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Keeping the Elderly Safe in the 21 st Century National Crime Prevention Council 2006.

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Presentation on theme: "Keeping the Elderly Safe in the 21 st Century National Crime Prevention Council 2006."— Presentation transcript:

1 Keeping the Elderly Safe in the 21 st Century National Crime Prevention Council 2006

2 National Crime Prevention Council Workshop Goal and Objectives Attendees will be better equipped to assist their aging parents or other friends and loved ones from becoming victims of crime by Attendees will be better equipped to assist their aging parents or other friends and loved ones from becoming victims of crime by –Understanding the Processes of Aging –Identifying Threats and Challenges –Recognizing Signs and Potential Dangers –Developing Prevention/Intervention Strategies

3 National Crime Prevention Council Introduction Senior citizens (age 65 and older) currently make up 13% of the population. Senior citizens (age 65 and older) currently make up 13% of the population. Baby boomers are entering that age group. Baby boomers are entering that age group. The number of seniors will continue to grow over the coming years. The number of seniors will continue to grow over the coming years.

4 National Crime Prevention Council Introduction As the senior citizen population grows, they will need more care and attention. As the senior citizen population grows, they will need more care and attention. More adults will find themselves caring for and assisting their elderly parents and loved ones. More adults will find themselves caring for and assisting their elderly parents and loved ones. The elderly often turn to their adult children in times of need. The elderly often turn to their adult children in times of need.

5 National Crime Prevention Council Introduction The elderly are sometimes ignored, even by loved ones. The elderly are sometimes ignored, even by loved ones. They can be victims of crime like the rest of us, and especially of They can be victims of crime like the rest of us, and especially of –Physical abuse –Financial exploitation –Fraud –Self neglect

6 National Crime Prevention Council Why it’s Important As the population of seniors grows Adult children will be called upon more often to resolve problems. Adult children will be called upon more often to resolve problems. Public safety officials will get more calls for service concerning the elderly. Public safety officials will get more calls for service concerning the elderly. Perpetrators will more readily target seniors. Perpetrators will more readily target seniors.

7 National Crime Prevention Council Senior Citizens Older Americans deal with issues like the rest of us, including Loneliness or aloneness Loneliness or aloneness Depression Depression But also age-specific issues, including Retirement Retirement Diminished health Diminished health Reduced independence Reduced independence Dementia and Alzheimer's disease Dementia and Alzheimer's disease

8 National Crime Prevention Council Senior Citizens Some senior citizens are in great health and are fully capable of caring for themselves. Many of them volunteer some of their free time to help others by Mentoring Mentoring Teaching Teaching Joining Neighborhood Watch groups Joining Neighborhood Watch groups Organizing community events Organizing community events

9 National Crime Prevention Council Seniors Volunteering On average, senior citizens volunteer less than other age groups, but when they do, they tend to become very involved and volunteer more hours than other age groups. On average, senior citizens volunteer less than other age groups, but when they do, they tend to become very involved and volunteer more hours than other age groups. It is predicted that the “boomer” generation will be more active in volunteer activities. It is predicted that the “boomer” generation will be more active in volunteer activities.

10 National Crime Prevention Council Seniors in the News

11 National Crime Prevention Council Seniors in the News

12 National Crime Prevention Council Senior Volunteer Opportunities Senior Corps Senior Corps USA Freedom Corps USA Freedom Corps Senior Citizens Bureau Senior Citizens Bureau Older Americans Act Programs Older Americans Act Programs Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) AARP AARP

13 National Crime Prevention Council Elder Care Issues Many senior citizens are unable to care for themselves, and require special attention. In these situations, loved ones should watch for Elder abuse Elder abuse Financial exploitation Financial exploitation Neglect and self-neglect Neglect and self-neglect Seclusion Seclusion However, there is also plenty of help available to caregivers.

