Signs Of Elder Abuse And What Seniors Can Do About It
One out of every ten elders over the age of 60 has reported experiencing some form of abuse. For some the abuse is purely emotional or verbal, others live through physical violence that can range from aggravating to incidents that result in hospitalization or death. For every reported case of elder abuse, exploitation or neglect reported, five more go unreported.
What Are The Signs of Elder Abuse?
NursingHomeLegalNY.com states that elder abuse is an epidemic and abusers tend to be drawn to the vulnerability of seniors. The signs of elder abuse vary from the obvious to undetectable. Seniors who suffer from physical abuse might have unexplained bruising or scratches, but these are often explained away and don't provide definitive proof of physical abuse. Broken bones, dislocations, marks on the wrists or ankles, these are also potential signs of abuse. However, there are other signs of physical abuse that are more telling. The following are signs to be on the lookout for:
Skittishness: The victim is afraid to be away from the caretaker for very long. Someone who was at one time sociable and talkative in passing suddenly can't talk or seems to be in a hurry to leave, jumps at sudden movements or glances around as if nervous.
Lack of Eye Contact: Most victims of physical or emotional abuse won't maintain eye contact with people as if they are ashamed of what is happening to them.
Irritability: Friends or family may notice that victims of abuse anger easily or seem irritated at the little things, particularly with those they are closest to. They may even begin to exhibit aggressive behavior themselves.
Signs of emotional abuse share some of those with physical abuse; a victim of verbal or emotional abuse is often withdrawn, irritable and often amicably agreeable. The elderly victim sometimes doesn't seem to have their own opinions on anything, perhaps due to the fear of retribution that comes with being emotionally abused.
Neglect and Abandonment Indicators
It is estimated that over half of all reported cases of elder abuse fall under elder neglect, intentional or unintentional. Neglect occurs as a result of a caretaker simply not caring for his or her elderly family member or friend. The neglected senior is often unkempt, thin, and might look unclean.
Caregivers keep them in isolation, so they don't leave the house much. There could be signs that medication isn't being provided on a regular basis, such as medication bottles that are more than a month old that still have quite a few pills in them. In some cases, the senior's behavior can be described as a bit "off," especially if they are supposed to be taking psychiatric medication on a regular basis.
Signs Of Financial Exploitation
This is by far one of the hardest forms of abuse to detect, particularly for those who aren't close to the family. Financial exploitation occurs when a person--most often a family member or caretaker--convinces the senior to spend his money on a product or service that benefits the caretaker/family, or simply steals money from the senior that should be used for bills or personal needs. Signs include:
Are You Being Abused?
If you are currently being abused, or believe you are being exploited or otherwise mistreated, it is important to let someone know. If you can't reach out to trusted family or a friend, think of those outside the home. Your doctor or even pharmacist can be trusted to provide help. Or you can call the Eldercare Locator. They can help you find help locally. Many states have emergency abuse shelters that can offer you a safe place to stay for free. Emergency Support Shelter in Longview Washington offers free and confidential services through their Crime Victim Advocacy Program. Call 360-425-1176 to set up an appointment with an advocate today.
Laurence Banville is the managing partner of Banville Law with a reputation for thorough preparation and a balanced approach to his clients. He is a down-to earth bright young attorney who has been honored with the Top 40 under 40 award. This recognition is given to the top 40 ranked attorneys across the United States who are under 40 years of age. He represents plaintiffs and in particular of nursing home abuse.
“Everybody’s got to reach deep down and find some empathy. If you cried for the brother who bled out next to his fiancé, but you didn’t cry this morning for those police officers, it’s time to do a heart check. If you cried for those police officers, but you have a hard time taking seriously all these videos that are coming out about African Americans dying, it’s time to do a heart check.
We are either going to come together or come apart. There’s enough pain on both sides that there should be some empathy starting to kick in."
(Social and environmental activist, author and CNN political contributor)
The issues and dynamics surrounding the recent shootings are complex, tragic and overwhelming. We won’t pretend to know the answers, however we do know that violence will not get us to peace and oppression will not get us to justice.
We as a society must block out the slant of the media, the bias of brokenness and continue to stand for truth, peace and justice.
