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Senior Citizens and Crime Prevention National Crime Prevention

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Senior Citizens and Crime Prevention National Crime Prevention Powered By Docstoc
					Keeping the Elderly Safe
  in the 21st Century

 National Crime Prevention Council
               2006
Workshop Goal and Objectives
   Attendees will be better equipped to assist
    their aging parents or other friends and loved
    ones from becoming victims of crime by
    –   Understanding the Processes of Aging
    –   Identifying Threats and Challenges
    –   Recognizing Signs and Potential Dangers
    –   Developing Prevention/Intervention Strategies



                     National Crime Prevention Council 2006   2
             Introduction
 Senior citizens (age 65 and older)
  currently make up 13% of the population.
 Baby boomers are entering that age
  group.
 The number of seniors will continue to
  grow over the coming years.



              National Crime Prevention Council 2006   3
                  Introduction
   As the senior citizen population grows, they will
    need more care and attention.
   More adults will find themselves caring for and
    assisting their elderly parents and loved ones.
   The elderly often turn to their adult children in
    times of need.




                  National Crime Prevention Council 2006   4
                   Introduction
   The elderly are sometimes ignored, even by loved ones.
   They can be victims of crime like the rest of us, and
    especially of
     – Physical abuse
     – Financial exploitation
     – Fraud
     – Self neglect




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             Why it’s Important
As the population of seniors grows
 Adult children will be called upon more often to resolve
  problems.
 Public safety officials will get more calls for service
  concerning the elderly.
 Perpetrators will more readily target seniors.




                    National Crime Prevention Council 2006   6
                 Senior Citizens
Older Americans deal with issues like the rest of us, including
 Loneliness or aloneness
 Depression
But also age-specific issues, including
 Retirement
 Diminished health
 Reduced independence
 Dementia and Alzheimer's disease




                     National Crime Prevention Council 2006       7
               Senior Citizens
Some senior citizens are in great health and are fully
capable of caring for themselves. Many of them volunteer
some of their free time to help others by
 Mentoring
 Teaching
 Joining Neighborhood Watch groups
 Organizing community events




                   National Crime Prevention Council 2006   8
          Seniors Volunteering
   On average, senior citizens volunteer less than
    other age groups, but when they do, they tend
    to become very involved and volunteer more
    hours than other age groups.
   It is predicted that the “boomer” generation will
    be more active in volunteer activities.




                   National Crime Prevention Council 2006   9
Seniors in the News




    National Crime Prevention Council 2006   10
Seniors in the News




    National Crime Prevention Council 2006   11
 Senior Volunteer Opportunities
 Senior Corps
 USA Freedom Corps
 Senior Citizens Bureau
 Older Americans Act Programs
 Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP)
 AARP




              National Crime Prevention Council 2006   12
              Elder Care Issues
Many senior citizens are unable to care for themselves, and
require special attention. In these situations, loved ones should
watch for
 Elder abuse
 Financial exploitation
 Neglect and self-neglect
 Seclusion
However, there is also plenty of help available to caregivers.




                      National Crime Prevention Council 2006        13
Doctor Marion




 National Crime Prevention Council 2006   14
              Elder Care
 Make sure the health agency is insured,
  bonded, and that criminal background
  checks have been completed.
 The Eldercare Locator can help you find
  appropriate care. Visit this resource at
  www.eldercare.gov or call 800-677-1116.




              National Crime Prevention Council 2006   15
Eldercare Locator




   National Crime Prevention Council 2006   16
            Things to Watch For
   There are several ways that elder abuse is committed:
     – Physical
     – Emotional
     – Sexual
     – Neglect
     – Abandonment
     In addition, seniors may neglect their own welfare.




