Cambridge Elder Abuse Prevention Coalition

The Cambridge Elder Abuse Prevention Coalition is a community based team of organizations and individuals committed to providing public education, outreach, and resources to prevent and respond to abuse, neglect, fraud, and financial exploitation of all seniors in Cambridge.

Members of CEAPC include:

Cambridge Health Alliance, Cambridge Police Dept., Cambridge & Somerville Legal Services, CASCAP Inc., East Cambridge Savings Bank, Greater Boston Legal Services, Massachusetts Alliance of Portuguese Speakers, Middlesex District Attorney’s Office, Office of Senator Jehlen, Paine Senior Services, Somerville-Cambridge Elder Services, Transition House, Windsor House, Youville Assisted Living,

Want to get involved with our efforts in Cambridge? Contact Susan Pacheco at spacheco@cambridgema.gov.

 

 

Cambridge Elder Abuse Prevention Coalition in the News!

The Cambridge Elder Abuse Prevention Coalition is hosting an elder abuse awareness event at the Cambridge Council on Aging on June 22nd in recognition of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

 

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Prescription Drug Take-Back Day and Presentation by Middlesex DA Marian Ryan

The Council on Aging in collaboration with the Cambridge Police Department, the Cambridge Public Health Department and the Cambridge Elder Abuse Prevention Coalition, will be holding a prescription drug take-back day on Tuesday, September 13th, 12 noon – 3:00 p.m. The event will take place at the Cambridge Senior Center 806 Mass Avenue, Cambridge.

Personnel will be available to accept unwanted prescriptions, vitamins and over the counter medications.  Liquids are NOT accepted.

Please join District Attorney Ryan for an important presentation from 12 noon – 1:30 p.m.

With the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in the midst of an unprecedented public health crisis, Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan developed a safety program for senior citizens to raise awareness about opioids, specifically how opioid misuse is directly impacting seniors and their loved ones.  District Attorney Ryan will discuss the far-reaching effects of this crisis as well as offer tips on how to manage prescription medication using the File of Life program.  In addition, she will talk about ways to safeguard medication from theft; how to properly dispose of unused or expired medication; how to identify signs of drug addiction in grandchildren and other family members; and how to get loved ones help.  Complimentary File of Life refrigerator magnets and personal wallet cards will be distributed to seniors who attend.

To learn more about the event, contact Susan Pacheco at 617-349-6220 or spacheco@cambridgema.gov.

Cambridge Elder Abuse Coalition members Roberta Robinson, Director of Marketing and Outreach at Cambridge Health Alliance, Susan Pacheco, Executive Director, Cambridge Council on Aging, and Betsey Crimmins, Senior Attorney, Greater Boston Legal Services discuss elder abuse prevention on Roberta’s ‘Health is Wealth” show on Cambridge Community Television, June, 2016.

Coalition Partner Somerville Cambridge Elder Services put together this informative flyer to mark World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

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BANKER’S FORUM A BIG SUCCESS!

Below is an article written by CEAPC member Norah al-Wetaid about a recent joint forum for local bankers sponsored by the Arlington Elder Abuse Prevention Task Force and CEAPC

Training Bankers to Spot Warning Signs of Elder Abuse

Financial exploitation of older adults is a growing issue – and the Cambridge Elder Abuse Prevention Coalition (CEAPC) raised awareness on the topic by hosting a recent forum for local bankers.

Hosted in collaboration with the Arlington Elder Abuse Task Force, the forum focused on how community awareness and collaboration play a major part in preventing financial exploitation of elders. Over 40 bankers were in attendance, in addition to CEAPC and community members.

Elder Abuse Partnership logo

Norah al-Wetaid, Senior Protective Services Worker at Somerville-Cambridge Elder Services (SCES) and CEAPC member, said it was a great turnout.

“We were all so happy to see such a great turnout with so many banks represented,” said al-Wetaid. “Banks and bankers are often the first line of defense when it comes to financial exploitation and are in a unique situation to observe elders’ interactions with loved ones.”

Jonathon Fielding of the Executive Office of Elder Affairs gave an overview of elder financial exploitation for participants. He outlined a collaborative approach to identify financial exploitation, which is called the Massachusetts Bank Reporting Project. The project is a public-private partnership that started in 1996 and provides resources and training materials to participating banks. As part of the program, banks are educated on the warning signs of financial exploitation and they develop protocols for addressing and reporting concerns.

Other speakers included Marian Ryan, District Attorney of Middlesex County; Fred Ryan, Chief of Police of Arlington; Susan Carp, Executive Director of the Arlington Council on Aging; and Susan Pacheco, Executive Director of the Cambridge Council on Aging. Each speaker demonstrated how spreading information, increasing awareness, and forming partnerships can prevent elder abuse.

“Susan Pacheco raised a great point about the need for cross-city collaborations, due to the ways that scammers operate,” said al-Wetaid. “The estimate that elders lose $2.9 billion annually to financial abuse and exploitation is staggering. Raising awareness, developing relationships, spreading information about resources and having open communication between cities, banks and community providers are all means of preventing elders from slipping through the cracks.”

