June 2006 | Volume 8 | No. 7

Policy & Legislation

Elder Justice Watch

Senators Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), a member of the Senate Committees on Finance and Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP), and Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Democratic Chief Deputy Whip, have joined in supporting S.2010, the Elder Justice Act.

On the House side, Representatives Thomas M. Reynolds of New York, chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee; Henry A. Waxman of California, ranking minority member of the U.S. House Government Reform Committee; Steven R. Rothman (D-NJ), House Appropriations Committee member; and Adam B. Schiff (D-CA) also signed on in June to cosponsor the House version of the bill, H.R. 4993. Rep. Schiff serves on the House Judiciary Committee, Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet, and Intellectual Property.

The totals are now 18 bipartisan cosponsors in the Senate and 32 in the House. For more details, contact Robert Blancato, National Coordinator, Elder Justice Coalition, (202) 789-0470, [email protected]

S. 2010 >> http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d109:s.02010:
H.R. 4993 >> http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d109:HR04993:

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House Backs 2006 Older Americans Act Reauthorization

On June 21, 2006, the Senior Independence Act of 2006, H.R. 5293 - Older Americans Act reauthorization bill passed the House by unanimous voice vote. The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) has scheduled markup of its version of the reauthorization bill on June 28.

As reported last month, the bipartisan Senior Independence Act includes language amending Section 721 of the Act to provide public education and outreach to promote financial literacy and prevent identity theft and financial exploitation of older Americans.

More information

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House Labor-Health-Education FY 2007 Appropriations Bill Passed

On June 7, 2006, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (Labor/HHS/Education) approved its fiscal year 2007 appropriations bill, which funds services for vulnerable seniors, including Title VII of the Older Americans Act (OAA) and the Social Services Block Grant (SSBG, Title XX of the Social Security Act).

Under the Subcommittee's proposal, OAA Title VII, Vulnerable Elder Rights Protection would receive $20.2 million, which is equal to the funding authorized in FY 2006. SSBG, a major source of funding for adult protective services, would be level funded at $1.7 billion, an increase of $500 million over the President's request.

More information

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Katrina Lessons: Caring for Seniors in a National Emergency: Can We Do Better?

On May 18, 2006, the Senate Special Committee on Aging held a hearing on "Caring for Seniors in a National Emergency: Can We Do Better." The consensus among those testifying at the hearing was that government must do more to ensure the health and safety of older Americans during a disaster.

Among those invited to testify was Carmel Bitondo Dyer, MD, Director, Baylor College of Medicine Geriatrics Program in Texas and Co-director of the Texas Elder Abuse Treatment Institute. Dr. Dyer described first hand the experiences faced by front-line responders in Houston, and offered a number of recommendations for improved disaster preparedness for seniors:

  1. Develop a simple, inexpensive, cohesive, integrated and efficient tracking system for elders and other vulnerable adults. A start would include a standard, numbered color-coded bracelet system.
  2. Designate separate shelter areas for elders and other vulnerable adults that can be attended by medical personnel and volunteers to help with special needs.
  3. Involve gerontologists and geriatric professionals in all aspects of emergency preparedness and care delivery.
  4. Involve region-specific social, medical, and public health services, volunteers, and facilities in pre-event planning for elders and vulnerable adults.
  5. Involve gerontologists/ geriatric professionals in training front-line workers and other first responders about frail adults' unique needs.
  6. Utilize a public health triage system like the SWiFT – Seniors Without Families Triage Screening Tool© for elders and other vulnerable populations in pre-and post-disaster situations.
  7. Maintain clear lines of communication – operable cell phones and walkie-talkies should be available.
  8. Provide protection from abuse and fraud to elders and other vulnerable adults.
  9. Conduct drills and research on disaster preparedness plans and the use of a triage tool, such as SWiFT, to ensure their effectiveness and reliability.

