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Did you know one in ten Americans that are ages 60 and up have experience some form of elder abuse?

However, only one in fourteen is reported.

Anyone can be abused at any age as well as the forms of abuse. There are several types of abuse that elders can experience:

  • Physical abuse: inflicting physical pain or injury upon an older adult.
  • Sexual abuse: touching, fondling, intercourse, or any other sexual activity with an older adult, when the older adult is unable to understand, unwilling to consent, threatened, or physically forced.
  • Emotional abuse: verbal assaults, threats of abuse, harassment, or intimidation.
  • Confinement: restraining or isolating an older adult, other than for medical reasons.
  • Neglect: caregiver’s failure to provide an older adult with life’s necessities, including, but not limited to, food, clothing, shelter, or medical care.
  • Deprivation: denying an older adult medication, medical care, shelter, food, a therapeutic device, or other physical assistance, and exposing that person to the risk of physical, mental, or emotional harm.
  • Financial exploitation: the misuse or withholding of an older adult’s resources by another, or internet scams.

60 percent of perpetrators of elder abuse are the family member of that person.

Dementia and Alzheimer’s diseases tend to make the elder at a high risk for experiencing abuse due to the mental impairment they are experiencing.

The elder would also assume that a family member wouldn’t do such a thing to their loved one.

What are some signs that abuse is occurring to your loved elder? Bruises, burns, unusual withdrawal, sudden changes in financial status, bedsores, and poor hygiene are a few common factors in elder abuse.

June 19th is Elder Abuse Awareness Day. According to the USC Center on Elder Mistreatment, the purpose of WEAAD is to provide an opportunity for communities around the world to promote a better understanding of abuse and neglect of older persons by raising awareness of the cultural, social, economic and demographic processes affecting elder abuse and neglect.

If you would like more information on Elder Abuse and how it can be prevented, contact The Bridge to Hope at (715) 235-9074.

Editor's note: An earlier version of this column incorrectly stated that June 19 is Elder Abuse Awareness Day. The correct day is June 15.

The Article states that June 19th is Elder Abuse Awareness Day, however it is June 15th. I accidently submitted the non-revised article. The article is - JAMIE GIBSON: Beware of signs of elder abuse, published: Jun 3, 2019.

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Jamie Gibson is the Pepin County domestic violence and sexual assault advocate at The Bridge to Hope.

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