This blog discusses how a multi-talented designer, writer, and artist became a passionate elder abuse advocate. Nancy Oatts was kind enough to sit down with The NYC Elder Abuse Center’s (NYCEAC) Talitha Guinn for an interview about her personal experience encountering elder abuse, the surprising journey on which it led her, and hopes for a future where elder abuse is mitigated through the relationships that are built between neighbors. More →
In September 2012, the New York State Office for the Aging (NYSOFA) received a three-year, $1 million Elder Abuse Prevention Interventions Grant from the U.S. Administration for Community Living (ACL) to initiate and test a program to combat financial exploitation and elder abuse in New York. The award supports a pilot program in Manhattan and the Finger Lakes region.
The pilot, developed by NYSOFA and its project partners, NYS Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS), Weill Cornell Medical Center’s New York City Elder Abuse Center (NYCEAC) and Lifespan of Greater Rochester, Inc., focuses on preventing and swiftly intervening in financial exploitation of frail adults aged 60 and older through the use of an enhanced multidisciplinary team (EMDT). The model for these teams were adapted from NYCEAC’s Brooklyn MDT model.
The Manhattan Enhanced Multidisciplinary Team (EMDT) Approach
The clients of the Manhattan EMDT are professionals responding to the needs of elder abuse victims. (Thus, the team does not provide direct services to victims.) A highly collaborative endeavor, the Manhattan EMDT is staffed by professionals from government, non-profit and health care organizations and meets 2x/month at the Manhattan DA’s Office. The Manhattan EMDT focuses on financial exploitation (as well as co-occurring abuses) and utilizes forensic accountants. This team meets twice monthly for 1.5 hours at the Manhattan DA’s Office and is led by Peg Horan, MDT Coordinator.
Representatives from the following organizations comprise the team:
- Brookdale Center for Healthy Aging and Longevity
- Carter Burden Center on Aging
- Citi Bank
- JASA – APS and LEAP
- New York Country District Attorney’s Office
- NYC Department for the Aging
- NYC Elder Abuse Center
- NYC Human Resources Administration Adult Protective Services
- New York Legal Assistance Group
- The Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Center for Elder Abuse Prevention, Intervention and Research at the Hebrew Home at Riverdale
- Weill Cornell Medical Center’s Division of Geriatrics and Palliative Care
The Manhattan EMDT’s representatives are knowledgeable about elder abuse and neglect and collectively represent the fields of medicine, psychiatry, law, criminal justice, social work, banking, forensic accounting and adult protective services. Additional consultants from other fields can be brought in on a case-by-case basis.
Case Consultations for Professionals
In addition to the team services, NYCEAC offers 1:1 case consultation services to professionals working on Manhattan-based elder abuse cases. Depending on the need, consultations are available with experts in the fields of social work, geriatrics medicine, geropsychiatry and forensic accounting. To be eligible for consultation, the victim must reside in Manhattan and financial exploitation must be a factor although other types of abuse may be co-occuring as well.
For More Information
For more information about this EMDT (including how to refer a case for team review and recommendations), case consultations or for technical assistance in starting an MDT in your area, please contact NYCEAC’s Elder Abuse Prevention Specialist/MDT Coordinator, Peg Horan, LMSW, at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (212) 746-7211.