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Keeping The Elderly Safe In The 21st Century

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Information about Keeping The Elderly Safe In The 21st Century

Published on August 20, 2008

Author: NCPC

Source: slideshare.net

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Keeping the Elderly Safe in the 21 st Century National Crime Prevention Council 2006

Workshop Goal and Objectives Attendees will be better equipped to assist their aging parents or other friends and loved ones from becoming victims of crime by Understanding the Processes of Aging Identifying Threats and Challenges Recognizing Signs and Potential Dangers Developing Prevention/Intervention Strategies

Attendees will be better equipped to assist their aging parents or other friends and loved ones from becoming victims of crime by

Understanding the Processes of Aging

Identifying Threats and Challenges

Recognizing Signs and Potential Dangers

Developing Prevention/Intervention Strategies

Introduction Senior citizens (age 65 and older) currently make up 13% of the population. Baby boomers are entering that age group. The number of seniors will continue to grow over the coming years.

Senior citizens (age 65 and older) currently make up 13% of the population.

Baby boomers are entering that age group.

The number of seniors will continue to grow over the coming years.

Introduction As the senior citizen population grows, they will need more care and attention. More adults will find themselves caring for and assisting their elderly parents and loved ones. The elderly often turn to their adult children in times of need.

As the senior citizen population grows, they will need more care and attention.

More adults will find themselves caring for and assisting their elderly parents and loved ones.

The elderly often turn to their adult children in times of need.

Introduction The elderly are sometimes ignored, even by loved ones. They can be victims of crime like the rest of us, and especially of Physical abuse Financial exploitation Fraud Self neglect

The elderly are sometimes ignored, even by loved ones.

They can be victims of crime like the rest of us, and especially of

Physical abuse

Financial exploitation

Fraud

Self neglect

Why it’s Important As the population of seniors grows Adult children will be called upon more often to resolve problems. Public safety officials will get more calls for service concerning the elderly. Perpetrators will more readily target seniors.

As the population of seniors grows

Adult children will be called upon more often to resolve problems.

Public safety officials will get more calls for service concerning the elderly.

Perpetrators will more readily target seniors.

Senior Citizens Older Americans deal with issues like the rest of us, including Loneliness or aloneness Depression But also age-specific issues, including Retirement Diminished health Reduced independence Dementia and Alzheimer's disease

Older Americans deal with issues like the rest of us, including

Loneliness or aloneness

Depression

But also age-specific issues, including

Retirement

Diminished health

Reduced independence

Dementia and Alzheimer's disease

Senior Citizens Some senior citizens are in great health and are fully capable of caring for themselves. Many of them volunteer some of their free time to help others by Mentoring Teaching Joining Neighborhood Watch groups Organizing community events

Some senior citizens are in great health and are fully

capable of caring for themselves. Many of them volunteer

some of their free time to help others by

Mentoring

Teaching

Joining Neighborhood Watch groups

Organizing community events

Seniors Volunteering On average, senior citizens volunteer less than other age groups, but when they do, they tend to become very involved and volunteer more hours than other age groups. It is predicted that the “boomer” generation will be more active in volunteer activities.

On average, senior citizens volunteer less than other age groups, but when they do, they tend to become very involved and volunteer more hours than other age groups.

It is predicted that the “boomer” generation will be more active in volunteer activities.

Seniors in the News

Seniors in the News

Senior Volunteer Opportunities Senior Corps USA Freedom Corps Senior Citizens Bureau Older Americans Act Programs Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) AARP

Senior Corps

USA Freedom Corps

Senior Citizens Bureau

Older Americans Act Programs

Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP)

AARP

Elder Care Issues Many senior citizens are unable to care for themselves, and require special attention. In these situations, loved ones should watch for Elder abuse Financial exploitation Neglect and self-neglect Seclusion However, there is also plenty of help available to caregivers.

Many senior citizens are unable to care for themselves, and

require special attention. In these situations, loved ones should

watch for

Elder abuse

Financial exploitation

Neglect and self-neglect

Seclusion

However, there is also plenty of help available to caregivers.

Doctor Marion

Elder Care Make sure the health agency is insured, bonded, and that criminal background checks have been completed. The Eldercare Locator can help you find appropriate care. Visit this resource at www.eldercare.gov or call 800-677-1116.

Make sure the health agency is insured, bonded, and that criminal background checks have been completed.

The Eldercare Locator can help you find appropriate care. Visit this resource at www.eldercare.gov or call 800-677-1116.

