Elder Abuse Workshop: Conversation with Potential Funders and Closing Remarks

A. Laura Giles, Archstone Foundation

Ms. Giles began with the Archstone Foundation's mission statement: "The Archstone Foundation contributes to preparing society for the growing needs of an aging population." She noted that the Archstone Foundation began focusing exclusively on seniors in 1995. The Foundation has an endowment of $130 million and pays out about $5 million per year. In 2003, the Foundation, aiming to make a greater impact, refined its focus to three areas: fall prevention, end-of-life issues, and making grants that were responsive to emerging needs.

Ms. Giles described the Elder Abuse & Neglect Initiative: Phase I: 2006-2007,

Phase II: 2008-2010. The project categories include:

  • Education and Training
  • Financial Protection Projects
  • Forensic Centers/Center of Excellence
  • Legal Services
  • Multidisciplinary Team Development
  • Ombudsman Services
  • Systems Analysis
  • Convening and Technical Assistance
  • Evaluation

The Phase I accomplishments include 997 meetings to develop services infrastructure; 145 trainings for mandated reporters; 111 media events (including television segments, radio broadcasts, press releases, DVDs, newspaper articles); recruitment of 410 volunteers, primarily experts in financial abuse or litigation (not including additional hours of pro bono legal resources); 3,099 brief assessments or screenings of elder abuse victims; 520 assessment meetings to review and create action plans based on the results of the brief assessments; 482 formal medical, psychological and social work assessments of victims of elder abuse; assisting the district attorney in filing more than 40 cases of elder abuse; and preserving more than $15 million in assets of vulnerable seniors.

Contact Information:

Archstone Foundation
401 E. Ocean Blvd. #1000
Long Beach, CA 90802
(562) 590-8655
www.archstone.org Exit Notice

B. Gavin Kennedy, Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, HHS

Mr. Kennedy noted that his office's charge is to inform the Secretary of Health and Human Services. He suggested that his office has done a lot that would be of interest to this group, and vice versa. One project under development is an informational report to Congress to determine the feasibility of establishing a national uniform database on elder abuse. This meeting has helped sharpen the focus on this project. Mr. Kennedy pointed out that his office is not a grant maker per se, but rather contracts out work. Interested parties can bid under an umbrella contract that puts them on "retainer" to be available for five years.

C. Carrie Mulford, National Institute of Justice, DOJ

Dr. Mulford noted that NIJ's interest in the area of elder abuse is evidenced by putting on this workshop and funding many of the studies that were presented over the past 2+ days, including practice-oriented research, and recommended that researchers fully consider practice and policy implications in their applications.

D. Meg Morrow, Office for Victims of Crime, DOJ

Ms. Morrow stated that some funding is available for training and demonstration projects that have a national scope and that one solicitation is open at this time. Elder abuse is an area of interest. Colleges, universities, nonprofits and public agencies are eligible and must have knowledge of the area and staff. Grants range from $50,000 to $500,000, with the majority totaling $100,000 to $150,000. Projects may be multiyear, must be national in scope, be relevant nationwide and add to practice in the field or best practices. For elder abuse, research should be collaborative. Areas that are not funded include prevention and ongoing research. The audience for the research is very wide and includes social workers, lawyers, virtually anyone.

E. Sid Stahl, National Institute on Aging, NIH, HHS

Dr. Stahl stated that nine R21s had been funded, and it is unlikely that there will be another specific solicitation for elder abuse. However, because 90 percent of NIH grants are unsolicited, feel free to apply anyway. The problem with unsolicited applications is that the applicant is competing against all other grants on all other topics. Dr. Stahl invited the participants to inform him if they were sending an application so that he could steer it to the proper study section. The NIA is interested in prevention, treatment, alternatives, autopsy issues and others. Dr. Stahl recommended going to the NINR (National Institute of Nursing Research) with applications for detection and care in nursing facilities. He noted that it is unlikely that NIA will fund a surveillance study, but he suggested that the NIA studies had provided the groundwork for such a study.

F. Naomi Karp, AARP

Ms. Karp stated that elder abuse is on the AARP radar screen under the umbrellas of access to health care and financial stability. The AARP has a good track record in this area, with a strong written policy on elder abuse and an incoming president supportive of the issue. Ms. Karp noted that the AARP Public Policy Institute (PPI) has an in-house research think tank and contracts out some research. She described work that was done at AARP that resulted in practices for monitoring guardianship and cited Ms. Stiegel's work surveying state power-of-attorney laws. A third project centers on criminal background checks in home care. The PPI funds small projects in the range of $50,000 to $100,000. There is a planning process, and Ms. Karp invited participants to contact her with their ideas.

G. Alex Crosby, Centers for Disease Control, HHS

Dr. Crosby stated that the CDC focus on elder abuse would essentially involve focusing on definitions through public health surveillance, and it might be possible to move from there toward setting up monitoring systems. There might be the possibility of adding questions to existing CDC databases to help move the process along.

H. Stephanie Whittier, Administration on Aging, HHS

Ms. Whittier explained that the AOA takes the research conducted by others and applies it in the field. The AOA has discretionary money to fund the National Center on Elder Abuse to move forward in the areas of prevention, intervention, treatment and response. The Center has four components:

  1. Multidisciplinary response to elder abuse - $300,000.
  2. Training initiatives - training in the field for law enforcement, health care workers - $190,000.
  3. Public awareness - will start with a survey of public awareness campaigns of all types and determine how to apply the theories and successes to our field - $200,000-294,000.
  4. Emerging issues - two-year grant - $100,000 to $125,000 per year.

The AOA is interested in research that can be implemented into practice.

I. Andy Mao, Senior Counsel for Health Care Fraud and Elder Abuse, DOJ

Mr. Mao noted the importance of forensic research, which is so helpful to prosecutors. He urged the participants to coordinate the great work that is being done by thinking strategically and in a multidisciplinary fashion, and developing a strategy and an urgency to identify the systemic failures. There is a window of opportunity right now to convey the right message about the science and the potential advances and move the common agenda forward.

Closing Remarks

Ms. Connolly noted that the Office on Violence Against Women is funding self-assessment tools at $4 million to $5 million per year.

She hailed the amazing partnerships among those who work in elder abuse and found encouragement in the number of new researchers and people who have come forward to expand the field. She suggested that the frustrations in elder abuse are also an opportunity to define something cogent and important, and to collaborate to present the field smartly to the outside world. The challenge, she concluded, is to think how we are perceived, find a way to focus the energy, and build on what has already been accomplished.

Next Section: Table of Contents.

Date Created: August 11, 2008