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.
CEJC Weighs in on State Aging Plan
CEJC's recommendations for the Older Americans Act State Plan include:
For other recommendations, go to CDA OAA
Our educational materials focus on leading edge issues in elder justice with the aim of fostering new ideas and innovations. They include:
Please join us for our upcoming webinar on Sept 8th, Stop the Bleeding - Temporarily Freezing Assets in Elder & Dependent Adult Abuse Cases
Visit Webinars & Events for more information and to register.
In Case You Missed It:
Recordings of our recent webinars are now available:
May 19th: Telling Your Story to the Media: A Conversation with Elder Abuse Expert Shawna Reeves and Journalist Nick Leiber
April 28th: A Conversation on Applying Restorative Justice to Elder Abuse
March 30th: Absent Authority: Making Conservatorship a Positive Tool of Transformation
News & Updates
To view the full current News & Updates and to subscribe to News & Updates emails, visit News & Updates July/August 2021.
Congress, President Biden "FIX VOCA"
Congress has passed and President Biden has signed the “VOCA Fix to Sustain the Crime Victims Fund Act of 2021” which prevents cuts to Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) grants to states. The funds are used for compensation and services for millions of crime victims. In California, the funds are used for domestic violence shelters, hotlines, elder abuse multidisciplinary teams, legal services, and victim support groups.
VOCA funds do not come from taxpayer dollars but from monetary penalties associated with federal criminal convictions, primarily for white collar crimes. The funds go into the Crime Victims Fund (CVF), which fluctuates based on the cases that the Department of Justice successfully prosecutes. The funds are currently at an historic low due in part to an increased use of deferred prosecution and non-prosecution agreements. The penalties associated with these agreements are deposited into the General Treasury instead of the CVF. The proposed “fix” would transfer them back into the CVF. The “VOCA Fix Act” came in response to an effort spearheaded by leading victim advocacy organizations.
Elder Justice Act Reauthorization Moves Ahead
The Elder Justice Coalition (EJC) continues to spearhead efforts to reauthorize the Elder Justice Act (EJA), which was enacted in 2010 as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. EJC’s efforts have focused on supporting and enhancing HR8079, which was introduced in the House Ways and Means Committee by Chairman Neal and Representative Bonamici during the last Congress. Among the changes being discussed are whether to strengthen nursing home reform measures, strengthen stakeholders’ involvement in the Elder Justice Coordinating Council, and implement the Advisory Council, which was called for in the original EJA but never implemented.
Recently, the House Ways and Means Racial Equity Initiative (the REI) included the EJA reauthorization among its recommendations for the infrastructure bills currently being discussed (see page 4 here). The REI was formed earlier this year to address the role of racism and other forms of discrimination in perpetuating health and economic inequalities in the U.S. following the release of the Committee’s report “Something Must Change: Inequities in U.S. Policy and Society,” and framework “A Bold Vision for a Legislative Pathway Toward Health and Economic Equity.”
Federal COVID Relief Includes Elder Justice Programs
The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, signed into law on March 11, offered substantial support for elder justice programs, including: $276 million for the Elder Justice Act (by contrast, only $58 million total has been appropriated over the last 10 years); $450 million for nursing home care improvements; $10 million for long-term care ombudsman programs; and $1.434 billion in funding under the section on aging and disability services for Older Americans Act programs. See American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.
CDA Plans EJ Coordinating Council
Planning has begun for California’s version of the federal Elder Justice Coordinating Council, which was created under the Elder Justice Act of 2010. Like its national counterpart, the state council will comprise key state departments within government that have a role to play in elder justice and abuse prevention. CEJC called for the Council in its From Blueprint to Benchmarks: Building a Framework for Elder Justice and in recommendations for California’s Master Plan for Aging. CEJC and Justice in Aging are assisting in planning the launch.
Cal Launches Consumer Financial Protection Agency
California’s Consumer Financial Protection Law (CCFPL), which took effect Jan. 1, 2021, creates the Department of Financial Protection and Innovation, replacing the former Department of Business Oversight. The agency will have authority to regulate previously unregulated financial products and services and review all claims of unlawful, unfair, deceptive, or abusive practices. The new organization is asking for advocates’ help in raising awareness and has created a social media kit for doing so. Graphics and social media copy are available at CCFPL on their website at CCFPL.
California APS Abuse Reports and Funding
During a March 2021 Assembly Budget Subcommittee #1 hearing, California Department of Social Services (CDSS) Director Kim Johnson provided a report on APS, which including the number of reports received and responded to in Fiscal Year 2019-20:
State News (Other States)
Ohio AG, Alzheimer’s Assoc to Combat Scams Targeting People with Dementia
The Ohio Attorney General's Office is teaming up with the Alzheimer’s Association of Greater Cincinnati Chapter to stop scammers from targeting people in the early stages of dementia. The initiative encourages family members to look out for indicators and directs those with concerns to a helpline. See Scams and Dementia.
NNSEJC Welcomes its Newest Member
Pennsylvania’s Advisory Council on Elder Justice in the Courts is NNSEJC's newest member. The Council was established in 2015 to assist the state’s Office of Elder Justice in the Courts ) implement best practices, judicial rules, and legislation. The 2019 Progress Report details the group’s work since its inception. Welcome!
Anna Thomas joins NNSEJC Steering Committee
NNSEJC's steering Commitee is delighted to announce a new member: Anna Thomas, of the Georgia Statewide Elder Justice Initiative. Anna is a Forensic Specialist in the Forensic Special Initiatives Unit of the Georgia Department of Human Services and a member of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation's Crimes Against Disabled Adults and Elderly Task Force.
The next NNSEJC Membership meeting is on Thursday, September 9, 2021. For more information, contact NSEJC@gmail.com.
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.
NCEA Releases Fact Sheets on Diversity and Guardianship During COVID
The National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) has released new fact sheets that focus on for working with older adults from diverse communities. They include:
Research & Reports
ABA Journal Includes Lessons from the Pandemic from CEJC Leaders
The May 2021 issue of Dispute Resolution Magazine, a publication of the American Bar Association’s Dispute Resolution Section, was devoted to lessons learned from the pandemic. It includes In Elder Abuse Cases, Restorative Justice Holds the Promise of Honoring Relationships by CEJC Executive Director Lisa Nerenberg, in which she suggests that restorative justice may benefit victims who want to have their relationships repaired and losses recovered. In COVID’s Cruel Impacts: Ombuds Must Get Creative to Resolve Conflicts in Long-Term Care Facilities, Bay Area attorney and mediator Frederick Hertz interviewed CEJC Steering Committee members Molly Davies and Nicole Howell about how ombuds have had to balance safety, well-being, and oversight to advocate for residents during the pandemic.
National Guardianship Network Calls for Reforms to Guardianship System
In May, the National Guardianship Network convened 125 advocates, family guardians, judges, lawyers, scholars, and other stakeholders for the Fourth National Guardianship Summit to discuss the current state of guardianship and develop recommendations for reform and improvement around the theme of maximizing autonomy and ensuring accountability. At the conclusion of the summit, delegates approved 22 final recommendations.