Government Advice on Reacting to Elderly Financial Abuse
The Administration on Aging (AOA) has released a list of tips to help professionals, caregivers, and family member respond to elderly financial abuse. While it can be hard to recognize, once it is realized, it is important to take action to make it stop immediately.
Those who discover financial abuse are encouraged by the AOA to contact the Adult Protective Services, or APS, in their state. As this program is federally funded, each state holds an office dedicated to the care and protection of the elderly population. In Washington state, the hotline for elderly exploitation is 1-866-363-4276, or 1-866-END-HARM. Each county also has an office for the aging, where exploitation can be safely reported. In Oregon, the direct line to report elderly exploitation is 1-855-503-7233, or 1-855-503-SAFE. The out of state line to call is 503-945-5832.
What to Say
All reporting can be done anonymously, if desired. Simply request to provide the elderly person’s information as an anonymous person. Prepare some facts before making the call, such as:
- Person’s name
- Contact information
- Details regarding reason for concern
Depending on the agency and the situation, the AOA states that follow up questions may need to be asked, such as the elder’s medical and living situations.
The aging agency will respond to the concern and conduct an investigation. Nationwide, the first responder is typically Adult Protective Services, according to the AOA. However, other government and non-profit agencies may get involved, such as local law enforcement, a long term care ombudsman (mainly for nursing home situations), and Eldercare Locator. Every report is considered serious and none are ignored.
Please call Vancouver Home Health Care Agency if you suspect financial abuse, if you need help recognizing the signs, or if you need help reporting an incident.
At Vancouver Home Health Care Agency, Caring and Compassion is our business.