As part of our commitment to community safety and crime prevention, APD would like to provide you with information on how to identify, prevent and report elder abuse. While this can be a sensitive topic, knowing what to look for and who to contact is important and will enable you to help yourself, friends or family members who may be in trouble.
• Look for any unusual unexplained bumps, bruises or cuts;
• Look for unusual changes in behavior;
• If you don't hear from elderly friends for several days stop by and check on them;
• Be alert of salesmen at elderly friends' homes. If elderly friends tell you about someone inappropriately spending their money, report it to the police
• Notice if elderly friends' homes are unusually unkempt or filthy; notice if they begin to look malnourished; or if they are not receiving proper medication. If necessary, notify the proper authority.
If elder abuse is suspected, contact the following entity:
Alameda County elder abuse hotline: 510-577-3500 or toll free at 866-225-5277
For additional information: https://www.alamedasocialservices.org
CONVALESCENT HOME CRIMES
Often convalescent home crimes and related quality of life issues go unreported. These crimes and issues usually go unreported because:
• Seniors fear retaliation for reporting crimes by their caretakers.
• Seniors may think that no one cares about them or what happens to them.
• They may think that the crimes committed against them are just a fact of life and there is nothing that can be done to change it.
• Seniors may be ashamed to ask their family or friends for assistance.
• Convalescent home employees, who become aware or witness crimes in the home, may not report these crimes, fearing retaliation from their employer.
TYPES OF CRIMES
There are several types of crimes that can occur. These crimes can range from physical abuse, criminal neglect, sexual assault, emotional, psychological abuse or financial abuse. It must be pointed out that many seniors are as vulnerable as small children are. The following is a list of possible signs of abuse and neglect.
• Rough handling or grabbing
• Hitting or slapping
• Dragging the patient by the arms or hair
• The lack of physical activity
• Bed sores
• Rashes, sores, lice
• Untreated medical condition
• Over or under medicated
Sexual assault is when a senior is forced, manipulated, or coerced into unwanted sexual activity, or the senior lacks the ability to consent to any sexual activity. Family members, staff members of homes or a stranger can initiate sexual assault.
• Or sexual battery
• Verbal threats of punishment
• Constant harassment
• Threat of withdrawal of services
• Theft of personal effects
• Overcharging for services
• Fraudulent billing for non-services
WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN SELECTING A CONVALESCENT HOME.
• When choosing a home, look at the surroundings.
• Check the inside and outside of the home for cleanliness and grounds that are well kept. This can indicate an overall concern by the caretakers for cleanliness.
• When walking inside smell the air. It should smell clean and fresh not musty or have a high chemical smell.
• Look at the home’s equipment to make sure it is in good working condition and not outdated. This could indicate the lack of funds to assist in the care or well-being of the patients.
• Talk to employees about the condition of the home and their work environment. Happy employees indicate a high morale that in-turns creates employees that are more concerned about the quality of the job they perform.
We hope this information is helpful in protecting yourself or your loved ones. For emergencies dial 9-1-1 or 510.522.2423.