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Elder Abuse Prevention Day is June 15

By HERWriter
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Domestic Abuse related image Photo: Getty Images

Elder abuse constitutes the abuse of anyone over the age of 60 who has been exploited, neglected or abused by a caregiver. One research study of senior citizens reported that more than 11 percent of this age group suffered some form of elder abuse. Every year, more than 2.6 billion dollars is stolen from seniors as a result of financial elder abuse.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 500,000 adults over the age of 60 years old are abused annually. Some estimates put the figure of elder abuse as high as 3.5 million cases each year. Also, there are more cases of elderly women being abused versus older men.

Also, a recent study published in JAMA stated "elders who experience abuse, neglect, or self-neglect face considerably higher risk of premature death than elders who have not been mistreated."

Many times elder abuse is treated as a family matter and not reported to the proper authorities. Due to shame and embarrassment, many seniors will not report the abuse or crimes committed against them.

One research study states only one in six cases of elder abuse is reported to law enforcement.

Unfortunately, as our population ages, more of our seniors may become victims of elder abuse.

There are several types of elder abuse. They include:
• Abandonment--Caregiver purposefully abandons the senior.
• Emotional abuse--This is classified as abuse when a caregiver uses
threats, acts or verbally abusive language which causes the senior stress.
• Exploitation--Stealing or removing elder’s property without elder’s
consent. This includes unapproved use of elder’s credit cards or money.
• Neglect--The caregiver refuses or fails to meet the senior’s
physical and emotional needs.
• Physical abuse--When a caregiver uses physical force and injures a senior.
• Sexual abuse--When a caregiver has forced or non-consensual sex
with an elderly person.

Here are several warning signs of elder abuse:
• Unexplained bruises, burns or marks on the senior’s body
• Bed sores
• Senior suffers from dehydration or malnutrition
• Unexplained credit card charges or written checks

Add a Comment1 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

I wonder if they include in their numbers the large amount of institutional financial abuse that is perpetrated by predatory insurance companies. Many of these companies, as a policy, take advantage of the unsophisticated, elderly and those with declining mental faculties. Their agents use unethical tactics to sell unsuitable annuities and investments to victims who then agree to put their life savings into irrevocable insurance products that they don't fully understand. The contracts are unclear, vague and omit important information about return on investment, commuted value and tax implications. By using third party sales agents, the insurance companies can claim they are not responsible for false claims, misrepresentations or mistakes made by the agents. This is an epidemic scam that is becoming rampant!


June 2, 2011 - 8:01am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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