The 2017 Oscar-nominated documentary Edith+Eddie tells the story of Edith Hill and Eddie Harrison, who marry in their mid-90s and become known online as "America’s oldest interracial couple". More than an inspiring love story, theirs also is a cautionary and heart-breaking tale about the state of elder justice and guardianship in the US as Hill's daughters battle over her care and the wishes of the couple to remain together. More →
These FAQs answer questions about MDTs in general and the NYCEAC’s MDTs specifically.
1) What are MDTs and why do we need them? MDTs bring professionals together from across disciplines and systems to problem solve complex cases of elder abuse. Those responding to elder abuse often operate in silos, unaware of parallel investigations and unable to access the knowledge and resources needed to respond effectively. Professionals working in isolation are often hampered by the limits of their own expertise and authority. Thus, gaps in care or service duplication often occurs. In contrast, MDTs are a powerful person-centered, highly coordinated intervention. Members carefully consider each older victim’s situation and individual strengths, needs and preferences when creating a response.
2) Where are NYCEAC’s teams located? NYCEAC has piloted a team in Brooklyn and the Manhattan. Both of these teams are “enhanced” by the presence of a forensic accountant – a specialist in applying accounting concepts and practices to legal problems – and psychiatrists. Thus, they are both called Enhanced MDTS (“EMDTs”).
3) Who are the members of MDTs? MDTs are comprised of professionals, many working directly with victims. Together MDT members assess and prioritize the myriad issues involved in the cases, determine what services and interventions are needed and what additional experts might be consulted in order to improve outcomes. To effectively accomplish this, teams require a broad range of expertise at the table. NYCEAC’s EMDTs have specialists from many fields, including medicine, law, mental health, social work, protective services, elder abuse, aging, banking, law enforcement, criminal justice and forensic accounting.
4) Who do the MDTs currently serve? NYCEAC’s teams serve elder abuse victims residing in Brooklyn and Manhattan. By September 2018, NYCEAC will have EMDTs in all 5 boroughs.
5) How do NYCEAC’s EMDTs work? An elder abuse case is initially referred to an EMDT by a professional contacting the Coordinator. The Coordinator then triages the case, evaluating its overall eligibility and the capability of the referring professional to resolve the case without team intervention. Once accepted for case review, the Coordinator works with the referring professional to prepare a case presentation for team discussion and schedules it for team review. The team hears the presentation and then works together to problem-solve, develop an action plan and coordinate responses. The Coordinator synchronizes the assessment and interventions of team members and schedules follow-up team reviews.
6) What are the evidence-based benefits of MDTs? Research on MDTs suggests that they significantly improve the efficiency and effectiveness of response to cases of elder abuse. Professionals are able to establish relationships with colleagues in different offices and systems, the team can design individualized interventions to accommodate the unique needs of each victim, and the coordination creates accountability. Additionally, research has demonstrated MDTs improve the rate of prosecution in financial exploitation cases, increase the rates of elder abuse reporting in general and are cost effective.
7) Are consultation resources available for cases not heard by the full team? NYCEAC’s EMDTs cannot hear every case of elder abuse so they necessarily focus on the most complex ones. A Coordinator serves to triage cases and determines whether the case requires EMDT services. For other cases, NYCEAC offers case consultation services for professionals. These consultations connect professionals with specialists from a range of fields, including medicine, psychiatry, social work, law and forensic accounting. Currently case consultations are available in Manhattan and Brooklyn. All boroughs will be served with this service by September 2018.
8) Who funds NYCEAC’s MDTs and consultation services? NYCEAC is grateful for the generous funding it receives for its teams, primarily from the NYC Department for the Aging, as well as from the NYS Office for the Aging.
9) Where can I get more information? For general info about NYCEAC and MDTs, please contact NYCEAC’s Director, Risa Breckman, at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 212-746-1674. To refer a case to NYCEAC’s EMDTs or for a case consult in Brooklyn or Manhattan, contact Peg Horan, LMSW, NYCEAC’s MDT Coordinator, at email@example.com or 212-746-7211.
Funded by NYC Department for the Aging.