Skip to main content
On Demand

Be the Difference: Stop Elder Abuse and Financial Exploitation of Vulnerable Adults

Total Credits: 2 CLE, 2 Estate & Trust Law Specialization

Average Rating:
Mental Health and Elder Law |  Probate & Estate Planning
Melissa Elliott |  Caleb S Lihn |  Molly McCarthy |  Rachael Marie Mitchell |  Mary Lynn Kasunic |  Joei O'Grady |  Regan Smith
Audio and Video
Original Program Date:
Jun 02, 2023


Learn how you can recognize, stop, and advocate against elder abuse.  Topics will include:

  • Overview from Adult Protective Services about types of elder abuse and most common cases APS sees.
  • Elder abuse and financial exploitation of vulnerable adults:
    • How to identify it
    • How to stop it
    • How to seek damages
  • Innovative programming and resources to help older victims
    • The Area Agency on Aging has been providing services to older adults and persons 18-59 with disabilities for 49 years.  Presentation will highlight several of the Agency’s major programs that provide resources and support to victims of abuse.  Attendees will increase their knowledge about resources available to help older adults. 


Melissa Elliott, Area Agency on Aging
Caleb Lihn, Lihn Law Group
Molly McCarthy, Assistant Director, Division of Aging and Adult Services
Joei O'Grady, Bureau Chief, Adult Protective Services, Division of Aging and Adult Services
Regan Smith, Area Agency on Aging

Mary Lynn Kasunic, President & CEO, Area Agency on Aging* 
Rachael Mitchell, Lihn Law Group*

*Also serving as faculty



Melissa Elliott Related Seminars and Products

Area Agency on Aging

Melissa Elliott is an MSW who has worked with older adults for over 20 years in both social services and therapeutic recreation programming. She has been at the Area Agency on Aging, Region One in Phoenix for 16 years and is currently the Senior Vice-President of Programs & Services. Melissa was selected as a 2017 Virginia G. Piper fellow. She has been an adjunct faculty member in the School of Social Work at Arizona State University since 2011.

Caleb S Lihn Related Seminars and Products

Lihn Law Group

Caleb Lihn is an estate planning, elder law, and special needs attorney. The experiences of raising a special needs daughter and caring for a mother with dementia issues inspired Caleb to assist individuals and families in need. Using his knowledge, empathy, and creative solutions, Caleb enjoys guiding his clients through the complex issues they face in the worlds of estate planning, elder law, and special needs planning.

Caleb earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Arizona State University. Subsequently, he obtained his J.D. from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law. After law school, Caleb continued his studies and earned an LL.M. in Estate Planning and Elder Law. Caleb is on the Board of Directors for the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (“NAELA”) also serving as a member of the NAELA Journal Editorial Board and a member of the Nominations Committee. Caleb is a two-time past President of the Arizona NAELA State Chapter. He is also a past chair of the Executive Council for the Elder Law, Mental Health, and Special Needs Section of the State Bar of Arizona. Caleb serves on the State Bar of Arizona’s Council for Persons with Disabilities in the Legal Profession. Caleb is a member of the Planned Giving Committee at Desert Botanical Garden.

Through peer nominations and reviews, Caleb was selected to Arizona’s Finest Lawyers and presented with an AV Preeminent Rating by Martindale Hubbell for excellence in legal ability and ethics. Caleb has also been selected as a Super Lawyer by Super Lawyers Magazine each year since 2019 and a Business Leader in the field of Elder Law by AzBusiness Leaders Magazine each year since 2019.

Caleb is an Adjunct Professor of Law at Western New England University, College of Law and was asked to design and teach a law school course in Special Needs Trust Administration.

Molly McCarthy Related Seminars and Products

Assistant Director of the Division of Aging and Adult Services

Molly McCarthy, as Assistant Director of the Division of Aging and Adult Services (DAAS) since 2019, is responsible for program areas in Adult Protective Services, Aging and Disability Services, and the Refugee Resettlement. Molly joined DES in 2011 and has supported multiple programs in Financial Services and served as Deputy Assistant Director for the Division of Child Support Services (DCSS).

