How to Identify Elder Abuse
Report Elder Abuse
Anyone who knows or suspects that an elder or dependent adult is being neglected
or abused should immediately report this abuse to Adult Protective
Elder abuse is abuse of an "elder" (anyone 65 years of age or older), or a "dependent adult" (anyone 18-64 years of age who has mental or physical limitations that restrict his/her ability to carry out normal activities or to protect his/her rights). Identifying and reporting elder abuse is a critical service to elders as they are often unable or unwilling to report mistreatment.
Possible Indicators of Elder Abuse
Elder abuse can take many forms: physical, mental, emotional and financial. If you are involved in the life of an elder or a dependant adult, watch for signs of abuse. If you have any concerns, call Adult Protective Services immediately. Elder protection specialist will assess the situation and determine how to best care for the individuals involved.
General IndicatorsReluctance to provide access or answer questions; implausible or vague explanations for situation; irregular pattern of behavior.
HomeNewspapers/mail accumulating; lack of attention to house; large numbers of people using home; drug activity; odd noises, bad odors.
FinancialIrregular pattern of spending/withdrawals; frequent purchases of inappropriate items; withdrawals made in spite of penalties; bills not paid; utilities turned off; talks about meeting a "new best friend."
Physical SignsMultiple bruises; pattern injuries; elder lacks necessary helping devices.
Mental Health/Emotional SignsElder is depressed, appears to have dementia, shows signs of anxiety, fears a caregiver, and/or is isolated by the caregiver.
CaregiverCaregiver is excessively concerned about costs of services or supplies, attempts to dominate elder, is verbally abusive of elder or you, and/or shows evidence of substance abuse or mental health problems. Financial dependence on the elder is also a warning sign.
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