Sunday, May 23, 2010
This is the third Elder Abuse Prevention Conference I have attended. Each year it improves dramatically. The Keynote speaker Paul Greenwood, San Diego County Deputy District Attorney delivered an educated, dynamic heartfelt presentation. He was engaging, humorous and passionate about his topic. He spoke about the myths and misconceptions surrounding the investigation and prosecution of criminal elder abuse cases. He also addressed financial exploitation and how to best recognize, investigate and prosecute allegations of elder abuse. Dr. Mindy Schaffner addressed the unique considerations of mental health and aging. The audience was very diverse and Dr. Schaffner answered questions and took comments providing a lively interactive session. I believe the group could have continued on for another hour we were sad to have to call a halt so conference participants and attendees could have lunch. After lunch, Therese Murphy, Yakima County Prosecuting Attorney, discussed what we are doing locally to combat elder abuse and discussed locally prosecuted cases. She identified specific pieces of information that are needed to conduct a successful prosecution of an abuse case. Ms. Murphy stated financial institutions are now able to report suspicious activity on a clients account to Adult protective services. Another breakout session included a presentation by a secret service agent, John Lowry. He spoke about scams and fraud targeted to vulnerable adults and how to avoid identity theft. Mr. Lowry was very knowledgeable, interesting and invited questions from the audience. The conference ended with the panel of experts answering questions from the attendees. The conference was time well spent.