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NCEA Blog

NCEA Blog

The NCEA Blog is updated regularly with posts from contributing authors and new publications from the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA). s. If you have ideas for future blog post to share with us, reach out to us via the Contact Us page.

Blogs

  • July 30, 2020
    Without Rites of Passage, What Does the Future Hold for Young Adults and Their Older Counterparts?

    Throughout our lives, we experience rites of passage to indicate the end of one phase of development and the beginning of the next. Our rites are now in limbo, due to the emergence of COVID-19. This ambiguity is enhanced and exasperated for younger adults. Rites of passage include three phases: separation, liminality, and incorporation. Separation: In 2020, as pandemic victims died, many unnecessarily, spring-break celebrations segued to semi-permanent separations; and students began defaulting on loans after losing jobs, income, and confidence.

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    May 27, 2020
    Confronting Ageism, Racism, and Abuse in Later Life During COVID-19

    Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, older adult victims of crime and abuse experienced unique challenges and systemic barriers to accessing healing and justice services. The pandemic has exacerbated these barriers and created new challenges for older survivors in addition to the added stress and trauma of being higher risk for contracting and suffering from COVID-19.

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    May 15, 2020
    Learning from each other - Responding to Elder Abuse in Australia

    The abuse of our elders is a serious human rights issue. I hear harrowing stories of elder abuse each week; stories of people being pressured for money by their family, losing their entire life savings, suffering physical or sexual abuse and having their medication stolen. We grapple with common issues internationally to address elder abuse. The drivers and manifestations of abuse are similar, as are the challenges in responding and preventing abuse. As it is in the United States, financial abuse is the most common form of elder abuse in Australia, most often perpetrated by the victim’s son or daughter.

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  • May 08, 2020
    The Importance of Connectedness amid COVID-19

    Nearly one year ago, Sydney Miller received her undergraduate degree in nursing. The 24-year-old Los Angeles native had been a natural caregiver since childhood, showering attention on her younger siblings, helping her mother with chores, and devotedly tending to her aging grandparents. Becoming a nurse had been a dream since childhood. Her accelerated 15-month nursing program at New York University (NYU) entailed long hours of didactic instruction, clinical practice, and study.

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    April 15, 2020
    Older Adult Support for Elder Abuse Victims

    There is rising awareness that the number and complexity of abuses against the elderly is growing significantly. Whether they’re the victims of financial abuse or mistreatment at the hands of family members, strangers, or professionals, we know that older adults who have been exploited find it difficult to regain their sense of trust and security. This grim reality leaves us wondering how does one really help prevent, and hopefully end, the victimization of these vulnerable citizens? I strongly recommend engaging the services of Senior Corps volunteers serving across the nation.

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  • March 26, 2020
    The Third Tamkin Symposium on Elder Abuse: Propelling the Field through Personal Connections, Research, and Practice

    It’s hard to believe with the proliferation of the COVID-19 pandemic wending its way across the globe and into our lives, that just three short weeks ago elder abuse researchers, practitioners, and advocates convened in a communal embrace at the Tamkin Symposium in Pasadena, California. As current health protocols mandate, today we are increasingly insulated from colleagues and community. Conference discussions that centered on the threat of social isolation have given way to social distancing in our new daily reality.

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    March 16, 2020
    World Elder Abuse Awareness Day: Using the Past to Re-Write the Future

    World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) is celebrating its 15th anniversary in 2020! This milestone, and this new decade, gives us pause to consider what we have done, where we are going, and if we are making a difference. We know the creativity and energy of WEAAD have impacted the awareness of elder mistreatment worldwide and this is reassuring.

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  • February 19, 2020
    A Massachusetts Model – Partnering with Persons with a Disability to Address Crimes and Ensure Meaningful Access to Services

    In the late 1990s, after a series of high-profile criminal cases involving victims with an intellectual and developmental disability (I/DD), a group of interested professionals in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts collectively found themselves in a position of introspection. Was the Commonwealth delivering to its citizens with a disability equal access and justice under the law?

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  • January 16, 2020
    Using Asset Forfeiture to Compensate Victims

    The Department of Justice (Department) Asset Forfeiture Program (Program) plays a critical role in disrupting and dismantling illegal enterprises, depriving criminals of the proceeds of illegal activity, deterring crime, and restoring property to victims.One of the four primary goals of the Department’s Program is to recover assets that may be used to compensate victims when authorized under federal law. See The Attorney General’s Guidelines on the Asset Forfeiture Program (2018), §§ II, V.D.

