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 September and October 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.
The New Yorker featured an article looking at risks and causes of elder financial abuse committed by guardians. “In the United States, a million and a half adults are under the care of guardians, either family members or professionals, who control some two hundred and seventy-three billion dollars in assets.”
Eight older adults tragically died at nursing homes in the wake of Hurricane Irma. The Huffington Post discusses the current forced arbitration clauses making it “nearly impossible it is to bring legal cases against reckless Florida nursing home owners, allowing abuse and neglect to continue with impunity.”
Social isolation increases the risk of and is a potential impact of elder abuse as well as increases the risk of early death. Loneliness is highest in people age 80 and older according to a 2016 study from University of Chicago. “Some experts say programs are needed at the national, regional and local levels to teach people about loneliness and health, and to destigmatize the problem, so that people will seek help.”
The National Law Review covers the epidemic of elder abuse in nursing homes and the problem detecting and reporting this abuse. According to a recent audit, “Out of the 134 cases involving suspected sexual or physical abuse, 28 percent appeared to not have been reported to law enforcement agencies as there was nothing in the hospital records indicating that reports had been made.”
Elder abuse through social media is a growing concern in nursing homes, and is on the rise. This abuse may include nursing home staff taking inappropriate photos or videos of older adults and sharing on Instagram, Facebook, or Snapchat. According to ProPublica, “there have been 65 documented cases of inappropriate social media posts by employees since 2012, but it’s presumed this is a fraction of all posts of this graphic nature.”
CNN’s high-profile investigation about Nudexta’s tactics brought elder abuse and exploitation to the front page. Nuedexta, a pill created to treat the rare pseudobulbar affect has had huge financial success due to “a sales force focused on expanding the drug’s use among elderly patients suffering from dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, and high-volume prescribing and advocacy efforts by doctors receiving payments from the company.”
Research, Resources & Policy
Each Field Report, we feature a roundup of new and relevant resources, research and policy for elder justice practitioners.
President Trump signed S.178, Senators Grassley and Blumenthal’s Elder Abuse Prevention and Prosecution Act of 2017 into law.
This Elder Abuse Research Review features the latest primary and secondary literature related to elder abuse in the United States. The NCEA is dedicated to disseminating peer-reviewed research as it is published to highlight current literature and identify gaps to inform policy and practice in the field.
A solicitation from the OVW for the Abuse in Later Life Program.
The Ponca Tribe recently received a $17,148 Elder Abuse Innovation Grant Award. The non-renewable grant allows the tribe to address elder abuse throughout its 15-county service area in Nebraska, Iowa and South Dakota.
In September, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a bill into law to help prevent elder abuse. The bill “directs New York State Office for Aging to develop guidelines to assist healthcare providers and others working in healthcare settings to identify suspected self-neglect, abuse and maltreatment of older adults.”
ACL awarded nearly $2.2 million in Elder Justice Innovation Grants to five non-profit organizations. The purpose of this funding is to support the development and advancement of emerging practices to prevent and respond to the abuse of older adults and adults with disabilities.
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 September and October that confront ageism prejudices.
Ageist stereotypes abound in movies and TV; that is, when older adults are not represented at all. “Researchers found that only 12 percent of the actors who were named or had speaking roles in Best Picture Oscar-nominated films over the past three years were 60 or older.” And when they are represented, “the study also found that senior characters were often the butt of jokes or shown as being ill, feeble or absentminded.”
This New York Times article addresses older adults, encouraging them to embrace one’s age and live one’s best life. The article offers advice to older adults on how to counter internalized attitudes about ageism.
This article breaks down how “casual ageism” is so prevalent in our culture that we may not even notice it.
Conferences, Trainings & Events
Find upcoming events for elder justice professionals on our regularly updated online Events Calendar.