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Task Force to Address Elder Abuse Feb. 15

The Lehigh County District Attorney’s Elder Abuse Task Force will make a presentation to Upper Macungie crime watch groups on and give tips for guarding against abuse.

Members of the Lehigh County District Attorney’s Elder Abuse Task Force have scheduled a presentation in Upper Macungie Townships on elder abuse and neglect for crime watch and neighborhood groups.

The dates is set for Feb. 15, 2012, at 7 p.m. at the

Three members of the Task Force discussed elder abuse and answered questions during a Nov. 9, 2011, PowerPoint presentation to the Upper Saucon Township Crime Watch Group.

Presenters said audience members were particularly interested in protecting themselves against fraud and in learning about preventive measures to avoid becoming a victim of phone, Internet, mail and door-to-door scams.

“We want to help county residents recognize the signs of elder abuse and neglect and encourage them to report cases of suspected abuse,” said District Attorney James B. Martin. “By reporting and investigating cases, we can all help prevent abuse and provide protection for people who are vulnerable due to age and physical or mental limitations.”

Task Force members describe the various types of abuse, why older adults are vulnerable to abuse and why they often do not report it. The presentation also addresses signs and symptoms of abuse, neglect and abandonment and the role of the coroner, police, District Attorney’s Office, Lehigh County Office of Aging and Adult Services, Turning Point, and Crime Victims Council of the Lehigh Valley in investigations and prosecutions.    

Task Force members discuss numerous tips that the elderly and their families can take to protect themselves.

Among those are:

  • Do not give personal or financial information over the Internet or phone.
  • Choose passwords carefully and do not share them with others.
  • Set up a system of checks and balances so there is oversight of caretakers’ actions.
  • Be careful about putting other people’s names on bank and other financial accounts, which invites abuse and allows them access to your account.
  • Be aware of how much is in your checking, savings and investment accounts.
  • Shred documents that contain account numbers, personal or identification information.
  • Do not carry your Social Security card in your wallet, pocket or purse.

     Task Force members also explain what a person should do if abuse is suspected and who should be called. 

    The Task Force was created in 2007 and is made up of protective services personnel of the Office of Aging and Adult Services, members of the District Attorney’s Office, the Temple University Institute on Protective Services, Turning Point, Crime Victims Council and the Allentown Health Bureau, police, citizens and doctors.



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Alaina Coyle February 01, 2012 at 04:47 PM
These are really great tips. I think another important way to avoid elder abuse is by hiring a trustworthy caregiver. When I was looking for a caregiver for my father, I knew I wanted an agency that used ClearCare's homecare software. I had heard about it from a friend of mine and I really couldn't live without it. It gives family members real-time visibility to the care of their loved ones. I know precisely when the caregiver arrives at my dad's house because she has to phone in using a telephony system. I know when my dad is fed and gets his medications because the caregiver is required to log in all such information. It's an excellent way to make sure caregivers aren't taking advantage of the elderly.

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