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  • November 27, 2019
    Coordinated response to help tribal elder victims of abuse needed: How do we address limited community services and supports?

    As a member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa I am proud to live and celebrate my heritage every day. I appreciate the recognition and awareness that Native American Heritage month brings, though the many issues faced by tribal elders deserve ongoing focus every month.

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  • November 21, 2019
    A Stepping Off Point: Where Does Ageism Fit Into Conversations About Elder Abuse in Tribal Communities?

    I recently had the opportunity to review The International Association for Indigenous Aging (IA2) needs assessment examining barriers to screening and management of elder abuse cases by tribal health care providers.

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  • November 01, 2019
    Health Providers Have Desire & Opportunity to Intervene in Cases of Elder Abuse Among American Indian and Alaska Native Patients, But Lack Knowledge and Training: Findings From A New Report

    November marks the observance of Native American Heritage month--an opportunity to recognize the storied history, diversity, and contributions of American Indians and Alaska Natives (AIANs) in the United States. The month also provides the opportunity to recognize the significant challenges Native people, especially elders, have faced. Elders are considered by many tribes as the keepers of tribal knowledge. Conventional wisdom, both within

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  • October 01, 2019
    Come Out as an LGBT Elder Justice Ally

    “All people, regardless of age or ability, have the right to live their lives with justice, dignity, and respect, free from abuse of any kind. (ACL) The keywords here are “ALL people,” not some. I call attention to this quote because historically, LGBT people have been invisible to systems of elder justice. Several years ago I attended a presentation on elder abuse and neglect. As I listened to the panel, it became clear. The experiences of isolation, verbal harassment, and neglect of LGBT people by caregivers is elder abuse and neglect. I asked the panel how we could better educate the LGBT community about elder abuse and neglect and encourage

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  • September 04, 2019
    Important Findings from the NCEA Resource Line

    The Han Research Lab at the University of Southern California, Department of Family Medicine, recently published findings in the Journal of Applied Gerontology that summarized the types of calls and contacts made to the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) resource line over a nearly three-year period. The study garnered significant media attention, and is novel because it is the first to describe call types to the NCEA resource line. Other studies have characterized elder abuse using different data sources, including national surveys and calls made to Adult Protective Services (APS). Study findings are consistent with others, which have found financial abuse to be the most commonly reported type of

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  • August 01, 2019
    Financial Abuse Program Focus: San Mateo County’s Elder and Dependent Adult Protection Team

    Like most communities in Silicon Valley, San Mateo County (California) is a wonderful place to live and work. We have diverse recreational opportunities, lots of natural beauty, a thriving economy and a healthy housing market all in less than 750 square miles. Just south of San Francisco and north of San Jose, it is an ideal place to raise a family, which many are choosing to do – or grow older here. By 2030, the number of older people in San Mateo County is expected to increase by 70% -  and Adult Protective Services (APS) has received an increasing number of abuse reports as the community ages.

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  • June 28, 2019
    Paving the Way to Improved Charting: Geriatric Injury Documentation Tool

    Keck School of Medicine of USC, University of Southern California, Dept. of Family Medicine and Geriatrics, Alhambra Health care providers in all settings evaluate older adults with evidence of physical injury. For approximately 10% of these patients, the injury may be linked to some form of elder abuse or neglect. However, it is often not always apparent during the initial medical encounter that the injury could be connected to abuse. In fact, it may be weeks, months or even years later that abuse is suspected. When physical injuries are not considered suspicious, they are usually not documented in any detail, if at all, in the medical chart. 

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  • April 01,2019
    Adult Protective Services Abuse Registry National Report

    Over half the states (26) now have abuser registries for perpetrators of elder and vulnerable adult abuse. In 2016, NAPSA’s Regional Representatives Advisory Board created a volunteer ad hoc committee which examined abuser registries in detail and produced the first-ever, comprehensive report on this recent trend. [1] To be considered, a state registry had to fit the following definition: “a system for maintaining the identity of individuals who are found, only as a result of an APS investigation, to have abused, neglected or exploited seniors or adults (18 and older) with disabilities living in the community or in a facility.” Registries in 26 states met these criteria; of those, 21

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  • March 04,2019
    Opioids and Elder Abuse: A Disquieting Connection

