July 2006 | Volume 8 | No. 8

Policy & Legislation

Elder Justice Watch
Senate Finance Committee to Consider Elder Justice Act

The Senate Finance Committee, chaired by Charles Grassley (R-IA), is scheduled to mark up the Elder Justice bill on August 3, according to the Elder Justice Coalition. Should this bill pass as expected, the Coalition noted, "it will go to the Senate floor for possible action in September."

The prospects are increasing. A July 28, 2006 New York Times editorial headlined, "If It Could Happen to Her…," had this to say:

"Anyone who deals with older people can tell harrowing stories about the increasing cases of physical, emotional or financial abuse. And the problem can only grow as 77 million baby boomers start to hit their 60’s. While we can’t legislate satisfactory relatives for all of them, states need to ensure that court-appointed guardians are more than just another raft of patronage appointments. And Congress should focus on passing the Elder Justice Act, which addresses the problems of an estimated 250,000 to 5 million elderly people who are suffering some kind of ill-treatment each year. The Senate Finance Committee should take the time to mark up this bill before the August recess so that the House can address it before the end of this year."

The Elder Justice Coalition continues to reach out to members of Congress to encourage support of the proposed elder justice legislation. Representatives Rubén E. Hinojosa of Texas and Susan A. Davis of California are the latest House members to sign on to the bipartisan H.R. 4993 sponsored by Homeland Security Committee Chairman Peter T. King of New York. Rep. Hinojosa (D-TX 15th) is Ranking Member of the House Subcommittee on Select Education that has jurisdiction over the Older Americans Act. Rep. Davis (D-CA 53rd) is a member of the House Education and Workforce Committee.

The totals are now 18 bipartisan cosponsors in the Senate and 34 in the House. To learn more, 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:

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

Senator Enzi Introduces Bipartisan Senate Bill to Amend Older Americans Act

On June 27, 2006, Senator Michael B. Enzi (R-WY), chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee introduced S. 3750, the Older Americans Act Amendments of 2006. Co-sponsored by Senators Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA), the committee's ranking member, Mike DeWine (R-OH), chairman of the Retirement Security and Aging Subcommittee, and Barbara A. Mikulski (D-MD), the subcommittee's ranking Democrat, this legislation if passed would add important new provisions to Title VII Vulnerable Elder Rights Protection regarding Elder Justice.

Among other provisions, the Senate bill would authorize grants explicitly for the prevention, detection, assessment and treatment of, intervention in, investigation of, and response to elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation; to explore different models of elder shelters (also called safe havens); and to provide training and cross-training on issues of elder abuse.

Enzi's legislation would also create an Office of Elder Abuse Prevention and Services within the Administration on Aging and authorize grants aimed at combating abuse and neglect in long-term care facilities.

As reported last month, the House-passed Senior Independence Act (OAA reauthorization bill) 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.

The Senate and House are currently pre-conferencing to resolve differences between the bills.

More information

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

Senate Appropriations Bill Passes Committee

On July 20, the Senate Committee on Appropriations passed the FY 2007 appropriations bill for the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies. The proposed funding for Older Americans Act programs is $18.5 million more than the fiscal year 2006 level, but nearly $10 million less than the total proposed by the House, according to Kathy Miller, policy analyst with the National Association of State Units on Aging.

Of interest to advocates for elder rights, the Committee recommended $21,156,000 for grants to States for protection of vulnerable older Americans. This is $1,014,000 above the comparable 2006 level and $1,990,000 above the administration request. Of the total recommended for Title VII, $16,010,000 is for the State long term care ombudsman program and $5,146,000 is for the elder abuse prevention program. Both provide formula grants to States.

The bill at the same time recommends funding the Title XX Social Services Block Grant (SSBG) at the current authorized level of $1.7 billion. A $500 million cut to the program was proposed by the Administration, but the Committee rejected it.

