center banner Click here for the Center's Home Page Click here for the UC Irvine Home Page Click here for the School of Medicine Home Page

A welcome message from the directors

Mary Twomey, Elaine Chen and Laura Mosqueda of the Center of Excellence on Elder Abuse and Neglect
Directors Mary Twomey, MSW, left, Laura Mosqueda, MD, right, with Elaine Chen, training coordinator, Center of Excellence on Elder Abuse & Neglect

Welcome to the Center of Excellence on Elder Abuse & Neglect at the UC Irvine School of Medicine, Division of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology, where we are dedicated to developing innovative programs to address elder abuse and neglect.

Why focus on elder abuse?

America is in the midst of experiencing a “gray tsunami.”  People over 85 are the fastest growing segment of the population in the United States; this is also the segment most vulnerable to abuse and neglect. The abuse can be financial, physical, emotional and sexual, and can also include neglect. The number of abuse victims has been rising steadily over the past decade and the rise is expected to continue.

UC Irvine’s center serves as the National Center on Elder Abuse, an federal Administration on Aging-funded clearinghouse on information related to elder abuse, neglect and exploitation (  Providing technical assistance, training curricula, research findings, and other materials, the National Center is the national authority on elder abuse in the U.S.

Did you know?

● Research indicates that in one year, one in ten Americans age 60+ experienced abuse. This does not include older Americans with cognitive impairments, who are likely to experience abuse at higher rates. Many elders experience abuse in multiple forms.

● For every report of abuse of an older adult or an adult with a disability as many as 23.5 reports are not made.  Many people are living out their golden years in fear.

● While residents of  long-term care facilities (research shows up to 36%) may be victims of abuse or neglect, most older adults live in their own homes and, therefore, most elder abuse occurs in the community, by people known to the vulnerable adult.  The vast majority is perpetrated by family members.

Fortunately, elder abuse is preventable, but prevention requires research, education, advocacy and public awareness.

A special thanks to our funders: the Archstone Foundation, the Los Feliz Foundation, Kaiser Permanente Southern California Region Community Benefit, the California Department of Health and Human Services, the National Institute of Justice, the National Institute on Aging, the SCAN Foundation, the Silva Watson Moonwalk Fund, UniHealth Foundation, and our individual donors for their contribution to the advancement of the field of elder abuse and neglect.

We welcome you to learn more about the services the Center of Excellence on Elder Abuse & Neglect provides on these pages.  Join our efforts to prevent elder abuse by:

As film icon Mickey Rooney said when testifying recently about his own experience as a survivor of elder abuse:  “If elder abuse can happen to me, it can happen to anyone.”  Join us as we work to insure that older and disabled Americans can live with dignity and without fear.  Thank you.

Laura Mosqueda, M.D. and Mary Twomey, MSW
Co-Directors, Center of Excellence on Elder Abuse and Neglect