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Presentation on theme: "SOCIAL ISSUES AND SOCIAL POLICY RESPONSES TO ABUSE AND NEGLECT OF OLDER ADULTS Presenter: Patricia Brownell, PhD, LMSW Fordham University."— Presentation transcript:

1 SOCIAL ISSUES AND SOCIAL POLICY RESPONSES TO ABUSE AND NEGLECT OF OLDER ADULTS Presenter: Patricia Brownell, PhD, LMSW Fordham University Graduate School of Social Service, New York City, USA

2 Presentation for 16 th John K. Friesen Conference Simon Fraser University Gerontology Research Centre Vancouver, BC Thursday, May 11, 2006

3 3 Social Issues Related to Abuse and Neglect of Older Adults, or Senior Abuse Ageism and Lack of Respect (ILC, 2005) Aging of the Population as a Global Phenomenon (UN, 2005) Diversity of Older Adults Age 50 + Political Economy of Aging: Gender Differences Families in Later Life The Senior Abuse Movement Social Biases that Privilege Protection over Empowerment

4 4 Challenges to Social Policy Responses Lack of clear and consistent definitions Lack of reliable and quantifiable data Paucity of intervention outcome research Prevention and early intervention versus protection Social health and services versus criminal justice response Gerontologist versus feminist perspective

5 5 Challenges to Social Policy Responses (Cont’d) Lack of perceived power/skills/knowledge among senior abuse victims/survivors to change social policies Lack of consensus among provider and advocacy community on remedies Fragmentation and gaps in aging service delivery systems Insufficient funding for services to older adults and their families

6 6 U.S. Public Policy Responses: Two National Legislative Examples Older Americans Act of 1965  Followed first While House Conference on Aging (1961)  Created Federal Administration on Aging headed by Assistant Secretary in U.S. Department of Health and Human Services  Promoted social inclusion for older adults 1992 Amendment to Older Americans Act: Title VII (Elder Rights and Resources)  Elder abuse counseling and related services  Health insurance counseling  Legal assistance  Long Term Care Ombudsman Program  Preventing fraud and abuse

7 7 Two National Legislative Examples (Cont’d) Violence Against Women’s Act (1994)  Created Office on Violence Against Women in U.S. Department of Justice Violence Against Women’s Act (VAWA): 2000 and 2006 Amendments  Safe Homes for Older Women  Law enforcement and cross training to address older women victims of domestic and sexual violence  Multidisciplinary collaborative community responses to senior abuse victims  Culturally and linguistically relevant services  Priority given to needs of underserved

8 8 Example of U.S. National Social Policy Coalition Effort National Elder Abuse Summit (December 2001) National Elder Justice Coalition Elder Justice Act (bill pending in Congress 2002- Present)  Would create Office of Elder Justice in U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

9 9 Example of U.S. State/Local Coalition Building Efforts to Influence Public Policy New York State Project 2015 (2000) New York State Elder Abuse Summit (May 2003) New York State Delegation: 2005 White House Conference on Aging New York City Elder Abuse Summit 2006

10 10 Example of an International Public Policy Agenda Building Effort: MIPAA Madrid 2002 International Plan of Action on Ageing (MIPAA) (Priority direction III: Ensuring enabling and supportive environments – Issue 3: Neglect, abuse and violence)  Objective One: Elimination of all forms of neglect, abuse and violence of older persons  Objective Two: Creation of support services to address elder abuse

11 11 MIPPA (cont’d): United Nations Madrid + 5 Review (Monitoring Plan) Important: Grassroots “bottom-up” review Assumption of “top down” support Governments can decide what part(s) of MIPAA to monitor NGOs must advocate with governments on what part(s) of MIPAA to include in monitoring plan NGOs, older adults must advocate with government to participate in the review

12 12 MIPAA (cont’d): Madrid + 5 Overview of Structure of United Nations in relation to Madrid + 5 Review Secretary General (UN Bureaucracy)  Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA)  Department of Public Information (DPI) General Assembly (Government Missions)  Commission on Social Development*  Commission on the Status of Women

13 13 MIPAA (cont’d): Madrid + 5 Review Commission on Social Development (CSD) will oversee the Madrid + 5 monitoring Plan and Implementation 2006: Nations that signed onto MIPAA must decide what sections to include in their monitoring plan: Implications for Canadian senior abuse advocates

14 14 Madrid + 5 (cont’d) February 2007: At CSD, member nations will be requested to report on laws passed, programs established, etcetera, since MIPAA (without outcome analyses), and on what aspects of MIPAA they have decided to review. During 2007, “bottom up” action review appraisal will begin on those aspects of MIPAA selected for monitoring (review).

15 15 Madrid + 5 ( cont’d) February 2008: At CSD, governments will present their responses to what they have found about:  Impact of policies, programs and other initiatives,  Outcomes for older adults, and  Direction of future social welfare policies * Role for elder abuse advocates, NGO’s and academic institutions: what constitutes “good” and “bad” laws; how are older persons’ rights balanced against intrusive “protection”; what good is a law without adequate funding to implement it?

16 16 Madrid + 5 (cont’d) To Date:  Draft recommendations on the review methodology have been distributed to the member nations by DESA (to be finalized shortly)  CSD has approved the modality for the first review and appraisal; endorsed calendar to start global review in 2007 and report back in 2008  CSD has established theme for first review at global level: “Addressing the Challenges and Opportunities of Ageing”  CSD has recommended format for 2008 review: plenary debates, series of panel discussions and events.

17 17 International Efforts in the Works INPEA taking lead in global awareness of elder abuse through World Day Project NGO Committee on Ageing (umbrella NGO for over 45 NGOs with ageing focus) supporting education and awareness about senior abuse World Environmental Scan will provide information in addition to government reports on MIPAA social policy response to senior abuse

18 18 Opportunities for North American Senior Abuse Advocates to Work Together to Promote Public Policy Responses Share information on public policies and coalition building at conferences Collaborate on responses to the Madrid + 5 monitoring and review process Contribute to journals and publications like the Journal of Gerontological Social Work Other ideas? (Let’s keep talking!)


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