Webinar presenters Julie Schoen and Alexis Calleros answered a number of your questions after their presentation, The Elder Abuse Guide for Law Enforcement: It’s Not Just for Law Enforcement. Here are just a few of their responses.
Audience Question: Will we be allowed access to the site for the different state laws? And I think the answer is yes, but I wanted to roll that by you.
Alexis Calleros: Yes, that’s exactly why we’ve done this presentation because people always ask that. Yes, It’s right here. You can just access on that link and free to use it anytime we would love it if you did if you shared it. Absolutely, Victor, thank you.
Audience Question: Julie, you used an acronym earlier. What is APS?
Julie Schoen: Oh, my gosh. You know, that just shows you that you need to never assume or take things for granted. APS stands for Adult Protective Services. And in every state and public service area, there is access to an Adult Protective Services Bureau. Most are very familiar with Child Protective Services, but many people are very surprised to learn that in their areas there’s also Adult Protective Services, for those who may be having a disability or may not be able to make their own decisions. APS can be contacted to assist.
Audience Question: This is such a fantastic tool. Do you know if there’s a similar site or a similar app for domestic violence and child abuse?
Julie Schoen: Oh, what a good, good question, Robert. We work with an agency called the NCALL, the National Clearinghouse for Abuse in Later Life, and they have some amazing videos on domestic violence. But I don’t think they have anything quite like this. I’m trying to think of the Department of Justice has anything on their website. But I know there are some great tools out there. I think that’s the great thing about eagle’s, kind of a one-stop-shop.
Audience Question: Jenny wanted to confirm the videos that we saw today. They are also available through the EAGLE website. Is that right?
Julie Schoen: Absolutely. When you go on, you’ll be able to access them to the link on YouTube. You can just copy and paste that link and use it freely. That would be great. Alexis, am I getting that right?
Alexis Calleros: Yes. So, all the videos are available on the roll call video page on EAGLE. But in addition to that, they are available on the Elder Justice Initiatives YouTube page, which you could share the link to that YouTube video anywhere that way.
Audience Question: Is there an international version? Do you know if the right people in another country contacted you, could this be imported and modified for other countries? Another one is specifically asking, could we do a Canadian version of EAGLE? Kind of just asking a question internationally there, Julie?
Julie Schoen: Well, you know, that’s such an interesting question, because, you know, for World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, we are really working internationally this year. We are working with Elder Abuse Ontario, and we are working on Australia with the ——– group. So, we hadn’t thought about it because your governance is so different in different countries. I will certainly bring it up to Elder Abuse Ontario because we are in the process of collaborating with them, and also assisting them on this project we have called Reframing Elder Abuse, and we’re looking over their materials, and we’re assisting in kind of this new messaging dynamic that we have. So, I think, there are always possibilities. I’m always optimistic, but we would have to yeah, they’re welcome to take it, and anybody can take it and say, what can we do similar to this. So, you could use it as a prototype, I suppose. And we’d be happy to, we could set up a time to talk if you wanted to explore that and see what we went through to get to this phase.
Host: Speaking of that, Laura, is giving you a shout out, Hi, from Elder Abuse Ontario.
Julie Schoen: They have amazing materials that we’ve learned from also, so it’s a give and take.
Audience Question: Where are long-term care ombudsmen located and how are they contacted?
Julie Schoen: Thank you so much. I love it anytime I can talk about the long-term care ombudsman. So, if you simply, you know, go to your search engine, and put in “the National Ombudsman Resource Center” or NORC. It will connect you with all the ombudsman programs throughout the country because this is a national program. They vary in somewhat how they’re set up. Many of them are volunteer-based. In California, it’s kind of a hybrid of some paid staff and a volunteer-based. They’re all set up to be there. You know, every long term care facility that’s licensed, has to have a poster in it somewhere that says, you know, if you are in need of help, and you feel intimidated to ask a facility, here’s where you would call, and we give an 800 number for you to call. And then that would connect you with the Ombudsman in your area. But they are so wonderful because they will meet with the person. They’ll hear them, listen to them, and deal with any complaints or issues, whether that be poor food, poor care, abuse, whatever.
Audience Question: Does the EAGLE website or resource include tribal resources?
Julie Schoen: Oh, yes, definitely. I think when Alexis was going on, you know, on her site in San Bernardino, California, it was very rich in tribal indigenous communities. And so, we always show those now do we have a special section? Not per se on the EAGLE website, we at the National Center on Elder Abuse have a contract with the National Indigenous Elder Justice Initiative (NIEJI). We work with them to understand and to learn more about how elder abuse has been handled in the tribal communities. And we have numerous fact sheets that we have learned so much from, and a particular interest that I have this in their philosophy on restorative justice, which is, we have some fact sheets on that. So, if you need more information specifically on elder abuse in tribal communities, I would recommend going to the NCEA ncea.agl.gov and then put in tribal indigenous elder abuse and that will lead to all of our publications on that.
