At-Risk Groups

NOVA’s education programs for older adults and people with disabilities provide information and skills that enable them to maximize their independence and remain in their home or community. The following is a list and description of the programs we will deliver on-site to older adults and people with disabilities. All programs offer accompanying parent and teacher training.

Older Adults

Senior Outreach

According to the National Victim   Center, while senior  citizens are less often victimized by crime than those in other age groups,  they tend to suffer greater economic, physical and mental harm than their  younger counterparts. They are twice as likely as victims of other ages to be  seriously injured and require hospitalization when victimized and they are more  likely to suffer permanent disability than younger victims. Finally, seniors  are more at risk of falling prey to fraud and con games than their younger  counterparts, and many lose their savings in such schemes.

Bucks   County  has approximately 140,000 senior citizens (22% of total population) over the  age of 60. Of that number, 30% are over the age of 75. Of those served by the  Area Agency on Aging in 1995, 25% were poor, 25% had a functional disability  and 33% lived alone. While the District Attorney does not keep statistics of  prosecutions by the age of the victim, both the police and District Attorney  report that seniors are often fearful or embarrassed and thus when given the  choice they tend not to use the criminal justice system.

Until NOVA initiated the Senior Outreach Program,  there were no organized programs in Bucks   County that provided  education to seniors about reducing risk of victimization and getting help when  needed. In cooperation with the Area Agency on Aging, NOVA’s Senior Outreach  Program has provided outreach and education to increase awareness of the  criminal justice system and NOVA’s services and provide crime prevention  information and safety planning for older adults. The project has also provided  education programs for seniors, trainings for professionals who work with  seniors and in-home safety assessments for selected participants.

Education programs have been offered at senior  centers and in other locations where seniors congregate. Written information is  distributed so that learning can be reinforced at home. Additionally, brochures  about risk reduction strategies and in-home assessments are distributed to  homebound seniors through the home delivered meal program. Trainings are  provided for professional caregivers, clergy and others who may have contact  with homebound seniors to help them assess risk to the senior and make  appropriate referrals when needed.

For more information contact Mandy Mundy, Director of Education, NOVA, 215-343-6543.

People with Disabilities

Crime victimization is a traumatic experience for any individual. For an individual with a disability, the problems are much more complex and may serve to intensify or prolong the trauma.  NOVA has developed specialized programs that we offer within the five county Philadelphia region to assist persons with disabilities who have experienced crime, to help reduce risk of victimization and to help professionals and caretakers understand the needs of victims with disabilities. We are now one of a handful of organizations recognized nationally for our expertise in providing personal safety and risk reduction programs for individuals with physical and cognitive disabilities.
For more information or to schedule a training session, call Eleanor Wilhelm at 215-343-6543.