Elderly living conditions can be unsafe for the elderly physically or emotionally. Homes with bad conditions for wheelchairs or walkers can put the elderly at risk for potential injuries.
Or, the elderly may experience abuse no matter what form. Every day millions of elderly adults are negatively impacted by elder abuse. It’s an awful issue that needs to be acknowledged more often to work towards solving it. More importantly, allowing people to feel more comfortable talking about it – in the form of reporting the event to a hotline service in every community.
All of these hotlines emphasize that nobody deserves to be neglected, abandoned, unaccepted, or abused.
In this article, you will learn more about how to report unsafe situational based on the best service resources. Better yet, you can better protect those you care about who are aging day by day. Also, our communities need more advocates for the safety of the elderly – so it’s important to report and spread the conversation.
Kinds of Unsafe Living Conditions
- Environment: such as non-functional conditions in certain spaces (bathroom, kitchen, entryways, bedrooms)
- Abuse: emotional or physical abuse in the home by a partner or family member
Results of a study showed that an average of 13 problems with the environment that posed as a barrier to safe and independent performance was observed in elderly homes. It was found that majority of the difficulties happens in bathrooms, bedrooms, kitchen and access to entryways and rooms.
The findings show that a combination of conditions that include demographic and functional conditions place older people at risk for problems with the home environment that impede the performance of everyday living activities.
Another study aimed at describing similarities of abuse of older persons staying in their homes as seen by district nurses.
The results indicated that abuse is very much a family affair, as the abuse the abusers’ behavior was commonly experienced as unpleasant and aggressive and/or combined with family conflicts
Ways to Report Unsafe LivingConditions of the Elderly
If faced with a life-threatening situation, first and foremost call 911. Otherwise, here are five ways to specifically report unsafe conditions wherever the elderly person is,
1. Eldercare Locator
The Eldercare Locator helps people find health-related resources for older adults in any U.S. state communities. By finding an appropriate resource for the unsafe living condition (environmental or abuse) they can support the elderly by giving necessary information on how to solve the issue at hand.
It is a free national service of the Administration on Aging that provides an immediate connection to resources that enable the elderly to live independently in their communities and offers support for caregivers. The Eldercare Locator is administered by The National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a).
For less immediate results, email this agency at firstname.lastname@example.org
Here is a video showing you what Eldercare has to offer, including housing assistance (that is available in your area) for a safer environment for the elderly and abuse prevention, disability, and aging resources.
2. National Domestic Violence Hotline
The National Domestic Violence hotline free confidential site to call in 24/7 to report emotional or physical abuse in an elderly home. The Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA) provides monetary help for the on-going operation of a toll-free call hotline.
The National Domestic Hotline is an immediate link to lifesaving help for victims. It provides information and assistance to adult and youth victims of family violence, domestic violence, or romantic relationship violence, and family members, and other persons such as advocates, law enforcement agencies, and the general public.
Call 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE) Elderly persons can also contact the Hotline through an email request from the Hotline website. Just visit the disclaimer page. Assistance is available in English and Spanish with access to over 170 languages through interpreter services by telephone.
The National Domestic Violence Hotline provides resources for identifying abuse, and what a healthy relationship should look like.
The hotline provides more services including:
- Crisis intervention.
- Domestic violence education.
- Safety planning.
- Service providers. Directly connecting callers to Service providers such as local shelters.
- Referrals to agencies that provide legal and economic self-sufficiency, sexual assault, elder abuse, childhood abuse, and other related services.
Just by calling in and stating the situation, the Hotline worker will give you effective facts to get out of an unsafe situation step by step. This happened to an anonymous abuse survivor who was quoted on their website.
3. Local Ombudsmen
Contact your local ombudsmen to report an unsafe living condition. Anyone can make a complaint. However, if you do not want to make the complaint yourself, you can ask someone else to complain on your part.
If you wish to grant permission to another person to complain to the ombudsman on your behalf, but that person is not your legal guardian or legal representative, you must legally give your consent for the person to communicate with the Ombudsman’s office.
To do so, you can contact the Ombudsman’s office personally, either by e-mail to email@example.com or by letter to GPO Box 442 Canberra ACT 2601. Alternatively, you can fill in their ‘Permission for another person to act on my behalf’ form and send it to the Office of the Commonwealth Ombudsman.
The Ombudsman accepts anonymous or ‘whistleblower’ complaints. However, they will not typically investigate unless the complaint raises a serious issue. Furthermore, if there is enough information in the complaint to enable the team to serve an investigation.
4. Adult Protective Services
The main objective of the APSW program is to support adults with developmental disabilities. More importantly, for those who are living on their own to live independently, securely, and as safe as possible in their community.
APSWs interact directly with the adult who has a developmental disability to help them access and maintain services and supports including generic services and supports available to any members of the community. The APSW helps by supporting the individual to use effective ways of managing their life in the community that may pose problems.
The mission of the program is for the APSW to work directly with older adults who have a developmental disability in order to develop a trusting, and respectful working relationship with the team. This is to understand the person’s strengths, areas for improvement, and short or long-term goals. This relational interaction should influence active participation and self-determination on the part of the adult who has a developmental disability in their setting or working towards their goals.
In this study, abuse, exploitation, and neglect (ANE) harm was noticed by type of abuse using Adult Protective Services (APS) interventions (pretest) and after APS interventions (post-test).
Change scores from 1,472 older adults (average age 78-year-old; 57% female) and 591 younger adults (age range is 53-year-old; half are female) served by APS in six months showed a decrease of harm using post-test minus pretest.
Nonetheless, older adult’s financial abuse harm was more than younger adults’ while young adults scored higher in harm on all other types of abuse.
Here is a video on what Adult Services does for the reporting client and answers questions regarding how long they stay involved in the case.
5. National Center on Elder Abuse
The National Center on Elderly Abuse (NCE) provides the latest information on research practices, training, effective practices, news, and resources on elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation to professionals and the community as a whole.
It was first originated by the U.S. Administration on Aging as a national elder abuse center. The NCEA was given a permanent home at AoA in the 1992 amendments made to Title II of the Older Americans Act.
The NCEA is one of the 27 Administrations focussed on Aging-funded Resource Centers. Research shows that around two million older people are tortured in the United States.
The Administration on Aging acknowledges that as a government, society, and as individuals, they should increase people’s efforts to ensure that all older adults are treated as honorable.
Call 1-855-500-3537 (ELDR) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The national center on elder abuse mission is to spread elder abuse information to experts and to the rest of society. It also provides technical support and schooling to states and community’s organizations. The NCEA:
- Makes resources that can be accessed online and in an easy-to-use format
- Identifies and provides information about successful practices and investigations
Reporting unsafe living conditions for the elderly is important. Just as many older adults experience a poorer quality of life and worse health outcomes than they otherwise would. (For victims of abuse, the rate of death is to be three times more than for seniors who is not been abused, according to the National Center on Elder Abuse.)
By calling one of these services numbers, depending on what you need in a given time and situation – it can keep the elderly safer physically and emotionally.
Comment below if you have an experience with one of these services or if you simply enjoyed this safety informative article. Share with friends who may need help with reporting unsafe living conditions for the elderly.