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Elder Abuse in the Headlines this March

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In This Issue:
Upcoming Deadlines
Research & News
Funding Opportunities

Upcoming Deadlines

Eighth Annual Institute on Aging and Social Work Application Deadline April 1, 2011
AGE-SW Pre-dissertation Awards Application Deadline May 1, 2011
Health and Aging Policy Fellows Program Application Deadline May 9, 2011

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AGE-SW Pre-dissertation awards available
The Association for Gerontology Education in Social Work (AGE-SW) has announced that they will again fund a Gerontological Social Work Pre-Dissertation Initiative for doctoral students. This is a wonderful opportunity for pre-dissertation students to receive valuable training in research methods, writing for publication, seeking dissertation funding and being socialized into the academic gerontological social work family. Applications to the Pre-Dissertation Initiative for 2011 are due by May 1st. If you have any questions about the program or application process, contact Dr. Carmen Morano at

National Online Petition: Light the White House Purple on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day
World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) will be celebrated on June 15th and many community groups and organizations are busy preparing for this important observance. The Tennessee Vulnerable Adult Coalition has started an online petition to Light the White House Purple on WEAAD.  Janet Lamb, the Tennessee aging services professional who began the petition, recognizes the request is a tall order, but notes that there is precedent for such a request: on October 14th, 2010, the North Portico of the White House residence and the main gate to the Naval Observatory were lit pink in honor of breast cancer awareness. President Bush also had the White House bathed in pink in 2008 in recognition of the same cause. To read more about WEAAD activities, click here.

Call for Papers: WHO Bulletin Special Issue on Violence against Women
Throughout 2011, editors of the WHO Bulletin will be soliciting papers addressing violence against women for inclusion in a special topic issue. This provides an excellent opportunity to discuss late life domestic violence and other forms of violence against older women. According to the solicitation: the editors are “...particularly interested in research with a strong intervention focus, including ways to get violence against women onto different policy agendas and lessons about how to address some of the challenges policy‐makers face; innovative approaches to prevention or to service provision; … research to address more neglected forms of violence against women; and evidence on the costs and cost‐effectiveness of intervention responses.” Submissions can be made throughout 2011 at: .”
Click here to read the complete call for submissions.

Routledge Journals offers access to articles in celebration of World SW Day
To celebrate World Social Work Day 2011 Routledge is offering free online access to a selection of key articles from an extensive list of Social Work and Social Care Journals. The articles cover a wide range of topics including human rights, social protection, poverty, ethics and health. Click here to access the free articles.

Ernest Gonzales, Hartford Doctoral Fellow receives GSA Spotlight this month
Ernest Gonzales, Cohort X Hartford Doctoral Fellow at Washington University in St. Louis is featured in the Gerontological Society of America’s March member spotlight. Gonzales’ research focus is on re-entry into the workforce after retirement. To view the GSA spotlight feature, click here.

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Research & News

Mickey Rooney Shares His Personal Story of Elder Abuse
The issue of elder abuse became headline news this month when actor Mickey Rooney testified before a packed Senate Committee on Aging hearing.  Rooney proclaimed “If elder abuse can happen to me,… it can happen to anybody.” and legislators as well as the media took note.  Most importantly, his testimony offered a strong reminder that elder abuse impacts us all.  The National Center on Elder Abuse estimates that between 1 & 2 million people have been injured, exploited, or otherwise mistreated and generally by family members. To view the webcast of the Senate hearing, click here. To access a copy of the GAO report released at the hearing titled “Stronger Federal Oversight Could Enhance National Response to Elder Abuse,” click here.

Two popular videos of the news coverage from NBC & ABC follow below:
ABC NEWS: Mickey Rooney Testifies on Elder Abuse: The actor details how control of his finances was stripped from him and from NBC NEWS: Rooney opens up about alleged elder abuse

Sex Offenders Put Iowa's Disabled Residents at Risk
A recent article in the Des Moines Register draws attention to an increasing concern in our nation’s nursing homes. Under Iowa law, sex offenders are not permitted to live within 2,000 feet of a school or work in any type of care facility for dependent adults. However, it is not against Iowa law for them to live in those  same care facilities, sharing rooms with vulnerable adults who have mental and/or physical impairments. The Government Accountability Office issued a report
 five years ago that revealed at least 700 registered sex offenders residing in the nation's long-term care facilities. The report detailed concerns regarding that this type of housing arrangement. States such as Illinois and Minnesota have enacted laws requiring government agencies to notify the owners of long-term care facilities when sex offenders are directed there by the courts. In Iowa, there are no such notification requirements.

