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Elder Abuse

Elder abuse prevention is an important topic that needs to be addressed. It is a sad reality that many elderly individuals face abuse, whether it be physical, emotional, financial, or neglect. It is essential to recognize the warning signs and report any suspected abuse. Through education, awareness, and early intervention, we can prevent elder abuse and ensure that our elders are treated with the respect and dignity they deserve.

Recognizing the Forms of Abuse

It is crucial to understand the different types of abuse that occur amongst the elderly population as well as recognizing the signs of abuse to help prevent our loved ones from victimization.

  • Physical Abuse: Any intentional use of force that results in serious illness, injury, pain, and function Signs: Can include but are not limited to bruises, pressure marks or sores, broken bones, abrasions, and burns.

  • Emotional Abuse: Any form of verbal or nonverbal psychological maltreatment that results in inflicting mental pain, anguish, or distress. Signs can include withdrawal from normal activities, low self-esteem, appears depressed or withdrawal, seems scared, or hopeless, self-injury, acute mood swings, and changes in eating and sleeping patterns.

  • Sexual Abuse: Any non-consensual contact of any kind. Signs can include bruises or injury to the genital area which may present as difficulty moving or sitting, signs of PTSD, agitation, socially or emotionally withdrawal, and suicide attempts.

  • Neglect/Abandonment: Elder neglect is when any caregivers or other responsible parties fail to provide necessities such as food, shelter, health care, and/or protection. Signs for neglect can include loss of weight, displaying signs of trauma like rocking back and forth, acting agitated or violent, ceasing to participate in activities typically enjoyed, unkempt appearance, and unsanitary living conditions. Abandonment occurs when a caregiver or responsible party permanently abandons an elderly in their care. Signs of abandonment can include the absence of necessities, untreated or unexplained worsening of medical or mental health conditions, inadequate or unsafe living environment, animal or insect infestations, dehydration, or malnutrition.

  • Financial Exploitation: Any unauthorized use of an elderly person’s money and/or property. Signs can include forging signatures, forcing an elderly to sign documents, stealing property or money, false promises in exchange for money or property, and unauthorized credit card charges.

Did You Know?

Where to Report

  • If you are in immediate danger, Call 911!

  • Report Anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-SPEAKUP

  • Your Local Police Department

In Partnership with Crime Stoppers of Houston
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