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Program Background

In October 2018,  Maine Adult Protective Services  was awarded a three year intervention research grant from Administration for Community Living to work in partnership with the Elder Abuse Institute of Maine and a team of national researchers to launch a comprehensive service delivery model that provided client-directed victim services to APS clients in Cumberland and York Counties.  

 

Over the past three years, this project developed an evidence-based practice to intervene with individuals experiencing elder mistreatment and addressed gaps in services for older victims.  It represents one of the largest pieces of APS intervention research to date.  Outcomes are still being analyzed and we look forward to sharing those results once they are available. 

 

Due to the success of this initial research program, APS provided funding to expand the  program - Elder Service Connections - to provide Advocates for every county in the state. EAIME added four additional Advocates to our original team of 4.  They began their work in July, 2021. We are pleased to welcome our new Advocates, and are excited to expand this model across the State, providing more support to elder victims of abuse.  

To learn more about this program, contact Program Supervisor, Megan Nizza.

 

Please welcome our new Advocate team!

 

Andrea Blunt

Andrea’s twenty-year consulting and coaching practice focused on human potential and liberation. As an advocate, she brings a passion for client-centered service to her work with older adults. She looks forward to using liberatory thinking and actions to serve her clients and to challenge ageism. She is excited by the Elder Service Connections research project and the potential it has to drive policy change at the systems level. Andrea has a graduate degree in Liberation Theology and is a Certified Functional Medicine Health Coach.  

 

Lacey Donle

Lacey has been working in the social services field for about the past 15 years after graduating with her Bachelor's in Therapeutic Recreation from University of Southern Maine. Most of her experience has been working with youth, specifically young adults and families experiencing homelessness, housing instability, trauma and poverty. Most recently she was working at SeniorsPlus as a Care Coordinator, assisting elderly and disabled individuals with accessing care at home so they could remain at home or with family as long as possible. She completed training to become a CARES Certified Dementia Specialist in spring of 2021. She’s looking forward to continuing her work with older adults at EAIME, with the ability to work at home and support her children through this school year which is sure to come with some ups and downs as we still navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. She loves the focus on small caseloads, client centered work and the ability to build relationships with clients and APS workers to help fill a gap in current service delivery. 

 

Polly Madson-Cox

Polly has been dedicated to the field of social work for 25+ years - completing a Bachelor's degree in Social Work at the University of Maine and a Master's degree in Social Work from Washington University in St Louis, where she specialized in gerontology.  She is excited to be part of a new and expanding program at EAIME.  As an Advocate, she feels it would be rewarding to connect with Maine's older adults and build relationships with communities and agencies that support them! 

 

Kathryn Harnish

Kathryn joins EAIME from a long career in the software industry -- a change precipitated by her personal experience in caregiving for her own older parents.  She is currently pursuing her Master of Social Work degree at the University of New England with a focus on aging and policy practice and hopes to continue her studies in gerontological social work following her completion of the program in mid-2022.  Kathryn is also active in her local Age-Friendly community initiative, a project in which she's working with older adults to make her town more livable for people of all ages.  Kathryn was drawn to the advocate role at EAIME after seeing firsthand the fragmentation in social services for older adults and knowing that there are better ways to ensure the well-being of this population and the viability of their caregiving systems.  She also values the organization's deep and active commitment to anti-ageism, something about which she's written about for various Maine publications, including the Maine Beacon.

Photo credit: Lauren Remington