Family gatherings are more commonplace in December, and older adults without families can experience more acute social isolation. Since isolation is both a risk factor for and a consequence of elder abuse, we decided to ask you - our social media followers and colleagues - to commit to speaking with an older adult in December. Our hope was that, by sharing this campaign, we could support older adults and contribute towards the prevention of elder abuse during the 2017 holiday season. More →
Dr. Mark Lachs, the NYC Elder Abuse Center’s Director, was interviewed recently by Dr. Laurie Glimcher, the Dean of Weill Cornell Medical College. During this fascinating 6-minute podcast interview accompanied throughout with pictures, they cover considerable territory: Dr. Lachs’ background and professional journey, the prevalence of elder abuse, the work of the NYC Elder Abuse Center, healthy aging and the importance of geriatric medicine.
Synopsis of the Interview
Dr. Glimcher began the interview by highlighting the importance of the issue of elder abuse and referencing Dr. Lachs’ talk at the White House event on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, where he called elder abuse “an epidemic.” Dr. Lachs explained his reasoning for using this term and referred to the New York State Elder Abuse Prevalence Study – conducted in collaboration with Lifespan and the NYC Department for the Aging – that involved interviewing 4,000 older adults. The study reveals that staggering numbers of older New Yorkers – 260,000 each year – confront abuse, neglect and exploitation, with many suffering in silence.
“For every case of elder abuse that was self-reported, about 25 go unreported”
Dr. Lachs pointed to factors that impact this statistic and overviewed some of the complex dynamics that surround elder abuse cases. He explained that the NYC Elder Abuse Center was created to bring professionals together to foster a collective response to cases. Dr. Lachs emphasized the momentum that the field is building, which is evidenced by our government administrators taking notice of this problem, acknowledging that speaking at the White House was “truly an honor.”
Key Points in the Podcast
- Explanation of the elder abuse epidemic and brief summary of Under the Radar: New York State Elder Abuse Prevalence Study
- History of the NYC Elder Abuse Center
- Overview of Dr. Lachs’ work at Weill Cornell Medical Center – in terms of practice as well as mentoring the next generations of geriatric practitioners
by Cara Kenien, LMSW, MPA, Social Media Manager, NYCEAC