Monday, July 15, 2013

411 on Protecting Elders

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Knowing the 411 to protect our elders.

Do you know the basic signs of elder abuse or what to do with a concern?

We ask that if you suspect a family member, friend or neighbor is being abused or is living unsafely, please consult with Protective Services (PS). 

·         SIGNS OF ABUSE
o   physical – bruises, limping, bleeding. 
o   More subtle signs may be that the older adult appears afraid around particular family members, crying frequently, or are jumpy when they are around certain people. 
o   If you’re a neighbor, some signs may be:
§  you see cars appearing at strange hours or hear a lot of yelling, or
§  if an elder tells you that they’ve been abused or that their adult child, relative or friend is stealing from them. 
o   if they appear to be wandering and lost, if they look disheveled or that they aren’t taking care of their personal hygiene, if they’ve had a very sudden shift in their mental status and all of a sudden appear confused.  If you notice that there have been small fires in their houses – a lot of our self neglect cases are around memory loss and elder’s starting to leave their stoves or ovens on
o   PS reports are confidential, meaning that we will not tell the elder who reported them to Protective Services
o   Elders are allowed to refuse PS interventions if they are found to have capacity to make their own decisions, even if it still appears that their situation is unsafe.

·         DAY
o   Somerville/Cambridge Elder Services (SCES)
Mon-Fri, 9 am – 5 pm:  617-628-2601, ext. 3420
o   Statewide Protective Services hotline:  1 800-922-2275

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