The NCEA Blog is updated regularly with posts from contributing authors and new publications from the National Center on elder Abuse (NCEA). If you have ideas for future blog post to share with us, reach out to us via the Contact Us page.
November 21, 2023
Caregiver Secrets That Suffocate: Signs & Solutions
Growing up Sicilian with immigrant parents, I was raised to follow an unwritten rule of cosa nostra, the culturally common code that translates to: “What happens in the family, stays in the family.” In our household, that meant keeping secret the fact that behind closed doors, our matriarch raged, battling demons she heard and saw who bid her to do evil. From the age of ten, I took on household duties, and by the time I turned 26, not only had I been serving for years in secret as my now 64-year-old mother’s primary caregiver, but I would find myself adding to my duties caring for my younger sister two years my junior, also diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia.
Each October during Domestic Violence Awareness Month, I take time to reflect on and honor the survivors I have worked with and the lessons they taught me about what it means to be an advocate. My path in this work started over two decades ago when I embarked on my first social worker role as a domestic violence advocate and community educator. What I learned immediately was that there is no one face of domestic violence – it cuts across all demographic groups and age does not safeguard against its risks – it’s an issue that occurs across the lifespan.
September 27, 2023
Fireside Chat on Elder Justice and Caring for Older Adults
As we look to the future of elder justice, it’s essential to address the hurdles that have hindered progress. The annual Fireside Chat held by The National Center for Elder Abuse (NCEA) and the Elder Justice Coalition (EJC) featured passionate conversation from Bob Blancato, National Coordinator of EJC, Dr. Laura Mosqueda, Director of NCEA, and Nicole Howell, former Health Policy Advisor with U.S. Congressman Bill Pascrell. The panelists discussed the challenges of gaining congressional support for the Elder Justice Reauthorization and Modernization Act and persistent issues related to long-term care facilities. Below are key takeaways of their conversation.
With the new school year beginning, I think back to my first semester in college and being asked the question most commonly posed to freshmen, “What is your major?” I quickly grew to dislike this question because when I responded, “Gerontology,” no one seemed to know what it meant. As I explained, I watched as their expression dimmed from intrigue to disinterest. I can only imagine the reaction I would have received if I began to talk about elder abuse.
August 16, 2023
Older Adult Podcasters On Air!
Of the over 2.5 million podcasts in the United States, over 100 address issues relating to older adults and aging. These podcasts run the gamut from the cheerfully framed Zestful Aging, Optimal Aging, and Successful Aging to the more bleakly titled Aging Immaturely, Aging Terribly, and even Old Cow. Among this mix of broadcasts are two that have been developed by older adults for older adults (and just about anyone else) about the joys and challenges of aging: Not Born Yesterday and Specifically for Seniors. Both podcasts were conceived and launched during the lonely days of pandemic isolation to engage their innovative creators and inform their devoted audiences.
As new conversations on dementia risk reduction and early detection emerge, we must not lose sight of the need for prevention of abuse, neglect, and exploitation of people living with dementia. While abuse can happen to anyone, both at home and in care settings, people living with dementia are at increased risk.
June 5, 2023
2023 WEAAD and Elder Abuse Networks
There are people who collect quotations, and I am one of them, with multiple books on the subject and my own journal going back decades. One of my favorite quotations captures the fundamental message of this blog: “There are no great men—only great committees” (from the book The Age of Uncertainty by the late Harvard University economist and public official John Kenneth Galbraith). Essentially this quotation suggests that we have more opportunity for achievement by working with others than we ever have by working alone.
May 15, 2023
Advancing Justice for LGBTQ+ Elders
May 16 is honor LGBTQ+ elders’ day, a day to reflect on the contributions made by older LGBTQ+ people who have paved the way for LGBTQ+ equity and social justice. The SAGE National Resource Center on LGBTQ+ Aging and National Center in Elder Justice chose to commemorate this day by uplifting elder justice in support of older LGBTQ+ people.
May 2, 2023
Celebrating Older Americans: Engaged, Independent, and a Vibrant Part of Communities
This May, NCEA is celebrating the remarkable contributions and richly diverse experiences of older adults for Older Americans Month (OAM)! We are excited to recognize and showcase inspiring older adults from our communities who embody the spirit of this year’s OAM theme, “Aging Unbound.” Join us in learning from their wisdom, achievements, and unique life experiences.
April 6, 2023
Utilizing Public Health to Address Elder Abuse
By 2030, one in five people will be aged 65 and over. With this incredible increase in longevity, it is important to make sure that the problems of today do not become the problems of tomorrow, and that new generations of older adults have the tools and resources they need to thrive and age healthily. Public health has shown great progress in addressing the needs of older adults, from programs relating to fostering healthy brains to Healthy People 2030 including as one of its goals to “improve health and well being for older adults.”
March 20, 2023
A View of Elder Justice in Guam
The Guam Elder Justice Center – Legal Assistance Program (EJC) began providing legal assistance services to the island’s Manamko’ (older adults) in March 2021 as a limited term pilot program. Created in partnership between the Department of Public Health and Social Services Division of Senior Citizens, the Guam State Office on Aging, and the Public Defender Service Corporation, the EJC is funded by Title III-B of the Older Americans Act of 1965 for older adults sixty years of age and older. The program has received additional funding under the American Rescue Plan to expand its services to older adults between the ages of 55 and 59.
March 1, 2023
Advance Care Planning to Prevent Elder Abuse
Many people have heard of advance care planning or thought of doing it sometime, but they think they are too young, they don’t have time right now, or they need to think about it some more to know what they want to put into it. During the COVID-19 pandemic, people became more aware of how fragile life is and how quickly things could change.
February 1, 2023
Introducing the New Bill of Rights for Adults with a Guardian
No nationally recognized statement of rights for adults with a guardian exists in the U.S. A new model Bill of Rights has been created to fill that void. A model Bill of Rights is needed to move to consistent recognition that adults with a guardian have fundamental rights that should be honored and respected. Adults with a guardian should not have their rights abused by the guardianship process that is intended to protect them.
January 19, 2023
Where Faith and Safety Meet: Partnering with Faith Communities to Increase Elder Justice
I have been a faith leader for many years, so I remember with fondness congregations from Arizona and New Mexico to New Jersey and Massachusetts. In all these places, I have seen faith communities celebrate and revere older adults, and with good reason: older adults are leaders, they embody the congregation’s history and resilience, and they teach and inspire the next generation.