Fordham GSS student Anne Kilarjian was quoted in Newsday on August 30, in an article titled “Elder abuse arrests nearly triple in pandemic year, Nassau prosecutors say.”
Kilarjian, who works as a case manager at nonprofit Family and Children’s Association, spoke about the rise in elder abuse she has seen in the months of April, May, and June.
She also noted how elders are reluctant to call the police on loved ones, due to the fear that those loved ones could go to jail:
Anne Kilarjian, a case manager with nonprofit Family and Children’s Association, said some seniors have told her they didn’t want to call the police on a relative because of fears that person would go to jail and catch COVID-19 there.
Kilarjian, whose Mineola agency is one of those that partners with prosecutors, said she noticed a surge in elder abuse cases in May, April and June.
“A number of clients who are victims of such crimes have said their abusers relapsed into addiction after not being able to get in-person support during the pandemic,” the social worker said
Kilarjian said her agency provides resources that include outfitting seniors with a low-cost pendant that connects to emergency services, doing safety planning to train them to protect themselves and helping to find appropriate treatment programs for abusers.
“They don’t have to live a life where they’re frightened or harmed or exploited by anybody, even family members,” she said of senior citizens. “And if they reach out we will try to help them and we will do it in a way that respects their family relationships and their family bonds.”