Giving that the elderly population are the most vulnerable to the COVID-19 virus, they are now the most isolated. They are at high risk and everyone is trying their best to stay away from them. This is great as it keeps them protected, however, it also makes it harder to see and hear from them often. Thus, I have put together this article to remind you to please check in with your elderly family members, neighbors, and friends.
Approximately, 5 million older adults are abused, neglected, or exploited each year (ncoa.org). Abuse can take place in institutions, scammers over the phone, through the computer, people at the front door, or one of the caretakers can be the ones causing the abuse. Quite a few news articles have been published recently about scammers calling the elderly population and trying to get their personal information. Some scammers are claiming they are from the IRS, others claim they need to change the insurance premiums because of the Coronavirus, and yet other scammers come up with their own reasons why they need credit card and bank information.
While adhering to the guidelines of social distance, please reach out and check on your elderly loved ones. Find ways to check on them while still keeping them safe.
Here are ten signs that an elderly person is being abused:
Dirty clothes, broken equipment or personal items (e.g. glasses, walkers, hearing aids)
Having injuries such as bruises, cuts or broken bones.
Unexplained withdrawals from bank statements
Lose of interest in activities they enjoyed
Unexplained memory loss or confusion
Fear of seeing a doctor about injuries
Being withdrawn and refusing to talk
Sudden onset of depression
Drastic weight loss
If you suspect that an elderly person is being abused and they are in immediate danger please call 911. If they are not in immediate danger and you are unable to help them, please call Adult Protective Services in your state so they can check in on them.
Here are some ways in which you can help your elderly loved ones during the quarantine:
Physically check in on them while adhering to the social distancing guidelines
Remind them about phone and computer (online) scammers
Have a video call with them as often as possible
Cook some food for them
Pick up their medicine
Water their plants
Drop off groceries
Mow their lawn
List their phone numbers on the Do Not Call List
Have an audio call with them at least once a day
Elderly people are feeling very lonely during this quarantine, so please don't forget about them. They are a very vulnerable population and need our help right now more than ever.