What is Elder Abuse?
The Howard County Office on Aging has partnered with the Howard County Police Department to educate residents about Elder Abuse and highlight the important role that citizens can play in recognizing and reporting suspected abuse. Determining whether an older adult is a victim of abuse can be challenging. Some changes in physical and mental abilities occur naturally with age, and may or may not be due to abuse or neglect. The Eldercare Locator, a public service of the U.S. Administration on Aging, has compiled a list of 10 Warning Signs an Older Loved One May Need Assistance to help older adults, family members, and caregivers recognize when extra help is needed in the home.
On the other hand, the signs of Elder Abuse -- whether emotional, sexual, physical or financial -- are not always readily apparent, or even visible. The National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) urges individuals, families, community groups, organizations, and businesses to “Take A Stand” by participating in elder abuse awareness and prevention efforts. To learn how to spot the warning signs of abuse or mistreatment, the NCEA's reference guide, the Red Flags of Abuse can help. There are many other ways to become involved as well, from visiting an older neighbor who lives alone, to volunteering for a program that benefits seniors, to supporting a local abuse prevention initiative. For more information, view the Elder Abuse Awareness Day 2012 Fact Sheet.
Preventing Scams & Fraud
Senior citizens in Howard County, as well as the rest of the United States, are often targets of scams and fraud, which are forms of financial abuse. The Howard County Office of Consumer Affairs educates the public on how to avoid being a victim of a scam and prevent fraud, and also handles complaints against businesses (don't miss the Identity Theft Forum on June 13, 2013 from 7 to 9 pm. at Howard High School. Click here for details.) To find out more about these services, call 410-313-6420 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
How to report abuse?
Raising awareness about the types and signs of Elder Abuse is just the first step. The Office on Aging and Howard County Police urge citizens to "make a difference, make the call" by calling 9-1-1 to report suspected abuse or neglect. To learn more about local, state and national organizations involved in the protection of our most vulnerable citizens, click on one or more of the following links. To contact the Howard County Office on Aging for assistance, call 410-313-5980 or email email@example.com.
In Howard County, contact:
In the state of Maryland, contact: