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Elder Abuse

Elder Abuse

Elder abuse is often a silent crime. Most of us never see it because most victims are abused behind closed doors by their own family members. And, too often, people who do see it choose not to get involved because it’s “none of my business.”

The law says it’s our business. Kentucky is a mandatory reporting state. (Reference KRS 209.030)

If you suspect elder abuse, you are legally required to report it. You can report abuse at the 24 hour toll free hotline 1-800-752-6200, calls can be made anonymously.

Learn to recognize the following signs of self neglect, caregiver neglect, physical abuse, emotional abuse and financial abuse.

Neglect

  • Obvious malnutrition, dehydration
  • Dirty, uncombed hair and offensive body odor
  • Torn and dirty clothes that are not appropriate for the weather
  • Lack of glasses, dentures or hearing aid
  • Lack of medical care
  • Apparent weight loss
  • Bedsores
  • Recent suffering or loss of spouse, family members or close friends
  • Filthy living environment, strong odors
  • Little or no food in the refrigerator, or decayed and moldy food
  • Many pets or animals who appear neglected

Physical Abuse

  • Frequent injuries such as bruises, burns, broken bones, especially when the explanation of the injury seems unrealistic
  • Multiple bruises in various stages of healing, particularly bruises on inner arms or thighs
  • Chronic or acute physical illness
  • Pain on being touched
  • Many medicine bottles in sight; seems sleepy, sedated
  • Appears frightened or withdrawn
  • Never leaves the house; never allowed visitors
  • Never mentions family or friends
  • Locked in a room or tied up
  • Clothes that are not appropriate for the weather

Sexual Abuse

  • Evidence of sexually transmitted disease
  • Irritation or injuries to the mouth, genitals or anus
  • Upset when changed or bathed
  • Fearful of a particular person
  • Loss of bowel and bladder control

Emotional/Psychological Abuse

  • Isolated from family and friends
  • Sudden dramatic change in behavior: appears withdrawn, depressed, hesitant to talk openly
  • Caregiver won’t let victim speak for herself
  • Caregiver scolds, insults, threatens victim
  • Trembling, clinging
  • Fearful, hopeless, anxious
  • Lack of eye contact
  • Angry, agitate

Financial Abuse

  • Unusual activity in bank account; sudden large withdrawals, expenditures that are not consistent with past financial history
  • Use of Automated Teller Machines (ATM) when the person has no history of using ATMs or cannot walk or get to an ATM
  • A recent Will, when the person seems incapable of writing a Will
  • Rights signed away on legal papers without understanding what the papers mean
  • Unpaid bills, such as house payment, rent, taxes, utilities
  • Lack of food, clothing, or personal supplies
  • Title to home signed over in exchange for a promise of "lifelong care"
  • Missing personal belongings such as art, silverware, jewelry, TV

Files

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