Tips to Protect Your Senior from Elder Abuse and Crimes

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 1.4 million people aged 65 and over currently reside in nursing homes. Although most of them receive adequate care, elder abuse is a common issue that many elders face in nursing homes and other settings. In fact, in research conducted by Laumann, it was determined that seniors whom reported elder abuse frequently “reported verbal mistreatment (9%), followed by financial mistreatment (3.5%) and lastly physical mistreatment (less than 1%).” It was also determined that seniors are often the target of crimes. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the elderly experienced 47,640 serious violent crimes and 136,720 violent crimes from 2003-2013. Also, the North American Securities Regulation Administration recently reported an increase in elder financial fraud cases. With this in mind, it’s no wonder why many seniors are so worried about being victimized. If you’re currently sharing your life with a senior or want to keep your beloved senior safe from elder abuse, financial scams and other situations that may harm them, here are a few tips to help:

To avoid elder abuse, hire only professional and experienced caregivers.

The best way to keep your senior safe from elder abuse is to make sure they receive quality care. By adequately vetting the nursing facility or home care provider, you can ensure that their physical and emotional needs are being met in a safe setting. At Nurses Guild, we provide exceptional home health care throughout Broward and Palm Beach Counties. We offer Medicare-certified services to support families and hold the elderlies’ hands to walk them through several health difficulties. All professionals have undergone extensive medical background checks.

To avoid violent crimes, teach your senior about safety.

Seniors often tend to follow a set routine every day. However, it is essential that they break away from the pattern and the cycle of routine at times. Therefore, encourage your senior to be a bit unpredictable. For instance, they should alter the days they go shopping or out to lunch with friends. Also, they should plan their routes, have someone accompany them on outings, avoid running errands at night, be aware of their surroundings at all times, keep car doors locked, have keys ready when entering their vehicles, and hold personal items like purses or bags close to them when shopping.

 To avoid break-ins, follow safety precautions.

At home, your senior should always lock their doors and windows, join a neighborhood watch and report any suspicious activities (their neighbors will then return the favor), be leery of unsolicited offers to fix the home, have deadbolts installed on doors, and have proper lighting outside the home. In addition, you can also install an alarm system. With a technologically-advanced home security system, they will feel safer, and criminals will be deterred from targeting them. Make sure that the system includes visible cameras on the outside and loud sirens with flashing lights so that the police and other first responders are notified if there is an issue. Also, make sure signs are placed in the yards so that criminals will see that the senior is protected. Some companies, like ADT, even allow you to remotely control the alarm system via an app so you can check on your senior to make sure that they have the alarm turned off or on. In fact, with ADT, you will be immediately notified via email or text when the alarm sounds and when it is disarmed.

To avoid getting scammed, teach your senior about scams and how to prevent them.

The National Council on Aging expresses that the most common scams seniors experience are telemarketing scams. Therefore, you should teach your senior about telemarketing scams and how fraudulent telemarketers work. You can even role play with them to make them understand how to speak over the phone, when they sense a fraud and how to tactfully deal with such behavior. By doing this, they’ll be better equipped to handle the fraudulent caller. In addition, you can teach them about credit cards.

In conclusion, keeping your senior safe is a top priority. Witnessing or being a victim of a crime is never fun but can be extremely harmful to seniors who are often targeted victims. The National Council on Aging reports that elders who are abused or suffer a crime are 300% more likely to die faster under the trauma of suffering, as compared to those who have never been mistreated. This shocking figure will only face an increase unless we safeguard our elderly with the appropriate care.