14 National Crime Prevention Council Doctor Marion

15 National Crime Prevention Council Elder Care Make sure the health agency is insured, bonded, and that criminal background checks have been completed. Make sure the health agency is insured, bonded, and that criminal background checks have been completed. The Eldercare Locator can help you find appropriate care. Visit this resource at or call The Eldercare Locator can help you find appropriate care. Visit this resource at or call

16 National Crime Prevention Council Eldercare Locator

17 National Crime Prevention Council Things to Watch For There are several ways that elder abuse is committed: There are several ways that elder abuse is committed: –Physical –Emotional –Sexual –Neglect –Abandonment In addition, seniors may neglect their own welfare.

18 National Crime Prevention Council Signs of Physical Abuse Bruises, black eyes, broken bones Bruises, black eyes, broken bones Open wounds, punctures, untreated injuries Open wounds, punctures, untreated injuries Sprains, dislocations Sprains, dislocations Broken eyeglasses/frames, signs of being restrained Broken eyeglasses/frames, signs of being restrained Over- or underutilization of medication Over- or underutilization of medication Caregiver’s refusal to allow visitors to see an elder alone Caregiver’s refusal to allow visitors to see an elder alone The senior’s verbal report of being mistreated The senior’s verbal report of being mistreated

19 National Crime Prevention Council Signs of Emotional Abuse Elder is emotionally upset or agitated Elder is emotionally upset or agitated Senior is withdrawn and noncommunicative or nonresponsive Senior is withdrawn and noncommunicative or nonresponsive Unusual behavior, such as sucking, biting, or rocking Unusual behavior, such as sucking, biting, or rocking An elder’s report of being verbally or emotionally mistreated An elder’s report of being verbally or emotionally mistreated

20 National Crime Prevention Council Signs of Sexual Abuse Bruises or bleeding around vaginal or genital area Bruises or bleeding around vaginal or genital area Unexplained venereal disease or genital infections Unexplained venereal disease or genital infections Torn, stained, or bloody underclothing Torn, stained, or bloody underclothing An elder’s report of being sexually assaulted or raped An elder’s report of being sexually assaulted or raped

21 National Crime Prevention Council Signs of Neglect Dehydration, malnutrition, untreated bed sores, poor personal hygiene Dehydration, malnutrition, untreated bed sores, poor personal hygiene Unsanitary, unclean, or unsafe living quarters Unsanitary, unclean, or unsafe living quarters Lack of clothing or inadequate clothing Lack of clothing or inadequate clothing Inadequate housing or homelessness Inadequate housing or homelessness An elder’s report of being mistreated An elder’s report of being mistreated

22 National Crime Prevention Council Signs of Abandonment Desertion of an elder at a hospital, nursing facility, or similar institution Desertion of an elder at a hospital, nursing facility, or similar institution Senior’s disorientation Senior’s disorientation Desertion of an elder at a shopping center, park, or other public area Desertion of an elder at a shopping center, park, or other public area An elder’s report of being abandoned An elder’s report of being abandoned

23 National Crime Prevention Council Eldercare Locator If you recognize any of these signs of abuse, contact the Eldercare Locator help line as soon as possible , Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – , Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 8 p.m. ET 8 p.m. ET Call immediately if someone you know is in serious or life-threatening danger Call immediately if someone you know is in serious or life-threatening danger

24 National Crime Prevention Council Elder Care On the Internet, there are more resources available to assist caregivers. Doctor Marion, Doctor Marion,

25 National Crime Prevention Council Financial Exploitation The unique issues that senior citizens face can leave The unique issues that senior citizens face can leave them more at risk of becoming victims of fraud or identity theft than other age groups. Caregivers should watch for signs of financial exploitation in their older parents and realize that these crimes could be committed by anyone – even the elder’s family members or other caregivers. Caregivers should watch for signs of financial exploitation in their older parents and realize that these crimes could be committed by anyone – even the elder’s family members or other caregivers.