No further action on the appropriations bills is expected until after Congress reconvenes following the Labor Day holiday in September. The House is scheduled to begin its summer recess beginning July 28, and the Senate recess will begin August 4.

The full text of the Senate Committee Report 109-287 is available at http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/cpquery/R?cp109:FLD010:@1(sr287)

NCEA News & Resources

2005/2006 NCEA Evaluation: How Do We Measure Up?

We are pleased to share with you some highlights from the recent NCEA Evaluation conducted by Westat, Inc, an independent research and consulting firm located in Rockville, Maryland. Special appreciation is extended to all those who participated–the survey yielded valuable insights and information for planning.

A total of 684 individuals from throughout the country responded. Overall, the views were very positive.

Nearly all (93%) of those responding said that the services of the Clearinghouse on Abuse and Neglect of the Elderly (CANE) were important and helpful. With over 6,000 holdings, the CANE online database catalogs the largest collection in the country of peer-reviewed and scholarly publications on elder abuse issues.

The NCEA newsletter also was rated very highly. Almost all (96%) said it was a valuable source for staying up to date on this important issue. Our opt-in e-mail newsletter was transformed from print to a solely electronic publication in January 2005.

An equal percentage (96%) responded positively to the NCEA Web site. Widely cited as a reference, this extremely busy Web site now includes well over 1,600 pages of dynamic and static content, a searchable promising practice database, downloadable publications, scores of external links, and more.

The results also indicate that the NCEA Elder Abuse Listserve is highly valued. Nearly all (87%) said they appreciated having a forum for sharing ideas, resources, problems, and solutions. The listserve now has 1,532 members worldwide.

These are just a few highlights from the survey. To see how we are doing on our goals, click here.

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

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.

On the Front Lines

Tennessee Facts1

  • The 2000 Census data for Tennessee reports the population as 5,689,000, with 12.4% of the population (703,000) being over the age of 65.
  • Tennessee law requires any person who has reason to suspect that an adult has suffered abuse, neglect or exploitation to report the problem to the proper authorities.
  • The Tennessee Department of Health is required by state law to maintain a registry of nurse aides who have been determined to have abused, neglected, or misappropriated the property of a vulnerable individual. Tennessee's Online Elderly or Vulnerable Abuse Registry can be searched by offender's name or Social Security identifier.

Sources: Population Reference Bureau, Which States Are the Oldest? April 2003 www.prb.org/Template.cfm?Section=PRB&template=/
; Tennessee Medicaid Fraud Control Unit www.tbi.state.tn.us/divisions/cid_mfcu_abuse.htm; Tennessee Department of Health www2.state.tn.us/health/abuseregistry/Desc.html

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.

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

Tennessee Online Resources



Research & Scholarship

"Elders and the Courts: Judicial Policy for an Aging America"
by Max B. Rothman, JD, LLM, [email protected] and Burton D. Dunlop, PhD, Center on Aging, Florida International University
Journal of Aging & Social Policy Vol. 18, No. 2 / June 2006

The authors write that as people are living longer, there likely will be more elderly entering the nation's courthouses with serious underlying problems or conditions "that will impede effective access and court processes." Analyzing how the courts perceive these issues and exploring how they have begun to address them, they conclude with an argument in support of innovative new approaches to assist courts in responding to emerging issues of older adults.

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

"Financial Exploitation of Older Persons: Challenges and Opportunities to Identify, Prevent, and Address It in the United States"
by Donna J. Rabiner [email protected], Janet O'Keeffe, and David Brown MA, RTI International
Journal of Aging & Social Policy, Vol. 18, No. 2 / June 2006

This article examines findings from a national study of financial exploitation of older persons. The authors review what is known about the nature and scope of financial exploitation of older persons and describe barriers to addressing the problem. Additionally, recommendations and suggested policy approaches for prevention and remediation are provided.

