Education is critical in prevention of elder abuse

Education as a critical tool in the prevention of elder abuse.

The National Center on Elder Abuse offers information on the types of elder abuse:

PHYSICAL – Use of force to threaten that may result in injury, pain or impairment
Signs/symptoms include:
Bruises, black eyes, welts
Broken bones
Open wounds, cuts, punctures, untreated injuries
Sprains, dislocations
Broken eyeglasses/frames
Caregiver’s refusal to allow visitors to see an elder alone

FINANCIAL – Improper use of an elder’s funds, property or assets.
Signs/symptoms include:
Sudden changes in bank account, including an unexplained withdrawal of large sums of money
Additional names on an elder’s bank signature card
Abrupt changes in a will
Unexplained disappearance of funds

EMOTIONAL – Verbal attacks, insults, threats, intimidation, humiliation; isolating an elderly person from family and friends
Signs/symptoms include:
Emotionally upset or agitated
Unusual behavior typically attributed to dementia

SEXUAL ABUSE – Non-consensual sexual contact of any kind with an elderly person.
Signs/symptoms include:
Bruises around the breasts or genital area
Unexplained sexually transmitted disease or genital infections
Torn or bloody under clothing

NEGLECT – Failure or refusal to provide for an older person’s safety, physical or emotional needs
Signs/symptoms include:
Malnutrition, untreated bed sores, poor personal hygiene
Untreated health problems
Unclean or unsafe living conditions

ABANDONMENT – Desertion of an elderly person by an individual who has assumed responsibility for providing care for an elder.
Signs/symptoms include:
Desertion of an elder at a hospital, nursing facility or similar institute, or at a shopping center or other public location

Do you suspect abuse of an older person?
• To report suspected abuse in a nursing home, call Cheryl Senkbeil at MAC at 410-742-0505, Ext. 104
• To report suspected abuse taking place in other community settings, call Adult Protective Services in your county.