ELDER ABUSE FACTS
... It’s hard to believe, but elder abuse can happen anywhere. It can take place at home by family or friends or in a nursing home by professional caregivers. Many people don’t think of elder abuse as a crime, but it is.
....Every year, tens of thousands of elderly Americans are abused in their own homes, in relatives’ homes, and even in facilities responsible for their care. They are harmed in some substantial way often by people who are directly responsible for their care. More than half a million reports of abuse against elderly Americans reach authorities every year, and millions more cases go unreported.
.....As elders become more physically frail, they’re less able to stand up to bullying and or fight back if attacked. They may not see or hear as well or think as clearly as they used to, leaving openings for unscrupulous people to take advantage of them. Mental or physical ailments may make them more trying companions for the people who live with them.
....Substance abuse has been identified as the most frequently cited risk factor associated with elder abuse and neglect. It may be the victim and/or the perpetrator who has the substance abuse problem. Substance abuse is believed to be a factor in all types of elder abuse, including physical mistreatment, emotional abuse, financial exploitation, and neglect. It is also a significant factor in self-neglect.
....Alcoholic or substance abusing older persons are at risk for several reasons. They may have substance abuse related impairments, such as cognitive loss, that reduces their ability to resist or detect coercion or fraud. Physical disabilities associated with substance abuse increase risk by rendering the older person dependant on others for assistance or care, and giving caregivers physical access to the older person and their home. Caregivers are also likely to have access to an older person's financial resources and to wield significant influence.
...Seniors may be encouraged to take drugs or drink excessively, or even forced to do so. A perpetrator's motive may be to make the older person easier to exploit financially or, in the case of illegal drug use, less likely to report. Abusive caregivers may encourage older people to drink excessively or use drugs to make them more compliant or easier to care for.
....Elder abuse victims often live in silent desperation, unwilling to seek assistance because they unfortunately believe their cries for help will go unanswered and they fear retaliation from their abusers. Many remain silent to protect abusive family members from the legal consequences of their crimes, or are too embarrassed to admit that they have fallen victim to predators. Others fear that no one will believe them — chalking up their allegations to the effects of old age.
....Intervention can often save the assets, health,dignity or even the life of an elder. If you suspect Fraud and Elder Abuse report it.