                    National Crime Prevention Council 2006   17
       Signs of Physical Abuse
 Bruises, black eyes, broken bones
 Open wounds, punctures, untreated injuries
 Sprains, dislocations
 Broken eyeglasses/frames, signs of being restrained
 Over- or underutilization of medication
 Caregiver’s refusal to allow visitors to see an elder alone
 The senior’s verbal report of being mistreated




                    National Crime Prevention Council 2006      18
     Signs of Emotional Abuse
 Elder is emotionally upset or agitated
 Senior is withdrawn and noncommunicative or
  nonresponsive
 Unusual behavior, such as sucking, biting, or
  rocking
 An elder’s report of being verbally or emotionally
  mistreated




                 National Crime Prevention Council 2006   19
       Signs of Sexual Abuse
 Bruises or bleeding around vaginal or genital
  area
 Unexplained venereal disease or genital
  infections
 Torn, stained, or bloody underclothing
 An elder’s report of being sexually assaulted or
  raped




                 National Crime Prevention Council 2006   20
           Signs of Neglect
 Dehydration, malnutrition, untreated bed
  sores, poor personal hygiene
 Unsanitary, unclean, or unsafe living quarters
 Lack of clothing or inadequate clothing
 Inadequate housing or homelessness
 An elder’s report of being mistreated




                National Crime Prevention Council 2006   21
      Signs of Abandonment
 Desertion of an elder at a hospital, nursing
  facility, or similar institution
 Senior’s disorientation
 Desertion of an elder at a shopping center,
  park, or other public area
 An elder’s report of being abandoned




               National Crime Prevention Council 2006   22
          Eldercare Locator
If you recognize any of these signs of abuse,
contact the Eldercare Locator help line as soon
as possible.
 800-677-1116, Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. –
   8 p.m. ET
 Call 9-1-1 immediately if someone you know
   is in serious or life-threatening danger



               National Crime Prevention Council 2006   23
              Elder Care
On the Internet, there are more resources
available to assist caregivers.
 CareGuide@Home, www.eldercare.com
 Doctor Marion, www.doctormarion.com




              National Crime Prevention Council 2006   24
           Financial Exploitation
   The unique issues that senior citizens face can leave
    them more at risk of becoming victims of fraud or identity
    theft than other age groups.

   Caregivers should watch for signs of financial
    exploitation in their older parents and realize that these
    crimes could be committed by anyone – even the elder’s
    family members or other caregivers.




                     National Crime Prevention Council 2006      25
         Financial Exploitation
Many criminals consider senior citizens easy targets
for scams because they
 May have a “nest egg” to spend or invest
 Might be lonely and more willing to talk to strangers
 Are less likely to report fraud than other age groups
 No longer have their partner and confidant to talk to




                  National Crime Prevention Council 2006   26
              Preventing
         Financial Exploitation
 Minimize isolation
   – Family and friends can help with early
     detection.
 Formal credit checks of senior’s finances
 Background checks on caregivers or
  people close to possible victim



               National Crime Prevention Council 2006   27
         Financial Exploitation
            Warning Signs
 Overdrawn bank accounts
 Junk mail piling up at home
 Numerous phone calls from numbers
  child/caregiver doesn’t recognize
 “Gimme” gifts—cheap, useless items like
  whistles, hats, rulers, or bumper stickers




                National Crime Prevention Council 2006   28
          Financial Exploitation
              Intervention
If you suspect that an elder has been
exploited financially
 Contact the local adult protective services
   agency.
 Contact your state’s attorney general’s office.
 File a report with the local police.




                 National Crime Prevention Council 2006   29
          Telemarketing Fraud
Criminals use high-pressure sales tactics and
psychology to exploit the trust of victims. Remind older
loved ones that
 Offers that seem too good to be true usually are.
 You do not have to be polite to salespeople.
 When on the phone, always feel free to say “No,”
   and hang up. It’s not rude – it’s shrewd.




                  National Crime Prevention Council 2006   30
          Telemarketing Fraud
             Warning Signs
Beware of the classic lines below, which are often
used by scam artists
 “You must act now, or the offer will expire.”
 “You have won a free gift, but you must pay for
  postage” (or another charge).
 “Don’t miss this ‘high-profit, no-risk’ offer.”




