Photo Courtesy of RambergMediaImages

Photo Courtesy of RambergMediaImages

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

National News
  • The United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) concluded in its report on their updated standards for abuse and neglect screenings of older or physically or mentally dysfunctional adults that current evidence is insufficient for assessing the balance between the benefits and harms of such services.  The Center for Disease Control recently stated that few studies have sought to measure the effectiveness of screening strategies in older adults.  According to the Geriatrics and Palliative Care Blog, further research on the benefits and harms of these screenings should focus on recognizing risk factors and carefully observing signs of abuse and neglect, and speaking with patients and caregivers (when appropriate) about injuries, hygiene standards, and quality of care.
  • The UC Irvine Center of Excellence on Elder Abuse & Neglect and the Institute on Aging developed the mobile app 368+ Elder & Dependent Adult Abuse Guide for CA Law Enforcement.
    • The app, which was reviewed by colleagues in law enforcement, civil law and medicine, features:
      • Warning signs of abuse, neglect and financial exploitation
      • Tips on memory loss and assessing injuries and bruises
      • Agency contacts for cross-reporting and victim assistance
      • Brief training videos
    • The app is available for iPhones, iPads, and Droids free of cost thanks to the support of The Archstone Foundation (a Partner of the NYC Elder Abuse Center), UniHealth Foundation, and the San Francisco Department on the Status of Women.
  • The Consumer Financial Protection (CFP) Board is channeling their 2013 initiative to target elder financial abuse through the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to increase the recognition of and regulation surrounding financial planning.
    • The CFPB and will submit recommendations to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Congress this spring on how to prevent the financial exploitation of older Americans.
    • The political move comes as the CFP Board tries to convince Congress to regulate financial planning and investment advice separately.
Local News (New York State and New York City)
  • Representatives James Tedisco and Senator Kathy Marichione are proposing legislation that would mandate New York senior facilities consult the sex offender registry for all employees.
  • Following the elder financial abuse of a woman by her daughter in Rochester, Olmstead County adult protective services are engaged in a criminal investigation.  Leaving her with $38,00 in unpaid medical bills, the victim’s daughter spent more than $40,000 of mother’s money.  Director of Community Services Paul Fleissner reports that the financial exploitation of vulnerable older adults in the county is on the rise.
  • Former DeKalb County Middle School employee Bobbie Neil Ward was charged with 21 counts of crimes against disabled and older adults and is facing decades in prison.
Elder Justice Reports from the Media
NYC Elder Abuse Center (NYCEAC) and Partners in the News
  • A Right Way and Wrong Way to Confront Elder Abuse from Forbes: In this piece from the Retirement section, author Howard Gleckman describes how centers like the Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Center for Elder Abuse Prevention at the Hebrew Home at Riverdale, an NYCEAC partner, successfully help elder abuse victims find safe places to live through collaborative efforts, involving medical care, government and non-profit organizations, legal assistance advisors, and various other service providers.
  • Aging America: Elder Abuse, Use of Shelters Rising from ABC News: The Associated Press reports that with elder abuse on the rise, the needs of victims are going unmet due to cuts in social services funding and a growing need for new resources on a local and state level.
    • Joy Solomon, an NYCEAC partner and pioneer behind the elder abuse shelters with the Weinberg Center for Elder Abuse Prevention at the Hebrew Home community in New York City, recommends getting ahead of the problem by funding preventative care and raising public awareness on the signs of elder abuse should be taken as a preliminary step.
    • NYCEAC is cited as a productive multi-organizational resource for the New York City and listed among other elder justice leaders in major cities across America.
    • The story was also reported by the NBC News Vitals Blog and The Huffington Post Impact Blog among many other local syndicated papers.
  • Graying City Means More Elder Abuse from City Limits: Following the devastation of Hurricane Sandy, the needs of vulnerable older adults and elder abuse victims has exceeded the resources available through social services, FEMA recovery funding, and local services.
    • Bobbie Sackman, Director of Public Policy for the Council of Senior Centers and Services of New York City and an NYCEAC partner, says New York City elder abuse prevention resources are severely under funded given the size of the territory and scope of the issue.
      • The full CUNY TV interview with Bobbie is available here.
    • Ken Onaitis, an NYCEAC partner and Director of the Elder Abuse and Police relations unit at the Carter Burden Center for the Aging, said elder abuse is one of the most underreported crimes due to the prevalence of abuse committed by family members and the shame and embarrassment endured by victims.
    • Evelyn Laureano, another NYCEAC partner and Executive Director of the Neighborhood Self-Help by Older Persons Project in the Bronx, describes the “new friend” scenario where an older adult becomes dependent on an abuser for care because they are seen as enabling their independence from a nursing home.
      • For more on the illustrious Dr. Laureano, check out NYCEAC’s recent blog post on her vision for the elder justice field.
    • The NYC Elder Abuse Center is described as a significant initiative in furthering the fight against elder abuse and better responding to the need of its victims.
  • Many a City’s Increased Elder Populous Means Increased Abuse from Ehline Law Firm PC: Michael P. Ehline, Esq. lays out some facts about elder abuse related issues in major American cities, overworked civil servants, underfunded senior centers, and various threats to vulnerable adults and elder abuse victims.
    • Bobbie Sackman, mentioned above, reported on the significance of the problem and need for increased funding and resources to meet the needs of vulnerable adults and elder abuse victims in the city.
  • Help for Elder-Abuse Victims from the United Federation of Teachers (UFT): The New York Teacher issue looks at the scope of elder abuse crimes and offers advice and preventative resources to vulnerable UFT retirees.
    • Sasha Greene, Director of UTF Retiree Social Services and an NYCEAC partner, is cited for working on five elder abuse cases involving UTF retirees.

Related Stories

A Round Up of Elder Justice News – December 2012

A Round Up of Elder Justice News – November 2012

by Alexandra Pearson, MA
Communication Specialist, NYCEAC

4 Responses to A Round Up of Elder Justice News – January 2013

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  4. Steven Sweat says:

    Thanks for keeping us updated! Protecting the elderly through the civil justice system is something we should all stay informed about!

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