President's Report Masthead
June 1, 2016

Research aims to improve care to prevent mistreatment of older adults

A professor’s research within the College of Community and Public Affairs (CCPA) is helping to advance a better understanding about best practices to address the abuse of older persons.

In recognition of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on June 15, Social Work Department chair and associate professor Victoria M. Rizzo said elder abuse and neglect takes many forms — physical, financial, mental and emotional — and interprofessional services have the potential to prevent future abuse.

From 2007 to 2014, Rizzo partnered with JASA, the largest social service agency for older adults in New York City, to conduct research focused on the provision of professional social work services to low-income older adults.

As a result of this work, Rizzo presented at a conference to discuss the research agenda and federal priorities for civil legal aid, serving as one of 40 international experts to discuss research on elder abuse and legal interventions. The U.S. Department of Justice’s National Institute of Justice and Office for Access to Justice sponsored the workshop with the National Science Foundation in 2015.

“This is the first study of elder abuse prevention that uses multivariate analysis, or analyzes more than one variable at a time, to examine elder abuse treatment and prevention,” Rizzo said.

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