November 27, 2013
This Thanksgiving, Citymeals-on-Wheels expects to serve more than 20,000 hot meals to older New Yorkers – the perfect opportunity for trained volunteers to spot and report elder abuse. Since 2011, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, in partnership with Citymeals-on-Wheels and the Weinberg Center for Elder Abuse Prevention at the Hebrew Home at Riverdale, has conducted elder abuse trainings in all five boroughs for hundreds of Citymeals-on-Wheels volunteers. The Manhattan DA’s Elder Abuse Unit trained volunteers to spot evidence of physical abuse, neglect and exploitation of senior victims in their own homes. As part of this continuing partnership, a specially designed placemat is delivered with every meal delivered to a Citymeals-on-Wheels recipient:
Placemat designed by the Manhattan DA’s Elder Abuse Unit
“While most New Yorkers are enjoying Thanksgiving with their families, thousands of home-bound older adults will receive hot meals from Citymeals-on-Wheels volunteers,” said District Attorney Vance. “It is vital that we are doing everything we can to protect older New Yorkers. Thanks to our partnership, many of those volunteers are trained to look out for signs of elder abuse. If you or a loved one has been the victim of elder abuse, please call my Office’s Elder Abuse hotline at (212) 335-9007.”
The Manhattan District Attorney’s Elder Abuse Unit includes 20 specially-trained Assistant District Attorneys assigned to handle elder abuse cases, in addition to their regular work load. The Elder Abuse Unit investigates and prosecutes approximately 700 elder abuse cases annually, including the investigation and prosecution of physical abuse, domestic violence, financial exploitation and neglect perpetrated against older adults.
Many victims of elder abuse are vulnerable due to dementia, such as Alzheimer’s disease. Working closely with the New York Police Department, other city agencies, and non-profits like Citymeals-on-Wheels, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office regularly seeks ways to improve older crime victims’ quality of life while providing guidance and assistance as they navigate their way through the criminal justice system.