role can concerned citizens play in preventing elder abuse?
citizens can play a fundamental role by providing a link
between the service network and those in need. They can
help spread the word about the problem, advocate for needed
policy and reform, and volunteer to provide critical assistance
to vulnerable persons and the agencies that serve them.
out to vulnerable neighbors, friends, or family members.
Those most vulnerable to abuse are likely to be isolated
as a result of physical, cultural, or geographic barriers.
Vulnerable persons can benefit from companionship, assistance
with daily activities, and information.
more about the problem and services that can help.
abuse if you suspect it. For information on how to report,
to whom, and what will happen when your report click
here. Encourage older victims or vulnerable seniors
to accept help that is offered.
the message that nobody deserves to be abused
for needed services and policies in your community or
can concerned citizens get involved?
a coalition. Some communities have coalitions, committees,
or councils that welcome concerned citizens. For information
on elder abuse coalitions in your community, contact your
local senior information and referral telephone line. To
get the number, contact the Eldercare Locator at (800) 677-1116.
the word. Arrange for or make presentations on elder
abuse at churches or synagogues, meetings of civic organizations,
clubs, or professional associations.
After you have learned about abuse and your community's
needs, share your knowledge and concerns with your elected
officials. Policy makers are particularly receptive to hearing
about problems from their constituents.
a volunteer. There are numerous volunteer opportunities
for concerned citizens. These include:
management programs. Volunteers assist persons who are
having difficulty managing their finances. Help can include
assisting seniors organize and keep track of financial
and medical insurance papers, establishing a budget, helping
with check writing and checkbook balancing, or serving
as a representative payee or fiduciary. AARP works with
agencies in some communities to set up volunteer money
a national program that fosters collaboration between
seniors and law enforcement, offers a variety of volunteer
term ombudsmen volunteers make routine visits to nursing
homes to monitor care and advocate on behalf of residents.
guardianship or guardianship monitoring programs provide
opportunities for volunteers to help ensure that vulnerable
persons' rights are protected and that they will not be
visitor or peer counseling programs match volunteers with
persons who are isolated, lonesome, or could use a little
help or companionship.
professionals can make valuable contributions by sharing
their expertise with community agencies. Retired police
officers, lawyers, and accountants can assist agency personnel
investigate cases, interpret financial records, interpret
the law, and offer advice and assistance.
information on volunteer opportunities in your community,
contact your local senior information and referral telephone
line. To get the number, contact the Eldercare Locator (800)
resources are available?
Abuse: Questions and Answers -- An Information Guide for
Professionals and Concerned Citizens (1996 [sixth edition],
28 pp). Produced by the National Center on Elder Abuse,
this publication provides basic information in a question
and answer format, including: the origins, causes and incidence
of elder abuse on both the national and state levels; victim
and perpetrator characteristics; and an explanation of the
services available to victims, families and at-risk elders.
It is available through the National Association of State
Units on Aging (NASUA). Click
here for more information on NASUA.
Fraud Fighters Program Kit, was created by AARP to
teach older consumers about criminal telemarketing. The
kit includes a 16-minute video, which contains an interview
with an incarcerated telemarketer, an audiotape of actual
recordings of fraudulent telemarketers at work, handouts,
and suggestions for how to present a telemarketing fraud
workshop. It is available free of charge to anyone who agrees
to present the program to at least two groups. Contact John
McInerney at (202)434-2462 or write to:
Telemarketing Fraud Team
601 E Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20049
Telephone: (202) 434-AARP
Action, a national organization promoting consumer advocacy,
has released a set of brochures for consumers including
Banking Basics, which explains different kinds of accounts,
fees, automatic deposit and bill paying, and the importance
of establishing personal relationships with bankers. Living
Better on Less: How to be a Conscious Consumer offers tips
for consumers with disabilities. The brochures are available
in Chinese, Korean, Russian, Spanish, and Vietnamese. For
information, call Consumer Action (415) 777-9648 or visit
their website at www.consumer-action.org.