As Residents Age, Reports of Elder Abuse Grow
Tips For Avoiding Financial ExploitationMay is Elder Abuse Prevention Month, and APS has tips for protecting yourself from becoming a victim of financial exploitation:
• Do not sign blank checks allowing another person to fill in the amount.
• Do not leave money or valuables in plain view.
• Be aware of scams (either by phone or through the mail). If an offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
• Do not give strangers access to your bank accounts.
• Check financial statements frequently and carefully for unauthorized withdrawals.
• Do not sign documents you have not completely read or fully understand.
• Do not be pressured by family members, friends, caregivers or anyone to do anything you do not want to do.
APS investigates allegations and provides services to stop and prevent maltreatment. According to Katrina Wall, resource and external relations specialist for APS, Irving’s need for services is increasing as its population ages. Wall credits outreach and education efforts for the growing number of reports of abuse.
“APS is more visible in the communities we serve; people are more willing to call us,” said Wall. Fear of embarrassment and further abuse are common reasons why victims don’t report abuse. However, Wall added that it is imperative that victims and those who suspect elder abuse speak up.
“Call the hotline and get APS involved,” said Wall. “If [a victim or neighbor isn’t] comfortable calling, they need to tell somebody, anybody—whatever you have to do to get someone involved.”
To report abuse, call (800) 252-5400 or visit txabusehotline.org.
Posted April 11