|May 2005 | Volume 7 | No. 7
Policy & Legislation
Elder Justice Coalition Coordinator Robert Blancato reports that the coalition continues to wait for the introduction of the Elder Justice Act in the 109th Congress, but indications are that a bill will be introduced in June. Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) is expected to be the bill's lead author.
"Discussions between the coalition and several of its members with the staffs of Senator Hatch and Senator Blanche Lincoln (D-Arkansas) are continuing over a few remaining issues prior to introduction," Blancato said.
The theme of the 2005 White House Conference on Aging, to be held December 11-14, 2005 in Washington, DC, is "The Booming Dynamics of Aging: From Awareness to Action." The conference was originally scheduled to take place in October.
Names of WHCoA delegates nominated by the Governors, Members of Congress, and the National Congress of Indians are expected to be announced soon. The deadline for applications for WHCoA At-Large Delegates is June 1, 2005.
The President meanwhile has appointed 22 external experts to serve in an advisory role to the WHCoA Policy Committee. The next WHCoA Policy Committee meeting is scheduled for July 19-20, 2005.
More information about the Conference can be found at whcoa.gov
Advisory Committee Members List >> whcoa.gov/press/releases/2005/pr_051705.asp
"Financial Literacy throughout the Life Cycle"
The Center for Social Gerontology recently announced it has set up a new listserve called OAAreauth-talk for members of the aging network and policymakers. This is a private discussion forum dealing strictly with the OAA reauthorization. It costs nothing to join.
If you wish to join the list, send a note to [email protected] and simply write "subscribe" in the subject line.
On May 25, Michigan Governor Jennifer M. Granholm signed an executive order creating a task force to offer recommendations on ways to protect Michigan's senior citizens from abuse, fraud, neglect, and financial exploitation.
"Each year, an estimated 80,000 Michigan citizens aged 60 or older are the victims of financial fraud and physical abuse," the Governor said in a press statement. "This task force will help us develop a blueprint to ensure our most vulnerable citizens are protected."
The Michigan Task force on Elder Abuse is charged with identifying resources and changes in law that will assist in the prevention of elder abuse.
The directors of the Office of Services to the Aging, the Department of Community Health, the Department of Human Services, the Department of State Police, and the commissioner of the Office of Financial and Insurance Services will serve as non-voting members.
A final report must be presented to the Governor by May 31, 2006
Governors in several states signed proclamations this month recognizing the importance of elder abuse prevention. The following are a sample of the proclamations and public awareness resources:
Yolo County, Florida
Several years ago, the Vulnerable Elder Rights Protection title was created in the Older Americans Act to enhance and protect basic rights and benefits to vulnerable older persons. The overall intent was to create in every state a comprehensive elder rights advocacy system. With the creation of this title, the Congress brought together three important advocacy activities:
Working together, the long-term care ombudsmen, elder abuse prevention specialists, adult protective services workers, legal services developers, and legal providers can make a difference for all vulnerable older persons, including victims of elder abuse. This article will highlight some of the interventions and resources available to assist the victim of elder abuse with his or her civil legal assistance needs.
Legal Interventions and Resources
Many do not always think of collaborating with the legal assistance network, as too often the needs of the victim are not identified as "legal" in nature, or the legal issue is classified as a criminal matter that requires prosecution.
Criminal or civil prosecution of perpetrators should be sought, but there are other legal assistance avenues available to assist the victim as well. Possible legal interventions might include:
These are just a few of the legal avenues or interventions available to victims and their advocates through legal assistance programs. Of course, not all state programs work or are funded in the same manner, so it is best to look into the legal services network that exists in your state.
If the legal services system for older Americans in your state is not what you would like to see, start the process of building a system that includes the type of interventions listed above. Contact your state legal services developer for more information.