SCES recently facilitated an awareness campaign, with the goals of encouraging discussion and helping people learn about common warning signs of elder abuse. To report suspected elder abuse, contact Protective Services at SCES by calling 617-628-2601 during normal business houses. At all other times, please use the Elder Abuse Hotline (1-800-922-2275).

By Norah al-Wetaid
Sources: Mass.gov, The Elder Abuse Prevention Project of Greater Boston Legal Services

SCES is a member of the Cambridge Elder Abuse Prevention Coalition, which provides education, outreach and prevention resources in Cambridge. For more info about the coalition, contact Susan Pacheco at 617-349-6220 or spacheco@cambridgema.gov.
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Patrick Williams and Susan Pacheco Speak at the Cambridge Rotary on March 3, 2016
Photo by jackrummel.com
We were pleased to have Susan Pacheco, Executive Dir. of the Cambridge Council on Aging, and Patrick Williams of the Cambridge Consumers Council.

Susan spoke about the variety of abuse types performed against the elderly. The elderly population is a common target for financial, physical, and emotional abuse. Susan introduced us to the Cambridge Elder Abuse Prevention Coalition. The Coalition is a community based team of organizations and individuals committed to providing public education, outreach, and resources to prevent and respond to abuse, neglect, fraud, and financial exploitation of all seniors in Cambridge. The biggest role you can play is to report any signs you notice for any type of abuse against a senior citizen.

Patrick walked us through a variety of scams, of which the elderly are a particularly favorite target. Some of the most common currently include:

• Contest/Sweepstake winning where you are asked to send money to collect your prize.
• IRS Tax/Penalty payment demands by phone.
• Someone calling by phone claiming to be a family member in need of emergency money.
• Solicitations to change energy provider
In addition, Patrick spoke about the current increase in ATM skimmers. Skimmers are small devices placed on the card readers at ATMs and self-service gas pumps by fraudsters. The skimmers capture confidential information from your card, which the fraud perpetrator can use later to perform transactions on your account. The skimmers are hard to detect, but we should all take a moment before inserting our card to observe if the card reader appears to be tampered or looks unusual.

Patrick closed by reminding us that his role is to help educate and inform citizens about potential fraud. It is much easier to stop from being a victim, than to recover funds lost in a fraud. The biggest step we can take is to be proactive and keep our information confidential. Never give confidential information out to an unsolicited inquiry!

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Community Forum on Financial Exploitation a Great Success!

     On Thursday, June 18th the Cambridge Elder Abuse Prevention Coalition sponsored a community forum on elder financial exploitation that drew over 100 seniors to the Cambridge Senior Center.  The audience was fortunate to have a terrific panel of speakers cover a wide range of topics on personal and financial security and safety.  Council on Aging Director Susan Pacheco hosted the event which began with a talk by Mayor David Maher followed by Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan.  A separate panel of speakers included Patrick Williams of the Cambridge Consumer Council; David Monahan, Deputy Division Director of the Consumer Protection Division of the Massachusetts Attorney General; Officer Daniel Burroso of the Cambridge Police Department; Stephanie Becker, Protective Services Director at Somerville Cambridge Elder Services and Lisa Scopa, Banking Center Manager of East Cambridge Savings Bank.2015-06-18 15.16.49                                                           COA Director Susan Pacheco

CAMBRIDGE ELDER ABUSE PREVENTION COALITION IN THE NEWS!

FROM:  THE CAMBRIDGE LIFE – OFFICIAL MAGAZINE OF THE CITY OF CAMBRIDGE

Elder abuse is a prevalent and growing problem across the Commonwealth. TheCouncil on Aging (COA) recently collaborated with The Elder Abuse Prevention Project of Greater Boston Legal Services to develop a community-wide model to prevent and respond to elder abuse. This effort led to the formation of The Cambridge Elder Abuse Prevention Coalition, a community based team of organizations and individuals committed to providing public education,outreach, and resources to prevent and respond to abuse, neglect, fraud, and financial exploitation of all seniors in Cambridge.

ELDER ABUSE – THE FACTS
Elder abuse in Massachusetts is defined as physical, emotional, verbal and sexual abuse,
caretaker abuse and neglect, financial exploitation and self-neglect of an individual
60 years of age or older. The National Center on Elder Abuse estimates that over five million older Americans are victims of some form of abuse every year. That number is only expected to
grow over the coming years as our elderly population continues to grow in size and to
grow older. Elder abuse affects both men and women of all socioeconomic backgrounds, and it is often perpetrated by adult children or other trusted family members.

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
Domestic violence service providers are also beginning to have an increase in individuals reporting intimate partner violence at a later age in life. It is important to acknowledge that domestic violence does not end at age 60. The cycle of violence continues and an elder
victim is at greater risk due to cognitive decline and physical frailty.

RESOURCES
The focus of the coalition is to create a community-wide response to issues of elder abuse in a preventive manner. We are hoping to increase public awareness of this issue. The more education and outreach provided, the better chance we can keep an elder from
becoming a victim. The Coalition plans to host a number of educational forums for
seniors on current topics of interest. Its first event in June was a forum on how to avoid financial scams and maintaining one’s personal well-being.
For more information, contact Susan Pacheco at 617-349-6220
or spacheco@cambridgema.go

Local Elder Abuse Prevention Resources in Cambridge

 

 

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