    Older adults are an important but frequently forgotten generation that is affected by the opioid crisis in America.  As a group, older adults often have multiple chronic conditions and endure high rates of chronic pain. Opioids and related prescription and non-prescription drugs are frequently the treatment of choice for these individuals. Further, the opioid crisis has harmed older adults through the addiction of their children, grandchildren, and others who rely on them for money, child care, food, shelter, and the like. Directly or inadvertently, older adults may be stripped of their resources and quality of life because of the struggles of those around them—and may be highly susceptible to elder

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  • February 14,2019
    Dear Readers: Online Romance Scams

    Dear Readers, During the month of February, our thoughts turn to Valentine’s Day and feeling connected.  The internet is a great way to explore, but we caution you to use your mind and protect your heart. Have you ever received questionable alerts or notifications in your email or social media accounts that have caused you to raise an eyebrow? Follow your instincts.  Did you know that when you are online, looking to socialize, network or date, that scammers may be scoping you out through matchmaking, social networking and professional sites? For those of us who are open and looking for love, realize that relationship building takes time.   Understand that there

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  • February 01,2019
    Shelter and the Coordinated Community Response to Elder Abuse: A Growing Global Movement 

    They came from communities throughout the country. Some were social workers, some lawyers, some nursing home administrators, as well as a variety of other professional backgrounds. Some had years of experience working with older adults, while others brought different types of expertise to a new field. They had come together to attend the fifth annual Symposium of the SPRiNG Alliance, the national network for the rapidly expanding elder abuse shelter movement, held in May 2018 at the Family Justice Center in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Founded by the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Center for Elder Justice at the Hebrew Home at Riverdale, which opened its doors as the first elder abuse shelter

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  • December 03,2018
    NAMRS: What It Is and Why You Should Care

    Data collection among Adult Protective Services (APS) programs across the U.S. is extremely important. Without knowledge of how vast the problem is, it is nearly impossible to determine adequate funding for victim services, prevention, and administration. A single year’s snapshot of the number of victims reported to APS provides a picture of that period in time, but without data on the years before and after it’s impossible to measure trends. Studies regarding APS data on clients and programs and the need for collection of national data have been completed over the years. In 2000 and 2004, surveys of APS programs were conducted by National Center on Elder Abuse partners. These

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  • October 30 2018
    The Changing Landscape of Elder Abuse Prosecutions: A 22-Year Journey 

    Recently retired prosecutor at San Diego DA’s office and now a consultant and trainer on criminal elder abuse issues.

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  • October 15 2018
    Animal Cruelty and Interpersonal Violence: Making the Connection

    During October’s National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, victim advocates, adult protective service caseworkers, animal control officers, and other first responders have a unique opportunity to raise awareness and develop multidisciplinary teams to prevent and respond to all forms of violence.

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  • October 01 2018
    Celebrating Domestic Violence Awareness Month

    As the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) is set to expire, many across our movement have worked tirelessly toward the Reauthorization of VAWA which create critical enhancements to the law and improve how we can respond to domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking across the nation.

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  • September 06 2018
    Turning Voices into Action Against Elder Abuse: The Power of Sharing Your Story

    We hear the statistics, but hearing an account from an actual survivor of elder abuse gives one an entirely different understanding of the crisis that is plaguing our society. We tend to forget that each person who has experienced elder abuse is not just a number or part of a statistic, but someone’s grandmother, grandfather, mother, father, neighbor, or dear friend; a person with a unique voice who has experienced a horrific violation of their dignity.

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  • July 19 2018
    Missouri’s APS Response to the Opioid Crisis

    We have all seen the headlines about the opioid epidemic sweeping the nation. The issue is a national priority. With a focus on the topic and how to combat the problem, sometimes it is easy to forget that the problem has a face and a real impact on our communities. Missouri’s Division of Senior and Disability Services prioritized the issue in 2018 by initiating efforts to identify the scope of the problem, how it is affecting the lives of those we serve, and strategies to assist individuals and communities with healing.

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  • June 13 2018
    You’ve Worked Hard for the Money — Now protect it!

    Most of us work hard to save and plan for our retirement. But there are people who work just as hard to take it away from us. Who are they? Phone scammers. We must educate ourselves about the ways of scammers to protect ourselves and those we love.

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  • April 24 2018
    #CountMeToo: Elder Sexual Assault

    Over the past year, the ascendance of the #MeToo movement has given voice to women violated by sexual assault, permeating our collective conscious and imbuing April, Sexual Assault Awareness Month, with renewed consequence. Despite the inclusiveness of this righteous campaign, sexually abused older women in nursing homes have been overlooked in the national discourse. These elder victims who are silenced by illness, vulnerability and confinement must be counted, and their stories heard.

