Speakers & Sessions: World Elder Abuse Awareness Day Conference

Event Keynote

Supported Decision Making Protecting Rights, Ensuring Choices

Supported Decision-Making: Protecting Rights, Ensuring Choices: Jonathan Martinis will discuss Supported Decision-Making, a way for older adults to increase their independence, direct their own lives, and improve their life outcomes.

Jonathan Martinis is the Senior Director for Law and Policy for The Burton Blatt Institute at Syracuse University (www.BBI.Syr.Edu) and co-Project Director of the National Resource Center for Supported Decision-Making (www.SupportedDecisionMaking.Org). Jonathan has over twenty years’ experience representing people with disabilities to protect their legal and human rights, including precedent-setting cases securing access to critical community-based services. In 2013, he represented Margaret “Jenny” Hatch in the “Justice for Jenny” case – the first to hold that a person has the right to use Supported Decision-Making to make her own life choices instead of being subjected to a permanent, plenary guardianship. In 2016, he represented Ryan King, the first person in Washington DC to have an existing guardianship terminated in favor of Supported Decision-Making. Jonathan has spoken to and trained thousands of people, families, attorneys, advocates, judges, teachers, health care workers, and other professionals across the country about everyone’s Right to Make Choices and direct their own lives.

Breakout Sessions

Anatomy of an Abuser

Everyone

A case discussion of the criminal neglect and financial exploitation of an elderly woman by her son.

Two experienced prosecutors and a criminal investigator will dissect the State v. John Vanzo case. Defendant exploited his mother’s dementia to strip her of all financial resources while simultaneously failing to care for her needs. The abuse was discovered when Defendant took victim into a bank in a wheelchair just hours before she was found deceased in their home.

Despite very compelling evidence regarding her neglect and the theft of her funds, the case was very challenging to investigate and prove. The presenters will address the challenges of proving criminal neglect within the confines of medical evidence and expert testimony, and proving the value requirement of the financial exploitation statute for care not provided and how the resources were spent on someone other than the victim.

Presenters: Tracy Allen, Investigator, Hennepin County Attorney’s Office; Susan B. Crumb, Senior Assistant Hennepin County Attorney’s Office; Amy Sweasey, Senior Assistant Hennepin County Attorney’s Office


The Aging Vulnerable Adult and Public Health Nuisances

Beginner

Carver County is seeing a remarkable increase in public health nuisances in the homes of aging vulnerable adults. Learn the difference between a public nuisance and a public health nuisance and about the investigative process Carver County takes when a public health nuisance is referred – specifically, how the county and its local partners work with aging vulnerable adults to abate the nuisance and ensure a safe, healthy environment for the home owner. Presenters will highlight complex investigations that led to successful outcomes allowing the aging vulnerable adults to remain in their homes.

Presenters: Jennifer Anderson, MA, Public Health Program Specialist, Carver County Public Health; Karen Doster, CTTS, CPP, Public Health Program Specialist, Carver County Health and Human Services; Karen Hayes, Adult Protection Social Worker, Carver County Health and Human Services


Gay and Gray: Welcoming LGBT Older Adults

Everyone

Whether you know it or not, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) older adults are your clients. Learn the unique issues facing these populations and how they affect their willingness to seek out services. This session will outline LGBT aging, describe the diversity of sexual orientations and gender identities, present findings from a recent needs assessment, and identify actions you can take to make your practice more LGBT culturally competent.

Presenter: Marsha Berry, MA, CAEd, Education Director, Training to Serve


Taking Action to Prevent Abuse in Residential Long-term Care: Part 1

Legal Requirements for Planning and Intervention

Intermediate

April Boxeth, Esq. will facilitate a panel discussion on abuse prevention in residential settings with reference to applicable law, required practices, and real life scenarios.  She and her distinguished panel will discuss how facility staff assess vulnerability to abuse, prepare abuse prevention plans and write advance care plans.  Real life scenarios will reflect the challenges and successes of the planning and implementation with the people they serve.

Presenters: April Boxeth, Attorney, Voight, Rode, & Boxeth; Dr. John Mielke, Primary Care Physician & Chief Medical Officer for Optage House Calls;Jane Danner, MA, LSW, Director of Psycho Social Support and Development for Volunteers of America; Dr. Allen Drummer, MA, LP Geriatric Services


Elder Abuse, the cultural context of the Immigrant and or Refugee Elders

Everyone

In the African Immigrant community, we do seem to have an increasing number of elder parents joining their children and grandchildren and most of them are first generation Immigrants.  Although the elderly are not usually marginalized within our communities, in a sense they are the most marginalized.

The greater sphere of service provision is catered towards main -stream elder members of the society.

In our organization, we interact with elder women who come to us, in community to support their own children who may be facing domestic violence.

Most of the issues we notice, is the high prevalence of untreated post-trauma, victimization due to past interaction with violence in their home countries. Lack of access to proper medical care, and barriers to access due to language and lack of culturally and age appropriate services.

I will share a few stories in my break out session and how this manifests as neglect in all senses to the marginalized elder women of color we serve.

