JUNE IS ELDER ABUSE AWARENESS MONTH

June is Elder Abuse Awareness Month. The National Center on Elder Abuse describes elder abuse as; “intentional neglectful acts by a caregiver or ‘trusted’ individual that lead to or may lead to, harm of a vulnerable elder.” There are several different types of elder abuse and the perpetra-tors can exist in a variety of different forms. Elder abuse is one of the many forms of domestic violence, and is not something to be ignored.
Use of force to threaten or physically injure an elder
Warning signs:
 Slap marks
 Unexplained bruises
 Pressure marks
 Burns or blisters
Caregiver’s failure to provide an elder’s safety, physical, or emotional needs
Warning signs:
 Bed sores
 Filth, lack of hygiene
 Lack of medical care
 Malnutrition
 Dehydration
Verbal attacks, threats, rejec-tion, isolation or belittling acts that cause mental anguish, pain or distress
Warning signs:
 Withdrawal
 Unexplained changes in behavior
 Caregiver is verbally
aggressive or controlling
Sexual contact that is forced, tricked, threatened, or co-erced upon an elder
Warning signs:
 Bruises around the breasts or genital area
 Unexplained sexually transmitted infections
 Pelvic injury
Theft, fraud, misuse of au-thority and use of influence as a lever to gain control over an elder’s money or property
Warning signs:
 Sudden change in finances
 Unusual bank activity
 Forged signatures
 Taking money or property
Desertion of a frail or vulner-able elder by anyone entrust-ed with their care.
Warning signs:
 Elder seems lost or con-fused as to where they are or how they got there, they may appear frightened

WAYS TO PREVENT ELDER ABUSE

Call or visit an elderly loved one and ask how they are doing.
Invite an elderly loved one to a family event, such as a child’s baseball game.
Think of ways that an elder can share their talent or skills with the younger generations.
Make sure an elder’s caregiver gets a break.
Volunteer to be a friendly visitor to a nursing home or Elder’s Cottage resident.
Ask your bank manager to train tellers on how to detect elder financial abuse.
Ask a community leader to talk about elder abuse at a gathering or event.
Check with the Elder’s Program to see if there is anywhere that you can volunteer your time.
Educate elders about different scams they might encounter, such as phone, internet, or mail scams.                                                                                                                                                  Encourage elders to be cautious in financial matters.

This information is provided in the SILETZ CARE PROGRAM June 2016 Newsletter.

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