Probate Judge O’Diam speaks about elder abuse

XENIA — The Honorable Judge Thomas M. O’Diam of Greene County Probate Court was the guest speaker at the Oct. 29 meeting of the Greene County Elder Abuse I-Team, an interdisciplinary group led by the Greene County Department of Job and Family Services and its Adult Protective Services (APS) unit.

The I-Team works to prevent abuse, neglect, self-neglect, and exploitation of the vulnerable seniors in the community. This group is made up of law enforcement officials, first responders, social service professionals, and other stakeholders who work regularly with seniors in Greene County.

Judge O’Diam spoke on Probate Court’s procedures for issuing protective services orders, restraining orders, and guardianship appointments. Probate Court plays a vital role in addressing the most serious cases of elder abuse brought forth by APS professionals and the Prosecuting Attorney.

Judge O’Diam recently led a collaborative project with APS and Greene County Prosecuting Attorney Stephen K. Haller to update and standardize the court’s process for receiving and reviewing filings for protective orders.

“Working to protect our most vulnerable citizens is a community effort,” said Judge O’Diam. “Probate Court is proud to collaborate with APS, Prosecutor Haller, and the I-Team to provide the most up-to-date information and resources to support our local mission of preventing, reducing, and eliminating elder abuse among Greene County’s seniors.”

Greene County’s APS program helps vulnerable adults aged 60 and older who are in danger of harm, are unable to protect themselves, and may have no one to assist them. Trained staff receive and investigate reports of abuse, neglect, self-neglect, and exploitation of vulnerable seniors. All referrals are screened and assessed to evaluate the needs of the individual and offer available community resources. In 2017, APS received 235 referrals in Greene County.