NVAA 2000 Text

Chapter 14 Supplement Victimization of the Elderly

Statistical Overview

psychological abuse (35.4%), financial/material exploitation (30.2%), physical abuse (25.6%), abandonment (3.6%), and sexual abuse (0.3%) (NCEA September 1998).

Recent Research


(Portions of this section are excerpted from Forgotten Victims of Elder Financial Crime and Abuse: A Report and Recommendations by Lisa Nerenberg for the National Center on Elder Abuse, Washington, DC and the Goldman Institute on Aging, San Francisco, CA, August 1999.)

At the Forgotten Victims of Financial Crime conference held in San Francisco, California, in October 1998, criminal justice professionals met for a series of roundtable discussions to better understand the role that the justice system has in addressing elder financial crime, the remedies and resources it offers, and special challenges to serving the elderly. Sponsored by the National Center for Elder Abuse in conjunction with the Northern California Office of the U.S. Attorney and the Goldman Institute on Aging, the roundtable discussions focused on elder financial fraud within each of the four systems: criminal justice, civil justice, victim/ witness assistance, and federal investigative and regulatory agencies. Following is a summary of conclusions and recommendations agreed upon in the areas of statutory reform, procedural innovation, elder victims right, and training:

Statutory reforms.

Procedural innovations.

Elder victims' rights. Elder victims should be allowed to access victim services and compensation programs even if they are not willing to report criminal conduct. If programs mandate cooperation, that requirement should be interpreted to deny coverage only when the victim's behavior makes prosecution impossible.

Training. With regard to elder victims who agree to press charges against their offenders, there is a lack of tools available to easily assess mental deficits using functional criteria that would provide guidance for the courts. Also lacking are instruments or protocols for assessing undue influence that take into account ongoing patterns of persuasion. Ongoing training for judges, prosecutors, law enforcement officers, probation officers, and victim advocates about the dynamics of elder financial crime and how it relates to other forms of elder abuse is needed in the following areas:

Promising Practices

Wheels program, they disseminate information about elder financial abuse, elder physical abuse, and caregiver fraud on the paper placemats that arrive on the food trays. For nonreaders, they have developed audiotapes about elder fraud in English and Spanish. District Attorney, County of Ventura, 800 South Victoria Avenue, Ventura, CA 93009.

Chapter 14 Supplement References

National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA). September 1998. National Elder Abuse Incidence Study: Final Report. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families and Administration on Aging.

National Consumer League (NCL). 10 January 2000. Report to the U.S. Department of Justice Concerning Telemarketing and Internet Fraud. Citing AARP survey, 1999. Washington, DC: Author.

Nerenberg, L. August 1999. Forgotten Victims of Elder Financial Crime and Abuse: A Report and Recommendations. Washington, DC: National Center on Elder Abuse and San Francisco, CA: Goldman Institute on Aging.

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2000 NVAA Text
Chapter 14
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