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This blog features a round up of elder justice related news items released in May 2013.
Elder Justice Coordinating Council (EJCC) Proposes Federal Actions to Address Elder Abuse, Exploitation and Neglect: Assistant Secretary for Aging Kathleen Greenlee led the EJCC’s second meeting that reviewed the Elder Justice Working Group (EJWG)’s nine recommendations for federal action to address elder abuse, exploitation and neglect. Recommendations aim to improve the response to elder abuse issues and highlight elder abuse awareness and intervention.
Proposed Senate Legislation to Bolster Elder Abuse Oversight: Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and John Cornyn (R-TX) proposed The Court-Appointed Guardian Accountability and Senior Protection Act, which would provide support to states to implement programs to improve oversight and accountability for legal guardians of older adults. Senator Klobuchar said, “Seniors deserve to live their lives safe from abuse and mistreatment,” and, “This legislation would help increase accountability and oversight of guardians and protect those who are most vulnerable.”
Department of Justice Releases Elder Abuse PSA: In this 30-second public awareness video, the Department of Justice (DOJ) highlights the risk of elder financial exploitation by family members, caregivers, and strangers. The DOJ recommends that anyone suspecting elder financial abuse contact the Eldercare Locator or the National Adult Protective Services Association for immediate assistance. The PSA was created as a part of the National Crime Victim’s Rights Week curriculum.
Updated Report on Elder Abuse Initiative from the GAO: The latest report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that the federal government has taken some crucial steps towards combating elder financial exploitation, but could be doing more. The GAO’s recommendations for further action included inter-departmental public awareness campaigns and collaborative efforts between the DOJ and state law enforcement to combat mass marketing scams targeting older adults.
- The GAO’s findings were presented before the House Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade, Committee on Energy and Commerce. Read the full testimony here.
Elder Financial Exploitation Key Issue In Government Report: The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN)’s latest Suspicious Activity Report (SAR) – Trends, Tips & Issues focuses on elder financial exploitation in honor of Older Americans Month. Featuring a message from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Officer of Older Americans, this report also offers updated guidelines and terminology for understanding elder financial abuse.
Author Harper Lee Accuses Her Agent of Financial Abuse: from Bloomberg News: Author Harper Lee, known for her Pulitzer Prize winning novel “To Kill a Mockingbird,” has filed a complaint against her agent over her royalties. Lee’s agent is accused of financially abusing the elderly author, who has since retained copyright of her novel.
STATE AND LOCAL NEWS (New York State and New York City)
Governor Cuomo to Sign Out of State Guardianship Law?: The New York State Assembly and New York State Senate passed the New York State Uniform Adult Guardianship and Protective Proceedings Act, which is currently awaiting authorization from the New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. Also known as the “Uniform Act,” this bill will simplify the current law, making it easier for individuals living out of state to act as guardians to their older parents and family members.
ELDER ABUSE IN THE MEDIA
Aging and Abuse 5-Part Segment from WAMU 88.5FM: American University Radio’s five-part series examines the complexities of elder abuse in greater Washington, DC, focusing on barriers to elder abuse prevention and intervention:
- Elderly Couple’s Tale of Abuse Not So Uncommon
- The Uphill Battle to End Elder Abuse
- Managing Nursing Home Complaints
- Financial Exploitation of Elder Difficult to Detect
- House Calls Can Be a Better Option for Some Seniors
3 Things You Need to Know About Sequestration and Cuts to Federal Public-Safety Programs from The Center for American Progress: Outlining the anticipated funding cuts from the recently approved federal Sequestration to the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA), this piece examines how this potential funding reduction could impact the grant programs supporting VOCA elder abuse services.
NYCEAC AND OUR PARTNERS IN THE NEWS
Eighth Annual New York City Elder Abuse Conference this June 5th: The NYC Elder Abuse Center is one of the co-sponsors for The Eighth Annual New York City Elder Abuse Conference this June 5th from 8:00am to 3:30pm at The New School Institute for Retired Professionals, at 66 West 12th Street, New York, NY. Several NYCEAC partners, along other New York City organizations, are co-sponsoring the event.
Abuse May Be Common, But Often Hard to Quantify from Pollstar.com: Beginning with research from both New York state and Weill Cornell Medical College on elder abuse in New York, this piece looks at the need for a national clearing house for elder abuse data and research.
- Jean Callahan, Esq., MSW, Executive Director of the Brookdale Center for Healthy Aging at Hunter College and an NYCEAC partner, is quoted in the article, saying: “[Elder abuse is] wildly underreported. People in nursing homes are generally less capable than those out in the communities of speaking up for themselves.”
by Alexandra Pearson, Communications Specialist, NYCEAC