Home / Special Collections / Preventing and Responding to Domestic & Sexual Violence in Later Life

Special Collection: Preventing and Responding to Domestic & Sexual Violence in Later Life

Table of Contents:



 

Introduction | Back to top

This special collection brings together selected materials related to preventing and responding to elder abuse and abuse in later life. It draws from the work of the National Clearinghouse on Abuse in Later Life (NCALL), National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC), National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA), National Adult Protective Services Agency (NAPSA) and other organizations. By focusing specifically on domestic and sexual violence (DV/SV) in later life, this special collection highlights the complexities of older people's DV/SV experiences and emphasizes collaborative and multi-pronged approaches to addressing DV/SV in later life. Accordingly, the materials included in this special collection have been organized by their relevance to key stakeholders.

Although particular effort was made to include materials related to addressing elder abuse and abuse in later life in diverse groups of older people, very few materials in this special collection focus on elder abuse and abuse in later life people from culturally diverse backgrounds. This limitation is due to significant gaps in current literature.

This special collection was developed by the Minnesota Center Against Violence and Abuse (MINCAVA) in July 2010 and updated by the National Clearinghouse on Abuse in Later Life (NCALL) in June 2013 in collaboration with the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence (NRCDV) and the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC).

Overview and Definitions | Back to top

Elder Abuse: A Growing Problem

Elder abuse is a hidden yet growing problem in the United States with significant public health and societal implications. It is a tragedy that impacts older adults of all races, cultures, sexual orientations, social classes, geographic areas, faith communities, mental capacities, and physical abilities. Until victim service providers, the justice system, health care professionals, social service agencies, and other community members work together to address this problem, elder abuse will continue unabated, with devastating consequences for older adults and their loved ones.

Although definitions of elder abuse vary, the term generally refers to any physical, sexual, or psychological abuse, neglect, abandonment, or financial exploitation of an older person either within a relationship where there is an expectation of trust and/or when an older person is targeted based on age or disability (U.S. DOJ, 2013). Older adults may be harmed by spouses or partners in heterosexual, gay, or lesbian relationships, adult children or other family members, caregivers or persons in a position of authority such as guardians, lawyers, or interpreters. In some instances older adults may be targeted by strangers and become victims of sexual assault, stalking, or financial exploitation. The various forms of abuse often co-occur (Acierno, 2010; Lifespan of Greater Rochester et al., 2011).

Older victims often experience shame, pain, economic loss, spiritual and physical anguish, institutionalization, and poor quality of life (Beaulaurier et al., 2008; Brandl et al., 2007; Dong et al., 2011). Studies suggest that older adults exposed to physical and verbal abuse have a greater mortality risk than those who did not experience violence (Baker, 2009; Dong et al., 2011; Lachs, 1998).

Research estimates that approximately one in ten older adults living in their homes experience elder abuse each year (Acierno et al., 2010; Beach et al., 2010; Lifespan of Greater Rochester et al., 2011). In addition, evidence is emerging that shows this rate is especially high in racial and ethnic minority groups (Beach et al., 2010; DeLiema et al., 2012). The current economic crisis has further exacerbated the problem, as the frequency of reported financial exploitation of older adults (which is often coupled with other forms of abuse) has increased (Gunther, 2011; MetLife, 2009).

Yet research suggests that cases of elder abuse are significantly underreported. One state study found fewer than 5% of cases come to light (Lifespan of Greater Rochester et al., 2011). Furthermore, a significant number of elder abuse cases that are actually reported or identified end up slipping through the cracks due to a lack of coordination among service providers (Brandl et al., 2007; Connolly, 2010; Lifespan of Greater Rochester et al., 2011).

Description: http://www.aoa.gov/aoaroot/aging_statistics/future_growth/future_growth.aspx

Unfortunately, as 77 million baby boomers age, the problem is only expected to worsen. Within the next 40 years, the number of individuals age 65 and older is projected to more than double so that in 2050, they will account for over 20% of the population (U.S. Census Bureau, 2012).

While great strides have been made in recent decades to improve responses to child abuse and domestic violence, elder abuse lags far behind in terms of recognition and attention. A recent report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) declared that resources directed to elder abuse are not keeping pace with the growing volume and complexity of cases (U.S. GAO, 2011).

Thankfully, there are several key players that can make a difference. Domestic violence and sexual assault programs provide vital services for victims that need only be expanded in order to help address the growing problem of elder abuse. The justice system has legal resources and remedies to hold offenders accountable. Other professionals from the aging services network, adult protective services, health care, and faith communities identify and assist older victims. However, in order to better serve and protect our older citizens, it is increasingly imperative for service professionals to work together and to gain a better understanding of the complex and devastating issue of elder abuse. 

Common Acronyms in the Elder Abuse Field

  • AAA: Area Agency on Aging
  • ADL: Activities of daily living
  • ALL: Abuse in later life
  • APS: Adult Protective Services
  • EA: Elder abuse
  • HHA: Home Health Agency
  • FAST: Financial Abuse Specialist Teams
  • I-Team or M-Team: Interdisciplinary Teams
  • WEAAD: World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (June 15)

* The content of this section was adapted from the NCALL information sheet, An Overview of Elder Abuse: A Growing Problem (2013).

What distinguishes abuse in later life from elder abuse?

Abuse in later life (ALL) is the willful abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation of an older adult that is perpetrated by someone in an ongoing relationship (e.g., spouse, partner, family member, or caregiver) with the victim. As such, the term abuse in later life—used by the Office on Violence Against Women, the National Clearinghouse on Abuse in Later Life, and a number of domestic violence and sexual assault programs throughout the country—calls attention to the nexus between domestic violence, sexual assault, and elder abuse.

Other terms are also used to define abuse of older adults. Elder abuse is a broad term that applies to abuse, neglect, and exploitation of an older individual in a trusting relationship with the offender. Elder abuse also includes harm that occurs because an older person is targeted based on age or disability (U.S. DOJ, 2013), such as in contractor scams. In many jurisdictions, elder abuse may also include self-neglect. Abuse of vulnerable, dependent, or at-risk adults generally refers to harm of persons 18 or older who are unable to protect themselves or report the abuse.

Abuse in later life is the segment of elder abuse that focuses specifically on those cases where the abuse is perpetrated by someone in an ongoing relationship (e.g., spouse, partner, family member, or caregiver) with the victim. Sexual abuse and stalking by an offender who is known to the victim or a stranger is also included in the definition. Older persons who fit the statutory definition in their jurisdiction of vulnerable adults and are in a relationship with their abuser may also be victims of abuse in later life. Power and control dynamics, similar to those seen in domestic violence and sexual assault cases involving younger victims, are often present in abuse in later life situations; therefore, older victims may benefit from services provided by domestic and sexual violence programs.

Dynamics of Abuse in Later Life

To formulate an appropriate response to cases of abuse in later life, it is critical to understand the dynamics present. Perpetrators will often strive to exert their power and control over victims so they can coerce or manipulate some benefit for themselves, such as money, a place to stay, access to prescription medication, or sexual gratification (Bancroft, 2002; Stark, 2007). These abusers are often greedy and feel entitled to do whatever necessary to get what they want. They may financially exploit an older adult, feeling entitled to take a Social Security check or empty a bank account. In order to maintain power and control, these abusers typically use various coercive tactics including physical and psychological abuse and isolation. Abusers may intimidate their victims and prevent them from reporting the exploitation or abuse out of fear of retaliation. They may also lie and manipulate family members, friends, and professionals in order to hide or justify their behavior (Bancroft, 2002; Stark, 2007).

