SC Safe Seniors honors World Elder Abuse Awareness Day 2021
This past June 15th, we participated in the global observance of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD). Despite looking a little different this year than it has for the past 5 years of honoring WEAAD as a program, we had one of the most successful awareness campaigns yet. We announced our new name, SC Safe Seniors, and are harnessing the momentum built from the community’s support of our behavioral health services, identification and referral trainings, and community outreach efforts as we move forward with this rebrand.
This month was one of incredible progress for South Carolina through several local and statewide events. On June 10th, SC Safe Seniors hosted its first ever Virtual Resource Fair, where we heard from 15 different organizations that support older adults aging gracefully, peacefully, and respectfully in our community. If you didn’t have the chance to tune in live, a recorded version can be found on our Facebook page here: www.facebook.com/scsafeseniors . Organizations like Trident Area Agency on Aging (TAAA), SC Vulnerable Adult Guardian Ad Litem Program (VAGAL), MUSC Advocacy Program (MAP), Palmetto Project, SC Assistive Technology Program, Tricounty SPEAKS, Charleston County Sheriff’s Office, Charleston County Probate Court, My Sister’s House and many more gave us overviews of their resources.
SC Safe Seniors is directed by Dr. Tatiana Davidson, who set the tone for the resource fair with the following remarks: “We are gathering today to learn from each other, learn what services and programs are available and who the key players are, so that in each of our individual practices and agencies we can begin to connect victims to the resources they need. A wrap around care approach is truly necessary if we are going to effectively address their unique needs.”
Another highly attended event we had the honor of taking part in was hosted by the SC Department on Aging and SC Victim Assistance Network entitled “A Virtual Multi-Disciplinary Response to Elder Abuse”. Our Mental Health Services Program Manager, Theresa Skojec, LPC reflected on the event: “We have had so many exciting opportunities this year, including taking part in the first annual multidisciplinary statewide event to honor World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. This event included Kelly Cordell, Director of Adults Advocacy for DSS, Dale Watson, State Long Term Care Ombudsman, and Tricia Phaup, Program Director of Training & Prevention, SCCADVASA, as well as the nation’s only Elder and Vulnerable Adult Abuse Forensic Nurse Examiner, Julie Watson, RN, from right here at MUSC. I am extremely proud to have joined these passionate women to discuss the importance of utilizing trauma informed care with our elder victims and patients.” Here is more information about this panel and the speakers.
We are encouraged to continue to make progress in training professionals on how to identify and refer elder mistreatment, directly assist older adults in need of behavioral health support through in-person and telehealth visits, and look forward to working together with each of you to build a strong support system for our elders across SC and beyond!
If you are interested in hearing more about our program or would like to connect, please email us at ElderAbuseHelp@musc.edu.