26 National Crime Prevention Council Financial Exploitation Many criminals consider senior citizens easy targets for scams because they May have a “nest egg” to spend or invest May have a “nest egg” to spend or invest Might be lonely and more willing to talk to strangers Might be lonely and more willing to talk to strangers Are less likely to report fraud than other age groups Are less likely to report fraud than other age groups No longer have their partner and confidant to talk to No longer have their partner and confidant to talk to

27 National Crime Prevention Council Preventing Financial Exploitation Minimize isolation Minimize isolation –Family and friends can help with early detection. Formal credit checks of senior’s finances Formal credit checks of senior’s finances Background checks on caregivers or people close to possible victim Background checks on caregivers or people close to possible victim

28 National Crime Prevention Council Financial Exploitation Warning Signs Overdrawn bank accounts Overdrawn bank accounts Junk mail piling up at home Junk mail piling up at home Numerous phone calls from numbers child/caregiver doesn’t recognize Numerous phone calls from numbers child/caregiver doesn’t recognize “Gimme” gifts—cheap, useless items like whistles, hats, rulers, or bumper stickers “Gimme” gifts—cheap, useless items like whistles, hats, rulers, or bumper stickers

29 National Crime Prevention Council Financial Exploitation Intervention If you suspect that an elder has been exploited financially Contact the local adult protective services agency. Contact the local adult protective services agency. Contact your state’s attorney general’s office. Contact your state’s attorney general’s office. File a report with the local police. File a report with the local police.

30 National Crime Prevention Council Telemarketing Fraud Criminals use high-pressure sales tactics and psychology to exploit the trust of victims. Remind older loved ones that Offers that seem too good to be true usually are. Offers that seem too good to be true usually are. You do not have to be polite to salespeople. You do not have to be polite to salespeople. When on the phone, always feel free to say “No,” and hang up. It’s not rude – it’s shrewd. When on the phone, always feel free to say “No,” and hang up. It’s not rude – it’s shrewd.

31 National Crime Prevention Council Telemarketing Fraud Warning Signs Beware of the classic lines below, which are often used by scam artists “You must act now, or the offer will expire.” “You must act now, or the offer will expire.” “You have won a free gift, but you must pay for postage” (or another charge). “You have won a free gift, but you must pay for postage” (or another charge). “Don’t miss this ‘high-profit, no-risk’ offer.” “Don’t miss this ‘high-profit, no-risk’ offer.”

32 National Crime Prevention Council Telemarketing Tip #1 Make sure seniors are familiar with the tips below and on the following slides to make sure they aren’t victims of fraud. Never give out personal information over the phone unless they initiated the call and trust the person or agency receiving the call. Legitimate callers will not ask for this information. Never give out personal information over the phone unless they initiated the call and trust the person or agency receiving the call. Legitimate callers will not ask for this information. “I don’t give out personal information over the phone. I’ll contact the company directly and provide them with the necessary information.”

33 National Crime Prevention Council Telemarketing Tip #2 If the caller says something is free, then they shouldn’t have to pay to receive it. If the caller says something is free, then they shouldn’t have to pay to receive it. They should not need to pay handling charges or taxes. They should not need to pay handling charges or taxes. “I shouldn’t have to send money for something that’s free.”

34 National Crime Prevention Council Telemarketing Tip #3 “Limited time offers” should not require an immediate decision. “Limited time offers” should not require an immediate decision. Legitimate callers will not rush them. Legitimate callers will not rush them. They should sleep on it for a day or two. They should sleep on it for a day or two. “I’d like some time to think about this. Tell me how I can get in touch with you. If I’m interested, I’ll call you back.”

35 National Crime Prevention Council Telemarketing Tip #4 Be wary of any caller that tries to convince them not to speak with anyone about the call. Be wary of any caller that tries to convince them not to speak with anyone about the call. “I’d like to take some time to discuss this with my family and friends, and I’ll get back to you if I’m still interested.”

36 National Crime Prevention Council Telemarketing Tip #5 It can be hard to understand the verbal details of an offer. It can be hard to understand the verbal details of an offer. Request to receive details in the mail. Request to receive details in the mail. All legitimate business offers and investments should be able to comply. All legitimate business offers and investments should be able to comply. “If you can’t mail me the information, then I can’t talk to you.”

