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NY Times: To Combat Elder Abuse, Doormen Are Enlisted to Keep a Watchful Eye

According to The New York Times, doormen and other apartment building staff in New York City are being trained to spot and intervene in potential instances of elder abuse. The training aims to educate building staff about elder abuse and motivate them to take action in suspicious situations:

Mr. Marlow and his co-workers at Gracie Mews, a full-service building where the average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment is $3,500, are part of a new program that aims to use the existing human infrastructure of city living to keep a closer eye on the elderly.

The program, which was developed by the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Center for Elder Abuse Prevention at the Hebrew Home at Riverdale, offers free on-site training and assistance to doormen, concierges, porters and other building staff across New York City.

The effort to combat elder abuse comes as many buildings have growing concentrations of older residents, in part because the baby boomer generation is moving into retirement. By 2040, an estimated 21 percent of all adults in the city will be 60 or older, up from 17 percent in 2010, according to an analysis of census data by Queens College.

Joy Solomon, the director and managing attorney of the Weinberg Center, said abuse of the elderly could take many forms, like one spouse battering the other and a telemarketing scheme that drains someone’s retirement account. In a tough economy, she said, she has also seen more adults moving back in with their parents, or grandparents, and helping themselves to their Social Security benefits and assets.

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