Elder abuse prevention programs

ELDER ABUSE PREVENTION PROGRAMS:  Allegations of abuse, neglect and exploitation of senior citizens are investigated by highly trained protective service specialists.  Intervention is provided in instances of substantiated elder abuse, neglect or exploitation.

ELDER ABUSE:  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.  The specificity of laws varies from state to state, but broadly defined, abuse may be physical, emotional, sexual, financial exploitation, neglect or abandonment and healthcare fraud.

Elder Abuse Warning Signals:

Physical and sexual abuse
Suspicious bruises or other injuries.  Rope burns or other signs of restraints.  Sudden change in behavior.  Caregiver’s refusal to allow visitors.

Emotional or psychological abuse
(Insults, threats, social isolation) Elder is extremely upset, withdrawn unresponsive; other unusual behavior.

Dehydration, malnutrition, untreated bed sores, weight loss. Unattended health problems or lack of necessary aids, such as eyeglasses or dentures.  Unsanitary living conditions (lice, soiled bedding).  Inadequate clothing; no heat or running water.

Financial exploitation
Unexplained bank withdrawals, unauthorized use of a credit or ATM card, stolen or “misplaced” cards or checkbook.  Checks written as a “loan” or “gift”.  Abrupt changes in a will or other documents.  Unexplained transfer of assets to a family member or someone outside the family.  Disappearance of valuables.  Ill-advised investments. Sudden appearance of a previously uninvolved relative claiming a right to an elder’s affairs or possessions.

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