Senior Citizen Abuse

Problem

A New York State Elder Abuse Prevalence Study reveals that 1 out of 13 older adults have been victimized in one form of elder abuse in the last few years. There are a couple of dozen unknown cases for every case reported. Also 14% of older New Yorkers have experienced some form of elder abuse since turning age 60.

In around 90% of reported cases, the abuser was a friend, or family member and most frequently was an adult child, or a spouse.

Elder abuse can be passive, such as when a caregiver's illness, disability, stress, lack of knowledge, maturity or financial resources causes them to neglect an older person; or it can be active, when a caregiver intentionally withholds care from an older person.

Domestic elder abuse includes any mistreatment of an older person by someone with whom they have a special relationship that occurs in a home environment, regardless of whether it is the home of the senior or the home of a caregiver.

Institutional elder abuse includes abuse occurring inside residential facilities, such as assisted living, skilled nursing facilities, day care programs) and is usually inflicted by a person that has a legal or contractual obligation to provide an older person with care and protection paid caregivers, staff, etc.

Financial elder abuse often occurs during telemarketing and Internet related scams. Socially isolated seniors enjoy having someone to talk to and are susceptible to a friendly sounding suggestion from scam artists.

Here are some examples of what to look for:
Bruises, black eyes, lacerations, broken and/or fractured bones
Broken eyeglass, reports of being hit, changes in behavior, a caregiver refusing to let you visit with an older person without the caregiver in the room
An older person senior receiving care appears to be poorly groomed and has a poor appearance
An older person receiving care appears dehydrated or has weight loss due to inadequate food
A responsible person refusing to pay for care
The home appears to be unsanitary, or you hear verbal insults or threats
Sudden change in bank accounts, unexplained disappearance of valuables, forged signatures

Helpful Links:

Adult Protective Services in NYS 1800-342-3009

http://www.consumerfinance.gov/older-americans

National Center for Elder Abuse 1-302-831-3525