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Mar 8, 2022

Anyone can be abused, regardless of age, gender, nationality, religion, ethnicity, or social background. Hundreds of thousands of adults over 60 years old are mistreated, neglected, or monetarily exploited every year. More than half a million reports of elder abuse are made to the police each year in the United States alone, and many more go unreported.

If an older adult becomes more physically or cognitively frail, they may become less capable of self-care, resisting bullying, or defending themselves if/ when assaulted. Moreover, they may not see, hear, or understand as clearly as they once did, leaving them vulnerable to unscrupulous persons.


With these conditions in mind, This Is Getting Old together with The George Washington University Center for Aging, Health and Humanities, and multiple multi-sector partners present a 10-part AARP/ Age-Friendly Social Innovation Challenge to you.


Today's episode will be on Abuse, Fraud, and Neglect. Tune in to learn more about how we can help older adults victimized by abuse, fraud, or neglect.


Key points covered in this episode: 

✔️Coming Together For Victims of Abuse, Fraud, and Neglect.

University students from the D.C. Metro area, older adults and local leaders who live in the region and work in the age-friendly space participated in a forum to develop abuse, fraud, and neglect solutions.


✔️Do You Know Any Alberta’s?

Alberta is the persona developed as an example by the Abuse, Fraud, and Neglect Design Thinking team as a scenario with common circumstances in an intergenerational home. In the team's problem statement, Alberta, age 79, stays with her daughter and grandchildren, but they are rarely home. So to make the most out of her time, Alberta cleans the house and does what she can do. When she was alone one day, Alberta answered the phone call from a sales representative asking her to buy a bunch of magazines—which was a scam. After the incident, Alberta’s daughter did not want her to use the phone.         

✔️What Makes Alberta So Susceptible To Scam?

Understand and be familiar with the different forms of abuse, fraud, or neglect that you might not be mindful of. In Alberta's case, the roots of her susceptibility to abuse, fraud, and neglect are social isolation, not being used to working, role reversal, relationship strains, and many other things. 

✔️Age-Friendly Solutions For Alberta

Several locals, state, and national social service organizations can assist with emotional, legal, and financial abuse. To name one, Silver Social Connect is a single-stop service that connects peers with their wider community through multiple means to help mitigate social isolation.

✔️How Can We Help Alberta?

Everyone has the right to live in peace, decency, and respect.

Abuse or neglect among older adults will not go away on its own. Someone else must step up and help. Many older adults are embarrassed to report abuse. Or they're scared that if they file a complaint, the abuser will find out, and the problem will worsen.

If you feel that an older adult is in danger from a negligent or burdened guardian or being monetarily exploited, you must speak out. 


Here are some hotlines and resources you can use to help victims of abuse, fraud or neglect.

  • U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging's Fraud Hotline: 855-303-9470, 
  • Eldercare Locator: 1-800-677-1116


The Fraud Book at the Special Committee for Aging



If you have questions, comments, or need help, please feel free to drop a one-minute audio or video clip and email it to me at, and I will get back to you by recording an answer to your question. 

About Melissa Batchelor, Ph.D., R.N., FNP-BC, FGSA, FAAN:

I earned my Bachelor of Science in Nursing ('96) and Master of Science in Nursing ('00) as a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) from the University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW) School of Nursing (SON). I genuinely enjoy working with the complex medical needs of older adults. I worked full-time for five years as FNP in geriatric primary care across many long-term care settings (skilled nursing homes, assisted living, home, and office visits), then transitioned into academic nursing in 2005, joining the faculty at UNCW SON as a lecturer. I obtained my Ph.D. in Nursing and a post-master's Certificate in Nursing Education from the Medical University of South Carolina College of Nursing ('11). I then joined the faculty at Duke University School of Nursing as an Assistant Professor. My family moved to northern Virginia in 2015 and led to me joining the George Washington University (G.W.) School of Nursing faculty in 2018 as a (tenured) Associate Professor. I am also the Director of the G.W. Center for Aging, Health, and Humanities. Please find out more about her work at