November/December 2005 | Volume 8 | No. 2

Policy & Legislation

Elder Justice Act Introduced in Senate

Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah), has introduced legislation aimed at increasing the detection, prevention, and prosecution of elder abuse.

In his statement introducing the Elder Justice Act (S. 2010), the Senator said, "Thousands of cases of elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation go unaddressed each day. Yet no federal employee works full-time to address elder abuse and neglect. This bill will give much-needed attention and resources to fighting these crimes and providing seniors the protections they need to live safely and securely."

The much-awaited legislation was jointly introduced by Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.), Sen. Gordon Smith (R-Ore.), chairman of the Senate Aging Committee, and Sen. Herb Kohl (D-Wisc.), ranking minority member of the Senate Aging Committee, as co-sponsors.

The Elder Justice Coalition commended the Senators on their efforts, calling the bill a "breakthrough . . . which will at long last define a comprehensive and realistic federal role in the fight against elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation."

In a statement released by the Coalition, former U.S. Senator John B. Breaux, who authored similar legislation (S. 333) during the previous Congress, underlined the need for the law. "At a time when reported cases of elder abuse have risen by more than 60 percent in the past decade, it remains disturbing that less than 2 percent of all funds spent on abuse protection at the federal level go to elder abuse prevention," he said.

That could change if the Elder Justice Act becomes law and is fully funded. One of the Senate bill's most critical provisions is the "first time dedicated funding for adult protective services which operate in all states but under vastly different fiscal conditions," said coalition coordinator and NCEA partner Robert Blancato.

To find out more, visit the Elder Justice Coalition's Web site

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Highlights – Elder Justice Act S. 2010

Senate Bill 2010 calls for:

  • Adult Protective Services funding (in original S. 333)
  • Federal Offices of Elder Justice (in original S. 333)
  • Advisory Board on Elder Abuse, Neglect, and Exploitation (in original S. 333)
  • Elder Justice Resource Center (in the original S. 333)
  • Grants to nursing home industry focused on improving training, recruitment, and employee incentives (Modifies authorization levels only; in the original S.333)
  • Training, technical assistance, research, and demonstrations aimed at improving Ombudsman effectiveness in addressing abuse and neglect in nursing homes and assisted living settings (New)
  • Training for nursing aides on dementia care and job-related stress reduction (New)
  • Nurse Aide Registry Study (New)

SOURCE: Elder Justice Coalition

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2005 WHCoA

White House Conference on Aging LogoDecember 11-14
2005 White House Conference on Aging

Marriott Wardman Park Hotel
2660 Woodley Road, NW
Washington, DC




White House Conference on Aging Approves Resolutions to Send to Delegates

On November 22, the White House Conference on Aging Policy Committee submitted to the WHCoA delegates 73 policy resolutions that will be considered and voted on at the conference. The delegates will be asked to narrow the final number to 50.

Of Special Interest to Elder Rights Advocates . . .

  • Resolution # 6: Coordinate prevention of financial crimes against seniors
  • Resolution # 7: Strengthen law enforcement efforts at the federal, state, and local levels to investigate and prosecute cases of elder financial crime
  • Resolution #17: Reauthorize the Older Americans Act within the first six months following the 2005 WHCoA
  • Resolution #19: Create a national strategy for promoting elder justice through the prevention and prosecution of elder abuse
  • Resolution #20: Encourage more effective oversight and accountability at the state and local level of court appointed guardians and conservators
  • Resolution #35: Enhance provider and consumer education about alcohol and substance abuse and appropriate treatment
  • Resolution #36: Improve recognition, assessment, and treatment of mental illness and depression among older Amercians
  • Resolution #53: Improve access to care for older adults living in rural areas
  • Resolution #73: Assist limited English proficient elders to ensure that they are well informed about programs and services and can be served throughout the aging and health network

Proposed WHCoA Resolutions >>

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The Orange Book 2005 – Office of Inspector General, HHS Releases Recommendations

In late August, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Resources released its annual Orange Book, a summary compilation of OIG recommendations, which haven't been fully implemented yet. It should be emphasized that all the recommendations are budget-neutral.

