Every year an estimated 5 million older adults are abused, neglected or exploited.
Sadly, for every report of elder abuse, it is estimated that another 23 cases go unreported. Cases are unreported for a variety of reasons – the victim may be unable or unwilling to communicate the abuse, the victim may feel ashamed, or they may not have a trusted person to confide in.
As the Baby Boomers age, more elderly people are receiving assistance through home health agencies, rehabilitation facilities, and long-term care facilities. Seniors in these situations are vulnerable and can fall victim to abuse. For the younger generations, it is important to know and understand the definition of elder abuse, the warning signs, and what to do if abuse is suspected.
In general, elder abuse is a term referring to any knowing, intentional, or negligent act by a caregiver or any other person that causes harm or a serious risk of harm to a vulnerable adult. Most elder care abuse takes place where the seniors live – so at home and at the hands of home health providers or in an institutional setting at the hands of facility employees. All 50 states have some form of elder abuse prevention laws, however the definitions and laws vary greatly by state.
The best advice is Be Alert! Oftentimes the suffering is done in silence. If you notice bruises or changes in a senior’s personality, you should question what is going on. If you suspect abuse, use the information below to file a complaint and have the abuse investigated.
You may be the only advocate for the senior victim. It is important to remember it is not your responsibility to prove abuse – it is only your responsibility to report any suspicious activity.
Missouri Elder Abuse Hotline: (800) 392-0210
Illinois Elder Abuse Hotline: (866) 800-1401
Want to speak to an attorney about your rights regarding elder abuse, neglect or exploitation?
Contact Casey, Devoti & Brockland today: (314) 421-0763.