World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) was launched on June 15, 2006 by the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse and the World Health Organization at the United Nations (UN). World Elder Abuse Awareness Day aims to provide an opportunity for communities around the world to promote a better understanding of abuse and neglect of older persons by raising awareness of the cultural, social, economic, and demographic circumstances affecting elder abuse and neglect.
The Coalition for Elder Justice in CT knows that we can all get involved to create lasting local changes! In line with the central aim of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, we asked our coalition members what they were doing to support the health and wellbeing of older adults here in CT. With the resources provided we created this page to help centralize some educational materials and resources on how to support for the health and well-being of older adults here in CT.
Recognizing the growing threat from telephone and internet fraud, AARP set up the Fraud Watch Network(FWN). The goal of FWN is to help people understand what a scam looks like, so if one comes along, they’ll be less likely to fall victim. The AARP Connecticut continues holds workshops across the state to alert seniors about scams, ranging from IRS and sweepstake scams to fake Nigerian princes.
Two upcoming AARP Fraud Watch Network Events are also listed below:
AARP Fraud Watch Network Presents: The Con Artist Playbook – Wed June 17, 2020 @ 1PM AARP Fraud Watch Network – The Con Artist Playbook: Offers insights into the psychology behind ID theft, fraud & scams through actual testimony of scammers, insights and advice. Participants will walk away armed with the tools they need to keep themselves and their families safe. https://aarp.cvent.com/June17Fraud
AARP FWN Live Tele-Town Hall Discussion – Fri 6/19/2020 10AM – Coronavirus Scams: How to Help Others While Protecting Yourself –: Nora Duncan, State Director, AARP CT – Guests: AG William Tong, CT & Kathy Stokes, Dir of Fraud Prevention, AARP
Listen Live on: Facebook.com/AARPCT, vekeo.com/AARPConnecticut
CT Department of Banking
The Department of Banking offers a program to train bank and credit union employees, as well as other financial professionals that work with seniors, to recognize the warning signs of financial exploitation of older adults and how to report suspected cases. Financial professionals are in a unique position to have early knowledge of financial abuse through regular contact with their customers, and this training not only helps them detect possible exploitation but encourages institutions to develop procedures to address those cases. Watch the agency’s outreach coordinator, Kathleen Titsworth, discuss the Senior$afe program. Visit ct.gov/dob for more information or to schedule a Senior$afe training program.
CT Long Term Care Ombudsman Program
The state’s long term care ombudsman, who works for the state Department of Aging and Disability Services, has launched live chat sessions on Facebook which has quickly evolved into a real-time information pipeline for families. Mairead Painter, who has been the State Long Term Ombudsman since May 2018, hosts hour-long Facebook Live sessions every 5:30 p.m. every Wednesday on the Connecticut Long Term Care Ombudsman Program Facebook page. She will be hosting a special World Elder Abuse Awareness Day Facebook Live Monday June 15th at 2:00pm with information and resources to help build strong community supports for CT’s Elders.
More than ever it is important to be fully informed when choosing a long term care facility and the LTCOP also wanted to provide additional resources to empower residents and families including information on how to choose a nursing home and what residents rights are for individuals living in skilled nursing facilities once they choose one.
Contact info for The Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program
CT Department of Public Health
In Connecticut, falls are the leading cause of injury-related death for Connecticut residents aged 65 years and over and the fourth leading cause for all ages. Many falls can be prevented. Studies show that a combination of measures can significantly reduce the risk of falling, and increasing awareness of the key measures that older adults can take to reduce their risk is important. For this reason Connecticut Department of Public Health offers their Falls Prevention Program. Using PHHSBG funding to local health departments in Connecticut the program offers strategies including providing home safety assessments to identify and correct injury hazards, provision of safety supplies, fall prevention seminars and exercise classes, medication safety reviews, and training for service providers.
For more information, please call
The Office of Injury Prevention
Additionally DPH collaborates to create The Connecticut Healthy Living Collective (CHLC). CHLC is comprised of state, regional and local agencies and organizations dedicated to healthy aging in communities throughout our state, and to providing leadership and visibility for the challenges and opportunities faced by Connecticut’s growing aging population.
