Elder abuse either in the form of exploitation; neglect; physical, sexual or emotional harm or abandonment by trusted caregivers can happen to any elder including your own loved one.
Most believe one in ten seniors is affected but due to limited reporting of abuse, which is thought to be only one in five cases, no one is sure exactly how widespread the problem is.
Risk factors include dementia, substance abuse by both victims and caregivers and isolation. More women are affected than men at this time.
The fifth annual World Elder Abuse Awareness day is June 15, 2010.
Agencies across the nation will be scheduling events to make more people aware of signs to look for, ways to report suspected abuse and what to do to prevent abuse.
Movie theaters across the nation will show a trailer called the NCEA Elder Abuse Piece which highlights elder abuse.
According to the National Center for Elder Abuse (NCEA), abuse warning signs include:
- Physical Abuse ‐ Slap marks, unexplained bruises, most pressure marks, and certain types of burns or blisters, such as cigarette burns
- Neglect ‐ Pressure ulcers, filth, lack of medical care, malnutrition or dehydration
- Emotional Abuse ‐ Withdrawal from normal activities, unexplained changes in alertness, or other unusual behavioral changes
- Sexual Abuse ‐ Bruises around the breasts or genital area and unexplained sexually transmitted diseases
- Financial Abuse/Exploitation ‐ Sudden change in finances and accounts, altered wills and trusts, unusual bank withdrawals, checks written as “loans” or “gifts,” and loss of property
For more information, visit www.ncea.aoa.gov
Have you seen abuse? Do you suspect someone you know has been abused?
Take action now and learn more.