Supporting the Nation's Judicial System & the Public it Serves

New Resource on Diminished Decision-Making Capacity and Elder Justice

The U.S. Department of Justice, Elder Justice Initiative (EJI) has announced a new suite of resources addressing issues involving diminished decision-making capacity and its impact on elder justice.  These resources have a particular focus on elder justice cases that reach civil and criminal courts, but they are useful for all elder justice professionals and extend beyond the court setting.

In April, the EJI convened a ground-breaking virtual symposium on decision-making capacity, attended by over 1500 individuals from across the country. Over the course of three afternoons, national experts provided discussion and analysis on a broad spectrum of topics, including: 1) ten key facts about diminished decision-making capacity; 2) the latest research on the aging brain and how it impacts decision-making capacity; 3) issues pertaining to clinicians conducting capacity assessments on older adults; 4) the importance of maximizing self-determination and minimizing harm to older adults whose capacity is being questioned or assessed; and 5) panel discussions of how decision-making capacity issues arise in civil and criminal cases.

The EJI has posted a recording of the full symposium for those unable to attend the symposium or who missed any of the sessions. In addition, EJI has compiled a detailed downloadable resource guide to supplement the symposium presentations. It includes key materials and links for law enforcement, prosecutors, judges, Adult Protective Services staff, civil attorneys, clinicians, and other elder justice professionals, as well as resources that professionals can use in presentations to the public. The updated webpage also includes a comprehensive literature review and other useful items.

To find these and other resources, please visit the symposium webpage: