Elder abuse prevention shelter launching in Warren County

MASON, OH (FOX19) - A local retirement center is launching the first elder abuse prevention shelter in Ohio and one of the first in the nation.

Cedar Village Retirement Community announced the creation of the Shalom Center for Elder Abuse Prevention during an announcement Monday morning.

"As a faith-based organization, our commitment to the community and to our elders reaches far beyond our walls," said Carol Silver Elliott, Cedar Village's CEO and President. "This is our obligation and part of our social and community responsibility."

Until now, police, social service agencies, hospitals and other organizations in Southwest Ohio have not had appropriate places to refer victims of elderly abuse. The Shalom Center for Elder Abuse Prevention will serve as a safe harbor.

The Shalom Center will care for abused seniors, aged 65 and over, from Hamilton, Warren, Butler and Clermont counties. Services will include medical, nursing and therapy services if needed; meals; legal services; social work; pastoral care; and social, recreational and educational programming.

Appropriate individuals will be accepted for admission for an emergency stay of 90 to 120 days. Upon admission, the care team will begin working to plan for a safe discharge to the least restrictive alternative. Abuse victims will be cared for in Cedar Village's nursing home facility, which has 162 beds.

Effective January 1, 2012, arrangements can be made for the Shalom Center to care for a victim by calling 888-295-7453.

Cedar Village also will help to teach the community about detecting and preventing elder abuse.

"We will be working with community agencies, law enforcement, hospitals and more to build the collaborative network we will need to educate our community, gain and manage referrals and make this program effective," Elliott said.

Elder abuse is defined as intentional or neglectful acts by a caregiver or "trusted" individual that led to, or may lead to, harm of an elder. Abuse includes physical abuse; neglect; emotional or psychological abuse; verbal abuse and threats; financial abuse and exploitation; sexual abuse; and abandonment. All elders, regardless of race, culture or socio-economic group, are at risk.

Seniors will also have access to therapy, medical services and pastoral care and recreational activities.
"I'm really pleased that we have a new facility in the area," said Steve Schnabl of Partners in Prime in Butler County
Schnabl hopes the new facility will help decrease the rising number of elder abuse cases, whether it be financial or physical abuse and neglect.
"There can be neglectful situations as a older person is no longer able to take care of his or herself," Schnabl  said.

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