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 →
Welcome to the NYC Elder Abuse Center’s (NYCEAC) news and resource roundup blog, The Field Guide. We’ve selected and analyzed pertinent articles and resources relevant to elder justice professionals for November and December 2017. 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 profiles.
Trending Topics in the News
The elder justice news stories below were covered on mainstream press and shared widely through social media. Several of these were featured posts during our December Countering Isolation Facebook campaign.
The New York Times published a lengthy piece on social isolation and its effect on older adults. “Among older people who reported they felt left out, isolated or lacked companionship, the ability to perform daily activities like bathing, grooming and preparing meals declined and deaths increased over a six-year study period relative to people who reported none of these feelings.” For more on the effects on loneliness on older adults see the NYC Elder Abuse Center’s #CounteringIsolation Campaign.
The Huffington Post bright the need for legal aid to protect older adults, bringing elder abuse issues to light. “Civil legal aid, which provides free legal assistance and representation to low-income people facing non-criminal legal issues, is a potent tool to assist vulnerable seniors in securing proper health care and housing, to protect them from physical abuse and financial exploitation, and to get access to other benefits and services to help keep them solvent.”
The Washington Post reported the phenomenon of older adults being involuntarily evicted from nursing homes. Some argue that this is a form of abuse. “In California last year, more than 1,500 nursing home residents complained that they were discharged involuntarily. That’s an increase of 73 percent since 2011.”
Financial Advisor covered a conference sponsored by the Consumer Finance Institute and the Philadelphia Federal Reserve on “Aging, Cognitive, and Financial Health: Building a Robust System for Older Americans.” At the conference, it was stated that the costs of elder abuse may be as high as $36 billion annually, without taking into account the social costs.
Star Tribune writes a thorough piece on the surge of elder abuse in Minnesota senior care homes, and governmental neglect. “Every year, hundreds of residents at senior care centers around the state are assaulted, raped or robbed in crimes that leave lasting trauma and pain for the victims and their families. Yet the vast majority of these crimes are never resolved, and the perpetrators never punished, because state regulators lack the staff and expertise to investigate them. And thousands of complaints are simply ignored.”
Research, Resources & Policy
Each Field Report, we feature a roundup of new and relevant resources, research and policy for elder justice practitioners.
NYCEAC organized a campaign to help counter isolation of older adults during the holiday season. We also compiled 15 helpful resources for you to continue #counteringisolation in 2018.
The U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging issued a report, America’s Aging Workforce: Opportunities and Challenges, which covers ageism in the workplace and how to address this discrimination. “The challenges facing older workers, and older Americans who want to work, are abundant —ranging from age discrimination to employers’ unaccommodating workspaces and work schedules to deficiencies in training.”
The National Clearinghouse on Abuse in Later Life is offering an informative 5-module webinar series in the 2018 discussing elder abuse for legal professionals. Module 1 begins January 25, 2018.
Weill Cornell is soliciting applicants for the T32 Research Fellowship, one of the first formal research training programs in the US focusing on geriatric mood disorders.
The National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) and the FrameWorks Institute have created two PSA videos featuring practical solutions in preventing and addressing elder abuse, titled Strengthening the Structure of Justice to Prevent Elder Abuse. They created a brief version (1:24), for sharing on social media, and a slightly longer version (3:24) for sharing through professional networks.
In early 2018, FINRA (the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority) will enact two rules to assist brokers with addressing financial exploitation of the elderly. “These rules will allow brokers to address situations in which they suspect exploitation by, among other things, permitting brokers to bring in a third-party that the broker can contact if there is a problem contacting the customer.”
A new study focuses on social integration of older adults and how social support has preventative benefits against elder abuse. “This study shows that elder mistreatment has a long lasting impact on a range of health and mental health issues, but the level of social support someone perceives to have in their life seems to be protective against the effects of elder abuse. It is particularly striking that social support shows these effects even when taking into account various demographic factors, meaning that these protective effects could potentially apply across a diverse range of individuals.” This research summary is part of a series sponsored by the National Adult Protective Services Association (NAPSA) and the National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (NCPEA) joint Research Committee.
Elder abuse has roots in ageism. NYCEAC is committed to changing the way aging is perceived. For more information about ageism and to view additional resources, please visit our Countering Ageism webpage. These are some of the items we read in November and December that confront ageism prejudices.
The Boston Globe featured the company RetirementJobs.com, and its efforts to connect older adults in the workforce with aging-friendly work environments. The piece discusses the website’s program to vet and certify “age-friendly” employers, a program that has been recognized by the US Senate Special Committee on Aging and by AARP.
This article discusses ageism, how to break negative stereotypes of older adults, and the benefits of doing so. “In a 2016 study…exposing older adults to subliminal positive messages about aging several times over the course of a month improved their mobility and balance — crucial measures of physical function.”
The New York Times featured this opinion piece discussing the intersection of ageism and discrimination against those who use wheelchairs.
“Older people report higher levels of contentment or well-being than teenagers and young adults.” The New York Times follows the lives of six older adults and what behaviors and thought patterns lead to higher levels of happiness.
A follow-up to the series this author has published following six 85 year-old New Yorkers since 2015. Spending time reporting on this group of older adults offered the greatest of rewards. “I became more patient, less anxious, more capable of loving, less afraid of death and decline. Which is to say, more like an old person. And grateful for it.”
Conferences, Trainings & Events
Find upcoming events for elder justice professionals on our regularly updated online Events Calendar.