Anyone interested in receiving a free copy of the Elder Abuse Protection Toolkit can contact the Alabama Department of Senior Services at 877-425-2243 or access the online version at www.alabamaageline.gov.
Elder abuse can occur anywhere. It can occur in a person's home and in Long Term Care Residential facilities. Elder abuse affects elders of all socio-economic groups, cultures, and races. Data shows that elders are most often abused by family members or a person in a position of trust. Most victims know their abuser. Elders who have the highest risk of abuse are women, "older elders", and individuals with dementia.
During the 2013 legislative session, the Alabama Legislature passed an elder abuse bill that strengthened the penalties for elder abuse, neglect and financial exploitation. The bill was signed into law in 2013 as Act #2013-307, the Protecting Alabama's Elders Act. Below are definitions from the Act and other relevant
Emotional Abuse: The intentional or reckless infliction of emotional or mental anguish or the use of a physical or chemical restraint, medication, or isolation as punishment or as a substitute for treatment or care of any elderly person.
Financial Exploitation: The use of deception, intimidation, undue influence, force, or threat of force to obtain or exert unauthorized control over an elderly person's property with the intent to deprive the elderly person of his or her property or the breach of a fiduciary duty to an elderly person by the person's guardian, conservator, or agent under a power of attorney which results in an unauthorized appropriation, sale, or transfer of the elderly person's property.
Neglect: The failure of a caregiver to provide food, shelter, clothing, medical services, medication, or health care for an elderly person.
Physical Abuse: The intentional use of physical pain, injury, or the willful deprivation by a caregiver or other person of services necessary to maintain mental and physical health. Examples: assault involving physical injury or serious physical injury which may evident by hitting, striking, cutting, burning, pushing or shoving, excessively restraining, and physical punishment.
Sexual Offenses: Any conduct that is a crime as defined in Sections 13A-6-60 to 13A-6-70, inclusive. (Which may include rape, sodomy, or sexual abuse by forcible compulsion or incapacity of the victim.)
Elders are the #1 target for financial scams. Scam operators use four primary methods to target elders - the mail, the telephone, in-person, and the Internet. Scam operators use high-pressure sale pitches, scare tactics, and false claims to deceive you and take your money.
1. Through the mail - Sweepstakes/ International Lotteries, Fake Checks
2. Over the telephone - Telemarketing is big business. Most telemarketers are legitimate. But remember, their primary goal is to make a sale. Beware of people who call you on the telephone and:
3. In person - Elders are twice as likely to fall for a scam in person. Be very careful who you let into your home.
Call the Alabama Attorney General’s office to report scams: 1-800-392-5658