How to Talk about Elder Abuse

How to Talk about Elder Abuse
Duration: 60 Minutes
Module 1Resources
Recorded on: 2019-11-13
Unit 1Slide Deck: How to Talk about Elder Abuse
Unit 2Workbook: How to Talk about Elder Abuse
Unit 3Recording: How to Talk about Elder Abuse

How we are communicating is just as important as the message we’re trying to convey. This is especially true when what we’re trying to communicate is a little less than pleasing like crimes and societal issues. The National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) alongside FrameWorks Institute leveraged the power of communication to raise awareness and encourage discussion on elder abuse.

To talk about this initiative are Alyssa Neuman and Julie Schoen, both from the NCEA. Alyssa is the Project Coordinator who spearheaded the partnership with FrameWorks Institute to disseminate a new evidence-based communication strategy on elder abuse. Meanwhile, Julie is the NCEA’s Deputy Director with a prolific career including involvement in Federal Government efforts to curtail fraud and abuse in the Medicare system, coordinating Orange County, CA’s Financial Abuse Specialist Team, and leading the Orange County Health Insurance Counseling Advocacy Program.

Some of the points tackled in this session include:

  • An overview of what the NCEA is, their mission, and the services that they provide.
  • Understanding elder abuse – its forms, indicators, and statistics on its prevalence.
  • The process that NCEA and FrameWorks Institute went through to determine the problem, analyze research data, and outline their short- and long-term goals of what will be the Reframing Elder Abuse Project.
  • Some of the things that surfaced during the research are:
    • The creation of Elder Abuse Swamp – a matrix of overlapping concepts based on public perceptions.
    • An underlying theme of fatalism in the responses that attributed the problem to unchangeable factors like biology, society, and individuals.
    • The proposed solutions to address the problems.
  • The Structure of Justice Narrative and the steps to take to reframe the issue of elder abuse.
    • Introducing the value of justice and viewing elder abuse as an attack on justice to raise awareness of the importance of the issue.
    • Utilizing examples, metaphors, and explanations in retelling the narrative so that the public understands the systemic causes of elder abuse.
    • Identifying what the public can do to address elder abuse through preventive and collective solutions.
  • Samples were provided to illustrate how the Structure of Justice Narrative and its steps is applied to different aspects of public relations and education.
  • Numerous resources that may serve as a reference for agencies involved in elder abuse response, investigation and prosecution.
  • Q&A topics from the webinar attendees concerned:
    • Resources to create an elder abuse court.
    • Raising awareness on the prevalence of elder sexual abuse by citing real-life examples and highlighting it on trainings.
    • Elder abuse as an international issue.
    • Implementing an EAGLE site.
    • Presenting the issue of elder abuse in a diverse community.


Resources Mentioned During Webinar:


Other Upcoming Elder Abuse Webinars in this Series:



Audience Comments:

  • “The whole new outlook on how the public perceives elder abuse was very eye opening! Thanks so much!” — Paula
  • “I live and work in Ohio, which has a very large aging population. This webinar provided me with valuable information and red flags of abuse that can be passed along to other agency staff and volunteers. Thank you for remembering those over 65!” — Ashley
  • “It was valuable to reframe it in my head as well, and helpful to consider future options in talking to APS clients.” — Carol
  • “When working with individual victims, seeing the bigger picture of justice is very difficult. My organization is kicking off a statewide elder justice coalition in January. This session has reminded me our work also is to recruit strong supports to build an equitable system for elder justice.” — Jeanne
  • “The way to frame the talk on Elder Abuse with being a justice issue. And also how our wording can signal certain messaging that isn’t helpful to bringing people in. I thought the questions/polls were great too; I don’t know that I’ve been in a Webinar that’s done that before.” — Makieya


Additional Resources
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After the Webinar: How to Talk about Elder Abuse. Q&A with the Speakers
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