Resources for Fighting Elder Abuse—The Hidden Crime

Vol. 24 No. 1

By

Brenda K. Uekert, PhD, is a principal court research consultant with the National Center for State Courts. She serves as director of the NCSC Center for Elders and the Courts.

Richard Van Duizend served as reporter for the National Probate Court Standards. He retired in 2012 as a principal court management consultant with the National Center for State Courts.

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the position of the NCSC.

Elder abuse is a growing concern among an increasingly graying population. While few obvious cases might be seen in the justice system, an underlying issue can present in a variety of ways. In many communities, awareness of elder abuse is lacking and the response insufficient. This situation offers an opportunity for justice agencies to “get ahead of the curve” and engage in proactive efforts to identify and address the problem before it reaches crisis levels. National-scope resources are available, most of which can be adapted to meet local requirements. Through education, collaboration, and application, leaders in the justice system can make a positive difference by providing timely justice for older victims of elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation.

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