                 National Crime Prevention Council 2006   31
          Telemarketing Tip #1
Make sure seniors are familiar with the tips below and on
the following slides to make sure they aren’t victims of
fraud.
 Never give out personal information over the phone
   unless they initiated the call and trust the person or
   agency receiving the call. Legitimate callers will not ask
   for this information.
“I don’t give out personal information over the phone. I’ll
contact the company directly and provide them with the
necessary information.”




                    National Crime Prevention Council 2006      32
        Telemarketing Tip #2
 If the caller says something is free, then they
  shouldn’t have to pay to receive it.
 They should not need to pay handling charges or
  taxes.

“I shouldn’t have to send money for something
that’s free.”




                 National Crime Prevention Council 2006   33
          Telemarketing Tip #3
 “Limited time offers” should not require an immediate
  decision.
 Legitimate callers will not rush them.
 They should sleep on it for a day or two.


“I’d like some time to think about this. Tell me how I can
get in touch with you. If I’m interested, I’ll call you back.”




                     National Crime Prevention Council 2006      34
          Telemarketing Tip #4
   Be wary of any caller that tries to convince
    them not to speak with anyone about the call.

“I’d like to take some time to discuss this with
my family and friends, and I’ll get back to you
if I’m still interested.”




                 National Crime Prevention Council 2006   35
           Telemarketing Tip #5
   It can be hard to understand the verbal details of an
    offer.
   Request to receive details in the mail.
   All legitimate business offers and investments should be
    able to comply.

“If you can’t mail me the information, then I can’t talk to
you.”




                     National Crime Prevention Council 2006    36
National Crime Prevention Council 2006   37
                               Fraud
The Federal Trade Commission received a total of 99,135 fraud-related
complaints from consumers age 50 and over in 2005
 Foreign money offers (10%)
 Prizes/sweepstakes and lotteries (9%)
 Internet auctions (9%)
 Internet services and computer complaints (6%)
 Shop-at-home/catalog sales (6%)
 Telephone services (3%)




                       National Crime Prevention Council 2006       38
                   Identity Theft
Seniors have the smallest rate of identity theft fraud victims;
however, the Federal Trade Commission received a total of
56,584 identity-theft related complaints from consumers age 50
and over in 2005.
 Credit card fraud (34%)
 Bank fraud (18%)
 Phone or utilities fraud (15%)
 63% of identity theft is committed by someone the victim
  knows.




                     National Crime Prevention Council 2006       39
                   Preventing
                  Identity Theft
Make sure seniors are aware of these prevention tips:
 Shred all discarded mail with personal information.
 Routinely monitor financial accounts and billing
  statements.
 Make a copy of everything in their wallet in case it is
  lost or stolen.
 Keep records of conversations and copies of all
  correspondence.



                   National Crime Prevention Council 2006   40
                   Identity Theft
                   Warning Signs
   Failing to receive bills or other mail
   Receiving credit cards for which they did not apply
   Being denied credit, or offered less favorable credit
    terms, for no apparent reason
   Getting calls or letters from debt collectors or businesses
    about items or services they did not buy




                      National Crime Prevention Council 2006   41
                    Identity Theft
                     Intervention
If you suspect your identity or an elder’s has been stolen
 Place a fraud alert on your credit reports and review them
    with the major credit reporting agencies, Equifax,
    Experian, and TransUnion
 Close accounts you believe are fraudulent or may have
    been subject to tampering
 File a report with local police where the ID theft took place
 File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission
     – www.ftc.gov




                     National Crime Prevention Council 2006       42
National Crime Prevention Council 2006   43
           General Safety Tips
Make sure seniors follow these tips at home:
 Use sturdy metal or solid wood doors, and install and use
  deadbolt locks (1 ½ inch throw or greater).
 Use wide-angle viewers in doors at different heights if
  necessary.
 Light up entry doors; use motion detectors or floodlights.
 Trim shrubbery around doors and windows and make sure
  the address is displayed for emergency personnel.
 Give an extra key to a trusted neighbor.




