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Summit Commitments

Page history last edited by Krista Brown 11 years, 3 months ago

2010 California Elder Abuse Statewide Summit

Participant Commitments – WORKING DOCUMENT


During CEJW statewide summit on April 29-30, delegates were invited to make commitments to help improve California's response to elder abuse. The response was overwhelming. A partial list of commitments is included below. Please feel free to comment, volunteer, provide updates on specific commitments, or add your own by responding in the blank box to the right of the commitments or through the "Comments" box at the bottom of the page.


To download the commitment document in MS Word, click here


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  • Proposing New Legislation 

Carol Sewell, California Commission on Aging, will pursue a legislative resolution on full Congressional funding of the Elder Justice Act.


CCoA decided against pursuing this option due to limits on requests for federal funds beyond the $7 billion requested by the Governor in his January budget. 

Since timing is critical (appropriations decisions are currently being made) CCoA pursued other options. They sent a letter stating the need for funding to California’s congressional delegation, which was signed by multiple statewide organizations. Assemblymember Yamada agreed to circulate a letter to Congress for signature by members of the Legislature in support of the funding. 

Judge Arnold Rosenfield (Ret.) will work on crafting a rule that that any judge who hears a case involving allegations of elder abuse has to have taken a mandated curriculum/training on the major issues involved.


Shirley Krohn, California Senior Legislature, is willing to find a student to conduct research on jurisdictional issues related to abuse reporting and possibly carry legislation in the Senior Legislature.

Shirley Krohn, California Senior Legislature, has enlisted the help of four students to work on projects that could lead to legislative proposals. Two students are from CSU Bakersfield.  One project is on elderly women serving time on murder charges who were victims of domestic violence.  Another proposes establishing an elder abuser registry in the state.  A UC Berkeley student is working on a bill mandating police training.  The fourth student, who recently passed the state bar, is looking into fraud associated with powers of attorney, deeds and trusts.  If anyone would like to be interviewed and/or provide information about any of these issues, contact Shirley at skrohn9520@aol.com


Tristan Svare, San Bernardino District Attorney’s Office;  Cherie Hill, Anaheim Police Department; and Steve Hosking, Area Agency on Aging Serving Napa and Solano Counties, will work together to look at penal code sections that need to be amended and propose needed changes.  Specifically Penal code 293, regarding the confidentiality of victims, needs to be amended so that it includes elders and adults with disabilities; and PC368(c) to make it consistent with domestic violence arrest practices when there is no physical evidence.




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  • Tracking Legislation

Shirley Krohn, California Senior Legislature, tracks aging bills; Judy Hitchcock, Legal Assistance to the Elderly, tracks domestic violence; and Mary Twomey, UCI Center of Excellence on Elder Abuse and Neglect, tracks elder abuse. These three will talk once a month to share information about pending legislation in an attempt to have a more comprehensive and coordinated evaluation of proposed legislation affecting abused elders. 


Laurinda Ochoa, County of Alameda District Attorney’s Office, and Marina Jimenez, Alameda County DA’s Elder Abuse Team, both want to work on tracking legislation and making suggestions for legislation and may want to consider checking in on the monthly call with Shirley Krohn, Judy Hitchcock and Mary Twomey.


Candace Heisler, Consultant, has agreed to help track legislation and make available an annual update she maintains.




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Laurinda Ochoa, County of Alameda District Attorney’s Office, wants to work on the development of education for justice systems professionals and service providers.


Prescott Cole, California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform, will host trainings for seniors and trainers on annuity-financial abuse, scams, Medi-Cal, and Long-Term Care and Nursing Home issues.


Prescott Cole, California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform, will provide a financial abuse training, starting with faith based organizations, to include “walk in my shoes at age 85.”


Pauline deLange, Protecting Our Elders, is interested in educating mandated reporters and the public at large (perhaps starting with high school/college age youth) on how to recognize elder abuse and neglect, how to report, and dispelling the fear around reporting.


Robin Roth, City College of San Francisco and Lisa Nerenberg, Consultant/CEJW, are working on developing a gerontology certificate program at City College of San Francisco (CCSF) with required courses in elder abuse, mental health, and substance abuse to train CCSF’s diverse, bicultural, community- based students.


The Archstone Foundation will pursue opportunities to insert presentations on aging issues at national philanthropic conferences.


