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What You Should Know 

Elderly Couple

 

What is Elder Abuse, Neglect and Financial Exploitation?

Abuse is any repeated behavior used to control you physically, sexually or emotionally. Neglect is a caregiver's refusal to provide for your safety, physical or emotional needs. Exploitation is stealing money or property or using money as a way to maintain control. 

Did you Know?

  • Elder Abuse is an under-recognized problem with consequences that can be devastating and even life-threatening.
  • Elder Abuse doesn't discriminate - it affects senior citizens across all socio-economic groups, cultures and races.
  • 90% of elder abuse happens at the hands of family members. 
  • Elder Abuse can occur anywhere, but most often goes undetected at home. 
  • Elderly persons are abused at a disproportionately higher rate than younger adults; 14% of adults over 60 have been abused, and this number grows to 50% of individuals with dementia. 
  • A recent New York State prevalence study of elder abuse determined that only 1 of approximately 24 incidents comes to the attention of authorities.
  • Billions of dollars are lost annually to elder financial exploitation. 

What To Look For 

  • Unexplained injuries, bruises or burns
  • Excessive fears, withdrawal, agitation 
  • Sudden inability to pay bills, buy food or personal items
  • Isolation and withdrawal from people and activities
  • Changes in appetite; unusual weight gain or loss
  • Poor personal hygiene 
  • Unaware of personal finances
  • Changes in behavior around a family member/caregiver

Risk Factors

Elder Abuse can happen to anyone! You may be more at risk to experience abuse because you may:

  • Not be able to defend yourself 
  • Be isolated 
  • Be less able to escape 
  • Be dependent on others 
  • Fear that you may not be taken seriously 
  • Fear what could happen to you if you report abuse