Audience Question: Julie, what does the likelihood that there is more than one kind of elder abuse happening simultaneously, or concurrently within a specific single case?
Julie Schoen: Oh, yeah, probably almost 100%. I mean, if you have financial abuse, there’s probably been some emotional abuse, there’s probably been some coercion, there’s probably been something that has gone on. You know, and it’s always multi-layered and that’s always what makes it so complex. And why so many wonderful individuals, like all of you who’ve taken an interest and do your specific part, whether you’re the banking community, whether you’re the justice community, whether you’re, you know, retail worker, who sees things, and wants to report things. So yeah, it’s almost, you know, just part of where when we have financial abuse, sort of physical abuse, there’s always like a power control dynamic that can be going on the song with just the physical hurt and sexual abuse. I wish we had more knowledge and more tools. I have this feeling that we’re not. We have no idea what the depths of that are. So, but it is being studied more. It is being watched more, and you’re seeing it more in the media, which is kind of what it takes sometimes, to shine a light on it.
Audience Question: Quite a few cases of elder abuse are discovered by animal control officers when they’re just doing just a routine call for service. And there are areas in the country where ACOs are called officers, but they aren’t considered officers because they have no arrest powers or only have the ability to write a citation. The question from our audience member is, how can ACOs work better with other organizations within their community? She’s saying that she’s tried, and she’s met resistance because of the elder abuse is involving animals. And so, it’s, it’s kind of muddy in their community. Do you have any advice?
Julie Schoen: Yeah. They are such a vital component of elder abuse because you’re absolutely right, where there are some animal abuse and neglect and things like that, there’s strangely this tie in with elder abuse. And what we have throughout the country are multi-disciplinary teams that are groups of people who come together to work through these multi-layered cases of elder abuse. You might have someone from Adult Protective Services, someone in law enforcement, someone from the prosecutions office, someone from banks, or from the public utility’s office, or the post office, and animal control, and they come together, and they meet. Now, to find the really good resource on that, you should go to the Department of Justice website, and you go to the Elder Justice Initiative, EJI. It is phenomenal website. It’s very dense in information, So I think sometimes people get a little overwhelmed. But if you then, just, there’ll be at a bar on the left-hand side, or if you just put in multi-disciplinary teams, you will get a map of where they’re located throughout the country. They’re growing more and more. And I’m actually on a committee for the multi-disciplinary Teams Resource Center that has just been started out of Weill Cornell University. So, there’s a lot of good work there. And I think they have a little bit more information about how to work and how to bring in different experts like those in animal control.
Audience Question: Is the EAGLE tool and training being done or being provided as part of new law enforcement officer training? Or would you mind if we did include it?
Julie Schoen: Alexis, what do you think? I think we would love that.
Alexis Calleros: Yes. Please include it. In any of the training that you conduct.
Audience Question: So, do you know if any of the academies are actually incorporating your information as part of their new hire training?
Julie Schoen: We get notification people using it, showing the roll call videos, they let us know. I don’t know if routinely you know we were sparse. It’s supposed to be part of the LAPD here. And that’s when the shutdown hit and so, we never got off the ground. We hope to revisit it. But, you know, certainly, we’re up for it, if you wanted to contact us and you ever wanted to have us do an introduction for you or whatever would work. We’re very flexible.
Host: You know, I just got a message texted in… April is sharing that she uses it in her Detective in-service trainings in Wisconsin. And Kay is letting us know that the Cook County Sheriff’s Office, the Police Training Academy, is using most of your information, as well.
Julie Schoen: Oh, my gosh. That just makes us so happy to know because, you know, we do want this to work. We don’t want this to be one of those grant-funded projects that’s like “Oh, that was nice,” and nobody uses it. We want to hear from people so we can improve. So that’s why we appreciate so much being here today and getting your evaluation and your feedback. That helps us to improve.
Host: Patricia is saying “I use it in my crisis class, and we’ll be adding it to our older adults training in the next academy.”
Audience Question: In the neglect tab in the EAGLE tool, does it also speak about self-neglect?
Julie Schoen: Yes. We have a little bit on self-neglect. We feel self-neglect is so important. And it’s probably one of the most, you know. There are schools of thought about self-neglect, but we know is very important for people to understand and to know when they run into a situation of somebody living in unsanitary conditions or not having enough to eat. So, yes, it is, it’s definitely mentioned when we do our trainings, so. And there’s much more about it on the NCEA website.
Click Here to Watch a Recording of The Elder Abuse Guide for Law Enforcement: It’s Not Just for Law Enforcement.