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OFA activities for seniors: World Elder Abuse Awareness Day June 15

Golden Living

For many years, the Office for the Aging (OFA) has provided older adults and caregivers with resources to protect themselves from scams and elder abuse. The extent of elder abuse is difficult to measure. About 260,000 older adults are victimized in New York State each year, but many more cases go unreported or undetected.

With World Elder Abuse Awareness Day taking place on Wednesday, June 15, OFA Friendship Centers are hosting a series of presentations to help older adults advocate for themselves, as well as provide caregivers with key information on protecting the people for whom they care.

OFA presentations

Wednesday, June 29, 10:30 a.m., Heather Ohlson; Millerton OFA Friendship Center, 28 Century Blvd. Call 518-789-3081 for details.

Thursday, June 16, 10:45 a.m., David Lederman, New York State Attorney General’s Office, City of Poughkeepsie OFA Friendship Center, 114 Delafield St. Call 845-486-2555 for details.

Signs that someone may be harming you

There’s no one profile that would fit a person who commits elder abuse. Older adults may be abused by spouses, partners, adult children, other family members, caregivers, neighbors or others. The abuse may be physical, sexual, emotional or financial, with several forms of abuse possibly happening at the same time.

If you suspect you are the victim of elder abuse, the National Clearinghouse on Abuse in Later Life (www.ncall.us) recommends watching for these signs from people close to you.

Ask yourself, do they:

• Try to limit the amount of time you spend with friends and family, or on the phone or internet?

• Scare you, threaten you, and make you feel fearful or call you names?

• Make you feel as if you need to “walk on eggshells” to prevent their anger?

• Make you do things you don’t want to do, possibly threatening to put you in a nursing home if you don’t comply?

• Touch you or force you to do sexual things you don’t want to do?

• Take money and possessions from you without your permission?

• Refuse to provide care, or provide care in a hurtful way?

• Throw or break items that are important to you?

Additionally, have family or friends expressed their concern, or are your family members and friends afraid to visit?

If you are in danger, call 911. Your safety is first and foremost.

You’re not the only one in this situation. You can talk to someone confidentially for support and information. Dutchess County’s Division of Adult Protective Services is available at 845-486-3300, and the New York Office of Children and Family Services Human Services Call Center Bureau of Adult Services helpline is at 844-697-3505.

Callers are encouraged to provide names and phone numbers for follow up by local departments, but anonymous calls are also accepted.

 

Golden Living is prepared by Dutchess County OFA Director Todd N. Tancredi, who can be reached at 845-486-2555, ofa@dutchessny.gov or via the OFA website at www.dutchessny.gov/aging.

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