Shireen McSpadden, San Francisco Department of Aging and Adult Services, will arrange for CEJW representatives to meet with the Public Guardian Association’s Board of Directors about California Elder Justice Workgroup.



Pauline deLange, Protecting Our Elders, will share what was discussed at the Summit in her graduate classes in gerontology at San Francisco State University.



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Public Awareness Efforts


George Huba, The Measurement Group, will repeatedly (daily) tweet facts about elder abuse on Twitter to the approximately 12,500 health care providers who follow him. He will also tweet information about the programs and participants in this process.  His Twitter  ID is George Huba@DrHuba


Shawna Reeves, Fair Lending Project for Seniors, started a Facebook group called the International Federation of Elder Financial Crime Fighters. Members can post news stories about elder financial abuse and pay tribute to movers and shakers fighting elder abuse by nominating “caped crusaders.” The group has 37 members so far and the goal is to have as many members as George Huba’s Twitter feed. See: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=329394683999&ref=ts#!/group.php?gid=329394683999&v=wall&ref=ts.

Shawna now has 48 members in her Facebook group - to join contact her at  sreeves@scccoa.org


One recent post was on the reverse mortgage protection amendment being slipped into Wall Street Reform bill - in fact, Shawna went to D.C. in early June to present on this issue.


International Federation of Elder Financial Crime Fighters was cited on the Consumerist, a blog operated by Consumer's Union, which was recently named the 27th most popular blog.


The UCI Center of Excellence on Elder Abuse and Neglect will promote elder abuse coverage in the local media.



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Tool/Resource Development


Mary Joy Quinn, CA Superior Court, County of San Francisco; Laura Mosqueda, MD, UCI Center of Excellence on Elder Abuse and Neglect;  Lisa Gibbs, MD, UCI Center of Excellence on Elder Abuse and Neglect; and Nancy Rasch, Attorney,  will work together to revise the Capacity Declaration used by the Probate Courts in conservatorship hearings. They will join with the already existing group, which has been working to revise this document and help make sure the recommended changes are implemented. They will also work on a longer-term, more comprehensive fix to this problem system for evaluating capacity, which might include using some of the functional evaluation techniques presented at the Summit by Dr. Marson.  


Several summit delegates joined a work group convened by the California Medical Association that is revising California’s Capacity Declaration (FORM GC-335). Capacity Declarations, which are required for some conservatorship petitions, can be completed by physicians, psychologists, and Christian Science practitioners.


The revisions are intended to make the form more concise and easier to complete, and more useful to courts in evaluating whether conservatorships are appropriate. Specific changes that have been proposed include integrating information about dementia that is presently captured using a separate form, rearranging questions into a more logical progression, and reformatting information to make it easier to read.


Changes to GC335 do not require legislation but must be approved by the Judicial Council.  Once the workgroup completes its proposed revisions, the form will be submitted to the Judicial Council’s Advisory Committee on Probate and Mental Health subcommittee for forms. If approved, the revised form may become available in 2011.

Erika Falk, Institute on Aging, and Carol Mitchell, Orange County APS, will write a statement of need towards getting a committee together and developing and disseminating a better tool for APS to screen for capacity and especially financial skills, target date (August 1, 2010). 



Aileen Wiglesworth, UCI Center of Excellence on Elder Abuse and Neglect, will assist in testing and developing a capacity assessment instrument, especially for financial decision-making.


Nancy Rasch, Attorney; Mary Joy Quinn, CA Superior Court, County of San Francisco; and Judy Hitchcock, Legal Assistance to the Elderly, will improve the protections of Powers of Attorney by preparing a pamphlet to be given to estate planning attorneys or others explaining the powers and responsibilities of agents under durable powers of attorney. It would be disseminated through the State Bar of California. The pamphlet would be based on a document prepared in Maryland with the addition of any relevant California Probate Code sections that would be helpful. Nancy Rasch and Mary Joy Quinn will do the research and draft the document. Judy Hitchcock will review the draft and provide feedback.


Dominique Sanz-David, Bet Tzedek; Mary Joy Quinn, CA Superior Court, County of San Francisco; and Nancy Rasch, Attorney, will create a 1-2 page reference guide for use by professionals and other s to understand alternatives to conservatorship. This reference guide will be a chart comparing various alternatives to conservatorship.


