Cultural Competence and Elder Abuse

Cultural Competence and Elder Abuse
Duration: 60 Minutes
Module 1Module 1
Recorded on: 2020-08-26
Unit 1Slide Deck: Cultural Competence and Elder Abuse
Unit 2Transcript: Cultural Competence and Elder Abuse
Unit 3Workbook: Cultural Competence and Elder Abuse
Unit 4Recording: Cultural Competence and Elder Abuse

While elder abuse occurs across cultural lines, cultural aspects can present both aggravating and mitigating factors on the likelihood of abuse from transpiring. This course will dissect the intersection of elder abuse and culture and how cultural competence helps in addressing the issues surrounding it.

This sessions’ instructors are from the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA). Eden Ruiz-Lopez is the Assistant Deputy Director at the NCEA where she leads day-to-day operations and activities and is involved in the planning, development, and implementation of its initiatives. Meanwhile, Kimmy Moon is the Project Coordinator in-charge of their Volunteer Consumer Committee Activities, Supports and Tools for Elder Abuse Prevention (STEAP) initiative, and their social media efforts.

Specifics they delved into are:

  • An overview of the NCEA – its creation, mission and work.
  • A rundown of the entities that the NCEA collaborate with to further their reach and impact.
  • Understanding culture, cultural competency, and cultural and linguistic competence as well as the multi-dimensional components that encompass culture.
  • A glimpse into the prevalence of elder abuse within the US and its tangible and intangible impact on both individuals and society.
  • The limitation in understanding elder abuse due to limited research and disparities in the definition of elder abuse across the states and around the world.
  • The different risk factors to elder abuse that manifest as influenced by different cultures, values, and beliefs.
  • Elements that overlap with cultural factors along the lines of fear, ignorance, and shame that prevent elders from seeking help when there is abuse going on.
  • Things that can provide protection against abuse tied to culture as values, spirituality, family, community, and belongingness that provide elders the safety and support they need.
  • Resources from the NCEA and their partners that support elders, prevents and addresses elder abuse, and raises awareness on the cultural aspects intertwined within the issue.
    • Research and publications that provide an overview of the state of elder abuse across cultures.
    • Print materials that are made available in various languages to ensure that different segments of the community understand the issue.
    • Literature that raises awareness on the different concepts and beliefs that impact how each culture interprets elder abuse.
    • Toolkits and guidelines for agencies to incorporate elder abuse prevention activities into existing outreach and improve investigation and prosecution of elder abuse cases.
    • Online resources to reach a larger audience and provide greater accessibility.
  • Best practices worth incorporating into any agency working with victims of elder abuse.

Questions from the audience were about:

  • Recommendations on providing assistance to victims of romance/sweetheart scams.
  • Ensuring the security of the elderly once they come forward to report any form of abuse.
  • Interventions when an adult child is financially dependent on an older adult.
  • How elder abuse organizations can work alongside law enforcement agencies.



Resources and Handouts


Other Elder Abuse Webinars in this Series:


Audience Comments

  • “It is great to know that there is plenty of resources provided to assist our elder communities.” — Aracely
  • “Awareness of cultural competency combined with geriatric issues isn’t something that is always thought of first and is quite important. Great job.” — Brenna
  • “Some tidbits about populations that I did not know, i.e., the average reading levels of those who are deaf. This is not something I thought about and is a question I can ask the advocates in my state about as we begin discussions.” — Chantelle
  • “I thought I understood what culture was but I appreciated their perspective on it. Helped me formulate new thoughts and understanding. Very informative. Great presentation.” — Ebeth
  • “The number of resources available and the diversity of those resources! Many thanks for this wonderful webinar. I wish I could have recorded it – so much useful information!!!” — JUDITH


Additional Resources
3 years ago
After the Webinar: Cultural Competence and Elder Abuse. Q&A with the Presenters
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4 years ago
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The Brooke Astor Story: Hard-learned lessons that address elder abuse and financial exploitation
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