For seniors and their loved ones around the country, the idea of elder abuse is frightening and difficult to comprehend. Whether someone you’ve entrusted with your care acts maliciously or you fall victim to fraud, it can be hard to know what steps to take and where to turn. Learning more about this form of abuse can help you be better prepared to protect yourself or a loved one from becoming a victim.
What is Elder Abuse?
The U.S. Justice Department has put together a helpful guide detailing what constitutes elder abuse, how common it is, and what to do if you or someone you know has been affected. Generally speaking, elder abuse includes any physical or emotional harm caused to someone aged 65 or older. Caregiver neglect, financial exploitation, and physical abuse are all examples of this type of abuse.
How Many Seniors are Affected by This Form of Abuse?
Unfortunately, the prevalence of elder abuse is far greater than many people realize. The Justice Department indicates that at least 1 in 10 people over the age of 65 will experience a form of abuse in a given year. As the senior population continues to grow, it is likely that the number of victims will only increase.
What to Do if You are Affected by Elder Abuse
If you or someone you know is a victim of abuse, it’s important to take action. If you’re in immediate danger, call 911. You can also make a report to your local adult protective services agency. Help is available, and you don’t have to suffer in silence.
It’s vital that seniors and their loved ones stay informed about abuse and take the necessary steps to protect themselves. The Seniors Center Blog is dedicated to helping seniors and their families stay informed, safe, and healthy. Be sure to follow The Seniors Center on Twitter and Facebook today to keep up-to-date.
It’s clear there is a widespread problem of elder abuse in the United States. Seniors from all over have experienced some type of abuse, often in the form of financial exploitation. As different states look to create their own solutions to this problem, one network of nonprofits and government agencies in Philadelphia is working hard to prevent elder abuse and keep seniors safe.
According to WHYY, the Elder Abuse Multidisciplinary Team will consist of representatives from various agencies who will work together to investigate and prosecute cases of elder abuse. The team will also provide support to victims and their families.
One of the ways that this initiative will help seniors is by giving social workers a new avenue to report suspected cases of abuse. This is important because, often, seniors are reluctant to come forward and report abuse out of fear or shame. And social workers can be limited in what they can do to help if they don’t have concrete evidence of abuse.
Helping seniors stay safe from elder abuse is a complex issue, but this network is working hard to make sure that seniors in Philadelphia have the resources and support they need. If this initiative is successful, nationwide programs could help make a difference.
For older adults, elder abuse is a serious problem. According to the National Institute on Aging, many older adults experience abuse each year. Elder abuse can happen to anyone and can be at the hands of a family member, friend, or caregiver. Because of this, it’s important to know the signs of elder abuse and know what to do if you suspect someone you know is a victim of abuse.
What are the Warning Signs?
There are many indications of possible elder abuse. However, some of the more common ones include:
Unexplained bruises or injuries
Unusual changes in mood or behavior
Withdrawing from activities or social interactions
Sudden changes in financial status or activity
A caregiver who is overly controlling or demanding
If you suspect that someone you know is being abused, it’s important to reach out and offer help. You can contact a local elder abuse hotline or the police to report your concerns.
Sharing the signs of elder abuse can also help to educate others and prevent abuse from happening in the first place. Share what you’ve learned on social media or with your friends and family to help raise awareness.
The Seniors Center is here to support seniors by raising awareness of elder abuse and other forms of fraud and abuse targeting seniors.