The best way to prevent elder abuse as an outsider is to be aware of what elder abuse is and recognize it through warning signs. This way, if any senior exhibits any of these signs, it can be reported and stopped.
As for seniors, there are a number of actions they can take to stay safe. The following are some things that seniors can do to prevent abuse:
- Maintain a positive, active, and healthy lifestyle to decrease the chances of being vulnerable to abuse.
- Encourage and seek assistance for any family members that are experiencing substance abuse or abnormal behavior (depression, social isolation, etc).
- Actively monitor all of their financial accounts.
- Utilize a living will to specify any healthcare decisions for the future.
- Review their will periodically to make sure any unauthorized changes haven’t been made to it.
- Safely guard personal information by not giving personal info on the phone, posting/opening all mail, etc.
- Have full knowledge of personal rights and voice opinions when necessary.
If you or someone you know is experiencing elder abuse, contact your local Adult Protective Services office, Ombudsman, or local authorities as soon as possible. MobileHelp medical alert systems can also assist by contacting a trusted neighbor, family member, or emergency services. If you or the suspected victim is in immediate, life threatening danger, call 911.