Of the more than 90 recommendations highlighted in the latest edition, several are new. Of particular interest to elder rights advocates are these:

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

  • Strengthen education of contractual relationships between hospices and nursing homes.
  • Develop nurse staffing standards for nursing homes.
  • Improve resident assessment instruments.
  • NEW  Update nursing homes nurse aide training curriculum.
  • NEW   Improve guidance to state agencies on citing nursing home deficiencies.
  • NEW   Improve accuracy of Nursing Home Compare.

Administration on Aging/Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

  • Improve safeguards for long term care residents.

Administration on Aging

  • Improve Long Term Care Ombudsman Program.
  • NEW   Improve consistency of reporting of National Ombudsman Reporting System Data (NORS), and continue to clarify and refine the process.


  • Strengthen state protections for persons with disabilities in residential settings.

To read Orange Book 2005, go to >>

State News

California Law Requires Notice to Nursing Homes of Registered Sex Offenders

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed legislation October 4 requiring California nursing home staff and patients to be notified of any registered sex offenders who are now living in their facility as well as those who are about to be released to their facility.

Specifically, AB 217 stipulates that before any convicted sex offender is released into a long term health care facility, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, the California Department of Mental Health, or any other official in charge of a place of confinement is to notify the facility, in writing, that the sex offender is being released to reside at the facility.

The bill becomes law January 1, 2006.

AB 217 Enrolled

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California Residents' Rights Notification to Include Elder Abuse Reporting Numbers

Our October state legislative update, which reports on state laws to combat elder abuse, reported incorrectly that California's recently enacted Residents' Rights Notification law is directed to nursing homes. As a point of clarification, the bill references California's Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly – also known as assisted living facilities, retirement homes, and board and care homes – not nursing homes.

AB 179 Chaptered

Promising Practices Spotlight: Nursing Home Abuse — Behind the Numbers

State Medicaid Fraud Control Units Committed to Prosecuting Acts of Criminal Neglect and Abuse

by Nicholas J. Messuri
Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General

Note: The following article is excerpted by permission from testimony that was presented by Mr. Messuri before the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance on June 26, 2005.

Many Medicaid Fraud Control Units use their criminal and civil enforcement authority to investigate and prosecute the insidious and often hidden abuse of nursing home residents, including both financial exploitation and physical abuse of vulnerable and fragile senior citizens. Some of these cases involve allegations of sexual abuse, corporate neglect, drug diversion, misappropriation of patient trust funds, and have included prosecutions of caregivers for homicide and manslaughter.

In addition, Units across the country have launched innovative training and public outreach programs to educate health care professionals and the public about the prevalence of elder abuse.

Other important activities undertaken by the Units include legislative efforts to enhance and reform the laws that protect residents from these abuses and the referral of state criminal convictions, judgments and licensing actions to the HHS Office of the Inspector General so that individuals who are convicted of these crimes may be excluded from working in any facility or program that receives Medicaid funding.

Examples of Elder Abuse Cases Prosecuted


It is difficult to conceive of a more vulnerable, less threatening group than residents of long-term care facilities, but too often they are the target of cruel and sometimes sadistic violence and mistreatment. Tragically, the perpetrators of physical abuse are usually those charged with the care and well-being of patients in long-term care facilities.

The Massachusetts MFCU obtained a 4 to 5 year committed state prison sentence against a CNA after a 3-week jury trial, proving that she abused 5 elderly Alzheimer patients, including force-feeding one patient her own feces and slapping, kicking, and spitting on other patients who lived at the nursing facility. The key to the success of the prosecution was convincing co-workers to come forward and testify after they had been intimidated by the defendant.


Sexual abuse of frail elders and people with disabilities is seldom discussed but occurs all too frequently. These individuals are easy prey for sexual predators because many of them sleep in unlocked rooms and regularly submit to physical contact in order to receive care.

A nursing assistant in Minnesota was charged with four counts of criminal sexual assault conduct after he assaulted a nursing home resident, and was found guilty on two counts. He was sentenced to 33 months of incarceration and five years of supervised probation, and he must register as a sex offender and provide a DNA sample to the state.


Those who accept the position of trust as caregivers to dependent, vulnerable adults should be held accountable for neglecting those in their charge. Failure to provide care and treatment to residents of nursing homes and board and care homes can be every bit as dangerous and harmful as intentional assaultive behavior. Many states have brought prosecutions against caregivers and sometimes against facility owners in cases where they have failed to provide adequate care and treatment to residents.

