Protecting the rights, independence, and safety of older people by exploring barriers, sharing information and ideas, and providing a voice from the field to policy makers
Who We Are
CEJC is a multidisciplinary membership organization providing a voice from the field in elder justice policy and practice. We promote the rights of older adults, including protection against age-based discrimination and elder abuse, and equitable access to resources, health care, and the legal system by those in greatest need. Our programs include:
Nat'l Elder Justice Advocates Academy
The Academy provides advocates with information, updates, promising practices, webinars, toolkits, and opportunities to join in the national dialogue on elder justice.
Senior Medicare Patrol
CEJC partners with the California Senior Medicare Patrol to inform professionals, advocates, and the public about how Medicare fraud harms seniors, caregivers, and the public, and what they can do.
CEJC advocates for policy reform, raises awareness about elder justice developments, creates opportunities for exchange among advocates and policy makers, and provides consultation, training, and technical assistance. Our work reflects our Principles of Elder Justice handout and video.
Our current work focuses on:
Our educational materials focus on leading edge issues in elder justice with the aim of fostering new ideas and innovations. They include:
In Case You Missed It:
Recordings are now available for our most recent webinars:
October 20, 2020: Elder Justice for Medicare Beneficiaries
October 1, 2020: Advancing Trauma Informed Responses to Elder Abuse
Both webinars are available at Webinars and Events.
News & Updates
To view the full November/December 2020 News & Updates and to subscribe to News & Updates emails, click here:
Update on the Elder Justice Act
The Elder Justice Act, which was passed in 2009 as part of the Affordable Care Act. Although expired in 2014, Congress has failed to reauthorize it but continues to approximately $12 million per year for authorized activities. With Act in limbo, lawmakers and advocates have pushed for including the reauthorization or elements of it in COVID-relief packages and budget requests.
In October, the House passed an updated HEROES Act, which contained a one-year reauthorization that includes $123 million for APS programs and $18 million for long-term care ombudsmen program grants and training. The provision was included by Rep. Richard Neal, chair of the House Ways and Means Committee. On the Senate side, the leading proponents for reauthorization are Senators Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee and ranking member Ron Wyden. As the House and Senate finalize language on a full-year omnibus funding bill to replace the continuing resolution, Neal has indicated support for retaining the one-year reauthorization in a final bill. House leadership and Senator Grassley have also indicated their support.
SB 214: Promoting Community Care in the COVID-19 Era
Reducing nursing home placements during the COVID-19 pandemic was the goal of the Newsom Administration’s “Long-Term Care at Home” (LTCH) Medi-Cal Waiver proposal, which was introduced during the Legislature’s budget negotiations in May. LTCH was proposed with little detail, but was widely viewed as a way to replace the Community Based Adult Services (CBAS) adult day program and the Multipurpose Senior Services Program (MSSP), both of which were slated for elimination in the Governor’s 2020-2021 May Revise budget. Advocates decried the proposed elimination of the two highly-effective community-based programs, particularly since a similar effort to eliminate adult day healthcare (ADHC) programs in 2011 resulted in a court ruling preserving the program on the basis that eliminating this alternative to institutional care would violate the terms of the Supreme Court’s Olmstead Decision. Following months of stakeholder input, the Administration announced in August that LTCH would be dropped.
In response to the LTCH concept, the Master Plan for Aging Stakeholder Advisory Committee (SAC) developed an Immediate Crisis Care Response (ICCR) to divert patients away from skilled nursing. The ICCR would expand eligibility and access to existing community-based programs and work with hospitals and nursing home to discharge eligible patients and coordinate their care at home. The first step toward implementing the ICCR is contained in SB 214 (Dodd), which implements adjustments and enhances the Community Care Transitions program. SB 214 has been approved by the Legislature and is now awaiting Governor Newsom’s signature. See SB 214.