In addition to cases of abuse in later life, older adults may be harmed even if power and control dynamics or greed are not present. Domestic and sexual violence victim advocates may have a role to play in these situations as well. For example, sometimes an older adult is harmed by a well-intended caregiver who provides inadequate or inappropriate care. In other cases, an older adult is harmed by a person with an organic medical or mental health condition who is unable to control his or her behavior. In these situations, often the older individual experiences fear and trauma. Many of these older adults who have been harmed can benefit from remedies offered by domestic or sexual violence programs, such as safety planning, emergency housing, or legal advocacy.

Additional factors may be present, further complicating abuse in later life cases. If the abuser is an adult child, victims often protect their child rather than focusing on their own personal safety. Older victims may feel shame, guilt, and embarrassment because they are being abused by their child. Some victims have physical or cognitive limitations that abusers can target to manipulate them through the breaking of assistive devices, the denying of health care or comfort measures, and threatening to place them in a nursing home.

Forms of Abuse in Later Life

Abuse in later life includes physical, psychological, and sexual abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation. Harassment and stalking may also be included. Often forms of abuse co-occur in cases involving abuse in later life.

Self-Neglect: While many state statutes include self-neglect as a form of elder abuse, cases of self-neglect do not fall within the definition of abuse in later life. The phrase abuse in later life was created to acknowledge that older victims generally know and are in a relationship with their abuser. Since there are no offenders when self-neglect occurs, these cases are outside the scope of abuse in later life. Domestic violence and sexual assault victim advocates and criminal justice professionals are less likely to be involved in cases of self-neglect, which typically involve responses by adult protective services, social services agency workers, and health care providers.

Relationship Between Victim and Abuser

Older victims may be abused by intimate partners, adult children, grandchildren, or other family members, caregivers, or persons in positions of authority. Society expects that these relationships are based on trust and care. In the majority of abuse in later life cases the perpetrator is the victim’s family member or intimate partner (Acierno et al., 2010; Lifespan of Greater Rochester et al., 2011). Intimate partner violence may have been present for the entire duration of the relationship or it may emerge later in life as the couple ages. Abuse can occur in heterosexual, lesbian or gay relationships.

Victim Gender

Females, males, and those who don’t identify with a specific gender identity may be victims of abuse in later life. The majority of older victims of intimate partner violence and sexual abuse in later life are women (Acierno, 2013; Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2013).

Victim Age

When defining elder abuse, most states, tribes, and organizations use a minimum age threshold that ranges from 50 to 70. The term abuse in later life applies to victims who are age 50 and older for the following reasons:

  • By age 50 there is a significant decrease in the number of victims accessing services from domestic violence and sexual assault programs. This is partly because many services for domestic and sexual assault victims focus on meeting the needs of younger women and their children. Most domestic and sexual violence programs do not have programming tailored to meet the unique needs of victims of abuse in later life, such as financial planning for persons who do not yet qualify for Social Security or support groups exclusively for older women.
  • Victims who are age 50 and older may need economic assistance to obtain safe housing and live independently if they choose to leave their abuser. However, victims who are age 50 to 62 may be ineligible for financial assistance from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program because they may not be parenting children under the age of 18. They also may be ineligible for Social Security and aging network services because they are too young. Few options exist to assist victims in this age group who want to become independent from their abuser but do not have the financial resources to do so.
  • Age 50 includes older victims who have a shorter life expectancy because they experienced trauma, lived in poverty, or lacked access to health care.

Where Abuse Happens

Abuse in later life can take place in any setting (e.g., a house, apartment, residential health care setting, a doctor’s office, or in a public place, such as at work or in a courthouse). Most often, it occurs where the victim resides.

Responding to Abuse in Later Life

By understanding the unique dynamics of abuse in later life, domestic and sexual violence victim advocates can make a difference. Many older victims of abuse benefit from remedies offered by domestic or sexual violence programs such as safety planning, individual or group counseling, emergency housing, and medical or legal advocacy. The criminal justice system may play a beneficial role by holding the offender accountable. Given the complexity of these cases, collaboration with the aging services network, adult protective services, health care providers, and others is often essential.

* The content of this section was adapted from the NCALL information sheet, An Overview Abuse in Later Life (2013).

Abuse in later life and Elder Abuse: Including domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault & stalking | Back to top

This section presents resources and research articles that offer an overview of abuse in later life and elder abuse, including domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking. The section on cultural considerations lists some selected materials representing diverse perspectives on elder abuse.

Overview and dynamics
The materials included in this section present information about elder abuse and abuse in later life, with a specific focus on domestic and sexual violence in later life.
  • Abuse in Later Life Information Sheets! | HTML HTML
    by the National Clearinghouse on Abuse in Later Life (2013)
    This series of information sheets provide information and resources to service providers and justice professionals who may work with older victims.
    + View Summary
  • Abuse in Later Life Wheel | PDF PDF (2 p.)
    by National Clearinghouse on Abuse in Later Life (2011)
    This power and control wheel describes different types of abuses that occur in later life and tactics used by abusers to exercise power and control over their victims. This wheel was developed in consultation with survivors of later life abuse.
    + View Summary
  • Elder Abuse: A Women’s Issue | PDF PDF (40 p.)
    by Older Women’s League (2009)
    This report brings together experts and organizations that work to combat the problem of elder abuse, sharing its many dimensions and complexities, how it affects women in a disproportionate manner, and seeking effective solutions.
    + View Summary
  • Policy Implications of Recognizing that Caregiver Stress is Not the Primary Cause of Elder Abuse | PDF PDF (32 p.)
    by Bonnie Brandl and Jane Raymond for the American Society on Aging (2012)
    Studies show the causes of elder abuse to be wide-ranging, and not necessarily an outcome of caregiver stress. This paper discusses how seeing caregiver stress as a primary cause of abuse has unintended and detrimental consequences that affect the efforts to end this widespread problem.
    + View Summary
  • Frequently Asked Questions on Abuse in Later Life | HTML HTML
    by National Clearinghouse on Abuse in Later Life (2011)
    This page answers frequently asked questions about abuse in later life. It describes the types of abuse, causes of abuse, and actions to take if a person experiences abuse or if a person suspects abuse on other people. A link to citations for each response is included.