The Kentucky MFCU led a three-year joint agency investigation of a nursing home's practice and catastrophic failure of care. The management corporation pleaded guilty in state court to criminal Medicaid Fraud and paid a total of $1.2 million in fines and restitution to the Medicaid program.


On occasion, the MFCUs prosecute caregivers at nursing homes and group homes for negligent homicide, involuntary manslaughter and homicide.

The Louisiana MFCU brought charges against a nurse and a nursing assistant at a nursing home for negligent homicide. The nurse was responsible for the care of a resident who was found dead from suffocation after her tracheotomy tube was dislodged.


Reporting requirements play an important role in protecting residents from abuse and/or neglect, and most states' statutes dealing with patient abuse include a mandatory reporting section. The statutes differ, however, as to who is considered a mandated reporter and which agency receives the report. The enforcement of these reporting requirements is vital because many victims are unable to speak coherently, and witnesses may fear retaliation from the abuser, their associates, or the facility itself.

An administrator of a skilled nursing facility in California failed to report an incident of suspected dependent adult abuse and was sentenced to 6 months in jail, placed on 3 years probation, and ordered to complete 500 hours of community service. Following an appeal to the California Court of Appeals Fourth District, the 3-judge panel unanimously issued a ruling that will have an impact on all future failure-to-report cases.

The court ruled that: (a) a purely objective standard applies to a "reasonable suspicion," which triggers a duty to report elder and dependent adult abuse; (b) a violation of the state's mandated reporting law is a strict liability offense, and does not require a finding of criminal negligence; and (c) a nursing home administrator has a duty to report abuse upon receipt of a victim's direct or indirect report of abuse, and once elder and dependent abuse is suspected, the designated outside agency, not the mandated reporter, has the responsibility to investigate and determine whether abuse actually occurred.


An important step in preventing resident abuse in nursing homes is to stop individuals with a criminal background from working in the facility. While many states require a nursing home to check an applicant's record prior to hiring, in too many instances this requirement is not enforced. Many individuals employed as caregivers in nursing homes have been convicted of a crime or even a series of crimes.

A nursing assistant in Washington State pleaded guilty to 1 count of Forgery, and was sentenced to 12 months probation and ordered to pay $500 to the Crime Victim's Compensation Fund, $200 in attorney fees, and $110 in court costs. The defendant had applied for employment as a nursing assistant at a long-term care facility in Washington State and completed a Criminal Conviction Background Check as part of the application process. Her application falsely stated that she was employable in all medical facilities, and that her prior criminal conviction had been for a non-reportable juvenile offense.


One of the most common types of neglect occurs when the professional caregiver fails to follow a plan of care or fails to provide medication pursuant to a physician's orders.

An employee of a nursing facility in Iowa pleaded guilty to three counts of Obtaining Prescription Drug by Fraud. She admitted to taking 3 Duragestic Patches, a Schedule II narcotic, from residents in her care, and was sentenced to be imprisoned for a period of up to 10 years for the 3 counts and ordered to pay restitution.


The writer, immediate past president of the National Association of Medicaid Fraud Control Units, is assistant attorney general in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and director of the Massachusetts Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. Permission to reprint portions of Mr. Messuri's testimony before the U.S. Senate Finance Committee, June 28, 2005, granted by Barbara Zelner, Executive Director, National Association of Medicaid Fraud Control Units, Washington, DC.

Read the full testimony >>

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State Medicaid Fraud Control Units

The enactment of the Medicare and Medicaid Anti-Fraud and Abuse Amendments of 1977 authorized the establishment of, and federal funding for, state Medicaid Fraud Control Units. Most of the Medicaid fraud units are located within the Office of State Attorneys General. A small number are located in various other state agencies. The mission of these units uniformly is to investigate and prosecute Medicaid provider fraud and incidences of patient abuse and neglect. Their jurisdiction also includes individuals in non-Medicaid assisted living or "board and care" facilities.

In fiscal year 2003, state Medicare fraud units opened 5,570 patient abuse and neglect cases.

Learn More

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For more ideas and tools, search the NCEA Promising Practices Database >>

NCEA News & Resources

From the Director, NCEA

The National Center on Elder Abuse staff thanks all who responded to the recent NCEA evaluation survey. Our preliminary analysis of the results seems to indicate we're on track. At the same time, you also offered thoughtful suggestions, to which the Partners are already giving careful attention. A summary of the findings is now being finalized and will be released as soon as it is available.

