Blake P. Kavanagh
Elder abuse is an umbrella term that may include physical, sexual, or emotional abuse; financial exploitation; and neglect, abandonment or self-neglect. With our nation’s population continuing to grow older, it is important that courts provide appropriate judicial solutions that respect the values and wishes of elder abuse victims while protecting their welfare, easing access of appropriate cases to the court system, and enhancing coordination among courts and community resources.
Links to related online resources are listed below. Non-digitized publications may
be borrowed from the NCSC Library; call numbers are provided.
The mission of the Center for Elders and the Courts is to provide leadership and resources to courts on a spectrum of issues impacting the elderly.
The Judicial Edge. The four features of dementia and their importance to the judicial determination of capacity.
A Taxomony for Collecting Criminal Justice Research and Statistical Data. (2016). The Urban Institute, funded by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, has assessed how administrative data from Adult Protective Services agencies may be used to develop uniform, national statistics about elder abuse, and how that data may augment currently available crime and victimization statistics.
As the American population ages, the courts will be stressed to educate staff, develop innovative strategies to address elder abuse, and reform guardianship policies and practices.
As the American population ages, the courts will see an increase in the number of elder abuse and neglect cases. Courts will face the challenge of identifying and documenting such cases and drafting appropriate responses.
This resource guide provides information on guardianship oversight and data.
Discusses the challenges of determining where to strike the balance between a competent principal's self-determination interests and an incapacitated prinicpal's need for protection against unscrupulous agent conduct.
This article discusses the development of elder courts in California.
This site provides resources for victims, family members, prosecutors, and researchers.
This report provides a compilation of responses to an informal needs assessment survey by the Center for Elders and the Courts (CEC).
With America's population growing increasingly older, the author predicts there will be a rise in the number of elder abuse cases in the states' courts. The article outlines the 2007 NCSC policy paper on elder abuse, lists the different types of elder abuse and some of the issues surrounding elder abuse cases, discusses the 1999 Florida 13th Judicial District's establishment of the Elder Abuse Justice Center, and concludes with the seven recommendations for the aforementioned policy paper.
This Benchcard is targeted toward judges from all court divisions. It is to be used as a national template that can be readily modified for adaptation to local laws and resources. Florida’s 13th Judicial Circuit modified version.
A call to action to improve the state courts' capacity to identify, develop, and implement strategies that will enhance responses to elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation.
In less than 25 years, the number of Americans over age 65 will double to over 70 million. The corresponding increase in cases within the jurisdiction of probate courts as well as those concerning elder abuse will present numerous challenges to the state courts.
Based on existing research, various factors appear to place older adults at greater risk of abuse. Physical and cognitive impairments, mental problems, and low social support among victims have been associated with an increased likelihood of elder abuse. Elder abuse has also been associated with negative effects on victims’ health and longevity. Federal elder justice activities have addressed some APS challenges, but leadership in this area is lacking.
A fact sheet outlining some of the figures making up the elder abuse problem.