June is Elder Abuse Awareness Month. The National Center on Elder Abuse describes elder abuse as; “intentional neglectful acts by a caregiver or ‘trusted’ individual that lead to or may lead to, harm of a vulnerable elder.” There are several different types of elder abuse and the perpetra-tors can exist in a variety of different forms. Elder abuse is one of the many forms of domestic violence, and is not something to be ignored.
Use of force to threaten or physically injure an elder
Burns or blisters
Caregiver’s failure to provide an elder’s safety, physical, or emotional needs
Filth, lack of hygiene
Lack of medical care
Verbal attacks, threats, rejec-tion, isolation or belittling acts that cause mental anguish, pain or distress
Unexplained changes in behavior
Caregiver is verbally
aggressive or controlling
Sexual contact that is forced, tricked, threatened, or co-erced upon an elder
Bruises around the breasts or genital area
Unexplained sexually transmitted infections
Theft, fraud, misuse of au-thority and use of influence as a lever to gain control over an elder’s money or property
Sudden change in finances
Unusual bank activity
Taking money or property
Desertion of a frail or vulner-able elder by anyone entrust-ed with their care.
Elder seems lost or con-fused as to where they are or how they got there, they may appear frightened
WAYS TO PREVENT ELDER ABUSE
Call or visit an elderly loved one and ask how they are doing.
Invite an elderly loved one to a family event, such as a child’s baseball game.
Think of ways that an elder can share their talent or skills with the younger generations.
Make sure an elder’s caregiver gets a break.
Volunteer to be a friendly visitor to a nursing home or Elder’s Cottage resident.
Ask your bank manager to train tellers on how to detect elder financial abuse.
Ask a community leader to talk about elder abuse at a gathering or event.
Check with the Elder’s Program to see if there is anywhere that you can volunteer your time.
Educate elders about different scams they might encounter, such as phone, internet, or mail scams. Encourage elders to be cautious in financial matters.
This information is provided in the SILETZ CARE PROGRAM June 2016 Newsletter.