2020 Aging and Disability-Related Legislation
The California Department of Aging (CDA) has posted a list of notable 2020 enrolled and chaptered 2019-20 legislation pertaining to aging and disability rights. It reports that when the session adjourned on August 31, it had considered 5,423 total pieces of legislation, which the governor has until Sept 30 to sign or veto. Click here for a listing of notable 2020 enrolled and chaptered aging-related bills. A round -up of enacted laws related to aging will be posted in Oct. The CDA has posted a list of aging and disability-related legislation here. Go to CDA list.
State News (Other States)
Washington Adopts Supported Decision-Making Provisions
In April, 2020, Washington’s governor signed (SB 6287), making it the most recent state to adopt supported decision-making (SDM) agreements as a less restrictive alternative to guardianship for adults with disabilities. The new law takes effect on January 1, 2022, To learn more about SDM and how it is being used in other states, go to the National Resource Center for Supported Decision-Making.
Maine Launches Elder Justice Coordinating Partnership
In October of 2019 Maine Governor Janet Mills signed an Executive Order establishing the Elder Justice Coordinating Partnership. The mission of the EJCP, a public/private partnership whose members represent a diverse range of backgrounds and experience, is to create an elder justice roadmap for the State of Maine. The first meeting is scheduled in September, 2020.
National Network of State Elder Justice Coalitions (NNSEJC)
NNSEJC was formed in 2018 to build capacity at the state and national levels by sharing information, resources, and expertise. For more information and updates, see NNSEJC.
The next NNSEJC Membership meeting is on March 11, 2021. It will focus on the role of state legal assistance developers. For more information, contact NNSEJC@gmail.com.
Lori Smetanka on Residents' Rights Denied
In a presentation to NNSEJC members on September 17, Consumer Choice Executive Director Lori Smetanka described how residents’ rights with respect to transfers, discharges, and eviction are being denied. To view the recording of her presentation, click here.
Adapting Your MDT to a Virtual Environment
This webinar by the Elder Justice Initiative of the U.S. Department of Justice describes measures that multidisciplinary teams can take during the pandemic as they convert to online meetings. It includes tips for promoting engagement by members (e.g. online “icebreakers”) and ensuring privacy and confidentiality. See Adapting Your MDT to a Virtual Environment. The Initiative has also developed companion handouts. See companion handouts.
Reframing Aging: A Primer for Health Care Professionals
This webinar, presented by the Reframing Aging Initiative covers four ideas to keep in mind when talking about older people and health equity in health care settings during the pandemic. See Reframing Aging.
National Elder Abuse MDT Peer Support Community
The California District Attorneys Association (CDAA) and the Elder Justice Initiative (EJI) of the Department of Justice have created a peer support community to help multidisciplinary teams (MDTs) communicate. It includes a discussion board and documents library for sharing resources. To join, see MDT Peer Support.
New Training on Decision-Making
The National Center for State Courts and the American Bar Association Commission on Law and Aging have released Finding the Right Fit: Decision-Making Supports and Guardianship, a training to help advocates and service providers assist individuals with diminished mental capacity. It focuses topics ranging from supporting people in making their own choices about health, money, and lifestyle; to deciding whether to become a guardian or conservator; to supporting self-determination.
Research & Reports
Senate Releases Reports on COVID in Nursing Homes
Two Senate Committees have released reports that describe COVID-19 in facilities and offer recommendations for combatting it.
Low Staff Levels Linked to COVID in CA Nursing Homes
According to a new UCSF study, nursing homes with lower Medicare five-star ratings on nursing staffing levels, other staffing levels, and higher total health deficiencies were more like to have residents with COVID. The researchers suggest that California nursing homes that met the minimum staffing standards may have prevented or delayed infections and that establishing minimum staffing standards at the federal and state levels could lower infection rates in the future. See Low Staff Levels Linked to COVID.
Helping Those Who Help Others: Key Findings
This report from the National Resource Center for Reaching Victims (NRC) describes the findings of a comprehensive needs assessment of the crime victims field that was conducted to better understand why some victims are not receiving services and what resources and tools the field needs to reach more people. The research was conducted between July 2017 through March 2018. The top five crime types that respondents identified as underserved by their programs were human trafficking, domestic violence, adult sexual assault, elder abuse, and children who witness violence. See the report here.