Tuesday, November 23, 2021

COVID and Elder Abuse

A  recently released article from the Fall 2021 publication of the National Association of Social Workers explores the impact that COVID had on the number of elder abuse cases. Elder Abuse & COVID-19 explains that "[t]he novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has had a profound and disproportionate impact on older adults, including apparent increases in elder abuse. This publication explores these effects and highlights resources developed by social workers and other service providers to support practice with older adults."  The article cites a study by Dr. Pamela Teaster and others (Dr. Teaster is a friend and ROCK STAR researcher) that showed that "81 percent of Adult Protective Services (APS) personnel related having received “fewer or many fewer” reports of adult maltreatment within the first six months of pandemic shutdown."  Citing a number of other studies, the author notes that COVID led to an increased risk of elder abuse.  The article discusses the impact of sheltering at home and a freeze on visitation in long-term care facilities as heightening the risk of elder abuse.

[T]he pandemic has provided fertile ground for multiple types of fraud and scams, many of which affect older adults. Common schemes include (a) COVID-19 testing, treatment, and vaccine scams; (b) imposter scams, in which an individual pretends to represent a relative, charitable organization, government agency, or other trusted source to steal money or financial information; (c) Economic Impact Payment (stimulus check) scams; (d) home and mortgage scams (to make improvements, prevent foreclosure, or modify loans; and (e) identity theft. The financial strains many older adults experience during the pandemic can increase the risk of experiencing fraud and scams.  (citations omitted). 

The article concludes by highlighting some of the actions of social workers to "prevent, identify, and respond to elder abuse."


Consumer Information, Crimes, Current Affairs, Elder Abuse/Guardianship/Conservatorship | Permalink


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