“See Something, Say Something” Applies to Elder Abuse Too

“See Something, Say Something” Applies to Elder Abuse Too

Tragically, the term “See Something, Say Something” and its call to action are focused these days on defending ourselves against acts of terrorism right here, where we live. But the concept the term expresses applies to other things against which we must defend ourselves, our friends, neighbors, and loved ones. One such thing is the growing problem of Elder Abuse.

Elder Abuse takes many forms. It can be physical, emotional, sexual, or financial and can include neglect, abandonment and criminal activities such as swindles and cons. Much elder abuse is a combination of several of these forms. The results can be devastating to the victim.

As a person ages, and becomes more physically frail and dependent on others, they are less likely to be able to defend themselves or even recognize that the abuse is occurring. Couple their increasing frailty with hearing loss, poor eyesight, and a loss of mental sharpness and vulnerability greatly increases. The abusers can be strangers, but it is more likely that they are friends or relatives of the abused elder. Some are professional criminals.

According to the National Center for Elder Abuse, “an estimated 1.2 million older Americans are victims of physical, psychological, or other forms of abuse and neglect. Those statistics may not tell the whole story. For every case of elder abuse and neglect that is reported to authorities, experts estimate that there may be as many as five cases that have not been reported. Recent research suggests that elders who have been abused tend to die earlier than those who are not abused, even in the absence of chronic conditions or life threatening disease.”

Abuse can be somewhat minor looking or go unnoticed such as a caregiver raising their voice to control behavior or threatening to or actually withholding something the elder needs, or neglecting the elder by leaving them alone for long periods. Many times abuse occurs when the caregiver and elder are alone.

Many people who hear “elder abuse and neglect” think about older people living in nursing homes or about elderly relatives who live all alone and never have visitors. But elder abuse is not just a problem of older people living on the margins of our everyday life. Often it occurs in our midst, out in the open.

Financial abuse and exploitation is an example of a form of abuse that usually occurs in the presence of others.

An actual occurrence here in Orange County is a case in point. A very nice lady, let’s call her Mrs. Jones was a long-time regular customer of a bank. The staff knew her well and she visited the bank often. Mr. Jones passed away over a year ago and Mrs. Jones was coping with the loss very well, her grief had subsided and her normal happy demeanor was reemerging.

Then on day she was accompanied to the bank by a man and a woman in their forties. She did her normal banking, nothing unusual, and introduced them as her new caregivers. The bank staff was concerned at first but there was no reason to assume wrongdoing. But as time went on the male half of the couple seemed to increase his control and eventually did most of the talking to the bank staff with Mrs. Jones simply agreeing. The bank staff got more suspicious when checks were processed, written to pay her usual bills, but the signature was slightly different. Then on day a very large check came through payable to the male caregiver and deposited into his account. The bank called Mrs. Jones who said it was a loan to him and told the bank to pay the check. She seemed tense, not herself. The bank contacted the Orange County Council on Aging elder abuse hotline and reported the incident. It turned out that the couple was attempting to gain title to Mrs. Jones’ assets, including her home and car. Luckily for Mrs. Jones, the couple was not far enough along to do much damage and disappeared. Mrs. Jones had no children but a niece was contacted who came to her rescue. Mrs. Jones sold her home and moved to a very nice independent living facility. She is still there and is very happy all because her bank’s staff saw something and said something.

Bankers, insurance professionals, stock brokers, and financial planners all receive continuing education training in elder abuse so that they can recognize the red flags that indicate the possibility of such abuse. “By increasing awareness among physicians, mental health professionals, home health care workers, and others who provide services to the elderly and family members, patterns of abuse or neglect can be broken, and both the abused person and the abuser can receive needed help,” says the National Center for Elder Abuse.

All of us can help by being observant and recognizing the signs that elder abuse might be present. A great deal of information is available at http://www.elder-abuseca.com/index.html. If you see something, say something to Adult Protective Services (24-hour hotline) at (800) 451-5155.

C. Lawrence “Larry” Thomas

C. Lawrence “Larry” Thomas began working with long-term care and Medicare programs in the mid- 1980s. He is currently associated with Insurance 101 Services to provide long- term care solutions to seniors and those approaching. Larry can be reached at (949) 374-3316 or ltinsurance@me.com.
CA Insurance License # 0C79256.

Latest News

Spotlight on: Wig-Wag Dog Grooming

Business Showcase Sorbet Mag

Spotlight on:  Wig-Wag  Dog Grooming

It’s no surprise why Wig-Wag Dog Grooming is a favorite of San Juan Capistrano residents. Is it because groomer...

Water in the Garden. Quality Care and Stellar Customer Service Characterize this Full-Service Koi Po…

Business Showcase Jody Robinson

Water in the Garden. Quality Care and Stellar Customer Service Characterize this Full-Service Koi Pond Maintenance Company

When we moved into our home three years ago, the property came with a very pretty pond stocked with colorful ko...

