Elder Abuse Resources – Protect Family & Friends


Filed under Friends & Family

Elder abuse resources are designed in to assist those who have fallen victim, or know a relative who has fallen victim, to elder neglect. There are a number of situations which would qualify as such. Abuse can occur not only through another’s actions, but also through lack of actions, or neglect, when it comes to caring for a partially or fully incapacitated person. Every year, tens of thousands of individuals in the United States alone are subjected to abuse, if not more. Authorities are made aware of hundreds of thousands of reports, while it is estimated that as many as half a million more cases are not reported to authorities annually.

Elderly individuals can make easy targets due to their general fragility and the fact that they are less likely to fight back against their attackers. Additionally, many do not see or hear as well as they once did. It is possible that they may question what is occurring to them, but they may not be able to vocalize their abuse or neglect to others. They are, generally speaking, less likely to stand up for themselves when compared to younger individuals who may experience being bullied. In most cases, individuals who are mistreated are done so by the very person or persons who are in charge of their care. It most often takes place where the individual lives, such as in their home or at an assisted living facility. If mistreatment is suspected, there are resources that may be utilized to assist in helping catch the culprit(s) and stop the mistreatment.

Maltreatment can take many different forms. However, if you understand the type there are more specific resources to be considered. Such ill-treatment can take the form of physical, emotional, or sexual abuse. There is also neglect or abandonment on the part of the caregiver(s), financial exploitation, and healthcare fraud or healthcare cruelty. While general signs of mistreatment include frequent arguments between the affected individual and their caregiver or changes in the personality of the affected person.

There are also more specific signs of elder cruelty as categorized by each potential form of abuse. Many online resources offer a complete listing of symptoms on their websites, broken down by the type of mistreatment which may be taking place. Identifying suspected violence is the first step to getting the victim help, which makes online resources very valuable.

Some help is readily available. For example, it is important to report suspicions to the effected victim’s family,

physician or a personal friend who may be able to help. It is suggested that if an individual suspects mistreatment, they should inform, at the very least, one other person. Ignoring or attempting to rationalize it away will not help the person in danger. State information pamphlets can be helpful in your time of need. Generally an organization can be contacted nationally on an 800 number. U.S. Administration on Aging offers several resources and guidelines to helping determine and deal with violence and neglect.

In many states throughout the US, the first agency that is designed to respond to situations such as these is Adult Protective Services. The power and scope of actions which Adult Protective Services can offer varies from state to state, since there is no federally structured organization in place. Each state has its own phone number to contact APS.

Once violence is found to have occurred, there are a number of agencies which can assist in the aftermath of such trauma. If you find yourself in the position of taking care of an older family member or friend, then it is wise to gather your elder abuse resources. You never know when you might need to call upon others recommendations and advice.

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