assets after she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.
    • He has remained free on bail during the course of the appeals process and stands to serve one to three years in prison if the appeal is not upheld.
    • Francis X. Morrissey Jr., a former estate lawyer for Astor, has also appealed to overturn his conviction of conspiracy and fraud.
  • A Bronx nursing home worker has been arrested and indicted on charges of sexually abusing an elderly woman with Alzheimer’s disease.
    • The accused worker had been an employee of Hudson Pointe at Riverdale for over 12 years, and presently, it is still unclear whether there are other victims.
  • The Orlow Firm, New York City elder abuse attorneys, launched a new information page focusing on the damage caused by superstorm Sandy to New York nursing homes.
    • Representing victims of nursing home abuse in all five boroughs, The Orlow Firm points out that in New York, many assisted living facilities are often built on beachfront locations
    • The new information page offers the following information regarding New York natural disasters and nursing homes:
      • Lost patients and improperly maintained records
      • Failure by nursing home administrators
      • Neglect caused by lack of preparation including back up generators and proper evacuation planning
Elder Justice in the News
  • On the Alert for Fraud from The New York Times: The New Old Age blog outlines the vital issue of financial abuse and provides preventative resources for vulnerable older adults and their families.
    • The articles links to The National Center on Elder Abuse and Eldercare Locator’s publication “Protect Your Pocketbook”, which is available online here (PDF).
  • Why Older People Fall For Scams: It’s All in the Brain from NBC News: The Vitals blog looks at new neurological research from Shelley Taylor at University of California at Los Angeles and suggests that older adults are more vulnerable to fraud because of a change in how the older brain processes visual cues, fear and suspicion.
  • Can Dad Still Live Alone? from The Wall Street Journal: The Personal Finance section’s Family Value segment explores how to cope with deteriorating mental health and aging related issues when visiting older parents and family members during the holiday season, and offers advice on how to avoid a crisis and fight fraud.
  • Caregivers: Spotting & Preventing Financial Elder Abuse from AARP’s blog: This post overviews potential signs of financial exploitation of older adults and resources for averting future financial problems.
  • Tips for Difficult Family Conversations from AARP’s Blog: The AARP staff features tips for those seeking to facilitate a conversation with elderly adults in their families on financial security and physical safety.
  • Recognizing the Behavioral Signs of Elder Abuse from American Society on Aging’s Aging Blog: Physical and emotional signs and symptoms of elder abuse are detailed in this post, focusing on behavioral changes and communication challenges.
  • The Tragedy of Elder Abuse from the Buffalo Law Journal: Authored by Matt Chandler, this piece explores hostile environments for older adults and elder abuse related issues.
  • Regulatory Compliance Review: Elder Financial Abuse from the National Mortgage Professional Magazine: Told through the tragic story of the late Brooke Astor, the New York City philanthropist who was robbed of millions by her son, the issue of elder financial abuse is described and analyzed.
  • Growing Problem: Financial Exploitation of Older Adults from Federal Daily: Responds to the release of the Government Accountability Office’s November 2012 report on the financial exploitation of older adults by highlighting the complexity of elder abuse related issues and offering several preventative resources.
  • Tips for Seniors to Avoid Financial Exploitation from The Staten Island Advanced: Bea Victor gives advice on how to identify financial exploitation and offers important information on how to protect older adults from becoming victims.
  • The Taboo of Elder Abuse from the Human Rights Magazine: The Global Eyes Production staff explores elder abuse as a global issue, detailing research from the Who Health Organization and situational barriers to measuring its global pervasiveness.
NYC Elder Abuse Center (NYCEAC) in the News
  • In “Charitable Fund Ends a Good Run” from the Wall Street Journal, the Irene Diamond Foundation announces its closure and the gift of $40 million to aging initiatives at institutions including Weill Cornell Medical College, Columbia University, and the American Federation for Aging Research.
    • The late Irene Diamond, who passed in 2003, established the funds in 1994 with the intention of exhausting its resources within 10 years of her death.
    • The Irene Diamond Foundation has donated over half a billion dollars to causes like AIDS research, human rights, education, public health, and performing arts in New York City.
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by Alexandra Pearson, MA
Communication Specialist, NYCEAC

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