October is designated National Crime Prevention Month as a way to celebrate crime prevention and to raise awareness about issues such as victimization, volunteerism, and creating safer, more caring communities. We would like to take this opportunity to raise awareness about crimes against the elderly and to share some of the different ways you can actively work to prevent crime from happening to yourself or an elderly loved one.
Elder abuse can be a crime and can be seen in various different forms including emotional abuse, financial abuse, physical abuse, and neglect (View our previous blog for more information on the different types of abuse: http://newyorkelderlawblog.com/2013/06/10/elder-abuse-the-silent-crime-no-more/). A recent study found that 76 out of every 1,000 older New Yorkers were victims of elder abuse during a one year period. This study also uncovered the major incongruence in the amount of elder abuse that actually occurs verses the number of crimes reported. A critical component of stopping crime against the elderly involves reaching out for help and reporting crimes when they occur. You can anonymously discuss any suspected elder abuse by calling 311 and asking for the Department for the Aging’s Elderly Crime Victimization Resource Center. A counselor at the resource center will direct you to local resources to help you address the abuse. If you are a victim of a crime the resource center can also assist you with services such as crisis intervention, safety planning services, support services, linkages to police services, and legal services, etc. More information can be found at: http://www.nyc.gov/html/dfta/html/services/crime-victims.shtml
The following additional resources provide further information about elder abuse and various ways to prevent crime against the elderly:
Safe Seniors Pamphlet: https://www.ncpc.org/cms/cms-upload/ncpc/files/saferseniors.pdf
National Crime Prevention Council in Partnership with the Bureau of Justice Assistance “Working with Older Americans”: https://www.ncpc.org/cms/cms-upload/ncpc/files/older_americans_2.pdf