By Brenda Jones, E-MDT Coordinator at Elder Law of Michigan
Elder abuse is a complex problem that is receiving increased societal awareness. It occurs in any setting and in relationships where there is an expectation of trust, or when a vulnerable person is targeted because of age or disability. Every community has different circumstances, strengths, challenges, and priorities when it comes to addressing elder abuse.
The Upper Peninsula Financial Abuse Specialists Enhanced Multidisciplinary Team (U.P. FAST E-MDT) is a group of professionals and specialists from various agencies, dedicated to collaboration and coordination of efforts to combat and prevent elder abuse and financial exploitation.
According to the Houston Chronicle, “A multidisciplinary team is one in which members use their individual expertise to first develop their own answers to a given problem, and then come together — bringing their individually developed ideas — to formulate a solution that best fits the complexity of the situation.”
The goal of the U.P. FAST E-MDT is to create communities that are better able to recognize, combat, and prevent elder abuse and financial exploitation, and to provide better access to services for older and vulnerable adults. We can:
- Review complex cases of elder abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation,
- Offer recommendations regarding assessments or interventions,
- Facilitate the flow of information between agencies,
- Coordinate the provision of services to older and vulnerable adults,
- Provide training/cross-training opportunities to member agencies,
- Promote community awareness, education, abuse prevention, and outreach, and
- Offer a central response point to coordinate the efforts of local agencies/organizations.
Our partners come from all types of service fields such as:
- Community and social services,
- Community volunteer programs,
- Dispute resolution programs,
- Financial institutions,
- Hospitals and the mental health,
- Social work,
- Law enforcement (state and local),
- Non-profit organizations,
- Specialists in Neuropsychology and Forensic Accounting,
- State health and welfare agencies, and
- Victims’ advocates.
We continue to connect with other organizations and expand best-practice solutions to communities in the Upper Peninsula. Watch for Part 2: What is Elder Abuse and What Can Be Done About It? to find out ways you can help individuals who are victims of elder abuse.
Brenda Jones is an Enhanced Multidisciplinary Team (E-MDT) Coordinator at Elder Law of Michigan and has been a member of the Elder Law of Michigan team since December 2019. As an E-MDT Coordinator at Elder Law of Michigan, Brenda works to develop an enhanced team of specialists and community members to address the issues of elder abuse/financial exploitation in the rural communities of Chippewa, Luce, and Mackinac counties in the Eastern Upper Peninsula of Michigan.