It’s not always easy to recognize elder abuse when it happens to someone you love or care for. There are several types of elder abuse:
- Physical Abuse – An act, rough treatment or punishment that may result in injury, pain or impairment
- Psychological Abuse – Psychological, verbal or emotional abuse causing suffering, emotional pain, or distress
- Financial Exploitation – Illegal or improper use of an older person’s money or property
- Neglect and Abandonment – Intentional or unintentional failure or refusal to provide care or help to an older adult – an extreme form of neglect
- Sexual Abuse – Sexual contact or non-contact of any kind with an older person without agreement from that person
Of the above types of elder abuse, financial exploitation is exploding. Many of the perpetrators are able to remain anonymous thanks to the proliferation of internet scams such as promises of romance, IRS inquiries, sweepstakes and grandma scams. Moreover, many exploiters use nontraditional methods to steal from their elderly victims and then claim that the transaction represents either a gift or a loan.
If you or someone you know is a victim of elder abuse, help is available. Based on website information provided by the Elder Justice Initiative created by the Department of Justice, New Jersey provides the following resources to combat elder abuse:
|Type of Help||Program Name||Contact Information||Website|
|Adult Protective Services||New Jersey Adult Protective Services||Hotline: 609-588-6501||http://www.state.nj.us/humanservices/doas/home/adultpsp.html|
|Programs for Underserved Communities||The Pride Center of New Jersey||Phone: 732-846-2232||http://www.pridecenter.org/|
|Programs for Underserved Communities||ACLU: New Jersey||https://www.aclu-nj.org/|
|Programs for Underserved Communities||Lambada Legal: New Jersey||https://www.lambdalegal.org/states-regions/new-jersey/|
|Office on Aging||New Jersey Division of Aging Services||Phone: 1-800-792-8820
Crisis Line: 1-800-792-9745
|Department of Transportation||New Jersey Department of Transportation||http://www.state.nj.us/transportation/|
|Aging & Disability Resource Center||New Jersey Aging and Disability Resource Connection||Phone: 1-877-222-3737||https://www.adrcnj.org/site/1/home.aspx|
|LTC Ombudsman||New Jersey Ombudsman||Phone: 877-582-6995||http://www.nj.gov/ooie/|
|Counseling||NAMI: New Jersey||Phone: 732-940-0991||http://www.naminj.org/|
|Crime Victims Compensation||New Jersey Crime Victims Compensation||Hotline: 1-877-658-2221||http://www.nj.gov/oag/njvictims/application.html|
|Local Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault Programs||New Jersey Coalition Against Sexual Assault||Phone: 609-631-4450
firstname.lastname@example.org(link sends e-mail)
|Local Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault Programs||New Jersey Coalition Against Domestic Violence||Phone: 609-584-8107
|Legal Aid||Womens Law: New Jersey||https://www.womenslaw.org/laws/nj|
|Legal Aid||Legal Aid: New Jersey||Phone: 888-576-5529||https://www.lsnj.org/|
|Legal Aid||New Jersey Bar Association||Phone: 732-249-5000
CustomerService@njsba.com(link sends e-mail)
|Food Programs||Community Food Bank of New Jersey||Phone: 908-355-3663||http://www.cfbnj.org/|
|Elder Abuse Shelters||SeniorHaven for the Prevention of Elder Abuse||Phone: 855-455-0555||http://jewishhomefamily.org/SeniorHaven/Elder-Abuse.aspx|
|State Office of Rural Health||Office of Rural Health (New Jersey)||Phone: 609-292-1495||https://www.state.nj.us/health/fhs/primarycare/rural-health/|
RESOURCES INVOLVED IN AN ELDER ABUSE CASE
Adult Protective Services (APS)
A state social service program that can take reports of alleged abuse, or neglect/self-neglect of vulnerable adults age 18 or older. APS can assess and determine the needs of the elder abuse victim. Some professionals are mandatory reporters.
Programs for Underserved Communities
Programs designed to serve those areas or groups that are geographically isolated (such as isolated in a rural area); racial and ethnic minority populations; and populations underserved because of special needs (such as language barriers, disabilities, alien status, or age) by providing a range of services such as education, health and other support.
State Office of Rural Health (SORH)
SORHs have a core charge of providing technical assistance to rural health organizations, information dissemination of rural relevant information to key stakeholders and rural health entities, and providing coordination efforts for rural health activities to reduce duplication.
Office on Aging
Some states have an Office on Aging that coordinates state and federal services to older residents including but not limited to Area Agencies on Aging, which work with local service providers to deliver direct aging services (such as meals, transportation and in-home services) and may also provide information and referral/assistance, case management, benefits/health insurance counseling and family caregiver support programs.
Some states may provide local transportation may have special rides (paratransit) for the elderly, and assist with transportation to court or to witness conferences.
Aging & Disability Resource Centers
Some states provide information on available services and support for those who are aging or who have a disability.
The long-term care (LTC) ombudsman advocates for the rights of nursing home or long-term care residents.
State departments of mental health, elder shelters, or local elder advocacy groups may provide information on counseling or support groups.
Crime Victims Compensation
The Office for Victims of Crime (OVC’s) VOCA Compensation Formula Grant Program reimburses victims for financial losses resulting from their victimization. OVC disburses these funds to supplement state programs that provide financial assistance and reimbursement to victims for crime-related expenses, including medical and dental care, counseling, funeral and burial expenses, and lost wages. Compensation programs may also reimburse victims for other types of expenses related to their victimization, such as travel, temporary lodging, crime scene cleanup, and dependent care.
Local Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Programs
Domestic violence programs vary by state and may be able to assist older victims of domestic abuse.
Legal aid may provide help in filing for a civil protective order, changing a will, appointing a power of attorney, or other legal matters.
Food Programs for Older Adults
The Older Americans Act Title III grants authorize programs for State and Community Programs on Aging; and the Title VI Grants authorize programs for American Indians, Alaskan Natives and Native Hawaiians. The purposes of these programs are to 1) reduce hunger and food insecurity, 2) promote socialization, 3) promote health and well-being, and 4) delay adverse health conditions. The intent is to make community-based nutrition services available to older adults who may be at risk of losing their independence and their ability to remain in the community.
The programs such as food banks provide health-promoting meals.
Some states have shelters that specialize in helping elder abuse victims.
For additional information concerning probate litigation, will contests and elder abuse actions, visit:
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