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June 7, 2007


The Source of Information and Assistance on Elder Abuse

Elder Abuse Listserve

Wishing you had a multidisciplinary team on call 24-hours a day? Although we cannot quite give you that, the National Center on Elder Abuse's Listserve comes close. To introduce people to the Elder Abuse Listserve, we have prepared this online guide to answer many of the Frequently Asked Questions:

Common Questions

What is the Elder Abuse Listserve?

As a subscriber to NCEA's Elder Abuse Listserve, you will be joining more than 1,000 professionals working to protect vulnerable elders and prevent elder abuse. The Elder Abuse List provides a free forum for raising questions, discussing issues, and sharing information and best practices.

The goals of this professional discussion forum are to (1) enhance the elder abuse prevention efforts, (2) enhance the delivery of adult protective services, and (3) enhance the response of the justice, health care, and social services systems to victims of elder abuse. The American Bar Association Commission on Law and Aging sponsors and manages the list as part of its role as a partner in the National Center on Elder Abuse, funded by the U.S. Administration on Aging.

Wait a minute! What exactly is a list serve?

A list serve is like a bulletin board or discussion group that takes place on a computer. Unlike an online "chat room," however, the discussion does not happen in real time.

The way a list works is that a subscriber "posts" (e-mails) a question, announcement, or discussion topic to the listserve. That message is then automatically distributed by e-mail to the other subscribers. Whoever wants to reply can do so. Everyone who is a subscriber sees all the posts unless subscribers choose to take a discussion "off list" and e-mail privately. Examples of the kinds of issues that are raised on this listserve include:

  • "Does anyone have ideas for developing protocols on…?"
  • "Can anyone recommend a good speaker about…?"
  • "Does anyone have ideas about ways of handling a case about…?"
  • "Does any state have legislation about...?"
  • "Has anyone ever tried this legal theory in a court case about…?"

What are the benefits of subscribing to a list serve?

Only through a list serve can a subscriber send out an e-mail query and get answers from professionals all over the world. A list serve lets other members learn from the questions and answers … and it allows subscribers to ask for information right when they need it. In a sense, it can be used as a national, computer-based multidisciplinary team! (And it is free.)

Who is eligible to subscribe to the Elder Abuse Listserve?

Membership is restricted. The following groups of professionals in elder abuse or allied fields are eligible to subscribe to the Elder Abuse Listserve:

  • Adult Protective Services practitioners and administrators
  • Aging Services providers and administrators
  • Educators
  • Health professionals
  • Judges
  • Lawyers
  • Law enforcement officers
  • Lawyers
  • Policymakers
  • Prosecutors
  • Researchers


The Elder Abuse Listserve is a private list serve, available only to subscribers. In order to maintain privacy, only subscribers can read the online discussions and respond to the posts. It is not a forum for the lay public.

This list is unmoderated. All messages are sent to all members without being screened by the list manager. However, the list manager does have the authority to unsubscribe a member who is not using the listserve in an appropriate manner or for its intended purpose.

How do I join the Elder Abuse Listserve?

Click on Join Elder Abuse Listserve to subscribe to the Elder Abuse list.

You can also send e-mail a subscription request to list manager Lori Stiegel at Your request must include the following information: Your name, your e-mail address, your profession, a statement of your interest/expertise in adult protective services/elder abuse, the name of the organization for which you work (if applicable) and its address, and your phone number so that you can be contacted in the event of an e-mail problem.

The list manager tries to subscribe people the same weekday of the request, but she does not always succeed. When you are subscribed, you will receive a two-part welcome message directly from the listserver. Both messages contain information about using the list. For problems contact

National Center on Elder Abuse
1201 15th Street, N.W., Suite 350 · Washington, DC 20005-2842
(202) 898-2586 · Fax: (202) 898-2583 · Email: