Area Agency on Aging receives national award

Region 9 Area Agency on Aging, a division on Northeast Michigan Community Service Agency, has announced its CORE — Campaign of Respect and Empathy — has been honored with an Aging Achievement Award by the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging. The awards program is supported by WellCare. CORE was among 52 local aging programs to receive honors at the n4a Annual Conference and Tradeshow, July 29-Aug. 2 in Savannah, Ga.

CORE is a program designed to address senior-to-senior aggression in nursing homes by providing staff training that raises awareness, teaches prevention interventions, and encourages culture change in the facility geared towards eliminating the behavior.

Senior aggression has become an issue for many older adults living in elder care settings. According to Robin Bonifas, PhD, MSW, School of Social Work, Arizona State University, it is estimated that as many as 20 percent of seniors living in institutional settings have been on the receiving end of senior-to-senior aggression. Since bullying often goes unnoticed and/or unreported, the percentage could be higher. Bullying may be something as simple as a verbal attack, but can also include ostracizing someone or even physical violence.

According to Region 9 Area Agency on Aging Director, Laurie Sauer, CORE is an innovative program developed by long-term care Ombudsman Sara Socia.

“We are proud of the work Sara has done to bring this issue to light and appreciate the support received from the 21 nursing facilities in Northeast Michigan,” Sauer said. “Elder abuse presents itself in many forms and the AAA is working to increase awareness in an effort to decrease the prevalence of elder abuse.”

NEMCSA is a private, nonprofit Community Action Agency that provides many programs and services throughout its core 11 northeast Michigan counties, a territory of 6,300 square miles. The 11 counties are Alcona, Alpena, Arenac, Cheboygan, Crawford, Iosco, Montmorency, Ogemaw Oscoda, Otsego and Presque isle. To find out more information regarding NEMCSA’s programs and services, please visit www.nemcsa.org.