World Elder Abuse Day is June 15. Among the many activities taking place around the world to call attention to this serious problem is an international observance at the United Nations. CARIE’s Executive Director, Diane Menio, has been invited to attend and will represent CARIE at this event. From its inception, CARIE has maintained a major focus on the issue of elder abuse, and has established a solid record of accomplishments, including the creation of the first city-wide and then state-wide Elder Abuse Task Forces in the 1980’s, and the development of our award-winning curriculum, Competence with Compassion™, an Abuse Prevention Training Program for Long Term Care Staff. Today, our CARIE LINE and Philadelphia Long Term Care Ombudsman programs assist older adults who are victims of elder abuse, and the PA SMP program educates consumers about how to recognize and prevent Medicare fraud and assists Medicare beneficiaries who suspect that they have been victims. CARIE’s PAVE (Providing Advocacy for Victimized Elderly) program provides older victims of crime and abuse in Philadelphia with a full range of victims services, including court accompaniment, education about Victims Compensation and assistance in filing victims compensation forms, in-person and telephone counseling, and referral and other assistance with filing of/for Protection from Abuse petitions. A unique service is CARIE’s emergency financial assistance to secure elderly victims’ homes to prevent revictimization through our Elderly Victims Emergency Security Fund (EVESF). Through staff and volunteers, the program served more than 963 elderly victims in FY 2012, and assisted 590 victims between July 1, 2012 and January 31, 2013. In addition to our ongoing program and policy work, some of CARIE’s current activities related to elder abuse include the following:
- Diane Menio has been appointed to serve on an Elder Law Task Force created by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in April 2013 to “study the problems with guardianship, abuse and neglect, and access to justice being faced by older Pennsylvanians.” The Task Force, Chaired by Justice Debra Todd, is comprised of 38 elder law experts including judges, lawyers, and social workers. The Task Force has three subcommittees, each of which will focus on a specific topic. The topics are the appointment and qualifications of guardians and attorneys, guardianship monitoring and data collection (on which Diane will focus as a member), and elder abuse and powers of attorney. The Task Force will have one year to make its recommendations. For more information, see the press release.
- CARIE is the lead applicant to the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD) for a Federal Justice Assistance Grant (JAG), for a new project, Collaborating to Protect Victims in Long Term Care. That funding will be received this Fall, enabling CARIE and its primary partner, SeniorLAW Center, to work to address the needs of older adults through an innovative, multi-disciplinary partnership focused on targeted outreach and education for law enforcement, professionals, consumers, and direct services for elder victims in long term care (LTC) settings.
For more information about elder justice, you may want to watch the 15-minute video, An Age for Justice: Elder Abuse in America or see the “Elder Abuse” section on our website under Resources.