Elder Abuse: a Subject No One Wants to Face! Part 3

December 14, 2012
Elderly abuse is a violent crime! Protect the victim, report it!

Elder abuse is a violent crime! Protect the victim; report it!

In the first two articles of this three-part series, we discussed the warning signs and risk factors to look for if you suspect elder abuse. Be aware this is a very sensitive subject, one that you may not at first take seriously. You might even dismiss signs of abuse as symptoms of aging, frailty, or a debilitating disease such as Alzheimer’s. Lastly, you might be confused because the symptoms of aging can overlap with signs of abuse. That’s why it is vital to become knowledgeable and look for clusters of the risk factors and warning signs.

Whatever the case, elder abuse is a violent crime. Elderly victims are not responsible and need someone to speak up for them. Caution is required. If you are aware of a situation involving elder abuse, do not put the victim in a more vulnerable position by thinking you can handle the situation or by confronting the abuser yourself.

This type of abuse can occur in the home, in the community, or in a nursing home or other long-term care facility. When reporting an incident, it is important to relate specific facts, remain unemotional, and avoid exaggeration.

Steps for Reporting Elder Abuse

  1. If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, call 911 or the local police for immediate help.
  2. Talk to a trusted doctor, therapist, local hospital, or a trusted friend. Physicians have a legal obligation to report the abuser and help the victim find safety.
  3. Look in the yellow pages under state agencies. Each state has at least one toll-free elder abuse hotline for you to call. In most states, the first agency to respond to a report is the Adult Protective Services or Agency, the Division of Aging, the Department of Social Services, the Area Agency on Aging, or the Department of Aging. These agencies have the responsibility to investigate allegations, determine situations, intervene, and offer services and advice.

Other Agencies to Contact:

Elder Abuse is a serious crime! Be an alert caregiver, effective communicator, and loving person! Help keep a loved one, a friend, or a neighbor safe! Help yourself if you are the victim!

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Writer, KC Morgan

Karla and her husband, Art, have been married 31 years. They have two children. She grew up in Houston, TX. She has always loved to read, cook, swim, travel and crafting of all sorts. One day she would love to say she has traversed the whole earth. She taught Montessori school for many years and has tutored many students over the years. She has been interested in the medical field for many years and has been a caregiver for several friends and family members over the past 10 years. Her love of reading has motivated her to try a new challenge, writing.

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