What is abuse?
What Is Elder Abuse?
Did you know it is estimated that more than 1 in 10 older adults experience some form of abuse.
According to California State Law, “Criminal elder abuse occurs where any person who knows that a person is an elder and willfully causes or permits any elder to suffer, or inflicts unjustifiable physical pain or mental suffering on the elder. It also covers situations where a person willfully causes or permits the elder to be placed in a situation in which elder’s health is endangered.” (Penal Code Section 368)
• Physical Abuse: The infliction of physical pain or injury, sexual assault, the use of physical or chemical restraints for punishment without, or beyond, the scope of a doctor’s order.
• Neglect: The failure to fulfill a caretaking obligation such as assisting in personal hygiene, providing food, clothing or shelter, protecting a person from health and safety hazards, or preventing malnutrition.
• Financial Abuse: The illegal or unethical exploitation and/or use of an elder’s funds, property, or other assets.
• Abandonment: The desertion of an elder by someone who is a caregiver.
• Abduction: The removal, without the consent of the conservator, to another state.
• Isolation: The intentional preventing of an elder from receiving mail, telephone calls or visitors.
• Mental Suffering: The infliction of fear, agitation, confusion through threats, harassment or other forms of intimidating behavior.
The most common signs of abuse are:
• Frequent arguments or tension between the caregiver and the elderly person.
• Unexplained bruises, burns, and injuries.
• There may also be bed sores and poor hygiene.
• The person may become withdrawn, agitated, and depressed.
• There may be a sudden change in the person’s financial situation.
Suspecting Abuse? Report elder abuse; contact the Adult Protective Services (APS) agency in the state where the elder resides. You can find the number at www.cdss.ca.gov . When making the call, be ready to give the elder’s name, address, contact information, and details about why you are concerned.