Recognizing Elder Abuse and How to Deal With It


Manage episode 337427838 series 3362577
By Ed Bejarana and Linda Mettler. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

Elder abuse is more common than you may realize and it’s not an easy subject to broach for most people but it’s a topic that deserves attention and concern regardless. According to the National Council on Aging, up to five million older Americans are abused every year, and the annual loss by victims of financial abuse is estimated to be at least $36.5 BILLION! This is a silent problem that robs seniors of their dignity, security, and in some cases it costs them their lives. One in 10 Americans aged 60 and older have actually experienced some form of Elder Abuse. One study estimated that only one in 24 cases of abuse are even reported to authorities.

Do you know what the effects of Elder Abuse do to people? First off, elders who have been abused have a 300% higher risk of death when compared to those who have not been mistreated. While likely under-reported, estimates of elder financial abuse and fraud costs older American’s $2.6 billion to $36.5 billion a year! Yet financial exploitation is self-reported at rates higher than emotional, physical and sexual abuse or neglect.

Whether you live in a nursing home, or assisted living community or even in an independent retirement community, you have a voice, and if you feel you are being mistreated in anyway, you can report it. If an older adult is in immediate, life-threatening danger, call 911. Anyone who suspects that an older adult is being mistreated should contact a local Adult Protective Services office immediately. You can call the Long-Term Care Ombudsman or the police. You can also contact the Eldercare Locator online or by calling 1-800-677-1116.

There are criminal penalties for villains such as these that victimize older adults. Now more than ever, law enforcement officers and prosecutors are being trained on elder abuse and ways to use the criminal and civil laws to bring abusers to justice in our country. You can visit the Elder Abuse Guide for Law Enforcement (EAGLE) website to review state-specific elder justice laws.

The resources below and this podcast information come directly from the National Council on Aging.

Where you can learn more:

Administration for Community Living (ACL): Protecting Rights and Preventing Abuse

National Center on Law & Elder Rights

USC Center on Elder Mistreatment

CFPB Office of Financial Protection for Older Americans

Department of Justice Elder Justice Initiative

Federal Trade Commission Scam Alerts

U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO)

Elder Justice Coalition

Ageless Alliance

Women’s Institute for a Secure Retirement (WISER)

Elder Financial Protection Network

National Adult Protective Services Association

National Long-Term Care Ombudsman Resource Center

United Nations resources

19 episodes