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

"Disrespect and Isolation: Elder Abuse in Chinese Communities"
by Sandra Tam [email protected] and S. Neysmith, University of Toronto, Faculty of Social Work, Ontario, Canada
Canadian Journal on Aging, Vol. 25, No. 2 / Summer 2006

Based on a qualitative study of homecare workers, this paper aims to understand elder abuse of Chinese Canadians. The findings show disrespect is the key form elder abuse takes in the Chinese community. As a culturally specific form of abuse, disrespect remains invisible under categories of elder abuse derived from a Western cultural perspective. Applying the framework of social exclusion to understand the dynamic of elder abuse, it is argued that as a marginalized racial minority immigrant, an elderly Chinese person's vulnerability to abuse is increased under conditions of social isolation.

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

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.

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

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

NIJ Data Resources Program 2006: Funding for the Analysis of Existing Data

The U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, National Institute of Justice (NIJ) is seeking applications for secondary data analysis using data from the National Archive of Criminal Justice Data (NACJD). For 2006-2007, NIJ is particularly interested in analysis of geographic data or data that can be linked with geographic data for analysis in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) or spatial statistics software.

Application Deadline: September 14, 2006

Download RFP >>  www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/SL000749.pdf

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

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/index.jsp

  • 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

September 6-8
17th Annual NAPSA Conference
National Adult Protective Services Association
Hyatt Regency, San Francisco, California
September 14-16
11th International Conference on Violence, Abuse and Trauma
Institute on Violence, Abuse and Trauma (formerly Family Violence and Sexual Assault Institute)
Town & Country Resort & Convention Center, San Diego, California
October 22-25
31st National Conference and Annual Meeting of the
National Citizens' Coalition for Nursing Home Reform
Hilton Crystal City, Arlington, Virginia

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

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

New on the Bookshelf

  Off the Hook Again: Understanding Why the Elderly Are Victimized by Economic Fraud Crimes

A new study by researchers at the NASD Investor Education Foundation, WISE Senior Services and AARP Foundation examines why certain elderly investors are more susceptible to investment fraud.

The just released report, Off the Hook Again: Understanding Why the Elderly Are Victimized by Economic Fraud Crimes, sheds light on common ploys investment scammers use to target seniors. The study's authors analyzed fraud pitches taken from undercover tapes and surveyed victims and non-victims to illuminate some of the differences in how they respond. Among the key findings:

  • Investment fraud victims are more financially literate than non-victims;
  • Investment fraud criminals use a wide array of influence tactics, from friendship to fear and intimidation, to defraud the victim;
  • Fraud pitches are tailored to match the psychological needs of individual victims;
  • Investment fraud victims are more likely to listen to sales pitches;
  • Investment fraud victims are more likely to rely on their own experience and knowledge when making investment decisions;
  • Fraud victims experience more difficulties from negative life events than non-victims;
  • Investment fraud victims are more optimistic about the future; and
  • Investment fraud and lottery victims dramatically under-report fraud.

Recommendations call for increasing the general public's understanding of how to spot and resist "persuasive" ploys and manipulative tactics.

The report, Off the Hook Again, released July 17 at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's Seniors Summit in Washington, DC, is available in PDF format online at >> www.nasdfoundation.org/WISE_Investor_Fraud_Study_Final_Report.pdf

The SEC Senior Summit Webcast was recorded and is available for viewing at www.connectlive.com/events/secseniors/.

More Information

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

  Guardianship Monitoring: A National Survey of Court Practices

AARP's Public Policy Institute has recently released a new study, titled Guardianship Monitoring: A National Survey of Court Practices. Co-written by Naomi Karp of the AARP Policy Institute and Erica Wood of the ABA Commission on Law and Aging, the new report highlights the results of a 2005 national survey of 387 experts with frontline experience – judges, court managers, guardians, elder law attorneys, and legal representatives of people with disabilities.

Among the study's key findings:

Reporting by Guardians

  • 74% of respondents stated that their court requires personal status reports, up from 67% in 1991.
  • Over 34% reported that their court requires guardians to file forward-looking plans, although only 10 state statutes require them.


