Category: NCEA Blog

  • 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

  • Financial Abuse Program Focus: San Mateo County’s Elder and Dependent Adult Protection Team

    Like most communities in Silicon Valley, San Mateo County (California) is a wonderful place to live and work. We have diverse recreational opportunities, lots of natural beauty, a thriving economy and a healthy housing market all in less than 750 square miles. Just south of San Francisco and north of San Jose, it is an ideal place to raise a family, which many are choosing to do – or grow older here. By 2030, the number of older people in San Mateo County is expected to increase by 70% -  and Adult Protective Services (APS) has received an increasing number of abuse reports as the community ages. In a location

  • Paving the Way to Improved Charting: Geriatric Injury Documentation Tool

    Keck School of Medicine of USC, University of Southern California, Dept. of Family Medicine and Geriatrics, Alhambra Health care providers in all settings evaluate older adults with evidence of physical injury. For approximately 10% of these patients, the injury may be linked to some form of elder abuse or neglect. However, it is often not always apparent during the initial medical encounter that the injury could be connected to abuse. In fact, it may be weeks, months or even years later that abuse is suspected. When physical injuries are not considered suspicious, they are usually not documented in any detail, if at all, in the medical chart. This creates an

  • Adult Protective Services Abuse Registry National Report

    Over half the states (26) now have abuser registries for perpetrators of elder and vulnerable adult abuse. In 2016, NAPSA’s Regional Representatives Advisory Board created a volunteer ad hoc committee which examined abuser registries in detail and produced the first-ever, comprehensive report on this recent trend. [1] To be considered, a state registry had to fit the following definition: “a system for maintaining the identity of individuals who are found, only as a result of an APS investigation, to have abused, neglected or exploited seniors or adults (18 and older) with disabilities living in the community or in a facility.” Registries in 26 states met these criteria; of those, 21

  • Opioids and Elder Abuse: A Disquieting Connection

    Older adults are an important but frequently forgotten generation that is affected by the opioid crisis in America.  As a group, older adults often have multiple chronic conditions and endure high rates of chronic pain. Opioids and related prescription and non-prescription drugs are frequently the treatment of choice for these individuals. Further, the opioid crisis has harmed older adults through the addiction of their children, grandchildren, and others who rely on them for money, child care, food, shelter, and the like. Directly or inadvertently, older adults may be stripped of their resources and quality of life because of the struggles of those around them—and may be highly susceptible to elder



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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.