Lifting Up the Voices of Social Security Beneficiaries

July 18, 2019 • By

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Last Updated: July 18, 2019

" "Elder Abuse is something most people don’t like to talk about. Yet, research shows that as many as two million elders are abused in the United States every year. With the help of our partners at Social Security, the National Center on Elder Abuse believes we can all find a solution to physical, emotional, sexual, financial, and neglectful abuse against the elderly.

The National Center on Elder Abuse provides the latest information, research, training, best practices, and resources on elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation. Our agency was first established by the U.S. Administration on Aging in 1988 as a national elder abuse resource center.

At the heart of elder abuse is a leading factor of abuse — social isolation. Isolation, in this context, means a scarce amount of close relationships and social contact with family and/or friends. Research shows that older adults who have poor social networks are consistently more at risk. Although social isolation can show up in many ways, building strong community support is essential to deterring abuse.

Social Security is a pinnacle of reliability and steadfastness for older adults. When Social Security speaks, people listen. We applaud the agency’s efforts to communicate with and provide resources for the elderly.

The other day a frightened 84-year-old gentleman contacted our offices. He received a call from “Social Security” stating that his Social Security number and Medicare information had been compromised. They needed him to verify his information over the phone. At first, the call seemed legitimate but then he thought it was odd that Social Security would call him to verify his personal information. He hung up, fearful that someone was trying to steal his identity. We assured him he did the right thing and instructed him to report that information to the Office of Inspector General online or by calling (800) 269-0271.

We also urged him to report these scams to the Federal Trade Commission through a new site related to Social Security scams. He was grateful for these resources and relieved to know where to file his report. This infrastructure of support empowers individuals.

You can help us in our endeavor to Lift Up the Voices against elderly abuse by downloading our Support and Tools for Elder Abuse Prevention, STEAP. Together, we can build a society that, as we age, embraces the power, wisdom, and beauty of years of learning and growing.

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About the Author

Julie Schoen, Deputy Director of the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA)

Julie Schoen, Deputy Director of the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA)


  1. Chuc V.

    I feel confident in SS Departments.On July 8,2019 at 4:36PM Igot a call from number 1(646)594-3974 told me that”This call from the Department of SS administration that just suspend my SS number because of some suspicious activity.”I know I don’t have anything wrong and ldon’t answer.

  2. Dori

    One of the things I started at church is forming a volunteer group offering a good morning call daily or a short visit on certain days, have a group of elders get together to play a mutually liked game on occasion, remember birthdays with sharing a home made birthday cake or church members sending a birthday card. Important holidays such as Christmas should never be spent alone…invite an elderly person to your home. A ride to the doctor or dentist, food shopping, etc is always gratefully accepted. To be included in these things the elderly person is asked to be put on a list of recipients.
    We all we be elderly one day. Think about it.

  3. lesly f.

    I am not to thing but God have to say something abused in this country.

  4. Cal

    We also have so many Elderly that are alone. No family or relatives at all. They need to be cared about also, consider that as abuse? Veterans who are neglected and homeless? We need to do something.

  5. Brett

    While I lack evidence so far, I am convinced that LRADs is in widespread uses not only by police but even your neighbors who harass you with LRADs. If you do not know what a LRAD is, please go to the Internet and dig really hard as if you are a victim yourself or ask me for more answers..

    • Eugene S.

      As you suggested, I went to the web and researched LRAD. So what is your point?

  6. Irene O.


    • Mueller, G.

      By saying thanks, does that mean you are working on a solution or not?

  7. G.K.Chinoy

    Our compliments on your compassionate and caring about Elder Abuse.

    One of the most annoying phenomenon is “robo calls.” We know that we are not supposed to answer the tele. if we do not know the person on the other line, or if we do not recognize the tele. no.

    And when we have complained, we are told to contact some Federal Communication agency and they have on line forms to complete, and at the end, nothing happens.

    If you can find a solution to this problem, which we feel confident that you can as part of the Federal agency family , it will be greatly appreciated.


    • Jan

      My Congressman (Colin Allred) is co-sponsor of a bill that is trying to do exactly that! But it will likely be killed in the Senate by do-nothing MM.

    • Jan

      My Congressman is co-sponsor of a bill to do exactly that! Colin Allred. But it will likely die in the Senate, like every bill these days.

  8. Luvisminda B.

    This is a good program for prevention of elder abuse. It is of great help to give awareness and tips for the elders against fraud calls just to get their identity.
    I am great full to have this information.

  9. Gigi

    All of us can make a small change with elder abuse. If you know someone who is stuck at home visit them, or take them for a ride, or out to dinner, talk on the phone. Just be available and willing to help and we can all make a small contribution to stop the isolation.

  10. Anthony M.

    I greatly applaud this constructive and beneficial effort!

    • Jenna Y.

      Thank you for your feedback, Anthony! Your thoughts are important to us and we’re pleased when feedback is positive.

      • Cynthia


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