Federal definitions of elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation appeared for the first time in the 1987 Amendments to the Older Americans Act. These definitions were provided in the law only as guidelines for identifying the problems and not for enforcement purposes. Currently, state laws define elder abuse, and state definitions vary considerably from one jurisdiction to another in terms of what constitutes the abuse, neglect, or exploitation of the elderly. In addition, researchers have used many different definitions to study the problem. Broadly defined, however, there are three basic categories of elder abuse:
(1) domestic elder abuse;
(2) institutional elder abuse;
and (3) self-neglect or self-abuse.
In most cases, state statutes addressing elder abuse provide the definitions of these different categories of elder abuse, with varying degrees of specificity. In California, the Welfare and Institutions Code (15610.07) defines “Abuse of an elder or a dependent adult” as physical abuse, neglect, financial abuse, abandonment, isolation, abduction, or other treatment with resulting physical harm or pain or mental suffering; or the deprivation by a care custodian of goods or services that are necessary to avoid physical harm or mental suffering. “Elder” means any person residing in this state, 65 years of age or older.
Advocacy and Legislation Committee
Reviews current and proposed laws, compares laws with needs, sends support letters for proposed legislation, provides local political outreach within city and county agencies, surveys unmet needs, provides problem solving.
Capacity Building Committee
Develops strategic and fundraising plans for the Council and participates with the Ventura Partnership for Safe Families & Communities.
Educational and Conference Committee
Develops conferences, Seminars, in-services, a speakers bureau, and coordinates partnerships with other agencies.
Outreach and Membership Committee
Creates outreach plan, tracks outreach and develops list of service providers. Identifies potential council members and develops roster, orientation packet and dues policy (including a by-laws subcommittee).
Some of Our Successes Through the Years:
• Established a shelter system
• Initiated and supports the development of the Financial Abuse Specialist Team
• Partners with the justice system for greater coordination
• Provided training programs for law enforcement
• Serves as Advisory Board to the Financial Abuse Specialist Team
• Provides community education
• Produces educational conferences
• Supports & partners with Adult Protective Services