Our center has had an outstanding year. The NCEA elder abuse listserve, a valued forum for elder rights professionals from almost every discipline, receives scores of messages each week. At last check, we have 1,396 subscribers, a 14 percent increase over 2004.

NCEA's opt-in e-Newsletter, which was launched last January, now has 1,451 subscribers from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, and Puerto Rico and has attracted readers from Australia, Canada, Germany, India, Ireland, Israel, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, Thailand, and the United Kingdom.

Our goal is to provide the best information and resources possible, which people can use. As in past years, the NCEA Web site processed over a million page requests – a total of 1,131,000 this year. Of these requests, 45,418 were to our directory of state toll-free reporting lines.

The Clearinghouse on Abuse of the Elderly, widely used by scholars, practitioners, and students, added 300 new references to its collection this year. We have also continued to collect information on promising practices from the field. One hundred new profiles were added to NCEA's Promising Practices Database in 2005.

Working together as a team, NCEA Partners responded to over 1,748 requests for information/technical assistance this year. About a quarter of all requests to the NCEA Help Desk come from family members and roughly 10 percent from older persons.

We'll continue to be available to provide help and assistance.

— Sara C. Aravanis, Director, National Center on Elder Abuse

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Register Now for NCEA'S Live Webcast

Elder Abuse Fatality Review Teams: Issues & Answers
Tuesday, December 6, 2005 3 PM EST

Elder abuse fatality review teams examine deaths resulting from or related to elder abuse to learn about and improve the responses of adult protective services, health care providers, law enforcement officers, prosecutors, victim assistance providers, and others to living elder abuse victims. The first in a series of NCEA-sponsored Webcasts will focus on issues and challenges involved in the creation of elder abuse fatality review teams. Content will include advice on how to get started, anticipate challenges, and maximize the benefits.

Lori A. Stiegel, JD, Associate Staff Director, American Bar Association Commission on Law and Aging, and NCEA Partner. Ms. Stiegel, who recently completed a U.S. Department of Justice, Office for Victims of Crime project on this subject, has extensive experience in helping states and communities coordinate the social service, legal, and law enforcement response to elder abuse. The Fatality Review Team project supported the development of four new fatality review teams. See Elder Abuse Fatality Review Teams: A Replication Manual for more information.

Register Online

Not able to participate? A taped replay will be available within 24 hours on the Web conferencing site at


Sara Aravanis, Director, National Center on Elder Abuse

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Sign up today for the National Center on Elder Abuse Listserve

NCEA Elder Abuse listserve provides a free, 24-hour, 7-day-a-week online link to others who are working on elder abuse issues. The NCEA listserve is a discussion forum for professionals working in elder abuse or allied fields. Membership is restricted to adult protective services practitioners and administrators, aging services practitioners and administrators, educators, health professionals, judges, lawyers, law enforcement officers, prosecutors, policy makers, and researchers.

To request a subscription to the Elder Abuse listserve, just fill out the form at, or If you prefer, you can e-mail us at All requests must include the information below:

  • Your name, profession, and e-mail address
  • A statement of your interest or expertise in elder abuse or adult protective services
  • Employer's name (if applicable) and address
  • Phone number (so that you can be contacted in the event of an e-mail problem)

See our Web site for more details.

On the Front Lines

Massachusetts Facts & Stats1

  • In Massachusetts, during 2004, the Executive Office of Elder Affairs received roughly 7,100 reports of elder abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation.

Source: Office of Massachusetts Attorney General Elder Abuse Project

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.

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Massachusetts Online Resources



Research & Scholarship

"The Effect of Gender in the Perception of Elder Physical Abuse in Court"

by Jonathan Golding, PhD,, University of Kentucky, Department of Psychology; John Yozwiak, University of Minnesota Medical School; Terri Kinstle, PhD, Clinician, Gainesville, Fla.; and Dorothy Marsil, PhD, Kennesaw State University, Department of Psychology
Law and Human Behavior, Vol. 29, No. 5 / October 2005

This experiment with mock jurors aimed to explore jurors' perceptions in two simulated trials involving elder abuse physical assault. The results of the experiment showed that women on the juries believed the alleged victim more and rendered a guilty verdict more often than men. Moreover, the alleged victim was believed more than the defendant regardless of the age of the alleged victim, and most verdicts were guilty.

