Whether we work with older adults exclusively, or only part of our work touches the lives of older adults, we may have found ourselves grappling with very complex ethical issues that impact the lives of the clients we serve. This is especially true if we suspect an older adult is being abused, financially exploited, or neglected. It is not uncommon to be frustrated by the alphabet soup of laws and protections that are available to us as we try to determine which may be applicable, where to report it, and what to do. In this workshop, we shall explore some of the ethical issues related to abuse, exploitation, and neglect of older adults. We shall begin with an overview of abuse, neglect, and exploitation and will then move on to decoding some of the protections and services available to our clients. The latter half of the day will be spent delving into case studies and activities where we can brainstorm about what we may be able to do for our clients when these issues come up in our work.
Colleen Beach, MSW, LSW, is a Specialist Professor at the School of Social Work, at Monmouth University. Her practice and teaching experience is in elder justice, hospice and palliative care, long term services and supports for older adults, practice with communities, and trauma informed care. She is a member of several organizations focused on elder justice, such as the National Adult Protective Services Association (NAPSA) and the American Society on Aging. She currently serves on the NAPSA Education Committee and on the New Jersey Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services Trauma Informed Care Workgroup.