The mission of the Elder Abuse Institute of Maine is to ensure that every older person affected by abuse has access to the help they need to live the life they choose. Toward this end, we design, deliver and evaluate elder abuse prevention, detection and intervention programs that become a permanent part of Maine’s aging services landscape.
Our work first began in 1994 when we established a multi-disciplinary coalition called PEACE that was dedicated to addressing the needs of elder abuse victims in Portland. In 2003, this coalition recognized the need for our work to expand statewide and we established ourselves as a nonprofit organization - the Elder Abuse Institute of Maine. After years of advocacy work on behalf of older Mainers, in 2010 we secured federal funding to open Maine’s first housing designed specifically for elder victims - Martha’s Cottage in Portland. After years as a volunteer-run organization, in 2016, we again recognized the need to expand our services and more formally establish our infrastructure and we hired our first staff person, who is our current Executive Director. Since then, we have: received private funding to purchase property to expand our transitional housing footprint to Aroostook County and the Greater Brunswick area; expanded our services to include elder service coordination through a unique partnership with the State; formalized our outreach and education efforts through dedicated staff and robust multi-disciplinary partnerships; launched a research project through a prestigious three-year fellowship from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to study mandatory reporting; and, we will be opening a Warm Line to assist in detecting and reporting abuse. We have 9 staff people and 7 Board members, and will be bringing on 4 new staff in July, 2021.
● Safe Housing Assistance: Through our Martha’s Cottage Program, we provide no-cost transitional housing for those who require safe, confidential support to escape abuse. While residing in our cottages, our staff works with survivors to link them to services and help them move toward long-term tenancy in permanent, safe housing. Since having opened our doors in Portland, we have worked with over 450 people: 40 of them who have lived in our Cottage from between 3 months and 24 months; and over 400 individuals who have moved to other safe locations or remained with support in their homes.
● In Home Services: Our Elder Service Connections Program is a partnership with Maine Adult Protective Services (APS) and a team of national elder abuse researchers, funded by the federal Administration for Community Living (ACL) to provide and evaluate the efficacy of client-centered victim services to APS clients in Aroostook and Cumberland Counties. In partnership with the state, we recently secured funding to replicate our model statewide and into the criminal justice system. Through this program, we have worked with 170 people in the last 18 months.
● Education/Outreach: We reach over 1,500 individuals annually through multi-disciplinary elder abuse awareness and response workshops, conference presentations, through conference exhibitions, and community talks. Since the Covid-19 pandemic, we have moved our outreach work to the virtual environment.
● Research: Through our Research Fellowship funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the above-mentioned research intervention project funded by ACL, we are involved in efforts that will provide much needed data to address long-standing gaps in research to improve the growing public health crisis of elder mistreatment, both in Maine and nationally.
The mission of the Elder Abuse Institute of Maine is to ensure that every older person affected by abuse has access to the help they need to live the life they choose. Toward this end, we design, deliver and evaluate elder abuse prevention…