Elder abuse is suffering caused by others to an elderly or incapacitated adult in the forms of maltreatment, neglect, sexual abuse, physical abuse, financial exploitation, emotional abuse and/or confinement. Abuse may involve physical violence or the deliberate neglect by a caregiver of the medical, health and nutritional needs of a vulnerable person. MEOC services are tailored to enhance the safety and well-being of those who are at risk of abuse, neglect, or exploitation. We work hand in hand with Adult Protective Services of local Departments of Social Services, and follow state DSS guidelines for anonymous reporting of abuse.
The Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program and Public Guardianship Program assist older persons who want to remain safely in their homes and community and/or who are at risk of abuse, neglect, or exploitation. Services are also available for family members.
The Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program advocates for older persons receiving long-term care in a nursing home or assisted living facility or through community-based services assisting persons still living at home. The ombudsman investigates complaints made by or on behalf of older persons in these settings, works to resolve problems and advocates for improvements in the long-term care system. Complaints are confidential and may be reported anonymously.
The Public Guardianship Program serves indigent adults determined by the courts as incapacitated and in need of guardianship and/or conservatorship when no one else is appropriate or available to serve. Advocacy is provided through supervision of medical care, oversight of residential care and monitoring of benefits and financial activities. Daily living decision making is based on the individual’s wishes and values. The ultimate goal is to maintain the person safely in the most comfortable and least restrictive environment available. Referrals are made directly to the program, except in cases of individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities when the referral should be made through the local community services board.
Virginia Insurance Counseling and Assistance Program (VICAP)
Trained counselors provide FREE, confidential individual insurance counseling and assistance, as well as information to groups, to help them better understand and make decisions about Medicare, Medicare supplemental insurance, Medicare Part D (prescription drug plan), Medicare advantage plans, long-term care insurance, Medicaid, and other insurance. Counselors can assist in filing claims and appeals.
Senior Community Service Employment Program
The Senior Community Service Employment Program offers part-time community service training positions for adults age 55 and older. The program focuses on the needs of mature workers, the community and employers. SCSEP prepares eligible workers for unsubsidized jobs through training in community-based organizations. Participants receive a stipend while receiving training, classroom experience, job search support and other individualized supportive services. Besides meeting the age requirement, participants must:
- Be unemployed and need training to perform jobs available in their area;
- Meet family income requirements (125 percent of federal poverty level or less);
- Be a Virginia resident;
- Be authorized to work in the United States.
SCSEP is administered through the Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services and funded by the U.S. Department of Labor. To see information about federal and non-federal percentages and funding, please click here.
Care Coordination/Options Counseling
Options counselors work with older persons to help them remain safely in their own homes in their own communities through an interactive decision-support process. Individuals, with support from family members, caregivers, and/or significant others, are supported in their deliberations to make informed long-term support choices, always keeping in mind the individual’s preferences, strengths, needs, values and individual circumstances. Options counseling uses a culturally-competent, person-centered approach and always respects the right of individuals to control and make choices about their own lives. MEOC, under sub-contract with local housing authorities, is also the service coordinator for public housing residents.
AmeriCorps Seniors, formerly the Foster Grandparent Program, provides volunteer opportunities for people age 55 and older willing to devote at least 15 hours a week to tutoring and caring for children in partnership with teachers in pre-school, Head Start, kindergarten and elementary schools. Benefits include personal satisfaction through community involvement, an hourly tax-free stipend, a daily free meal, transportation, accident insurance, and the opportunity to be a loving, caring grandparent to a needy child. Click here for an AmeriCorps Seniors job description and application.
Pharmacy Connect of Southwest Virginia
Pharmacy Connect of Southwest Virginia helps people of any age access free and low-cost prescription drugs from participating pharmaceutical companies. Virginia Medicaid application and renewal assistance is also available. Staff may also make referrals for other needed services.