The Administrative Offices of the Court, Judge Conger (Ret.), Judge Rosenfield (Ret.), and UCI will form a workgroup to look at existing materials (bench card, pocket guide, etc) for the judiciary. Presently there is a Bench Card for judges for elder abuse, which could be adapted for California. Also, UCI’s Center for Excellence on Elder Abuse and Neglect is working on a pocket guide for judges.  This group will work to create a guide for California judiciary.


Tristan Svare, San Bernardino District Attorney’s Office;  Cherie Hill, Anaheim Police Department; and Steve Hosking, Area Agency on Aging Serving Napa and Solano Counties, will form a work group to create a reference sheet on elder abuse to be carried by law enforcement. They will look at existing documents and adapt them. Additionally, they will push for the training curriculum already done by Candace Heisler. They will work to get buy-in from the involved parties (police chief association, etc). 



Talitha Guinn, Institute on Aging, agrees to pull together a community toolkit that focuses on empathy and understanding of aging issues, as well as an understanding of financial and legal documents needed at the end of life. 


Helen Karr, San Francisco District Attorney’s Office, and Steve Riess, Attorney, will meet with Alan Kennedy of the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office to explore the San Francisco District Attorney’s interest in producing a civil/criminal resource as a vehicle for improving communication between civil/criminal justice practitioners. 




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APS and Ombudsman Jurisdiction


Joe Rodrigues, California Department of Aging; and Kris Brown, Napa County Aging and Disabilities Programs, will work to identify jurisdictional issues. Derrell Kelch, California Association of Area Agencies on Aging (C4A), will assist.


State Ombudsman Joe Rodrigues, California Department of Aging;  Kris Brown, Napa County Aging and Disabilities Programs; and California Welfare Directors Association (CWDA)  Protective Services Operations Committee (PSOC) chair Mark Sellers will work together to clarify roles and interface points and identify ways to seamlessly serve consumers in any setting.

Kris Brown and Mark Sellers reported at the May PSOC meeting about their commitment to continue working with the Ombudsman.


The first APS & Ombusdman meeting is moving forward - potential meeting dates have been shared. Molly Davies is partnering with Joe Rodrigues to solicit other interested summit delegate participation.


Joe Rodrigues (omb), Kris Brown (APS), Mark Sellers (APS), Brooke Hollister (UCSF), Molly Davies (omb) of the Reporting and Response group, had their first meeting on June29th and agreed to start with a review of the regulations and any policy interpretations that guide ombudsman and APS jurisdiction related to abuse and neglect investigations. The next meeting is scheduled for July 13th.


Molly Davies reported the workgroup has completed a brief survey and will be sending it out to the APS and ombudsman networks in early August.



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Elder Courts


The Administrative Offices of the Courts will create a list serve on Elder Courts.



UCI Center of Excellence on Elder Abuse and Neglect will work on the establishment of an elder justice court.




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Forensic Centers


Tristan Svare, San Bernardino District Attorney’s Office and UCI Center of Excellence on Elder Abuse and Neglect will work to encourage the development of more forensic centers and/or regional forensic centers. UCI will assist those locations who want to start a Forensic Center. Tristan will ask the California District Attorney’s Association to request an Attorney General opinion about sharing information on elder abuse cases in MDTs.


Chris Rodriguez, San Mateo County APS, will look into the development of a forensic center for San Mateo County.


Donna Benton, University of Southern CA, will work with the Los Angeles County Elder Abuse Forensic Center and the Caregiver Resource Center system on a Mental Health Services Act Prevention Program.



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Commitments Updates

Julia Wysong, Conejo Valley Senior Concerns; Bert Bettis, California Commision on Aging; Terri-Restelli-Deits and Steve Hoskings (both from Area Agency on Aging Serving Napa and Solano Counties) will initiate a work group to research and prepare an issue paper on the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) and how elderly victims can benefit from VOCA programs. Julia will initiate coordination responsibilities of group- recruitment, timeline, dissemination, etc. Debbie Deem, FBI, will provide federal VOCA enabling regulations. Carol Sewall, California Commission on Aging (CCoA) Legislative Analyst, will propose to the CCoA legislative committee that they explore needed action, including legislative amendments or changes in state policy. The Coalition of FAST Coordinators will partner with CCoA.

