Hundreds of thousands of older individuals are abused, neglected or exploited each year. As a person gets older, they may become more susceptible to certain types of mistreatment whether at home or in a care-giving setting.
Elder Abuse in Suffolk County
Approximately 1 in 10 elderly people aged 60+ have experience some form of elder abuse, and estimates are that only 1 in 14 cases are reported to authorities, indicating that the actual rate of abuse is much higher than 1 in 10. The estimated elderly populations in Suffolk County is over 300,000, and this number continues to grow each year which means an estimated 30,000 elderly adults are abused each year in Suffolk.
Who are the abusers of older adults?
Abusers are both women and men. In almost 60% of elder abuse and neglect incidents, the perpetrator is a family member. Two-thirds of perpetrators are adult children or spouses.
Who makes an older adult vulnerable to abuse?
Social isolation and mental impairment (such as dementia or Alzheimer’s disease) are two factors. Recent studies show that nearly half of those with dementia experienced abuse or neglect. Interpersonal violence also occurs at disproportionately higher rates among adults with disabilities.
What are the warning signs of elder abuse?
- Physical abuse, neglect, or mistreatment: Bruises, pressure marks, broken bones, abrasions, burns
- Emotional abuse: Unexplained withdrawal from normal activities, a sudden change in alertness, or unusual depression; strained or tense relationships; frequent arguments between the caregiver and older adult
- Financial abuse: Sudden changes in financial situations
- Neglect: Bedsores, unattended medical needs, poor hygiene, unusual weight loss
- Verbal or emotional abuse: Belittling, threats, or other uses of power and control by individuals
What are the effects of elder abuse?
Elders who have been abused have a 300% higher risk of death when compared to those who have not been mistreated. While underreported, elder financial abuse costs older Americans $36.5 billion per year. It is underreported because victims are often embarrassed or feel powerless to report it, yet financial exploitation occurs at rates higher than emotional, physical, and sexual abuse or neglect
VIBS Can Help!
VIBS is passionate about providing services and resources to the elderly who are some of the most vulnerable victims. Trained professionals at VIBS have the knowledge and experience to provide victims with quality care to help them with the efforts to live safely. If you or someone you know may be a victim of some abuse or mistreatment, let us help you.
For more information, call our 24-hour Crisis Hotline at (631) 360-3606 or take a look at the various ways VIBS can help:
Learn more about VIBS Advocacy
Learn more about VIBS Counseling
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