Eldercare Locator

Things to Watch For There are several ways that elder abuse is committed: Physical Emotional Sexual Neglect Abandonment In addition, seniors may neglect their own welfare.

There are several ways that elder abuse is committed:

Physical

Emotional

Sexual

Neglect

Abandonment

In addition, seniors may neglect their own welfare.

Signs of Physical Abuse Bruises, black eyes, broken bones Open wounds, punctures, untreated injuries Sprains, dislocations Broken eyeglasses/frames, signs of being restrained Over- or underutilization of medication Caregiver’s refusal to allow visitors to see an elder alone The senior’s verbal report of being mistreated

Bruises, black eyes, broken bones

Open wounds, punctures, untreated injuries

Sprains, dislocations

Broken eyeglasses/frames, signs of being restrained

Over- or underutilization of medication

Caregiver’s refusal to allow visitors to see an elder alone

The senior’s verbal report of being mistreated

Signs of Emotional Abuse Elder is emotionally upset or agitated Senior is withdrawn and noncommunicative or nonresponsive Unusual behavior, such as sucking, biting, or rocking An elder’s report of being verbally or emotionally mistreated

Elder is emotionally upset or agitated

Senior is withdrawn and noncommunicative or nonresponsive

Unusual behavior, such as sucking, biting, or rocking

An elder’s report of being verbally or emotionally mistreated

Signs of Sexual Abuse Bruises or bleeding around vaginal or genital area Unexplained venereal disease or genital infections Torn, stained, or bloody underclothing An elder’s report of being sexually assaulted or raped

Bruises or bleeding around vaginal or genital area

Unexplained venereal disease or genital infections

Torn, stained, or bloody underclothing

An elder’s report of being sexually assaulted or raped

Signs of Neglect Dehydration, malnutrition, untreated bed sores, poor personal hygiene Unsanitary, unclean, or unsafe living quarters Lack of clothing or inadequate clothing Inadequate housing or homelessness An elder’s report of being mistreated

Dehydration, malnutrition, untreated bed sores, poor personal hygiene

Unsanitary, unclean, or unsafe living quarters

Lack of clothing or inadequate clothing

Inadequate housing or homelessness

An elder’s report of being mistreated

Signs of Abandonment Desertion of an elder at a hospital, nursing facility, or similar institution Senior’s disorientation Desertion of an elder at a shopping center, park, or other public area An elder’s report of being abandoned

Desertion of an elder at a hospital, nursing facility, or similar institution

Senior’s disorientation

Desertion of an elder at a shopping center, park, or other public area

An elder’s report of being abandoned

Eldercare Locator If you recognize any of these signs of abuse, contact the Eldercare Locator help line as soon as possible. 800-677-1116, Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 8 p.m. ET Call 9-1-1 immediately if someone you know is in serious or life-threatening danger

If you recognize any of these signs of abuse,

contact the Eldercare Locator help line as soon

as possible.

800-677-1116, Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. –

8 p.m. ET

Call 9-1-1 immediately if someone you know is in serious or life-threatening danger

Elder Care On the Internet, there are more resources available to assist caregivers. CareGuide@Home, www.eldercare.com Doctor Marion, www.doctormarion.com

On the Internet, there are more resources

available to assist caregivers.

CareGuide@Home, www.eldercare.com

Doctor Marion, www.doctormarion.com

Financial Exploitation The unique issues that senior citizens face can leave them more at risk of becoming victims of fraud or identity theft than other age groups. Caregivers should watch for signs of financial exploitation in their older parents and realize that these crimes could be committed by anyone – even the elder’s family members or other caregivers.

The unique issues that senior citizens face can leave

them more at risk of becoming victims of fraud or identity theft than other age groups.

Caregivers should watch for signs of financial exploitation in their older parents and realize that these crimes could be committed by anyone – even the elder’s family members or other caregivers.

Financial Exploitation Many criminals consider senior citizens easy targets for scams because they May have a “nest egg” to spend or invest Might be lonely and more willing to talk to strangers Are less likely to report fraud than other age groups No longer have their partner and confidant to talk to

Many criminals consider senior citizens easy targets

for scams because they

May have a “nest egg” to spend or invest

Might be lonely and more willing to talk to strangers

Are less likely to report fraud than other age groups

No longer have their partner and confidant to talk to

Preventing Financial Exploitation Minimize isolation Family and friends can help with early detection. Formal credit checks of senior’s finances Background checks on caregivers or people close to possible victim

Minimize isolation

Family and friends can help with early detection.