                    National Crime Prevention Council 2006     44
          General Safety Tips
At home
 Ask for photo identification from service,
  delivery or utility workers before letting them in.
 Ask law enforcement for a free home security
  survey.
 Consider installing an alarm.




                 National Crime Prevention Council 2006   45
           General Safety Tips
Out and About
 Go out with friends and family, not alone.
 Walk purposely and know where they are.
 Walk down the middle of the sidewalk rather than
  along doorways or the curb.
 Keep purses close to their bodies and wallets in front
  pants or jacket pocket.
 Carry only cash, credit cards, and ID that will be
  needed.




                   National Crime Prevention Council 2006   46
            General Safety Tips
Out and About
 Use busier, better-lighted stops on public transit.
 Sit near the bus driver or, in subway cars, with several other
  passengers.
 If someone seems to be following them, turn in the opposite
  direction or cross the street. If they persist, approach the
  nearest group of people and ask for help.
 If someone or something makes them uneasy, trust their
  instincts and leave.




                      National Crime Prevention Council 2006       47
          General Safety Tips
In the Neighborhood
 Know your neighbors.
 Report crime and suspicious activities to police.
 Start or strengthen a Neighborhood Watch group.
 Find out if their area has community policing, and
   get to know the officers assigned to their
   neighborhood.




                  National Crime Prevention Council 2006   48
National Crime Prevention Council 2006   49
      Emergency Preparedness
No one expects to deal with disaster, but everyone can prepare
for them. Senior citizens should be ready to deal with
emergencies like
 Hurricanes
 Earthquakes
 Power outages
 Flooding
 Fires
 Toxic spills




                       National Crime Prevention Council 2006    50
      Emergency Preparedness
Make sure seniors stock up on supplies for at least three days
 Food, water
 First aid kit, medicine
 Phone numbers of local and nonlocal relatives
 Personal hygiene supplies
 Battery-powered radio, flashlight
 Change of clothes, extra keys
 Cash, change, credit cards




                    National Crime Prevention Council 2006   51
     Emergency Preparedness
Checklist
 Post emergency phone numbers by phone.
 Arrange for someone to check on seniors.
 Plan ahead for transportation.
 Have an evacuation plan and practice it.
 Find the safe places in their home for each type of
  emergency.




                 National Crime Prevention Council 2006   52
    Emergency Preparedness
Checklist
 Plan ahead with their home health care service.
 Teach those who may be providing assistance
  how to operate necessary equipment.
 Be sure others know their medical needs.




                National Crime Prevention Council 2006   53
     Emergency Preparedness
Notification
 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
  (NOAA) weather radio
   – Call your local National Weather Service office.
 Commercial radio and television stations
 Door-to-door warning from officials




                  National Crime Prevention Council 2006   54
    Emergency Preparedness
Preparation for Pets
 Assemble an animal emergency supply kit.
 Plan in advance for shelter alternatives.
 Develop buddy system with friends and
  relatives.
 Visit www.ready.gov.




              National Crime Prevention Council 2006   55
                Conclusions
 Keeping your elderly loved ones safe is easier
  when planned for in advance.
 Talk to them beforehand about their safety.
 Pay attention to what they say, so you can
  notice if things change.
 Your local office on aging is there to help you
  care for the elderly.




                 National Crime Prevention Council 2006   56
                  Resources
   National Crime Prevention Council:
    www.ncpc.org
   National Criminal Justice Reference Service:
    www.ncjrs.gov
   AARP: www.aarp.org
   Health and Human Services: www.aoa.gov
   Alzheimer’s Association: www.alz.org



                  National Crime Prevention Council 2006   57
National Crime Prevention Council
     1000 Connecticut Avenue, NW
           Thirteenth Floor
        Washington, DC 20036
            202-466-6272
            www.ncpc.org




           National Crime Prevention Council 2006   58
Presenter Contact Information




         National Crime Prevention Council 2006   59

				
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