Elder Abuse includes sexual abuse & it often goes unreported!

elder abuse

In conjunction with World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on June 15 to bring awareness to the often-unreported problem of elder abuse, the Area Agency on Aging, in partnership with the Maricopa Elder Abuse Prevention Alliance, is launching the #WeToo campaign to help break the silence.

            Every year, an estimated 5 million older adults are abused, neglected or exploited, a number that is believed to be very low because it is estimated that only 1 in 14 cases of elder abuse is reported to authorities.

The National Center on Elder Abuse reports that

• about 1 in 10 Americans age 60 and over have experienced abuse. 

• the annual financial loss by victims of elder financial exploitation was estimated at $2.9 billion.

• abusers are both men and women; in nearly 60 percent of elder abuse and neglect cases, the perpetrator is a family member.

• elders who have been abused have a 300% higher risk of death than those who have not been mistreated.

Warning signs include:

• Physical abuse, neglect, mistreatment: bruises, pressure marks, broken bones, abrasions or burns.

• Emotional abuse: unexplained withdrawal from normal activities, a sudden change in alertness or unusual depression; strained or tense relationships; frequent arguments between the caregiver and older adult.

• Financial abuse: sudden changes in financial situations; missing checks; failure to make payments; missing credit and debit cards; insufficient funds.

• Neglect: bedsores, unattended medical needs, poor hygiene, unusual weight loss.

• Verbal or emotional abuse: belittling, threats or other uses of power; fear of caregiver.

• Sexual abuse: pelvic injury, problems walking or sitting, developing a sexually transmitted disease, torn, bloody or stained underwear, bruises of the genitals or inner thigh, panic attacks, signs of PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) or agitation, social or emotional withdrawal from others, suicide attempts.

What do to if you see the signs:

• Document changes in behavior

• Write descriptions and photograph injuries

• Get a written statement from the victim and any witnesses

• Document potential financial exploitation or neglect

• Call the Area Agency on Aging’s 24-hour Senior Help Line at 602-264-4357.

For more information, visit www.aaaphx.org.

Here is my Valley Views interview with Lizzie Kazan from the Area Agency on Aging

Marty Manning

Marty Manning

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