A key initiative of CHLC, this public education website provides fast, easy access to participation in evidence-based programs such as Live Well with Chronic Conditions, Live Well with Diabetes and Live Well with Chronic Pain, and the Aging Mastery Program, and supports the Collective’s mission to provide access to healthy living programs throughout the lifespan.
With the increase of Social Isolation and increased risk of abuse secondary to social isolation, Nicholas Nicholson of Quinnipiac University provides a brief presentation discussing the relationship between social isolation and the increased vulnerability of elders and what individuals can do to address the issue.
CT Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA)
PURA continues to warn customers of a recent uptick in utility-related scams. Customers should always use caution when receiving any solicitation pertaining to their utility bill and are encouraged to call their utility company directly with questions or concerns. Connecticut’s regulated electric, natural gas and water public utility companies are currently not terminating service due to nonpayment for as long as the emergency shut-off moratoriums remain in place. (Full Press Release here).
“We encourage customers to be extra vigilant for the duration of the pandemic given the emergence of several sophisticated scams as of late. Demands for immediate payment at the risk of service termination are simply false. Instead, PURA has directed our utilities to provide flexible payment arrangements to any customer that asks for assistance during these unprecedented times. PURA urges customers to contact their utilities directly to check the validity of any messaging that is received or to request assistance with their utility bills,”PURA chairman Marissa P. Gillett.
PURA has also released another press release regarding generation rates. Click here for the announcement of new standard service rates and reminding customers to keep on top of their choices if they choose to get their generation service from a third party electric supplier.
More information about PURA’s response to the COVID-19 crisis is available here or by referencing Docket Number 20-03-15. Members of the public with questions regarding these matters can contact the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority at 1-800-382-4586.
PURA reminds individuals of the emergency residential shut-off moratorium, which is in place until the official end of the public health emergency – here is the original full press release on that topic. This states in summary that the utility company cannot shut off anyone’s service for any reason until COVID-19 is deemed to be over by the governor.
PURA also notes that they have asked third-party electric suppliers to stop all door-to-door sales during this time, so no customers should be getting anyone at their residents trying to sell generation services. Click Here for the full press release.
Coalition for Elder Justice CT
Because Law enforcement is often a first responder to elder abuse. Recognizing the signs of abuse and knowing how to access the system of agencies and resources on behalf of the older adult can be critical in determining if a crime has occurred, preventing further abuse, or simply assisting an at-risk older adult. The Coalition for Elder Justice has created a guide is designed especially for law enforcement personnel. It contains Connecticut-specific information to help law enforcement work with older adults who have experienced elder abuse. Additionally, the resources and tools shared at the end of the guide can help law enforcement connect with relevant websites, state agencies and community partners who work to prevent and address elder abuse.
Powerpoint can be downloaded below but will also be hosted on the training portion of the web site.
CT Department of Social Services
Connecticut has a coordinated system to support the safety and well-being of elders who may be subject to various forms of maltreatment. This system includes the Protective Services for the Elderly (PSE) program, law enforcement, health and human services, and the court system. The PSE program is designed to safeguard people 60 years and older from physical, mental and emotional abuse, neglect (including self-neglect), abandonment and/or financial abuse and exploitation. Department of Social Services social workers respond to reports of elder maltreatment and devise a plan of care aimed at fostering safety while preserving the person’s right of self-determination. Staff may help the person remain in the living situation he or she prefers, safeguard legal rights, prevent bodily injury or harm, determine service needs and then mobilize resources to provide necessary services.
Reporting Cases of Suspected Abuse, Neglect or Exploitation:
In order for this system to function, someone must first identify and refer elders who might be in need of protection. Anyone can (and should) report elder maltreatment. Many categories of human service, medical, law enforcement and other professions are required by state law to cause a report to be made.
To support this effort, the Department of Social Services has made online training available to educate people on how to recognize and report elder maltreatment.
