The Brookdale Center for Healthy Aging at Hunter College has received a grant of $131,000 from the Mother Cabrini Health Foundation to train patient advocates—attorneys, social workers, and court personnel—on preserving the rights of vulnerable adults while ensuring their access to necessary care.
The grant will educate these patient advocates on the legal options available to patients unable to coordinate their own care. “We are so grateful to receive support for this important work from the Mother Cabrini Health Foundation,” said Jennifer J. Raab, President of Hunter College. “Receiving this grant from Mother Cabrini, whose mission includes improving the health and well-being of vulnerable New Yorkers, means so much to the Hunter community—validation that this work can make a difference.”
With support from the Mother Cabrini grant, Brookdale will develop a curriculum and conduct trainings targeting a wide variety of patient advocates throughout the five boroughs. Recipients of the training will include court personnel as well as hospital and clinic social workers and administrators. New York Legal Assistance Group attorneys will, additionally, receive especially targeted support. Advocates will be guided in how to apply “the least restrictive alternative” possible under the law—allowing some of the most vulnerable members of the population to retain their autonomy and dignity.
The work at Brookdale will be conducted in partnership with Judge Kristin Booth Glen, Director of Supported Decision-Making New York and Dean Emerita of the CUNY School of Law, and the New York Legal Assistance Group, a nonprofit provider of legal services and financial counseling,
“By familiarizing patient advocates with Article 81.16(b)—a special, more limited provision of guardianship—some of the heavy-handed, default fixes that are frequently employed may be replaced with streamlined practical remedies,” said Ruth K. Finkelstein, ScD, the Rose Dobrof Executive Director of the Brookdale Center for Healthy Aging and Professor of Urban Public Health at Hunter College. “These remedies will offer less costly, less time-consuming solutions for the people and institutions involved, while preserving the rights of at-risk patients and treating them with the compassion and respect they deserve.”
About the Brookdale Center for Healthy Aging
Since 1974, the Brookdale Center for Healthy Aging has been working to improve the lives of older adults through research, professional development, and advancements in policy and practice. We work to ensure that aging is framed not as a disease, but as another stage in the life course.
We know that the way we age is influenced by the way we live. A good old age is a life with purpose and meaning, social engagement, a positive attitude toward aging and life, sufficient financial resources, and physical and mental wellness. People enjoying a good old age are assets to their communities. Our challenge is to better understand how to foster the conditions for a good old age for people who experience hardship and inequality because of cumulative disadvantage over the life course.
Our work crosses disciplines with a focus on community-based participatory research and the development and evaluation of new policy and practice solutions. We communicate what we learn to the people with the power to transform the lives of older adults: our colleagues in the field of aging and policymakers. We focus especially on our academic home, Hunter College, our diverse neighborhood of East Harlem, and our hometown of New York City.