2007 NCEA/NCPEA Grantees
1. Southwestern Connecticut Agency on Aging(Bridgeport, CT) serves six communities that make up the Greater Bridgeport area. It is the lead agency for the newly created Coalition for the Advocacy, Prevention and Elimination of Older Adult Abuse in Greater Bridgeport, CT (CAPE), whose slogan is “Elder Abuse is Preventable.” The 76-member coalition formed three committees—Advocacy, Awareness and Case Conferencing. Advocacy efforts have promoted a legislative agenda that addresses gaps in the area of elder abuse. Education and awareness activities included library displays, local presentations, and marketing efforts, such as brochures, billboards, bookmarks and a financial abuse prevention initiative with a local bank. The coalition sponsored an event titled “When Clients are Caregivers.” It has also developed an infrastructure to coordinate information and resources among aging services providers and other appropriate community services.
2. AgeOptions (Oak Park, IL) is the Area Agency on Aging for suburban Cook County. It serves as the lead agency for the newly formed Suburban Elder Justice Coalition with a slogan of “Break the Silence – Providing a Path for Change.” Through the work of its 68 members and its Advocacy and Mandated Reporters committees, the coalition has been able to support and promote statewide law enforcement protocols for dealing with possible elder abuse cases. They improved coordination and cooperation between local elder abuse provider agencies and law enforcement. The coalition developed a pilot program that will allow the Sheriff’s financial crimes investigators to work with caseworkers on financial exploitation cases. It developed a resource/referral guide and three advocacy projects have been initiated.
3. Gateway Area Development District Area Agency on Aging (Morehead, KY) is the Area Agency on Aging serving 5 counties in eastern Kentucky. Gateway brought together 23 people to form the Gateway Regional Elder Abuse Task Force, which adopted the slogan “Respecting Gateway’s Vulnerable Adults.” They formed three committees—Public Awareness, Website, and Budget. Coalition activities focused on raising public awareness about elder abuse. They developed and distributed hand-held fans, magnifying glasses, dry erase boards, canvas tote bags and elder abuse lapel pins to churches and community organizations and at health fairs. Coalition members participated in the Kentucky Elder Abuse Awareness Rally in June 2008. They also created a website to increase awareness and provide links to resources and services.
4. Bristol Elder Services (Fall River, MA), the designated Area Agency on Aging for 15 southeastern Massachusetts communities, led the formation of the Southeastern Alliance for Elders (SAFE). With a slogan of “Taking Notice – Taking Action – Keeping Our Elders Safe,” the new 53-member coalition formed three committees—Education, Outreach to Mandated Reporters, and Sustaining Membership/Fundraising. The coalition conducted an outreach campaign at World Elder Abuse Awareness Day in June 2008. Other activities included newspaper, newsletter and journal articles, radio interviews, press releases, and postings on coalition member websites. Educational materials were developed, including flyers, posters targeting elders and the community at large, an elder abuse fact sheet for mandated reporters to aid in identifying and reporting elder abuse, and a pocket-sized reporting card for law enforcement and other first responders to promote reporting.
5. Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians (Sault St. Marie, MI), a tribal government, provides services to a 7-county service area of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. They are the lead agency for the Elder/Adult Protection Community Collaboration. The coalition’s 29 members have formed a Public Awareness committee and have adopted the slogan “There is no age limit to abuse.” Due to the efforts of the newly created coalition, the Adult Protection Act was adopted into tribal law on June 3, 2008, after 5 years of failed attempts by individual organizations. They held two community awareness events, and two staff attended state certified training on adult protective services investigations. The coalition also developed public service announcements, brochures, community presentations and promotional items (magnets, pens and flyers) to be used to raise public awareness.
6. Otter Tail County Department of Community Services (Fergus Falls, MN) serves Otter Tail County, a rural county of 58,000 people spread over 2,232 square miles in Minnesota where 20% of the population is over 65. This is the lead agency for the Otter Tail Alliance for Vulnerable Adults (OTAVA). “Connect to Protect” is the coalition’s slogan. The coalition has 21 members and four committees—Advocacy, Multi-Disciplinary Team, Education/Resource, and Website. The new coalition created two multi-disciplinary case consultation teams to cover their large geographic area. Education and awareness activities included distributing cloth shopping bags containing contact information at senior centers and health fairs, and they developed and distributed brochures, bookmarks and posters. Efforts are underway to educate professionals and consumers on alternatives to guardianship and the guardianship process. A website is also being developed.
7. Eagle Shield Senior Center (Browning, MT) is located on the Blackfeet Reservation. Their 30-member coalition includes three additional reservation communities. The grant supported the opportunity for coalition members to share elder abuse codes among the various tribal communities. They also shared culturally congruent models for addressing elder abuse from Tribes outside the state of Montana, as well as information about Montana State’s reporting system for elder abuse. They are in the process of securing someone to adapt the Montana reporting system for the Blackfeet Tribe. They also conducted advocacy and awareness activities about the importance of funding for an APS worker on each reservation.
8. PSA 3 Agency on Aging, Inc. (Lima, OH) serves a 7-county area in west central Ohio. The Agency took the lead in the formation of a new coalition called Reach. React. Respond to Elder Abuse. The coalition has adopted three slogans: “United for Elders. Keep Them Safe,” “Seniors Deserve to Be Safe,” and “We Care – We Protect.” Three committees—Public and Professional Education, Fundraising, and Advocacy—were formed by the coalition’s 43 members. Work has begun on a consumer survey among community organizations and agencies to create a comprehensive list of resources available. Posters, T-shirts bookmarks and flyers were created to promote the coalition and raise awareness about elder abuse. Trainings and presentations are being conducted for home health professionals, bank tellers, and Bar Association members.
9. Lena Mae Farris Foundation (Washington, TX) serves seniors and adults with disabilities in the Brazos Valley, a 7-county area in central Texas. The foundation is the lead agency for a new 23-member Coalition for Vulnerable Adults in Brazos Valley (CVA in BV). The coalition has two slogans: “Helping Those Who Need Us Most” and “Connecting to Vulnerable Adults.” Through the work of their two committees—Advocacy and Education—they developed an elder abuse public awareness program to be used at senior centers throughout the 7 counties. They also developed a more extensive presentation that can be used for Continuing Education Units for social work professionals. The coalition developed and distributed an Elder Rights handout at the “Senior” Prom in one of the towns served in Brazos Valley, and printed 4,000 awareness brochures for distribution through the regional home-delivered meals programs and through coalition member organizations.
10. Area Agency on Aging for Northeastern Vermont (St. Johnsbury, VT) serves a 3-county area and is the lead agency for the Northeast Kingdom Vulnerable Adult Action Coalition (NEK VAAC). Its slogan, “Preventing Abuse through Action,” was adopted by the coalition’s 33 members, and two committees—Education and Research—were created. Activities undertaken by the new coalition centered around data collection and coordinating those efforts with APS; cross-training among coalition member agencies to better understand the role that each plays in addressing elder abuse; outreach and education through presentations, press releases, and public service announcements, and development of outreach materials such as a rack card and a laminated desk guide of the state statutes related to mistreatment of vulnerable adults.