Category: NCEA Blog

  • The Importance of Connectedness amid COVID-19

    Nearly one year ago, Sydney Miller received her undergraduate degree in nursing. The 24-year-old Los Angeles native had been a natural caregiver since childhood, showering attention on her younger siblings, helping her mother with chores, and devotedly tending to her aging grandparents. Becoming a nurse had been a dream since childhood. Her accelerated 15-month nursing program at New York University (NYU) entailed long hours of didactic instruction, clinical practice, and study. Though perfectly suited to the profession and expertly trained, she could not have prepared for the onslaught that lay ahead. For the past three months, she has labored tirelessly in the eye of the COVID-19 pandemic tending to hundreds

  • The Third Tamkin Symposium on Elder Abuse: Propelling the Field through Personal Connections, Research, and Practice

    By Lori Mars, JD March 26, 2020 It’s hard to believe with the proliferation of the COVID-19 pandemic wending its way across the globe and into our lives, that just three short weeks ago elder abuse researchers, practitioners, and advocates convened in a communal embrace at the Tamkin Symposium in Pasadena, California. As current health protocols mandate, today we are increasingly insulated from colleagues and community. Conference discussions that centered on the threat of social isolation have given way to social distancing in our new daily reality. Hopefully, we will return to normalcy in the months ahead. And, while coronavirus and elder mistreatment are disparate in form, transmission, and impact,

  • A Massachusetts Model – Partnering with Persons with a Disability to Address Crimes and Ensure Meaningful Access to Services

    In the late 1990s, after a series of high-profile criminal cases involving victims with an intellectual and developmental disability (I/DD), a group of interested professionals in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts collectively found themselves in a position of introspection. Was the Commonwealth delivering to its citizens with a disability equal access and justice under the law? The answer became apparent. There were glaring gaps in the system. The question then became – How to ensure that victims with a disability had the same access and rights afforded to victims without a disability? This resulted in a watershed moment for the Commonwealth, as this group of committed individuals representing law enforcement, human

  • Using Asset Forfeiture to Compensate Victims

    The Department of Justice (Department) Asset Forfeiture Program (Program) plays a critical role in disrupting and dismantling illegal enterprises, depriving criminals of the proceeds of illegal activity, deterring crime, and restoring property to victims. One of the four primary goals of the Department’s Program is to recover assets that may be used to compensate victims when authorized under federal law.  See The Attorney General’s Guidelines on the Asset Forfeiture Program (2018), §§ II, V.D. (available at https://www.justice.gov/criminal-mlars/file/1123146/download).  Federal regulations permit the Department to return those forfeited assets to victims through the remission and restoration processes.  See 28 C.F.R. Part 9.  Since 2002, the Department has returned over $8.5 billion in assets

  • The Value of Adding a Service Advocate to the Forensic Center

    Several months ago, the Los Angeles County Elder Abuse Forensic Center (the “Center”) reviewed a case involving an older woman, Ms. M, with moderate cognitive impairment who had been defrauded by her longtime live-in caregiver. The Center’s multidisciplinary experts, from medical, mental health, law enforcement, legal and social service sectors, collectively evaluated Ms. M’s case and developed an action plan to address the ensuing harm and available remedies. Among the proposed recommendations, the team suggested sending the Center’s Service Advocate, Maria Sierra, to appraise Ms. M’s condition and immediate needs. Maria Sierra, MFT, Los Angeles County Elder Abuse Forensic Center Service Advocate Maria’s home visit coincided with Ms. M’s recent

  • Coordinated response to help tribal elder victims of abuse needed: How do we address limited community services and supports?

    As a member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa I am proud to live and celebrate my heritage every day.  I appreciate the recognition and awareness that Native American Heritage month brings, though the many issues faced by tribal elders deserve ongoing focus every month. I learned this firsthand when I worked as Director for Montana Tribes at the PSA VII Area Agency on Aging. This past year I learned from another perspective, having had the joy and challenge of helping manage the demands of caregiving for my father through varied health concerns.  One of the issues my office at the Administration on Aging (AoA) continues to advocate and

  • A Stepping Off Point: Where Does Ageism Fit Into Conversations About Elder Abuse in Tribal Communities?

    I recently had the opportunity to review The International Association for Indigenous Aging (IA2) needs assessment examining barriers to screening and management of elder abuse cases by tribal health care providers. The providers interviewed brought up critical points related to elders limited access to services, interventions, and supports, and what role culture and identity play in that access. As Jolie Crowder points out, this assessment serves as a steppingstone for future conversations about how tribal communities identify and respond to violence against older adults. A crucial conversation that stands out to me is around what role ageism may play in providers capacity to identify and respond to abuse, and elders’

  • Health Providers Have Desire & Opportunity to Intervene in Cases of Elder Abuse Among American Indian and Alaska Native Patients, But Lack Knowledge and Training: Findings From A New Report

    November marks the observance of Native American Heritage month--an opportunity to recognize the storied history, diversity, and contributions of American Indians and Alaska Natives (AIANs) in the United States. The month also provides the opportunity to recognize the significant challenges Native people, especially elders, have faced. Elders are considered by many tribes as the keepers of tribal knowledge. Conventional wisdom, both within and outside of Indian country, is that they are revered for the role the play in their communities. Yet, recent evidence indicates that the values of respect and reverence ascribed to tribal cultures seems to provide little protection for their elders from abuse. An analysis of the National

  • Come Out as an LGBT Elder Justice Ally

    “All people, regardless of age or ability, have the right to live their lives with justice, dignity, and respect, free from abuse of any kind. (ACL) The keywords here are “ALL people,” not some. I call attention to this quote because historically, LGBT people have been invisible to systems of elder justice. Several years ago I attended a presentation on elder abuse and neglect. As I listened to the panel, it became clear.  The experiences of isolation, verbal harassment, and neglect of LGBT people by caregivers is elder abuse and neglect. I asked the panel how we could better educate the LGBT community about elder abuse and neglect and encourage

  • Important Findings from the NCEA Resource Line

    The Han Research Lab at the University of Southern California, Department of Family Medicine, recently published findings in the Journal of Applied Gerontology that summarized the types of calls and contacts made to the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) resource line over a nearly three-year period. The study garnered significant media attention, and is novel because it is the first to describe call types to the NCEA resource line. Other studies have characterized elder abuse using different data sources, including national surveys and calls made to Adult Protective Services (APS). Study findings are consistent with others, which have found financial abuse to be the most commonly reported type of



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Special Thanks to Judith D. Tamkin

We are sincerely appreciative to Judith D. Tamkin for her gift to help establish the USC Center on Elder Mistreatment’s website. Her deep and personal commitment to eradicating elder abuse is helping to reshape our understanding of elder abuse and ultimately save innumerable older adults from abuse and neglect.