Frauds & Scams, Retirement

Elder Abuse Detection and Prevention

June 11, 2018 • By

Last Updated: August 19, 2021

The statistics about elder abuse tell a troubling story. About five million seniors suffer from some form of abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation each year, and older Americans lose more than $2.6 billion annually because of these crimes, according to the Administration for Community Living

In an effort to increase awareness of these threats to seniors and to help people identify and prevent cases of elder abuse, the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse launched the first World Elder Abuse Awareness Day in 2006. In 2011, the United Nations officially designated June 15 for this important public awareness event.

To recognize World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will host a Facebook Live broadcast on Wednesday, June 13, at 7 p.m. ET to discuss the detection and prevention of elder abuse. Jennifer Walker of the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) at Social Security will discuss how the OIG detects and prevents cases of suspected elder abuse and financial exploitation, and she will explain how people can identify and report suspected elder abuse, as well as how people can protect themselves or seniors they know from mistreatment.

Raising awareness of elder abuse is very important to SSA and the OIG because many of SSA’s customers are seniors, and some of them depend on representative payees to receive and manage their Social Security benefits. The OIG investigates cases of representative payee fraud and misuse, which can deprive older Social Security beneficiaries of the funds and care that are essential to their welfare.

The OIG also tracks and alerts the public about various theft schemes, which often target seniors, aimed at stealing money or personal information from unknowing victims. The OIG maintains a Scam Awareness page on its website to educate the public on how to identify potential schemes and protect themselves from financial exploitation and identity theft. Jennifer Walker of the OIG will discuss all of this and more during the June 13 Facebook Live broadcast.

June is also World Elder Abuse Awareness Month. Throughout the month, government agencies, businesses, and organizations nationally sponsor events to unite communities, seniors, caregivers, governments, and the private sector to understand the importance of recognizing, understanding, and preventing mistreatment and violence against the elderly.

For more information on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, visit the National Center for Elder Abuse website. The Department of Justice also provides a wealth of information and resources online through its Elder Justice Initiative. If you suspect elder abuse, call 911 for an emergency. In a non-emergency situation, use the Eldercare Locator by calling 800-677-1116 to find your local reporting agency.


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About the Author

Andrew Cannarsa, OIG Communications Director

Comments

  1. Edward V.

    Hi.yes I am a senior citizen us army vet. The super at 70 wanaque ave pompton lakes.nj 07442 is a bully and pimp. He throw away my mail. Hold i.e. gives away my mail to Mexican gangs he is hostile.angry zombi. He let’s other people in my room 6. Steal my food go through my stuff I told him about is theft.copy cats and stray cats who hang around the hotel he don’t care. What can I do…there have been people killed beaches he promotes fighting .

  2. Carlos D.

    I take care of someone who is 95 yrs old. He has been my mentor and father figure for almost 50 yrs. There is nobody in the world that I love more than he.

    I notice long ago how vulnerable he is; mentally and physically. We all have an obligation to look after our loved ones.

    I hope that he stays in this world, near me, for more than a couple of years. I pray to God to give me strength to be able to help him.

    Warmely

  3. Linda N.

    What does one do when they are aware of this?

    • Snarky

      Contact someone you trust or perhaps a senior service agency with your concerns. It is never appropriate to put personal information on a public blog site.

    • Ray F.

      Hi Linda! The Social Security Administration (SSA) will host a Facebook Live broadcast on Wednesday, June 13, at 7 p.m. ET to discuss the detection and prevention of elder abuse. Jennifer Walker of the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) at Social Security will discuss how the OIG detects and prevents cases of suspected elder abuse and financial exploitation, and she will explain how people can identify and report suspected elder abuse, as well as how people can protect themselves or seniors they know from mistreatment.
      We hope you tune in!

  4. Diaz

    It is very important that raising awareness of elder abuse should not be the only medium afforded, but should constitute education much earlier in and with our Nation servicing institutions. From manual labor to the industrial revolution to our service economy and through our age of information/ technology revolution, elder abuse has been in the shadows too long. Legislation is very essential in improving the way the Nation view this type of abuse as any other abuse and the way we all can collaborate to eradicate it , however, we need much more now. The cost of money and the loss of monies are indicators of a very ever increasing threat in and to our families, neighborhoods, institutions, cities and the very fabric of our Nation, not to mention Nursing homes abuses. The product of this behavior can only lead to continue deterioration and fragmentation of our strongest agent in and of our society, “The Family”.
    Awareness and education about these threats to seniors should take the forefront now, as we all may be there during our living.
    I recommend the creation of a task force through each and by every service institutions that deals directly with the provision of services to seniors. This can be achieved via education, social service and medical care. After all, “The fruits of our labor” may just turned out to be just a phrase. The core of this initiative should be designed with the mindset for Education, Detection and Prevention that could lead to prosecution. EDP should become the model for any type of abuse at any level in our society.