Senator Herb Kohl (WI), the committee's ranking minority member, presided at the hearing. Others testifying included: Maurice Frisella of New Orleans, Jean Cefalu, Slidell, Louisiana; Dan Sutherland, Officer, Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, Chair, Interagency Coordinating Council on Emergency Preparedness and Individuals with Disabilities, Department of Homeland Security; Cindy Bascetta, Director for Health Care, U.S. Government Accountability Office; Amy B. Aiken, Assistant Director, Miami-Dade Office of Emergency Management.

Witnesses' statements >>
http://aging.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?Fuseaction=Hearings.Detail&HearingID=170

More information


State News

Illinois Governor Signs Important New Laws Protecting Vulnerable Adults

On June 13, 2006, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich signed legislation to strengthen laws against elder and vulnerable adult abuse, neglect, and exploitation.

Public Act 094-0853 (SB 3010) amends the Illinois Abused and Neglected Long Term Care Facility Residents Reporting Act requiring mandated reporters to report suspected instances of abuse or neglect to the Illinois Department of Human Services’ Office of the Inspector General (DHS-OIG) hotline within 4 hours of the discovery. This new law also provides that any "required reporter" who willfully fails to report alleged abuse or neglect or who reports the alleged incident late is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor. Current law does not include any penalty for failing to report or for submitting a late report.

Public Act 094-0850 (SB 2601) amends the Illinois Power of Attorney Act by permitting elder abuse provider agencies or the state long-term care ombudsman to petition the court for access to financial records in cases of suspected financial exploitation of seniors.

Public Act 094-0851 (SB 2763) amends the Illinois Abuse of Adults with Disabilities Intervention Act. The new law gives the DHS-OIG Domestic Abuse Program the power to subpoena witnesses and to demand financial and medical records in their investigations.

The new laws are effective immediately.

Protecting Victims of Self-Neglect

Meanwhile, a bill amending the Illinois Elder Abuse and Neglect Act, which has passed both chambers of the Illinois General Assembly, awaits the governor's signature. House Bill 4676, among other things, requires the Illinois Department on Aging, in cooperation with an Elder Self-Neglect Steering Committee, to develop protocols, procedures, and policies for: 1) responding to reports of possible self-neglect; 2) protecting the autonomy, rights, and privacy of seniors during investigations and judicial proceedings regarding competency; and 3) collecting data regarding incidents of elder self-neglect.

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Louisiana Legislature Approves Measures to Ensure Safety of Vulnerable Citizens

"Louisiana is writing the book on lessons learned from a catastrophe."

Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco

The Louisiana Legislature in recent weeks approved a series of bills to protect vulnerable older citizens in the event of another disaster like Katrina. For detailed information, follow the links below:


Sharing Ideas: Promising Practices Spotlight

"Self-Neglect Assessment for Older Adults"
Leonard Schanfield Research Institute, Council for Jewish Elderly

Researchers at the Leonard Schanfield Research Institute, Council for Jewish Elderly, Chicago, in collaboration with the University of Illinois-Chicago are midway in testing and refining of an existing client assessment instrument now used by the Council to determine its utility for detecting risk or signs of self-neglect in a community-dwelling elderly population.

"Self-neglect is a major concern for our social workers," said the study's lead investigator Madelyn "Micki" Iris, PhD, director of the Leonard Schanfield Research Institute. "Often these are the most troublesome cases. There is no specific funding for serving people. It takes a long time to reach the individuals and get them to work with you. It is a very difficult area that takes a lot of skill. Case managers/elder abuse investigators know there's a lot of need. And they worry about those people."

To get a better handle on the problem, the goal of this pilot study, funded by the Retirement Research Foundation, is to enable the Leonard Schanfield Research Institute to move to the first stage in the development of a psychometrically reliable self-neglect assessment instrument. The specific objectives are:

  1. Beginning with items from the Council's Risk Assessment Chart (RAC), to conduct a construct mapping exercise for self-neglect, with a panel of experts in the field of elder abuse and self-neglect.
  2. Based on the results of the construct mapping exercise, to identify and refine key items for a self-neglect risk assessment instrument
  3. Pilot test the items with a panel of experts and with a group of older consumers, to determine face validity of items, appropriateness of language, and importance of individual items for assessing self-neglect.

