Patchwork Quilt

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Elder rights awareness

June 15 marked the 13th annual recognition of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. In conjunction with that day, Elderbridge Agency on Aging held events in Spencer, Fort Dodge, Mason City and Carroll to bring attention and awareness to Iowa’s growing issue of elder abuse.

Goals for the Elderbridge Elder Rights Program are to address and focus on prevention, intervention, detection and reporting elder abuse, neglect and exploitation. The process includes: A confidential referral and intake process, ongoing assessment of the situation and risks, development of intervention plans to reduce identified risks, continued follow-up until it is agreed that our services are no longer needed.

Here are just three of many scenarios of recent cases where requests were made for an Elderbridge Elder Rights specialist to step in to help:

Case 1

A son gained legal access to his parent’s farm and properties for his own gain. The son was able to coerce his father into signing over the ownership of the farm and their house, leaving his mother with no choice but to move into a low income senior housing apartment.

Elder Rights resolutions from Elderbridge Agency on Aging:

—Advocate with the client to secure a lawyer to help with the legal issues.

—Help our client make decisions on a plan of actions and interventions.

—Provide emotional support during the process.

—The Elder Rights specialist was able to advocate for the client and get a monthly payment from the son for support.

—Found the client an apartment.

Case 2

Son was power of attorney for his mother’s finances and had control over all the farm rent and ownership only to help himself take out large sums of money to purchase a semitruck for his own business.

Elder Rights resolutions from Elderbridge Agency on Aging:

—Contacted other family member to inform them of this concern since the mother did not want any legal matters.

—Worked with the family on how to resolve the issue for POA.

Case 3

The client whose wife does not know how to deal with her husband who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease, has been physically and emotionally abusive toward him.

Elder Rights resolution from Elderbridge Agency on Aging:

—Work with wife and client on bettering their relationship.

—Assist wife to free her from some caregiver stress.

—Provide wife with information on Alzheimer’s and how to cope.

—Worked with their finances as well negotiated for them to split accounts to resolve arguments over finances.

If you or someone you know may be a victim of elder abuse, call an Elderbridge Elder Rights specialist at 800-243-0678.