Presenter: Comfort Dondo, Executive Director, Phumulani Minnesota African Women Against Violence


 

Taking Action to Prevent Abuse in Residential Long-term Care: Part 2

Vital Practices that Support and Enhance Legal Compliance

Intermediate

Iris C. Freeman, MSW, will present and discuss critical components of abuse prevention beyond those laid out in law and regulations.  After summarizing the key points of applicable abuse prevention law, she will present issues in hiring, training and support for staff.  She will illustrate the importance of open communication between staff and administration who must respond quickly when there are indications of harm to a resident or tenant, whether the suspected harm is coming from a member of the staff, a family member or another resident.

Presenter: Iris Freeman, MSW, Adjunct Professor Mitchell Hamline School of Law, Minnesota Elder Justice Center Board of Directors


FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center

Everyone

The mission of the Internet Crime Complaint Center is to provide the public with a reliable and convenient reporting mechanism to submit information to the Federal Bureau of Investigation concerning suspected Internet-facilitated criminal activity and to develop effective alliances with law enforcement and industry partners. Information is analyzed and disseminated for investigative and intelligence purposes to law enforcement and for public awareness.

Presenter: Donna Gregory, Unit Chief, IC3.gov, FBI


Working with Self-Neglecting Clients (NAPSA Core Competencies Module 10) Part I

Everyone

Working with Self-Neglecting Clients (NAPSA Core Competencies Module 10)

MN DHS Adult Protection Resource Specialists will present training developed by Project MASTER, a program of the Academy for Professional Excellence. In this interactive and thought-provoking training, participants will learn the definition of self neglect, how prevalent it is, the risk factors and indicators to watch for when assessing a case. Participants will learn how to assess self-neglect across five domains (medical, psychological, environmental, financial and social). Participants will be exposed to tools used to evaluate self neglect cases and learn about promising methods to work with self neglecting adult. Participants will learn how to develop interventions, how to document a self-neglect case and what agencies they might want to partner with to work these cases.

Presenter: Kelli Klein, Adult Protection Resource Specialist, Aging and Adult Services, Minnesota Department of Human Services


Working with Self-Neglecting Clients (NAPSA Core Competencies Module 10) Part II

Everyone

Working with Self-Neglecting Clients (NAPSA Core Competencies Module 10)

MN DHS Adult Protection Resource Specialists will present training developed by Project MASTER, a program of the Academy for Professional Excellence. In this interactive and thought-provoking training, participants will learn the definition of self neglect, how prevalent it is, the risk factors and indicators to watch for when assessing a case. Participants will learn how to assess self-neglect across five domains (medical, psychological, environmental, financial and social). Participants will be exposed to tools used to evaluate self neglect cases and learn about promising methods to work with self neglecting adult. Participants will learn how to develop interventions, how to document a self-neglect case and what agencies they might want to partner with to work these cases.

Presenter: Melissa Vongsy, Adult Protection Resource Specialist, Aging and Adult Services, Minnesota Department of Human Services


Let’s Talk about Sex: Using person-centered practices to plan for and support the long-term care resident’s sexual and intimate needs

Everyone

This presentation will discuss the unique challenges to supporting the long-term care resident’s right to intimacy and sexual expression in a regulated setting. The presentation will identify assumptions or stereotypes prevalent to our society about sex and the aging population. Using “real life” examples, OOLTC will demonstrate the utility of person-centered planning tools identify and mitigate potential risks to sexual expression while acknowledging and supporting the person’s needs/desires. Audience members will be challenged to identify perceptions and biases that may interfere or prevent the full support of a person’s sexual identify and expression. This program will discuss, specifically, challenges relating to questions of consent and capacity, as well as the role of family members.

Presenter: Natasha Merz, J.D., Deputy Ombudsman, Office of Ombudsman for Long-Term Care


Supported-Decision Making in Minnesota

Advanced

Supported Decision Making is an increasingly recognized set of strategies with applicability for older and vulnerable adults. In our keynote, we will hear from Jonathan Martinis about new developments across the country connected with Supported Decision Making. But where are we in Minnesota? Let’s check in to discuss what Supported Decision Making looks like here in MN. We’ll hear from Anita Raymond, the Program Director for Minnesota’s Center for Excellence in Supported Decision Making at VOA-MN; and others who have participated in leadership with WINGS – the Working Interdisciplinary Network of Guardianship Stakeholders. This session will be organized around guided small-group discussion with a goal of identifying tangible next steps for Minnesota.

Presenter: Anita Raymond, LISW, CMC, Volunteers of America

Elder Voice Family Advocates

Everyone

Members of Elder Voice Family Advocates, a newly formed group of families and others advocating for quality care of vulnerable adults in long term care settings, will share experiences of the injury or death of loved ones in a variety of long term care settings.  The purpose of sharing such experiences is with an eye toward prevention of maltreatment of long term care residents and clients as well as being a voice for those who are often not able to speak for themselves.  Panelists will offer specific insights and topics for broader discussion in the long term care community, based on their family experiences, that may prevent tragedy for others in similar situations and improve outcomes.

Moderator – Suzanne Scheller, Esq. of Scheller Legal Solutions LLC; Panelists – Jean Peters, Kristine Sundberg, and Pat Mielke.