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 →
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 Medicine’s NYC 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 was 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 twice a month for 2 hours at APS Central Office. The “E” in EMDT/Manhattan is for “enhanced”—enhanced with geropsychiatrists and forensic accountants. Today, both the Brooklyn and Manhattan teams are enhanced with geropsychiatry and forensic accounting.
Representatives from the following organizations comprise the team:
- Carter Burden Center on Aging
- Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA)
- New York County 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
- New York Police Department (NYPD)
- Weill Cornell Medicine’s Division of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine and Department of Psychiatry
- The Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Center for Elder Abuse Prevention
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.
Funded by NYC Department for the Aging.