Millions of older persons are physically and sexually abused, neglected and financially exploited every year. This abuse occurs in homes and facilities, cuts across all demographic groups, and causes untold suffering. In their last years, these older adult survivors are impoverished, injured, neglected, isolated and living in fear. Already an epidemic, elder abuse is rapidly increasing.
Elder abuse cases are complex, often requiring multiple systems to respond to them. Developing a multidisciplinary team (MDT) is recognized as a potentially powerful solution that communities can initiate in response to elder abuse. MDTs are a person-centered approach to assessment and interventions. They enable experts from multiple disciplines (e.g., medicine, forensic accounting, law) and systems (e.g., adult protective services, criminal justice, law enforcement, financial industry, aging, victim services) to come together to review cases, coordinate responses, provide efficient and holistic interventions and improve outcomes for survivors.
For MDTs to take root, thrive and sustain themselves, training and technical assistance are needed in all stages of team development and implementation. The National Elder Abuse MDT Technical Assistance and Training Center is well placed to meet these needs. Led by Weill Cornell Medicine/New York City Elder Abuse Center, with four core organization partners (Lifespan of Greater Rochester, Red Wind Consulting, USC’s Leonard Davis School of Gerontology and the Keck School of Medicine’s National Center on Elder Abuse, and the National Clearinghouse on Abuse in Later Life), the Center draws from decades of collective expertise and experience across these agencies to provide case consultations, training and technical assistance to OVC-funded tribal and non-tribal teams throughout the country.
Amongst other offerings, the National Elder Abuse MDT Training and Technical Assistance Center will provide innovative strategies and materials for each team’s daily operations; technical assistance for team support and case consultations; training for professionals serving teams; guidance on integrating specialty services into the work of the teams; strategies to ensure responsiveness to each community through trauma-informed and trauma-responsive approaches; and consulting on sustainability and long-range funding strategies. Through collaboration with Red Wind Consulting, the Center will also place special emphasis on culturally competent implementation of E-MDTs in Native American communities. As well, the Center will assess the impact of the training and TA assistance provided to inform future developments.
Through the generous support from the US Department of Justice’s Office of Victims of Crime, the National Elder Abuse MDT Training and Technical Assistance Center, through a carefully planned three-year rollout, will create an infrastructure capable of having a powerful and positive impact on current and future teams and the older survivors they serve.
For More Information
Please contact Grace Cheong, Program Manager, National Elder Abuse MDT Training and Technical Assistance Center, click here or call 212-746-8172.