    + View Summary
  • Sexual Violence in Later Life: Fact Sheet | PDF PDF (2 p.) TXT TXT (2 p.)
    by Holly Ramsey-Klawsnik for the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (2010)
    This two page document offers information concerning sexual abuse in later life, including barriers to response and prevention, victims and perpetrators.
    + View Summary
  • Sexual Abuse in Later Life | PDF PDF (4 p.)
    by Bonnie Brandl and Holly Ramsey Klawsnik (July/August 2009)
    To raise awareness and provide guidance to professionals, this article addresses sexual assault in later life and specifically focuses on victimization of elders that occurs in the context of intimate partner violence, incest, and care facilities.
    + View Summary
Research
Since abuse targeting older adults is an emerging issue, there are few publicly available studies on prevalence, incidence, risk factors, and effective programming. This section highlights some research focusing on various aspects of elder abuse, including domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking in later life.
  • Detecting, Addressing and Preventing Elder Abuse in Residential Care Facilities | PDF PDF (149 p.)
    by Catherine Hawes and Anne-Marie Kimbell, National Criminal Justice Reference Service (January 2010)
    This study focused on detection, investigation, and resolution of elder abuse and neglect complaints in what are known as residential care facilities (RCFs).
    + View Summary
  • Domestic Violence Against Older Women: Final Technical Report | PDF PDF (171 p.)
    by Burton D. Dunlop, Richard L. Beaulaurier, Laura R. Seff, Fred L. Newman, Neena Malik, Melissa Fuster, The Center on Aging of Florida International University (April 2005)
    This qualitative study report examines domestic violence in older women, presenting older women’s definition of domestic violence, their views about causes, reporting, interventions, and consequences for perpetrators, and barriers to help seeking.
    + View Summary
  • Financial Abuse of Elderly People vs. Other Forms of Elder Abuse: Assessing Their Dynamics, Risk Factors, and Society’s Response | PDF PDF (14 p.)
    by Shelly Jackson and Thomas L. Hafemeister for the University of Virginia (August 2010)
    The purpose of this study was to examine the dynamics and societal response to financial exploitation that did not co-occur with other forms of elder abuse and compare it to financial exploitations that did occur with other forms of elder abuse, including physical abuse and neglect.
    + View Summary
  • Prevalence and Correlates of Emotional, Physical, Sexual, and Financial Abuse and Potential Neglect in the United States: The National Elder Mistreatment Study | PDF PDF (6 p.)
    by Ron Acierno, Melba Hernandez-Tejada, Wendy Muzzy, and Kenneth Steve, National Criminal Justice Reference Service (March 2009)
    Findings of this nationally representative study showed that more than one in ten respondents experienced some type of abuse or potential neglect in the past year.
    + View Summary
  • National Elder Mistreatment Study | PDF PDF (183 p.)
    by Ron Acierno, Melba Hernandez-Tejada, Wendy Muzzy, and Kenneth Steve, National Criminal Justice Reference Service (March 2009)
    Findings of this nationally representative study showed that more than one in ten respondents experienced some type of abuse or potential neglect in the past year.
    + View Summary
  • A Statewide Profile of Abuse of Older Women and the Criminal Justice Response | PDF PDF (94 p.)
    by Andrew Klein, Terri Tobin, Amy Salomon, and Janice Dubois, Advocates for Human Potential, Inc. (April 2008)
    This statewide study in Rhode Island of domestic violence in older women and the response of state authorities found a relatively larger proportion of intimate partner abuse than previously found in adult protective service surveys.
    + View Summary
  • Sexual Violence in Later Life: Research Brief | PDF PDF (4 p.) TXT TXT TXT (4 p.)
    by Holly Ramsey-Klawsnik for the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (2010)
    This brief reviews research on risk and protective factors related to sexual violence in later life.
    + View Summary
  • Under the Radar: New York State Elder Abuse Prevalence Study Self-Reported Prevalence and Documented Case Surveys | PDF PDF (142 p.)
    by Lifespan of Greater Rochester, Inc., Weill Cornell Medical Center of Cornell University, and New York City Department for the Aging (May 2011)
    In this comprehensive study researchers studied the prevalence and incidence of various forms of elder abuse through direct communication with older New Yorkers over 60 years of age and the number of elder abuse cases coming to the attention of all agencies and programs responsible for responding to elder abuse in New York State.
    + View Summary
  • Violent Crime against the Elderly Reported by Law Enforcement in Michigan, 2005-2009 | PDF PDF (16 p.)
    by Erica Smith, Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. Department of Justice (2012)
    This report presents information about criminal victimization and incidents of violent victimization of persons age 65 or older known to law enforcement in Michigan.
    + View Summary
Cultural Considerations
The experience of abuse in later life, the risk and protective factors, and the power and control dynamics may vary across and within cultures, as well as by individuals. This section offers resources that focus on understanding elder abuse in different cultural groups.
  • Abuses Endured by a Woman During Her Life Cycle | PDF PDF (1 p.)
    by Asian & Pacific Islander Institute on Domestic Violence (Updated 2011)
    This document is an illustration describing the violence that may happen throughout the lives of Asian and Pacific Islander women during the life stages of infancy, childhood, adolescence, young adulthood, adulthood and later life.
    + View Summary
  • Elder Abuse Fact Sheets | HTML HTML
    by Casa de Esperanza (2012)
    Elder abuse affects seniors across all socio-economic groups, cultures, and races. Latin@ communities are no exception. Abuse is more than just physical harm. Fact sheets address the topics of family and friends, older adults, and senior centers.
    + View Summary
  • Elder Abuse in Communities of Color | PDF PDF (8 p.)
    by Women of Color Network, National Resource Center on Domestic Violence (NRCDV) (2008)
    This "Facts & Stats Collection" paper describes specific issues and distinguishing dynamics that confront older women of color, highlighting types of abuse and warning signs. Resources for additional information are provided.
    + View Summary
  • Inclusive Services for LGBT Older Adults | PDF PDF (28 p.)
    by the National Resource Center on LGBT Aging and Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE) (2012)
    This guide was created to help service providers to understand the unique barriers that LGBT older adults face, as well as the many ways to improve and expand the continuum of care and services available.
    + View Summary
  • Introduction to Cultural Competency | HTML HTML (1 p.)
    by Asian Pacific Islander Institute
    This webpage highlights the importance of cultural sensitivity when working with older persons and describes the barriers faced by older Asian persons in seeking help for abuse, working with law enforcement, and seeking court protections.
    + View Summary
  • Mistreatment of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Elders | PDF PDF (4 p.)
    by the National Center on Elder Abuse
    This research brief synthesizes the latest available information and research relating to the mistreatment of LGBT elders. Information is provided on the occurrence of abuse, isolation as a risk factor, issues affecting help seeking, and tips for working with LGBT elders.
    + View Summary
  • Outing Age 2010: Public Policy Issues Affecting Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Elders | PDF PDF (165 p.)
    by Jamie M. Grant, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Policy Institute
    Offers information about the state of LGBT older persons, their strengths and vulnerabilities, barriers faced when accessing services, including services for domestic violence, and progress in public policies that aim to serve LGBT older persons.
    + View Summary
  • Preventing and Responding to Abuse of Elders in Indian Country | PDF PDF (52 p.)
    by National Indian Council on Aging for the National Center on Elder Abuse (June 2004)
    This document provides an overview of the problem of elder abuse among the Native American population. Challenges to providing services and current initiatives are also discussed.
    + View Summary
  • A Review of the Literature: Elder Abuse in Indian County - Research, Policy, and Practice | PDF PDF (29 p.)
    by National Indian Council on Aging (June 2004)
    This document describes the nature and extent of elder abuse in Indian country, what is being done about it, and identifies promising approaches and practices for addressing the problem.
    + View Summary
  • Using Your Tribal Values To Develop Elder Protection Code: A Step-by-Step Guide for Communities | PDF PDF (49 p.)
    by Tribal Law Journal (August 2008)
    The purpose of this workbook is to protect elders from abuse in their communities. This workbook proposes that each community develop a process to address the particular elder protection needs within that community.
    + View Summary

Gen Silent is the critically-acclaimed documentary from filmmaker Stu Maddux that asks six LGBT seniors if they will hide their friends, their spouses—their entire lives in order to survive in the care system. Their surprising decisions are captured through intimate access to their day-to-day lives over the course of a year.

Preventing and responding to domestic & sexual violence in later life | Back to top

Multi-stakeholder involvement is crucial in addressing unique needs of older survivors and preventing elder abuse and abuse in later life. The documents included in this section offer information on elder abuse and abuse in later life, including domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking prevention and response by stakeholders.

Older Persons, Family Members, Friends, Caregivers, and Bystanders
Older persons, their families, friends, caregivers and bystanders who are in their immediate environment have an advantage of identifying abuse at an early stage or preventing abuse before it starts. This section presents information on preventing, identifying, and reporting of abuse by older persons, family members and friends, and bystanders.

