Aileen Hongo and Marilyn Montenegro
“I am 72 years old and I am tired, my body is tired, but I still must work 5 days a week. I am not allowed to retire.” Dee
Dee, like the 20 thousand other California prisoners over the age of 55, is not allowed to retire or even reduce her work hours. The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s (CDCR) policy of full-time work for all prisoners disregards the widely accepted consensus that prison life ages people, and people in prison are physiologically ten or more years older than their chronological age. Prisons generally classify those past the age of 55 as elderly.
By Carol Sewell
Elder Fraud and exploitation are among the most difficult crimes to resolve, and it’s a rare occurrence that the fraud is stopped before it’s carried out. Briefly transforming itself into a rapid response team to stop a crime in progress, CEJC’s A*Team recently showed how it could be done.
By Lisa Nerenberg
The sucker punch of last week's Supreme Court's decision still has me reeling. It also has me thinking about how to channel my outrage. It's clear that Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization isn't just about abortion. Justice Thomas's chilling concurring opinion makes it likely that other deeply personal choices may come next. Older adults are at especially high risk.
By Steven Hassan
Forty-five years ago, I left the Moonies—a far-right authoritarian cult—and ever since, my career has been dedicated to stopping destructive cults and spreading awareness about undue influence. In my decades of activism, I have come to understand how social psychology and the law are connected.
BY Dana L. Curtis, Attorney and Mediator
I believe loss, or fear of loss, and grief, or anticipatory grief, are present in most mediations. But in elder and adult family cases, they often exist at the heart of the conflict. By grief, I am referring to emotional experience in response to significant loss of any kind.
One of the greatest frustrations for those working with elder abuse victims is standing idly by when abuse is occurring or imminent and not being able to stop it. It’s not for lack of caring. Sometimes, even the most skilled and well-intentioned service providers don’t have the authority they need to do what needs doing.
COVID-19 has forced us to face the fact that in mere days or hours we can go from autonomous, free-acting agents to having strangers become the guardians of our bodies and selves. These strangers may be called upon to judge the value of our lives against those of others as they triage scarce resources or to predict our quality of life against the potential risks and rewards of treatments. The sudden annihilating onset of the disease denies many the chance to choose for themselves how they want to spend their final hours and with whom. It separates patients from loved ones, depriving both sides of mutual comfort, reassurance, and the easing of fears and suffering.
What began as a small gathering at the United Nations in 2006 has evolved into a multicultural, multilingual movement redefining the meaning of collective power for a world audience. World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) has helped people understand what elder abuse is, acknowledge the importance of human and civil rights, and recognize the need for research, education, advocacy, and policy development. WEAAD brings together individuals, communities and organizations to raise awareness and to honour, respect, and celebrate the strength and resilience of older people. Now, on its 15th anniversary, WEAAD continues to provide a platform for voices to be heard, listened to and acted on.
With the COVID-19 epidemic spreading across the globe, people everywhere are getting a crash course in public health. Terms like “flattening the curve” and “herd immunity” are daily being added to our vocabularies. Since its beginnings during a cholera epidemic in the 1850s in London, the field of public health has evolved dramatically, yet some of the advances that are particularly germane to COVID-19 are not getting much attention. That includes public health’s focus on social justice.
In the thirty-something years I’ve worked in the field of elder abuse prevention, I’ve seen abuse framed and re-framed as a medical syndrome, a caregiving issue, domestic violence, and a public health epidemic. The Elder Justice Act (EJA), enacted in 2010, enshrined abuse as a matter of social justice and individual rights. Although the new frame has been widely embraced, the EJA is narrowly focused and fails to address the myriad other threats (besides abuse) to older Americans’ rights. I wrote Elder Justice, Ageism, and Elder Abuse (Springer, 2019) to explore these threats and what our field can do about them.