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Stories of elder victims assisted

As an Are You Ok?  call Volunteer, I offer a familiar voice and a listening ear to folks who need support.  It seems like a small thing to call someone and ask “are you ok” but it helps with the victim's healing process and that is the rewarding part for me.  The "thank you" at the end of the call is what makes volunteering so worthwhile.  – Jeff Fuetter, Putnam County 


I enjoy connecting with people as an Are You OK? Volunteer.  A lot of people are lonely and need someone to talk to who are outside of their family.  I’ve learned more about abuse of elders first hand in this volunteer role.  This is a great program, checking on vulnerable people who need a regular connection and safety tips to stand up to scams.  – Mildred Stewart, Allen County 


Volunteering is my way of helping others.  I’ve been doing that for thirty some years, here and Red Cross, and Sheriff’s Dept.  It makes a person feel good, and involved in the community, which is very rewarding, without the feeling of being under pressure to be there every minute.  – Larry Flick, Allen County 

An elder man was the victim of Identity theft in which $400 was taken from his bank account.  He was confused about how and why this happened and Victim Ministry provided listening, ongoing emotional support, and bought critical medication for him. 

Victim Ministry received a call from the sister of a 66-year-old lady that was just released from the hospital. When she got home she found her refrigerator and her checking account had been emptied by her daughter without permission. Victim Ministry provided her with emergency food, emotional support, and options for justice system involvement.

The Lima Police Department called Victim Ministry because a 77-year-old lady reported a theft by her neighbor.  It became apparent that her grandson had moved her to Lima into an unfurnished apartment with a mattress on the floor and dog feces around her to take advantage of her Social Security money, food stamps and utility subsidies.  She was taken to St. Rita’s Medical Center and treated for various medical and infection issues for several days.  The domestic violence shelter, Crossroads Crisis Center, then housed her until they and Victim Ministry found, furnished, and moved her into a senior citizen apartment.   CVS helped her with financial self-sufficiency issues, including direct deposit of her checks and bills, and a CVS volunteer continues to help her make new friends, go shopping, and get community services, including with Council on Aging.

A 75-year-old man walked into Crime Victim Services asking for help because he was the victim of an automobile accident that was not his fault. The driver of the other vehicle fled the scene of the crash.  She was arrested and found to have no insurance.  The elder man’s car was damaged beyond repair and he had been sleeping in it when he was not in a homeless shelter.  This began a long term relationship involving numerous referrals to community agencies for food and other assistance. Victim Ministry helped him financially, including obtaining and furnishing an apartment, buying another vehicle, and receiving medical care.  A Victim Advocate from CVS assisted him with his court case and the judge ordered $1,000 in restitution to him.

An 83-year-old man came to the Crime Victim Services’ office in fear of his son who had been living with him.  The son had filled the father’s van with their belongings to move south for the winter but the dad was not ready to leave for a few weeks.  The son got angry and became verbally and physically abusive.  The father fled into a corn field and using the overhead power lines as a guide found his way to a neighbor friend’s home. The neighbors weren’t home so he rested in their garage and found a coat and hat to stay warm.  After a few hours he saw police cars go by so he walked home and was met by law enforcement because he had been reported missing. The son was still angry and jumped in the father’s van and left. Victim Ministry assisted the elder man and other family members with a protection order through court hearings and was instrumental in assuring that the son was served the order out of state. 

The Lima Police Department contacted Victim Ministry about 2 elder sisters and 2 young grandchildren who lived with them. There was an attempted home burglary. One of the elders was in a wheel chair and she and her 8-year-old granddaughter held the door shut from the robber by backing her wheelchair against it. She yelled through the door that she had a gun and the thief left.  We found the home in poor condition with ceiling collapsing, exposed plumbing and wiring, squishy carpet from cat urine leaking pipe, and an infestation of cockroaches and bugs. Victim Ministry coordinated Children Services, Adult Protective Services, Health Department, and Area Agency on Aging for Passport assistance. The landlord told us he would not do home repairs. At first upset with Children Services; the victims realized that the agencies were acting in their best interest. Children Services relocated the family to a nicer home and Passport helped with a variety of needed services. The family stayed intact, which was their main concern, and CVS is assisting.

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