  • Over one-third of respondents said no one is designated by their court to verify the information in reports and accountings.
  • Over 40% report that no one is assigned by the court to visit individuals under guardianship, and only one-fourth said that someone visits regularly.


  • 22% said their court does not use computer technology in monitoring, and only 4% said the court emails guardians about reporting.


  • 43% said funding is unavailable or insufficient, and over 30% report that their court has no specific funding for monitoring.

The new AARP/ABA study on guardianship is available for download from >> www.aarp.org/research/legal/guardianships/2006_14_guardianship.html

Professional Development/Distance Learning

  "The Ethical Challenges of Elder Abuse"
by Mark E. Williams, MD / Medscape CME Center / May 26, 2006

This new online course for physicians and other health professionals, offered by the Medscape CME Center, capsulizes a presentation delivered at the American Geriatrics Society 2006 Annual Scientific Meeting, titled "Ethical Dilemmas in Elder Abuse: Successful Resolutions of Challenging Cases."

The course is designed to enable health professionals to: 1) demonstrate an understanding of ethical principles in their treatment of the older patient; 2) recognize community resources needed to assist in resolving difficult cases; 3) identify barriers and limitations in the social service and legal system; and 4) identify the threshold and appropriate approaches for reporting elder abuse and the liabilities for failing to report.

On the Web at >> www.medscape.com/medscapetoday/cme
(To find the session, type the search term "Ethical Challenges of Elder Abuse".)

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

  "Facing the Challenges of Dementia: Tools to Support and Protect Persons with Dementia"
Computer-based Training (CBT) / New York Protective Services for Adults

This computer-based training course, designed specifically for New York's adult protective services caseworkers, is very high quality and informative. Course content covers: Signs and Symptoms of Dementia; Understanding the Disease; Communication Strategies; Living Alone: Special Challenges; the Home Environment; Day-to-Day Care; and Supporting Caregivers.

On the Web at >> www.ocfs.state.ny.us/main/psa/cbt/dementia/dementia.htm

In Brief

Worldview Environmental Scan on Elder Abuse Deadline Extended

The International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (INPEA) announced that the deadline to respond to the Worldview Environmental Scan on Elder Abuse has been extended.

So far, only nine responses from the U.S. have been received. The INPEA survey is the first-ever global survey on policies, resources, needs and problems in elder abuse prevention. Dr. Elizabeth Podnieks, the INPEA's vice-president, is hoping for more responses from national, regional and local representatives to provide a more complete picture of developments in the USA.

If you haven't yet responded, there's still time. Click on the following link to download the survey >> www.inpea.net/downloads/worldview_survey_english.doc

For more information, visit www.inpea.net.

Quote of the Month

"Perpetrators . . . They are good at what they do! They are cunning, experienced, and professional. They rarely look like criminals. Think of them as wolves in sheep's clothing. These perpetrator wolves come in two disguises: 'the strangers' and 'the trusts'."

— Sally Hume, Keeping the Wolves from Grandma's Door: Financial Exploitation of the Elderly. Speech delivered at United Nations Commemoration of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, New York, NY. June 15, 2006.

Table of Contents
NCEA Newsletter

is published 10 times a year by


July 2006
Volume 8, No. 8
Sara Aravanis, Director
Susan Coombs Ficke, Contributing Writer/Editor

Request for Information
Call the NCEA Help Desk at
(202) 898-2586, e-mail
[email protected], or visit

Subscribe to NCEA Newsletter


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.

NCEA always welcomes news from the field. Please direct comments and suggestions to the editor, Susan Coombs Ficke [email protected]


National Association of State Units on Aging
1201 15th Street, NW, Suite 350
Washington, DC 20005
PHONE: (202) 898-2586
FAX: (202) 898-2583
E-MAIL: [email protected]
WEB SITE: www.elderabusecenter.org

NCEA News Archives on the Internet >>