  5. Dorothy C.

    Hi!I was a victim! Iam 76 yrs old. Scamed. Hached. Stole. Since October!! On going. Court . the state of Fl. Been fighting for my money. I feel like the. One who did this. It is a awful. Feeling. You don’t want to go on. He killed my dog!he is in jail. I got brain washed. It came to about$7000?

    • Snarky

      Contact someone or an agency that you trust with your concerns. It is never appropriate to put personal information on a public blog site.

  6. Fred

    Yes, I need to get a social security card. I tried to apply for one on the ssn website, but couldn’t get through. Can you provide me detail instructions on how to get a replacen ss card?

    Fred Lum

    • Snarky

      Sort of off topic, don’t you think?

  7. Andrey G.

    ___123___Elder Abuse Detection and Prevention | Social Security Matters___123___

    • Snarky

      Contact someone you trust with your concerns. It is never appropriate to put personal information on a public blog site.

      • SS

        Thanks. I did not think that I put any on, until I saw that my name was posted in association with the post. Did not think of that.

  8. Shane S.

    Can a spouse financially abuse her partner?
    My dad is an 86 year old man who had a stroke in 11/2017. Now has some memory issues. He is at a care facility being covered 100% by Medicaid after an initial hospitalization. The facility said he is well enough to leave and get an apartment. His 71 year old spouse (3rd wife) has never worked and they each receive SSA based on his earnings and he has a small VA benefit. She is collecting all of their combined SSA and his VA (total about $2,200 per month) providing him no money and very minimal support (a new electric razor). I, his son, have taken him out of the facility on a couple outings. But he has no money to do things with. She does not keep the money in a bank which must be over $14,000, instead she is living with her sister and sisters husband and are keeping cash in a safe. She is not doing anything toward getting a place for them to live. Note that he was a small business owner who lost his business in the Bush recession and has not worked for a couple of years and has back taxes due for several years. But she will not address those. I believe that she is waiting him out and hoarding their income until he passes. My brother and I set up a status meeting a couple of months ago to discuss my father’s status, treatment, future plans etc with the facility and social worker. His spouse refused to attend. Is there anything wrong with her refusal to allow him access to his money?

    • Snarky

      Yes, this is wrong. Contact Social Security and apply to be your father’s payee. By the way, it is never appropriate to put personal information on a public blog site.

      • SS

        You’re right Snarky. I didn’t, until I see that my name is associated with the post.. Ugh.

        • Mangaip

          Hopefully immoral acts against the elderly decreases. Greting from Mangaip

  9. Tammie K.

    I am the lone support of my mentally ill at age 15 car rollover injury and physically he was changing 18 wheeler truck tires 12 hr days at job… he was injured without knowing it, now has been seen on ct scan. Why is my only help as : years ago… now get more than 18 dollars in food stamp help very grateful. Need him to be Meicaly insured? Told was investigating but no No coverage? Why or if his bi polar is on. I am always in danger.. why is he not covered. I need safe life, he is big I am tiny. Scared and he is depressed. Now, I am not safe but the help is turned don. He tried to work. Has been turned down be after his ??????? evaluation as well as no coverage for dearly done in my work I family paid coverage all my life of Beaumont hospitals and all jobs.. he has maintainance meds as I do a have a heart valve replacement as Coumadin is a maintainance med as his
    Dad was a very uncaring sexual transmitted disease my life is a pill of huge cost but he was a carrier who told no one. Never took meds so. Please help my 35 yr old get covered. He was on app but got so truly depressed as he has been for over 6 months… please? I can be killed if his bipolar gets away from him… he needs meds he needs dr’s. Please please please. He is Dennis Matthew Otto Luker. His phone is never on now. My phone is +13524263487. Tammie Karkeet. I sm all the house bills and his support is me. When meds are in phase he is best ever. But this depression scary cause I see his bi polar issue coming next…

    • Snarky

      Contact someone you trust with your concerns. It is never appropriate to put personal information on a public blog site.

  10. Lesly F.

    I’m scare to get abuse in my elderly lifetime now I’m 64 years old next year i will turn 65 years old and I’m poor.tomorrow is my hearing date.from social security Administration.

    • lesly f.

      Yes i am been who start get on my very early 65 years old right now

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