Did you know that every day 10,000 people turn 65 in the United States? Our demographics are shifting and we will soon have more older adults in the U.S. than ever before. Every year, an estimated 5 million older Americans are victims of elder abuse, neglect, or exploitation and that's only part of the picture. According to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, an estimated 93% of elder abuse cases go unreported each year.
What is Elder Abuse?
Elder abuse refers to intentional or negligent acts by a caregiver or trusted individual that causes harm to a vulnerable elder. Elder abuse takes many forms, including:
Each year, hundreds of cases of financial exploitation of older and vulnerable adults are reported in Maryland. The results can be devastating — emotionally and financially. This, however, is estimated to be only a fraction of the thousands of cases that go unreported in our state. Project SAFE (Stop Adult Financial Exploitation) offers training for the financial and law enforcement communities on how to detect and report financial exploitation, and educates older Marylanders about how to avoid financial exploitation.
Project SAFE is a public/private partnership of 14 different organizations:
Various materials produced by SAFE are available, including: training materials for employees of financial institutions and law enforcement officials, an educational brochure for the public, and a video to help educate older adults how to avoid financial abuse. You can download the Model Reference Manual for Financial Institution Employees here. It is updated to reflect that financial institutions will become mandatory reporters of financial exploitation of seniors on October 1, 2012.
For more information on Project SAFE please use our Comment form.
The Rush University Medical Center and the ABA Commission on Law and Aging have released an interactive educational curriculum on assessing the capacity of older adults, funded by The Retirement Research Foundation. The course is aimed at physicians but is valuable and useful as well for other health care clinicians and students.
The curriculum features six modules – the importance of evaluating patients’ capacities; key principles and practices; the evaluation process and content; specific capacities and situation; when to conduct an evaluation yourself and when to refer, and working with courts in guardianship proceedings. The curriculum also includes videos, a pocket reference card, a glossary, and a resource list, and is downloadable.
For more information visit the Rush University Medical Center’s website.
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