In September 2016, the Elder Abuse Prevention Project of Greater Boston Legal Services welcomed two new Elder Justice Americorps fellows, Dvora Walker and Sheba Varughese. Ms. Walker and Ms. Varughese are a part of the Department of Justice initiative to promote elder justice. There are 25 such fellows serving across the United States, all of whom assist low-income elders and work to eliminate elder abuse and exploitation.
Dvora Walker received her J.D. and Graduate Certificate in Human Rights from the University of Connecticut School of Law. She acted as a caretaker for her grandmother and great aunt in high school, which inspired her passion for elder justice and enabled her to relate to and have compassion for elders. Dvora primarily works on cases involving financial exploitation, evictions, and complex familial dynamics. She has been an extremely valuable asset to our Project in a relatively short period of time. She has worked with several self neglecting clients who were at great risk of losing their housing and was able to stabilize and preserve their affordable housing and help them avoid homelessness. She recently helped an elderly victim of decades of domestic violence renew a restraining order which increased her security and gave her peace of mind. She is a great advocate who loves meeting with elders, and engaging with them one-on-one and who feels deeply that elders deserve respect and believes that legal advocacy can be essential in allowing them to age with dignity. Ms. Walker has previously worked as an LGBTQ Rights and Women’s Rights advocate and sees Elder Justice as another critical component of the social justice movement.
Dvora with former Attorney General Loretta Lynch
Sheba Varughese received her J.D. from New England Law | Boston. She developed her commitment to public interest work in law school, where she had the opportunity to interact with victims of abuse, abandonment, and neglect. Her empathy and fervent spirit allows elders to feel secure and creates a relationship of trust and reliability. Sheba has also been a very valuable addition to the Project with her focus on SSI benefits eligibility, termination, and allegations of overpayment, as well as inhospitable living conditions, such as unauthorized nursing home discharges and failing to meet public housing protocols. Sheba’s goal is to provide elders with support and a solid source of income for their basic necessities. Her primary objective is to promote inter-generational interactions, where elders feel nurtured and appreciated for their life’s hard work. Sheba believes social isolation negatively affects both mental and physical health, and strives to give back to the local community.
Sheba with former Attorney General Loretta Lynch
We are so fortunate to have Dvora and Sheba working with us in our efforts to stamp out elder abuse!