Adult Protective Services

Elder Abuse Awareness

Elder Abuse may be physical, financial or psychological. Elder abuse may be committed by a younger caregiver or household member upon an older friend or relative, or may occur between two older people who live together. Elder abuse can occur even when there is genuine love and affection between the people involved.

Elder abuse may take many forms, including:
– Misuse of funds; theft, fraud
– Neglect, including unnecessary use of physical or chemical restraints
– Yelling insults or threats
– Physical or sexual abuse
– Withholding food or medication
– Abandonment

Victims of abuse are often reluctant to tell anyone about the situation because they are afraid or ashamed. Anyone who suspects elder abuse should call and report it. Caller’s names are held in strict confidence and only released on court order.
The Elder Abuse Prevention Act provides for immediate protection of citizens 65 years of age or older who have been or are being threatened, mistreated or abused, or are in danger of mistreatment or physical abuse.

The Courts can:
– Order immediate eviction of the abuser
– Order the abuser to stop contacting you
– Help you get back the cost of evicting the abuser
– Order the abuser to pay you back triple the damages caused to you

Some Risk Factors include:
– Vulnerability such as advanced age, frailty, dependency on caregiver, social isolation and substance abuse.
– Caregiver stress factors include substance abuse, shared living arrangement, dependence on the elderly person, social and financial stress and history of family abuse.

*To report abuse or neglect of an elderly person, please call the Department of Human Services Seniors and People with Disabilities at 1-800-452-2333.