“People who work with the elderly population in Erie County are getting a new tool to help protect their clients.”
Dozens of providers and advocates recently spent a day learning how to use the new Legal Risk Detector App.
WIVB recently posted an article, “New App Aims to Prevent Elder Abuse,” that explains how the Center for Elder Law & Justice teamed up with the Erie County District Attorney’s Office and the Erie County Office of Senior Services in the Buffalo, NY metro area to introduce the app to those who work closely with elderly members of the community.
“This app is designed for Meals on Wheels people, home health aides, senior services workers and people who would be kind of the front line staff,” explained Karen Nicolson, Chief Executive Officer of the Center for Elder Law & Justice.
Those providers are sometimes the only individuals with whom home-bound seniors interact on a regular basis. Therefore, they can be the only people who recognize potential housing, consumer, financial exploitation or healthcare issues, provided they know the right questions to ask. That’s where the new app can help. The app is a comprehensive list of questions to ask elderly clients to help identify potential abuse. The questions are about everything from whether someone has been pressuring a senior to make changes to their power of attorney, to whether someone has been stopping them from accessing their money or health services.
The app also lets providers upload photos and documents, which are added to the report generated by the seniors’ responses. A report will give the referrals that the provider may need to help the senior. It is automatically sent to the Center for Elder Law & Justice, when any legal risk red flags are identified.
The Erie County District Attorney said his office has seen a number of cases of financial and physical elder abuse this year, which he attributes to the fact that many seniors don’t have their children living nearby to monitor them. He hopes that awareness spreads about the app and its ability to help identify problems, so would-be abusers will reconsider taking advantage of elderly victims.
The app that was unveiled is only intended for use by providers and advocates who work with the elderly in the community. However, with a national grant, another risk detector app is in development that will be available to the public.
Reference: WIVB (October 30, 2017) “New App Aims to Prevent Elder Abuse”