Preventing Elder Abuse
No one wants to think about being a victim of abuse, but understanding the circumstances that can help prevent abuse, neglect and financial exploitation is something about which one should think. Elder abuse comes in many forms and can occur at one's home as well as in other living situations.
Abusers can be family members, friends and/or professionals who provide services to older persons. Abuse affects men and women of all races and all socioeconomic levels.
It is never too early to look at ways to prevent elder abuse. There are prevention strategies for older people and strategies for families.
Programs Can Help
Community organizations, such as senior centers, offer awareness programs. Many banks in Maryland participate in Project SAFE (Stop Adult Financial Exploitation). Project SAFE trains bank staff and law enforcement officials to detect and report financial exploitation. It also educates older Marylanders about how to avoid financial exploitation.
If you suspect that an older person is being abused, reporting it could save a life. You can report suspected abuse of individuals living in community settings to the local Department of Social Services. In Baltimore County call 410-853-3000 and then press “2.” The Maryland Access Point (MAP) Office can provide you with the phone number for the Department of Social Services in other counties or Baltimore City.