Latest news from the Council on Elder Abuse

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. 

January 07, 2020Read Story January 2020 Meeting Minutes

      Meeting Notes: January 7, 2020

 January 1, 2020 6:00pm-8:30pm-Network in Aging “Night of Snowflakes and Diamonds” at Tonawanda Castle.
 ECCAFV next meeting is January 10th, 2020- will be discussing DV deaths in Erie County; bail and discovery law changes.
 Feed More Position Announcement-Intake Social Worker
 Webinars:
 Elder Abuse Initiative- Mapping the Elder Justice Network Using Statutes to Prosecute Elder Abuse.
 International Institute- Foreign Policy
 Speakers:
 February-Deaf Access Services, David Wantuk
 March- SANE, Holly Franz.
Presentation:  Supervising Attorney of the Consumer and Housing Legal Units at the Center for Elder Law and Justice, Kevin Quinn
Consumer and Housing Units Qualifications: 60 years old and over, within 200% of poverty level
Question: What is 200% above the poverty level?
Answer: about $2,000/month
Consumer and Housing Units Provide:
- One on one advocacy
- Community education on trends, upcoming issues

Consumer Unit:
Educational- Present on scams and prevention. Such as grandparent, sweetheart, lottery, and IRS scams. Also ‘sucker lists’ and revictimization.
Debtor Representation- collections agencies going after clients, who are being sued for nonpayment.
- Creditor can garnish wages, put lien on home.
Question: What if it’s a legitimate debt that was accrued?
Answer: consumer unit will work on resolution, payment plan, etc. Social Security cannot be garnished, credit will be affected.
• The main goal is to lessen the blow of the debt.
• Medical Unit- handles medical/hospital bills.
Question: What is the defense to creditor action?
Answer: Primary creditor will sell to third party, therefore primary creditor cannot demonstrate that they own the debt. Court has no ability to issue a money judgement. Or primary creditor cannot demonstrate amount that is owed.
- How someone is served- starts conversation about payment.
- Issues with contractors: for example when customers pay money up front for home repairs, then work is not completed.
- Better Business Bureau can be used to log complaints.
60+, 200% of poverty level
- Provide education on tenant rights, trends, and specific topics.
Foreclosure Representation- negotiate payment plan with city or county. Once paid, home is removed from foreclosure list.
Housing Violations- senior lacking funds to make repairs to home. If cited for a violation, client will have to appear in court. Hoarding is a big issue. Client will be linked with resources and services that make repairs.
- Structural/cosmetic issue: will link with no interest loans to make repairs.
Landlord- removing tenant if being victimized by tenant.
Tenant-evictions- work out repayment plans; relocation (agreement with more time).
- 14 days to move if evicted. Need a written notice.
Question: Is it ever alright for tenant to withhold rent if landlord not keeping up property?
Answer: Yes- hold rent in escrow account, show court money was set aside for valid reasons, nonpayment was not due to not having the funds.  Tenant can still be evicted for nonpayment, will have to pay rent owed. Changes to evictions in June 2019, expanded rights of tenants.
“illegal evictions”- landlord changes locks, shuts off utilities, etc. These cases need to go to court ASAP to request an order to allow tenant back in and punitive penalties for landlord.
Month to Month tenant- based on how long tenant resided there (30-60-90 days).
Eviction vs. Ejection
Eviction- designed for landlord/tenant.
Ejection- Family or Supreme Court- used for family member/occupant/ non tenant + reason. Longer process, takes a couple months.
Question: What is the process for senior housing evictions? Nursing homes?
- Notices, lots of documentation, quite a process.
- Not able to evict if needs nursing home level of care.
Hoarding: eviction, citations, courts want a “quick fix”.
- Need a letter of reference for senior housing.
- Project Hope: MH diagnosis
- Clean up order: more for outside, client billed for time.
-  Shannon Schwicker: OCD counseling
- Homecare: can refuse if environmental concerns for safety.
- APS: condemnation orders, removal, code inspection, health dept., etc.

Recap from Last Meeting: Jessica Weaver from the US Census still looking for partners/agencies.
Next Meeting: Tuesday, February 4, 2020 at 9:00am

December 03, 2019Read Story December Meeting

On Tuesday, December 3, 2019 at 9:00am. 

November 06, 2019Read Story November Meeting- Wednesday, November 6 at 9:00am

November Meeting will be on WEDNESDAY, November 6, 2019. 

October 01, 2019Read Story Next Meeting

The Next Meeting will be held Tuesday, October 1 at 9:00am.  



September 12, 2017Read Story Erie County Anti-Stigma Coalition

"If you’re dealing with a mental health challenge, you are not alone. Approximately 1 in 5 Western New Yorkers are living with a mental health diagnosis, yet many of these people suffer in silence because of the discrimination that goes along with it. So, we’re starting a conversation to end the stigma surrounding mental illness. Join us as we share our stories, our struggles and our successes. When we talk about mental health, we help everyone find their voice."



September 11, 2017Read Story Suicide Prevention Week

The week of September 10-16th is Suicide Prevention Week. There are many events going on in the community to raise awareness and gvie resources. 



September 08, 2017Read Story September Meeting Minutes

We started off September with a very informational meeting about the Cime Victims Assistance Program through the Matt Urban Center.

August 03, 2017Read Story August Meeting Minutes

We had a very informational meeting on Tuesday thanks to Holly Franz, Coordinator for the Crisis Services Sexual Assault Forensic Nurse Examiner Program! 

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