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  • February 28 2018
    The Finance, Cognition, and Health in Elders Study: Toward Preventing Financial Exploitation of Older Adults

    Why is financial exploitation so common in the elderly population? Why do some older adults fare better than others when making financial decisions? What factors protect or place one at greater risk of being financially exploited? These are just some of the questions that a multidisciplinary team of investigators hope to answer through the Finance, Cognition, and Health in Elders Study (FINCHES) being carried out through USC’s Department of Family Medicine.

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  • January 12 2018
    Older Americans are the Key to Elder Justice

    The 1960s were a tumultuous time, filled with activism and passion. Human rights, the expression of equality and acceptance were common themes. People marched, conducted “sit ins” and collaborated to have their voices heard and to turn the public’s attention to equality and justice. Sound familiar?

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  • December 27 2017
    Free Resources Available from CFPB’s Office for Older Americans

    The CFPB’s Office for Older Americans works to improve financial security for people 62 and older. We have resources to help those who serve older adults and their financial caregivers. We work on a mix of policy, research, and educational initiatives designed to help protect older consumers from financial harm and to help older Americans make sound decisions with their money as they age.

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  • November 02, 2017
    Boots on the Ground – Fighting Financial Abuse of Elder Veterans

    Financial abuse is the most common form of elder mistreatment in the United States, rendering hundreds of thousands of victims financially and emotionally devastated each year. Financial predators often target specific populations and communities. 

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  • August 01, 2017
    Putting Elder Abuse on the Public Agenda

    Advocates working on elder abuse face a communications problem. The public discourse around violence and abuse has changed dramatically in recent decades, especially with respect to women and children. Older people and abuse, however, are largely left out of these conversations. 

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  • March 07, 2017
    Financial Fraud in Later Life: A Growing Epidemic

    Older adults hold about a third of the nation’s wealth, yet lose billions every year to scams and fraud. Many older adults have painstakingly acquired financial savings over a lifetime of hard work, and in later life the opportunities and resources are limited to recuperate financial losses. Because of this, scams and fraud can have a particularly devastating impact in later life. 

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  • February 27, 2017
    A Unique Model to Addressing Guardianship

    Our second guardianship story is based on an interview with Jean Callahan, the Attorney-in-Charge of the Brooklyn Neighborhood Office of the Legal Aid Society, and previously served as the Director of The Guardianship Project at the Vera Institute of Justice. 

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  • February 20, 2017
    Living into Guardianship 

    The National Center on Elder Abuse asked various types of guardians to share their experience of being a guardian and offer advice for other guardians. We are delighted to share the first of two stories. 

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  • February 01, 2017
    Abuse by Guardians? Reflections on the New GAO Report

    The Report acknowledges the spectrum of kinds of abuse, but states that “financial exploitation is among the more common types.” The Report focuses on elders because it was requested by the Senate Committee on Aging — yet we know that a substantial but undocumented proportion of guardianship cases involve younger adults with disabilities. 

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  • January 04, 2017
    The Launch of the Multi-disciplinary Team Technical Assistance Center

    On October 25, 2016, the Elder Justice Initiative launched the elder abuse case review multidisciplinary team technical assistance center (MDT TAC). The mission of the MDT TAC is to provide tools, resource materials, and individualized consultations to facilitate the expansion of elder abuse case review multidisciplinary teams across the nation. 

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  • December 05, 2016
    Don’t let holiday giving give you the holiday blues!

    As the holidays approach, you may be thinking about making gifts to help people in need or to support other causes you believe in. If you’re considering a request for a donation to a charity over the holidays, consider doing some research before you give. By finding out as much as you can about the charity, you can avoid fraudsters who try to take advantage of your generosity. Here are tips to help make sure your charitable contributions don’t go to a scammer. 

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    November 01, 2016
    Protecting Those Who Have Protected Us-Fighting Veterans Claim Fraud and Abuse 

    “Is it necessary or worth it to use an attorney or some other professional group to assist in claiming VA benefits.” The true answer is yes, this can be beneficial as long as the veteran understands how to proceed. However, there are many groups out there who are just trying to scam a veteran out of their money.

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  • October 01, 2016
    “Medicare Fraud Is a Crime Against Seniors and the Disabled”

    Medicare only covers durable medical equipment (DME) that is medically necessary with a doctor’s prescription. Scammers, however, hope you don’t know that. They just want your Medicare number to bill Medicare for equipment you never receive, or to bill Medicare for much more expensive equipment than you receive. 

