Latest news from the Council on Elder Abuse

March 02, 2021Read Story March 2021 Meeting: March 2, 2021

*March 2021 Meeting: Tuesday, March 2, 2021 at 9:00am via Zoom. 

February 03, 2021Read Story February 2021 Meeting Notes

Meeting Notes: February, 2021

 Medicare Durable Equipment Scam- durable medical equipment, such as braces, being sent to homes. Box includes paperwork to complete and return that accepts financial responsibility for the item. Call Beth Nelson directly 1-518-275-8812.
 Scams- DA is seeing caregivers stealing from clients. Local people, in local agencies. Further discussion on this next meeting to prepare for this prevalence.
 HEAP Information- Miguel Santos- Call 1-800-342-3009. Local numbers available by county.

Presentation: Alzheimer’s Association- Chelsea O’Hara

- 24/7 Helpline for support, info, resources. 1-800-272-3900.
- There has been an increase in calls to the Helpline seemingly due to an increase in caregiving. Second daughter’s support group was added because of the increase in adult children caring for parents.
- Care consultations are free, one on one meeting with dementia expert. *Currently virtual or by phone.  Call (716) 626-0600 ext. 313 to schedule a care consultation.
- Outreach and education programs are also virtual. There has been an increase in attendance. Computer and phone access available. Programs at
- COVID & Caregiving Program on February 18, 2021. Will discuss ways to identify when loved one is not feeling well based on non-verbal cues.
- Support Groups: Available by zoom or call in.
- A benefit to the virtual meetings for caregivers has been that there is no need to locate someone to care for the loved one while caregiver attends and travels to/from a meeting.
o Recently Added Support Groups: Caring for Someone in a Facility- decision to place, visitation restrictions, support. Added a second daughter’s group.
o Register online- will then receive an email with the meeting information.
o Can also call Helpline to register and for tech assistance. Tech volunteers are available to provide instructions or practice accessing virtual meetings and groups.
- Other Services: (local WNY chapter)
o Safety Services- wandering, driving- partnership with ECMC driving program, and scholarships for wander alert bracelet. Bracelet allows first responders or civilians who locate individual to call a 1-800 number which has a database with the person’s information. 
o Alzheimer’s Association will do a follow up consultation post driving program for results and to provide further support.
o Partner with Senior Services for respite care. (Other counties, not Erie, would go through OFA).
o Trainings/Resources:
- First Responder Trainings, “Approaching Alzheimer’s”- March 4th at 9:00am and March 23rd at 6:00pm. Email:
- Legal and Financial Program- at the end of February
- Interactive Training on Website for First Responders-
- Any Referrals for Folks Who Lost Someone?
Answer: refer to Hospice, or grief counselors. Care consultation would continue and Helpline is available as well for support. There have been attempts in the past to have a Grief Group but participation lessened.
- How to Prepare Early Stage Person to Accept Support/Change in Living Arrangements? Especially feelings of frustration, awareness of memory loss, desire to not be a burden.
Answer: Can address in care consultations and on Helpline. Make person feel useful, ask for help around the household by stating you need a ‘volunteer’ to help out at home or day program. Give them a part/role in new situation. Phrasing to entice person to access/utilize services.

Presentation: Long Term Care (LTC) Resources- Liam McMahon, Center for Elder Law and Justice
- Guides available on CELJ website: Resident’s Rights (self-advocate + enact rights) and Long Term Care (options, information)
- Survey of consumers, OFA, hospital staff, Ombudsmen that identified gaps or troubles in navigating LTC, led to Resident’s Rights Advocacy Initiative.
- Have added updates on COVID regulations/changes.
- To request a physical version of the guides to distribute at your agency, contact Liam by phone at (716) 853-3087 ext 257. Or email:
Links to Guides: Resident’s Rights 1a-SNF-Magazine.pdf (
   Long Term Care: 1a-Hospital-Magazine.pdf (

Question: Suggestions on what to do about a call regarding a temporary resident at a facility who reports not being showered for 5 days (per DOH according to the facility) and facility had resident sign a DNR/DNI MOLST without resident really understanding that document or consulting family. Also has bed sores which were not present upon arrival at facility.

Answer: Able to make a formal complaint. Contact Ombudsmen. Have family or resident call Liam for assistance with complaint process.

Hoarding Committee Update: Rhonda DiPronio, Center for Elder Law and Justice
- Committee continues to meet the first Tuesday of the month, immediately following the regular Council on Elder Abuse meeting. All are welcome and encouraged to bring colleagues, cases, or resources to the committee.
- Committee identified biggest challenge of hoarding cases to be the lack of a one stop agency to address the multipe issues. Instead hoarding cases must involve many different systems and individuals to address the many needs.
- Updated resources chart available on the CEA website under the Hoarding subsection.
- Any questions or resource requests please contact Rhonda DiPronio by phone at (716) 853-3087 ext. 203 or by email at:

Next Meeting: Tuesday, March 2, 2021 at 9:00am via Zoom


February 02, 2021Read Story February 2021 Meeting: February 2, 2021

Next Meeting is Tuesday, February 2, 2021 at 9:00am. 

