The 2017 Oscar-nominated documentary Edith+Eddie tells the story of Edith Hill and Eddie Harrison, who marry in their mid-90s and become known online as "America’s oldest interracial couple". More than an inspiring love story, theirs also is a cautionary and heart-breaking tale about the state of elder justice and guardianship in the US as Hill's daughters battle over her care and the wishes of the couple to remain together. More →
Welcome to the NYC Elder Abuse Center’s (NYCEAC) October 2015 roundup of the latest in elder justice news & resources. We’ve selected and analyzed the most helpful articles and resources relevant to elder justice professionals. If you would like to share a news item or resource with us, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or via our Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn.
In the Media
Editorial: Age-Associated Financial Vulnerability a Public Health Crisis
In an editorial featured on News From Weill Cornell Medical College, our Medical Director, Mark Lachs, MD, MPH discusses how a how financial vulnerability of older adults puts this population at risk for diminishing quality of life and makes the agrument as to why this problem should be highlighted as a public health concern. Read more.
Elder Abuse Victims, Displaced Older Adults Find Refuge on Staten Island
In Staten Island, a trend of “Shared Community Living” houses older adults together in homes, helping to build community and independence while providing the necessary resources, care, and oversight. Read more.
Governor Cuomo Announces Training Forums on Preventing Elder Financial Abuse
Governor Cuomo announces that New York will offer training to financial institutions and financial professionals on preventing exploitation of older adults. Trainings will be held in the Finger Lakes, New York City, and Capital region. Learn more about the events.
300 Million Elderly Not Receiving Long-Term Care
The International Labor Organization (ILO) reports that more than half of older adults lack access to long term care. The ILO blames attitudes toward older adults: “Ageism is a global phenomenon that is sometimes even laid down in regulations and legislation, for example higher costs or unfavorable conditions of certain insurance policies for older persons, or being refused for specific medical services due to age.” Lack of critically needed care due to ageism is nothing short of abuse. Read more on the ILO’s report here.
Near the End, It’s Best to be Friended
The term “unbefriended” is defined as elders who require a health-care proxy but have not assigned one nor have close relatives or friends to step in for important healthcare decisions. The New York Times describes a growing population of older adults who fit the “unbefriended” description and the likelihood that the numbers will continue to grow. To prevent abuse, exploitation, and to get the best care available, older adults need capable and caring friends on their side. Read more on this growing phenomenon and how to prevent becoming “unbefriended” here.
Is it Old Age, or A.D.H.D.?
The New York Times reports that 3% of people over 60 likely have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (A.D.H.D.), yet doctors are not trained to recognize and treat A.D.H.D. in older adults. Older adults are often overlooked as not fitting the diagnosis, misdiagnosed, or given treatment provided to younger patients. This is another example of older adults not receiving adequate, individualized care they need. Further, cognitive problems can complicate reporting abuse when it does happen.
Peter Max, the Target of Assassination Plots by His Wife
Iconic pop artist Peter Max has been the target of several assassination plots by his much younger wife seeking to gain access to her husband’s sizable estate. A guardianship fight and Max’s deteriorating cognitive capacity are serving to further complicating matters. Many red flags of elder financial abuse can be noted in this article. Read more here.
Elderly More Prone to Depression and Suicide
Older adults experience rapid life changes: from retirement, to loss of friends, and becoming vulnerable to elder abuse these changes need to be met with due care. Providing adequate health care and stopping elder abuse are key in treating depression and preventing suicide in older adults. Read more here.
Pennsylvania Elder Law Task Force
Pennsylvania Elder Law Task Force is a model program that all states would benefit from implementing. The task force focuses on guardianship over older adults, abuse and neglect, and ensuring access to justice. Since implementation in 2013, the task force has found that, “1 in 10 people age 60 and older living at home experience some sort of neglect, abuse or exploitation.” Read more.
Financial Exploitation is a Fast-Growing form of Elder Abuse
The National Adult Protective Services Association urges the financial industry to help stop elder financial abuse. The Executive Director, Kathleen Quinn, announced, “You have the capacity to stop financial abuse before or as it occurs, protect clients assets, refer clients to social services to address multiple complex needs [and] address a massive public safety, public health public crisis.” Learn more about elder abuse, financial exploitation, and the steps the financial industry are taking here.
Reuters reports that financial abuse of older adults is frequently overlooked, and that form of abuse if often the most common and devastating. Dr. Mark Lachs of Weill Cornell Medical College in New York describes the condition as “age-associated financial vulnerability” and should be compared to more commonly recognized health concerns of older adults including decreased mobility, falls, etc. Read more.
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the independent regulator for all securities firms doing business in the United States has approved a rulemaking item to help firms better protect older adults from financial exploitation. The rule permits firms to “place temporary holds on disbursements of funds or securities, from the accounts of investors aged 65 or older where there is a reasonable belief of financial exploitation.”
Conservatorship and Accountability Project
The Center for Elders and the Courts (CEC) at the National Center for State Courts, has posted a call for states to sign up for the Conservatorship Accountability Project pilot program. CAP aims to “modernize conservatorship accounting and tracking processes and build safeguards to protect vulnerable adults from financial exploitation.” Read more about the program here.
Abuse Plagues System of Legal Guardians for Adults
The Wall Street Journal covers the prolific abuse older adults face despite recent reform efforts, “guardianship systems across the country are plagued by allegations of financial exploitation and abuse, despite waves of overhaul efforts.” Read more here.