- Please follow this link to access the PSE Web-Based Training for members of the general public.
- Please follow this link to access the PSE Web Based Training for Mandated Reporters. This self-paced training provides a certificate of completion.
Alternatively to make a report, call Protective Services for the Elderly at the Department of Social Services during business hours at the toll-free line: 1-888-385-4225. After business hours or on weekends or state holidays, please call Infoline at 2-1-1. If you are calling from outside Connecticut, call Infoline 24/7 at 1-800-203-1234. An optional Report Form (W-675) Opens in a new window is also available. Please FAX the W-675 form to 860-424-5091. However, telephone reports are preferred.
CT Department of Aging and Disability Services
The Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) empowers and assists Medicare beneficiaries, their families, and caregivers to prevent, detect, and report health care fraud, errors and abuse through outreach, counseling and education.
In Connecticut, SMP is operated by the Department of Aging and Disability Services State Unit on Aging in cooperation with the regional Area Agencies on Aging and the many volunteers who help power the program in our communities. SMP provides enhanced training on the issues of Medicare fraud and abuse to its network of volunteer and staff counselors. SMP counselors can provide education, assistance and advocacy to residents in order to identify, report and prevent Medicare fraud, waste and abuse. The program is federally funded by the Administration for Community Living and is available across the country. According to the Office of Inspector General, in 2016 SMP Projects reported $217,353 in cost avoidance or savings on behalf of Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries and others. Information provided from SMP projects to Federal prosecutors resulted in settlements totaling an additional $9.2 million in expected Medicare recoveries. The Senior Medicare Patrol provides the following services through the recruitment and training of staff and volunteers:
- One-on-one counseling and assistance to people on Medicare. Counselors are available to help beneficiaries read their Medicare summary notices, review their cases and understand billing and other paperwork. In suspicious cases, SMP can help beneficiaries to report fraud to the proper authorities.
- Presentations to beneficiaries, caregivers and other concerned citizens. Presentations cover the types of fraud and abuse that occur and the steps that seniors can take to protect themselves. To schedule a free speaker, call your local Area Agency on Aging at 1-800-994-9422 and ask to speak with someone from the Senior Medicare Patrol.
Guides from the Senior Medicare Patrol Program (Fraud Prevention and Protecting Your Personal Information)
- Actions You Can Take To Protect Your Personal Information
- Don’t Be A Victim of Healthcare Fraud, Scams or Identity Theft
- Don’t Be A Victim of Fraud, Abuse or Scams: Tips for Medicare Consumers
- Guidelines for Shredding and Saving Personal Documents
- TRIAD Guidebook
CT Department of Consumer Protection
DCP is responsible for ensuring that businesses follow all consumer laws and guard against deceptive business practices. We also enforce licensing requirements. If, after an investigation, we have sufficient evidence that a business is violating the law, we may open a case on behalf of the State of Connecticut. DCP has the authority to work with the business to correct illegal practices, bring enforcement actions, and/or assess penalties. DCP does not act as legal representation for individuals. DCP also has limited authority to address complaints of customer service or quality of workmanship. Our complaint center can mediate and facilitate mutually agreeable resolutions to consumer complaints. However, if the two parties fail to come to an agreement, the consumer may pursue their complaint in the court system.
- Tips for Protecting Yourself
- Resources to Help You Resolve Your Dispute
- Can Consumer Protection Help?
- Complaint Forms
QUESTIONS?LIVE CHAT with DCP during regular business hours.
Consumer Complaint Center: 860-713-6300 or Toll Free 800-842-2649
Email: dcp.complain[email protected]
HOMEMAKER COMPANION AGENCIES: A GUIDE FOR CONSUMERS
Homemakers and companions provide non-medical care to support the well-being of a person in their home. Homemakers and companions may provide support by helping prepare meals and assisting with routine tasks.
You may hire a homemaker or companion directly, but the vast majority of people will work with a homemaker companion agency that provides some additional protections for the consumer.
This fact sheet is meant to help you understand the process of working with a homemaker companion agency in order to make the best decision for your specific needs