The National Clearinghouse on Abuse in Later Life webpage has a “get help” section designed to provide information for individuals who are being harmed or know an older adult who is being abused, neglected or exploited.
  • Caregiver Challenges | HTML HTML
    by Wisconsin Department of Health and Family Services, Division of Long Term Care (2007)
    These four (4) booklets, produced in collaboration with the National Clearinghouse on Abuse in Later Life, provide information to caregivers who may have questions about elder abuse, neglect or exploitation. A power and control wheel for abuse of people with developmental disabilities by a caregiver is included.
    + View Summary
  • The Essentials: Preventing Elder Abuse | PDF PDF (28 p.)
    by MetLife Mature Market Institute (2011)
    This document presents information about the different types of elder abuse, about reporting abuse, and identifying risk factors. It also provides information on how to obtain assistance if you or someone you care about has become a victim of elder abuse.
    + View Summary

Systems and Groups that may Respond

Domestic & Sexual Violence Victim Advocates

Service providers must understand and address the special needs of older persons who experience DV/SV. The materials in this section provide information about unique aspects of elder abuse, specifically DV/SV in later life and offer suggestions for serving older DV/SV survivors.

  • Advocacy For Survivors of Abuse in Later Life | PDF PDF (40 p.)
    by the Wisconsin Coalition Against Domestic Violence - Coalition Chronicles, Volume 29, Issue 2 (2010)
    This issue of the Coalition Chronicles examines abuse in later life, how to identify it, effective interventions and strategies for keeping elder victims safe.
    + View Summary
  • Domestic Abuse in Later Life: Analyzing Domestic Violence Programs’ Response to Older Victims | PDF PDF (3 p.)
    by the National Clearinghouse on Abuse in Later Life
    This handout was created for domestic violence victim advocates to create a framework for critical analysis of their organization’s responsiveness to older victims. The tool can be used by an individual or as part of a staff meeting discussion.
    + View Summary
  • Elder Sexual Assault: Technical Assistance Manual for Pennsylvania’s Sexual Violence Centers | PDF PDF (16 p.)
    by Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape (2005)
    The goal of this manual is to allow sexual violence victim advocates/counselors to become adept in dealing with elder clients. Advocates can use this guide to learn the basics of effectively working with elder clients or utilize it in a crisis situation.
    + View Summary
  • Golden Voices: Support Groups for Older Abused Women | PDF PDF (89 p.)
    by Deb Spangler and Bonnie Brandl, National Clearinghouse on Abuse in Later Life (2011)
    This manual is designed to help professionals start a support group for older survivors of domestic abuse.
    + View Summary
  • Mandatory Reporting of Elder Abuse: Implications for Domestic Violence Advocates | PDF PDF (56 p.)
    by Bonnie Brandl, National Clearinghouse on Abuse in Later Life (Revised 2011)
    This document offers information about the relationship between elder abuse and domestic violence in later life, state statutes and requirements, and complexities associated with mandatory reporting of elder abuse. Additional resources on the topic of mandatory reporting for elder abuse, including a 6 Part Series of Information Sheets are provided by NCALL.
    + View Summary
  • Outreach Strategies for Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Advocates | PDF PDF (4 p.)
    by the National Clearinghouse on Abuse in Later Life (2011)
    Abuse in later life victims often think domestic violence and sexual assault services are only for younger victims with children. This document provides outreach ideas to better meet the needs of older victims.
    + View Summary
  • Respecting Elders, Protecting Elders: Untangling the Mystery of What Sexual Assault Advocates Need to Know About the Mandatory Reporting of Elder Abuse | PDF PDF (6 p.)
    by Jessica E. Mindlin and Bonnie Brandl (Spring 2011)
    The purpose of this article is to strengthen advocates' and coalitions' capacity to analyze their reporting and confidentiality obligations, and to help them locate the information they need to analyze how to provide safe and victim-centered advocacy.
    + View Summary
  • Safety Planning for Older Victims | HTML HTML
    by the National Clearinghouse on Abuse in Later Life
    This page provides safety planning tools for both professionals and survivors of abuse in later life.
    + View Summary
  • Sexual Violence in Later Life: Bulletin | PDF PDF (4 p.) TXT TXT (4 p.)
    by National Sexual Violence Resource Center (2010)
    This four page document outlines specific information on the broad range of offenses perpetrated against people age 60 and beyond, and discusses how advocates can respond to the special needs of older sexual violence victims.
    + View Summary
  • Sexual Violence in Later Life: A Technical Assistance Guide for Advocates | PDF PDF (24 p.) TXT TXT (24 p.)
    by National Sexual Violence Resource Center (2010)
    This guide thoroughly investigates the complexity of the topic and includes information on signs and symptoms, special issues facing older victims, and primary prevention techniques.
    + View Summary
  • Tips on Working with Victims of Abuse in Later Life | PDF PDF (3 p.)
    by Wisconsin Aging & Disabilities Program and National Clearinghouse on Abuse in Later Life (2011)
    This document offers suggestions on the type of questions to ask, signs to watch for or listen to, and ways to intervene in abuse in later life.
    + View Summary

Health Care Professionals

Because health care professionals interact with many older persons daily, they have an important role in screening for abuse and taking necessary actions. Documents included in this section offer guidance on recognizing and responding to abuse, neglect, and exploitation in later life.

The Pocket Doc, available for purchase from the Center of Excellence on Elder Abuse and Neglect (University of California, Irvine) and the Program in Geriatrics (UC Irvine School of Medicine) is designed to be helpful to professionals in the fields of social work, law, and law enforcement who combat elder abuse. This sturdy spiral-bound book is a guide to common geriatric disorders and medications.

  • Domestic Violence in Later Life: An Overview for Healthcare Providers | PDF PDF (7 p.)
    by Bonnie Brandl and Deborah L. Horan, The Haworth Press, Inc. (2002)
    This document discusses the critical role of healthcare providers in preventing later life abuse through universal screening, documentation of abuse, and referrals to domestic violence victim advocates.
    + View Summary
  • Abuse in Later Life: Power and Control Dynamics and a Victim-Centered Response | PDF PDF (2 p.)
    by Deb Spangler and Bonnie Brandl, Journal of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association (Volume 12, Number 6) (2007)
    Heath care professionals, such as nurses and mental health service providers, are in a unique position to identify and address the needs of older victims of abuse. This article focuses on three main topics: the dynamics of abuse in later life, a victim-centered response, and working collaboratively with other disciplines to offer a comprehensive response to these complex cases.
    + View Summary
  • Elder Patients at Risk of Abuse | PDF PDF (2 p.)
    by National Indian Council on Aging and the University of New Mexico Geriatric Education (June 2008)
    This fact sheet notes elder abuse in Indian Country, emphasizes prevention by health care professionals, presents links to elder abuse assessment instrument, and offers guidance on understanding abuse in the contexts of the culture of older persons.
    + View Summary
  • Elder Abuse in United States | HTML HTML (5 p.)
    by Catherine C. McNamee with Mary B. Murphy, National Institute of Justice (November 2006)
    This article notes the difficulty in recognizing elder abuse in health care settings, provides information about several studies on identifying bruising and other markers of abuse by health care practitioners.
    + View Summary
  • The Importance of Reporting Mistreatment of the Elderly | HTML HTML (1 p.)
    by Lisa M. Gibbs and Laura Mosqueda, American Family Physician (March 2007)
    This article emphasizes the important role of family physicians in identifying and addressing elder mistreatment, and highlights the need for more research to identify signs of mistreatment to increase awareness and reporting of elder mistreatment.
    + View Summary

Adult Protective Services

Adult Protective Services (APS) workers investigate allegations of abuse, neglect or exploitation, work closely with a wide variety of allied professionals such as aging network services, physicians, nurses, paramedics, firefighters and law enforcement officers. To contact your local APS, please visit: http://www.napsa-now.org/get-help/help-in-your-area/.

State Resources

The National Adult Protective Services Association offers access to state Adult Protective Service agencies via their online map. In addition, the National Center on Elder Abuse, Administration on Aging, provides a searchable database to find State reporting numbers, government agencies, state laws, state-specific data and statistics, and other resources.

