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Elder Abuse and Neglect: Recognizing the Signs

Saturday, June 15 is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, which is a day created by the UN in 2012 to draw attention to the millions of older adults who experience elder abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation. With increased longevity, nearly 50 million people in the US alone are age 65 and older. Estimates indicate that by 2050, the global population of people above the age of 60 will exceed the number of younger people. 

Unfortunately, this also means that there is a growing need to address the issue of elder abuse as senior citizens are increasingly finding themselves prone to scammers and abuse both from within and without. According to the Administration for Community Living (ACL), as many as 1 in 10 older Americans are abused or neglected each year and only 1 in 14 cases of elder abuse ever comes to the attention of the proper authorities.

If you are worried that your parents, grandparents, or other elderly loved ones are being taken advantage of or abused, there are a number of different indicators that you need to be aware of. Elder abuse can come in a number of varying forms such as physical abuse, financial abuse, or even self-abuse, which includes an inability to care for one's self. 

  • Physical abuse 
    • Look for strange bruises or other similar types of markings. Remember that seniors who are susceptible to abuse will often have an unwillingness to talk about how they got those markings. It's important to listen to what they are saying; do they seem to be trying to hide something?
  • Financial abuse
    • Look for and discuss any strange transactions or unusual activity on credit card statements or bank accounts. Also keep a close eye on individuals who appear to suddenly enter your loved one’s lives. For more in-depth information on recognizing and preventing financial elder abuse, visit our previous blog Financial Elder Abuse: Awareness and Prevention.

In the following short video, Foster Swift elder law and estate planning attorney Nic Camargo discusses more potential signs of elder abuse you should look for, along with ways to prevent it. Click the thumbnail icon on the right to view the video.

This video is meant to provide general information and SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED LEGAL ADVICE. 

If you seek legal counsel or need help in determining how this information applies to a specific situation, contact a Foster Swift elder law attorney before taking any action. The legal needs for aging individuals are broad and complex. Counsel from experienced elder law attorneys can assist you in making the best decisions for your circumstances.

Categories: Elder Law, Senior Exploitation & Abuse


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