Fourth Annual WEAAD Event

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The 4th Annual Franklin County World Elder Abuse Awareness invitational event was held at the Central Ohio Area Agency on Aging (COAAA) on Friday, June 17, 2016.  The event is geared around World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) which was launched on June 15, 2006 by the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse and the World Health Organization at the United Nations.  Each year, COAAA acknowledges the day by holding this event which brings local law enforcement, social service professionals, victim advocates and other Franklin County professionals who work with the elderly to raise awareness of elder abuse and to collaborate on how to address and deal with issues of physical abuse, neglect and exploitation of older adults.

Honorable Patricia BanksThe Honorable Patricia Banks, presiding judge over the Cook County (Chicago) Elder Law and Miscellaneous Remedies Division, started the event as the first speaker.  Judge Banks has one of the very few Elder Courts in the country.  She explained the vision of an Elder Court, how it became to be and the stakeholders who work together to make the court a reality.  Judge Banks also focused on the education and community outreach that the Cook County Elder Court provides to the senior population and the role of the different divisions within the court. 

The Honorable Judge Dan Hawkins of the Franklin County Environmental Court presented the topic of hoarding among Central Ohio older adults and the steps the court takes in helping seniors remedy their hoarding situation.  This is a pilot program within the Franklin County courts and is being looked at as a model for other courts in the nation. 

Jack Kullman, director of the Guardianship Service Board talked about the year in review for his organization which is appointed as the guardian of a person for adult residents in Franklin County with a substantial mental impairment or developmental disability who have been declared incompetent by the Franklin County Probate Court.  This program is the first of its kind in Ohio and also is a pilot for guardian of last resort for Franklin County.  

Beth Lutz and Arin Wade of Southeast, Inc. talked about their organization’s hoarding treatment pilot program and presented a case review regarding a senior safety concern due to hoarding.  Judge Patricia Banks provided her assessment on how her court would have handled the case.  

Kelly Patton, Chair of the Interdisciplinary Team (Case Review Committee), was the last speaker, discussing the role of the committee and how to refer a case. She provided information on the work of the Case Review Committee.  The Case Review Committee discusses cases of older adults who are “at risk” or have been victims of abuse, neglect or exploitation, and provides suggestions for possible solutions on the difficult issues brought to them by the referring professional.
The 5th annual event will be held next June.



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