When we hear the word abuse, we might picture physical assault or severe neglect. Cases of abuse that receive the most attention involve victims who are children, domestic partners, or animals. But what about the abuse of senior citizens? According to the local District Attorney, San Diego
“handles approximately 9,000 cases of elder and dependent adult abuse each year…many other incidents go unreported, leaving vulnerable adults in distressing, potentially life-changing, even dangerous, situations.”San Diego District Attorney
So, what can be classified as elder abuse? Physical or sexual assault, threats and intimidation, financial fraud or scams, and neglect are all forms of elder abuse. Senior citizens make for easy targets to those with nasty agendas especially when it comes to financial abuse. Oftentimes financial and physical abuse goes hand in hand in that some abusers use physical violence to force the victim to surrender money.
As with any abuse, elder abuse is a gut wrenching truth, and even if there was only 1 case of elder abuse, that would be 1 case too many. But there is help. Cases of abuse should be reported to Adult Protective Services, and if there is suspected abuse in a care facility, the Long-term Care Ombudsman office should be contacted. Law enforcement entities have departments that specialize in these types of crimes.
Care Placement is committed to finding quality care homes, and we always check back with our families after placement to gather feedback on their experiences. Complaints are taken seriously especially when it comes to abuse, and we strongly encourage such instances to be reported. Ignoring the problem only makes it worse. For more information on elder abuse including who to contact in order to make a report, please visit the San Diego District Attorney’s website.