Community resources for elderly abuse are designed to help both victims, and their caregivers deal effectively with offenders. Elder abuse can occur in the home, in hospitals, or in a nursing home setting. Read on to find out what elder abuse is and what you can do to help stop people that prey on the elderly.
Elder Abuse Is a Crime
Abusing an older adult is a crime, but many people don't know what to do or who to talk to when it occurs. Harming an elderly person is the same as abusing any other person, and age matters none. Deliberately hurting or demeaning someone who cannot defend themselves is punishable by law. If you or someone you know is being mistreated, there is help available.
- Call 911 to file a police report, which will begin an investigation.
- Call the NCEA's helpline at 1-800-677-1116. They will assist you in filing a report of abuse and follow up with the authorities if a police report has already been filed.
Community Resources for Elderly Abuse
Many communities, even the smaller ones, have safeguards in place to help seniors and their caregivers and family members. Services offered include meal services, health services, counseling, and support for families caring for older individuals. The following agencies offer services to meet the needs of seniors, including community resources for elderly abuse.
U.S. Administration on Aging
U.S. Administration on Aging is a government agency found in communities across the United States. Similar agencies are abroad as well. The agency is dedicated to providing services to assist the elderly in all facets of their lives, from health care issues to assisting victims of elder abuse.
National Clearinghouse on Abuse in Later Life
The National Clearinghouse on Abuse in Later Life (NCALL) provides advocacy and services for the elderly, addresses needs of the elderly through coordinated community response teams, raises awareness regarding elderly abuse, and partners with other organizations to address injustices against an aging population. The site includes numerous resources on elderly abuse in the forms of written resources, graphics, and videos.
National Center on Elder Abuse
National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) offers a helpline for those being abused or for caregivers that suspect abuse on their loved ones. Call 1-800-677-1116 for immediate assistance.
Elder Financial Protection Network
Elder Financial Protection Network provides information on helping the elderly protect their assets from those that want to use them for their own financial gain. The organization offers workshops on how to avoid scams, fraud, and identity theft, as well as videos and booklets on these subjects.
Center for Disease Control (CDC) has an extensive site that includes a section on elder abuse and a hotline for those needing to report elder abuse or find local services for the elderly.
Victim Connect Resource Center
Victim Connect Resource Center includes information about abuses and information on victim rights, financial assistance, protection orders, and specific national hotline links.
National Adult Protective Services
National Adult Protective Services can connect you to state-level adult protective services (APS) run through departments of social and health services to investigate and address suspected abuse, including in care homes and assisted living. The state directory can help you find the appropriate reporting agency.
Types of Abuse
Abuse can come in numerous forms but primarily take on the form of physical, mental, or emotional abuses and, regarding the elderly, sometimes financial abuse. The abuse can be categorized in the following ways.
Physical abuse includes injuring someone or causing him or her pain or holding someone against their will, such as confining a sick person to a bedroom or their home when they would rather leave.
Examples of physical abuse include:
- Causing bruises
Sexual abuse falls into this category as well. As unfortunate as it may be to think about, sexual abuse is a common senior citizen dilemma. The Nursing Home Abuse Center has information to help you identify signs of sexual abuse and tips on how to report it.
While it can't always be seen as easily as physical abuse, the wounds of psychological abuse can be much deeper than a physical wound.
Psychological abuse occurs when an elderly person is:
- Treated like a child
- Isolated so they cannot see friends, family members, and neighbors as they once did
Unfortunately, seniors are often prey for scam artists. The crime can also be perpetrated by family members or outside caregivers that are given access to an elder's accounts. Financial abuse is when the funds or assets of an elderly person are used for things not related to their care and well-being.
Neglect may be the most common form of elder abuse. Neglect can occur when family members cannot care for an older person either because they cannot afford to do so or refuse to.
Examples of neglect include:
- Not providing proper nourishment or enough food
- Not providing health care
Abuse Is Always Inexcusable
No one should suffer in silence. There are many community resources for elderly abuse to assist you if you are being harmed in any way. Visit the above-referenced websites or make a call today to end the abuse now.