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8 Ideas to Help You Avoid Harm This World Elder Abuse Day

elderly hands

Did you know that elder abuse has become a worldwide epidemic? Research tells

us that today one in ten seniors over the age of sixty has suffered from some kind of

elder abuse. Chances are that your friends, your aging family members, or even you,

have had a personal experience with elder abuse. The question becomes: what can

you to help protect yourself and those you love from falling victim to this horrible

crime?


Part of the solution comes from education for Florida seniors as well as our local

community. In fact, this June 15th, communities around the world are coming

together to celebrate World Elder Abuse Awareness Day and promote awareness

to all. Our goal is to both help raise awareness of this important issue and provide

ways you can help prevent harm from occurring. Let us share eight ideas with you

right here in our blog.


1. Don’t talk to strangers. It may sound like a lesson from childhood but it is a

good tip for all of us to remember. Do not share your personal information

with anyone you do not know.


2. Double check identities. Similar to not talking to strangers, double check the

identity of anyone who contacts you asking for your information. For example,

simply because you receive a telephone call from someone saying he or she

is from your bank, this does not mean the person actually is. Hang up the

phone if you receive a call like this and call your bank directly from a trusted

telephone number.


3. Do your research. If it sounds too good to be true, unfortunately it probably

often is. Scammers and others who would harm seniors know what you are

interested in and ways to motivate you to take action. Research anything you

receive before providing money or personal information.


4. Know the IRS will not call you. At this time, the IRS does not call people. Many

scammers, however, will still call Older Americans and try to scare them into

making payment on false IRS tax liens. When in doubt, call the IRS or your

accountant directly.


5. Learn how to report abuse. In Florida, you can click this link to learn how to

report abuse. Bear in mind, that you do not have to prove abuse to report it.


6. Understand the different types of abuse. Not all abuse can be seen, nor is it

physical in nature. Elder abuse can take many forms including emotional and

sexual abuse. It may also result from neglect and financial exploitation.


7. Stay in frequent communication with friends and family. It is never the wrong

time to check in on another person. Frequent communication is one of the

best ways to not only avoid isolation but ensure that you do not find yourself

in a vulnerable or unsupported place in your life. Even if it is just to say hello

or share what happened in your week, talk to your family members and

friends at least once a week.


8. Choose your decision makers early. Remember, in a crisis where you are

incapacitated and unable to advocate for yourself, no one has the legal

authority to act for you. Decide now the person or persons you want to make

your financial or health care decisions should you be unable to and talk to

your elder law attorney to create an estate plan that reflects your wishes.


Remember, elder abuse of any kind should not be tolerated. If you suspect abuse is

occurring, report it to the authorities. We know that this article may raise more

questions than it answers and want to help you. Do not wait to contact our law firm

on this or any other elder care issue now or in the future.


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