How adequate are New York City’s services for elder abuse victims? This report has the answer.

picture-of-survey-updatedElder justice stakeholders in NYS responded to a survey developed by the NYC Elder Abuse Center (NYCEAC) and Lifespan of Greater Rochester, Inc. to assess the current adequacy of elder abuse victim prevention and intervention services around the state. This report extrapolates those results from the original NYS survey focusing specifically on New York City’s five boroughs. (The original NYS report was prepared by Risa Breckman, LCSW, Director, NYCEAC, and Paul L. Caccamise, LMSW, ACSW, Vice President for Program at Lifespan.)

A “striking” array of gaps and barriers were identified…but equally important: respondents suggested an impressive number of solutions.

The purpose of the survey, to which 484 individuals across NY State responded (62 of whom reported serving NYC’s five boroughs), was to obtain granular feedback about the state of elder abuse services across multiple service systems. All counties except two, plus the Seneca nation, were represented. The majority of respondents reported on a county or regional, versus statewide, basis. Their function within their organizations varied, from front-line service providers to administrators.

Here are a few of the notable findings, broadly stated:

  • There’s both a need for elder abuse prevention and intervention services and for case finding. Details of both inadequate services and underused capacity were offered.
  • Both the barriers to reporting abuse to law enforcement and the capability of law enforcement to respond adequately are problem areas. In NYC specifically, barriers to reporting to police could possibly reduce the number of elder abuse victims receiving compensation from the Office of Victim Services.
  • There are numerous obstacles to elder abuse victims’ receiving crime victim compensation.

“We hope the findings will spark conversations with people within and across the many organizations and systems involved with preventing and responding to elder abuse in NYC,” said report co-authors Breckman and Caccamise. “We also hope that the information will be valuable to all those interested in improving, designing, expanding, and/or funding elder abuse victim prevention and intervention services in NYC.”