The Office of Aging & Disability Services Update 5/2/2019

May 2, 2019

Furthering Knowledge in Adult Protective Services

The Office of Aging and Disability Services is in the planning phase of a $1.3 million three-year grant awarded by the U.S. HHS Administration on Community Living to enhance state Adult Protective Services systems. As noted in an earlier update, this grant provides Maine with an opportunity to lead in furthering knowledge about improving adult protective services to ensure the safety and wellbeing of those the program exists to serve.

OADS' APS unit is coordinating with researchers and the Elder Abuse Institute of Maine to learn whether certain changes would improve the APS process and benefit clients. APS caseworkers will receive training on how to use Goal Attainment Scaling with clients. Goal Attainment Scaling is a way of documenting client goals and progress that helps better assess client outcomes. The project will also involve APS caseworkers coordinating with elder advocates who can assist clients in building formal and informal social supports beyond the timeframe of APSs intervention. APS anticipates that the training and implementation phase of the project will begin in July 2019.

APS is also progressing in standardizing the intake process, while recognizing that every case is unique. In addition to other units within the Office of Aging and Disability Services, APS is part of the team that is phasing in a new client data system that will also benefit developmental services and long-term care work; and strengthening the reporting system for critical incidents involving individuals with developmental disabilities.

The APS unit investigates allegations of abuse, neglect, and exploitation of incapacitated and dependent adults reported through a statewide intake phone line (1-800-624-8404) and a web referral form.

Maine Alzheimers Summit
Earlier this week, OADS staff participated in the inaugural Maine Alzheimers Summit hosted by the Jackson Laboratory in partnership with Maine Alzheimers Association and the Maine Council on Aging. Biomedical researchers in Maine shared their cutting-edge research with lab mice to trace and study known genes that lead to cognitive degeneration including Alzheimers Disease. Universities in Maine shared their efforts to create and maintain study participant registries for clinical trials and other studies related to Alzheimers Disease.

Also, participants heard an update on the BOLD Infrastructure Act, which establishes Centers of Excellence in Public Health Practice that provide technical assistance to public health departments to focus on increasing early detection, diagnosis and education efforts. The U.S. CDC is developing goals and outcomes that these Centers on Excellence and public health departments will aim to achieve. OADS looks forward to partnering with the Maine CDC to work towards these goals and better serve Mainers living with the disease and their care partners.