Actor Mickey Rooney shares a firsthand account as a victim of elder abuse at a hearing held by the Senate Special Committee on Aging on March 2nd.
Elder abuse is a growing epidemic. With 77 million baby boomers aging, dementia on the rise, and caregiver shortages looming, the growing crisis of elder abuse has significant implications for the health, well-being and economic security of millions of Americans. Each day older Americans are denied basic necessities; physically, sexually and verbally abused; neglected; and financially exploited -- often at the hands of spouses, partners, family members and caregivers. Victims suffer major physical, emotional and financial harm, resulting in unnecessary medical expenses, financial losses, and premature death. This abuse also unnecessarily depletes already strained programs like Medicare and Medicaid, causes greater reliance on social, regulatory and law enforcement programs, and places a significant economic burden on all Americans.
The Senate Special Committee on Aging held a hearing on March 2nd, sponsored by Chairman Herb Kohl (D-WI) and Ranking Member Bob Corker (R-TN) and cosponsored by JWI and a coalition of other groups, to address effective and cost-saving responses to elder abuse, neglect and financial exploitation. The hearing helped bear witness to the under-recognized and unspoken suffering of far too many older Americans and brought urgently-needed national attention to the issue for the first time ever.
Video of the March 2nd hearing is available on the Committee's website, http://aging.senate.gov.
On June 15, 2011, JWI, along with national partners and the Victims’ Rights Caucus led by Representative Ted Poe (R-Texas) and Representative Jim Costa (D-California) hosted a forum in honor of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD). Eight speakers, including representatives from federal agencies and internationally recognized experts, joined together to bring awareness to the pervasive and growing problem of elder abuse in the United States.
End Abuse in Later Life Act
The End Abuse in Later Life Act of 2011, S.464, reauthorizes a critical federal grant program in the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which supports a multidisciplinary response to elder abuse. The legislation introduced by Senator Herb Kohl (WI-D) improves the provisions in the existing law by enhancing direct services for older victims and increasing the eligible partners who can participate in the multidisciplinary training programs. JWI will be working throughout the year to ensure that this bill is incorporated into the Violence Against Women Act which is scheduled to be reauthorized during 2011.
Learn more about elder abuse.
||Senator Kohl’s staff welcomes the expert witnesses who testified at the hearing. From left: Kay Brown, GAO; Kathleen Quinn, National Adult Protective Services Association; Dr. Mark Lachs, Weill Medical College of Cornell University; Marni Karlin; Ashley Carson; Marie-Therese Connolly, Director, Life Long Justice (housed at Appleseed); and Bonnie Brandl, National Clearinghouse on Abuse in Later Life. |