  • Adult Protective Services in 2012: Increasingly Vulnerable | PDF PDF (64 p.)
    by the National APS Resource Center (NAPSRC) at the National Adult Protective Services Association (NAPSA) (2012)
    This report describes a comprehensive, state-level survey of Adult Protective Service operations across the U.S. and its territories. The report includes data analysis and feedback in many APS operational areas.
    + View Summary
  • How APS Helps | HTML HTML
    by the National Adult Protective Services Association (2013)
    This page provides information on how Adult Protective Services helps victims and what happens when a report of abuse is made.
    + View Summary
  • Elder Sexual Assault: Technical Assistance Manual for Older Adult Protective Services | PDF PDF (36 p.)
    by Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape (2007)
    This is a manual for aging services workers that helps to ensure an appropriate response to an older victim of sexual abuse.
    + View Summary

Aging Network

Aging network professionals and volunteers provide community services to elders such as transportation, meals on wheels, in-home care and other services. Aging network professionals may encounter domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking in later life. Listed below are some selected materials on these topics.

Eldercare Locator is a public service of the U.S. Administration on Aging to connect individuals and agencies to services for older adults and their families. They can also be reached at 1-800-677-1116.
  • Action Kit Resources | HTML HTML
    by Aging Alliance (2013)
    This online action kit includes videos, flyers, guides, graphics, and other promotional items to raise awareness and strengthen your stand against elder abuse.
    + View Summary
  • Inclusive Services for LGBT Older Adults | PDF PDF (28 p.)
    by the National Resource Center on LGBT Aging and Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE) (2012)
    This guide was created to help service providers understand the unique barriers that LGBT older adults face, as well as the many ways to improve and expand the continuum of care and services available.
    + View Summary
  • How to Answer Tough Questions About Elder Abuse | PDF PDF (5 p.)
    by the National Center on Elder Abuse
    This booklet was designed as a reference for organizations when responding to inquiries about elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation.
    + View Summary
  • Late Life Domestic Violence: What the Aging Network Needs to Know | PDF PDF (13 p.)
    by National Association of State Units on Aging (February 2006)
    This document emphasizes community collaboration and the role of aging network in responding to domestic and sexual abuse in later life. It presents information about domestic and sexual abuse as well as the types of programs and services available.
    + View Summary

Justice Professionals

Justice professionals, including law enforcement, prosecutors, judges, court personnel, and civil attorneys, may encounter cases of elder abuse. Listed in this section are selected resources related to legal issues in elder abuse cases, including enhancing victim safety and holding offenders accountable.
  • Collaboration Is Essential: King County’s Response to a Case of Elder Abuse and Exploitation | PDF PDF (6 p.)
    by Page Ulrey and Bonnie Brandl for Generations, Journal of the American Society on Aging, 36(3) (Fall 2012)
    This article describes a case that occurred in King County, Washington. “After multiple missed opportunities for intervention, a community finally responds - and an offender is held accountable.”
    + View Summary
  • Crackdown on Elder Abuse: With number of financial exploitation cases on the rise, new state laws strengthen prevention and prosecution | PDF PDF (3 p.)
    by Kate Tormey in Stateline Midwest, 21(4) for The Midwestern Office of the Council of State Governments (April 2012)
    This article outlines the initiatives in several Midwest States to improve their responses to elder financial exploitation cases. It includes strategies for policy makers to consider.
    + View Summary
  • Effective Court Practice for Abused Elders | PDF PDF (75 p.)
    by Diane Nunn, Charlene Depner, Lee Morhar, Yolanda Leung, Amy Nunez and Deana Piazza, Judicial Council of California & the Center for Families, Children and the Courts (February 2008)
    This report is the product of two-year research. The study examined elder abuse cases and specialized response to elder abuse by courts. Included in this report are innovative and promising practices in addressing elder abuse and elder needs.
    + View Summary
  • Elder Abuse Cases: Proposed Performance Measures for Courts | PDF PDF (58 p.)
    by Brenda K. Uekert and Susan Keilitz for the National Center for State Courts (2012)
    The proposed performance measures outlined in this document are complementary to the strategies outlined in “Identifying and Responding to Elder Abuse: A Benchcard for Judges” and “Court Guide to Effective Collaboration on Elder Abuse.” This document offers an overview of performance measures, offers strategies for “flagging” elder abuse cases, and provides logistics and tools required to collect, analyze and interpret each measure.
    + View Summary
  • Elder Abuse Emerges from the Shadows of Public Consciousness | PDF PDF (4 p.)
    by Philip Bulman, National Institute of Justice (2010)
    This article describes two studies that use scientific criteria to distinguish accidental bruising from abusive bruising. The article discusses barriers to responding to abuse and emphasizes collaboration between prosecutors and victim advocates.
    + View Summary
  • Guardianship of the Elderly: Past Performance and Future Promises | PDF PDF (7 p.)
    by Brenda K. Uekert and Thomas Dibble for The Court Manager, 23(4) (2008)
    This document discusses issues often found in guardianship cases and identifies innovative changes to address them.
    + View Summary
  • Holding Abusers Accountable: An Elder Abuse Forensic Center Increases Criminal Prosecution of Financial Exploitation | PDF PDF (10 p.)
    by Adria E. Navarro, Zachary D. Gassoumis, and Kathleen H. Wilber for The Gerontologist (2012)
    This article describes a study that examined the effectiveness of an elder abuse forensic center compared with usual handlings to increase prosecution of elder financial exploitation cases. The results indicate a higher rate of cases being submitted for review, charged and prosecuted when the Forensic Center was involved than those that did not.
    + View Summary
  • Identifying and Responding to Elder Abuse: A Benchcard for Judges | PDF PDF (2 p.)
    by the Center for Elders and the Courts
    This benchcard outlines the problem of elder abuse and offers strategies the court can take to improve responses. It can be modified to reflect state statutes, court remediation and management tools, and local resources.
    + View Summary
  • A Multi-Site Assessment of Court-Focused Elder Abuse Initiatives | PDF PDF (220 p.)
    by Lori A. Stiegel and Pamela B. Teaster (2011)
    This 2011 American Bar Association Study demonstrates that court-focused elder abuse initiatives enhance access to justice for victims and offer benefits to courts and other agencies.
    + View Summary
  • Policy Positions on the Prosecution of Elder Abuse, Neglect, and Financial Exploitation | PDF PDF (22 p.)
    by National District Attorneys Association (March 2003)
    This paper offers a policy position on elder abuse that emphasizes multidisciplinary approach for successful prosecution of elder abuse.
    + View Summary
  • Practical Issues: Preparing and Prosecuting Elder Sexual Assault Cases | PDF PDF (22 p.)
    by Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape & Pennsylvania Department of Aging
    This booklet explores obstacles to prosecution of elder sexual abuse cases and offers practical solutions for professionals involved in these cases.
    + View Summary
  • Prosecuting Elder Abuse Cases | PDF PDF (2 p.)
    by Sarah B. Berson, National Institute of Justice (2010)
    This article describes the challenges in prosecuting for elder abuse, laws that specifically protect elders, and offers suggestions for improving the handling of elder abuse cases. A collaborative and multidisciplinary approach is emphasized.
    + View Summary
  • Prosecuting Elder Abuse Cases: Basic Tools and Strategies | PDF PDF (46 p.)
    by Brenda K. Uekert, Susan Keilitz, and Deborah Saunders for the National Center for State Courts (2012)
    This toolkit is an overview of elder abuse intended to give prosecutors information about how to identify issues that commonly arise in these cases, suggest practice approaches, and provide a starting point for building effective cases.
    + View Summary
  • Prosecution Guide to Effective Collaboration on Elder Abuse | PDF PDF (26 p.)
    by Susan Keilitz, Brenda K. Uekert, and Theresa Jones for the National Center for State Courts (2012)
    This guide provides an overview of the prosecutor’s use of multidisciplinary collaboration to more effectively identify, prosecute and prevent elder abuse, neglect and exploitation. The guide suggests ways that multidisciplinary partnerships can assist prosecutors in effectively prosecuting individual cases and in improving systemic community responses to elder abuse.
    + View Summary

Faith Communities

Many older people who experience abuse, neglect, or exploitation do not contact adult protective services, DV/SV services, or the justice system. Some older people may talk to leaders in their faith community before or instead of contacting any other professionals. This section lists several resources on elder abuse awareness in faith communities.
The Special Collection, Domestic Violence and Religion outlines how faith leaders from many different spiritual communities can become effective allies in the prevention and intervention of domestic violence in their communities.