According to Dr. Iris, the Institute's research to date has focused on identifying potential risk indicators for elder self-neglect that should be in the assessment. In the initial round, she said about 70 individual risk factors were identified by panelists. To whittle down the list, the panelists were asked to sort and name the risk categories, ranking from 1 to 5 their "importance" to the issue of self-neglect as well as their "feasibility" for investigating risk.

So far, 10 clusters of risk factors have emerged: mental health assessment; hoarding; infection control; medical health issues; level of cooperation (compliance/adherence); emotional assessment; social/cultural issues; and financial issues.

Through the summer and early fall, Dr. Iris said the study team will continue to narrow the clusters down and refine and pre-test the instrument. Following the first project phase, they plan to seek additional funding for validation studies of the instrument, through field testing in a variety of community-based settings.

Dr. Iris also serves as adjunct assistant professor of anthropology and director of the Ethnographic Field School at Northwestern University. She has conducted applied research in many Chicago area communities for over 25 years. From 1989 to 2005 she was a faculty member at Northwestern University's Buehler Center on Aging, Feinberg School of Medicine.

Founded in 1995, the Leonard Schanfield Research Institute is dedicated to stimulating, fostering, and communicating new knowledge in the field of aging, both for the benefit of Council on Jewish Elderly clients and for older adults and their families throughout the Chicago area and across the country.

Dr. Iris can be reached at [email protected].

Related information

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Consortium for Research in Self-Neglect of Texas

"Self-neglect, the inability to provide for oneself the goods or services to meet basic needs, is three times more common than physical abuse or caregiver neglect. Self-neglectors are vulnerable persons who have multiple deficits in a variety of social, functional and physical domains. It is the most commonly reported form of mistreatment; and an independent risk factor for death. The death rate for self-neglectors is two times that of persons never reported to adult protective services."

– Consortium for Research in Self-Neglect of Texas

The Consortium for Research in Self-neglect of Texas (CREST) is now engaged in studying various aspects and symptoms of this problem to establish a case definition for self-neglect and develop strategies for prevention and intervention.

Topics of study include executive dysfunction; alcohol abuse and self-neglect; hoarding behavior among self-neglectors; self-neglect severity scale; risk factors for self-neglect; cultural aspects of self neglect; capacity assessment; and the role of nutrition in self-neglect.

CREST is an interdisciplinary collaboration led by the Texas Elder Mistreatment Institute, Baylor College of Medicine. Funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), members of the consortium include the University of Houston School of Social Work; University of Texas Schools of Nursing and Public Health; University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston; Texas Adult Protective Services, Harris County; Texas Medical Examiners Office; and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

Colleagues on the consortium's national advisory board include NCEA partners Joanne Otto of the National Adult Protective Services Association; Lori Stiegel, American Bar Association, Commission on Law and Aging; and Randy Thomas of the National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse. NCEA Director Sara Aravanis was invited also to attend the first CREST conference in Houston on June 23-24, 2006.

Additional information about CREST can be found at its Web site, www.bcm.edu/crest/?PMID=0.


NCEA News & Resources

Special Report: World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

"Clearly what is being done here is truly historic. In dealing with elder abuse, we are focusing on the last bastion of taboo and stigma in the family violence arena."

– Dr..Alexandre Kalache, Chief, Ageing and Life Course Program, World Health Organization
United Nations - New York, June 15, 2006

The National Center on Elder Abuse, a proud sponsoring partner of 2006 World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, applauds the commitment and dedication of both private organizations and governments worldwide to combat elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation of our most vulnerable seniors.

In support of World Day, NCEA awarded 12 mini-grants to help communities raise awareness in the United States (see sidebar below for grantees). The initiative was led by NCEA partner National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse.

