There’s No Excuse for Elder Abuse

According to the best available estimates, between 1 and 2 million Americans age 65 or older have been injured, exploited, or otherwise mistreated by someone on whom they depended for care or protection. (Elder Mistreatment: Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation in an Aging America. 2003. Washington, DC: National Research Council Panel to Review Risk and Prevalence of Elder Abuse and Neglect.)

Current estimates put the overall reporting of financial exploitation at only 1 in 25 cases, suggesting that there may be at least 5 million financial abuse victims each year. (Wasik, John F. 2000. “The Fleecing of America’s Elderly,” Consumers Digest, March/April.)

It is estimated that for every one case of elder abuse, neglect, exploitation, or self neglect reported to authorities, about five more go unreported. (National Elder Abuse Incidence Study. 1998. Washington , DC : National Center on Elder Abuse at American Public Human Services Association.)

Making a Report

Call your local Department of Social Services/Adult Protective Services

The person who reports can have their name kept confidential. Reporters of abuse are protected from civil and criminal liability for good faith reports. When you call, have on hand:

  • Name of the elder or disabled adult
  • Address (include the room number if in a long term care facility
  • Age if known
  • Name of the caregiver
  • Phone number if known
  • Be specific as possible explaining why you feel the person NEEDS PROTECTION
  • The mental or physical condition of the adults
  • Names of others who may help provide information regarding the situation

Information available through the Centralina Council of Governments / Area Agency on Aging 1-800-508-5777.