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Technology gives VOICES to victims of elder abuse

In the United States, 10% of adults over age 60 are abused, neglected, or financially exploited. But only 1 in 24 cases is reported
Ivan Samkov from Pexels
In the United States, 10% of adults over age 60 are abused, neglected, or financially exploited. But only 1 in 24 cases is reported

The Yale School of Medicine has a new digital tool for adults 60 and over to self-identify and report abuse.

Tested at the Emergency Department of Yale New Haven Hospital, St. Raphael Campus, the study found 11 cases of abuse – that’s 1.1% of a total of 1002 study participants. Also, 5.6% of the participants – 56 individuals – were identified as requiring social support services.

On this hour of Where We Live, we hear from Fuad Abujarad, PhD., the principal investigator of VOICES, the digital tool, on the scope of the initiative. Faud talks about a psycho-educational model intended to motivate patients to acknowledge that they are victims of abuse – if the tool and case workers identify abuse, and then, to encourage them to report it to their providers. Plans are underway to expand the offering to primary care centers.

We also hear from experts on how digital tools for identifying elder abuse can help ease the pressure at emergency departments, and even potentially help with the state’s case worker overload.

And, we discuss HB 5314 on preventing and addressing elder abuse, championed by the AARP, Connecticut chapter.

The National Institute on Aging from the National Institutes of Health estimates that one in 10 adults over age 60 is abused, neglected, or financially exploited.

Report elder abuse to the Connecticut Protective Services for the Elderly
Hotline 888-385-4225

ReST, an emotional support group from the AARP, offers a path to healing after the experience of being a victim of fraud. Email ctaarp@aarp.org or call 1-866-295-7279

Produced by Sujata Srinivasan, with help from Michayla Savitt 


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Sujata Srinivasan is Connecticut Public Radio’s senior health reporter. Prior to that, she was a senior producer for Where We Live, a newsroom editor, and from 2010-2014, a business reporter for the station.
Lucy leads Connecticut Public's strategies to deeply connect and build collaborations with community-focused organizations across the state.