Elder abuse is often overlooked because of the lack of awareness. The following are some types of abuse:
▪ Physical abuse — bodily injury, physical pain, or impairment.
▪ Sexual abuse — any non-consensual sexual contact.
▪ Psychological abuse — inflicts anguish, pain, or distress through verbal or nonverbal acts.
▪ Financial exploitation — any illegal or improper use of a person’s funds, property, or assets.
▪ Neglect — willful refusal or failure to fulfill any part of obligations or duties to a person.
Abuse, neglect, and fraud are growing problems across the country. According to the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging Report, 14.1 percent of elders experienced abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation between 2010-2011.
Research shows elders who experienced abuse had a 300 percent higher risk of death. Elder victims of abuse have higher levels of psychological distress. Elder victims of financial abuse have higher risks of depression.
To help prevent elder abuse, report suspected abuse to Adult Protective Services, learn the different types and signs of abuse, develop a safety plan and do routine home visits.
If you need assistance or information, please contact the Support, Advocacy & Resource Center at 509-374-5391.
Alejandra Cardoso, Kennewick