I hope this newsletter finds you well, and I appreciate you taking the time to join me here. I’m sure that many of my fellow senior service providers will agree with me when I say it has been alarming to see how many news reports there have been recently on frauds, scams, and in large, elder abuse among our older adults. Maybe it’s top of mind because that has been a current theme in our Lunch & Learn series. As a matter of fact, my longtime friend and fierce elder advocate Shirley Krohn joined us last week for our latest session, sharing a scary brush with financial abuse via a Facebook scam. Among us here in the industry, it’s incredible to see the hard work we’re all doing to provide connection and support. The fight to build, establish, and maintain public-private partnerships to respond to emerging needs and then address them swiftly with mutual backing from government entities and community-based organizations. While these partnerships take time, our fight continues. Here at Empowered Aging, we have been reaffirmed in our mission, fighting to defeat the inequality our older adults face, and I invite you to join us in that commitment.
As we take another step forward, I’m feeling extra thankful for the opportunity to work and partner with so many of you. My team and I are overwhelmed by the outpouring of service for vulnerable older adults who depend on us for support and advocacy. I hope you will read on for more about how we’re expanding our reach. We introduce you to some new faces on our team and talk more about preventing elder abuse.
Thank you so much to all of you for your hard work throughout our communities. As always, if you or someone you know needs help, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our team by calling 925-685-2070. And, if you know someone who should be receiving our content, please feel free to forward this email to them.
Preventing Elder Abuse
It can be hard for friends, family, and those not in the elder care community to imagine an older adult being the victim of abuse. Unfortunately, each year, thousands of older adults over 60 are abused, neglected, or defrauded. It happens every day and just about everywhere. Yes, it happens in assisted living and nursing homes, but what shocks people the most is when it happens by friends or family members in an older person’s own home. At Empowered Aging, we have two Elder Justice programs. One is our Elder and Adult with Disabilities Justice Program that works to educate the community on signs of abuse and partners with victims and their families to help them find the support they need – whether that be social, legal, or emergency. We also have our Elder Justice Lunch & Learn Program that brings together senior service providers for a monthly webinar on a variety of topics to help them enhance their services and reach. Elder abuse is not a new topic, but it is undoubtedly one that has been heightened since the beginning of the pandemic. To help keep our seniors and the challenges they are facing top of mind, we are sharing some tips to spread the word on how to spot signs of elder abuse.
What to look for:
• Elder abuse can be physical, emotional, sexual, financial. It also includes abandonment and neglect.
Keep an eye out for a change in how the person acts. For example, does the individual seem depressed, confused, or withdrawn?
• Is the older adult isolating themselves from friends and family? Often older adults are ashamed of what’s happening and shy away from regular engagement.
• Do you notice any unusual or unexplained injuries, like bruises, burns, or scars?
• Has there been a change in appearance? Do they look dirty, dehydrated, malnourished, undermedicated, or not receiving necessary medical attention?
• Have you noticed any preventable conditions such as bed sores?
• And, have there been any recent changes in spending patterns or banking
Remember, abuse can happen to anyone, anywhere, and anytime. If you notice something that isn’t right, talk to the older adult and then contact authorities. Our team is always available to help get the right support needed. Please call us at 925.685.2070.
Welcoming Our New Interim Director of Programs, Susannah Meyer!
We hope you will join us in welcoming Susannah Meyer as our new Interim Director of Programs here at Empowered Aging. Susannah will oversee the coordination and administration of all EA programs ensuring that our activities align with our mission and goals. This role is vital to organizational growth as we continue to expand our reach across the Bay Area and beyond.
Before joining Empowered Aging, Susannah worked as a Senior District Representative for Senator Steve Glazer, handling state and local government relations, outreach, and community engagement. Susannah also worked as the Community Engagement Director at Meals on Wheels Diablo Region. In addition to her role here at Empowered Aging, Susannah is also a current City Council Member for Brentwood.
We’re thrilled to have Susannah as a part of our team and look forward to continued expansion with Susannah leading the way.
What Does Empowered Aging Mean to You?
Meet Reina Zavala, Intake Support Specialist for all counties. To her clients, Empowered Aging, is having the knowledge to advocate for themselves. By knowing their rights, older adults have the ability to make decisions about the things that matter most to them. What does Empowered Aging mean to you?
Interested in joining our mission? Know someone else who wants to get involved in supporting seniors? Visit www.EmpoweredAging.org for more information on our volunteer openings, gifting opportunities, and more.