NCEA Provides Funding in Support of 2006 World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

California
Los Angeles County and USC Medical Center Adult Protection Team June 15 – LAC+USC Medical Center Elder Abuse Forensic Center Formal Opening Ceremony
Colorado
Aspen Mine Senior Center Cripple Creek, Colo. June 14 – Elder Abuse Awareness Presentation
 
Park County Senior Coalition June 14 – Elder Abuse Awareness Presentation
 
Pueblo Police Department June 15 – Proclamation; public awareness campaign
 
Gunnison County Department of Human Services June 15 – Elder Abuse Awareness Prevention Symposium
 
Broomfield County Health and Human Services Department June 15 – Elder Abuse Education and Awareness Day
Delaware
Delaware Ecumenical Council on Children and Families, Wilmington, Del. June 15 – Public awareness and publicity in conjunction with Governor's Proclamation
Florida
Area Agency on Aging (AAA) Palm Beach June 15 – Elder Abuse Awareness Campaign
Illinois
Prairie Council on Aging, Jacksonville, Fla. June 15 – Public awareness and publicity targeted to congregate/home delivered meals participants
 
Tri–County Elder Abuse Council Hopkinsville, Hopkinsville, Ky May 31 – Community Providers Training on Elder Abuse Prevention
Maryland
County Aging Department June 15 – Public awareness in conjunction with Governor's Proclamation
New York
Fordham University Graduate School of Social Service/Jewish Association for Services for the Aged/NYC Department on Aging June 8th – Elder Abuse Conference "Out of the Shadows" (seniors scholarship support/funding for the proceedings)

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Global Response to Elder Abuse - Other Observances

Below is a short list of just a few of the many World Elder Abuse Awareness Day events sponsored and hosted around the world.

International
Official Launch of the First World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, convened by the World Health Organization with the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse www.inpea.net/downloads/Final_UN_Program.pdf
Canada








www.citizenship.gov.on.ca/
seniors/english/weaad/





www.citizenship.gov.on.ca/seniors/
english/weaad/all/WEAAD.Magnet.pdf
Ireland
Signing of Declaration Against Elder Abuse by the Mayoress of Dublin
Korea
Establishment of a Center for the Prevention of Elder Abuse, Seoul Korea
Norway
Conference in Trondheim "Vern for elder" (Elder Protective Services)
South Africa
Elder abuse awareness talks; seminars; poster competition for primary school children; residential care staff training
Sweden
National Conference – Swedish Association for Victim Support and Swedish Association for Senior Citizens
United Kingdom






www.helptheaged.org.uk/en-gb/Campaigns/ElderAbuse/wead/default.htm

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day Partners

  • International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse
  • Canadian Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse
  • International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics
  • World Health Organization
  • International Federation on Ageing
  • HelpAge International
  • Pan American Health Organization
  • UN NGO Committee on Ageing, New York
  • International Longevity Center
  • AARP Global Aging Program
  • Global Aging
  • Ontario Seniors' Secretariat, Canada
  • National Center on Elder Abuse, USA
  • ACTION on Elder Abuse, UK
  • Age Concern, UK

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Human Rights for All – NCEA Releases Latest in Series of CANE Bibliographies

In support of World Awareness Day efforts, the Clearinghouse on Abuse and Neglect of the Elderly (CANE) has assembled an important new bibliography of recent scholarly works offering significant insights about the "universality" of elder abuse as a human rights issue. This newest CANE bibliography, titled "Elder Abuse: International and Cultural Perspectives – An Update of the Literature," is on the NCEA Web site at
www.elderabusecenter.org/default.cfm?p=CANE_International060614.cfm

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NCEA e-News Reaches Far and Wide

The NCEA e-Newsletter, produced by NCEA's lead partner, the National Association of State Units on Aging, serves as a resource far and wide. We are pleased to report to you our subscription numbers continue to grow. Launched in January 2005, we now have nearly 1,600 subscribers from all 50 states, District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, and Puerto Rico. Nations represented include Australia, Canada, England, Germany, India, Ireland, Israel, Netherlands, Northern Ireland (UK), Portugal, Singapore, Spain, and Thailand.

Our goal is to continue to reach out to new audiences across the country and around the globe. Thank you for helping to spread the word.