Her track record of continuous improvement while working in collaboration with internal and external partners has built programs ready to support the growing vulnerable populations we serve. She has led efforts to modernize investigation management systems, opportunities for automation, provide data transparency for public and internal management for data driven decision making, develop Academy style training for Investigators while integrating safety, expand coordination with partners on Aging and Refugee services, and continue work on client centered feedback driving change.

Molly received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration – Finance from the University of Arizona and a law degree from Saint Louis University School of Law. A third generation Arizona native, she enjoys spending time with her husband and three young children.

Rachael Marie Mitchell Related Seminars and Products

Lihn Law Group

Rachael Mitchell represents clients with legal matters related to estate planning, probate and trust administration, guardianship, conservatorship, elder law, special needs planning and pet planning. Rachael grew up in western Washington and later attended Western International University, graduating summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Legal Studies. Rachael worked in many facets of real estate before attending law school at Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University.

During law school, Rachael was a member of the American Bar Association’s science and technology journal - Jurimetrics Journal - and completed judicial externships with the Honorable Frank W. Moskowitz with the Maricopa County Superior Court and the Honorable Madeleine C. Wanslee with the United States Bankruptcy Court. Rachael was also an extern with the Probate Lawyers Assistance Project (PLAP) and served as President of the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law’s Business Legal Assistance Program (BLAP).

Rachael’s experience in raising her son, who was diagnosed with a congenital heart defect while in utero, has made her a compassionate advocate for others and currently serves as a Planning Committee Member and Team Captain for the Adult Congenital Heart Association’s Arizona Walk for 1 in 100. In her free time, Rachael enjoys spending time with her family, hiking, and horseback riding.

Mary Lynn Kasunic Related Seminars and Products

President & CEO of the Area Agency on Aging, Region One

Mary Lynn Kasunic, M.S., CPM is the President & CEO of the Area Agency on Aging, Region One since 1990. Under her leadership, the Agency provides over 50 programs and services to more than 100,000 Maricopa County residents each year. Mary Lynn has responded to the unmet needs of older adults, adults with disabilities and special populations by developing many innovative programs including ElderVention®, a licensed behavioral health program, and DOVES® for older victims of domestic violence and elder abuse. Mary Lynn serves on the USAging Board of Directors. She has received the Excellence in Leadership award from USAging and was selected for a Piper Fellowship for exemplary nonprofit leadership.

Joei O'Grady Related Seminars and Products

Bureau Chief of Adult Protective Services


Joei O’Grady, Bureau Chief of Adult Protective Services, since 2022 and joined DES in 2007.

Joei has been working with various vulnerable populations for the past 25 years. While working with adults diagnosed as severely mentally ill (SMI) she created an innovative day program designed to increase social skills and self-care. Joei worked at the Department of Child Safety in Arizona working with families from investigations to management. She co-created, developed the first team designed to reduce caseload size. Currently, Joei has been managing Adult Protective Services that serves vulnerable adults over the age of 18 years. Working to improve outcomes and processes for vulnerable adults.

Joei graduated from Arizona State University and completed a program to become a Certified Public Manager.

Regan Smith Related Seminars and Products

Area Agency on Aging, Region One

Regan Smith has a master’s degree in social work and has been working with older adults and long-term care for 25 years. Regan is currently the director of the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program with the Area Agency on Aging, Region One. She has been an Ombudsman for twenty-two years providing advocacy for residents in assisted living and skilled nursing facilities in Arizona and previously in Michigan. Before her career as an Ombudsman, she also held social work positions in skilled nursing facilities. Regan believes in upholding the human and civil rights of residents in long-term care along with their quality of care and life. When she has a free moment, Regan enjoys reading, watching movies, running, and spending time with her friends and family.



Overall:      4.5

Total Reviews: 11


Betsy S

"I appreciate your including the full text of the statutes in the materials. "

Joan B

"Subject matter was fascinating, so important and something I did not know a whole lot about. Very well presented!"

Alexia B

"Excellent multidisciplinary seminar!"

Michael S

"The presenters did an excellent job. I had hoped the seminar would be more "nuts and bolts" guidance for lawyers dealing with elder abuse/exploitation issues, but it was more of an overview of what agencies do."