Photo Courtesy of RambergMediaImages

Photo Courtesy of RambergMediaImages

This blog features a round up of elder justice related news items released in February 2013.


Elder Justice Victory for Women: The United States House of Representatives passed the Senate’s bipartisan reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, the 1994 landmark legislation that provides important services to victims of domestic and sexual abuse. Though the bill was reauthorized by the Senate earlier this month, it stalled in the House as Republicans tried and failed to pass a version of the bill that would exclude LGBT victims and weaken the availability of assistance to Native American women on reservations. Subtitle H of the VAWA includes “Enhancing Training and Services to End Abuse Later in Life,” which gives the Attorney General the ability to provide grants to organizations for outreach activities, multidisciplinary community responses, elder abuse and exploitation awareness awareness campaigns, and training and services.

Elder Abuse Video Goes Viral: A disturbing video of elder abuse in the UCI Town Center in Irvine, California caught on tape went viral, garnering attention in the local media, an evocative community discussion on Reddit, and over 145,000 views on YouTube to date. Sam Wilson, who shot the video, learned that a supposedly homeless older woman in a wheelchair, who had been asking for money in the Town Center since 2006, was being picked up every night around 2am by a man who appeared to be her son, and returned to the Town Center in the mornings. In the video, Wilson approaches the man as he’s picking up the older woman, and is met with hostility.  Though there have been other documentations of aggressive interactions with this man, it is still unclear what his relation is to the older woman.

New Resources Guide for Older Residents: New York City Office of the Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer and Emblem Health have released Living Fully: Resources for Aging Well in the City (pdf), a new handbook that lists relevant services for older New York City residents. The guide includes cultural events and is organized by topics such as elder abuse, health and wellness, Social Security, transportation, senior housing and nursing homes, resources for caregivers, and long term care.

  • The handbook is available online in English (pdf) and Spanish (pdf).

Surveillance Technologies Used in Elder Abuse Cases: Sandra Kerr, a certified nursing aid in the Bronx, and Groven Glenn, a home worker from the Rochester area, are both facing jail time for physically abusing older adults in their care.  Kerr was caught on camera physically abusing an older woman who has Alzheimer’s disease. The small camera was set up at the Gold Crest Care Center after the 89-year old woman noticed bruises on her grandmother’s body.  Glenn was charged with assaulting an 83-year old woman after a surveillance tape caught Glenn physically abusing women.

Protecting the Elderly from Investment Fraud from USA Today: In this Q&A between Money Watch columnist Christine Dugas and Daniel Moisand from the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors respond to readers questions about making secure investment decisions with older family members.
For Some Caregivers, the Trauma Lingers from The New York Times: Through the story of Judith Stone, a doctor whose mother passed away five years ago after receiving poor medical treatment, the New Old Age blogs explores how trauma in a caregiver’s personal life can impact their work with older adults.Advisors Tell Heartbreaking Tales of Elder Abuse from Financial Advisor Magazine: In this column, financial planners share their experiences dealing with older clients who were being financially exploited, many of whom offer ideas for getting around systematic barriers to action.
Elder Abuse: Types of Maltreatment and Warning Signs from HealthWorks Collective: Given the ever increasing prevalence of elder abuse, it is important to understand how to identify the different types of abuse and obvious warning signs.  This post breaks down specific definitions of elder abuse into six categories: physical abuse, emotional or psychological abuse, sexual abuse, financial/material exploitation, neglect, and abandonment.
Elder Abuse: A Very Serious Topic from The MetroWest Daily News: Contributing author Betsy Cross, of the Visiting Nurses Association of Natick, addresses different types of elder abuse and proposes ideas for protecting vulnerable older adults from hostile environments.
Safeguarding Against Abuse of the Elderly from The Safety Report: This detailed report looks at the latest studies on elder neglect in nursing homes, contributing factors to this large-scale problem, and offers free resources for evaluating nursing homes.
Elder Abuse from the Adam Goldfein Blog: In this page and corresponding two-part podcast, Adam chronicles the history of elder abuse prevention legislation, describes common warning signs, and lists resources for the further information.
More Effort Needed to Protect Elderly From Financial Abuse from The Buffalo News: This robust call to action describes the legislative changes need in both New York State and at the federal level to better protect older Americans from financial exploitation as well as further prosecute financial exploitation criminals.

  • This piece highlights “Under the Radar: New York State Elder Prevalence Abuse Study,” a report by Lifespan of Greater Rochester Inc. in partnership with Weill Cornell Medical Center and the New York City Department for the Aging, which found that 44 cases of financial abuse cases go unreported for every one reported.

Ex NY Bank Worker Gets Prison for Elder Theft from the Wall Street Journal: Edward Lewando, a former bank employee, pleaded guilty to charges of grand larceny and possession of stolen property after stealing $300,000 from an elderly woman with dementia. Lewando had convinced the victim’s family to let him assist with her financial affairs, only to discover the theft shortly before her death.

  • Elizabeth Loewy, of the District Attorney’s Elder Abuse Unit (who handled this case) is quoted saying, Lewando “took advantage of his role as a private banker, and a trusted fiduciary” and “exploited a woman in her early 90s who was living a happy and somewhat modest life.” Ms. Loewy is also a NYCEAC partner.

5 Signs of Elder Abuse: Watch for Neglect, Mistreatment, or Abuse from Following an detailed over view of the prevelance of elder abuse in America, this article highlights signs of physicial abuse, neglect, verbal or emotional abuse, sexual abuse, and financial exploitation.  NYCEAC’s definition of elder abuse is among the definitions and resources provided in this piece.

By Alexandra Pearson, MA

Communication Specialist, NYCEAC

Related Stories
A Round Up of Elder Justice News – January 2013
A Round Up of Elder Justice News – December 2012

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