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New Montefiore Program Targets Elder Abuse and Neglect
Date:4/10/2008

Victims Evaluated; Physicians Trained to Identify Abuse

NEW YORK, April 10 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Montefiore Medical Center has launched a clinical, educational and research initiative to tackle the growing problem of elder abuse and neglect with the support of a one-year, $150,000 grant from the Caring Commission of UJA-Federation of New York, with the potential for an additional $300,000 over the next two years.

"There are about 140,000 elderly in the Bronx and many of them are vulnerable to elder abuse and neglect due to social isolation, cognitive impairment and/or physical frailty," says Laurie Jacobs, MD, chief of Geriatric Medicine at Montefiore. "Our goals are to provide better care for the victims of abuse, to train our physicians and care givers to identify abuse and to track the frequency and types of elder abuse for policy purposes."

Geriatric Consultation Team

The grant-supported initiative was recently launched when Montefiore established a special consultative team to help physicians and other clinicians evaluate suspected older adult victims of abuse and to help link them to community-based services for social and legal assistance. The team, under the direction of Karin Ouchida, MD, a geriatrician, has been called in on a referral basis for over a dozen cases at Montefiore's inpatient and outpatient facilities, and for patients in the community.

"Victims of elder abuse and neglect are often isolated, and physicians are among the only people they may trust or confide in," says Dr. Ouchida. "Most physicians have not been trained to identify elder abuse and neglect, and need to acquire the skills to elicit relevant information not only about their patients' physical condition, but also about attendant quality of life issues."

Training Physicians to Recognize Abuse

To address this educational gap among physicians, the initiative trained Montefiore's geriatric and geriatric psychiatry a
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SOURCE Montefiore Medical Center
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