Brooke Astor was a socialite with a heart for philanthropy and she lived a long, amazing life. That is until her son, Tony Marshall took advantage of Brooke’s old age, neglecting her health and embezzling funds from Brooke’s properties. Brooke spent the last few years of her life as a victim of neglect and financial exploitation. This would’ve been the state Brooke will be spending her last days had it not been for her grandson, Philip Marshall, who turned in his father for elderly abuse.
Philip turned his background in historic preservation into an advocacy to raise awareness and influence legislation about elderly abuse. He is doing this through Beyond Brooke, an organization he founded that seeks to educate people about elder justice while empowering the elders. Phillip taught and practiced in the field of historic preservation and held faculty positions at Columbia University, University of Vermont, and Roger Williams University. Phillip is back on the Justice Clearinghouse as he talks about one of the pillar concepts of his advocacy, that of Upstandership.
Some of the things Philip covered on today’s webinar include:
- A brief overview of the Brooke Astor story and elder abuse case.
- The concept of upstandership and its mission to promote an approach of collective concern and collaboration when acting against injustice.
An analogy depicting the similarities between how elder justice and historic preservation is accomplished through:
- (Pre-)Serving and saving
- Maintenance and response
- Community collaboration
- Building a ‘home’
- Elder abuse as a form of betrayal of trust as specified by the United Nations – World Health Organization.
- The important concepts of Elder Ecology and Upstandership in the provision of trust in elder justice.
- The need for a reform on the existing setup and concept of guardianship.
The three factors according to the Routine Activity Theory that creates the potential for crime namely:
- A suitable target
- A likely offender
- Absence of a capable guardian
- How upstandership ensures full community support should an individual suffer injustice.
- The Mandorla model which represents the ground in which upstandership is cultivated in the context of self and society.
- The Bystander Effect which represents the opposite of upstandership.
- The Bystander Intervention Model that may seem like a good precursor towards upstandership despite failing to integrate the society in the process.
- The eight steps of upstandership and how these come full circle once the public is made aware and educated about the consequences of the abuse.
- Studies, models, and concepts that present their take on the issue of elder abuse and how it integrates the eight steps of upstandership with the Mardorla realms.
- What must be done in instances of elder financial exploitation.
- The Action step in upstandership that looks into creating and enforcing legislation that advocate for elder justice through state statutes and other initiatives through the Department of Justice and National Center for Elder Abuse.
- The state of learned helplessness and rising beyond it towards learned optimism.
- The important acts of reporting, referring, responding and repairing when it comes to elder abuse cases.
- Poll questions look into the step of upstandership that the webinar attendees are interested in discussing and contributing into.
Philip responded to audience questions during the Q&A on:
- Simple steps to help protect the elders
- Use and abuse of power of attorney in elder justice concerns
- Bringing elder abuse to a social level