Tomorrow is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

News Release
For Immediate Release: 6/14/2021

Division of Children and Family Services PIO Garret Swanson, (402) 480-0883,

Call Hotline at 800-652-1999 if Elder Abuse is Suspected

Facebook Live Set for Awareness Day

Lincoln, Neb. – Tomorrow, June 15, commemorates World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD), a day for people and organizations to get informed and take action to protect older individuals against elder abuse. Elder abuse refers to intentional or negligent acts by a caregiver or trusted individual that cause harm to an older person. Elder abuse can include:

  • Neglect or isolation
  • Physical abuse
  • Sexual abuse and sexual exploitation
  • Financial abuse and exploitation
  • Emotional or psychological abuse (including verbal abuse and threats)

Sadly, elder abuse is widespread. Past studies have found that 5 million, or 1 in 10 older Americans experience elder abuse. It is also significantly under-identified and under-reported. A recent study estimated that for every case known to programs and agencies, 24 cases were unknown. In addition, the FBI estimated financial abuse and exploitation of older Americans costs more than $3 billion in losses annually.

The Division of Children and Family Services (CFS) Director Stephanie Beasley encourages all individuals with or without elderly family to be on the lookout for signs of elder abuse, saying “Elder abuse affects older people across all socioeconomic groups, cultures, and races and can occur anywhere when elder Americans are disconnected from social support. While any older person is potentially at risk of elder abuse, based on available information, women and individuals 80 and older are more likely to experience abuse. Factors such as dementia or poor physical health can increase older people's isolation, which in turn puts people at greater risk of experiencing abuse or neglect. Contact the Nebraska Child and Adult Abuse and Neglect Hotline at 1-800-652-1999 if you suspect elder abuse."

To help spread awareness, Adult Protective Services (APS) Supervisor Ben Kroeze will speak about what Nebraskans can do to help prevent elder abuse during a Facebook Live at noon, Tuesday, June 15. In addition, APS teams across Nebraska will host activities and provide information to their coworkers, speak to community groups and deliver Meals on Wheels to get the word out about elder abuse.

DHHS staff will also be in the first-floor lobby of the DHHS Building (301 Centennial Mall South, Lincoln, NE 68509), distributing information along with cookies and swag.

If Nebraskans have reason to believe a vulnerable adult is being abused, neglected, or exploited, call the 24-hour toll-free hotline at 1-800-652-1999 OR local law enforcement. Language lines are available for non-English speakers. The Nebraska Child and Adult Abuse and Neglect Hotline operates 24-hours a day, 365 days a year. For more resources, please visit


Protect the Elderly from Scams


  • Beware of government imposters targeting loved ones of COVID-19 victims offering help paying for funeral expenses. The Federal Emergency Management System (FEMA) has started a program to pay up to $9,000 for funeral expenses for loved ones who died of COVID-19, but FEMA will not contact you unless you have contacted them first.
  • Don't respond to texts, emails, or calls about checks from the government.
  • Ignore online offers for vaccinations and home test kits.
  • Hang up on robocalls.
  • Watch for emails claiming to be from Centers for Disease Control (CDC) or World Health Organization (WHO).
  • Do your homework when it comes to donations.


  • Don't share your COVID-19 vaccine card on social media.
  • Know your region's plan for rolling out the vaccine.
  • Guard your government-issued numbers such as your Medicare ID, Social Security Number, and health plan information.
  • Don't click on an unsolicited text or email.


  • Seniors may be targeted more because they are perceived by scam artists to have more free time, a willingness to talk, or may be more trusting.
  • Be direct, rude if you have to. Don't be afraid to hang up the phone or shut the door on unwanted solicitations.
  • If someone calls claiming to be affiliated with Medicare/Medicaid to provide you with Coronavirus-related benefits, it's a scam. Hang up and report the imposter at 1-800-Medicare and
  • Never pay money upfront to collect a prize.
  • Beware that wiring money is just like sending cash. Once you send it, it is gone for good. The same applies to sending money using prepaid cards.
  • On landline phones, strengthen Caller ID with the addition of at least two calling features Anonymous Call Rejection (*77) and Selective Call Rejection (*60).  Virtually all telephone carriers offer these services free or for a nominal additional fee. On mobile phones, use built-in features, carrier-provided features, and third-party call-blocking apps to stop unwanted calls.
  • Order your free credit report at least once a year through  During the COVID-19 pandemic, accessing your credit report is important. That is why Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion are continuing to offer free weekly credit reports.
  • Call law enforcement immediately if you think you have been victimized.

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