To request elder abuse services or information, call (631) 360-3606 to speak with a VIBS 24-Hour Hotline Counselor.
If an adult you know has been abused, you may wish to call 911 and/or Adult Protective Services (APS) at (631) 854-3195.
The abuse of older adults is a problem that faces communities all over and does not discriminate from race to race or between social classes, it is abuse that spans across all geographic borders. Older adults may be vulnerable to abusive situations for various reasons including their health and physical abilities, and in the majority of cases reported, the abuser is a family member. Often, abuse of older adults takes the form of: physical abuse, verbal abuse, mistreatment/neglect and/or financial abuse.
About 1 in 10 elderly people aged 60+ have experienced some form of abuse in their older years. Suffolk County’s population of persons 62 and older comprise about 17% of the total population, making the Baby Boomer Generation one of the largest age groups in Suffolk County. Estimates are that roughly 30,000 older adults are abused annually in Suffolk and only an estimated 1 in 14 cases are reported to authorities, which means elder abuse is an issue that remains mostly hidden in the County.
VIBS runs the only state-approved and funded elder abuse program on Long Island. VIBS offers services for elder victims of abuse that are centered around removing the danger from the victim’s life, maintaining health and safety, and restoring normalcy. The Elder Abuse Program at VIBS is designed to offer help that victims need regardless of the physical or mental barriers that may be present.
Elder Abuse Advocacy
VIBS’ Elder Abuse Advocacy unit exists to provide assistance to victims through the criminal justice process. VIBS advocates specialize in working with clients within the Suffolk County Court system and are able to provide a wide range of services from court accompaniment and petition assistance, to law enforcement interview accompaniments and referrals to various services. VIBS advocates are skilled in assisting clients in filing Family Offense Petitions to receive orders of protection through the Suffolk County Family Court; the agency now offers physically-challenged or immobile victims the ability to petition online from a safe location like their home or a local business.
If you or someone you know may be interested in receiving the confidential and cost-free assistance of an advocate or information on the criminal justice process and available options, call (631) 360-3730 to speak with an elder abuse advocate.
Elder Abuse Counseling
VIBS counselors understand the dynamics of abuse and its effects on the victims. VIBS counselors are knowledgeable and trained in providing services to older adults. The counselors provide therapy centered around safety and recovery to foster return to a safe and healthy lifestyle. The counseling is free, confidential, and bilingual; counseling services are offered to the elderly at their place of residence or a safe location nearby including counseling on protection against financial exploitation.
Contact the VIBS 24-Hour Crisis Hotline at (631) 360-3606 to schedule an appointment with an elder abuse counselor.
Domestic Violence Law Project (DVLP)
VIBS offers elder abuse victims free access to legal representation by experienced attorneys who tirelessly advocate in court on behalf of victims of violence. To learn more about the DVLP at VIBS, visit www.vibs.org/dvlp.
Delores Kalakowski, Elder Abuse Counselor
Julie Marmol, Bilingual Elder Abuse Advocate
Marlyn Garcia, Bilingual Elder Abuse Counselor
To learn more about elder abuse in Suffolk County, visit www.vibs.org/elder-abuse.