  • Raising Awareness of Abuse of Older Adults: An Issue for Faith Communities | HTML HTML (12 p.)
    by Elizabeth Podnieks and Susan Wilson (2004)
    This paper describes a pilot government-funded project to raise awareness of elder abuse in faith communities.
    + View Summary
  • What Every Faith Congregation Needs to Know about Elder Abuse | PDF PDF (8 p.)
    by National Center on Elder Abuse (September 2005)
    This document provides information about the dynamics of elder abuse to clergy and other members of religious congregations and about reporting as well as preventing elder abuse.
    + View Summary
  • Where Faith and Safety Meet: Faith Communities Respond to Elder Abuse | HTML HTML
    by Safe Havens and NCALL (2009)
    This toolkit offers resources to support service providers and advocates as they reach out to and collaborate with local faith communities in responding to elder abuse. Includes sample outreach letters, checklists, guides, and printable resources.
    + View Summary
Collaboration/Coordinated Community Response
This section emphasizes collaboration between victim advocacy service providers, adult protective service providers, and other community organizations.

Ageless Alliance: United Against Elder Abuse
The Ageless Alliance is a grassroots movement that brings organizations, communities and individuals together to take action-oriented steps in preventing and responding to elder abuse.
  • Collaboration Is Essential: King County’s Response to a Case of Elder Abuse and Exploitation | PDF PDF (6 p.)
    by Page Ulrey and Bonnie Brandl for Generations, Journal of the American Society on Aging, 36(3) (Fall 2012)
    This article describes a case that occurred in King County, Washington. “After multiple missed opportunities for intervention, a community finally responds - and an offender is held accountable.”
    + View Summary
  • Court Guide to Effective Collaboration on Elder Abuse | PDF PDF (26 p.)
    by Susan Keilitz, Brenda K. Uekert, and Theresa Jones for the National Center for State Courts (2012)
    This guide provides an overview of court participation in multidisciplinary collaboration to more effectively address elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation. It suggests ways that multidisciplinary partnerships can assist courts in effectively responding to individual cases and in improving systemic community responses to elder abuse.
    + View Summary
  • Barriers to and Promising Practices for Collaboration between Adult Protective Services and Domestic Violence Service Providers | PDF PDF (29 p.)
    by Joanne Marlatt Otto and Kathleen Quinn, National Center on Elder Abuse (May 2007)
    The paper describes the roles of the Adult Protective Services and domestic violence services and discusses barriers to collaboration between the two service systems. It then presents promising practices of collaborative initiatives.
    + View Summary
  • Elder Abuse Fatality Review Teams: A Replication Manual | PDF PDF (201 p.)
    by Lori A. Stiegel, American Bar Association (2005)
    This manual emphasizes the need for a multidisciplinary Elder Abuse Fatality Review Team (EA-FRT), discusses various issues and challenges that EA-FRT may face, and presents suggestions for addressing these challenges.
    + View Summary
  • Prosecution Guide to Effective Collaboration on Elder Abuse | PDF PDF (26 p.)
    by Susan Keilitz, Brenda K. Uekert, and Theresa Jones for the National Center for State Courts (2012)
    This guide provides an overview of the prosecutor’s use of multidisciplinary collaboration to more effectively identify, prosecute and prevent elder abuse, neglect and exploitation. The guide suggests ways that multidisciplinary partnerships can assist prosecutors in effectively prosecuting individual cases and in improving systemic community responses to elder abuse.
    + View Summary
  • Response to Abuse in Later Life: A Self-Assessment Tool for Coordinated Community Response Teams | HTML HTML
    by Jane Sadusky and Candace Heisler for The National Clearinghouse on Abuse in Later Life (NCALL) (Revised June 2011)
    This workbook was developed to assist communities in building a coordinated response to elder abuse.
    + View Summary
  • Domestic Violence in Later Life: A Guide to the Aging Network for Domestic Violence and Victim Service Programs | PDF PDF (15 p.)
    by National Association of State Units on Aging (March 2006)
    This document presents information about the national aging network and offers guidelines for collaboration between aging and domestic violence networks to address the problem of abuse in later life.
    + View Summary
  • Response to Elder Abuse: Self Assessment Workbooks | HTML HTML
    by Candance Heisler for The National Clearinghouse on Abuse in Later Life (NCALL) (Revised June 2011)
    This set of self-assessment tools was developrd to assist communities in evaluating practices within and across key intervening agencies and in building a coordinated response to elder abuse. The tools include a series of workbooks for five key interveners: (1) domestic violence and sexual assault victim services, (2) adult protective services, (3) law enforcement, (4) prosecution, and (5) courts—and one that addresses coordinated community response (CCR).
    + View Summary
  • A Social Worker’s Role in Elder Abuse Cases: Reporting, Holistic Assessment and Resources | HTML HTML
    by Yadira Garcia and Dominique Sanz-David for the Legal Aid Association of California (December 2010)
    This recorded webinar describes how legal services lawyers and social workers work together in elder abuse cases.
    + View Summary

A Social Worker’s Role in Elder Abuse Cases: Reporting, Holistic Assessment and Resources

Training Materials | Back to top

This section has a selected list of training materials focusing on elder abuse, including domestic violence and sexual abuse in later life.

The Enhanced Training and Services to End Violence and Abuse of Women Later in Life Grant Program creates a unique opportunity for providing or enhancing training and services to address elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation, including domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking, involving victims who are 50 years of age or older. For more information, please visit the website for the Office on Violence Against Women's (OVW) Enhanced Training and Services to End Violence Against and Abuse of Women in Later in Life Program. NCALL is the technical assistance provider for the OVW Abuse in Later Life program.  For more information about the OVW Abuse in Later Life program, you may also contact NCALL staff.
  • Responding to Elder Abuse | HTML HTML
    by the Office for Victims of Crime (August 2010)
    This set 3 of training videos specific to elder abuse response address 1) community corrections professionals, 2) judges and court personnel, and 3) law enforcement. Other video packages available here include “In Their Own Words” and “Financial Abuse Specialist Team Video.”
    + View Summary
  • Elder Abuse Training Curriculum on Serving Victims of Elder Abuse in the Asian Pacific Islander Community for Law Enforcement, Prosecutors, and Court Personnel | HTML HTML (1 p.)
    by Asian and Pacific Islander Institute
    This training curriculum is aimed at increasing understanding of elder abuse in the Asian and Pacific Islander community. It includes information about types of elder abuse, safety concerns, and barriers faced by older persons when seeking help.
    + View Summary
  • Elder Sexual Abuse Law Enforcement Training Curriculum | HTML HTML (1 p.)
    by Florida Council Against Sexual Violence
    This curriculum covers topics such as recognizing, responding to, and investigating elder sexual assault. The training is interactive, and case studies based on real crimes are used to give the officers practice in applying the information they learn.
    + View Summary
  • Interactive Training Exercises on Abuse in Later Life | PDF PDF (145 p.)
    by Bonnie Brandl and Deb Spangler, National Clearinghouse on Abuse in Later Life (2004)
    This manual offers interactive exercises on understanding and responding to abuse in later life.
    + View Summary
  • Walk in Our Shoes: Working with Older Survivors of Abuse | HTML HTML
    by The National Clearinghouse on Abuse in Later Life (NCALL) (2011)
    The purpose of these videos and discussion guide is to encourage critical thinking and conversation about direct services and outreach designed to meet the unique needs of victims of abuse in later life. Since each community has its own strengths and challenges, a variety of diverse viewpoints are offered to assist in determining what will work in your community.
    + View Summary
  • Safe at any age: A curriculum designed to educate elders in Pennsylvania communities about sexual violence | PDF PDF (50 p.)
    by Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape’s Elder Sexual Abuse Prevention Committee (2006)
    This curriculum is designed to educate elders in Pennsylvania communities about sexual violence. The primary audience of this curriculum is persons over the age of 60 who live in a community and do not require full time health care.
    + View Summary
  • Addressing Elder Sexual Abuse: Developing a community response |HTML HTML (13 p.)
    by Karla Vierthaler, Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape and the Pennsylvania Department of Aging (2004)
    This six module-training curriculum promotes community partnerships in preventing and intervening in cases of elder sexual abuse.
    + View Summary
  • Elder Sexual Assault: Technical Assistance Manual for Older Adult Protective Services | PDF PDF (36 p.)
    by Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape (2007)
    This is a manual for aging services workers that helps to ensure an appropriate response to an older victim of sexual abuse.
    + View Summary

