FAIRFIELD – The Center for Elder Abuse Prevention, a community service program of The Jewish Home for the Elderly was recently awarded a $15,000 grant by the Fairfield County Community Foundation (FCCF) to continue its work in this area. Entering its fourth year, the Center aims to empower victims of elder abuse through safe haven and services, and to champion a safer Fairfield County for older adults. The FCCF’s support is matched by a national grant from The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
Receipt of the grant comes at a time when the subject of elder abuse is receiving increased national attention. The problem is especially pronounced in Connecticut, which according to a 2006 study by the National Adult Protective Services Association has the highest rate of reported cases of elder abuse in the nation.
The Center opened in late 2007 and serves individuals over 60 years of age across Fairfield County. It provides an array of services, including arranging for safe, confidential emergency housing appropriate to the specific needs of the client. In addition, the Center also provides advice to those concerned about a senior, connecting them with a range of community services that they may benefit from.
“We receive quite a few calls from adult children or friends of an older adult, who are worried and don’t know where to begin. They do not know the local resources, and they are afraid of doing the wrong thing,” says Laura Snow, the Center’s program director. “We help them determine how to best advocate for the person they are concerned about.”
According to Andrew H. Banoff, president and CEO of The Jewish Home, “With each new case, we are struck by the range of mistreatment that older adults are subjected to. If we can make a difference in one life, we are doing the right thing. Support from The Fairfield County Community Foundation is critical to doing this work”.
The Fairfield County Community Foundation grant ensures that the Center will continue to educate professionals and lay groups about the various types of elder abuse, how the dynamics of abuse may change as one ages, and Connecticut mandated reporting requirements.
To learn more about elder abuse prevention, call the Center for Elder Abuse Prevention helpline at (203) 396-1097 or visit www.jhe.org/elderabuseprevention.htm. If you know or suspect a case of elder abuse, call 1-888-774-2900 or 2-1-1 to reach the Department of Social Services, Protective Services for the Elderly.