Local Attorney Identifies Elder Abuse As Top Issue
SANTA BARBARA– June 30, 2014. The Santa Barbara City Council nominated James F. Scafide, of Scafide Law Firm, to the Board of Directors of the Central Coast Commission for Senior Citizens. The two-year term commences July 1, 2014. In his application for the appointment, Scafide outlined what he believed to be the number one issue facing senior citizens: elder abuse. “”When we think of elder abuse, we often think of physical elder abuse. This is a very, very important issue.”
“”But an often hidden and more prevalent issue is financial elder abuse, where predators take advantage of seniors and steal from them the very resources they need for survival. Often these types of abuse remain unreported. For one, oftentimes the victims remain unaware of the fraud until well after the fact. Also, many victims feel shame from being taken advantage of. We have to educate and empower senior citizens to speak up and seek resources to address these issues of elder abuse.”
“”We owe so much to our senior community,” Scafide said. “Whatever we may accomplish in life, we are largely standing on the shoulders of those who came before us. To them we owe a tremendous debt of gratitude and I am appreciative that City Council unanimously voted to give me the opportunity to serve in this important function.”
“”In my work with seniors in the areas of estate planning and real estate law, I’ve encountered a number of individuals who unfortunately have been the victims of financial elder abuse. There are substantial steps that we can take to protect seniors from these types of elder abuse. It is my goal to bring these resources to the senior citizens of Santa Barbara. I welcome the opportunity to work with the Commission in furthering their efforts to bring this issue to the forefront so that, through awareness, we can reduce this threat to these cherished members of our community.”
“”I am truly honored to be selected to be the voice of the City of Santa Barbara on the CCCSC Board of Directors,” Scafide said. “I embrace this opportunity to serve the public and to work to bring to the forefront issues facing senior members of our community, including the issues of violence against elders and stealing from elders.”
Scafide, an attorney with Scafide Law Firm in Santa Barbara, has a long history of public service. He served as a City Councilman and Mayor for the City of East Liverpool, Ohio, and as a Division Chief for the Massachusetts Attorney General. Scafide’s legal practice areas include Business Law, Trusts and Estates, Real Estate Law, Land Use, Civil Litigation, and Immigration Law.
Scafide, 53, a resident of Santa Barbara, attended Santa Barbara City College and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree from Kent State University. He holds a Masters in Public Administration from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, a Juris Doctorate (magna cum laude) from Boston College Law School, and an LL.M. from Harvard Law School. Scafide also teaches at the Santa Barbara College of Law.
The Central Coast Commission for Senior Citizens is a non-profit, private corporation incorporated in 1975 and designated by the California Department of Aging as an Area Agency on Aging for Planning and Service Area 17 (including Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties). The Commission is governed by a Board of Directors with 12 members, five of whom are appointed by the following organizations: San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors, Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors, Santa Maria City Council, San Luis Obispo City Council, and Santa Barbara City Council. Seventy-five percent of the Directors are 60 years of age or older.
An Advisory Council composed of 30 members advises the Board of Directors on all matters relating to the planning and administration of the Area Plan and acts as an advocate for older persons. The Council develops an Area Plan to guide the operations of the Area Agency on Aging. At least 51percent of the Council is composed of older persons. The objectives of the Agency are to develop a comprehensive and coördinated system for older persons as prescribed by the Older Americans and Older Californians Acts. In accordance with the Older Californians Act, the general functions of the Commission are:
- Making policy decisions in carrying out the functions of planning, pooling, and coördinating the mandates of the Older Americans Act.
- Assessment of needs and services that benefit senior citizens.
- Operation of senior employment program.
- Coördination of existing programs, services that serve older persons.
- Development of resources and funds to expand service delivery system.
- Monitoring and assessment of senior programs.
- Health insurance counseling.
- Community education.