World Elder Abuse Awareness DayPosted: June 17, 2019, 3:29PM
Today - June 17th - is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.
Elder abuse comes in many forms: physical, sexual, psychological, and financial. There is also neglect where a vulnerable adult is denied medications, food, personal care and the option to make decisions.
Risk factors include isolation, cognitive impairment or mental health challenges, isolation, alcohol or drug dependence, lack of social supports or family supports, sensory deficits, and an inability to handle finances.
Scams are rampant, too. Be wary and don't fall prey to the sweetheart scam, the grandchild in trouble scam, the Social Security scam (they want to verify your Social Security number), the Microsoft scam (we'll fix your computer or your license has expired), the Amazon scam (money has been charged to your account), the financial institution emails (they need to "verify" your account number), the contractor scam (they want to fix your roof, your driveway, your sidewalk), the IRS scam - the list goes on.
If you or someone you know has been scammed, report it. Don't be embarrassed! You are not the first or only person to be scammed! Call the police, the sheriff, or your state's attorney general. If it has happened to an incapacitated adult, you can call your state's adult protective services number.
Be alert. Be cautious! Don't answer the phone at all (let it go to voicemail or let your answering machine pick up), or hang up if it's a scam. Don't let strangers in your home. (They can wait outside.) Check the ID for city workers. Make sure contractors have their state license numbers. Use a code word with your family so if you get a call about them being in trouble you can ask for the code word. Do NOT give your Social Security number, your Medicare number, your account numbers for utilities or financial institutions! Be proactive!