Safeguarding Seniors from Abuse: ElderSAFE™
S – Shelter
A – Advocacy
F – Freedom from Abuse
E – Education
What is elder abuse?
- 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
- 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- Withdrawn, depressed, lacking emotion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
- 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
The ElderSAFE™ brochure has been updated. Now, thanks to the generosity of Schreiber Translations, Inc., in Rockville, Maryland, the brochure is available in seven different languages. To obtain printed copies, please call 301.816.5099.
ElderSAFE™ Center staff
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™ 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.
- 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.
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.
- Montgomery County Adult Protective Services
- Montgomery County State's Attorney's Office
- Montgomery County Police, Elder Abuse Unit
- Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services
- Suburban Hospital/Johns Hopkins Medicine
- Holy Cross Hospital
- Catholic Charities Legal Network of the Archdiocese of Washington
- Jewish Council for the Aging
- Jewish Coalition Against Domestic Abuse
- Jewish Social Service Agency
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.
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.
ElderSAFE™ in the news
- ElderSAFE takes lead in community response to elder abuse; draws on campus capabilities —lead article in LifeTimes, 9/2016
- Elder Abuse Often Not Reported— The Beacon, June 2015
- Austin Heyman interviews Mont. Co. Attorney about Elder Abuse — Seniors Today: Resources for Vital Living. #147
- Elder Fraud — Law School for the Public
- Senior Connection's Money Monitors Program Joins Others Who Protect Seniors from Financial Abuse — Senior Connection, 3/23/2015
- Tovah Kasdin, ElderSAFE Dedication— Washington Jewish Week, 2/12/2015
- ElderSAFE Celebrates with Community Partners— Facebook, 2015
- ElderSAFE Community Celebration— Media Release, 1/29/2015
- Rockville Shelter Will Aid Abused Elderly— Washington Jewish Week, 9/4/2014
- Safeguarding Seniors from Abuse— LifeTimes, 9/2014
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