South Mississippi Rural Senior Abuse Network
One of the main focuses of the South Mississippi Rural Senior Abuse Network is to educate area senior centers employees, health care providers, caregivers and anyone else who may interact with seniors on a daily basis of the prevalence of domestic and sexual abuse against seniors.
SMPDD works in coordination with the following agencies to provide these important services: Domestic Abuse Family Shelter (DAFS), Gulf Coast Center for Nonviolence (GCCFN), Mississippi Department of Human Services (MDHS), and Mississippi Coalition Against Domestic Violence (MCADV).
Services provided include:
Increased awareness of senior domestic and sexual abuse in the general public.
Create a reporting system in rural areas.
Educate home health workers, caregivers and others who interact daily with seniors of the warning signs of senior abuse.
Care coordination, resource referrals, safety evaluation and planning and, in crisis situations, some immediate assistance in the form of temporary housing.
Domestic and sexual abuse is under-reported in the senior population for many reasons: fear of repercussions, financial and physical dependence on the perpetrators, embarrassment, lack of resources and knowledge of who to go to for support.
South Mississippi Rural Senior Abuse Network provides two annual training sessions. The network also provides community education and outreach at area senior centers. Training teaches outreach workers to effectively identify and address a broader spectrum of domestic and sexual abuse, with a specific focus on connecting seniors to local victim service agencies.
Care coordination is the other main focus of the South Mississippi Rural Senior Abuse. The Care Coordinator provides direct assistance to victims by giving referrals to emergency housing, medical and mental health care, counseling, legal advice and transitional housing.