Cathy Schottenstein Blog

About Cathy Schottenstein

Protecting Elders from Abuse is a Global Problem

Beverley Schottenstein-Protecting Elders from Abuse“The true measure of any society can be found in how it treats its most vulnerable members.” Mahatma Gandhi made that statement in the early 1900s, right at the start of the 20th Century. Who are those most vulnerable members? Certainly, they include children, the mentally and physically disabled, and our aged population. Today, 21 years into the 21st Century, Gandhi’s words come back to haunt us as we enter World Elder Abuse Month this June. A decade ago, The United Nations designated June 15th as World Elder Abuse Awareness Day to raise mindfulness and knowledge of elder abuse and the various forms it can manifest which include financial, emotional, and physical abuse.

Experts have identified seven types of elder abuse to watch out for: physical, sexual, emotional, psychological, neglect, abandonment, financial abuse, and self-neglect. Financial abuse strikes a particular nerve with me since that is what happened to my 94-year-old grandmother Beverley Schottenstein. According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, elders are more willing to self-report financial exploitation than other forms of abuse. They are often fearful to report physical, emotional, sexual abuse, and neglect due to the possibility of being harmed. Most elder abuse victims are dependent on their abusers to meet their basic needs, placing the abused in an extremely vulnerable position, fearful of retaliation. Like what happened to my grandmother, most acts of abuse are committed by family members (40% adult children, 15% spouse, 38% other family members). In fact, only 7% of elder abuse cases are committed by non-family members. Read more

About Cathy Schottenstein

Behind the scenes: What it was like to work with Bloomberg News

When journalist Tom Schoenberg, a longtime reporter for Bloomberg News, was contacted by a family friend about my grandma’s upcoming trial against her grandsons Evan and Avi and their former employer J.P. Morgan, he reached out to better understand the dynamics of the legal proceedings.

My first call with Tom took place on October 9, 2020, just one week before Nanny’s FINRA trial was set to begin. It was a conference call, with Tom in Washington D.C., me in New Jersey, and Nanny in Florida. My grandma’s devoted live-in aide Dawn Henry also participated on the sidelines as Nanny spoke, occasionally chiming in to remind her of certain key dates and facts.

I didn’t know it then, but that first hour-long conversation with Tom would be the beginning of a five-months-long working relationship with Bloomberg News. It was a rich and eye-opening experience that has made me even more respectful of professional journalism, and particularly of Tom and of Bloomberg News—the outlet’s careful evaluation of all sides, the integrity and fairness in their final reporting, and once the story was out, their astonishing global reach. Read more

About Cathy Schottenstein

Isolation and Loneliness Among Elder Americans Must Be Addressed

Elder Abuse Loneliness

Bette Davis famously said, “Old age ain’t no place for sissies.” In fact, she had that phrase embroidered on a pillow. And the actress knew what she was talking about. After a celebrated career and multiple Academy Awards, her later years were marred by illness: recurrent breast cancer and then a stroke that distorted her face. She died, alone and far from home at age 81, alienated from her eldest child.

Compared to the famous actress, my grandmother led a charmed life. Beverley Schottenstein and her husband Alvin raised their four children in the quiet tree-lined suburbs of Columbus, Ohio. Though part of a wealthy and influential family, Beverley always kept a low profile. She never took her good fortune for-granted and worked hard to set an example for others. She was a philanthropist who generously contributed to numerous causes and doted on members of her close-knit family. Read more