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Concerned citizens of all ages can become involved in prevention:
Report suspected mistreatment to the local APS agency or law enforcement. Although a situation may have already been investigated, if you believe circumstances are getting worse, continue to speak out.
Plan ahead to protect against financial exploitation. Find out how to protect yourself or a loved one (PDF).
Be aware of the possibility of abuse. Look around and take note of what may be happening with your older neighbors and acquaintances. Do they seem lately to be withdrawn, nervous, fearful, sad, or anxious, especially around certain people, when they have not seemed so in the past? Learn to identify the Red Flags of Abuse (PDF).
Keep in contact. Talk with your older friends, neighbors, and relatives. Maintaining communication will help decrease isolation, a risk factor for mistreatment. It will also provide a chance to talk about any problems they may be experiencing.
Join Ageless Alliance: United Against Elder Abuse! Ageless Alliance connects people of all ages nationwide who stand united for the dignity of older adults and adults with disabilities and for the elimination of abuse and neglect. Ageless Alliance is a new national elder justice campaign which anyone can join. This grassroots campaign gives a voice to those who have been affected by elder abuse and abuse of adults with disabilities. To join Ageless Alliance, click on the link above.
Observe World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. Elder abuse is a global issue, and this annual observance is held on or around June 15. Contact your local aging services organizations to find out how your community will participate, and help to raise awareness by talking about the issue.
Contact your local Area Agency on Aging office to identify local programs and sources of support, such as Meals on Wheels. These programs help elders to maintain health, well-being, and independence—a good defense against abuse. (Call the Eldercare Locator at 800-677-1116 for information and referrals on services in your area.) Learn more about Home and Community Based Long-Term Care from the Administration on Aging website.