Every person, no matter how young or old, deserves to be safe from harm by those who live with them, care for them, or come in day-to-day contact with them. Elder abuse
is not acceptable. It is a complex problem that many
communities are just now coming to grips with.
Experts agree that for every
report of abuse to authorities as many as fourteen cases go
people think of elder abuse as happening primarily in nursing homes. This is
myth. While there are incidents of abuse happening in facilities, most elder abuse
neglect takes place at home and the abusers are not strangers. Abuse can
happen to anyone
regardless of sex, ethnicity, religious affiliation or income level.
- Nearly 5 Million cases of elder abuse occur each year, but 85% go
- Abused elders have a 300% higher risk of death when compared to those
- Family, friends, caregivers and neighbors are the culprits in financial abuse
than half the time.
- By 2030, the numbers of older Americans over age 85
those most at risk
will more than double.
Elder Justice Now Facts About Elder Abuse June 2009
Many factors leave the elderly vulnerable to abuse, including physical and
impairments such as dementia, social isolation, greater dependency
upon others for care and
a history or family dynamic of long standing domestic
Often the victim does not report
the abuse due to embarrassment,
blame, denial or fear of retribution. If you have
reason to believe a
senior is being abused call local law enforcement or the Area Agency on
Adult Protection Program at
1 (800) 786‐5536.
National Center on Elder Abuse
Adult Protection Services
Adult Protection Services
is responsible for investigating allegations of
abuse, neglect and
disabled and senior
populations. A vulnerable adult means a person eighteen (18) years of age or older who is unable to protect protect himself from abuse, neglect or exploitation due to physical or mental impairment which affects the person's judgment or behavior to the extent that he lacks sufficient understanding or capacity to make or communicate or implement decisions regarding his person, funds, property or resources. Competent adults retain the right to refuse services and an adult is
competent unless deemed otherwise by a court of law. APS works with agencies
within the community to help eliminate or reduce the risk in an effort to protect
is the intentional or negligent infliction of physical pain, injury or mental
injury. Some of
the signs of abuse are: physical indicators such as bruises, burns,
broken bones and
dislocations; imposed isolation of the vulnerable adult or a
sudden change in their behavior
including agitation in the presence of particular
persons are also warning signs.
is the failure of a caregiver to provide food, clothing,
shelter or necessary
neglect is the failure of a vulnerable adult to provide these
items for themselves.
Signs neglect may be happening include unkempt
appearance and poor hygiene in someone
who has previously been fastidious in
their appearance, unplanned weight loss, inadequate
food, little or no medical
care, inadequate resources like heat and electricity, dehydration and
the lack of
is the misuse of a vulnerable adult
s funds, property or resources
person for profit or advantage. Signs of exploitation include new and
persons appearing in a senior’s life, sudden changes to legal
documents including wills,
property titles and Powers of Attorney, the level of
being spent for care does not
match the level of available assets, bills
going unpaid when you know their income is sufficient
to pay them, new large
ticket items (cars, boats, etc.) being purchased when the vulnerable
adult has no
known use for them and items of value are missing from the home.
Effective interventions can help prevent or stop abuse of vulnerable adults. If you
knowledge of a vulnerable adult being abused, neglected or exploited call
your local law
enforcement or The Area Agency on Aging.
The Idaho Commission on Aging provides this secure online system for mandated reporters and financial institutions to report suspicions of abuse, neglect, self-neglect, and exploitation of vulnerable adults age 18 years and older. Available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Online Reporting for Mandated Reporters
National Adult Protective Services Association:
Idaho Statutes Title 39, Chapter 53: Adult Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation Act