Rita E. Stuckey completed a B.S. in Nursing from California State University, Los Angeles, a dual Masters in Public Administration and Education from California University, East Bay, and a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from Mills College. Dr. Stuckey served as the Director of nursing, care management, care coordination, and utilization management in acute, long-term acute, skilled nursing, home health, hospice, psychiatric, and public health care organizations. Dr. Stuckey served on the Board of Governors at Mills College; and is the first African American nurse to earn a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Mills. Dr. Stuckey is the founder of the Care Advocate Program, (, an author and educator.


The end of life is a vulnerable time for seniors. In 2010 people age 65 and older comprised 13% of the total U.S. population (40.3M). Of the 40.3M elders, 14M have disabilities. By 2050 the elder population is expected to increase to 20% of the total U.S. population. Every year hundreds of thousands of seniors are abused, neglected and exploited in private family homes, nursing homes, and long-term care facilities. There are 1.4M people living in US nursing homes. Elder mistreatment is an intentional act that causes harm or creates serious injury or risk to a vulnerable senior adult by a caregiver, family member, or trusted friend. Disabled seniors are at a higher risk for abuse, and often remain voiceless. In the United States 91% of nursing homes lack adequate staff to properly care for their patients. In 2010, there were 5,961,568 reported cases of elder abuse (78 is the median age for elder abuse). Cases include includes physical, sexual, financial, and emotional abuse, exploitation, neglect, false imprisonment, and abandonment. Elder abuse has become a global epidemic with elders around the world being kicked, slapped, cast aside, and mistreated by caregivers, family members and health workers. Elder abuse is a complex issue. There are warning signs and action steps that must be taken to protect senior adults.

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