Category: NCEA Blog

  • Eldercaring Coordination: Abuse Intervention in Guardianship

    Though burgeoning research in the area of elder mistreatment has advanced our understanding of the field, the literature has also exposed significant gaps in our knowledge base. A subject of continuing concern is interventions, specifically, the paucity of available remedies, the inadequacy of person-centered resolutions, and the lack of an evidence base to assess the effectiveness of existing abuse prevention strategies.[i] One evidence-informed practice with the potential to mitigate mistreatment has gained national prominence and increasing traction. In the topical and much-discussed arena of guardianship, a setting rife with the possibility of abuse, Eldercaring coordination has emerged as a meaningful intervention. In probate guardianships, petitioners typically allege that susceptible older

  • Medicare Fraud, Errors, and Abuse Can Cost in Dollars and Health

    Medicare fraud can be a big business for criminals. Medicare loses approximately $60 billion annually due to fraud, errors, and abuse, though the exact figure is impossible to measure. Medicare is complicated. What may seem like an error to the beneficiary may simply be the result of a misunderstanding about benefits. It may also be abuse, which involves billing for services that are not covered or are not correctly coded. Medicare fraud assumes criminal intent. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) defines fraud as “the intentional deception or misrepresentation that the individual knows to be false or does not believe to be true” and that is made “knowing

  • Virtually, People of All Ages Can Prevent Elder Abuse

    Elder abuse is a serious public health and human rights issue that impacts us all on some level. This also means that there’s something – big or small – each of us can do to prevent elder abuse in our communities. While the COVID-19 pandemic exposed just how widespread ageism is in our society, the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) leaned into the interdependence of all age groups to promote elder justice. Through various ways, the NCEA team strengthened connections with youth advocates to facilitate the flow of support between generations. We’ve Zoomed into classrooms across the country to share what elder abuse is, how it impacts people of

  • Help with financial needs as we age

    As we grow older, we face many financial decisions. Where will I live? Who will help me manage my money if I am no longer able to do it myself? How can I protect my money from scammers? The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is here to help older adults answer those questions and make financial decisions with confidence. Our Office for Older Americans creates resources to help older adults make sound financial decisions as they age, and educate people about scams and financial exploitation. The COVID-19 pandemic shined a light on the challenges of caregiving and the importance of preparing for the unexpected. We offer resources to help you

  • Beyond COVID-19: Changes in Long-term Care

    To date, almost 660,000 nursing home residents in the U.S. have contracted COVID-19[i] and more than 133,000 have died of the virus and/or related complications.[ii] The number of casualties remains unprecedented and astounding. Yet, the full impact of the disease on surviving residents is still unknown. For much of the past year, beyond the bare numbers reported by long-term care facilities to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), little was revealed about the lived experiences of facility residents. Contagion containment restrictions imposed by CMS and implemented by facilities prevented most outside visitation and oversight. Even long-term care ombudsmen, who advocate on behalf of residents and ordinarily have unfettered

  • LGBT Community Stands Strong Against Isolation during COVID-19

    As the nation began to take shelter at home during the early days of the COVID-19 Pandemic, SAGE (the national advocacy and services organization for LGBT older adults) knew that older LGBT people would be at increased risk of isolation. Up until this time, there was a heavy reliance on in-person programming through SAGE Centers, Affiliate, and LGBT community centers across the country to reach older LGBT people. Remaining in contact with an already isolated older adult community became a number one priority for SAGE. The response from SAGE was swift. Within a week of the SAGE headquarters closing the office and centers in New York City, a team of

  • Good Neighbor Program: A Law Enforcement Program Worth Replicating

    The role of law enforcement is not just about kicking down doors and arresting criminals.  It is also about protecting one of our most vulnerable populations.  Seniors have greatly contributed to society, worked full careers, raised families, assisted with grandchildren, helped their aging parents; and are now slowing down.  They deserve our attention, respect and the protection of our law enforcement. This was the impetus for the Douglas County Sherriff’s office designing the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office (DCSO) Good Neighbor Program. The program began with one volunteer and one client in January 2017, today, there are 45 volunteers and we have processed about 183 clients. A background checked volunteer is

  • Hollywood’s Spotlight on Guardianship

    This weekend I watched Netflix’s latest production “I Care A Lot” a story depicting a harrowing fictional journey into the dark side of our guardianship/conservatorship system.  The film follows a court-appointed guardian who seizes the assets of elderly people for her own, until she seizes the wrong person.  My family members watching this with me were incredulous, “Surely this can’t happen, someone cannot just be ripped from their home and their belongings and their rights!” So, I paused the movie and gave them a brief overview of the guardianship system and that led to this blog post.  Being part of the National Center on Elder Abuse, NCEA, I am privy

  • Social Work and Elder Justice: A Mutually Essential Relationship

    As a college student, when I started working with older people, elder abuse was far from my mind. Over time, though, I realized that elder abuse was a widespread problem. Decades later, elder justice has become a central focus of my macro-level work at the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) to enhance social work practice with and social policy affecting older adults. NCEA and NASW are currently celebrating Social Work Month with the theme Social Workers Are Essential. I believe this theme has two equally important implications for elder abuse: one, that social workers are essential to the elder justice movement; and two, that working to prevent and address


    I was a star gazer growing up, looking up at the sky on clear nights, noticing the formations above me. In doing so, I was struck by the concept of “twin stars”, born in the same stellar nursery, flung out on their own into the galaxy, to remain apart but never far away. From my perspective, Bonnie Brandl and Risa Breckman are like twin stars, with common beginnings, but each shining in her own space, coming together at times, as binary pairs might, but always with unique perspectives and contributions to offer. What this has meant for the field of elder abuse is something bright and beautiful, and often transformative.



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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.