A legal services developer is the individual in each state who is responsible for providing leadership in developing legal assistance programs for persons 60 and older. Developers play a key role in assisting states in the development and the provision of a strong elder rights system. They provide oversight of the OAA Title III-B legal assistance programs, and assure that at-risk older people have access to the civil justice system.
The activities of legal providers and state legal services developers make a profound difference in the lives of the nation's most vulnerable seniors, enabling them to retain personal autonomy and remain living independently in the community. They assist in the prevention of many kinds of abuses against older people.
To find the legal services developer for your state, go to tcsg.org/lsd_01.pdf
For more resources, see the highlights box below.
- Deanna Clingan-Fischer, JD is Legal Services Developer, Iowa Department of Elder Affairs, and past chair of the National Association of Legal Services Developers. She can be reached at 200 10th Street, 3rd Floor, Des Moines, IA 50309, (515) 242-3319, or [email protected].
Legal Assistance to Vulnerable Older Americans
AoA Funded National Legal Resource Centers
Bar Associations & Lawyer Referral Networks
Selected Print Resources
- Compiled by Deanna Clingan-Fischer, JD, Legal Services Developer, Iowa Department of Elder Affairs
This is a special reprint of an article published by Central California Legal Services.
If careful investigation and assessment indicates that abuse has occurred, a variety of interventions can be initiated to recover assets and protect clients from further abuse. Here are some actions that legal services providers can take to help abused clients.
Misused bank accounts
Misuse of power of attorney
Stolen SSA, pension or annuity checks
Suspicious deed change on property (often in exchange for a promise of life care)
Misuse of client's cash
- Reprinted with permission of Central California Legal Services centralcallegal.org/
Central California Legal Services (CCLS) provides free legal assistance to low income families in California's Central Valley. Services range from advice-only to full representation in civil matters. Partial funding for CCLS comes from the Fresno-Madera Area Agency on Aging.
Find Out More About Financial Abuse
World Awareness Day sponsors and supporters include the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (INPEA), International Association on Gerontology, World Health Organization, International Federation of Aging, Help Age International, Pan American Health Organization, Subcommittee on Elder Abuse of the United Nations NGO Committee on Ageing, International Longevity Center (ILC-USA), National Center on Elder Abuse, AARP, Canadian Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse, and Ontario Seniors Secretariat/Government of Ontario, Canada.
To find out more about World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, go to >> www.INPEA.net.
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June 26-30, 2005
International Association on Gerontology (IAG)
18th World Congress of Gerontology
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Online registration >> gerontology2005.org.br/english/registration/index.asp
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The World Conference on the Prevention of Family Violence will be held October 23-27 in Banff, Alberta, Canada. The World Health Organization (WHO) is one of several co-sponsors.
The key conference topics are child abuse and neglect, intimate partner violence, and elder abuse.
Dr. Elizabeth Podnieks, International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse, Ontario, Canada will present on her work to raise the profile of elder abuse and recent research and initiatives in the field. Also presenting is Dr. Etienne Krug, Director, WHO Department of Injuries and Violence Prevention.
Six hundred conference seats will be reserved for Alberta registrants until June 6, 2005. After this date any remaining seats will open to all registrants, regardless of place of residence, on a first-come, first-served basis.
Online Registration >> wcpfv2005.ca/en_registration.cfm
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Check our Web site often for more dates and events elderabusecenter.org/default.cfm?p=conferencesevents.cfm
NCEA is pleased to announce its selection of six small projects to develop and test interventions for reaching underserved and isolated elders who are victims of or at-risk of elder abuse. Each grantee will receive approximately $5,000 for a 12-month period.
"This national effort to reach underserved and isolated elders is important because we know that most elder abuse is hidden away from the community," NCEA Director Sara Aravanis said. "We need these special initiatives in order to respond. We're hoping they turn out to be examples for other parts of the country that are facing the very same challenges."
