Category: NCEA Blog

  • Elder Mistreatment on the Streets

    Through much of the past year, COVID-19 has unleashed unprecedented harms and exacerbated preexisting hardships for older adults worldwide. One particularly devastating effect of the contagion has been the descent of older adults at the economic margins into poverty and increased threat of homelessness. Prior to the pandemic, the aging homeless population in the United States was on the rise.[i] The coronavirus has placed them in an even more precarious position. Older adults who experience homelessness are projected to more than double by 2050.[ii] While many in the older cohort have lived on the streets for a generation and aged into chronic homelessness,[iii] a majority are now experiencing homelessness for

  • Finding Support in the Midst of a Tempest

    For most of us, the events of the past few months have infused our lives with a discomfiting sense of instability and uncertainty. Collectively, we are responding to pandemic-induced fear and loss, and confronting systemic racial injustice wrought from centuries of structural oppressions imposed on the African American community. On an individual level, each of us navigates our own personal trials. Yet, within the landscape of our various complicated lives, sometimes an incident can jog us out of our respective worlds and lend insight and meaning to the moment. Nearly four months ago, during the NCEA’s World Elder Abuse Awareness Day activities and “Lifting up Voices” campaign, Art Mason, Director

  • Supporting our Elder Community: COVID-19 and the Fight Against Loneliness

    Our grandmother lives in a bustling retirement community and, before COVID-19, she had a thriving social life. She often had visitors over to her apartment, loved to go to the gym with her friends, and took the bus to the supermarket every week. Because of her compromised immune system, when COVID-19 arose in March, her doctor told her that she needed to self-isolate. So, she stopped leaving her apartment and began calling her friends rather than seeing them in person, and following yoga routines on YouTube. While she kept busy, it was clear that she was getting lonely. Our grandmother is not alone. Since seniors with COVID-19 have higher hospitalization and mortality rates, many have

  • They Decided to Stay: Elder Abuse Shelters, Care Communities and Covid-19

    Fact Sheet - Elder Abuse Shelter: From Model to MovementDownload When abuse happens in private homes throughout the country older adults may choose to stay simply because they have nowhere to go where both their medical history and their trauma history can be simultaneously and holistically addressed. Equally potent is the fear that, once they leave home, they may not be able to get back safely.  A growing national movement seeks to address the needs of elder abuse victims by providing temporary shelter with intensive services. These shelter programs, including varied models of shelter, are part of a burgeoning community collective called the SPRiNG Alliance (Shelter Partners: Regional. National. Global.)

  • Without Rites of Passage, What Does the Future Hold for Young Adults and Their Older Counterparts?

    Rites of Passage Throughout our lives, we experience rites of passage to indicate the end of one phase of development and the beginning of the next. Our rites are now in limbo, due to the emergence of COVID-19. This ambiguity is enhanced and exasperated for younger adults. Rites of passage include three phases: separation, liminality, and incorporation. Separation: In 2020, as pandemic victims died, many unnecessarily, spring-break celebrations segued to semi-permanent separations; and students began defaulting on loans after losing jobs, income, and confidence. Liminality: In the midst of a humanitarian crisis, young adults stand at the threshold, unable to move forward when considering college and/or careers. The liminal phase

  • 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



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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.