Tips offered to help protect from elder abuse, fraud
Officials ask people to be aware of elder abuse, protection from cons and scams
The National Center on Elder Abuse estimates that between one and two million elderly adults have suffered some form of elder abuse, Crow Wing County reported.
The main types of elder abuse are physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional and psychological abuse, neglect and self-neglect, abandonment and financial exploitation.
Tips for protection, include:
• Maintain social contacts and keep in touch with friends who are concerned about your well being.
Openly talk to a caregiver or supportive friend about how you are feeling or if you feel you have been mistreated. Staying in touch with friends and family and making new friends is an important part of a good social network, the center reported. Studies have shown that caregiver abuse and neglect of the elderly by their caregivers is a major concern. If you are a caregiver “don’t try to do it all alone.” It’s important to take breaks and enlist friends and family to provide some assistance. Crow Wing County offers services to help caregivers and the cost is often based on ability to pay or covered by the care receiver’s insurance. Examples of such services: Adult Day centers, home health aides, home delivered meals, respite care, and skilled nursing.
• Don’t be rushed.
It’s always a good idea to take your time and consult with a trusted friend, family member, or attorney first before entering into a contractual agreement or signing a legal document involving your property titles or other assets. Do not give out your credit card number, social security number, or bank account numbers over the phone. A common tactic of a scam or con is to invoke a sense of urgency i.e. “you must pay now” or “you will regret it later if you don’t act now.” Often times a scam person will try to keep you on the phone to wear you down, your response can be “no” — and hang up. It’s also a good idea to use an answering machine with caller ID; telemarketers don’t usually leave messages and you can screen the calls coming in.
When approached for a home repair to begin right away ask for insurance and bonding verification. Get two or three written bids from other vendors and never write out a check before receiving and reviewing an itemized bill.
In legitimate business deals it is expected that a review of the offer will take place, so don’t be rushed.
• Report abuse and financial exploitation.
You may report abuse to your local law enforcement agency. Additionally, any person having reasonable cause to believe a vulnerable adult is being abused, neglected or exploited can notify law enforcement and or the Crow Wing County Adult Protection intake line.
Sheriff Todd Dahl of Crow Wing County recently reminded citizens of automated telephone scams and fraudulent advertisements on eBay and Craigslist that have been occurring in Crow Wing County. Finally, if you have been taken in a scam don’t be too hard on yourself.
• Crow Wing County Adult Protection: 824-1140
• Crow Wing County Adult Services: 824-1175
• Crow Wing County RSVP. Volunteer program assistance: 824-1345
• Lakes Area Interfaith Caregivers: Volunteers that may help with home repair/ramps: 820-7454.
• Sheriff Dahl’s office: 829-4749
• Minnesota Triad: (218) 547-7308 Cass County Sheriff’s Dept. Triad represents a three-way partnership among Crow Wing County and area seniors, law enforcement professionals and the community as a whole: working to reduce victimization of the elderly through education and enhanced delivery of law enforcement services.
• Office of the Ombudsman (State of Minnesota): (218) 825-2005 or 1-800-657-3591. Provides advocacy for the elderly in facilities.
• Legal Assistance: (218) 829-1701
• Senior Citizen Law Project 829-1701
• Senior LinkAge Line (800) 333-2433: Offers assistance in understanding your medical insurance and resources for seniors.
• CareGiver’s Support Group. Crow Wing County 824-1145.
Crow Wing County Community Services provides Care Coordination to 639 seniors in the Long Term Care unit. A care coordinator works with individuals and their families and care givers to provide a plan of care which includes services to help seniors remain in their home and monitoring of licensed facilities such as Customized Living Residencies.