Formal credit checks of senior’s finances

Background checks on caregivers or people close to possible victim

Financial Exploitation Warning Signs Overdrawn bank accounts Junk mail piling up at home Numerous phone calls from numbers child/caregiver doesn’t recognize “ Gimme” gifts—cheap, useless items like whistles, hats, rulers, or bumper stickers

Overdrawn bank accounts

Junk mail piling up at home

Numerous phone calls from numbers child/caregiver doesn’t recognize

“ Gimme” gifts—cheap, useless items like whistles, hats, rulers, or bumper stickers

Financial Exploitation Intervention If you suspect that an elder has been exploited financially Contact the local adult protective services agency. Contact your state’s attorney general’s office. File a report with the local police.

If you suspect that an elder has been

exploited financially

Contact the local adult protective services agency.

Contact your state’s attorney general’s office.

File a report with the local police.

Telemarketing Fraud Criminals use high-pressure sales tactics and psychology to exploit the trust of victims. Remind older loved ones that Offers that seem too good to be true usually are. You do not have to be polite to salespeople. When on the phone, always feel free to say “No,” and hang up. It’s not rude – it’s shrewd.

Criminals use high-pressure sales tactics and

psychology to exploit the trust of victims. Remind older

loved ones that

Offers that seem too good to be true usually are.

You do not have to be polite to salespeople.

When on the phone, always feel free to say “No,” and hang up. It’s not rude – it’s shrewd.

Telemarketing Fraud Warning Signs Beware of the classic lines below, which are often used by scam artists “ You must act now, or the offer will expire.” “ You have won a free gift, but you must pay for postage” (or another charge). “ Don’t miss this ‘high-profit, no-risk’ offer.”

Beware of the classic lines below, which are often

used by scam artists

“ You must act now, or the offer will expire.”

“ You have won a free gift, but you must pay for postage” (or another charge).

“ Don’t miss this ‘high-profit, no-risk’ offer.”

Telemarketing Tip #1 Make sure seniors are familiar with the tips below and on the following slides to make sure they aren’t victims of fraud. Never give out personal information over the phone unless they initiated the call and trust the person or agency receiving the call. Legitimate callers will not ask for this information. “ I don’t give out personal information over the phone. I’ll contact the company directly and provide them with the necessary information.”

Make sure seniors are familiar with the tips below and on

the following slides to make sure they aren’t victims of

fraud.

Never give out personal information over the phone unless they initiated the call and trust the person or agency receiving the call. Legitimate callers will not ask for this information.

“ I don’t give out personal information over the phone. I’ll

contact the company directly and provide them with the

necessary information.”

Telemarketing Tip #2 If the caller says something is free, then they shouldn’t have to pay to receive it. They should not need to pay handling charges or taxes. “ I shouldn’t have to send money for something that’s free.”

If the caller says something is free, then they shouldn’t have to pay to receive it.

They should not need to pay handling charges or taxes.

“ I shouldn’t have to send money for something

that’s free.”

Telemarketing Tip #3 “ Limited time offers” should not require an immediate decision. Legitimate callers will not rush them. They should sleep on it for a day or two. “ I’d like some time to think about this. Tell me how I can get in touch with you. If I’m interested, I’ll call you back.”

“ Limited time offers” should not require an immediate decision.

Legitimate callers will not rush them.

They should sleep on it for a day or two.

“ I’d like some time to think about this. Tell me how I can

get in touch with you. If I’m interested, I’ll call you back.”

Telemarketing Tip #4 Be wary of any caller that tries to convince them not to speak with anyone about the call. “ I’d like to take some time to discuss this with my family and friends, and I’ll get back to you if I’m still interested.”

Be wary of any caller that tries to convince them not to speak with anyone about the call.

“ I’d like to take some time to discuss this with

my family and friends, and I’ll get back to you

if I’m still interested.”

Telemarketing Tip #5 It can be hard to understand the verbal details of an offer. Request to receive details in the mail. All legitimate business offers and investments should be able to comply. “ If you can’t mail me the information, then I can’t talk to you.”

It can be hard to understand the verbal details of an offer.

Request to receive details in the mail.

All legitimate business offers and investments should be able to comply.

“ If you can’t mail me the information, then I can’t talk to

you.”