The NCEA is grateful to all who sent in proposals. There were many strong applications, but not all could be funded. Of the 64 proposals submitted, the NCEA Partners selected six. The six grant awardees are:
For more information, contact Suzanne Stack, Program Associate, Elder Rights, National Association of State Units on Aging, [email protected].
As a resource to the research, policy, and practice communities, this latest addition to the CANE Bibliography Series offers a comprehensive survey of research studies that have attempted to quantify the extent of elder abuse.
CANE Annotated Bibliography: The Scope of Elder Abuse >> elderabusecenter.org/default.cfm?p=cane_EAScope.cfm
The Clearinghouse on Abuse and Neglect of the Elderly (CANE) has compiled a database that now includes MOU/MOAs from several states. The database is a joint initiative of CANE and ABA Commission on Law and Aging.
Why are MOUs important? According to the New York State Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence, opdv.state.ny.us/coordination/poldev_tool.html.
"It is important for agencies and organizations to have formalized domestic violence policies in place for many reasons. These include: Building victim safety and offender accountability into the system's response; providing for consistency of the system's response; establishing accountability for practitioners; and helping to link different parts of the system together in a more coordinated way."
A reminder for all . . . We still seek MOUs/MOAs and encourage you to send what you can. Contact Sharon Merriman-Nai [email protected] for more information.
Clearinghouse on Abuse and Neglect of the Elderly
211 Alison Hall West
Department of Consumer Studies
University of Delaware
Newark, DE 19716
Fax: (302) 831-6081 Attn: CANE
Search the MOU/MOA Database >> http://db.rdms.udel.edu:8080/CANE/index.jsp
Sign up today for
The National Center
On Elder Abuse Listserve.
See our Web site for details.
SOURCES: Linda Wright, Testimony before the North Dakota House Appropriations Committee, 13 January 2005 state.nd.us/humanservices/info/testimony/house-approp-hr/hb1012-aging-2005-01-12.html North Dakota Department of Human Services, "Vulnerable Adult Protective Services," December 2004 state.nd.us/humanservices/info/pubs/aging.html; North Dakota Department of Human Services, "Long Term Care Ombudsman Fact Sheet," January 2005 state.nd.us/humanservices/info/pubs/aging.html; Office of the Attorney General, Bureau of Criminal Investigation, "Domestic Violence in North Dakota," 2002 ag.state.nd.us/Reports/Reports.htm
1The statistics highlighted in this column are gathered from a variety of state-specific data sources and should be cited using the sources referenced. Readers should note that elder abuse incidence and prevalence rates vary among states and differ depending upon the definitions used and state laws regarding reporting. The National Center on Elder Abuse cannot guarantee and assumes no responsibility for the accuracy or completeness of the information.
North Dakota Aging Services Division state.nd.us/humanservices/services/adultsaging/index.html
Vulnerable Adult Protective Services state.nd.us/humanservices/services/adultsaging/vulnerable.html
Regional Human Services Centers (APS) state.nd.us/humanservices/locations/regionalhsc/
Long Term Care Ombudsman Program state.nd.us/humanservices/services/adultsaging/ombudsman.html
Tribal Liaison North Dakota Department of Human Services state.nd.us/humanservices/triballiaison/
North Dakota Office of Attorney General ag.state.nd.us/
North Dakota Century Code, Chapter 50-25.2 Vulnerable Adult Protective Services state.nd.us/lr/cencode/t50.html
REFERENCES & RESOURCES
Legal Services of North Dakota legalassist.org/tree/land_tree.asp
North Dakota Council on Abused Women's Services/Coalition Against Sexual Assault in North Dakota ndcaws.org/sharedfiles/elderabuse.asp
by Jeanette M. Daly, [email protected], University of Iowa, GJ Jogerst, KM Haigh, JL Leeney, and J Dawson
Social Work Health Care, Vol. 40, No. 3 / January 2005
STUDY AND RESULTS
This study sought to evaluate the relationship of required educational background of APS workers to the 1999 rates of domestic elder abuse. Data were obtained from APS related statutes and regulations and questions to the National Center for Elder Abuse list serve. Those states whose legislations required a social work degree for APS caseworkers did have higher elder abuse investigation rates. A lower substantiation ratio was found for those states requiring a social work degree or license. These findings suggest that social work education may lead to an emphasis on investigation and interventions and de-emphasis on the criminal aspects of elder abuse evaluation substantiations.
