Stop Elder Abuse
Elder Abuse is any action or inaction that results in harm or threatened harm to the health or welfare of a senior. It involves coercive control which can include: financial exploitation, emotional, physical abuse or neglect.
Every year an estimated 2.1 million older Americans are victims of abuse and neglect. For every reported case of abuse it is estimated that 5 or more cases go unreported.
- Female over the age of 80
- Isolation and/or dependence on caregivers
- Physical or mental impairment
- History of mental illness
- Personal or family history of abuse
General Signs of Abuse
The following are some of the warning signs for elder abuse:
- Changes in personality or behavior, withdrawn, passive or fearful especially around their caregiver
- Delay in seeking medical treatment, unkempt appearance, dirty or inappropriate clothing, missing dentures, glasses, hearing aid
- Discrepancy between income and standard of living
- Unavailability to visitors or callers, visits monitored by caregiver
- Missing checks, income or possessions, changes in will, power of attorney or policies
- Unexplained or frequent injuries or broken bones
If you suspect elder abuse, here are some Albany County agencies and programs you can talk to anonymously about your concerns:
If someone is in immediate danger, call 911 or the local police for immediate help.
Albany County Adult Protective Services—serves anyone 18 years or older, regardless of income who are in danger of being mistreated or neglected and are unable to take care of themselves or protect themselves from harm. Caseworkers will investigate reports, assess for risk, develop a care plan, assist with supportive services and take legal action if warranted. Adult Protective Services can be contacted by calling Albany County NY-Connects at (518) 447-7177.
Equinox Elder Abuse Project—provides counseling, case management, shelter, and legal advocacy to elder victims of domestic abuse. Call (518) 434–6135 or visit http://www.equinoxinc.org/whatwedo/elderabuse.php
S.A.L.T. Seniors and Law Enforcement Together— the Albany County District Attorney has organized a Senior Citizen Advisory Council to address issues related to adult abuse and crimes against the elderly. To talk to one of the Adult Abuse Staff members call (518) 447-7258 or visit: http://albanycountyda.com/Bureaus/RevJohnUMillerOR/Initiatives/SALT.aspx
Albany County Department for Aging’s Elder Law Attorney - through Legal Aid of Northeastern New York can provide Albany County seniors with legal advice and representation on civil legal issues including abuse, neglect, exploitation or fraud. CLICK HERE for more information about this program.
Albany County Crime Victim and Sexual Violence Center - The goal of the agency is to provide crisis counseling to rape victims over a 24 hour hotline at (518)-447-7716, and to provide advocacy and support for victims. For more information call 447-5500 or http://www.albanycounty.com/Government/Departments/CrimeVictimandSexualViolenceCenter.aspx
Additional resources and information
The New York State Attorney General: website: www.oag.state.ny.us has information and downloadable guides on a variety of topics including: crime victims' rights, health care proxy, identity theft, consumer tips, credit issues, tenant's rights, and tips on choosing a health care plan. To contact the AG's office, call (518) 474-7330.
The Administration on Aging’s National Center on Elder Abuse: website www.ncea.aoa.gov provides comprehensive information about elder abuse. It helps define the forms of abuse, statistics, and has information on how to help, the laws protecting seniors.
911 Cell phone- Did you know the FCC mandates that any used/charged cell phones can call 911 operator in case of emergency (even if phone is not receiving service)?
Albany County Adult Protective Services- Seniors (or others concerned about a senior) dealing with financial abuse, self-neglect or neglect by a caregiver, physical abuse, emotional/verbal abuse, sexual abuse, can contact Albany County Adult Protective Services by calling (518) 447-7177; or the Albany County Crime Victim and Sexual Violence Center at: (518) 447-7716 (hotline) or (518) 447-5500 (office) for assistance. For more info see the National Center on Elder Abuse at www.ncea.aoa.gov/ncearoot/main-site/index.aspx
The Elder Abuse Project -Seniors can receive support and information from this program. Services include safety planning, support and counseling, case management, advocacy, shelter medical needs assessment, referrals for legal counseling. Call the 24 hour hotline at 432-7865 for more information.
National Crime Prevention Council- website has two downloadable documents that provide home and neighborhood safety tips for seniors can help to prevent crime: ‘Safer Seniors’ (http://www.ncpc.org/cms/cmsupload/ncpc/files/saferseniors.pdf) and ‘A Safety Checklist for Apartments’ (http://www.ncpc.org/resources/files/pdf/neighborhood-safety/aptchk.pdf)