The Howard County Office on Aging and Independence is partnering with local, state and federal agencies to spread awareness and prevention strategies on elder abuse and neglect, and financial exploitation. To learn how you can recognize and report elder abuse, follow us on Facebook or view the Elder Abuse Awareness Guide and other information, below.
Help combat social isolation in our community - volunteer for the new Phone a Senior program to make weekly calls of support to older adults. For more information, to volunteer or to sign up to receive calls, contact Maryland Access Point of Howard County at 410-313-1234 (voice/relay) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you or someone you know has been a victim of elder fraud, help is available from the National Elder Fraud Hotline, a new service created by the U.S. Department of Justice. Contact them at 1-833–FRAUD–11 or 1-833–372–8311 every day, from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. (English/Español/other languages available). Visit https://stopelderfraud.ovc.ojp.gov/ for more information.
A collaborative effort of the Howard County Office on Aging and Independence and its community partners, the Elder Abuse Awareness Guide was designed to help individuals, first responders and other professionals throughout the community to recognize the signs, symptoms and types of elder abuse, as well as develop strategies to reduce the incidence of abuse and spread awareness.
Elder abuse affects hundreds of thousands of people each year, yet just one in fourteen cases is brought to the attention of authorities. Individuals suffering from cognitive impairment or Alzheimer's Disease are particularly vulnerable. Elder victims tend to be the most isolated of all victims of family violence; they are likely to have fewer social connections to the community that would normally be an avenue of help.
Here are some things you can do to help:
Types of Elder Abuse
Preventing Scams & Fraud
Older adults 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 Protection educates the public on how to avoid being a victim of a scam and prevent fraud, and also handles complaints against businesses. To find out more about these services, call 410-313-6420 (voice/relay) or email email@example.com.
The Maryland Department of Aging's attorney general has created the following guidelines as part of its Project SAFE.
During Protect Week, June 15-21, 2020, Marylanders will have an opportunity to learn about the many forms of abuse, neglect and financial exploitation of older adults via the resources of more than a dozen local and national partners including the Maryland Office of the Attorney General, Maryland Office of the Comptroller, Office of the Commissioner of Financial Regulation, Maryland Department of Aging, CCCSMD, AARP Maryland and AARP Fraud Watch Network, Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs, Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service, EverSafe. For more information and resources, visit www.protectweek.org and the Maryland Consumer Rights Coalition.
Avoiding Medicare Fraud
Unfortunately, Medicare Fraud offers new opportunities for con artists to steal money and personal information from unwary health care shoppers. Consumers need to be alert to offers of "help" that will instead damage their pocketbooks. Keep the following tips in mind to avoid becoming a victim of Medicare fraud.