Elder Exploitation

According to the Ageless Alliance, one in 10 older Americans experiences abuse or elder exploitation each year.

Many of them experience it in multiple forms. At the same time, the number of people who live beyond 90 has tripled in the past three decades, creating a situation where awareness of just what elder exploitation is becomes a vital key to preventing it.

Anyone can be victimized — no matter their walk of life, education or economic status. However, there are a number of precautions you can take to make sure you’re not a victim of abuse to the elderly.

Plan Ahead

By communicating with family members and friends, you can plan your future so that your exposure to potential elder abuse is limited. Consider having your income deposited directly into your checking account. Your local banker can help with this. Also, make sure to plan your estate. An attorney can assist you with items such as a living will, revocable trust, power of attorney and other needs you may have.

Be Aware of the Threats

As a senior, realize that you are a target. Educate yourself about the potential dangers. Consider adding your phone number to the National Do Not Call Registry (visit donotcall.gov or call 1-888-382-1222) to cut down on telemarketers calling you. Don’t sign any documents you don’t completely understand without a trusted family member and/or attorney present. Don’t give out personal information, like your Social Security number or credit card number, over the phone unless you placed the call.

Stay Connected in the Community

Personal contact with friends, local groups and your neighbors is important not only to maintain a high quality of life, but also because isolation can make you vulnerable to abuse. Stay involved. Volunteer. Stay active in your local senior center or community center.

Report Instances of Elder Exploitation or Abuse

You have the right to be safe. Reporting incidents or potential incidents of neglect or elder exploitation is the right thing to do. If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, call 911 for help. Adult Protective Services is there to ensure the safety and well-being of elders and dependent adults. If you see signs of abuse to the elderly at a nursing home or assisted living facility, The National Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program is there to help, too.

More Resources:

For local reporting phone numbers, contact Eldercare Locator online or at 1-800-677-1116.
To get state-by-state reporting information, see the National Center on Elder Abuse.

For more information on elder abuse prevention, please visit the National Center on Elder Abuse or Center of Excellence on Elder Abuse and Neglect.


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