 

Fraud The Federal Trade Commission received a total of 99,135 fraud-related complaints from consumers age 50 and over in 2005 Foreign money offers (10%) Prizes/sweepstakes and lotteries (9%) Internet auctions (9%) Internet services and computer complaints (6%) Shop-at-home/catalog sales (6%) Telephone services (3%)

The Federal Trade Commission received a total of 99,135 fraud-related

complaints from consumers age 50 and over in 2005

Foreign money offers (10%)

Prizes/sweepstakes and lotteries (9%)

Internet auctions (9%)

Internet services and computer complaints (6%)

Shop-at-home/catalog sales (6%)

Telephone services (3%)

Identity Theft Seniors have the smallest rate of identity theft fraud victims; however, the Federal Trade Commission received a total of 56,584 identity-theft related complaints from consumers age 50 and over in 2005. Credit card fraud (34%) Bank fraud (18%) Phone or utilities fraud (15%) 63% of identity theft is committed by someone the victim knows.

Seniors have the smallest rate of identity theft fraud victims;

however, the Federal Trade Commission received a total of

56,584 identity-theft related complaints from consumers age 50

and over in 2005.

Credit card fraud (34%)

Bank fraud (18%)

Phone or utilities fraud (15%)

63% of identity theft is committed by someone the victim knows.

Preventing Identity Theft Make sure seniors are aware of these prevention tips: Shred all discarded mail with personal information. Routinely monitor financial accounts and billing statements. Make a copy of everything in their wallet in case it is lost or stolen. Keep records of conversations and copies of all correspondence.

Make sure seniors are aware of these prevention tips:

Shred all discarded mail with personal information.

Routinely monitor financial accounts and billing statements.

Make a copy of everything in their wallet in case it is lost or stolen.

Keep records of conversations and copies of all correspondence.

Identity Theft Warning Signs Failing to receive bills or other mail Receiving credit cards for which they did not apply Being denied credit, or offered less favorable credit terms, for no apparent reason Getting calls or letters from debt collectors or businesses about items or services they did not buy

Failing to receive bills or other mail

Receiving credit cards for which they did not apply

Being denied credit, or offered less favorable credit terms, for no apparent reason

Getting calls or letters from debt collectors or businesses about items or services they did not buy

Identity Theft Intervention If you suspect your identity or an elder’s has been stolen Place a fraud alert on your credit reports and review them with the major credit reporting agencies, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion Close accounts you believe are fraudulent or may have been subject to tampering File a report with local police where the ID theft took place File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission www.ftc.gov

If you suspect your identity or an elder’s has been stolen

Place a fraud alert on your credit reports and review them with the major credit reporting agencies, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion

Close accounts you believe are fraudulent or may have been subject to tampering

File a report with local police where the ID theft took place

File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission

www.ftc.gov

 

General Safety Tips Make sure seniors follow these tips at home: Use sturdy metal or solid wood doors, and install and use deadbolt locks (1 ½ inch throw or greater). Use wide-angle viewers in doors at different heights if necessary. Light up entry doors; use motion detectors or floodlights. Trim shrubbery around doors and windows and make sure the address is displayed for emergency personnel. Give an extra key to a trusted neighbor.

Make sure seniors follow these tips at home:

Use sturdy metal or solid wood doors, and install and use deadbolt locks (1 ½ inch throw or greater).

Use wide-angle viewers in doors at different heights if necessary.

Light up entry doors; use motion detectors or floodlights.

Trim shrubbery around doors and windows and make sure the address is displayed for emergency personnel.

Give an extra key to a trusted neighbor.

General Safety Tips At home Ask for photo identification from service, delivery or utility workers before letting them in. Ask law enforcement for a free home security survey. Consider installing an alarm.

At home

Ask for photo identification from service, delivery or utility workers before letting them in.

Ask law enforcement for a free home security survey.

Consider installing an alarm.

General Safety Tips Out and About Go out with friends and family, not alone. Walk purposely and know where they are. Walk down the middle of the sidewalk rather than along doorways or the curb. Keep purses close to their bodies and wallets in front pants or jacket pocket. Carry only cash, credit cards, and ID that will be needed.

Out and About

Go out with friends and family, not alone.

Walk purposely and know where they are.

Walk down the middle of the sidewalk rather than along doorways or the curb.

Keep purses close to their bodies and wallets in front pants or jacket pocket.

Carry only cash, credit cards, and ID that will be needed.

