What You Should Know
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
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