Elder AbuseExperts estimate that for every case of reported elder abuse, there are 20 to 30 cases that go unreported. It affects men and women from all socioeconomic and educational backgrounds and takes many forms. Elder abuse can be physical, psychological, financial or involve neglect.
Because elder abuse often involves family members, friends and loved ones, victims are often too embarrassed or ashamed to contact the authorities. THerefore, it is up to caretakers, financial representatives, or other members of the community to recognize the signs of elder abuse and take action.
The following are some possible signs of elder abuse:
Change in physical appearance - May include dirty clothes, unexplained injuries, sudden weight loss, dirty or uncombed hair, or an unkempt appearance.
Change in condition of the home - May include ignored maintenance, excessive garbage, strong odors, or neglected pets.
Mental and emotional state - May appear fearful, confused, disoriented, withdrawn, isolated, or depressed. Elder may exhibit strange behavior or use inappropriate speech. Elder may misuse alcohol, drugs, or prescribed medication.
Changes in financial behavior - May include numerous large withdrawals, often in round numbers; withdrawals made from share savings or share certificates, despite penalty assessments and without a clear reason; a relative or caregiver who seems overly concerned about the elder's finances or is overly controlling; or a new, often much younger person or "best friend" who is suddenly very involved in the elder's life.
If you have reason to suspect elder abuse, don't hesitate to contact someone who can help. If the elder is in immediate danger, always call 911 first! Otherwise refer to the resources listed below:
Sacramento County Adult Protective Services: (916) 874-9377
Sheriff’s Department (Sexual and Elder Abuse Bureau): (916) 874-5070
Mental Health Treatment Center: (916) 732-3637
Ombudsman Services of Northern California: (916) 376-8910
Adult Protective Services: (916) 375-6239
Sheriff’s Department: (530) 666-8282
Victim Services Center (A division of Placer County District Attorney): (530) 886-2271
Contact your local police or sheriff’s department