 View past issues >> www.elderabusecenter.org/default.cfm?p=newsletterarchives.cfm
 Subscriptions are free >> www.elderabusecenter.org/default.cfm?p=newslettersignup.cfm

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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 www.elderabusecenter.org/default.cfm?p=listservesubscribeform.cfm, or If you prefer, you can e-mail the list manager at [email protected]. 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.
http://www.elderabusecenter.org/default.cfm?p=listserve.cfm


On the Front Lines

Louisiana Facts & Stats & Stats 1

Facts & Stats
  • The 2000 Census data for Louisiana reports the population as 4,468,976, with 15.3% of the population (687,216) being over the age of 60.
  • Louisiana has two separate Adult Protective Services programs serving adults ages 18-59 who have a mental or physical disability and older Louisianans 60+.
  • Louisiana law assigns to the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, Bureau of Protective Services (BPS) responsibility to protect adults with disabilities. Elderly Protective Services (EPS) administered by the Governor's Office of Elderly Affairs receives reports of suspected abuse or neglect of older adults in the community.

Sources: Governor's Office of Elderly Affairs, Strategic Plan FY 2005-2006 Through FY 2009-2010 www.louisiana.gov/elderlyaffairs/docs/Strategic_Plan_FY_06-10_final.pdf; National Center on Elder Abuse, State Adult Protective Services Data Management Systems 2001
www.elderabusecenter.org/pdf/publication/compiled2.pdf

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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Louisiana Online Resources

AGENCY SOURCES

STATUTES

OTHER RESOURCES


Research & Scholarship

"Factors Influencing Nurses' Judgements about Self-Neglect Cases"
W. Lauder, RMN, PhD, [email protected], School of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Dundee, Scotland, UK; R. Ludwick, PhD, R. Zeller, PhD, and J. Winchell, MS, Kent State University, Ohio
Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing, Vol. 13, No. 3 / June 2006

FINDINGS
This study investigates how patient characteristics influence Registered Nurses' judgments on patient decision-making capacity and the decision to intervene in cases of self-neglect. In judging self-neglect, the study found that nurses tend to use "mental status" as a cognitive screen, placing patients in one of three broad categories: 1) no mental illness; 2) minor mental illness; or 3) severe mental illness.

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"Iowa Nursing Home Characteristics Associated With Reported Abuse"
by Gerald J. Jogerst MD, et al, Department of Family Medicine, University of Iowa
Journal of American Medical Directors Association, Vol. 7, No. 4 / May 2006

FINDINGS
This study found evidence that nursing homes in metropolitan areas had higher incident and report rates, and that higher substantiation rates were associated with for-profit nursing homes. Differences found to be associated with nursing facility abuse rates include metropolitan area; ownership; occupancy rate; and number of residents and certified beds.

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"Perceptions of Elder Abuse: Voices of Professionals and Volunteers in Sweden – An Exploratory Study
by Christen L. Erlingsson, Sharon L. Carlson, Sharon L, Otterbin College, Westerville, Ohio; and Britt-Inger Savemanr, University of Kalmar, Kalmar, Sweden
Scandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences, Vol. 20, No. 2 / June 2006

FINDINGS AND CONCLUSIONS
The aim of this study was to examine perceptions of elder abuse in groups representing organizations considered potential sources of help and support for abused elders in Sweden. Findings revealed perceptions of victim blaming and a tolerance for elder abuse. According to the authors, participants perceived that anyone could be provoked to abuse, and that abusers can also be considered victims in abusive situations. Further research on elder abuse perceptions is recommended.

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"Indicators of Elder Abuse: A Cross-national Comparison of Psychiatric Morbidity and Other Determinants in the Ad-HOC Study"
by Claudia Cooper, MSc, et al, Department of Mental Health Sciences, University College London, England, UK
American Journal for Geriatric Psychiatry, Vol. 14 / June 2006

FINDINGS
This study sought to determine cross-nationally the prevalence of indicators of elder abuse and their relationship to purported risk factors, particularly depression, dementia, and lack of service provision. Out of a total of nearly 4,000 people aged 65+ interviewed in 11 European countries, the study revealed that 179 (4.6%) had at least one indicator of abuse. Severity of cognitive impairment, depression, and delusions predicted screening positive for abuse in older adults, but having a known psychiatric diagnosis did not.