A Mother Never Gives Up Hope: Older Mothers and Abusive Adult Sons (2009) from the National Clearninghouse on Abuse in Later Life shares the candid and powerful stories of Ruth, Lova, Anne, and Rita - four women who are dealing with abuse at the hands of an adult son. In their own words, they work through the emotions and pain of experiencing abuse from their sons, the life-changing impact it makes on them as a person, and how it affects their mother-son relationships.

Laws & Public Policy | Back to top

The documents in this section provide some information about laws and public policies related to elder abuse.

  • Crackdown on Elder Abuse: With number of financial exploitation cases on the rise, new state laws strengthen prevention and prosecution | PDF PDF (3 p.)
    by Kate Tormey in Stateline Midwest, 21(4) for The Midwestern Office of the Council of State Governments (April 2012)
    This article outlines the initiatives in several Midwest States to improve their responses to elder financial exploitation cases. It includes strategies for policy makers to consider.
    + View Summary
  • The Laws in Your State | HTML HTML (1 p.)
    by Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (December 2009)
    This database provides state-by-state information about mandatory reporting, confidentiality laws, HIV/AIDS testing of sexual offenders, and criminal statutes of limitations for sexual offense.

    + View Summary
  • Information about Laws related to Elder Abuse | PDF PDF (5 p.)
    by Lori Stiegel and Ellen Klem, American Bar Association Commission on Law and Aging (2007)
    This document provides information about federal and state statutes related to elder abuse. It presents information current at the end of December 2006.
    + View Summary
  • Policy Positions on the Prosecution of Elder Abuse, Neglect, and Financial Exploitation | PDF PDF (22 p.)
    by National District Attorneys Association (March 2003)
    This paper provides a policy position on elder abuse that emphasizes multidisciplinary approach for successful prosecution of elder abuse.
    + View Summary

National Organizations Addressing Abuse in Later Life | Back to top

This list includes national organizations only, arranged alphabetically.

Administration on Community Living
The Administration on Community Living (ACL) brings together the efforts and achievements of the Administration on Aging, the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, and the HHS Office on Disability to serve as the Federal agency responsible for increasing access to community supports, while focusing attention and resources on the unique needs of older Americans and people with disabilities across the lifespan.

Administration on Aging: Native American Programs
AOA Native American Program is dedicated to providing a forum for increased communication between Title VI programs to facilitate communication and information dissemination pertaining to training and technical assistance for Title VI Directors and to provide relevant and useful information so that Title VI Directors can improve their programs to better meet the needs of older Indians.

Ageless Alliance
The Ageless Alliance connects people of all ages nationwide who stand united for the dignity of older adults and for the elimination of elder abuse by building awareness, providing support and community involvement.

American Bar Association Commission on Law and Aging
The mission of the ABA Commission on Law and Aging is to strengthen and secure the legal rights, dignity, autonomy, quality of life, and quality of care of elders. It carries out this mission through research, policy development, technical assistance, advocacy, education, and training. The Commission consists of a 15-member interdisciplinary body of experts in aging and law, including lawyers, judges, health and social services professionals, academics, and advocates.

Clearinghouse on Abuse and Neglect of the Elderly
The Clearinghouse on Abuse and Neglect of the Elderly, located at the University of Delaware, is the nation's largest archive of published research, training resources, government documents, and other sources on elder abuse.

The Eldercare Locator
The Eldercare Locator, public service of the Administration on Aging, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is a nationwide service that connects older Americans and their caregivers with information on senior services.

Elder Justice Coalition  
The Elder Justice Coalition (EJA) is a national organization dedicated to promoting elder justice in America. The Coalition works to fulfill its mission through education, advocacy, and support of federal initiatives to address the growing crisis of elder abuse, neglect and exploitation.

MARICOPA Elder Abuse Prevention Alliance
MARICOPA Elder Abuse Prevention Alliance (MEAPA) promotes public awareness, education, and community outreach for the prevention of Elder Abuse and Late-Life Domestic Violence.

National Adult Protective Services Association
The mission of the National Adult Protective Services Association (NAPSA) is to improve the quality and availability of protective services for disabled adults and elderly persons who are abused, neglected or exploited and are unable to protect their own interests.

National Association of Agencies on Aging
The National Association of Area Agencies on Aging's (N4A) primary mission is to build the capacity of its members to help older persons and persons with disabilities live with dignity and choices in their homes and communities for as long as possible.

National Association of States United for Aging and Disabilities
The National Association of States United for Aging and Disabilities (NASUAD) was founded in 1964 under the name National Association of State Units on Aging (NASUA). In 2010, the organization changed its name to NASUAD in an effort to formally recognize the work that the state agencies were undertaking in the field of disability policy and advocacy. Today, NASUAD represents the nation's 56 officially designated state and territorial agencies on aging and disabilities and supports visionary state leadership, the advancement of state systems innovation and the articulation of a national policies that support home and community based services for older adults and individuals with disabilities.

National Center on Elder Abuse
National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) serves as a national resource center dedicated to the prevention of elder mistreatment.

National Clearinghouse on Abuse in Later Life
National Clearinghouse on Abuse in Later Life's (NCALL) mission is to eliminate abuse in later life by challenging beliefs, policies, practices and systems that allow abuse to occur and continue and to improve safety, services and support to victims through advocacy and education.

National Committee For the Prevention of Elder Abuse
The National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (NCPEA) is an association of researchers, practitioners, educators, and advocates dedicated to protecting the safety, security, and dignity of America's most vulnerable citizens.

National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care
The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care (formerly NCCNHR) was formed in 1975 as the National Citizen's Coalition for Nursing Home Reform because of public concern about substandard care in nursing homes.

National Hispanic Council on Aging
The National Hispanic Council on Aging (NHCOA) is dedicated to promoting, educating, and advocating for research, policy, and practice in the areas of economic security, health, and housing Hispanic seniors. NHCOA has developed a Hispanic Aging Network of community-based organizations across the continental U.S., the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico that reaches millions of Latinos each year. NHCOA also works to ensure the Hispanic community is better understood and fairly represented in U.S. policies.

