NYCEAC’s Enhanced Multidisciplinary Teams (EMDTs)
Financial exploitation. Physical abuse. Psychological Abuse. Abandonment. Neglect. All are aspects of elder abuse, increasingly common nationwide, with over 120,000 older adults victimized in their own homes each year in NYC alone – and with 96% of these cases going unreported. The cases are heartbreaking and complex, requiring innovative solutions. Evidence exists that a collaborative response improves the effectiveness of agency responses and efficiently utilizes scarce resources.
Consequently, the NYC Elder Abuse Center (NYCEAC) has focused on developing and implementing enhanced multidisciplinary teams (EMDTs) throughout NYC. (The “E” in EMDT/Manhattan is for “enhanced”—enhanced with geropsychiatrists, geriatricians, forensic accountant and a civil attorney.) EMDTs represent a highly collaborative endeavor: they regularly bring together professionals from diverse fields (e.g., social work, medicine, law, nursing and psychiatry) and systems (e.g., criminal justice, health care, mental health, adult protective services, aging network). The teams review, discuss and coordinate cases of elder abuse and neglect and identify systemic and resource problems that can be brought to the attention of others for strategizing and intervention. Additionally, the EMDTs serve as an important informational resource for professionals working in the health, mental health, public safety, justice/legal, victim assistance and social service systems.
NYCEAC now coordinates and facilitates EMDTs in every borough. All of the EMDTs offer a central response point for the agencies and people working on elder abuse cases in the community. Professionals in each borough have an opportunity to present complex elder abuse cases to the EMDTs to receive recommendations on assessment and interventions from the teams. To facilitate the flow of cases to the teams, NYCEAC staff and team members conduct orientations on the EMDTs – their goals, structure and intake processes – so that professionals will understand how to access the teams’ services and how best to present cases to the teams. All cases are triaged through NYCEAC’s Triage Unit.
The teams have representatives from the following organizations in attendance:
- Community-based, DFTA-funded, elder abuse prevention program
- District Attorney’s Office, Elder Abuse Unit
- FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority)
- Forensic Accountant, Mary Karen Webber, CPA, PLLC
- Legal Aid Society or NY Legal Assistance Group
- Safe Horizon
- NYC Department for the Aging
- NYC Elder Abuse Center
- NYC Human Resources Administration
- Adult Protective Services (APS)
- JASA APS
- TSI/NY APS
- Village Care APS
- Office of Legal Affairs
- Adult Protective Services (APS)
- New York Police Department (NYPD)
- Weill Cornell Medicine, Division of Geriatrics & Palliative Medicine and Department of Psychiatry
- Womankind (Brooklyn only)
- Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Center for Elder Abuse Prevention
The teams in Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens and Manhattan meet twice/month; the Staten Island EMDT meets once/month.
All of the EMDTs offer a central response point for the agencies and people working on elder abuse cases in the community. In addition, they utilize a case consultation model to improve the health and quality of life for older adults. This is accomplished through reviewing, discussing and coordinating cases of elder abuse and neglect; identifying systemic and resource problems that can be brought to the attention of others for strategizing and intervention; and identifying research needs.
All elder abuse situations brought to an EMDT’s attention originate as a case consultation. Please see Consultations on Elder Abuse Cases for more information. At times, NYCEAC’s case consultation staff will recommend that the case be brought to an EMDT for review and coordination of services.
The following is the eligibility criteria for a case to be brought to one of NYCEAC’s EMDTs.
- The older adult being harmed fits NYCEAC’s definition of elder abuse AND resides in one of the 5 boroughs.
Note: All cases are brought to an EMDT at the discretion of NYCEAC’s case consultation staff.
For more information, please see EMDT FAQs.
In-Service Training on Accessing the EMDTs
The NYC Elder Abuse Center’s staff and team members conduct orientations on the EMDTs – their goals, structure and intake processes – so that professionals will understand how to access the teams’ services and how best to present cases to the teams. Click here for more information about these training opportunities.
Support for EMDT Facilitators
NYCEAC facilitates a monthly phone-based peer leadership support group for facilitators of long-standing and nascent EMDTs, and for those thinking about forming an EMDT. For more information about this peer leadership group, contact Peg Horan, LMSW, Senior Program Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Resources and Publications
Elder Abuse Prevention Interventions (EAPI) Initiative in New York State Policies and Procedures: Enhanced Multi-Disciplinary Teams Supplement – Role and Responsibilities of Geriatric Psychiatrists or Geropsychiatrists, 2017
Funded by the NYC Department for the Aging, NYS Office of Victim Services, and the NYS legislature.