The VOCA compensation guidelines that show that financial crime can be included in state victim compensation programs can be found at:



They contain the following:

In response to comments from VOCA victim assistance and victim compensation program administrators, victim service providers, representatives of national victim organizations, elder services agencies, and other victim advocates, the revised Guidelines, published in April 1997, encourage states to fund new or expanded services for victims of fraud and economic exploitation. The amended language of the Guidelines does the following:


  • Expands the definition of "victim" to include victims of financial crimes. In Section I, Background, the definition of "crime victim" has been modified to "a person who has suffered physical, sexual, financial, or emotional harm as a result of the commission of a crime." Although VOCA-funded programs cannot be used to restore the financial losses suffered by victims of fraud, victims are eligible for the counseling, criminal justice advocacy, and other support services offered by VOCA-funded victim assistance programs.


  • Expands the definition of "elder abuse" to include economic exploitation and fraud. In the Program Requirements section of the Final Guidelines (IV.A.4.) describing grantee eligibility requirements, the definition of "abuse of vulnerable adults" now includes the mistreatment of older persons through economic exploitation and fraud.


  • Expands the definition of "previously underserved" priority areas to include victims of fraud crimes. The Program Requirements section (IV.A.4.) also states that an additional 10 percent of each VOCA grant will be allocated to crime victims who were "previously underserved." These underserved victims may include victims of economic exploitation and fraud.


The initial conference call to educate on VOCA guidelines, discuss strategy for adding financial abuse victims as a priority under CA VOCA fund distribution, and identify other potential partners for this effort will be on Monday, July 26th from noon to 1:00pm. 

Cathy Spensley, Family Services Agency of San Francisco, will join a collaborative effort to develop policy and planning for greater service collaboration between mental health and aging and elder abuse, including substance abuse at local and state levels.


Tristan Svare, San Bernardino District Attorney’s Office, will work with California Elder Justice Workgroup to explore ways to solicit input from the California District Attorneys Association.


Shireen McSpandden, San Francisco Department of Aging and Adult Services and President of the California Association of Public Administrators, Public Guardians and Public Conservators (PA/PG/PC) will recommend to the Long Term Care Coordinating Council (San Francisco) that they have a membership slot for someone representing elder justice and elder abuse issues.


Shireen McSpadden, San Francisco Department of Aging and Adult Services, and Betty Malks, Protecting Our Elders, commit to pulling together a meeting to discuss the possibility of launching an elder abuse awareness project with faith-based organizations in San Francisco.


Chisorom “Chi” Okwuosa, Senior Staff Counsel at the California Department on Aging, will work on enhancing communication and coordination between the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office and legal services providers (including legal aid and private civil attorneys) and then statewide. This will include forming a task force. She will contact Legal Aid Association of California (LAAC) and San Francisco Legal Aid. Steve Riess, Attorney, will begin work on a handout. Leah and Shawna will talk to the Santa Clara District Attorney. David Mandell, Legal Services of Northern CA, will talk to Tristan Svare, San Bernardino District Attorney’s Office, about using the California District Attorneys Association Elder Abuse Symposium.


Martine Sinkondo, Protecting Our Elders, will contact the San Jose State University Gerontology Program for program outreach.


Lori Delagrammatikas, Academy for Professional Excellence, volunteers her conference line for ongoing reporting and response small group calls.


UCI Center of Excellence on Elder Abuse and Neglect will work on web site and listserv development to assist with communication and promote information sharing across disciplines.



Molly Davies, WISE and Healthy Aging, will schedule a session on the Summit for members of the California Long Term Care Ombudsman Program at their Statewide conference.


The session took place on May 12. Participants at the session committed to continue working on jurisdictional issues.

Marine Sinkondo, Protecting Our Elders, will email the Health Science Department at San Jose State University in order to network with students who have an interest in elder abuse in general, and report back what summit recommendations.



Heidi Li, Asian Pacific Islander Legal Outreach, will work with Chi Owmosa, California Department of Aging, to outreach to “elder abuse responsive” legal service providers and participate on behalf of the Asian Pacific Islander Legal Outreach.



Iris Freeman, Vulnerable Adult Justice Project, commits to keeping in touch and sharing ideas, issues, news and photos.


Iris is working with CEJW staff and Steering Committee members to plan ASA sessions on state advocacy initiatives and promising practices in financial abuse.