Finding Good Food Fast at Tokyo Joe’s

Dining Out Sorbet Mag

Finding Good Food Fast at Tokyo Joe’s

The term “fast-casual” was apparently coined by Paul Barron in the late 1990’s. The creator of FastCasual.com...

Making Guests Their “SpecialTea,” the Tea House on Los Rios celebrates its 20th Anniversary

Business Showcase Jody Robinson

Making Guests Their “SpecialTea,” the Tea House on Los Rios celebrates its  20th Anniversary

Perfectly situated between the hustle of Los Angeles and the bustle of San Diego, the historic Los Rios Distric...

Capital Bank welcomes Donald Solsby as Senior Vice President and Orange County Regional Commerci…

Finance Sorbet Mag

Capital Bank welcomes  Donald  Solsby  as Senior Vice President  and Orange County Regional Commercial Banking Manager

Capital Bank, a division of Seacoast Commerce Bank, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Seacoast Commerce Banc Holding...

Segerstrom Center for the Arts Welcomes Back Award-Winning Singer and Actress Kristin Chenoweth

Entertainment Sorbet Mag

Segerstrom Center for the Arts Welcomes Back Award-Winning Singer and Actress  Kristin Chenoweth

February 3, 2018 in Segerstrom Hall Segerstrom Center for the Arts welcomes Tony Award® and Emmy-winning perfo...

Segerstrom Center for the Arts Presents Center Debut of Ebène Quartet

Entertainment Sorbet Mag

Segerstrom Center for the Arts Presents Center Debut of Ebène Quartet

Sunday, March 4, 2018 in Samueli Theater Segerstrom Center for the Arts welcomes the Center debut performance ...

Sun Soaked California History in Old Town San Diego

Travel Jody Robinson

Sun Soaked California History in Old Town San Diego

At elementary schools all over California, fourth graders have been making missions from craft supplies for yea...

Addressing Scoliosis with Pilates & Yoga

Health & Wellness Align Pilates Team

Addressing Scoliosis with Pilates & Yoga

According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, Scoliosis affects nearly six million people in the U.S...

Family Friendly Home Improvement with GM Pacific Pro Construction

Business Showcase Jody Robinson

Family Friendly  Home Improvement with  GM Pacific Pro Construction

There is a marked difference between a capable contractor, and the near-comical profile of an incapable one. Ak...

Ryan Furlet: South County’s K-9 Guru

Business Showcase Jody Robinson

Ryan Furlet: South County’s K-9 Guru

There is something powerful about true, deep calm. The spread of quiet. Perhaps the draw of it is why so many s...

Snow Meets Science at Discovery Cube’s Annual Winter Wonderfest through January 7th

Entertainment Sorbet Mag

Snow Meets Science at Discovery Cube’s Annual Winter Wonderfest through January 7th

Winter Wonderfest Offers Kids the Chance to Learn About the Science of Snow with Interactive Exhibits Featuring...

New Year - Fresh Start

Education Mary McPherson

New Year - Fresh Start

As it happens each January, we all have the best of intentions in keeping our “new” resolutions. Which, for mos...

Segerstrom Center for the Arts Celebrates Opening of Julianne and George Argyros Plaza and Center …

Entertainment Sorbet Mag

Segerstrom Center for the Arts  Celebrates  Opening of Julianne and George Argyros Plaza and Center for Dance  and Innovation

Free Performances, Events, Music and Family-Friendly Activities Marked Day-Long Celebration Segerstrom Center ...

Pets of the Month

Home Life Jody Robinson

Pets of the Month

Four year old Alder is a sweet, little guy ready to make new friends.  He loves playing the yard and going...

United American Mortgage Corporation

Finance Sorbet Mag

United American Mortgage Corporation

Trusted, tried and true. That’s the reason why United American Mortgage has been successful for over 25 years. ...

Battling the Isolation Crisis with ALYCEMates

Health & Wellness Jody Robinson

Battling the Isolation Crisis with ALYCEMates

When one contemplates the term “health crisis,” images from the 1995 medical disaster movie Outbreak come to mi...

Unique Boutique: Doheny Clothing Exchange

Business Showcase Sorbet Mag

Unique Boutique: Doheny Clothing Exchange

Certain things in life I am very grateful for. These things include chocolate, wine, soul music ...

THE ART OF FALSETTO

Entertainment Sorbet Mag

THE ART  OF FALSETTO

“The gypsy cri-i-i-ied…” Lou Christie – The Gypsy Cried Was the voice you heard a high pitched female alto, a ...

Segerstrom Center for the Arts and Attila Glatz Concert Productions Proudly Announce Salute to Vi…

Entertainment Sorbet Mag

Segerstrom Center for the Arts  and Attila Glatz Concert Productions  Proudly Announce  Salute to Vienna New Year’s Concert

Celebrate the arrival of 2018 in spectacular style with Salute to Vienna New Year’s Concert at Segerstrom Cente...

Prev Next