The Elder Abuse Education and Outreach Program (EAEOP) provides education and outreach to the general public, including older persons and their families and caregivers, in order to identify and prevent elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation.
The EAEOP includes two components:
- Grants to local agencies to establish or expand upon existing local elder abuse education and outreach programs in their communities; and
- Grants that have a Statewide focus and are designed to support efforts to increase awareness and prevention of elder abuse.
The following services and activities are designed to address the various forms of elder abuse:
- Local Area Agencies on Aging are provided with monthly information and tools for their use in public outreach and education on issues related to elder abuse;
- Public awareness presentations on elder abuse, scams, and frauds to older adult groups, civic groups, and fraternal orders;
- Trainings for professionals and non-professionals who work with, or are in regular contact with, to better recognize abuse in domestic settings and to facilitate intervention;
- Direct intervention in cases of elder abuse, including scam and fraud cases;
- Providing intensive case management, geriatric addiction services, and financial management support services to vulnerable older adults; and
- Assisting abused older adults through guardianship and limited power of attorney.
EAEOP activities are coordinated Statewide by Lifespan of Greater Rochester.
Goals and Objectives
The goal of EAEOP is to prevent and stop elder abuse through education, outreach, and intervention. The following are some of the local and Statewide services and activities conducted through EAEOP.
- Organize and/or participate in professional trainings to increase recognition and reporting of elder abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation, and to encourage collaboration among different professionals to facilitate appropriate intervention and prevention approaches to assist victims.
- Community presentations and professional training programs to increase recognition and provide skill development for the fast-growing health problems and complex issues related to older adults and substance abuse
- Multidisciplinary, multi-county 5-hour training and interactive discussions covering issues related to elder mistreatment, with focus on addressing challenges associated with financial exploitation of older adults. Collaborative approaches, ranging from identification of potential victims through intervention services and possible prosecution are presented and discussed.
- Annual Domestic Violence in Later Life Training Conference modeled after the U.S. Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) national law enforcement training.
- Community presentations throughout New York State to help raise public awareness of elder abuse, including elder abuse in domestic settings, its signs and symptoms, and knowledge of where to turn when there is suspected abuse.
- Participation in many additional public awareness activities throughout the year, including newspaper articles, TV, radio, community fairs, festivals, health fairs (including those designed for specific populations), community meetings and luncheons, webinars, professional meetings and coalitions, public service announcements, and regular newsletter and email communications.
- Coordination of the New York State Coalition on Elder Abuse, which is a multi-disciplinary, statewide network of over 1,800 individuals, organizations, and government agencies working together to protect older adults from abuse, neglect, and exploitation.
- Trainings for older adults and professionals, including nursing interns new to working with older population, care partners who work with older individuals who are blind/have a visual impairment, and case managers.
- Initial outreach to crime victims aged 60 and older who have reported a crime and follow-up with elder abuse staff when need is identified.
- Educate on best practices and innovations for professionals and consumers, including the annual New York City Elder Abuse Conference.
- Senior center and community programs, where an educational brochure on elder abuse and how to access assistance is distributed.
- Creating awareness of different types of elder abuse and resources in the community for those subjected to such abuse; when appropriate, a case manager meets with victims, provides counseling, and makes any necessary referrals.
- Trainings on elder abuse prevention and assistance to older adults at risk of abuse by non-family members and non-intimate partners.
- An on-going project to examine existing services to enable cognitively-impaired older adults to responsibly manage their finances and develop recommendations and best practices to guide future service development.
- Individualized services in cases of suspected abuse, neglect, or exploitation, including reducing the risk of domestic elder mistreatment thru direct social work intervention and comprehensive case management; this is often done in collaboration with aging services, APS, the courts, crime victim advocates, financial institutions, health, human services, law enforcement, prosecutors, and other agencies as appropriate.
- Financial management services when budgeting, bill paying, and day-to-day financial matters become a burden for older adults or their caregivers; this service, including assistance with identifying eligibility for benefits, helps prevent a financial crisis that may affect their older adults’ ability to continue living in their home.
- Acting as a guardian to assist incapacitated older adults when there are no family or friends available, there is history of abuse or exploitation, or there is high risk of abuse or exploitation, to handle their affairs with dignity.
- Providing geriatric addiction services to older adults, who often resist traditional alcohol and drug treatment; addiction services include in-home client evaluation and intervention along with supportive counseling and education for families and caregivers.