Category Archives: Elder Abuse Prevention

Opening our eyes to elder abuse

On World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, a call for better detection and action

By Emily Gurnon for Next Avenue

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Today is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, and Next Avenue joins in the effort to shine a light on this pervasive problem.

An estimated 5 million older Americans are abused, neglected or exploited every year, according to the National Center on Elder Abuse. That’s a conservative number, the organization says: for every one case that’s reported, as many as 23 are not.

“Elder mistreatment is a serious public health issue, and merits the same level of response as child abuse or domestic abuse,” says Terry Fulmer, Ph.D., president of  The John A. Hartford Foundation and a researcher and authority on elder mistreatment and abuse, in a statement last week. read more

What banks are doing to curb elder financial abuse

Why some are proactive, but others are afraid to be

By Juliette Fairley for Next Avenue

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Credit: Thinkstock

An increasing number of banks and credit unions are implementing fraud-prevention initiatives to prepare for the onslaught of aging Americans expected to develop Alzheimer’s disease.

They are training tellers “to flag potential suspicious behavior, such as coercion by family members, frequent withdrawals of large sums of money in a short period of time or transferring large sums of money,” said Ramsay Alwin, vice president of economic security at the National Council on Aging in Washington, D.C. read more

How Sharing a Life Story Helps Dementia Caregivers

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If you’re the primary caregiver of a person with dementia, you know your loved one’s likes and dislikes. You can read their moods. You know their routines and the people in their world. Nobody can care for them the same way you do. But the act of sharing your loved one’s life story empowers others to better understand his or her traits, to connect and to provide better dementia care. In turn, you receive peace of mind when you take time for yourself.

Conveying personal info lets others connect with your loved one

By Mike Good for Next Avenue

One day while I was volunteering at a local adult day care, we had a new visitor who was confused and very unhappy that her daughter had left her there with us. She was agitated and was trying to leave.

Luckily, when they first arrived, her daughter had handed us a one-page life story about her mother who had dementia. After reading it, I was able to more easily connect with the lady.

Sharing Your Knowledge

As we discussed her career as a teacher, her agitation slipped away and we ended up having a very nice conversation. Without that knowledge, things would have been more difficult for both of us. read more

8 Things Not to Say to Your Aging Parents

8ThingsNottoSaytoYourAgingParentsUnintended barbs cut to the quick and can’t be taken back. Here are some better options.

By Linda Bernstein for Next Avenue

I’m going to say something politically incorrect here: Sometimes our elderly parents make us a little nuts. (And sometimes they out-and-out drive us crazy.) We love you, Mom and Dad, but we’ve heard the story about Aunt Cissy pouring wine in the dog’s bowl so many times we can tell it ourselves — in our sleep.

The repetitions, the forgetfulness, the incessant asking whether we’d like a sandwich: Eventually it just happens, and out of our well-meaning mouths tumble snarky comments and insults that we really don’t mean but they … just … slip … out. read more

5 Steps to Combat and Prevent Elder Abuse

What a new federal report recommends to curb this scourge

By Liza Kaufman Hogan for Next Avenue 

July 25, 2014

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Not long ago, my aunt, who is in her 80s, was the victim of financial exploitation by an in-home health aide. It started with trips to the drugstore and small loans. Before long, the caregiver was regularly taking my aunt and her credit card to department stores to purchase clothes and other items — not for my aunt.

Eventually, a clerk noticed what was going on and alerted security and our family. By then, however, my aunt was out hundreds, possibly thousands of dollars. No charges were filed, but the caregiver was dismissed. read more

Promising Effort to Curb Elder Financial Abuse

How lawyers will get trained to spot and report potential dangers

By Richard Eisenberg for Next Avenue

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Thinkstock

Financial abuse of the elderly has been called “the crime of the 21st Century” by Kiplinger’s. And as many as one in 20 older adults in America may be victims, according to a new study in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

Can anything be done to prevent this growing disgrace?

Maybe. I’m optimistic about a new effort aimed at getting lawyers to spot and report financial fraud targeting older Americans — scams that have ensnared Mickey Rooney, Brooke Astor and millions of lesser-known people. read more