Mean Girls: Bullying Doesn’t End in High School
Bullying in retirement homes? Does that really happen? Dr. Robin Bonifas, assistant professor at Arizona State University & a Hartford Doctoral Fellow, who focuses on bullying in her research, estimates that 10-20% of residents of care facilities may experience some form of bullying. Bullying behavior or attempts to intimidate or ostracize other residents may lead to isolation and depression. Bonifas notes, "There needs to be clear expectations about what kind of behavior is appropriate. The best way to deal with bullying is to have an all-around culture where bullying is unacceptable." To access more information about this issue, read the following articles:
Chandler woman, 76, experiences bullying at retirement community
Mean old girls: Seniors who bully

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Funding Opportunities

Office of Violence Againts Women (OVW) Funding Opportuniting: Enhanced Training and Services to End Violence Against and Abuse of Women Later in Life Program
Congress created the Enhanced Training and Services to End Violence Against and Abuse of Women Later in Life Program in recognition of the fact that individuals who are 50 years of age or older and victims of elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation, face unique barriers to receiving assistance. In Federal Fiscal Year 2011, OVW plans to fund projects that will support a comprehensive approach to addressing elder abuse in their communities. These projects will provide training to criminal justice professionals, governmental agency staff and victim assistants to enhance their ability to address elder abuse, neglect and exploitation in their communities; provide cross training opportunities to professionals working with older victims; develop or enhance a coordinated community response to elder abuse; and provide or enhance services for victims who are 50 years of age or older. Applicants are limited to States, units of local government, Indian Tribal governments or Tribal organizations, and nonprofit, nongovernmental victim services organizations with demonstrated experience in assisting elderly women or demonstrated experience in addressing sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking. The deadline is March 30, 2011; click here for more information.

AoA and NIA Joint Initiative to Improve Health & Well-Being of Older Americans by Translating Research into Practice
The Administration on Aging (AoA) and the National Institute on Aging (NIA) recently announced a joint initiative to support moving evidence-based research findings towards the development of new interventions, programs, policies, practices, and tools that can be used by community-based organizations to help elderly individuals remain healthy and independent, and living in their own homes and communities. Resulting from this initiative are two program announcements. Both announcements focus on the translation of behavioral and social research in aging into the development of new interventions that can be used by community-based organizations that assist elderly individuals.
Click here to access the Program Announcement for Translational Research to Help Older Adults Maintain their Health and Independence in the Community (R01); please click here to access the Program Announcement for Translational Research to Help Older Adults Maintain their Health and Independence in the Community (R21).

Department of Health and Human Services Funding Opportunities
The following funding opportunities are available throught HHS:

AHRQ Individual Awards for Postdoctoral Fellows (F32) Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards (NRSA) Modification 2
NIH: Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards (NRSA) for Individual Postdoctoral Fellows (Parent F32) Modification 3
NIH: Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards for Individual Predoctoral Fellows (Parent F31)
Modification 1

NIH: Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards for Individual Predoctoral Fellowships to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research (Parent F31 - Diversity), Modification 1

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An Age for Justice: Confronting Elder Abuse in America
An Age for Justice: Elder Abuse in America, a video produced by the Elder Justice Now campaign, shows families and individuals whose lives have been turned upside down by elder abuse. The video provides stark proof of the financial, emotional, and physical and psychological impact of the violence and abuse that an estimated five million Americans face every day. Some of the stories covered in the video include Vicki Bastion, 92, who had to install a security gate inside her home to protect herself and what valuables she had left from her grandson and his gang‐related friend, and Bob Lee who talks about his father, who was victimized by a paid caregiver causing depression that contributed to his death. The 16 minute educational YouTube video was produced by the National Council on Aging and WITNESS, to shine the light on what one interviewee called a dark mark on our humanity.

