New initiative will provide short-term respite for growing population of elder abuse victims
Contact: Katie Boland, Director of External Relations – 216-658-1881, firstname.lastname@example.org
Cleveland, Ohio– Eliza Bryant Village will launch a new Elder Justice Center to provide temporary respite care for the growing population of elders who are experiencing some form of trauma, abuse, or criminal victimization, and to help to connect them to the various legal, financial and social service supports they may need to get them back into a safe situation.
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced on October 11, 2018 that his office is awarding $111.8 million in grants to crime victim service providers across Ohio. Eliza Bryant Village received two separate awards totaling nearly $779,000. A continuation of the Villages’ core grant from last year of approximately was awarded for $202,000, along with a new grant to launch its Elder Justice Center, totaling approximately $577,000.
“Our philosophy at Eliza Bryant Village is that aged adults have the right to live in a safe and healthy environment where they are treated with quality care, dignity and respect,” said Danny R. Williams, JD, MNO, LNHA, President and Chief Executive Officer of Eliza Bryant Village. “This funding not only helps us launch a new business line, but also continues our evolution as an anchor institution in Cleveland’s Hough neighborhood for more than 120 years to meet the devastating current needs of our community’s most vulnerable elderly.”
At the beginning of 2017, the Village received its first-ever Victims of Crime Act grant from the Ohio Attorney General, and it was renewed for a second year. The bulk of the funding is for programming for seniors in the nursing home and Senior Outreach & Adult Day Care Program who have been a victim of crime, violence, abuse and/or trauma during their lifetimes. An anonymous survey conducted at the Village provided deplorable results that more than 80 percent of senior served at the Village self-identified as a victim of some type of trauma, abuse, neglect or violence during their lifetime.
Unfortunately, the crime of victimizing older adults is a horrific local and national trend. Advocates, legislatures and caretakers need to be aware of this issue and together, need to change the direction of how elderly are treated in their homes, in institutions and in the community. Elder abuse is growing at the same rate as the population itself. According to a 2013 NBC News report, the number of Americans 65 and over is projected to nearly double by 2030 because of the 74 million baby boomers (those born in 1946-64), and the number of people 85 and over is increasing at an even faster rate. Below is a sample of more staggering statistics that highlight the critical need for immediate services:
- As many as 2 million seniors are abused, exploited or neglected every year, judging by available statistics and surveys, but experts say there could be many more.
- According to the National Council on Aging, 1 in 10 seniors (age 60 plus) have suffered from some form of abuse or neglect.
- The Center for Community Solutions reports that for every case of abuse that occurs, it is estimated that 23 remain veiled. Individuals may hide their abuse for a myriad of reasons ranging from fear, shame, love or loyalty. Thus, it can often be difficult to understand the full scope of the problem in Ohio, and throughout the country.
Danielle Sydnor, Chair of the Eliza Bryant Village Board of Trustees, said “The support of our Ohio Attorney General’s office has been key to the start of us addressing abuse, trauma and violence on a more comprehensive and therapeutic level. We are encouraged that this issue has caught the attention of the nation’s leaders and we look forward to making a valuable contribution in Cleveland and beyond.”
As Cuyahoga County’s Health & Human Services community continues to develop and implement programs and strategies to best serve this New Majority of aging adults, the time to act is now.
“Over the 18 months, since the inception of our VOCA program at Eliza Bryant Village, we have become more acutely aware of the pervasiveness of abuse among seniors and the various types of abuse they experience,” said Mr. Williams. “We found is that there are no emergency respite dedicated for elderly victims of crime with trauma programming and enhanced supportive services in Cuyahoga County and only one that we know of in Hamilton County near Cincinnati, Ohio. We are excited to be at the forefront of this crisis, providing help and safety to those in need.”
The Eliza Bryant Village Elder Justice Center is expected to launch in the summer of 2019. The Village will dedicate 10 rooms for the Elder Justice Center initially and expand as appropriate.
About Eliza Bryant Village
Eliza Bryant Village provides high quality services for seniors along the continuum of care in a safe, dignified and compassionate environment. The Village provides skilled nursing with memory-care and rehabilitation as well as on-site dialysis care, an adult day care and senior outreach program that includes transportation and nutritious meals, and affordable independent senior housing. Home Care is available to Eliza Bryant Village seniors as well as our aging neighbors. Eliza Bryant Village, located on 17 acres in Cleveland’s Hough neighborhood, has been an anchor institution in the community for more than 120 years. In 2017, the Village provided over $1 million in charity care for skilled nursing residents. The oldest continually operating African American-founded long-term care facility in the United States, the Village serves more than 1,200 seniors annually with more than 260 compassionate employees and nearly 300 volunteers.