EverSafe Newsletter


Providing thought-provoking articles, commentary and general information on issues related to aging and financial health.

Elder Abuse Protections Across the US


WalletHub, a personal finance company that provides consumer tools and credit scores to customers, published a survey last month that compares and ranks the states on how well they protect citizens against elder abuse. In doing so, they identified factors that they determined are “key indicators” of elder abuse and analyzed the 50 states and the District of Columbia across Man on laptopthree key dimensions: 1) Prevalence, 2) Resources and 3) Protection. The authors explained that they used “16 relevant metrics” in their analysis. Their data included the number of complaints to authorities as well as the quality of the state’s elder financial exploitation laws. The results of the rankings can be found here. Wisconsin was ranked as the state with the highest score and California came in last.

The way experts at EverSafe viewed this survey, there were a number of limitations. Laws on what constitutes “elder abuse” differ in every state. Adult Protective Services offices each have their own criteria for accepting cases. States differ in their reporting requirements and response protocols. Given all of these varying data points, any attempt to compare and rank the states by number in this manner is bound to be problematic.

Slowing Age-Related Cognitive Decline


A number of recent studies have focused on whether taking multivitamins has an effect on memory and cognition. A Mass General study involving 5,000 participants and a Columbia University and Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Harvard study Visual of various colored pillsinvolving 3500 participants looked at this issue. In the Columbia study, participants “over age 60 were randomly assigned to take a daily multivitamin supplement or placebo for three years. At the end of each year, participants performed a series of online cognitive assessments at home designed to test memory function of the hippocampus, an area of the brain that is affected by normal aging.” The Mass General study included in-person assessments of 500 of the participants over a two-year period. Both studies, and others, found that taking a multivitamin every day showed a statistically significant benefit with respect to cognition and memory in the group that took the vitamin – as compared to those who received a placebo. This research is positive news as additional studies are conducted to determine whether dementia can be prevented or slowed as we age.



This past month, Senator Bob Casey, Chairman of the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging, sent letters to the CEOs of three of the largest corporate owners of American assisted living facilities – Atria Senior Living, Brookdale Senior Living, and Sunrise Senior Living. This correspondence addressed significant concerns about workforce shortages and sub-par care in assisted living Empty wheelchair in hallwayfacilities across the country, as raised by disturbing reports in the Washington Post and New York Times. In his letters, Casey requested specific responses about these concerns, including details on how they communicate the cost of services to residents and their families, rates they charge in each state, and their schedules of services and costs. Additionally, he asked for them for data on the number of residents who have “eloped or sustained injuries due to being left unattended, information about the accessibility of information about complaints and citations received by their communities, their policies and procedures for informing residents and families about accidents, applicable staffing requirements, and job titles and associated pay rates at their companies,” according to McKnights Senior Living.



Medicare scams have become popular among fraudsters. This is how they work: the scammer pretends to be from Medicare and attempts to trick a participant into sharing their Medicare information or Social Security number. Once successful, information is then used to commit identity theft. Medicare fraudsters submit phony claims in the beneficiary’s name to obtain health care Medicare scams illustrationservices or even prescription drugs. Medicare thieves use phone, email, text messages or postal mail. Often the fraudulent activity increases in the last few months of the year during the annual Medicare Open Enrollment Period, October – December, when beneficiaries are encouraged to review their health care coverage and consider changes. Red Flags of a Medicare scam may include: a communication in which the caller needs to “confirm” or “verify” personal information (e.g. social security or Medicare number); promises of free products or services (e.g. a refund, inhaler or genetic testing kit); pressure to switch the plan; or a warning that your coverage is scheduled to be canceled. Older family members should be reminded never to share their Medicare or Social Security number with anyone, even with callers purporting to be from the government – when they haven’t initiated the contact. If help is need to update your/their information, they should talk to a trusted professional or family member and contact  Medicare.gov, or call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227).

Ageism in Politics


President Biden on a bicycle“Guys, I don’t know if we should do this election,” Colin Jost warned in his comedy sketch, Weekend Update, on Saturday Night Live a few weeks ago. “It’s honestly starting to feel like elder abuse. And I don’t even blame them – I blame us for allowing it,” said Jost. Is there an age that’s too old to be president? U.S. presidents must be at least 35 to serve. The minimum age requirement to join the House of Representative is 25, with 30 for the Senate. There is no maximum age limit for the presidency. Both President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump have been labeled as too old to run for what is arguably the most powerful leader in the world. Joe Biden is the oldest president in U.S. history. But should age alone be a reason to disqualify someone from running? From a piece in the Chicago Sun Times last week:

“There are plenty of examples of world leaders who have served the public well into their 70s, 80s and 90s:

  • Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s beloved anti-apartheid leader, died at 95. He was 72 when he got out of prison and 75 when he was elected president.
  • Winston Churchill served as prime minister of the United Kingdom during World War II and died at 90. He served twice as prime minister and remained in Parliament until a year before his death.
  • Queen Elizabeth II ruled for 70 years, making her the longest-serving monarch in British history. She died at 96.
  • And Pope Francis, 87, is one of the oldest popes in the church’s 2,000-year history.”

Perhaps we could all agree on one thing: joking about age discrimination and referencing older adults who are working in government as “elder abuse” is a bad idea. Elder abuse is a significant crisis, affecting approximately one in 10 Americans. We wouldn’t tolerate jokes about racism on SNL – comedy centered on older age is equally offensive to many people.