Prevention of Elder Abuse provides services in the following areas:
Representative Payee helps seniors and developmentally disabled adults, who are unable to manage their own finances and protects them from fraud, predatory lenders and exploitation.
Social workers provide case management to those who have no other support system and work closely with Adult Protective Services to provide ongoing oversight of clients.
Prevention of Elder Abuse social workers work closely with Adult Protective Services when investigating a referral of abuse or neglect. Once an allegation of abuse or neglect is received, a social worker will make an in-home assessment that helps determine if there is a need for a more thorough evaluation or if Adult Protective Sevices need to be involved. Once the needs are determined, the social worker will take the appropriate steps to get the client the help they need to live free from fear of abuse, neglect or exploitation.
Case Study of PEA Services in Action
Nancy is a 63 year old single woman who lives in Billings. She has two adult sons. Her only income comes from her Supplemental Security Income check. A busy street close to the train tracks is her view from the only window in her small studio apartment where she has lived for the last three years. She cannot afford cable television. Nancy is isolated, at risk for eviction, lacking adequate food and necessities, and has not seen a doctor for some time. She has gone without her medications as well due to inability to afford the co-pays. She is unable to meet her basic needs as a result of exploitation on the part of her two adult sons. She is badgered and intimidated by her sons until she gives them her money and food. They abuse Nancy’s medications as well.
Big Sky Senior Service’s representative payee program, Prevention of Elder
Abuse, began handling Nancy’s finances in late 2008. Nancy currently lives in a
subsidized housing complex with other individuals her age. She eats in the building’s dining hall on a regular basis and has made several friends whom she visits with often. She receives home care services on a weekly basis which include grocery shopping. Prevention of Elder Abuse pays Nancy’s bills each month and provides her with weekly spending money for her grocery and personal needs. Recently, with extra money in her account, Nancy was able to purchase a new bed that she needed. One of Nancy’s hobbies is watching television. Her budget now allows for cable. Nancy states, “I’m finally doing
better and I’m just thankful to all these people for helping me out.”In addition to her improved lifestyle, Nancy would tell you that she is most grateful for her companion cat named Candy. Since Prevention of Elder Abuse took responsibility for Nancy’s finances her money was budgeted to allow enough for the apartment’s pet deposit.
Nancy volunteers a few hours a week in the apartment store and is able to go shopping with friends regularly. She recalls her life a few years ago and is happy and grateful for the support and assistance she now receives.