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Elder Abuse

Unfortunately, as the population begins to age, more and more seniors are being taken advantage of, sometimes unintentionally, and all too often intentionally. Either way, it has detrimental, sometimes devastating, effects on the aging senior.  

Rawpixel-com-487102-unsplashAbuse does not have to be only physical; it can also be emotional and financial. Sometimes people do this to gain financially or simply for control purposes. It is essential that family members, neighbors, and professionals pay attention to warning signs and report to your local protective services agencies any suspected, physical, emotional, or financial abuse of a senior.  

Most counties have an Area Agency on Aging which has a protective service division to investigate claims of harm to a senior, and, if necessary, take appropriate action to protect the senior.    

There are some subtle indicators of abuse, such as a person who used to be very social now becomes secluded, or you notice that the elderly person seems afraid of someone, or that someone, maybe a family member, is occupying all of the senior’s time or is the only one who will take the senior to appointments or speak on the senior’s behalf, or tries to isolate the senior from others.

There are many other examples; the best rule is, if you are in doubt, report the situation to the appropriate county agency. Some professionals also have a duty to report suspected abuse, such as medical and mental health care providers, law enforcement agencies, and others.

As a community, we need to stay vigilant and keep our eyes open, so we can protect our seniors and ensure they remain safe, and that the perpetrators can no longer prey on the elderly.

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