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If you have a concern that a beloved senior relative, neighbor, or friend may be the victim of theft, elder abuse, or is someone who just hopes to age in place at home as they grow older, Newtown Youth & Family Services (NYFS) has a brand-new resource for you — case manager Darryl Might.
Mr Might has become the NYFS point person as the agency recently became one of the state’s newest My Place CT partners, and is serving in a similar capacity as he oversees the rollout of the agency’s Empower Together program.
In a recent chat with The Newtown Bee, Mr Might explained that My Place CT is an initiative of Connecticut’s Department of Social Services. The resource hubs and their representatives in Newtown and across the state are there to help aging individuals and their caregivers, children, and loved ones access related support and services.
“What this means is that NYFS is now able to assist individuals using a My Place CT partner portal to help make connections and determine what type of help or care is needed, help find care and support programs, help access state benefits, as well as finding appropriate housing and transportation services, just to name a few,” Mr Might said.
Based on information an individual provides to Mr Might either in a visit to his office, or by other arrangement, he can help determine whether they qualify for a range of services and supports.
“My ultimate goal is to be able to provide resources to individuals/families so they may remain living independently and to have them utilize useful resources within our community,” he said.
A pre-screening tool available on the website is not required to be completed prior to contacting Newtown Youth and Services, he explained.
“However, if they do complete the screening tool that maybe how they find services offered by NYFS in which they are seeking,” Mr Might said. “I can also help individuals with completing the screening tool if they qualify for services based on the grant NYFS received. It’s important for residents to remember that even if NYFS is not the appropriate agency to provide services, I would refer out to other agency’s in the community who may be able to help them.”
The case manager is concentrating his focus on being is a conduit for information and services for those experiencing or suspecting elder abuse. The NYFS Empower Together Elder Abuse Case Management program he oversees will provide individuals who are victims of elder abuse and/or neglect with the resources and services they need in order to lead safe, healthy, and productive lives.
Mr Might will also be ramping up outreach and promotion of community programs to help educate all residents about the signs of elder abuse and neglect so the often unheard victims can be identified and receive the care they need.
“The problem is that elder abuse generally goes unreported,” he said. “Statistically, one in ten [elderly people] are victims of some type of abuse or neglect, and one in 14 is actually recognized and/or seeks services. So we need to be sure everybody knows these services are out there, where to go, who to call, and that I am knowledgeable to work with them based on our partnership with My Place CT and our Empower Together program.”
OVS Grant Provided
NYFS recently received a grant through the state Office of Victim Services (OVS) that will underwrite counseling and case management, and provides qualified individuals with access to the Empower Together program.
“This allows me to work with them here in the office, and it also permits me to go out to meet them in a place where they are most comfortable,” Mr Might said. “The ultimate goal is to link them to appropriate services so they can maintain independence while they recover.”
He said by becoming a My Place CT partner, NYFS can also work one-on-one with qualified callers if they can benefit by accessing Empower Together resources.
“If somebody is looking for the services we provide, it should pop up when they access the My Place CT website, but I’m not sure many people are aware of the Empower Together resources we can offer as one point of service under the much broader My Place CT system,” he said.
Mr Might also stressed the fact that he is not a police agency, and anyone who feels a senior or anyone is in imminent danger, or is being abused, neglected, or is a victim of a possible theft or other illegal activity, they should first call 911 for police assistance.
“I would prefer to speak directly to the individual who may be the abuse or neglect victim, but if I get a referral from someone else — a neighbor friend or loved one — I will always contact the Adult Protective Services office to determine whether there is already a case opened on their behalf,” he said.
“Say someone calls who says they are a sister who suspects another sibling is victimizing the parent. I would either meet with them in the community somewhere or here, assuming the abuse is taking place, and work with them to determine what is happening and seek appropriate services,” he said. “That could include assisting them with state services, maybe locating a conservator. Also, if someone is eligible under the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA), they are open to case management here through NYFS, including counseling if they are eligible.”
The VOCA services are not limited to elders, Mr Might said.
“Examples of qualifying crimes include, but are not limited to physical or sexual assault, bullying, child abuse/neglect, adults abused as children, domestic violence, elder abuse/neglect, mass violence, survivors of homicide victims and teen dating violence,” he said. “The purpose of our services is to provide quality, compassionate care to individuals who have been a victim of a broad range of crimes, to work to restore hope and a sense of security often lost after experiencing a crime.”
According to the state’s My Place CT website, many programs for older adults are designed for people aged 65 and over; however, many programs also cover people below 65.
My Place CT is designed to help residents learn about:
*The broad range of health care, services, and support options to help them remain at home or transition from an institutional setting to the home, as well as respite care, even palliative or end of life services.
*Housing options with access to services and supports that make it easier to live independently at home including Elder Cottage Housing Opportunity (ECHO) installations.
*Options in your community that give you a greater sense of security, including home check-ins and help in a medical emergency, including personal emergency response systems (PERS).
*Home meal delivery, grocery shopping help, and how to participate in community meals at a variety of locations across Connecticut.
*Staying connected to your community through social activities, recreational opportunities, and community outreach that promotes your health and well-being.
*Achieve greater independence with assistive technology (AT) — devices or equipment that help users maintain, increase, or improve functionality.
Locally through Mr Might’s navigation assistance at NYFS, residents can also find out more about benefits and programs that help pay for prescription drugs; dependable, accessible, and affordable transportation options in the community; programs designed for veterans that provide advocacy, financial assistance, and benefits supports; preparing for future health care situations before significant medical or personal care needs are critical; and accessing programs or services to help informal caregivers cope with the physical and emotional demands of caring for a loved one at home.
Similar supports and even more resources for individuals with disabilities are available through the program and its navigators. The website also offers additional resources to learn more about home care, services, Medicaid and much more — from paying for long-term care to planning for the future.
Visitors to myplacect.org are encouraged to create their own informational tool kit that can be used like an online shopping cart.
As visitors browse myplacect.org, they can upload articles of interest to a “shopping cart.” Once all the information you want is added to the cart, users only need to jot down a reference code so they can return, put in the code, and easily access saved items in their tool kit.
Get started at myplacect.org, or reach Mr Might at Newtown Youth & Family Services by visiting the office at 15 Berkshire Road, by calling 203-270-4335, extension 307, or by visiting newtownyouthandfamilyservices.org
And if you or someone you know is experiencing elder abuse, or for more information, contact Mr Might by phone or e-mail at email@example.com