Report Elder abuse, Nursing Home Neglect and Financial Exploitation!
Every year, over a million elderly Americans experience abuse in their own homes, in relatives’ homes, and even in facilities responsible for their care. You may suspect that an elderly person you know is being harmed physically or emotionally by a neglectful or overwhelmed caregiver or being preyed upon financially. Financial abuse and exploitation is possibly most underreported form of elder abuse. Perpetrators operate unscrupulous telemarketing scams out of countries such as Nigeria, Russia, Bosnia defraud the elderly out of billions of dollars. By learning the signs and symptoms of elder abuse and how to act on behalf of an elderly person who is being abused, you will not only be helping someone else but also strengthening your own defenses against elder abuse in the future.
An estimated 1.2 million older Americans are victims of physical, psychological, or other forms of abuse and neglect. Those statistics may not tell the whole story. For every case of elder abuse and neglect that is reported to authorities, experts estimate that there may be as many as five cases that have not been reported. Recent research suggests that elders who have been abused tend to die earlier than those who are not abused, even in the absence of chronic conditions or life threatening disease.
Like other forms of abuse, elder abuse is a complex problem, and it is easy for people to have misconceptions about it. Many people who hear "elder abuse and neglect" think about older people living in nursing homes or about elderly relatives who live all alone and never have visitors. But elder abuse is not just a problem of older people living on the margins of our everyday life.
Elder abuse, like other forms of violence, is never an acceptable response to any problem or situation, however stressful. Effective interventions can prevent or stop elder abuse. By increasing awareness among physicians, mental health professionals, home health care workers, and others who provide services to the elderly and family members, patterns of abuse or neglect can be broken, and both the abused person and the abuser can receive needed help.
The National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA), directed by the U.S. Administration on Aging, is committed to helping national, state, and local partners in the field be fully prepared to ensure that older Americans will live with dignity, integrity, independence, and without abuse, neglect, and exploitation. The NCEA is a resource for policy makers, social service and health care practitioners, the justice system, researchers, advocates, and families.