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Elder Abuse and Adult Protective Services, SMP Volunteer Opportunities
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Perspectives

on Aging

June 2014

Elder Abuse

Every day, headlines throughout the U.S. paint a grim picture of seniors
who have been abused, neglected, and exploited, often by people they
trust the most. Abusers may be spouses, family members, personal
acquaintances, or professionals in positions of trust, or opportunistic
strangers who prey on the vulnerable.
 
How big is the problem? Research indicates that more than one in ten elders may experience some type of abuse, but only one in 23 cases are reported. This means that very few seniors who have been abused get the help they need.
 
One thing is for certain: elder abuse can happen to any older individual –
your neighbor, your loved one – it can even happen to you.
 
What is Elder Abuse?
In general, elder abuse refers to intentional or neglectful acts by
a caregiver or “trusted” individual that lead to, or may lead to,
harm of a vulnerable elder. Physical abuse; neglect; emotional
or psychological abuse; verbal abuse and threats; financial
abuse and exploitation; sexual abuse; and abandonment are
considered forms of elder abuse. In many states, self-neglect is
also considered mistreatment.
 
TYPES OF ELDER ABUSE
•Physical abuse: Use of force to threaten or physically injure an elder
•Emotional abuse: Verbal attacks, threats, rejection, isolation, or belittling acts that cause or could cause mental anguish, pain, or distress to a senior
•Sexual abuse: Sexual contact that is forced, tricked, threatened, or otherwise coerced upon an elder, including anyone who is unable to grant consent
•Exploitation: Theft, fraud, misuse or neglect of authority, and use of undue
influence as a lever to gain control over an older person’s money or property
•Neglect: A caregiver’s failure or refusal to provide for a vulnerable elder’s safety, physical, or emotional needs
•Abandonment: Desertion of a frail or vulnerable elder by anyone with a duty of care
•Self-neglect: An inability to understand the consequences of one’s own actions or inaction, which leads to, or may lead to, harm or endangerment


 

Adult Protective Services:
Enough is Enough
July 1, 2013, the State of Illinois combined the abuse investigation units for adults over 60 and person 18-59 with a disability into one.  Formerly known as Elder Abuse, the new Adult Protective Services takes reports from people concerned about the safety and well being of both seniors and persons 18-59 with a disability.

The Adult Protective Services Program is locally coordinated through 45 provider agencies, which are designated by the regional Area Agency on Aging and the Department on Aging. Case workers from these agencies conduct investigations and work with older adults in resolving abusive situations. All Elder Abuse caseworkers are trained and certified by the Department.

In Illinois to report suspected abuse, exploitation or neglect of an older person, call the statewide, 24-hour Adult Protective Services Hotline: 1-866-800-1409, 1-888-206-1327 (TTY).
 
June 20, 11:00-2:00pm- Senior Carnival at Millstadt Township Senior Center, for more information please call 618-476-3731

July 9, 12:00-1:00pm- Snacks and Facts ' Home and Community Based Services', Fairview Heights Public Library.  For more information call 618-222-2561

July 19- Doors Open at 6:00pm, Bingo Starts at 7:30pm- Save Grandma, Play Cosmic Bingo, Mascoutah Sportsmen Club, 1535 N. Country Rd, Mascoutah, IL.  For more information and tickets call Sandra or Mary at 618-566-8758

Volunteer Opportunities
Are you or do you know someone who is looking to volunteer?  Even if you have just an hour or two a month, we have an opportunity for you.  The Senior Medicare Patrol has volunteer openings for different positions.  If you like to talk to the people and do presentations or if you prefer to just distribute informational material and help out administratively, we have a position for you!

What is the SMP Program?
The SMP (Senior Medicare Patrol) Program empowers consumers to prevent healthcare fraud. Program staff and volunteers help people with Medicare and Medicaid to:

1) PROTECT themselves from Medicare & Medicaid fraud, waste, and abuse.

2) DETECT Medicare & Medicaid fraud, waste, and abuse.

3) REPORT Medicare & Medicaid fraud, waste, and abuse.

The U.S. Administration on Aging (AoA) provides funding to SMP programs in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Virgin Islands.To find an SMP program in your state, visit the National SMP Resource Center website at www.smpresource.org and use the SMP Locator tool.

AoA and the SMP Program are working in partnership with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Justice to fight Medicare fraud. Visit the national Stop Medicare Fraud website to learn more about our national campaign:

http://stopmedicarefraud.gov/preventfraud/smp/index.html

The Illinois SMP Program is located at AgeOptions, the Area Agency on Aging for Suburban Cook County. AgeOptions works with several other agencies to provide information about healthcare fraud in Illinois. These agencies are: Illinois Area Agencies on Aging, Catholic Charities, Senior Services Associates, Family Services RSVP - Champaign,and the Coalition of Limited English Speaking Elderly.

For more information on how you can volunteer, please call Tamara Stancil at 618-222-2561 or tstancil@answersonaging.com.
 
If you would like to help us provide home and community based services, click on the donate now button.
 
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INTERESTED IN ADVOCACY?  
Join the members of the Advocacy Committee and help represent the interests of older persons to local level and executive branch officials, public and private agencies and organizations as well as monitor, evaluate, and where appropriate, comment on all policies, programs, hearings, levies, and community actions which affect older persons. 
If you are interested in participating in the Agency's Advocacy Meetings please email ask@answersonaging.com or call 618-222-2561,to receive regular meeting notices. 

Copyright © 2014, All rights reserved.
 
Our mailing address is:
Area Agency on Aging of Southwestern Illinois
2365 Country road
Belleville, IL  62221
618-222-2561

Vist our website at:
www.answersonaging.com



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