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"Self-Neglect: A Proposed New NANDA Diagnosis"
by Susanne Gibbons, C-GNP, Catholic University of America, Washington, DC; William Lauder, Ph.D., University of Dundee, Scotland, UK; and Ruth Ludwick, Kent State University, Ohio
International Journal of Nursing Terminologies and Classifications, Vol. 17, No. 1 / January 2006

PRACTICE AND POLICY IMPLICATIONS
According to the authors, "Understanding and acknowledgement of less serious/non-life-threatening presentations will give nurses a care perspective to improve the health and well-being of patients in earlier stages of self-neglect." Definitions for self-neglect in the Nursing Home Diagnosis Association (NANDA) classification will contribute to care planning and interventions, leading to consistency in practice, they conclude.


Note: Scholarly literature is often published online before print publication. Check individual publisher sites for full-text availability. Many publishers offer pay-per-article service.

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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 in obtaining references, e-mail CANE at [email protected].


Funding Opportunities

NIH Invites Proposals for Behavioral and Social Research on Disasters and Health

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) invites proposals to undertake study of the consequences of natural and man-made disasters for the health of children, elderly, and vulnerable groups, with an ultimate goal of preventing or mitigating harmful consequences.

Three NIH Institutes are sponsoring this program announcement. Of particular note for elder rights advocates and scholars, the National Institute on Aging is interested in research on the needs of elderly in disaster situations, especially elderly residents of institutions and frail elderly in the community. The National Institute of Nursing Research is interested in studies that will develop interventions to improve outcomes for persons affected by natural and man-made disasters.

Application Deadline: October 1, 2006
Download RFP >> http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PA-06-454.html

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Resources for Grant Writers

  • Grants.Gov Grant Writing Tips
    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 >> www.grants.gov/Resources

  • Grant Writing Tools for Non-Profits
    Free web-based tools for non-profit organizations, charitable, educational, public organizations, and other community-minded groups >> www.npguides.org/guide/grant1.htm

  • Foundation Funding Guide: Public Health and Mental Health Funding
    State-by-state directory, courtesy of the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) >> http://archive.naccho.org/Funding-Guide/default.asp

Calendar/Coming Up

July 17-19
2006 National Institute of Justice Conference
U.S. Department of Justice
JW Marriott Hotel, Washington, DC
www.ojp.usdoj.gov/nij/events/nij_conf06_agenda.html
July 19-21
Domestic Violence: Spousal and Elder Abuse in Indian Country
Council Lodge Institute
Las Vegas, Nevada
www.council-lodge.com/dvic.html
September 6-8
17th Annual NAPSA Conference
National Adult Protective Services Association
Hyatt Regency, San Francisco, California
www.apsnetwork.org/Training/conference.htm

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Check our Web site often for more dates and events elderabusecenter.org/default.cfm?p=conferencesevents.cfm


New on the Bookshelf

  National Center for State Courts Policy Paper:
A Report from the First National Meeting of the Elder Abuse and the Courts Working Group Meeting

On June 15, in support of the United Nations' World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, the National Center for State Courts (NCSC) Elder Abuse and the Courts Working Group publicly released its first working paper. In addition to setting out key principles, the report contains a rich array of strategies and recommendations to improve courts' identification of and response to elder abuse, among them:

  1. Passage of Elder Justice Act (currently pending in the U.S. Congress)
  2. Improvement of data collection and documentation
  3. Emulation of national court models (such as Tampa's Elder Justice Center and Alameda County Superior Court's Elder Abuse Protection Court)
  4. Creation of elder protection orders in each state.
  5. Development of specific court performance standards for addressing elder abuse (such as those developed for drug courts, etc.) that can be used across states to increase court accountability and enhance court responses.

The NCSC Elder Abuse and the Courts Policy Paper can be found at >>
www.ncsconline.org/famviol/elderabuse/pdf/MeetingReportFINAL.pdf

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  New COPS Guide,
People with Mental Illness
U.S. Department of Justice / May 2006

People with Mental Illness, released by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), describes challenges police face in their encounters with emotionally disturbed persons. It covers many kinds of cases, including criminal offenders, disorderly persons, missing persons, complainants, victims, and persons in need of care who are neglecting their own basic needs. Specific police response strategies are suggested.

