Preventing Elder Abuse
How can I help prevent elder abuse?
Educating seniors, professionals, caregivers, and the public on abuse is critical to prevention. If you’re an older adult, you can stay safe by:
- Taking care of your health.
- Seeking professional help for drug, alcohol, and depression concerns and urging family members to get help for these problems.
- Attending support groups for spouses and learning about domestic violence services.
- Planning for your own future. With a power of attorney or a living will, you can address health care decisions now to avoid confusion and family problems later. Seek independent advice from someone you trust before signing any documents.
- Staying active in the community and connected with friends and family. This will decrease social isolation, which has been connected to elder abuse.
- Posting and opening your own mail.
- Not giving personal information over the phone.
- Using direct deposit for all checks.
- Having your own phone.
- Reviewing your will periodically.
- Knowing your rights. If you use the services of a paid or family caregiver, you have the right to voice your preferences and concerns. The Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman advocates for residents and tenants of long-term care facilities, including nursing facilities, residential care facilities, assisted living programs and elder group homes. The ombudsman seeks to resolve complaints that impact the health, safety and welfare of residents and tenants, as well as by informing residents and tenants of their rights.
888-777-4590 (outside of the Des Moines metro area)
Office of the Attorney General of Iowa
Consumer Protection Division
Hoover State Office Building
1305 E. Walnut Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50319-0106