ElderSAFE Center

Safeguarding Seniors from Abuse: The ElderSAFE™ Center

eldersafe with TM
Our commitment to caring for older adults stretches beyond the campus of Charles E. Smith Life Communities. As part of an organization that is mission-driven and inspired by Jewish values, the ElderSAFE™ Center is the first of its kind in the Washington, DC metropolitan area to provide safe temporary shelter to older adults experiencing elder abuse, to coordinate and provide community referrals, and to increase public awareness. The program is named for its components:

S – Shelter
A – Advocacy
F – Freedom from Abuse
E – Education

What is elder abuse?

Elder abuse is the mistreatment of older adults in one or more of the following ways:
  • PHYSICAL: Use of force (such as hitting or pushing;causing pain, harm, or physical injury; inappropriate use of medications or physical restraints.
  • SEXUAL: Any type of non-consensual sexual contact.
  • PSYCHOLOGICAL: Mistreatment that affects emotional or mental health, including intimidation, threats, harassment, humiliation, belittlement, or isolation.
  • NEGLECT: Willful deprivation of basic needs including food, clothing, shelter, medicine, or personal hygiene.
  • FINANCIAL EXPLOITATION: Misuse of the older adult's money, property, or resources. 
As many as one in ten older adults living on their own is a victim of elder abuse. For every one case reported, 23 are not.

Warning signs of elder abuse

ElderSAFE Bracelets
  • Fearful of caregiver
  • Not receiving necessary assistance from caregiver
  • Prevented from interacting privately with family, friends, or other professionals
  • Crying, agitated, trembling, confused, or in emotional distress
  • Withdrawn, depressed, lacking emotion
  • Showing signs of self-destructive behavior
  • Socially or physically isolated
  • Displaying poor physical hygiene, such as dirty clothing, body odor
  • Lacking in basic necessities, or home is in disarray
  • Suffering from unexplained bruises, burns, cuts, or welts
  • Experiencing unauthorized withdrawal of funds or use of credit cards

ElderSAFE™ Center services

The ElderSAFE™ Center provides the following services to adults 60+ years of age:
  • Safe, temporary shelter
  • Case management
  • Confidential counseling
  • Medical services
  • Spiritual support
  • Physical and/or psychological therapeutic services
  • SAFE discharge
  • Legal referrals
  • Community referrals and coordination with partner agencies

Preventing Elder Financial Exploitation seminar, Thursday, March 30

2016 ElderSAFE Brochure - CoverBrochure: Safeguarding Seniors from Abuse

The ElderSAFE™ Center brochure has been updated, thanks to the generosity of Schreiber Translations, Inc., in Rockville, Maryland, the brochure is available in seven different languages. To obtain copies, please call 301.816.5099.

ElderSAFE™ Center staffTovah Kasdin, KerryAnn Aleibar

Tovah Kasdin, JD, at right in photo, is the director of the ElderSAFE™ Center at Charles E. Smith Life Communities, the first shelter of its kind for abused and neglected older adults in the Washington, DC metro region. Tovah’s almost 20 years of experience in the domestic violence field, includes: former domestic violence prosecutor for the Montgomery County, Maryland, State's Attorney's Office, non-profit manager, and consultant providing guidance to international organizations, including the World Bank Group, on best practices for domestic violence prevention and response. She was a past president and currently on the board of directors of the Maryland Network Against Domestic Violence and the Legal Resource Center on Violence Against Women. Tovah has testified on the state and national level on domestic violence and elder abuse topics and is a frequent trainer and conference speaker.

 KerryAnn Aleibar, LCSW-C, at left, brings exceptional expertise to her role as ElderSAFE™ Center program manager. Having worked for over ten years with older adults in long-term care, senior housing, and adult day care settings, she has specialized knowledge in the areas of aging, supportive counseling, eldercare case management services, discharge planning, sub-acute care, and physical rehabilitation. KerryAnn frequently educates members of community programs about elder abuse and the ElderSAFE Center.

Contact us

The ElderSAFE™ Center at Charles E. Smith Life Communities accepts referrals from community agencies and programs at our Helpline, 301.816.5099, Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. If elder abuse is suspected, call 911 or contact the Adult Protective Service (APS) office in your community:
  • Montgomery County, MD: 240.777.3000
  • Other Maryland Counties: 1.800.917.7383
  • Washington, DC: 202.541.3950
  • Virginia: 1.888.832.3858

Contact ElderSAFE Director Tovah Kasdin to lead training on elder abuse issues.

Community partners

2016 Coalition for ElderSAFE

Charles E. Smith Life Communities thanks our community partners for their commitment in helping the ElderSAFE™ Center build a strong, multidisciplinary, and effective response to elder abuse.


ABA Commission on Law and Aging
Resources on power of attorney, guardianship, financial abuse, elder abuse laws, and how the courts address elder abuse.

Center of Excellence on Elder Abuse and Neglect, at UC Irvine, School of Medicine
Research, advocacy, and policy information on elder abuse.

Elder Justice Road Map
National experts' report on current strategies for addressing elder abuse.

Faith Communities
Toolkits and information from experts.

National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA)
National resources and tools to increase knowledge of elder abuse.

National Clearinghouse on Abuse in Later Life (NCALL)
Information about advocacy and educational efforts to address elder abuse.

Pocket Guide on Elder Investment Fraud and Financial Exploitation
Print and fold. 

Senior Resources Guide
Overview of the many facets of elder abuse. 

ElderSAFE™ Center in the news

With appreciation

For generous support:

  • Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, Inc.
  • Montgomery County, Maryland
  • Board of Governors, Charles E. Smith Life Communities

For their guidance and example:

  • Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Center for Elder Abuse Prevention at the Hebrew Home at Riverdale, New York

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