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Home Safety: Top Tips to Protect Aging Adults from Elder Abuse and Financial Predators

Elder abuse happens to 1 in 10 seniors. Help spot the signs of elder abuse and protect your loved one.

Top Tips to Protect Aging Adults from Elder Abuse and Financial Predators

As individuals age and have less mobility and independence, they are more susceptible to elder abuse and becoming a victim of financial predators.

Elder abuse can include physical, sexual and emotional abuse, exploitation, neglect and abandonment. Predators can include staff at a nursing home or caretaking facilities, children, spouses, family members or even strangers.

Protect your loved one! Look for the warning signs of elder abuse:

  • Physical: bruises, burns, abrasions, broken bones, pressure marks.
  • Emotional: unexplained or unusual depression, withdrawal from normal activities, change in alertness, strained relationships. arguments between caregiver and adult.
  • Neglect: poor hygiene, sudden weight loss, bedsores and other unattended medical needs.
  • Verbal or emotional abuse: Overhearing or witnessing threats, demeaning comments or power struggles between older adult and caretaker or another individual.

Financial Abuse and Financial Predators

Very few cases of financial abuse are actually reported. It can be heartbreaking for an older individual to work hard their entire life, only to be preyed upon by a stranger or loved one.

7 warning signs that may indicate a senior is a victim of financial abuse:

Bills are going past due or unpaid even though the individual has the resources to pay them.

Items or services are being purchased that the older adult doesn’t have a use for such as gym memberships or new technology.

Items are purchased at a time when senior wouldn’t be active on the account such as ATM withdraws late at night.

Money or valuable items are missing from the adult’s home.

Sudden changes are made to power of attorney, property titles or wills.

An adult is receiving care at a rate much lower than the quality he/she can afford.

An adult is isolated from family or is afraid to speak in front of family members, caregivers or friends.

If you see any of these signs, report the abuse to proper authorities so they can investigate further.

Seniors who have been abused in some form have a 300% higher risk of death compared to individuals who have not been mistreated. Abuse can also cause depression, isolation and withdraw from normal activities. Watch for the warning signs to protect your loved one.

Home Care Tip:

When you partner with a home care agency, the caregiver, office staff, and office owner have a fresh set of eyes to detect the early signs of elder abuse. If you’re an adult child who is living in a different city or state, having the peace of mind from a home care agency to not only provide the care but to provide a set of eyes to spot elder and financial abuse can be an added peace of mind.

Ted Wolfendale

Administrator at Dial-a-Nurse
Mr. Wolfendale is a graduate of Stetson University, and Stetson University School of Law, and was admitted to the Florida Bar in 1988. He is admitted to practice in the Middle district of Florida, is an active member of the Florida Health Law section, and Lee County Bar Association.

In 1995 he became Administrator of Dial-a-Nurse nursing agency, the oldest nursing agency in the Southwest Florida succeeding his mother who started the company 37 years ago. He is also President of Nevco, Inc., an educational healthcare training company begun in 1988.

Mr. Wolfendale has worked with the U.S. Department of Commerce on various Missions to improve the quality of life around the world by development of supportive healthcare programs. In 2005 he traveled with U.S. officials and addressed the Italian National Government assisting in the creation of Nurse Education mandates for that Country. In 2006 he was invited and spoke with the National Institutes of Continuing Education in Eastern Europe on healthcare education and developmental mandates, and most recently represented the United States at the European Union in Lake Balaton, Hungary in 2011. In 2014 he traveled with the U.S. Department of State to Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam in an effort to improve caregiver knowledge and training.

Mr. Wolfendale has worked with a number of non-profits in contributing and creating curriculum to improve the quality of life in third-world countries since 2001, and notably created a successful program in Odessa, India that has been modeled in other areas of the world. In his backyard, he has worked with local Goodwill Industries to provide curriculum and training to underserved individuals who have obtained employment as a result of educational training. He was the Congressional appointment to the Governor's purple ribbon task force in 2013, and has worked to educate caregivers in all aspects of Alzheimer's training.
Ted Wolfendale

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