In a feature story about the growing national problem of abuse and exploitation of elderly people, Amanda Moses focuses on the response of Vera's Guardianship Project and interviews its director, Laura Negrón:
“Scores of helpless, frail people have collectively been physically abused, had their life savings depleted, and lost their homes due to the unscrupulous acts of guardians,” says Laura Negrón, director of the Guardianship Project, a program developed by the Vera Institute of Justice in 2005 to aid elderly and disabled New Yorkers.
With a clientele of 100, the Guardianship Project, in cooperation with the district attorneys in Manhattan and Brooklyn and other programs, helps seniors once considered incapacitated fulfill their dreams of living independently.
The Guardianship project has an operating budget of $1.2 million a year, which supports 14 staff members, including lawyers, social workers, property and finance specialists.
According to Negrón, the clients that they have helped keep out of costly institutions have netted savings of $2.5 million in state Medicaid expenses. "