Location: Zoom (virtual)

January 05, 2021Read Story January 2021 Meeting

Next Meeting:


Date: Tuesday, January 5, 2021 at 9:00am

Location: Zoom

January 05, 2021Read Story January 2021 Meeting Notes

Meeting Notes: January 5, 2021


  •  No new trainings posted.
  •  OVS website and Lifespan have webinars.
  •  CELJ Blog- updated information on various topics

Center for Elder Law and Justice Helpline:
Eligbility: 55+
Hours: Monday through Friday 9:00am-11:00am
Phone: 1-844-481-0973

Senior Financial Safety Tool Phone Assessment:
Hours: Tuesday 12:00pm-2:00pm
Phone: 1-833-6461401

  •  NYS Order of Protection Alert
  • Alzheimer’s Bill:

Agency Updates:
-Beth Nelson: no face to face visits, volunteers are zooming or calling people.

- Meals on Wheels/Feed more WNY: no home visits, no restrictions on applications.

- JFS Older Adult Virtual Support Group: contact Shannon McGrath (716) 883-1914 ext. 323 or email
- Project Hope: Amanda Mallwitz- doing face to face visits with completion of a COVID screen. Nurse is set to begin doing visits in March/April for home visit to provide nursing services.

Presentation:  Family Justice Center- Ava & Kristen
-Crisis management/navigation primarily includes safety planning to stay in home/relationship with abuser. Also safety plan with friends and family.
-On average, it takes a survivor of domestic violence 7 to 8 attempts to leave the abusive relationship.
- Partnership with Neighborhood Legal Services and UB Women’s Law Clinic for OOPs.
-OOP Alert Website will list the status of the order, any attempts to serve, other updates.
- Vinelink website: if perpetrator is in prison, once signed up for alerts, will notify of any movement within the prison system or discharge from that system.
- Accessibility/Language Needs: utilize language line or other outside agencies
- Forensic Medical Unit Nurse: provides injury documentation
- Assist with shelter/hotel placement if survivor needs to leave or is homeless due to domestic violence. Also Address Confidentiality Program will provide survivor with a private address/PO box which is then forwarded to an anonymous address.
- OVS applications: medical and mental health services are covered for life if application is accepted. Emergency funds can be requested for moving expenses, personal property loss/damage, etc.
- Food services
- LGBTQi+ clients/services: communication with police to identify relationship.
- Able to file charges for clients (Buffalo City area)/Advocacy with other law enforcement or courts.
- Eviction assistance due to domestic violence.
- Complete danger assessment
- Direct Referral Link for any community agency. Client will link with an advocate the same day a call is received.
- Hope to add a Healing piece to the program as well which may include support groups, wellness classes, etc.
- Locations: all sites are currently closed and all are remote. Locations in Buffalo, Orchard Park, Amherst, and Grand Island.
- Community Partners include: CELJ, BPD (officer and report technician), International Institute, NLS, UB Law, medical providers (for strangulation assessment), and assigned counsel.
- Referrals typically made to Catholic Charities, Hispanics United of Buffalo, Community Services for Every1, and Be Safe Program.

FJS Contact Information & Resources:Contact Information: 
Email: or
FJC Safeline Number: 716-558-7233 or can utilize our chat box on website Additional resources and tips on how to safely and effectively have the conversation with someone you think may be in an unsafe relationship

Next Meeting: Tuesday, February 2, 2020 at 9:00am via Zoom

June 03, 2020Read Story Free Helpline - Open to all!

LEGAL ADVICE HELPLINE – any age – any income level

1-(844) 481-0973 /

Live Hours 9-11am, leave a message at any time. Call backs within 1 business day.


Also check out  the Center for Elder Law and Justice's readditional COVID 19 resources at:

May 05, 2020Read Story May 2020 Meeting

On Tuesday, May 5, 2020 at 9:00am. 

April 07, 2020Read Story April 2020 Meeting

On Tuesday, April 7, 2020 at 9:00am. 

March 03, 2020Read Story March 2020 Meeting

On Tuesday, March 3, 2020 at 9:00am. 

February 04, 2020Read Story February Meeting

On Tuesday, February 4, 2020 at 9:00am. 

