Specialized Elder Abuse Case Consultation Services
Available for NYC Professionals
Professionals working with older adults might detect elder abuse but are often unsure of how to proceed in assessing and assisting the victims and their family members. The NYC Elder Abuse Center (NYCEAC) has a team of specialists who provide case consultation services and support on a range of elder abuse-related issues. Specialists include forensic accountants, geriatricians, geropsychiatrists, a civil attorney, social workers, and counselors. For concerned non-professionals in the lives of NYC-residing elder abuse victims, supportive counseling is provided through NYCEAC’s Helpline.
- Fees? No fees. Elder abuse case consultation services are made possible through funding from the NYC Department for the Aging, and are thus offered free of charge.
- Eligibility? Any professional from any discipline or system can access this case consultation service, provided that the elder abuse victim is 60 or over and resides in New York City. If you are wondering if you should call, please do so. Often the complexity and myriad service needs of an abuse situation emerges during the conversation with NYCEAC’s staff, which may not be initially obvious. We are in this work together. No professional should feel alone, and usually no one professional can respond to all of the concerns and issues these situations raise. So please do not hesitate to reach out.
- Access? To arrange the consultation, address your email to: firstname.lastname@example.org and/or leave a voice mail at NYCEAC: 212-746-7211. If you are a Core Member of NYCEAC’s Brooklyn Enhanced Multidisciplinary Team (EMDT) or Manhattan EMDT, you may contact a specialist directly.
- Include in your email or phone message the best time to reach you to discuss your case consultation request. We aim to get back to people within 24 business hours after receiving the message.
- Do not put any details of the case, nor any identifying information about the victim, in an email.
- Case consults will be scheduled ASAP, upon availability. These consultations are usually provided by phone, but at times are provided in-person.
Please Note: This consultation service is a resource for professionals to clarify forensic accounting, psychiatric, medical, social work, and safety planning questions that emerge when detecting elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation and conducting assessments and interventions on these cases. This consultation service is not focused on treatment or emergencies. For safety and medical emergencies, call 911. Or, if you believe that the person is eligible for the Vulnerable Elder Protection Team (VEPT) (VEPT) at NYPH/Weill Cornell Emergency Department, contact Alyssa Elman, LMSW, at 212-746-0473.
Description of Available Consultation Types
Forensic Accountant Consultations
Forensic accountants use auditing and investigative skills to produce evidence of financial matters for use in various legal proceedings. NYCEAC has contracted with a forensic accountant who can provide elder financial exploitation case consults on numerous concerns, for example:
- Assisting with identifying the specific documents needed to develop the case
- Determining an appropriate timespan for the documents collected
- Reviewing documents
- Discerning elements of exploitation
Geriatric Psychiatrist (Geropsychiatrist) Consultations
Geriatric psychiatrists, also known as geropsychiatrists, are physicians who work with adults aged 60 and older. These providers specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders, including dementia; affective, anxiety, and personality disorders; late life addictions; and psychoses. A number of the New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medicine geriatric psychiatrists are available through NYCEAC to provide elder abuse case consults on non-emergent geropsychiatric concerns, for example:
- Psychiatric diagnoses
- Memory disorders
- Medications, including psychotropic medications in the elderly
Physician Elder Abuse Specialists typically have additional geriatrics training, and many are geriatricians. They have expertise assessing older adults for signs of elder mistreatment. A number of the New York–Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medicine physicians are available through NYCEAC to provide elder abuse case consults on non-emergent medical concerns, for example:
- Review physical injury patterns for suspicious features
- Evaluate radiographic or laboratory findings for signs of abuse or neglect
- Interpret medical records
- Identify the role that medication use or misuse may be playing in a case
- Advise when emergent medical assessment is needed
Social Work Consultations
Social Work Elder Abuse Specialists have expertise in elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation cases. They are available through NYCEAC to provide case consults on an array of concerns, for example:
- Prevention, detection, and assessment of all types of elder mistreatment
- Interventions with victims and their family members
- Safety planning
- Resources, including elder abuse multidisciplinary teams
Civil Legal Consultations
Civil Legal Attorneys have experience identifying potential legal issues, reviewing legal documents, and an understanding of court procedure. Areas of civil law that most consistently affect elder abuse victimsinclude, but are not limited to, landlord-tenant, guardianship, orders of protection, and advance directives. Please note that all legal information provided is not intended as official legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. Legal consultations are available through NYCEAC, including:
- Answering questions about the law and legal processes
- Reviewing court papers and legal instruments
- Discussing potential civil remedies and actions
- Helping identify legal services to address a particular issue
- Identifying additional information that may be needed to proceed in an action
- Discussing the legal intricacies of guardianship
Concerned Person Consultations
NYCEAC’s Helpline for Concerned Persons offers a unique service to concerned persons in the lives of elder abuse victims. A concerned person is a family member, friend, or neighbor impacted by elder abuse. The non-emergency supportive counseling offered can decrease a concerned person’s anxiety and distress and increase their capacity to be a support to a victim of elder abuse. The Helpline specialist can provide case consults on an array of concerns, for example:
- The emotional impact of elder abuse on a concerned person
- The challenges of navigating multiple systems while assisting a victim
- The importance of encouraging concerned persons to access care for themselves
Eligibility Reminder (See FAQs)
- NYCEAC does not provide direct legal, medical, psychiatric, social work, or accounting services to individuals. Case consultations are to support professionals working with victims of elder abuse.
- NYCEAC provides information, support and referrals to family, friends and neighbors of NYC-residing elder abuse victims through its Helpline for Concerned Persons: 212-746-6905 or email@example.com
For More Information
For general info about NYCEAC:
Lisa Rachmuth, LMSW, Executive Director, NYCEAC
For Case Consultations:
Caren Lee, LCSW, ACSW, Senior Case Consultation Coordinator
For questions about the Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island EMDTs:
Tamara Dopwell, LMSW, Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island EMDT Coordinator
Cell: 917-992-0057 (cell is preferred)
For questions about the Bronx and Brooklyn EMDTs:
Deena Schwartz, Esq, Bronx and Brooklyn EDMT Coordinator
Cell: (917) 751-3073
This program is funded in part by New York City’s Department for the Aging, New York State Office for the Aging, U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Victims of Crime, New York State Office of Victim Services and Lifespan of Greater Rochester.