Reports, Videos & More
Elder Abuse Warning Signs and Tips for Keeping Older Adults Safe from Fraud
Dr. Glynnis Walker Anderson wrote an important new book “Stealing Joy: A True Story of Alzheimer’s, Elder Abuse, and Fraud.” Read more about her book and recognizing the signs of abuse, how to prevent abuse, and where to report it here.
Administration on Aging Draft Voluntary Consensus Guidelines for State APS Systems
The Administration for Community Living (ACL) is providing Draft Voluntary Consensus Guidelines for State Adult Protective Services systems to promote an effective adult protective services (APS) response across the country so that all adults, regardless of the state or jurisdiction in which they live, have similar protections and service delivery from APS systems. Read the guidelines and submit comments here.
Beware Tech Support Scam
Tech Support scams are increasing and targeting a wide array of people. Older adults are frequent targets and can be more susceptible to such scams. Scams claiming to protect computer users from viruses can swindle individuals out of hundreds of dollars. When encountering an internet pop-up, Fortune Magazine advises always asking yourself, “is this trying to trick me?” Learn more about tech scams and how to avoid them here.
4 Ways to Avoid Falling Victim to Medicare Fraud
Tragically, older adults lose billions of dollars every year due to Medicare fraud. Learn four ways to protect yourself and loved ones here.
Conferences, Trainings & Events
Elder Abuse Training for Prosecutors, November 10-13
The National Institute on the Prosecution of Elder Abuse (NIPEA) will be held on November 10-13, 2015 in Denver, CO. This course will be hosted by AEquitas: The Prosecutors’ Resource for Violence Against Women and is open to prosecutors only. NIPEA is designed to provide substantive knowledge and practical skills to prosecute cases of elder abuse. Curriculum topics include an overview of elder abuse including the dynamics prevalent in these cases, interviewing older witnesses and victims, competence and capacity, typical defense justifications, ethics and professionalism, Crawford and its progeny, and sentencing. For further information, please contact Christina Supinski, Communication and Operations Manager, at email@example.com.
Adult Abuse Training Institute, November 16-18
The 2015 Adult Abuse Training Institute (AATI) presented by the Brookdale Center for Healthy Aging on behalf of the New York State Office of Children & Family Services (OCFS), brings together participants from a variety of public and private service providers where networking and sharing expertise will be facilitated through an array of formal and informal activities. Get the details here.
Disabilities in Aging Webinar, December 3
This three-part webinar symposium builds and expands upon the 2015 Aging in America Conference general session entitled “Disabilities in Aging: A Future Redesigned” with the intention of reaching professionals from fifteen distinct disciplines who serve the aging population. Sign up for the webinar here.
CDAA National Elder & Dependent Adult Abuse Symposium, December 1-4
This seminar will be held in Anaheim, CA and is designed for prosecutors, investigators, law enforcement, adult protective services administrators and case workers, state and local agency personnel, medical professionals, coroners and medical examiners, and victim advocates. The symposium will provide information on how to identify, investigate, and prosecute cases involving elder and dependent adult abuse. While serving as an introduction to those new in the field, this symposium will also address the latest issues and techniques in elder abuse prosecution. Learn more and register here.
The American Society on Aging will host it’s annual conference in Washington, D.C. on Aging in America from March 20-24. Registration opens October 1st. Register for this multifaceted and multidisciplinary conference before October 31 for special rates.
Flexible, Convenient and Invaluable Training in Health, Chronic Conditions – Factors That Contribute to Elder Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation.
ASA and USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology are excited to offer a new five-week online certificate course – Health and Wellness in an Aging Society. The courses are taught by the nation’s leading experts in aging, including Drs. Kate Wilbur and Donna Benton, as well as other specialists in healthcare, chronic disease management, dementia/mental health, caregiving, and medication management – covering many underlying factors that contribute to increased vulnerability to elder abuse, neglect or exploitation.
Information, research, best practices and effective models are offered that are readily applicable to the work you are already doing! Learn more and enroll online for the January 25, 2016 session!
And, back by popular demand, Fundamentals of Gerontology five-week online certificate course.Learn more and enroll online.
Later in Life Program Manager
The New York Asian Women’s Center (NYAWC) is the largest Asian American domestic violence agency in the country. NYAWC is a premier agency assisting human trafficking survivors. The Manager is responsible for developing and maintaining a culture in NYAWC that gives equal weight to older adult survivors; that gives residential and non-residential staff capacity to assist survivors to help them thrive and recover from the trauma of abuse; and will facilitate research, policy analysis, and strategic planning. View the job listing here.
Case Assistance Social Worker
Founded in 1976, DOROT is one of New York City’s leading social service agencies serving the elderly. The Case Assistance Social Worker provides onsite long and short term case assistance as well as crisis intervention to older adults, caregivers and volunteers who participate in DOROT programs or are new to the organization. This is done both over the phone and in person. The CASW also supports and collaborates with DOROT social workers and other professional staff within the agency to provide case assistance to older adults in need. View the job listing here.
The Guardianship Project Seeks a Case Manager
The Guardianship Project, a Vera Institute of Justice demonstration project, provides model guardianship services to older adults and people with disabilities who have been adjudicated as incapacitated by a court and lack family or friends able or willing to care for them. The Guardianship Project seeks a Case Manager to provide direct assistance to its clients. View the job listing here.