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"Examining Attributes of Homicides: Toward Quantifying Qualitative Values of Injury Severity"

by Mark E. Safarik and John P. Jarvis, Federal Bureau of Investigation
Homicide Studies, Vol. 9, No. 3 / August 2005

This research explores uses of two scoring schemes for quantifying severity of homicidal injury as a means for interpreting offender and crime scene variables in homicide cases. Case examples drawn from a recent study of 128 elderly homicides are used to illustrate the application of the proposed injury scales. Findings in the cases examined revealed that excessive homicidal injuries were indicative of an offender who is younger and local to the crime scene.

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Nurse Aide Registries: Long Term Care Facility Compliance and Practices

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General / August 2005

This compliance inspection study by the HHS Office of the Inspector General was conducted using a nationwide sample of 200 long term care facilities. All administrators reported checking their state nurse aide registries before hiring, affecting some hiring decisions. Fifty-five percent reported checking only their own state registry and, according to the Inspector General, "are most likely not in compliance with federal regulations." Seventeen percent employed individuals as nurse aides without required registrations.

On the Internet >>

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To see abstracts of more published studies, visit the Clearinghouse on Abuse and Neglect of the Elderly at For assistance, e-mail CANE at

Trends & Statistics

Sex Offenders Living in Nursing Homes

  • There are currently 800 registered sex offenders living in nursing homes and other long term care settings, according to a 2005 study of state sex offender registries by nursing home watchdog group A Perfect Cause.
  • Of those whose ages are known, nearly half (45.2%) are younger than 60, and two-thirds (65.8%) are younger than 70.
  • States with the highest number of sex offenders living in nursing homes are Texas, California, Ohio, Illinois, Missouri, and Florida.

— A Perfect Cause, Predators in Americas' Nursing Homes: Registered Sex Offenders Residing in Nursing Homes 2005 Report, July 2005

Funding Opportunities

Borchard Foundation Center on Law & Aging

The Borchard Foundation Center on Law & Aging has announced it is seeking proposals for furthering scholarship about new or improved policies, laws, and programs that will enhance the quality of life for the elderly.

Funded through the Foundation's Academic Research Grant Program, proposals from scholars working in the fields of health, law, medicine, and social science are especially encouraged.

Application Deadline: March 15, 2006
Total Number of Grant Awards: 4
Award Amount: $20,000

For more information, go to >>

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Intimate Partner Violence and Stalking

The National Institute of Justice invites proposals for studies that explore justice system and related responses to intimate partner violence and stalking. Priority interests include: 1) studies of predisposition re-victimization and innovative prosecution strategies; 2) research that examines innovative approaches targeting individual batterers and abusers of multiple victims; 3) studies of intimate partner violence or stalking within diverse communities, including studies with a focus on elderly women and women with cognitive or physical disabilities; 4) studies to increase understanding of stalking behaviors, risk factors for victimization, and protective factors; and 5) evaluations of justice system responses to stalking.

Application Deadline: January 17, 2006

For more information, go to

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Sexual Violence from Adolescence to Late Adulthood

Proposals are being accepted from the National Institute of Justice for studies on sexual violence of women. This initiative's goal is to inform policy and practice in the criminal justice system. The research priorities are: 1) studies of the incidence, prevalence, and nature of sexual violence perpetration; 2) evaluation of system responses to sexual violence; 3) evaluation of sexual violence prevention programs; 4) research that examines multidisciplinary approaches that address intra-family sexual abuse and intimate partner sexual violence; 5) evaluation of prevention, intervention, treatment strategies for intra-family sexual abuse; and 6) sexual violence within diverse communities, including studies with a focus on elderly women, women with cognitive or physical disabilities, and women living institutions.

Application Deadline: January 10, 2006

For more information, go to

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Crime and Justice Research

The National Institute of Justice has announced the availability of funding for social/behavioral studies relevant to state and criminal justice policy and practice. Specific research categories are: Law Enforcement/Policing; Justice Systems; Courts, Prosecution, and Defense; Corrections; Offender Programs and Treatment; Crime Prevention/Causes of Crime; Violence and Victimization; Drug, Alcohol, and Crime; International Crime and Justice; 10) Evaluation Research and Methods.

Priority areas for research include studies to help understand and prevent elder fraud.

