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) news and resource roundup blog, The Field Guide. We’ve selected and analyzed pertinent articles and resources relevant to elder justice professionals for May and June 2017. If you would like to share a news item or resource with us, please contact us at email@example.com or via our Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn.
Special World Elder Abuse Awareness Day Roundup
World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) was launched June 15, 2006 by the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse and the World Health Organization at the United Nations to draw attention to the international elder abuse crisis. In honor of WEAAD 2017, we added a special section this month featuring interesting WEAAD content produced by elder justice organizations.
This year, NYCEAC celebrated World Elder Abuse Awareness Day by highlighting organizations, campaigns, and efforts worldwide dedicated to helping older adults and preventing elder abuse. We carefully curated a list of 11 organizations in 11 countries around the world that are working on issues of elder abuse through policy, education, research and services.
For World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, NYCEAC’s MDT Coordinator, Peg Horan, LMSW, interviewed Brooklyn’s Acting District Attorney Eric Gonzalez and Michelle Weber, Chief, Brooklyn DA’s Office’s Elder Abuse Unit. Check in at 2:49 to hear what Acting DA Gonzalez thinks it will take to truly protect Brooklyn’s older adults for elder abuse. View the interview on Facebook!
The Department of Justice released a statement in support of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day: “On World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, our nation joins the world in voicing our opposition to elder abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation. On this day, the Department of Justice extends its support to elder victims and their loved ones, recognizing with gratitude those who have committed their lives to protecting older Americans, and affirms its unwavering commitment to combatting elder mistreatment in all its forms.”
The Administration for Community Living compiled photos from WEAAD commemorations around the world, including young students taking a stand, lighting towers with purple (the official color of WEAAD), discussion panels and more. View them here.
University of Southern California Center of Elder Mistreatment created a page for WEAAD that describes elder abuse and WEAAD generally, provides tips, information, and shares WEAAD events worldwide.
Two organizations, the National Center on Elder Abuse and Ageless Alliance, teamed up to spread awareness on elder abuse and WEAAD with their “Finish This Sentence” campaign. Individuals were encouraged to finish the following sentence, “We build strong supports for elders by…” and share. on social media.
In honor of WEAAD, older adult women spoke out in a new HelpAge International report, drawing attention to the intersections of discrimination and violence against women and elder abuse. “Women from across 19 countries and in varying social and economic situations reported discrimination in different areas of their lives, including employment, health care and accessing financial services.”
The Canadian Network for Prevention of Elder Abuse produced a photo roundup of the highlights of WEAAD 2017.
Trending Topics in the News
The elder justice news stories below were covered on mainstream press and shared widely through social media.
This Washington Post article explores under-reporting of elder abuse, the potential solutions for detecting and preventing elder abuse, as well as how elder abuse effects the most vulnerable older adults in the country. “According to the Justice Department, 10 percent of seniors are abused each year, with only 1 out of every 23 cases reported. The most likely victims are women, people with cognitive impairments, people without relatives, those with disabilities and those who are ill-housed, poor, physically weak or socially isolated.”
In recognition of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) on June 15, Forbes published this article in which several experts on elder abuse discuss common elder abuse myths.
The Boston Globe reports on the growing trend of elder financial abuse and how technology provides unique opportunities to exploit older adults. “Increasingly, the Internet and social media are playing a role as well, said Terence McGinnis, the state’s commissioner of banks.”
In Idaho, “The Commission on Aging says one in 10 people over the age of 50 is the victim of abuse, and half of all men and women suffering from dementia are abused. The abuse can happen in a senior living facility, but the Nampa Family Justice Center says most times, family members are the perpetrators.”
Research, Resources & Policy
Each Field Report, we feature a roundup of new and relevant resources, research and policy for elder justice practitioners.
An article published in Emergency Medicine in May 2017 highlights the groundbreaking work being conducted at New York-Presbyterian Hospital in NYC, with Weill Cornell Medicine and the NYC Elder Abuse Center. “When treating older adults, it is critically important for Emergency Physicians and the Emergency Department staff to consider and identify elder abuse in the differential diagnosis. Presently, only an estimated 1 in 24 cases of abuse is recognized and reported to the authorities, and much of the subsequent morbidity and mortality of elder abuse results from poor detection.”
On World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, The New York Attorney General’s office launched this excellent resource to help safeguard older adults from financial abuse and exploitation.
Grants and Research Opportunities
The National Institute of Health is soliciting applications proposing research that can lead to advancements in the understanding of elder mistreatment.
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 May and June that confront ageism prejudices.
This interesting article discusses how ageism has not caught up with the dominant conversations around other -isms.
This winter, during global fashion weeks in New York, Paris, London and Milan, 21 models over age 50 walked runways. Additionally, advertising has begun targeting older adults as customers. Both of these steps add to the greater and more diverse representation of older adults. “An estimated 50 percent of the U.S. population is expected to hit 50 years of age or older this year…this group is expected to control 70 percent of disposable income in the U.S. by the end of 2017.”
Conferences, Trainings & Events
Find upcoming events for elder justice professionals on our regularly updated online Events Calendar.