Elder Abuse2017-01-17T11:39:51-04:00

What is Elder Abuse?

Every day, older adults suffer from abuse, neglect and exploitation. This treatment causes or threatens to cause substantial harm to an individual. It often comes at the hands of the people they trust the most, such as spouses or partners, family members, caregivers, personal acquaintances or opportunistic strangers. With Georgia being the eleventh fastest growing population of those over the age 60 in the U.S., incidents are on the rise with expectations to increase as this group doubles in size to 83.7 million by 2050.

Older adults often become targets of abuse because they are more vulnerable to mental and physical weaknesses. Those with dementia or mental illness, substance abuse issues, disabilities or isolated lifestyles are at a higher risk. In order to prevent cases of elder abuse, learn the signs, stay connected with your loves ones and the people in their lives, and speak up if you suspect wrongdoing.

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Signs and Indicators of Elder Abuse

Elder abuse can result in serious consequences, including lingering health problems and emotional distress. It can be seen in one or more of the following forms:

  • Physical abuse: physical pain or injury inflicted on an elder.
    This can manifest in unexplained cuts, bruises, or burns as well as malnutrition. Abusive behavior also includes the use of restraints and the misuse of medication.

 

  • Sexual abuse: any unwanted sexual contact without consent. It can include rape, assault, undressing or forcing to watch explicit material or sexual acts.
    It can manifest in bruising around the breasts or genital area and the emergence of sexually transmitted infections. If you notice that the individual has new difficulty sitting, walking, or has other signs of a pelvic injury, they may be experiencing sexual abuse.

 

  • Emotional abuse: any act including confinement, isolation, verbal assault, humiliation, intimidation, infantilization, or any other treatment which may diminish the sense of identity, dignity, and self-worth.
    You may recognize an individual’s emotional abuse through an unexplained withdrawal from their normal activities, a sudden change in mental welfare such as alertness or confusion or the onset of depression.
  • Neglect: the failure to provide adequate or necessary care to a dependent person by a caregiver.
    This means that the dependent person lacks necessities such as food and water or lives in unsafe conditions. Neglect can also result in unattended medical needs, poor hygiene and weight loss due to malnutrition.

 

  • Financial abuse: the illegal or improper use of funds, property or assets.
    This type of abuse costs older Americans over $2.6 billion annually. It can be seen in a sudden change of financial standing, a suspicious change in power of attorney or in wills, excessive financial reimbursements or gifts and in outright scams and theft.

 liveSAFE Resources Can Help

If you or someone you know is suffering from elder abuse, please call our

24-Hour Crisis Line: 770.427.3390

Elder Abuse Case Manager (for those age 50+) : 770.427.2902

Hearing impaired TTY: 425.258.7081

Asistencia en Espanol: 770.423.3569

Advocates are standing by to take your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to provide information and refer you to services or programs. This is a free, confidential resource available to victims of elder abuse or to friends and family who are concerned for a loved one.

Hotline services include:

  • Crisis intervention
  • Information about elder abuse
  • A direct connection to elder abuse resources

liveSAFE Resources also offers the following services for those age 55+:

  • Emergency shelter
  • One-on-one case management
  • Medical accompaniment
  • Legal accompaniment
  • Help attaining financial assistance

Visit our Services page to learn more about this program, or visit our Resources page to find out more about this and other issues.