Application Deadline: January 24, 2006

For more information, go to

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Legal Assistance for Victims Grant Program

The Office on Violence Against Women invites proposals for innovative, collaborative projects that provide direct legal services to victims of domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, or sexual assault. Eligible applicants include: law school clinics, domestic violence victims' shelters, bar associations, sexual assault programs, private nonprofit entities, Indian tribal governments, legal aid or statewide legal services, faith-based and community legal services providers.

Letter of Intent Deadline: December 27, 2005
NEW Grants.Gov Registration Deadline: January 10, 2006
Application Deadline: January 24, 2006

For more information, go to

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Education & Technical Assistance Grants to End Violence Against Women with Disabilities Grant Program

The Office on Violence Against Women plans to fund six to ten multidisciplinary teams to provide guidance, training, and technical assistance to groups that provide services to individuals with disabilities. Specific areas of focus include: 1) the nature, definition, and characteristics of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking experienced by women with disabilities; 2) outreach to ensure women with disabilities who are victims receive appropriate assistance; 3) federal anti-discrimination laws; and 4) cost-effective ways shelters and victim service organizations may accommodate the needs of individuals with disabilities.

Eligible applicants include: state and local governments, Indian tribal governments, and non-governmental private entities.

Letter of Intent Deadline: January 3, 2006
NEW Grants.Gov Registration Deadline: January 3, 2006
Concept Paper Deadline: January 26, 2006

For more information, go to

Resources for Grant Writers

Professional Development/Distance Learning

UMaine Center on Aging Online Professional Education Workshops to Focus on Rural Eldercare

The University of Maine (UMaine) Center on Aging recently announced a new series of Online Continuing Professional Education Workshops on rural eldercare issues. The interactive workshops are free and will take place January-April 2006.

Each seminar e-Workshop lasts about 2 ½ hours over a three-day period. Attendees can log in the course whenever convenient and work at their own pace—instructors interact directly with participants via e-mail. There is a small $5 processing fee for a CE Certificate of Attendance.

Empowering Older Adults in Rural Areas: Social Work Advocacy Techniques
OBJECTIVES: 1) learn advocacy skills that empower older persons to engage in the public policy arena, and 2) learn specific advocacy techniques used in multi-systemic levels of intervention (individual, family, organization, and legislative). PRESENTERS: Brenda Gallant, Executive Director, Maine State Ombudsman Program and Catherine Valcourt, Esq., Maine State Long Term Care Ombudsman Program.

MARCH 13-15
Using Research in Rural Aging: Evidence Based Social Work Practice
OBJECTIVES: 1) understand common scientific and analytical approaches to building knowledge for practice, 2) identify key components of evidence-based intervention practice, and 3) learn strategies for including evaluation components in program activities. PRESENTER: Lenard W. Kaye, DSW, Director, UMaine Center on Aging

Rural Aging: Social Work Practice Models & Intervention Skills
OBJECTIVES: 1) to define differences between personal values and professional ethics and the implications of differences between the two, 2) to identify common issues that create value and ethical dilemmas in their role as care providers in rural communities, and 3) become familiar with a decision-making strategy to deal with dilemmas created in rural care. PRESENTER: Kim-Anne Perkins, LCSW, Director, UMaine School of Social Work.

To find out more, please contact Susan Fields or Lauren Storck

You can register online at

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New Online Clinical Update: "Improving Screening of Women for Violence – Basic Guidelines for Healthcare Providers"

by Lynne Stevens, MSW, LCSW, Assistant Professor, Department of Family Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts
Medscape Clinical Update: CME/CE / August 9, 2005

This CME/CE clinical update for doctors and other health care providers is a tool that can be used to learn how to identify, assess, educate, and treat women who are or have been victims of violence.

As well as clarifying the scope of the problem and the vital role played by physicians and other health specialists in screening for family violence, the author identifies barriers that can potentially stop a health provider from asking questions, some of which are listed here:

  • Discomfort with asking if the patient is a victim of violence, and uncertainty about what to do if the patient says yes.
  • Belief that domestic abuse is a "private" or family matter.
  • Frustration with patients' denial of abuse.
  • The effects of the provider's own traumatic experience(s) witnessing or experiencing violence, either past and/or present.
  • Concerns about the legal ramifications of knowing this information.
  • Discomfort with patients expressing emotion, and concern about setting time boundaries.
  • Concern about how listening to these experiences will affect them.
  • Feeling helpless to intervene.

