Anyone can suffer from abuse and neglect, but as we age, our levels of judgment and awareness can decline and leave us even more vulnerable to exploitation. There are numerous steps you can take to prevent abuse as you age or if you are caring for or concerned about your aging loved ones.

Ways to Prevent Yourself From Becoming A Victim
  • Beware of family or caregivers who are struggling financially or suffer from substance abuse.
  • Communicate with family members and friends regularly.
  • Keep an active social life - volunteer, attend social, church and family activities, mentor children.
  • Discuss financial or legal decisions with someone you trust or a third-party professional.
  • Keep legal and financial documents in a safe place - will, living will and durable power of attorney, for example.
  • Avoid isolation. Isolation can result in depression, loneliness or sadness, which can increase your risk of abuse.
  • Avoid living with someone with a history of violence.
  • Beware of telephone solicitations, internet scams and mail scams. Also be wary of others asking to be included in your will or asking to add their name on your property deed or bank account.
Ways to Prevent Your Loved One From Becoming A Victim
  • Be aware of changes in your loved one’s mood, appearance or behavior.
  • Communicate on a regular basis - inquire about their care (if they have a caregiver or live in a nursing home), ask about their day and see how they are doing overall.
  • If you are a caregiver, make sure you obtain respite care, use meditation or other stress-relieving exercises and maintain your own agenda. Caregiver stress can often be the cause of frustration and elder abuse.
  • Check into your loved one’s home if they are receiving in-home care.
  • Raise their awareness about telephone, Internet and mail scammers.
  • Guard your loved one’s bank, legal and personal information.
  • Talk to your loved one! Your instinct is usually right. See if you can get them to open up and talk about the abuse they are suffering from.
  • If you are past the steps of prevention and you are noticing significant warning signs of elderly abuse, report it immediately. We are here to help you and your family!