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38 National Crime Prevention Council Fraud The Federal Trade Commission received a total of 99,135 fraud-related complaints from consumers age 50 and over in 2005 Foreign money offers (10%) Foreign money offers (10%) Prizes/sweepstakes and lotteries (9%) Prizes/sweepstakes and lotteries (9%) Internet auctions (9%) Internet auctions (9%) Internet services and computer complaints (6%) Internet services and computer complaints (6%) Shop-at-home/catalog sales (6%) Shop-at-home/catalog sales (6%) Telephone services (3%) Telephone services (3%)

39 National Crime Prevention Council Identity Theft Seniors have the smallest rate of identity theft fraud victims; however, the Federal Trade Commission received a total of 56,584 identity-theft related complaints from consumers age 50 and over in Credit card fraud (34%) Credit card fraud (34%) Bank fraud (18%) Bank fraud (18%) Phone or utilities fraud (15%) Phone or utilities fraud (15%) 63% of identity theft is committed by someone the victim knows. 63% of identity theft is committed by someone the victim knows.

40 National Crime Prevention Council Preventing Identity Theft Make sure seniors are aware of these prevention tips: Shred all discarded mail with personal information. Shred all discarded mail with personal information. Routinely monitor financial accounts and billing statements. Routinely monitor financial accounts and billing statements. Make a copy of everything in their wallet in case it is lost or stolen. Make a copy of everything in their wallet in case it is lost or stolen. Keep records of conversations and copies of all correspondence. Keep records of conversations and copies of all correspondence.

41 National Crime Prevention Council Identity Theft Warning Signs Failing to receive bills or other mail Failing to receive bills or other mail Receiving credit cards for which they did not apply Receiving credit cards for which they did not apply Being denied credit, or offered less favorable credit terms, for no apparent reason Being denied credit, or offered less favorable credit terms, for no apparent reason Getting calls or letters from debt collectors or businesses about items or services they did not buy Getting calls or letters from debt collectors or businesses about items or services they did not buy

42 National Crime Prevention Council Identity Theft Intervention If you suspect your identity or an elder’s has been stolen Place a fraud alert on your credit reports and review them with the major credit reporting agencies, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion Place a fraud alert on your credit reports and review them with the major credit reporting agencies, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion Close accounts you believe are fraudulent or may have been subject to tampering Close accounts you believe are fraudulent or may have been subject to tampering File a report with local police where the ID theft took place File a report with local police where the ID theft took place File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission –www.ftc.gov

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44 National Crime Prevention Council General Safety Tips Make sure seniors follow these tips at home: Use sturdy metal or solid wood doors, and install and use deadbolt locks (1 ½ inch throw or greater). Use sturdy metal or solid wood doors, and install and use deadbolt locks (1 ½ inch throw or greater). Use wide-angle viewers in doors at different heights if necessary. Use wide-angle viewers in doors at different heights if necessary. Light up entry doors; use motion detectors or floodlights. Light up entry doors; use motion detectors or floodlights. Trim shrubbery around doors and windows and make sure the address is displayed for emergency personnel. Trim shrubbery around doors and windows and make sure the address is displayed for emergency personnel. Give an extra key to a trusted neighbor. Give an extra key to a trusted neighbor.

45 National Crime Prevention Council General Safety Tips At home Ask for photo identification from service, delivery or utility workers before letting them in. Ask for photo identification from service, delivery or utility workers before letting them in. Ask law enforcement for a free home security survey. Ask law enforcement for a free home security survey. Consider installing an alarm. Consider installing an alarm.

46 National Crime Prevention Council General Safety Tips Out and About Go out with friends and family, not alone. Go out with friends and family, not alone. Walk purposely and know where they are. Walk purposely and know where they are. Walk down the middle of the sidewalk rather than along doorways or the curb. Walk down the middle of the sidewalk rather than along doorways or the curb. Keep purses close to their bodies and wallets in front pants or jacket pocket. Keep purses close to their bodies and wallets in front pants or jacket pocket. Carry only cash, credit cards, and ID that will be needed. Carry only cash, credit cards, and ID that will be needed.