National Indian Council on Aging
The National Indian Council On Aging (NICOA)  is a national resource center created to advocate for improved comprehensive health, social services and economic well-being for American Indian and Alaska Native Elders.

National Indigenous Elder Justice Initiative
The National Indigenous Elder Justice Initiative (NIEJI) was created to address the lack of culturally appropriate information and community education materials on elder abuse, neglect and exploitation in Indian Country.

National Long-Term Care Ombudsman Resource Center
The National Long-Term Care Ombudsman Resource Center provides support, technical assistance and training to the 53 State Long-Term Care Ombudsman Programs and their statewide networks of almost 600 regional (local) programs.

National Resource Center on LGBT Aging
The National Resource Center on LGBT Aging is a technical assistance resource center aimed at improving the quality of services and supports offered to lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or transgender older adults by providing training, technical assistance and educational resources to aging providers, LGBT organizations and LGBT older adults. The center is led by SAGE, in partnership with 14 leading organizations from around the country.

Older Women’s League  
The Older Women's League (OWL) is a national grassroots membership organization that focuses solely on issues unique to women as they age. OWL strives to improve the status and quality of life for midlife and older women.

Services & Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE)
SAGE is dedicated to improving the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) older adults.

University of California, Irvine Center for Excellence on Elder Abuse and Neglect
The Center of Excellence on Elder Abuse and Neglect is at the UCI School of Medicine, Program in Geriatrics. Locally, the Center of Excellence provides medical, forensic, and victim services to abused and neglected seniors and serves as a "living laboratory" of innovative approaches. Statewide, the Center of Excellence serves as a central source of technical assistance, best practice information, multidisciplinary training, useful research, and relevant policy issues in California.

References & Bibliographies: Available Journal Articles on Abuse in Later Life | Back to top

Bibliographies
These bibliographies contain journal articles available online for purchase or through subscription
  • Sexual Violence in Later Life: Annotated Bibliography | PDF PDF (8 p.) TXT TXT (8 p.)
    by National Sexual Violence Resource Center (2010)
    This document provides analysis on 33 articles from academia and the sexual violence prevention field regarding multiple aspects of sexual violence in later life.
    + View Summary
  • Sexual Violence in Later Life: Resource List | PDF PDF (2 p.) TXT TXT (2 p.)
    by National Sexual Violence Resource Center (2010)
    This two-page document offers information on curricula and manuals, online training, special journal editions, videos and websites.
    + View Summary
  • Domestic Violence in Later Life Annotated Bibliography | PDF PDF (5 p.) HTML HTML
    by Sheetal Rana, VAWnet, the National Online Resource Center on Violence Against Women (July 2010)
    This bibliography includes selected journal articles from year 2000 onward and focuses specifically on domestic violence against older women.
    + View Summary
  • NCALL Abuse in Later Life Resource List | <PDF PDF (5 p.)
    by The National Clearinghouse on Abuse in Later Life (NCALL) (Updated May 2013)
    This list provides current journal articles and professional publications related to elder abuse.
    + View Summary
References

Acierno, R., Hernandez, M. A., Amstadter, A. B., Resnick, H. S., Steve, K., Muzzy, W., Kilpatrick, D. G. (2010). Prevalence and correlates of emotional, physical, sexual, and financial abuse and potential neglect in the United States: The National Elder Mistreatment Study. American Journal of Public Health, 100(2), 292-297. Available at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20019303.

Acierno, R. (2013). Elder Mistreatment Facts and Figures: The National (USA) Elder Mistreatment Study. Paper presented at the Forum on Global Violence Prevention, Washington, D.C.

Baker, M. W., LaCroix, A. Z., Wu, C., Cochrane, B. B., Wallace, R., & Woods, N. F. (2009). Mortality risk associated with physical and verbal abuse in women aged 50 to 79. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 57(10), 1799-1809. Available at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19682130.

Bancroft, L. (2002). Why does he do that? Inside the minds of angry and controlling men. New York, NY: Berkley Publishing Group. Available at http://www.lundybancroft.com/?page_id=52.

Beach, S. R., Schulz, R., Castle, N. G., & Rosen, J. (2010). Financial exploitation and psychological mistreatment among older adults: differences between African Americans and non-African Americans in a population-based survey. Gerontologist, 50(6), 744-757. Available at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20650947.

Beaulaurier, R. L., Seff, L. R., & Newman, F. L. (2008). Barriers to help-seeking for older women who experienced intimate partner violence: A descriptive model. Journal of Women and Aging, 20(3-4), 231-248. Available at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18983109.

Brandl, B., Dyer, C. B., Heisler, C. J., Otto, J. M., Stiegel L. A., & Thomas, R. W. (Eds.). (2007). Elder abuse detection and intervention: A collaborative approach. New York, NY: Springer Publishing Company. Available at http://www.springerpub.com/product/9780826131140.

Bureau of Justice Statistics. “Special Analysis of Data from the National Crime Victimization Survey.” Data Source: BJS, National Crime Victimization Survey, 1993-2011. Results Generated: May 6, 2013.

Connolly, M.T. (2010). Where elder abuse and the justice system collide: Police power, parens patriae, and 12 recommendations. Journal of Elder Abuse and Neglect, 22(1-2), 37-93. Available at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20390826.

DeLiema, M., Gassoumis, Z. D., Homeier, D. C., Wilber, K. H. (2012). Determining prevalence and correlates of elder abuse using promotores: Low income immigrant Latinos report high rates of abuse and neglect. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 60(7), 1333-1339. Available at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22697790.

Dong, X. Q., Simon, M. A., Beck, T. T., Farran, C., McCann, J. J., Mendes de Leon, C. F., Laumann, E., Evans, D. A. (2011). Elder abuse and mortality: The role of psychological and social wellbeing. Gerontology, 57(6), 549-558. Available at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21124009.

Gunther, J. (2011). The Utah Cost of Financial Exploitation. Salt Lake City, UT: Utah Division of Aging and Adult Services. Available at http://www.dhs.utah.gov/pdf/utah-financial-exploitation-study.pdf.

Lachs, M., Williams, C. S., O'Brien, S., Pillemer, K. A., & Charlson, M. E. (1998). The mortality of elder mistreatment. Journal of the American Medical Association, 280(5), 428-432. Available at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9701077.

Lifespan of Greater Rochester, Weill Cornell Medical Center, & New York City Department for the Aging. (2011). Under the Radar: New York State Elder Abuse Prevalence Study. Self-Reported Prevalence and Documented Case Surveys, Final Report. New York, NY: William B. Hoyt Memorial New York State Children and Family Trust Fund, and the New York State Office of Children and Family Services. Available at http://www.ocfs.state.ny.us/main/reports/Under%20the%20Radar%2005%2012%2011%20final%20report.pdf.

MetLife Mature Market Institute, National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse, & the Center for Gerontology at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. (2009). Broken Trust: Elders, Family, and Finances. Westport, CT: MetLife Mature Market Institute. Available at www.metlife.com/assets/cao/mmi/publications/studies/mmi-study-broken-trust-elders-family-finances.pdf.

Stark, E. (2007). Coercive control: How men entrap women in personal life. New York, NY: Oxford University Press. Available at http://global.oup.com/academic/search?q=evan+stark&cc=us&lang=en.

U.S. Census Bureau. (2012, December 12). U.S. Census Bureau projections show a slower growing, older, more diverse nation a half century from now [Press release]. Retrieved from http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/population/cb12-243.html.

U.S. Department of Justice. (in press). Elder Justice Roadmap Project Phase 1 Report. Washington, DC.

U.S. Government Accountability Office. (2011). Elder justice: Stronger federal leadership could enhance national response to elder abuse (GAO-11-208 ). Washington, DC. Available at http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d11208.pdf.