Laurinda Ochoa, County of Alameda District Attorney’s Office, and Marina Jimenez, Alameda County DA’s Elder Abuse Team, want to work on creating a statewide interdisciplinary professional association, an Elder Protection Consortium, to work on elder abuse practice issues.  It would be a membership organization that could meet annually to discuss best practices and advocacy issues.



Julia Wysong committed to convening a meeting of Northern California FAST (financial abuse specialist team) coordinators to get input into the Blueprint.


The meeting was held on May 17 with 15 people joining the call. Julia Wysong and Terri Restelli-Deits will continue to be involved with this group.


An output of this gathering will be the compilation of a contact grid that includes the meeting format, membership, policy, and leadership structure of each FAST team in California.  This will further enable FAST coordinators to be accessible resources to one another for idea sharing and technical assistance.


FAST Coordinator Meeting Minutes

Southern CA FAST Coordinator Meeting

Northern CA FAST Coordinator Meeting


Derrell Kelch, CA Association of Area Agencies on Aging, committed to adding Elder Abuse to the next C4A conference in San Diego on November 15-17. Lisa Nerenberg is participating in C4A conference planning calls. CEJW has been asked to be a conference co-sponsor and has been invited to present up to four sessions. Adria Navarro has offered to assist in this effort.


Back to main Statewide Summit Page





UCI Center of Excellence on Elder Abuse and Neglect will disseminate their research findings more widely to law enforcement, courts, APS, and other stakeholder groups.


The Measurement Group will collate all comments and observations about moving the process along and distribute to participants through the conference organizers.


Cathy Spensley, Family Services Agency of San Francisco, would like to share her research paper published in the Journal of Elder Abuse & Neglect which showed a significant correlation between substance abuse and recidivism of APS cases for self-neglect.  It also showed relationships between mental health, cognitive decline, and low social support and recidivism.



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Talitha Guinn, Institute on Aging, will follow up with the group about advocacy efforts around adding caregiving to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and the United Nations efforts to have a Council on Elder Rights.


The California Department of Aging has asked for recommendations for three areas of need to consider.


Chris Rodriguez, San Mateo County APS, will put “Defining a Dependent Adult” on the Western Region NAPSA teleconference agenda.


Betty Malks, Protecting Our Elders, will provide the laboratory of the Protecting Our Elders faith based project to utilize Financial Abuse And Exploitations Small Group’s action steps as a pilot project starting with their conference on September 21, 2010, which can include a kick off presentation of the toolkit on financial abuse trainings to be initiated in the community.


Heidi Li, Asian Pacific Islander Legal Outreach, will participate on behalf of California Elder Justice Workgroup in the California Department of Aging’s Elder Abuse Model Delivery of Services convening.


San Francisco Police Captain Marsha Ashe (Ret.) will assist in conducting a statewide survey of law enforcement personnel about their experiences with elder abuse cases. Retired Police Officer Steve Hosking has committed to helping develop the questionnaire. Dave Case, who operates a state-wide listserv of law enforcement personnel, will assist in conducting the survey.


Representatives from CDA, Senior Hotline and Fair Lending Project will explore joint funding opportunities to preserve existing services threatened by budget cuts.




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Comments (2)

Krista Brown said

at 10:15 am on Jun 4, 2010

I agree Lori!

An update related to commitments on client decision-making/capacity screening and training. My Project (Statewide APS Training Project) has been tasked to develop an advanced client decision-making/capacity training for statewide delivery in Winter/Spring 2011 and we see this as an excellent opportunity to collaborate with the PA/PG/PC Assoc. and make this training relevant and focused for APS and PG. We want to develop a decision-making/capacity training that looks through a legal and clinical lens, a training that's practical and solution-oriented for both APS and PG. A training that could be a very important step to getting everyone on the same page with regards to standards and consistency in these cases.

We have a small curriculum development team gathered that includes myself, Lori Delagrammatikas, Carol Mitchell and Dr. Erika Falk. We plan to grow this team to include PG and Legal representatives. More to come...

Lori Delagrammatikas said

at 8:24 am on Jun 4, 2010

Hello everyone,
The summit generated an amazing amount of engery and I felt it was a huge success. As an update, Molly Davies did a wonderful presentation at the Ombudsman conference and got more committments from that group to work on jurisdictional issues. And, Krista Brown, Carol Mitchell and myself will be meeting with the U.S. Government Accountability Office to answer som of their questions about elder abuse in California. I'll report back after the call.
Lori Delagrammatikas

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