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  • September 08, 2016
    Along the Road to Elder Justice 

    As the NCEA begins its third fiscal year at the Keck School of Medicine of USC, we need to pay homage to the innovators of the Elder Justice Roadmap. This publication definitely laid out the issues, questions, and potential solutions relating to Elder Abuse in 2014. I am struck by how far we have come and how much further we have to go. All of us should continue to utilize this tool as we continue our journey. 

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    August 01, 2016
    What is a Guardian Supposed to Do, Anyway?

    We’ve all heard of good, bad and mediocre guardians. We’ve seen the press stories raging about exploitive guardians. There are no statistics, yet we know that guardian practice ranges from the heroic to the sufficient to the deficient to the abusive – it’s the proportions that are not clear. But encountering a guardian up close and personal – or being one, or having one – makes you want to reach for a yardstick to see how well the guardian measures up. Or at least to have a framework for thinking about it.

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  • July 11, 2016
    Asking the Hard Questions About Elder Abuse and Finding the Answers

    The fact is that there are direct and indirect victims: it is clear that each case of abuse and neglect affects many more than one person. The loved ones of elder victims are traumatized as well, often wondering what they could have done differently and how they can help their loved one cope with their situation. 

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  • April 15, 2016
    The Solution to Elder Abuse

    Ever looked for your glasses only to find them perched up on your head? After years and years of seeking for solutions to elder abuse in all the wrong places it has finally presented itself. 

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  • March 06, 2016
    Undue Influence: Prevention, Protection, Prosecution

    In 2014 California legislation became effective to define undue influence (Probate Code §86, Welfare and Institutions Code §15410.70) for civil proceedings as, Undue influence means excessive persuasion that causes another person to act or refrain from acting by overcoming that person’s free will and results in inequity. In determining whether a result was produced by undue influence, all of the following shall be considered: 1) vulnerability of the victim, 2) influencer’s apparent authority, 3) actions or tactics used by the influencer, and 4) equity of the result. 

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  • February 01, 2016
    Looking for Love…

    A person who could be isolated, alone and vulnerable like an older adult may be even more susceptible when it comes to making decisions involving matters of the heart. So in this month when the focus is on Valentine’s Day, our hearts, relationships, and the feeling of being in love- let us take a moment to explore how to protect ourselves and loved ones from something known as the Sweetheart Scam.

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  • January 04, 2016
    APS 101: What to Expect When Working with Adult Protective Services

    When someone speaks of “adult protective services” or “APS” they are typically referring to a state or county government agency that investigates reports abuse, neglect and exploitation of seniors and adults with a disability and provides protection to the victims. 

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  • December 23, 2015
    Our Holiday Gift for You-New Materials for the New Year

    Dementia and elder abuse: As a civilized society, these are terms that should not ever occur in the same sentence, yet they do and with great regularity. As I travel home from visiting a relative that I haven’t seen for the past year, I am struck with the profound sadness and odd pleasure that perhaps I can help to make the journey that lays ahead a bit less chaotic, a bit more predictable, but mostly, more dignified by personal agency to the extent possible. 

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  • December 01, 2015
    Beware of Scams Targeting Older People During the Holidays

    The CFPB’s Office for Older Americans is working to provide older consumers and their families with the tools and information they need to protect themselves from frauds and scams. 

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  • November 01, 2015
    Addressing Cognitive Capacity and Elder Abuse

    Dementia and elder abuse: As a civilized society, these are terms that should not ever occur in the same sentence, yet they do and with great regularity. As I travel home from visiting a relative that I haven’t seen for the past year, I am struck with the profound sadness and odd pleasure that perhaps I can help to make the journey that lays ahead a bit less chaotic, a bit more predictable, but mostly, more dignified by personal agency to the extent possible. 

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  • October 01, 2015
    Services for Older Victims of Abuse

    As the nation turns its attention to matters surrounding domestic violence in the month of October, we thought we would like to explore this issue further. Laura Mosqueda,M.D. Director of the National Center on Elder Abuse, and Bonnie Brandl, MSW, Director of the National Clearinghouse on Abuse in Later Life, examine the issue. 

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  • September 01, 2015
    My Husband the Scam Victim

    In this blog we share with you the schemes and scams frauds and cons use to steal money and information from the elderly. We will cover the latest tricks used to coerce elders into believing it is necessary for them to give out personal information. 

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