Live event held Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Who are the victims of elder abuse, neglect and exploitation? Does it surprise you to know that most elder mistreatment is committed, not by strangers, but by persons known to the victim, such as family members, caregivers and others in positions of trust? How is suspected abuse reported? And how can professionals work collaboratively to better address this complex issue?

These questions and more were answered May 11, 2011, noon Eastern, during a live presentation and interactive discussion titled “Elder Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation.” Dr. Paula Kupstas and Lisa Furr of the Virginia Center on Aging presented on the topic; Dr. E. Ayn Welleford (Virginia Commission on Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders/Virginia Commonwealth University) moderated the discussion.


Dr. Paula K. Kupstas has served on the staff of the Virginia Center on Aging since 1996. She directs several grant-funded training initiatives on domestic violence in later life and elder abuse, including an elder abuse training project that was selected by the US Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women in 2006 as a pilot grantee, one of ten nationally that year.

Dr. Kupstas is also a founding member of the Central Virginia Task Force on Domestic Violence in Later Life, a regional collaboration of service providers, criminal justice and other allied professionals working since 1998 to raise awareness and improve the community response to older victims of domestic, family and sexual violence. She was recently appointed to the Domestic Violence Prevention and Response Advisory Board established by Governor McDonnell.

She obtained her PhD in health economics from the Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University; an MBA from the University of Pittsburgh; and a Bachelor of Science degree from Virginia Tech.


Lisa Furr is the Project Coordinator for the Central Virginia’s Task Force on Domestic Violence in Later Life, a part of the Virginia Center on Aging at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA. The Task Force is a local partnership of organizations working since 1998 to raise awareness and improve the community response to women aged 50 and older who experience domestic, sexual or family violence. The Task Force does direct work with the four local city and counties and offers technical support statewide. Lisa formed and works with multidisciplinary teams in three jurisdictions – each with a different persona.A member of the Board for the Virginia Coalition for the Prevention of Elder Abuse, Lisa also chairs their conference committee.

Lisa also has served on the governing body (board) of the Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance and is a state wide trainer for the Alliance. She previously was at Safe Harbor, a domestic violence program, as the associate director of special services in charge of the shelter and education, then as the Community Educator and Volunteer Coordinator. Prior to that she worked as the Program Coordinator for ROSMY from 1998 to 2002 where she managed youth services; volunteers and coordinated outreach and educational programs. Lisa also served as the Volunteer Services Coordinator for over 200 volunteers at Richmond AIDS Ministry and worked as a Hotline Counselor for the Virginia Department of Health’ AIDS/ STD Hotline.

Over the years she has worked as a camp director, educator, and for a few years as a travel agent. Some of the workshops she’s conducted locally, statewide and nationally have been on such topics as community partnerships, sexual assault in later life, domestic violence’s effects on children, domestic violence in the lesbian and gay community, understanding white privilege, conflict resolution and the faith communities response to domestic violence. She has over twenty–five years experience in group dynamics, training, diversity, and human resource management.

Lisa holds a Master’s degree from the Presbyterian School of Christian Education.


Ayn WellefordE.  Ayn Welleford, PhD, received her BA in Management/Psychology from Averett College, MS in Gerontology and PhD in Developmental Psychology from Virginia Commonwealth University. She has taught extensively in the areas of Lifespan Development, and Adult Development and Aging, Geropsychology, and Aging & Human Values. As an educator, researcher, and previously as a practitioner she has worked with a broad spectrum of individuals across the caregiving and long term care continuum.

As Associate Professor and Chair of VCU’s Department of Gerontology, she currently works to “Improve Elder Care through Education” through her Teaching, Scholarship, and Community Engagement. Outside of the classroom, Dr. Welleford provides community education and serves on several boards and committees. She currently serves as Chair of the Governor’s Commonwealth of Virginia Alzheimer’s and Related Disorders Commission. Dr. Welleford is the proud recipient of the 2008 AGHE Distinguished Teacher Award.

The free webinar was co-sponsored by AlzPossible and VCU’s Department of Gerontology and partly funded by the Virginia Center on Aging’s Geriatric Training and Education Initiative.



Elder Abuse Webinar May 11 2011

Download the slides here.