47 National Crime Prevention Council General Safety Tips Out and About Use busier, better-lighted stops on public transit. Use busier, better-lighted stops on public transit. Sit near the bus driver or, in subway cars, with several other passengers. Sit near the bus driver or, in subway cars, with several other passengers. If someone seems to be following them, turn in the opposite direction or cross the street. If they persist, approach the nearest group of people and ask for help. If someone seems to be following them, turn in the opposite direction or cross the street. If they persist, approach the nearest group of people and ask for help. If someone or something makes them uneasy, trust their instincts and leave. If someone or something makes them uneasy, trust their instincts and leave.

48 National Crime Prevention Council General Safety Tips In the Neighborhood Know your neighbors. Know your neighbors. Report crime and suspicious activities to police. Report crime and suspicious activities to police. Start or strengthen a Neighborhood Watch group. Start or strengthen a Neighborhood Watch group. Find out if their area has community policing, and get to know the officers assigned to their neighborhood. Find out if their area has community policing, and get to know the officers assigned to their neighborhood.

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50 National Crime Prevention Council Emergency Preparedness No one expects to deal with disaster, but everyone can prepare for them. Senior citizens should be ready to deal with emergencies like Hurricanes Hurricanes Earthquakes Earthquakes Power outages Power outages Flooding Flooding Fires Fires Toxic spills Toxic spills

51 National Crime Prevention Council Emergency Preparedness Make sure seniors stock up on supplies for at least three days Food, water Food, water First aid kit, medicine First aid kit, medicine Phone numbers of local and nonlocal relatives Phone numbers of local and nonlocal relatives Personal hygiene supplies Personal hygiene supplies Battery-powered radio, flashlight Battery-powered radio, flashlight Change of clothes, extra keys Change of clothes, extra keys Cash, change, credit cards Cash, change, credit cards

52 National Crime Prevention Council Emergency Preparedness Checklist Post emergency phone numbers by phone. Post emergency phone numbers by phone. Arrange for someone to check on seniors. Arrange for someone to check on seniors. Plan ahead for transportation. Plan ahead for transportation. Have an evacuation plan and practice it. Have an evacuation plan and practice it. Find the safe places in their home for each type of emergency. Find the safe places in their home for each type of emergency.

53 National Crime Prevention Council Emergency Preparedness Checklist Plan ahead with their home health care service. Plan ahead with their home health care service. Teach those who may be providing assistance how to operate necessary equipment. Teach those who may be providing assistance how to operate necessary equipment. Be sure others know their medical needs. Be sure others know their medical needs.

54 National Crime Prevention Council Emergency Preparedness Notification National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) weather radio National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) weather radio –Call your local National Weather Service office. Commercial radio and television stations Commercial radio and television stations Door-to-door warning from officials Door-to-door warning from officials

55 National Crime Prevention Council Emergency Preparedness Preparation for Pets Assemble an animal emergency supply kit. Assemble an animal emergency supply kit. Plan in advance for shelter alternatives. Plan in advance for shelter alternatives. Develop buddy system with friends and relatives. Develop buddy system with friends and relatives. Visit Visit

56 National Crime Prevention Council Conclusions Keeping your elderly loved ones safe is easier when planned for in advance. Keeping your elderly loved ones safe is easier when planned for in advance. Talk to them beforehand about their safety. Talk to them beforehand about their safety. Pay attention to what they say, so you can notice if things change. Pay attention to what they say, so you can notice if things change. Your local office on aging is there to help you care for the elderly. Your local office on aging is there to help you care for the elderly.

57 National Crime Prevention Council Resources National Crime Prevention Council: National Crime Prevention Council: National Criminal Justice Reference Service: National Criminal Justice Reference Service: AARP: AARP: Health and Human Services: Health and Human Services: Alzheimer’s Association: Alzheimer’s Association:

58 National Crime Prevention Council National Crime Prevention Council 1000 Connecticut Avenue, NW Thirteenth Floor Washington, DC www.ncpc.org

59 National Crime Prevention Council Presenter Contact Information


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