“I’m afraid someone is stealing my neighbor’s money.”

Elder Abuse Prevention Program

The Institute on Aging’s Elder Abuse Prevention Program provides education, outreach, advocacy, and strategic partnerships to prevent and respond to the abuse of older adults and adults with disabilities. We provide presentations to professionals on how to identify, prevent, and report elder abuse. We provide presentations to older adults on how to protect themselves against abuse and scams. In partnership with San Francisco’s Adult Protective Services, Public Guardian's Office, Long-Term Care Ombudsman, District Attorney's Office, and Police Department, we hold twice monthly Elder Abuse Forensic Center meetings to discuss San Francisco’s most difficult-to-solve elder abuse cases. In addition, we convene Elder Abuse Multidisciplinary Team meetings six times a year for members of the public, legal services providers, private professionals, and local senior service programs to learn about resources available to elder abuse victims.

Our programs and services educate and prevent elder abuse by:

  • Training service providers and older adults on how to detect, prevent, and report elder abuse
  • Creating public awareness campaigns
  • Providing expert speakers specializing in:
    • - Elder abuse
    • - Dependent adult abuse
    • - Scams & financial abuse
  • Coordinating the San Francisco Elder Abuse Forensic Center and Multidisciplinary teams
  • Advocating for new policies and services
  • Participating in the San Francisco Family Violence Council

COVID-19 Related Scams

During this challenging time, scammers are exploiting the fear and isolation people are feeling during the COVID-19 shelter-in-place. Beware of scammers posing as government officials, bank employees, or health professionals. They want money and sensitive personal information, including Social Security number, Medicare number, credit card information, and bank account information.

Check out the following FAQ's and resource guide to share with your network and anyone who may benefit learning more about these findings.

San Francisco

Santa Clara

San Mateo

Inland Empire

COVID-19 Scams Resource Guide

Scam Prevention Flashcards

In partnership with San Francisco Department of Aging and Adult Services, Institute on Aging's Elder Abuse Prevention department developed the Savvy, Aware, Secure, and Safe (SASS) Elder Abuse Prevention Awareness campaign. These 5 flashcards were developed to highlight 5 of the most common scams to help people spot them and fight back! These flashcards can be used for outreach education and are available to download in English, Spanish and Chinese.

Get Ready! with Shawna Reeves: Preventing Elder Financial Abuse

“Get Ready!”
May 2, 2020

“Get Ready!” host Tony Steuer interviews Elder Abuse Prevention Program Director Shawna Reeves about best practices for insurance agents to reduce and prevent elder financial abuse of their clients. Shawna also talks about ways family members of older adults – and the older adults themselves – can prevent elder financial abuse. Learn more.

Acts of grace from everyday Californians are getting us through

April 16, 2020

Elder Abuse Prevention Program Director Shawna Reeves is quoted regarding ways older adults can stay safe while using COVID-19 volunteer match programs. Learn more.

Coronavirus Scams and How to Avoid Them

San Francisco Public Press
April 14, 2020

Elder Abuse Prevention Program Director Shawna Reeves, Elder Abuse Prevention Program Senior Program Coordinator Glen Fishman, and San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin discuss ways community members can prevent older adults from becoming scam victims during the COVID-19 shelter-in-place. Learn more.

Elder Financial Abuse Prevention During COVID-19

April 14, 2020

“Epicenter” host Jim Fazakerley interviews Elder Abuse Prevention Program Director Shawna Reeves about elder abuse in the era of COVID-19 and what she hopes the future holds for older adults in a post COVID-19 world. Learn more.

Elder Advocates Warn of Coronavirus Scams

San Francisco Public Press
March 31, 2020

“Civic” host Laura Wenus interviews Elder Abuse Prevention Program Senior Program Coordinator Glen Fishman about the latest scams associated with COVID-19, and how older adults can protect themselves from such scams and also report them. Learn more.

LGBT leaders take on elder abuse

March 3, 2020

This article discusses an event IOA co-hosted on March 5, 2020 with the LGBT Center, Former State Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, and others. The event featured a presentation by Elder Abuse Prevention Program Associate Director Tamari Hedani. Learn more.

‘Trusted’ Professionals Target the Assets of America’s Elderly

October 21, 2019

Elder Abuse Prevention Program Director Shawna Reeves is quoted in this article about elder financial abuse perpetrated by financial institutions and professionals. Learn more.

Forensic Markers of Elder Abuse and Neglect

Institute on Aging and UCSF
July 12, 2019

The Elder Abuse Prevention Program at Institute on Aging co-hosted this event with the Optimizing Aging Collaborative at UCSF. The presenters were Dr. Laura Mosqueda, Dean of the Keck School of Medicine at USC, and Dr. Ellen Moffatt, Assistant Medical Examiner at the San Francisco Medical Examiner's Office. Learn more.

City Visions: Senior Scams and How to Protect Against Fraud

KALW Local Public Radio
November 30, 2015

Listen to Shawna Reeves, Director of Elder Abuse Prevention at the Institute on Aging, contribute to a discussion on senior scams and what older people and their families can do to protect themselves against fraud. Listen here.

White House Justice Forum

June 16, 2015

Institute on Aging participated in the White House Elder Justice Forum. The forum called together 50 experts, researchers, and funders from around the country to share best practices and recommend focus areas for the White House Conference on Aging. For more information click here.

Elder Abuse Resources Continued

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Simply call Institute on Aging Connect at 415.750.4111 or 650.424.1411. Our dedicated Client Service Specialists are ready to help.