Happy older people

Elder Justice Alliance of Shelby County

Media: Please contact Robyn James at 205-670-5770 or by email rjames@m4a.org

Middle Alabama Area Agency on Aging (M4A), Shelby County DHR and Key Stakeholders Partner to Launch the Elder Justice Alliance for the Protection of Vulnerable Adults Across Shelby County

M4A, in partnership with Shelby County Department of Human Resources (DHR), elected officials, law enforcement, social service providers, and other advocacy groups, will officially launch the Elder Justice Alliance of Shelby County on September 1, 2021 in the City of Columbiana. The purpose of the Elder Justice Alliance is to bring together a network of multi-disciplinary agencies and organizations as one strong force to increase coordination and collaboration among responders, service providers, and other relevant stakeholders; improve the prevention, detection, reporting of, and response to elder mistreatment; and deter elder abuse through community education, professional training, and support to older residents and caregivers.

M4A’s new 501c3 nonprofit organization, 4 ALL Foundation, has created the Center for Elder Justice & Advocacy located in Shelby County. The new center will serve as Alabama’s Elder Justice Resource Center, provide direct support and assistance to older adults and their caregivers across the greater Birmingham region, provide extensive training to professionals and members of our local communities, and eventually house an Adult & Caregiver Respite Program, and a Temporary Elder Emergency Shelter.

“Our aging society is like a building. If the foundation and structure are strong, older adults can live their lives free from harm and worry. If the foundation is weak or the support beams unstable, then the people inside the building are not secure. Our social structure is not as strong as it should be, especially for older adults. We need social supports and reinforcements to ensure that we can all participate in society and live free of neglect and abuse as we age”, said Carolyn Fortner, M4A Executive Director.

“The new Elder Justice Alliance and Center will be a trusted resource that seeks to improve long-term health, in addition to social and functional status. It also will enhance autonomy and independence, while mitigating the risks of recurrent abuse so vulnerable adults can remain safe and independent in their local communities as they age,” said Kim Mashego, Shelby County DHR Director.

As a society, we do a lot to prepare people to become parents of children but little to prepare children to care for parents as they age, and the Elder Justice Alliance will work towards one common goal to help prepare families to provide care so our older residents can remain safe, independent, and unharmed as they age. We encourage the media to attend this event.

WHEN: September 1, 2021 11:30 am – 1:30 pm

WHERE: Exhibition Center, 86 Argo Road, Columbiana, Alabama