2009 MetLife Study Estimates financial loss of abuses to be $2.6 billion
Financial abuse of the elderly is a serious problem, even though we rarely hear about it. A study by MetLife Mature Market Institute conducted in 2009 estimated the financial loss from abuses to be at least $2.6 billion a year. But that’s just an educated guess. “Right now, we truly don’t know how much exists,” says Professor Pamela Teaster, who chairs the department of gerontology at the University of Kentucky and is on the board of the National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse. “We believe it is an incredibly under-reported problem.” The MetLife study, which Teaster helped write, found that only one in six cases of elderly financial abuse is ever reported. Based on new information, she says, that figure now appears to be conservative. “We have hit some hard financial times and we’re seeing the exploitation increasing,” Teaster said. To read the full article, click here.

New Reports from AARP Highlight Increased Demand for Protective Services
A new AARP Public Policy Institute Fact sheet highlights the increased demand for adult protective services to address cases of older adult mistreatment.  The brief report highlights findings that, during the recent “Great Recession,”  state APS departments saw an uptick in complaints filed while their resources went down or remained flat.  Click here to access a fact sheet on the report. This AARP fact sheet is based on a larger report, Weathering the Storm: The Impact of the Great Recession on Long-Term Services and Supports. 

New Resources, Briefing Examine Medicaid Long-Term Services and Supports
The Kaiser Family Foundation’s Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured (KCMU) has examined the latest data findings regarding Medicaid’s long-term services and supports for seniors and people with disabilities. The materials produced from their study were released at a public briefing in the Foundation’s Washington, D.C. offices that featured an expert panel and remarks on long-term services and supports by U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius.

2011 Poverty Guidelines
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recently released the 2011 Poverty Guidelines, which affect financial eligibility for federal and state programs such as the Medicare Part D Extra Help/Low-Income Subsidy, Medicare Savings Programs, Medicaid, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, and more. For an individual in the 48 contiguous states and DC in 2011, the poverty level is $10,890 ($13,600 in Alaska, $12,540 in Hawaii); for couples, it is $14,710 ($18,380 in Alaska, $16,930 in Hawaii). For more information on the guidelines, visit

2010 Profile of Older Americans Released
The Web-based publication Profile of Older Americans: 2010 is now available online. This annual summary of the latest statistics on the older population covers 15 topical areas including population, income and poverty, living arrangements, education and health. The profile has proven to be a very useful statistical summary in a user-friendly format.

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Two New Senate Bills Introduced Relate to Elder Abuse
As a result of the March Senate Hearing titled “Justice for All:  Ending Elder Abuse, Neglect, and Financial Exploitation,” Senator Herbert Kohl (D-WI) introduced two new bills related to the topic. The first bill, The Elder Abuse Victims Act of 2011 (S. 462), proposes the establishment of a program to encourage States and other qualified entities to create jobs designed to hold offenders accountable, enhance the capacity of the justice system to investigate, pursue, and prosecute elder abuse cases, identify existing resources to leverage to the extent possible, and assure data collection, research, and evaluation to promote the efficacy and efficiency of the activities described in the Act. To access more information on this bill, click here. The second bill, The End Abuse in Later Life Act of 2011 (S. 464) was introduced to establish a grant program to enhance training and services to prevent abuse in later life and has been referred to the Committee on the Judiciary. Track its progress here.

Fall Webcast Describes the Elder Justice Act
In October 2010, the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) presented the webcast, The Elder Justice Act: What It Says, What It Means, and When Will It Be Implemented? The presentation covered a brief history of the development of the Act, the first comprehensive federal legislation to address elder abuse, which was signed into law by President Obama in March, 2010 as part of the health care reform act. The webcast, presented by Bill Benson, the NAPSA National Policy Director, provides a section‐by‐section discussion of the Act and an explanation of the implementation process of the Act.
Visit the NCEA Webcast Archives to access this and other presentations. The NCEA Webcast series is hosted by the National Association of Protective Service Agencies (NAPSA), the NCEA grantee responsible for training initiatives.

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Ripples, an e-newsletter, is designed to keep interested deans and directors, faculty members, students, practitioners and others informed about the work of the Geriatric Social Work Initiative (GSWI). Please note that the information contained in Ripples comes from a variety of sources, including aging listservs, and social work and aging newsletters. In order to get this information to subscribers as quickly as possible, there is little to no additional verification of work or research of resources.

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