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Elder Abuse InnovatIOn Grant

Benjamin Rose Institute on Aging Receives Elder Abuse Innovation Grant

Collaborative project will assist older adults and adults with disabilities

Contact: Jeanne Hoban, 216.373.1686, jhoban@benrose.org

October 21, 2016

Benjamin Rose Institute on Aging and its partners, Texas Adult Protective Services (APS), WellMed Charitable Foundation, and the Elder Justice Coalition, have received an Elder Justice Innovation Grant from the Administration for Community Living (ACL), part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Grant supports "Understanding Self-Neglect in Adult Healthcare Patients and Evaluating a New Intervention to Prevent It" with $488,550 in federal funds for the first year: a similar amount is expected next year. With contributions from Benjamin Rose and its partners, project funding over the two-year period is expected to total about $1.3 million.

The two-year project is one of only eight in the country to receive an Elder Justice Innovation Grant under this highly competitive ACL initiative. It is one of only three intended to increase understanding of self-neglect prevention and intervention. All eight projects are expected to contribute to the elder justice evidence base, and develop materials and programs that can be shared and replicated in other settings.

The new project builds on successes and lessons learned from a collaboration of the same partners under a previous multi-year Elder Abuse Prevention grant received from ACL in 2012. That project trained over 800 WellMed clinicians in Texas on how to identify and screen for abuse among vulnerable older adults. In addition, two APS workers were embedded as a resource to WellMed. As a result, over 500 older adults were identified as suspected victims of abuse and reported to APS. As the local evaluator, Benjamin Rose played a vital role in analyzing these data.

Under the direction of principal investigator Farida Kassim Ejaz, PhD, Benjamin Rose will coordinate the new project, which will examine a variety of risk factors for self-neglect in community-dwelling, older and disabled health care patients in Texas. A WellMed social worker will conduct an in-home assessment to screen these patients for potential self-neglect. Those identified as already self-neglecting will be referred to Texas APS for follow-up. Others identified as being at potential risk of self-neglect will receive targeted interventions and wrap-around supportive services with the goal of preventing future self-neglect.

In addition, the partners hope to:

More information on the ACL grants is available at:

http://www.aoa.acl.gov/AoA_Programs/Elder_Rights/EJ_Innovation_Grants/Index.aspx

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About Benjamin Rose Institute on Aging (www.benrose.org): The mission of Benjamin Rose Institute on Aging is to advance support for older adults and caregivers. Our work is accomplished by deepening the understanding of their evolving needs in a changing society; developing and delivering innovative, high-quality solutions; and promoting effective public policies. Founded in 1908, Benjamin Rose provides direct service to older adults and their caregivers, engages in applied social research, and leads advocacy efforts in support of older adults.

About Texas Adult Protective Services (www.dfps.state.tx.us/Adult_Protection/): The mission of the Adult Protective Services Program is to protect older adults and persons with disabilities from abuse, neglect, and exploitation by investigating and providing or arranging for services, if needed, to stop or prevent further harm. APS investigates reports of abuse, neglect and exploitation of adults who are age 65 and older or age 18 to 65 with a disabling condition and who reside in the community; provides or arranges for services to alleviate abuse, neglect and exploitation; investigates abuse, neglect, and exploitation; and determines whether perpetrators of abuse, neglect or exploitation should be added to the state's Employee Misconduct Registry. APS continually seeks opportunities to collaborate with partners to improve detection of risk of self-neglect among vulnerable adults, enhance preventive services, and help Texans 65 and older and those with disabilities maintain their independence.

About WellMed Charitable Foundation (www.wellmedcharitablefoundation.org): The WellMed Charitable Foundation (WCF) is a non-profit 501(C)3 organization, which is the philanthropic partner of WellMed Medical Management, Inc. The mission of WCF is to support seniors and their caregivers in local WellMed communities with a special emphasis on wellness, prevention, and living with chronic illness. The Foundation operates seven state of the art senior centers, and five Caregiver SOS Resource Centers. Caregiver SOS is a program offering Wellness, Information, Support, and Education (WISE) activities to support and develop WISE caregivers. Two other programs offered through the Foundation are the Caregiver Teleconnection program, a telephone-based education and support program for caregivers, and the Stress-Busting Program, an evidence-based program that has been demonstrated to reduce perceived stress, depression, and caregiver burden for family caregivers.

About Elder Justice Coalition (http://elderjusticecoalition.com/): The Elder Justice Coalition (EJC) is a 3000-member bipartisan national coalition of organizations and individuals fighting elder abuse, neglect and exploitation. Through national and grassroots advocacy, educational briefings, media outreach, research, and information dissemination, the EJC seeks to: 1) increase public awareness of the tragedy of elder abuse, neglect and exploitation at the local, state, and national levels, 2) increase support and funding for the Elder Justice Act in the Senate and House of Representatives as a comprehensive approach to addressing elder justice issues, and 3) monitor and appropriately influence other relevant legislation and regulations that pertain to the prevention of elder abuse, neglect and financial exploitation.