5 Million Seniors Are Victims of Elder Abuse Every Year: How You Can Help
Elderly people, like children, are among the most vulnerable subsections of society. They need more help, care, and respect than most, but all too often, what they receive instead is abuse, neglect, and exploitation. Shockingly, statistics indicate that an estimated 5 million elderly Americans are abused every year – and that number is likely far too low, as studies show that there are 23 unreported cases of abuse for every case that is reported to authorities.
The best way to combat elder abuse is to become familiar with the signs of abuse and to vigilantly monitor your elderly friends and family members for any indication of foul play. Many elderly people are unable or unwilling to report on their own abuse, so it is often up to observant allies to act as their protectors. Above all, trust your instincts. If something strikes you as “off” or wrong about the way a caregiver interacts with their elderly charge, you are probably on to something. After all, 1 in 10 elderly adults experience abuse or neglect, and that number rises when the definition of abuse is expanded to include financial exploitation.
Here are some of the signs of elder abuse to watch for:
• Sudden change in appearance (i.e., rumpled clothes, unkempt hair, lack of basic hygiene)
• Witnessing a caregiver take a curt or annoyed tone with his or her elderly charge
• Unauthorized or suspicious transactions on the elderly person’s bank or credit card statement
• Unexplained physical abnormalities such as bruises, cuts, scrapes or bed sores
• Sudden change in behavior (i.e., the elderly person becomes more withdrawn, or makes inappropriate comments)
If you notice any of these signs, do not hesitate to report them immediately – it could mean the difference between life and death. It may also be necessary to enlist the help of an elder abuse attorney.
For an experienced elder abuse law firm, look no further than Garcia & Artigliere. Call 1-800-281-8515 or visit us online at www.lawgarcia.com today for more information.