by Kim A. Collins, MD [email protected], Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Medical University of South Carolina, and Katherine Sellars, BS
American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology, Vol. 26, No. 2 / June 2005
The difficult aspect of assessing the possible elder abuse homicide victim is delineating such inflicted trauma from accidental trauma. The exact injuries and etiology of the hemorrhage must be determined to distinguish strangulation from blunt force trauma. The presentation of signs and symptoms can be helpful in assessing the decedent; however, in the practice of forensic pathology such a history is more often lacking.
By N.P. Hanrahan, [email protected], The Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research, University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, A.W. Burgess, and A.M. Gerolamo
Clinics in Geriatric Medicine, Vol. 21 No.2 / May 2005
STUDY AND RESULTS
Sexual abuse in the older adult population is an understudied vector of violent crimes with significant physical and psychological consequences for victims and families. Research requires a theoretical framework that delineates core elements using a standardized instrument. To develop a conceptual framework and identify core data elements specific to the older adult population, clinical, administrative, and criminal experts were consulted using a nominal group method to revise an existing sexual assault instrument. The revised instrument could be used to establish a national database of elder sexual abuse. The database could become a standard reference to guide the detection, assessment, and prosecution of elder sexual abuse crimes as well as build a base from which policy makers could plan and evaluate interventions that targeted risk factors.
by Maria R. Hansberry, MD [email protected], Section of Geriatric Medicine, Rush University Medical Center, Elaine Chen, BS, Rush Medical College, and Martin J. Gorbien, MD, FACP, Section of Geriatric Medicine, Rush University Medical Center
Clinics in Geriatric Medicine, Vol. 21 No.2 / May 2005
Dementia and elder abuse are relatively common and under-diagnosed geriatric syndromes. A unique relationship is observed when the two entities coexist. Special issues can confound the care of the dementia patient suspected of being abused. Impaired language or motor abilities to communicate abusive situations to a third party; lack of decisional capacity to address the abusive situation; lack of impulse control (disinhibited behavior) that contributes to a cycle of violence; and coincident depression of the abused elder complicate the diagnosis and management of elder abuse. Education of the caregiver and attention to caregiver depression may prevent onset and perpetuation of abuse.
Christen Erlingsson, RN, MScN, [email protected], Britt-Inger Saveman, RNT, PhD, and Agneta C. Berg, RNT, PhD, Department of Health and Behavioural Sciences, University of Kalmar, Kalmar, SwedenBrief Treatment and Crisis Intervention, Vol. 5, No. 2 / May 2005
To explore the perceptions of elder abuse held by older persons in Sweden. Six focus group interviews were conducted.
FINDINGS AND CONCLUSION
Older persons associated elder abuse with robbery or assault and the main consequence was fear. Nurses and other health care personnel need to be aware of what older persons believe to be the cause of elder abuse and what they consider abusive.
To see abstracts of more published studies, visit the Clearinghouse on Abuse and Neglect of the Elderly at http://db.rdms.udel.edu:8080/CANE/index.jsp. For assistance, e-mail CANE at [email protected].
The Archstone Foundation of California invites proposals for its newly-launched Elder Abuse & Neglect Initiative. The foundation has committed $8 million to improve the quality and coordination of elder abuse and neglect services in California.
Letter of Intent Deadline: June 20, 2005
The U.S. Administration on Aging (AoA) invites applications for National Legal Assistance and Elder Rights Projects aimed at building and strengthening the national system of legal assistance and improving the quality and accessibility of the legal services provided to older people.