General Safety Tips Out and About Use busier, better-lighted stops on public transit. Sit near the bus driver or, in subway cars, with several other passengers. If someone seems to be following them, turn in the opposite direction or cross the street. If they persist, approach the nearest group of people and ask for help. If someone or something makes them uneasy, trust their instincts and leave.

Out and About

Use busier, better-lighted stops on public transit.

Sit near the bus driver or, in subway cars, with several other passengers.

If someone seems to be following them, turn in the opposite direction or cross the street. If they persist, approach the nearest group of people and ask for help.

If someone or something makes them uneasy, trust their instincts and leave.

General Safety Tips In the Neighborhood Know your neighbors. Report crime and suspicious activities to police. Start or strengthen a Neighborhood Watch group. Find out if their area has community policing, and get to know the officers assigned to their neighborhood.

In the Neighborhood

Know your neighbors.

Report crime and suspicious activities to police.

Start or strengthen a Neighborhood Watch group.

Find out if their area has community policing, and get to know the officers assigned to their neighborhood.

 

Emergency Preparedness No one expects to deal with disaster, but everyone can prepare for them. Senior citizens should be ready to deal with emergencies like Hurricanes Earthquakes Power outages Flooding Fires Toxic spills

No one expects to deal with disaster, but everyone can prepare

for them. Senior citizens should be ready to deal with

emergencies like

Hurricanes

Earthquakes

Power outages

Flooding

Fires

Toxic spills

Emergency Preparedness Make sure seniors stock up on supplies for at least three days Food, water First aid kit, medicine Phone numbers of local and nonlocal relatives Personal hygiene supplies Battery-powered radio, flashlight Change of clothes, extra keys Cash, change, credit cards

Make sure seniors stock up on supplies for at least three days

Food, water

First aid kit, medicine

Phone numbers of local and nonlocal relatives

Personal hygiene supplies

Battery-powered radio, flashlight

Change of clothes, extra keys

Cash, change, credit cards

Emergency Preparedness Checklist Post emergency phone numbers by phone. Arrange for someone to check on seniors. Plan ahead for transportation. Have an evacuation plan and practice it. Find the safe places in their home for each type of emergency.

Checklist

Post emergency phone numbers by phone.

Arrange for someone to check on seniors.

Plan ahead for transportation.

Have an evacuation plan and practice it.

Find the safe places in their home for each type of emergency.

Emergency Preparedness Checklist Plan ahead with their home health care service. Teach those who may be providing assistance how to operate necessary equipment. Be sure others know their medical needs.

Checklist

Plan ahead with their home health care service.

Teach those who may be providing assistance how to operate necessary equipment.

Be sure others know their medical needs.

Emergency Preparedness Notification National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) weather radio Call your local National Weather Service office. Commercial radio and television stations Door-to-door warning from officials

Notification

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) weather radio

Call your local National Weather Service office.

Commercial radio and television stations

Door-to-door warning from officials

Emergency Preparedness Preparation for Pets Assemble an animal emergency supply kit. Plan in advance for shelter alternatives. Develop buddy system with friends and relatives. Visit www.ready.gov .

Preparation for Pets

Assemble an animal emergency supply kit.

Plan in advance for shelter alternatives.

Develop buddy system with friends and relatives.

Visit www.ready.gov .

Conclusions Keeping your elderly loved ones safe is easier when planned for in advance. Talk to them beforehand about their safety. Pay attention to what they say, so you can notice if things change. Your local office on aging is there to help you care for the elderly.

Keeping your elderly loved ones safe is easier when planned for in advance.

Talk to them beforehand about their safety.

Pay attention to what they say, so you can notice if things change.

Your local office on aging is there to help you care for the elderly.

Resources National Crime Prevention Council: www.ncpc.org National Criminal Justice Reference Service: www.ncjrs.gov AARP: www.aarp.org Health and Human Services: www.aoa.gov Alzheimer’s Association: www.alz.org

National Crime Prevention Council: www.ncpc.org

National Criminal Justice Reference Service: www.ncjrs.gov

AARP: www.aarp.org

Health and Human Services: www.aoa.gov

Alzheimer’s Association: www.alz.org

National Crime Prevention Council 1000 Connecticut Avenue, NW Thirteenth Floor Washington, DC 20036 202-466-6272 www.ncpc.org

1000 Connecticut Avenue, NW

Thirteenth Floor

Washington, DC 20036

202-466-6272

www.ncpc.org

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