This self-paced study program is valid for continuing education (CME/CE) credit through August 9, 2006.

  • Note: Logging in requires a simple, 1-time, free registration.

On the Internet >>

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NEW! Online Case Study
"Irene's Journey: Examining the Issues of Domestic Violence in Later Life"

"Irene's Journey," a new interactive case study released October 2005 by the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence/VAWNet Applied Research Forum, aims to help educate about elder abuse and domestic violence in later life. Questions & Answers are woven throughout it, which allow readers to pick up the critical points.

The author of this case study is Cari Michaels, MPH, former associate director of the Minnesota Center Against Domestic Violence.

On the Internet >>

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Crime Prevention Education

A series of six PowerPoint presentations designed for crime prevention education is available online, courtesy of the National Crime Prevention Council and U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance. The information can be tailored to different audiences. Presentation topics include:

  • Seniors and Crime Prevention.
  • Crime Prevention Trends
  • Crime Prevention and Community Preparedness
  • Identity Theft and Strategies for Crime Prevention
  • Neighborhood Watch
  • Improving Police-Community Relations

According to the Bureau of Justice Assistance, another set of topics will be released in 2006.

To download the PowerPoint presentations, go to

New on the Bookshelf

World Awareness Day Toolkit Now Available

The International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse has recently released its World Elder Abuse Awareness Day 2006 Toolkit, designed to help nations, advocates, and communities bring visibility to elder abuse.

"My World, Your World, Our World – Free of Elder Abuse" is the theme of this year's public education campaign. The global day of observance will be June 15, 2006.

The 2006 toolkit is available for download from

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"Talking With Your Doctor: A Guide for Older People"

National Institute on Aging / November 2005

The National Institute on Aging recently released a new, revised edition of "Talking With Your Doctor," a readable pamphlet that encourages patients to take an active role in their own health care. It includes a brief discussion of elder mistreatment.

The booklet is available free and can be downloaded from the NIH Web site

To order multiple copies in print (25 limit), go to

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OVC Fact Sheet: "Victims of Crime Act Crime Victims Fund"

A new fact sheet from the Office for Victims of Crime explains how the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) Crime Victims Fund works and how the dollars are disbursed.

To find your crime victim compensation program and VOCA assistance agency, go to

For the fact sheet click here

In Brief

ABA Law and Aging Newsletter Now Online

Bifocal, the newsletter of the American Bar Association Commission on Law and Aging, is now being distributed electronically and also is available for downloading.

The readership includes elder bar section and committee members, legal services providers, elder law and other private practitioners, judges, court staff, elder advocates, policymakers, law schools, elder law clinics, law libraries, and other professionals in the law and aging network.

Subscriptions are free – to request, send an e-mail with your name, title, and professional affiliation to Trisha Bullock Include the word "SUBSCRIBE" in subject heading.

Read Bifocal / October 2005 at

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Office for Victims of Crime 2006 Funding Priorities

In the late spring, the U.S. Department of Justice, Office for Victims of Crime issued a call for concept papers for FY 2006 funding consideration. The agency announced last month it has made some preliminary decisions about specific initiatives it plans to fund. One of the priorities is the development of Spanish language victim outreach tools.

For more information on the OVC funding priorities, go to

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2006 Duke University Postdoctoral Research Training Program in Aging

The Duke University Center for the Study of Aging and Human Development is offering a two year postdoctoral research training program for PhDs and MDs. The program is funded by the National Institute on Aging, and supports individuals with research career interests in the biomedical, behavioral, and social science aspects of aging.

Individuals accepted will be offered a stipend ranging from $35,568-51,036 (the exact amount depends on postdoctoral experience).

Application Deadline: On or before March 1, 2006 (to be considered for entry into the program between May 1-Sept 30).

Visit the Duke Web site for application instructions.

Quote of the Month

"How we care for the dependent elderly will test whether modern life has not only made things better for us but also made us better human beings. . . ."
— The President's Council on Bioethics, Taking Care: Ethical Caregiving in Our Aging Society / September 2005

Table of Contents

Policy & Legislation

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November 2005
Volume 8, No. 2
Sara Aravanis, Director
Susan Coombs Ficke, Contributing Writer/Editor

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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.

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