Eligible Applicants: National nonprofit organizations experienced in providing support and technical assistance on a nationwide basis to states, area agencies on aging, legal services providers, ombudsmen, elder abuse prevention programs, and other organizations interested in the legal rights of older individuals.
No. of Awards: Approx. 5 new projects
Application Deadline: July 8, 2005
Download RFP >> http://aoa.gov/doingbus/fundopp/fundopp.asp
Writing proposals is hard work even for the best writers. At Grants.gov you will find a number of suggestions on what makes a good proposal >> http://184.108.40.206/pls/portal30/CATALOG.GRANT_PROPOSAL_DYN.show
The Senior Advisory Council for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan seeks nominations of individuals who have helped to improve the lives of Michigan's senior citizens for the 2005 Claude Pepper Awards.
The 15th annual awards will be presented to two individuals whose professional or volunteer efforts have made significant contributions to improving the lives of Michigan seniors, particularly those whose access to health care services may be hindered by physical, mental, financial, or geographical limitations.
The awards ceremony will take place September 9 during the Blues' 2005 Senior Advisory Council conference in Mount Pleasant, MI.
Deadline: June 30, 2005
Nomination forms are available online at >> bcbsm.com/blues/itc/pepper.shtml
Call 1 (800) 733-BLUE (2583) for more information.
The World Health Organization is making available a new curriculum called TEACH-VIP — Training, Educating, and Advancing Collaboration in Health on Violence and Injury Prevention.
TEACH-VIP is a comprehensive training course designed to train students, professionals, and practitioners in public health to better apply key injury prevention and control principles; contribute to the development of preventive programs and policies; design effective surveillance systems; evaluate intervention programs and policies; and collect and assess injury data.
Developed through the efforts of WHO and a network of global injury prevention experts, the course includes PowerPoint slide presentations and supporting lecture notes, which address a wide variety of topics relevant to injury prevention and control including elder abuse.
The course material, piloted tested last fall in 23 settings worldwide, is currently online. This coming fall instructors will be able to order the course in CD-ROM format.
Training is structured around 60 lessons, each lesson taking approximately one hour of classroom time to teach. Each lesson is supplemented by a series of institutional instructor and class materials, including the following three components:
View the Curriculum Online >> who.int/violence_injury_prevention/capacitybuilding/teachvip/en/index6.html
Online Order Form >> who.int/violence_injury_prevention/capacitybuilding/teachvip_form/en/
This CME continuing medical education case study on screening for family and intimate partner violence is based on the recommendations of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force that were released March 2004.The clinical content of the case study conforms to American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) criteria for evidence-based continuing medical education.
Online CME Family & Intimate Partner Violence Case Study >> aafp.org/afp/20050501/putting.html
U.S. Preventative Services Task Force Recommendation: Screening for Family and Intimate Partner Violence >> ahrq.gov/clinic/3rduspstf/famviolence/famviolrs.htm
Review of the Evidence: Screening Women and Elderly Adults for Family and Intimate Partner Violence >> ahrq.gov/clinic/3rduspstf/famviolence/famviolrev.htm
"As Ralph Waldo Emerson suggested, 'Sometimes a scream is better than a thesis.' . . .
Although elder abuse has had its share of horror stories, exposes, and Congressional hearings, somehow they have failed to capture the attention required for significant research funding, federal policy, or comprehensive programming."
—Georgia J. Anetzberger, Ph.D., ACSW, "Moving Forward on Elder Abuse and Guardianship: Will It Take a Thesis or a Scream?" The Gerontologist, Vol. 45, No. 2 / April 2005
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The NCEA Newsletter is supported in part by a grant, No. 90-AM-2792, from the U.S. Administration on Aging, Department of Health and Human Services.
Points of view or opinions expressed in this publication do not necessarily represent the official views of AoA/HHS or any of the NCEA's affiliated partners.