The Case That Prompted this Blog
July 18, 2012
Elderly Protective Services Safety Net for the Abused, Incompetent (USA)
by Elaine Clément
Dennis Broussard, a former St. Martin Parish teacher, is based out of the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office.
New Iberia – If you were an elderly person, how would you like to be treated?
According to Dennis Broussard, director of Lafayette region Elderly Protective Services (EPS), this should be the primary question people ask themselves when they make a report or visit his offices.
Elderly Protective Services was created by the Louisiana legislature in 2008 as part of the Governor’s Office on Elderly Affairs. It has just been moved to the Office of Aging and Adult Services under the Department of Health and Hospitals. Its purpose is to investigate reports of abuse, advocate for a possible solution and work with law enforcement, medical personnel and various agencies to find a solution.
Broussard is clear that the purpose of his agency is to determine what is in the best interest of the client, the elderly person. What they are actually doing is advocating for the elderly as opposed to protecting, and the term “protective services” often causes confusion.
So what exactly is EPS? It is a social agency that investigates reports of neglect, abuse or exploitation and advocates for the elder person. There are seven offices in the state. The Lafayette regional office based in New Iberia covers 10 parishes, including Acadia, Assumption, Evangeline, Iberia, Lafayette, St. Landry, St. Martin, St. Mary, Terrebonne and Vermilion.
He explained that the job of the EPS is to investigate reports of abuse and neglect and to advocate for the elderly. At this point, each case is different, but they try and find a way for the elderly person to live independently at home. They also determine the capacity of the person to live alone.
Sometimes it’s a question of putting them in touch with other agencies, such as the Council on Aging, to deliver meals if they are homebound or to give directions to where they could go have a meal.
The EPS is now run out of the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office.
For more information on the EPS or to make a report, visit their web site at goea.louisiana.gov or contact the New Iberia office at (337) 365-9855 or toll free at (800) 866-5044. To make a report on the state-wide level, call (800) 259-4990 toll free in state or (22) 342-9722 if out of the state.
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Any Charges Reported on this blog are Merely Accusations and the Defendants are Presumed Innocent Unless and Until Proven Guilty.