Here’s how we got started,
In 2003, a group of us (UCI professors in Geriatric Medicine) created the nation’s first Elder Abuse Forensic Center housed in Orange County, California. The Elder Abuse Forensic Center addresses cases of identified elder abuse in order to bring justice to the perpetrator and safety to the victim. This is accomplished through a weekly meeting of professionals (law enforcement, social workers, doctors, and attorneys) who conduct coordinated in home assessments, case plans, and follow-up.
We’ve served over 1100 older adults who have been financially exploited, neglected, degraded, and physically battered.
The need to create Ageless Alliance:
The Elder Abuse Forensic Center has shown to be effective in addressing cases of elder abuse and has been replicated across the county, however, there are two big short comings: (1) it only addresses cases of elder abuse that have been reported to government agencies, research shows that this is less than 1 in 23 cases; and (2) elder abuse forensic centers address abuse after it occurs rather than PREVENTING ABUSE IN THE FIRST PLACE.
There are still staggering unmet needs among:
(1) elders who have endured abuse
(2) elders at risk of abuse, neglect, and exploitation
Recognizing our glaring shortcomings, Burnight created Ageless Alliance as part of our university community outreach in 2014. It quickly became clear that in order to use the donated funds directly for the good of older adults, we needed to pull it apart from the University. In March 2015, Ageless Alliance: United Against Elder Abuse became national, non-profit 501c3 organization. The mission of Ageless Alliance is to eliminate elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation through awareness and advocacy.