Photo Friday: Caring For Hearts on World Heart Day

September 30, 2011

In Honor of World Heart Day: Seniors Receive Free Heart Health Screenings from SDSU Nursing and UCSD Medical Students. Screenings and information were provided to seniors at the Gary and Mary West Senior Wellness Center today.

student nurse practitioner with patient

Photo: Jaimee Hare, BSN, RN, nurse practitioner student, SDSU School of Nursing with her patient, Tom Scott.

My interview with NBC’s Califonia Non-Stop: Tips for seniors to protect themselves from financial abuse

September 27, 2011

Yesterday, I appeared on NBC San Diego’s local news program on the California Non-Stop Channel to discuss tips for seniors and their loved ones on how to prevent being a victim of financial abuse.

Seniors are living longer and more often in their own homes independently. This can make seniors vulnerable to scammers. According to MetLife, older Americans are losing $2.9 billion each year to financial abuse. This is a 12 percent increase from the $2.6 billion estimated in 2008.

Financial abuse can happen to anyone, regardless of income level, living situation, race, ethnicity, religion or social status.

Here are some great tips we spoke to, provided by Deputy District Attorney Paul Greenwood from the San Diego District Attorney’s Office. Greenwood is the head of Elder Abuse Prosecution. He encourages anyone who suspects elder abuse to contact the Adult Protective Services hotline at (800) 510-2020.

Tips courtesy of San Diego District Attorney’s Office:

Choose a caregiver with caution

Do not assume that by hiring a caregiver through a bonded agency you are guaranteed to get someone who has been checked. There is no current law requiring mandatory background checks for in-home caregivers in California. Read the rest of this entry »

Preventing Elder Abuse

September 21, 2011

In the Washington Post, I read the latest details about actor Mickey Rooney suing his stepson among others for defrauding him of millions of dollars over the past decade. As unfortunate Mr. Rooney’s situation is, it is a reminder that elder abuse really can and does happen to anyone.

Elder abuse victims often live in silent desperation, fearing retaliation from their abusers. Many times, it takes the courage of a family member or loved one to take action and stop the abuse. Earlier this summer, Senior Community Centers staff shared information on recognizing and preventing elder abuse:

What is elder abuse?

According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, “elder abuse refers to intentional or negligent acts by a caregiver or “trusted” individual that causes (or potentially causes) harm to a vulnerable elder.” While California’s most prevalent areas of elder abuse are physical and emotional abuse, financial abuse, and abuse in long-term care facilities, there are many different types of elder abuse:

  • Physical Abuse – Use of force to threaten or physically injure a vulnerable elder
  • Emotional Abuse – Verbal attacks, threats, rejection, isolation, or belittling acts that cause (or could cause) mental anguish, pain, or distress to a senior
  • Sexual Abuse – Sexual contact that is forced, tricked, threatened, or otherwise coerced upon a vulnerable elder, including anyone who is unable to grant consent
  • Exploitation – Theft, fraud, misuse or neglect of authority, and use of undue influence as a lever to gain control over an older person’s money or property
  • Neglect – A caregiver’s failure or refusal to provide for a vulnerable elder’s safety, physical, or emotional needs
  • Abandonment – Desertion of a frail or vulnerable elder by anyone with a duty of care Read the rest of this entry »

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