On the Web at >> www.popcenter.org/Problems/problem-mentalillness.htm


Professional Development/Distance Learning

  "Elder Mistreatment and Abuse"
GeroNurseonline / May 2006

This new online professional development program from Nurse Competence in Aging (a cooperative venture of the American Nurses Association, American Nurses Credentialing Center, and John A. Hartford Foundation Institute for Geriatric Nursing, New York University College of Nursing) provides a well-documented introduction to elder abuse risk factors; assessment/screening tools; physical assessment; and interventions and care strategies.

On the Web at >> www.geronurseonline.org/index.cfm?section_id=50
&geriatric_topic_id=29&sub_section_id=216&tab=2


In Brief

 Violence Intervention Program of Los Angeles Launches Nation's Second Elder Abuse Forensic Center

The nation's second Elder Abuse Forensic Center has been established. Funded by a generous grant totaling $374,834 from the Archstone Foundation, Los Angeles County's new Elder Abuse Forensic Center aims to bring together key officials and experts in an effort to increase prosecution rates against perpetrators and to determine the best course of action for cases of elder or dependent adult abuse.

The Forensic Center is operated by the Los Angeles County and USC Medical Center's (LAC+USC) Violence Intervention Program (VIP). Of particular note to advocates, VIP partnered with Los Angeles County Adult Protective Services in 1999 to create the first hospital-based multidisciplinary team for elderly and dependent adults. Provided services include forensic medical examinations for elder abuse and dependent adult abuse victims and screening for abuse and neglect of all patients 65+ at LAC+USC Medical Center.

For more information, see >> www.violenceinterventionprogram.org

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Request for Nominations: Robert Wood Johnson Special Gulf Coast Disaster Community Health Leadership Awards

The Robert Wood Johnson Community Health Leadership Program is making a special round of five Community Health Leadership Awards of $120,000 to honor individuals who have demonstrated leadership in responding to the challenges of the Gulf Coast Disaster in 2005. Nominations are sought from all significantly affected areas, including communities that have offered shelter and support to people displaced from the Gulf Region.

Nominations are due by June 30, 2006.
More information >> www.communityhealthleaders.org

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2006 Partnerships in Law and Aging Program Awards Announced

On June 5, the ABA Commission on Law and Aging and the Albert and Elaine Borchard Foundation Center on Law and Aging announced the selection of 10 projects to receive grants under the 2006 Partnerships in Law and Aging Program.

The purpose of these grants is to encourage development of collaborative, law-related projects that promote elder rights and improve elder access to the justice system. The one-year projects are slated to begin July 1, 2006.

This is the eighth year for the Partnerships in Law and Aging Program. A Request for Proposals for the next funding cycle will be announced this December.

The 2006 Partnerships in Law and Aging projects:

