On October 1, 2013, the National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (NCPEA) held their first Forum on Polyvictimization in Later Life. The event in St. Paul, Minnesota was by invitation only. It included leading elder abuse experts from across the country. This Examiner had the honor of participating.
A common theme throughout the day’s discussion was that elder abuse rarely occurs as a single incident or as a single form of abuse. As with child abuse, behavior patterns repeat. Multiple forms of abuse tend to occur together.
Social isolation is often an indicator of more broad ranging elder abuse. Perpetrators with designs on an older person’s assets will tend to isolate the victim from family and friends. Investigators were encouraged to “look beyond the surface.” Psychological abuse is often accompanied by financial abuse and perhaps physical abuse that are not immediately apparent.
NCPEA’s project team will develop an interdisciplinary training curriculum on polyvictimization in later life consisting of a video series accompanied by written training materials. Video and written materials will be available on a dedicated website. Material will also be made available through webinars and conferences.
The multiyear interdisciplinary project to address polyvictimization in later life is supported by a grant from the US Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs Office for Victims of Crime. From late 2012 through January 2015, a collaboration of experts will share their expertise and wisdom derived from research data and case studies.
The Project Core Team receives input from seven national partner organizations representing distinct professional competencies. The Team solicited research and practice examples. The Oct 1, 2013 Forum deepened their understanding of those research findings.