Elder abuse crosses all social, economic and ethnic lines. Any elderly person can become a victim. It is important to become aware of the possibility of elder abuse and recognize signs that might suggest its occurrence. Knowing what to look for and who to contact, if you suspect abuse, will help in correcting the situation. This awareness will enable you to help yourself, friends or family members who may be in trouble.
Fortunately, not all older persons experience this type of treatment. Nevertheless, elder abuse is a frightening and real issue. By being alert to situations that could lead to abuse of an elderly person, you may be able to prevent a serious injury or save a life.
- Look for any unusual unexplained bumps, bruises or cuts;
- Look for unusual changes in behavior;
- If you don't hear from elderly friends for several days stop by and check on them;
- Be alert of salesmen at elderly friends' homes. If elderly friends tell you about someone inappropriately spending their money, report it to the police; and
- Notice if elderly friends' homes are unusually unkempt or filthy; notice if they begin to look malnourished; or if they are not receiving proper medication. If necessary, notify the proper authority.