Elder Abuse


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. Trained professionals at VIBS have the expertise to provide victims with resources and services to assist the most vulnerable victims. If you or someone you know is a victim of abuse, VIBS can help.

Elder Abuse in Suffolk County

The estimated elder population in Suffolk County is over 300,000, and approximately 1 in 10 older people aged 60+ have experienced some form of elder abuse.

Social isolation and mental impairment (such as dementia or Alzheimer’s disease) are two factors that make older adults vulnerable to abuse. 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.

Abusers are both women and men.  In almost 60% of elder abuse incidents, the perpetrator is a family member.  Two-thirds of perpetrators are adult children or spouses.

Warning signs of Elder Abuse

  • Physical abuse or mistreatment: Bruises, pressure marks, broken bones, abrasions, burns
  • Psychological & 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

Elders who have been abused have a 300% higher risk of death when compared to those who have not been mistreated. While under-reported, elder financial abuse costs Americans $36.5 billion per year.  Victims are often embarrassed or feel powerless to report it, yet financial exploitation occurs at rates higher than emotional or physical abuse.

For more information, call our 24/7 Crisis Hotline at (631) 360-3606

Learn more about VIBS Advocacy. Learn more about VIBS CounselingYou can also help support our efforts assisting the elderly by donating here.