Crime Victim Advocacy Program-CVAP
1330 11th Avenue, Longview, WA
Monday-Friday 9 a.m-5 p.m. 360-703-3762
Afterhours and weekend hotline: 888-288-9221
CVAP offers free and confidential advocacy services to anyone who’s been victimized by a crime or who has been affected by a crime.
Monday-Friday between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. at 360-703-3762
Columbia Wellness offers 24-hour mental health crisis services.
The crisis line is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 360-425-6064
Columbia Wellness also offers professional counseling services. For more information please call 360-423-0203
The Emergency Support Shelter offers a free 12-week support group for survivors of trauma. It beings August 3rd and will take place every Wednesday between 10 a.m. and noon. It is facilitated by Stacey Crutcher McFadden, MSW, and focuses on understanding trauma and learning tools on how to cope and reduce symptoms.
To sign up please call 360-425-1176 and ask for the PTSD Support Group. Please let ESS know if you will need child care.
For more information about this support group please call Delores Cook, Chapter Leader, at 360-751-8658 or the 24-hour line at 360-425-8658
“Words cannot adequately encompass the feelings of grief I am feeling for the loss of so many of our LGBTQ and allied brothers and sisters in Orlando... For too long, our community has been the target of violence throughout the world. It will never make sense to me that love is met with such hate,” Seattle Mayor Ed Murray in reaction to the June 13th mass shooting in Orlando, Florida.
On June 13, 2016, 49 people were killed and several more were injured in a horrific mass shooting in Orlando, Florida. This crime, while being called an act of terrorism, was also a hate crime targeted against the LGBTQ community. It also happened during a month that has been dedicated to celebrating equality and the LGBTQ Community - Pride Month.
All of us at Crime Victim Advocacy Program want to take the time and space to acknowledge the horrific events that occurred in Orlando. Our program staff is dedicated to focusing on unity, tolerance, love and respecting all diversity.
June is Gay Pride Month, also commonly known as Pride Month. Gay Pride Month is celebrated all around the nation including right here in Cowlitz County. While Gay Pride Month is a chance to celebrate our Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer/Questioning (LGBTQ) community, it is also a chance to bring awareness to our community about the kinds of targeted crimes the LGBTQ community face.
Crime Statistics in the LGBTQI Community
-A 2015 Hate Crime Report released by the Federal Bureau of Investigations reported that 21 percent of hate crimes committed in the United States were crimes related to the victim’s sexual orientation, gender and gender identity.
- According to the FBI’s 2014 Hate Crime Report, law enforcement agencies reported 1,178 hate crime offenses based on sexual orientation basis.
- According to the same FBI report, 109 offenses in 2014 were due to gender identity bias. Of those 109 victims, 69 were transgender and 40 were anti-gender nonconforming. Gender bias crimes in 2014 tripled from 2013.
It is important to note that this data is based only on crimes that were reported. Crimes against the LGBTQ community are highly under reported. Crime Victim Advocates support and validate all victims of crime, whether it was reported to law enforcement or not. Crime Victim Advocates are also trained in on the dynamics of crimes specifically targeted toward the LGBTQ community.
Why is June Pride Month?
In the 1950’s and 60’s there was a bar in New York City’s Greenwich Village called “The Stonewall.” It was a gay bar where men and transgender individuals who were usually married and outwardly “straight” felt safe going.
Throughout the 50’s and 60’s, police would raid the bar and put whoever was in it in a police wagon. They’d threaten the men with exposure unless they paid a sum of money to walk away. In most, if not all instances, the money was paid.
But on June 27, 1969, when the police came to raid the bar, a group of patrons in the bar protested the unfair treatment and discrimination and said they would no longer be paying money to the police.
The bar, which has since closed, was never raided again. From that point forward, people took pride in whom and what they were.
The gay pride flag was designed by Gilbert Baker, who is said to have taken the inspiration for the flag from the civil rights and hippie movements. The flag was debuted at the 1978 San Francisco Gay and Lesbian Day Parade. It’s colors, always shown in the following order, symbolize the following:
Red symbolizes life, orange symbolizes healing, yellow symbolizes sun, green symbolizes nature, royal blue symbolizes harmony and violet symbolizes spirit. (This history of June Pride Month was provided by www.common-grnd.com)
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