February 04, 2020Read Story February 2020 Meeting Notes

      Meeting Notes: February 4, 2020

 ECCAFV next meeting is February 14, 2020.
 Feed More Position Announcement-Intake Social Worker
 Caregivers HC seeking recruiter for retention.
 March 19- Network in Aging Event “Luck o the Irish”
 February 8- Alzheimer’s Association Valentine’s Event
 Webinars:  2/12: Elder Mistreatment & Opiod Epidemic
 April 3, 2020 FREE Cyber Safety and the Law Training- 2 sessions
 EMDT Referrals- any provider can refer cases with abuse with a financial exploitation component.
 Social Security scams flyer- on website.
 March 28- Roxanne Sorensen’s daughter’s benefit from 1:00pm-6:00pm
 OPWDD Meeting: there is a shortage of homecare, and problems with care. Children with autism and behaviors are aging out of the child system but not prepared to be in the adult (OPWDD) system. It takes about 90 days to enter OPWDD system. Where do they fit best?
 Next Month Speaker: SANE Program- Holly Franz.
Presentation:  Deaf Access Services- David Wantuk and Andrea Russell
• Interpreter: Tracy
• 95% of deaf children born to hearing families.
• DAS is merging with People, Inc.
• Services: VRI; CART (Communication at Real Time Translation) services- used for meetings and conference calls; employment; advocacy; community engagement; navigation; ASL community classes.
Deafness: The Spectrum
- Individual identity/self-identity vs. medical identity
- Deaf vs. hard of hearing
- Late deafness to born deaf
- Four Levels of Hearing Loss: mild, moderate, severe, or profound.
- The Spectrum is not equal to hearing loss.
Noise Levels:
Whisper      Typical Conversation       Motorcycle  Max Volume     Jet Aircraft

- Having hearing loss=deaf
- Ability to talk= not deaf
- Ability to lip read= not deaf (30 % of deaf population can lip read)
- Wearing hearing aids or cochlear implant= cures deafness.
Empathy- patience for deaf experience. “Don’t assume who we are and limit us”.
Audism- set of beliefs that include: hearing people are superior to deaf people; discrimination; exclusion, etc.
*Big issue= inclusion
1. Not taking the time to communicate.
2. Assuming deaf people can’t do things.
3. Thinking deafness is a tragedy.
4. Patronizing behavior.
5. Employment discrimination.
- 72% of deaf community are on social security.
- Have a higher cost of living because of need for adaptive devices such as a fire alarm with lights (about $160).
- Education: mainstream vs. specialty school (lip reading vs. ASL)
Closed caption movies vs. Open Caption movies comparison
Capital “D” (or Big D deaf) vs lower case “d” (audio logical condition) = cultural identity
Communication Link
- Common theme
- “bridge the gap”
- Expectations of the minority
- Accommodations for communication access
- Meet halfway and ask “what do you need?”
- ADA- Americans with Disabilities Act Loopholes: more than 15 people to provide reasonable accommodations (interpreter). Church not required to provide interpreter (funerals, weddings, etc also excluded).
Interpreter vs. Deaf Interpreter
Interpreter signs what is being said in sign language.
Deaf interpreter gestures to client who doesn’t know/use sign language.
Question: Is there special training for medical/legal interpreters?
Answer: Yes, special certifications. NTID. No NYS requirement for certified interpreters.

There are about 5,000 deaf people in WNY, 120 interpreters contracted at DAS.

Question: What about other languages who don’t use ASL?
Answer: Yes. Will teach them ASL or use deaf interpreter with visual descriptions.

Question: Were more born deaf or experienced hearing loss due to disease?
Answer: In the 60s/70s, German measles while pregnant caused babies to be born deaf.
- Reduced disease factors.
- Weinburger syndrome is a recessive gene that skips a generation.
Question: Any suggestions for working with hard of hearing clients who tend to be more difficult than fully deaf clients?
- Apps that convert speech to text for client to read.
- Few prefer pen and paper
*Ask about a person’s ‘preferred interpreters’.

 Update on Family Offense Petition.

Next Meeting: Tuesday, March 3 , 2020 at 9:00am

January 07, 2020Read Story January Meeting

On Tuesday, January 7, 2020 at 9:00am. 

If you Suspect Abuse, TAKE ACTION!

More than 1,500 cases of elder abuse are reported each year in Erie County. Many more cases are never reported.

If you suspect abuse and would like legal assistance, please contact:

Center for Elder Law & Justice:


For immediate assistance 24 hours a day, please contact:

Crisis Services Hotline at:


If you suspect someone is being abused, please contact:

Erie County Protective Services for Adults: 


For general information on programs or referrals, please contact:

Erie County Department of Senior Services / NY Connects: 


            In an emergency, call 911

For Elder Shelter screening tool, please visit the Elder Shelter Page located under the "Elder Shelter" tab at the top of your screen