  • Lakeshore Legal Aid, Clinton Township, Mich.– The project will conduct culturally competent and linguistically accessible outreach and community legal education, and provide direct advocacy for limited English proficiency (LEP), undocumented, and under-documented senior victims of abuse, domestic violence, and sexual assault. Project partner: Safe Horizons
  • ElderServe, Inc., Louisville, Ky. – Project partners will collaborate to allow homebound and medically fragile seniors to take out emergency protective orders from their homes via speakerphone and fax connections to the judge, avoiding the necessity of personal courtroom appearances. Project Partners: Jefferson County Circuit Court Clerk; Adult Protective Services; Jefferson County Sheriff's Office
  • Equip for Equality, Chicago, Ill. – The project's aims are to develop self-advocacy and disability rights fact sheets and other materials for seniors with disabilities; reach out to Chicago-area agencies serving seniors; conduct a minimum of seven seminars for seniors on disability rights and advocacy strategies; and promote increased provision of legal advocacy services to seniors with disabilities. Project partner: Illinois Department on Aging.
  • Community Dispute Settlement Center, Inc., Cambridge, Mass. – The priority is to help elders and their families prevent and resolve conflict through mediation, including outreach and skill-building workshops for service providers; establishment of a referral network; and provision of mediation services. Project partners: Greater Boston Legal Services/Somerville Legal Services Office; Somerville-Cambridge Elder Services; Central Boston Elder Services.
  • Legal Assistance of Western NY (Monroe County), Geneva, NY – The Joint Medical-Legal Conference on Medical Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment Project will conduct a medical-legal conference focused on a new advance directive, MOLST, being piloted in two counties, and will train leaders in the health care and legal communities who, in turn, will educate providers in the broader health care community in hospitals, nursing homes and long-term care facilities. Project partners: Excellus BlueCross BlueShield; Monroe County Bar Association; Monroe County Medical Society
  • Montana Legal Services Association, Missoula, Mont. – Creating automated templates of common legal forms and an interactive questionnaire for use by low income Montana seniors is the goal of the new project. Project partner: Montana State Bar, Elderly Assistance Committee.
  • Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, Inc., Westlaco, Tex. – The project priority is to raise awareness, understanding, and access to the legal rights and remedies that protect elders through both targeted education and outreach directly to audiences of elders and by building expanded networks among elder-serving organizations. Project partners: Family Eldercare; ADAPT; Austin Resource Center for Independent Living
  • Pace Women's Justice Center, White Plains NY – The goal of this project is to create a telephone hotline to connect grandparents and older caregivers with various governmental systems in order to assure they receive the benefits and support they need. Project partners: Grandparents' Coalition; Family Services Society of Yonkers.
  • Northwestern Legal Services, Erie, Pa. – A community legal education and outreach initiative, this project focuses on developing a series of free workshops on such topics as advance directives, retirement benefits, nursing homes, and consumer fraud targeting the elderly. It also will produce public television programs on civil legal topics confronting older individuals for broadcast through local community stations. Project partner: Greater Erie Community Action Committee.
  • MFY Legal Services, New York, NY – The goal of this project is to train neighborhood based social service staff to educate low-income seniors on avoiding debt, identity theft, and financial schemes so they can live with dignity and autonomy. Project partner: Project Home.

For further information contact Erica F. Wood, ABA Commission on Law and Aging, [email protected].

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

New Initiative Launched to Protect Senior Investors

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) announced last month a joint national initiative to protect seniors from investment fraud and sales of unsuitable securities.

According to recent NASAA testimony on investment fraud, state securities regulators have seen a proliferation of schemes in three related areas: "senior investment specialists," variable annuities, and unlicensed individuals selling unregistered securities to seniors.

The SEC/NASAA initiative has several key components, including targeted examinations to detect abusive sales tactics aimed at seniors, aggressive enforcement of the securities laws in cases of fraud against seniors, and active investor education and outreach.

The SEC says it plans to work closely with state and local law enforcement, and federal and state agencies, to exchange information to help identify and bring administrative, civil, and criminal actions to shut down scams targeting senior investors.

To help seniors learn to invest more wisely, the SEC's Office of Investor Education and Assistance has assembled a "Senior Care Package" of investor education resources, which is available on the SEC's Web site at www.sec.gov/investor/seniors/seniorscarepackage.htm

Additional information is available at www.sec.gov/investor/seniors.shtml

Learn more U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging Hearing on "Not Born Yesterday: How Seniors Can Stop Investment Fraud," March 29, 2006 >>
http://aging.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?Fuseaction=Hearings.Detail&HearingID=166


Quote of the Month

"Self-neglect and abuse of vulnerable and care-dependent elders requires different systems of intervention than independent elders who respond better to empowerment-based service interventions and strategies."

— National Center for Gerontological Social Work Education,
Social Justice and the Older Adult: Creating an Agenda for Research, Teaching, Policy and Practice
http://depts.washington.edu/geroctr/Center2/RoundtableSummary06.pdf

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NCEA Newsletter

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THE NATIONAL CENTER
ON ELDER ABUSE


June 2006
Volume 8, No. 7
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.

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.

NATIONAL CENTER ON
ELDER ABUSE

National Association of State Units on Aging
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