SENIOR ABUSE is any action or inaction that threatens the health or well being of an older adult. Abuse can happen to anyone……regardless of age, gender, living arrangements, health, ability, sexual orientation, financial, status, education, or culture.

What might abuse a senior?

Most often, it is someone the senior knows-a spouse, a relative, friend, care provider etc…. Sadly, much abuse occurs within relationships where there is an expectation of trust.

What are the types of senior abuse?

PHYSICAL ABUSE- includes slapping, hitting, inappropriate medication and physical restraint.

SEXUAL ABUSE-includes includes unwanted sexual touching or being coerced into sexual acts.

EMOTIONAL ABUSE- includes insulting, frightening, threatening, ignoring or isolating a senior.

FINANCIAL ABUSE-includes misusing money or property, or putting pressure on seniors to gain access to their funds or property.

NEGLECT-includes leaving seniors without food, adequate shelter, assistance or personal care.

VIOLATION OF RIGHTS-includes withholding information, interfering with mail, or confining a senior to an institution or hospital against her or his will.

How can you prevent senior abuse?

If you are a senior……

• Stay active within your community
• Keep in regular contact with friends and family
• Know your rights
• Plan ahead and make your wishes known
• Ensure your legal and financial matters are in order

If you know a senior……..

• Give her or him the opportunity to talk about abuse
• Discourage age discrimination or ageism; treat seniors with respect
• Encourage her or him to seek support and assistance when required
• Educate yourself about senior abuse

Did you know that financial exploitation is the most commonly reported form of abuse of seniors?

Financial exploitation has two main forms-financial abuse and economic crime. This is one form of senior abuse. Other forms include emotional, physical, sexual, neglect, and violation of rights. Financial exploitation can happen to anyone. If it happens to you, remember, you are not alone, you are not to blame.

Economic crime includes consumer fraud, investment fraud, scams, and identity theft. These crimes can be carried out through e-mail or the internet, by door to door salespeople, or by telemarketers. Call PhoneBusters or your local police if you suspect that you are being targeted.

Financial Abuse is a violation of trust.

Someone you know and trust- a family member, friend, or care provider-tries to take what belongs to you, such as your money, your property, or other assets. Financial abuse is unethical. Sometimes it is also illegal.

Examples of financial abuse:

• Someone puts pressure on you to gain access to your money or property.
• Someone misuses a power of attorney to take your money.
• Someone forces or tricks you into signing a contract or a will

Financial abuse often goes hand in hand with emotional abuse. The person may manipulate you, bully you, or threaten you to get your money or other valuables.

REMEMBER…’s your money.

What should you do?

Prevent it!
• Conduct your own financial matters as much as possible
• Plan ahead and make your wishes known
• Say “no” when someone pressures you for money-even family members
• Make sure you understand every document you sign