Resources for Seniors
The senior population is defined as those ages 65 and older. According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, between 1 and 2 million seniors are victims of crimes. This population is at an increased risk of victimization due to a number of reasons including:
Statistics show many times victims are female, over 75 years old and dependant on a spouse, relative or friend to provide care, food and shelter. The abuser is likely to be a spouse or adult child who lives in the same house and is responsible for providing care to the senior.
Elder abuse includes any of the following:
Physical abuse: the use of physical force that may result in bodily injury, pain or impairment including hitting, beating, pushing, shoving, shaking, slapping, kicking, pinching, burning, physical punishment or force-feeding. Signs of physical abuse include:
Sexual abuse: any non-consensual contact with a senior. This can include unwanted touching, sexual assault, rape, sodomy, coerced nudity and sexually explicit photographing. If you suspect sexual abuse, look for:
Emotional or Psychological abuse: the infliction of anguish, pain or distress through verbal or nonverbal acts such as verbal assaults, insults, intimidation, humiliation, or harassment. A senior who is emotional or psychological abused may be:
Neglect: intentionally failing to care for a senior who cannot care for himself or herself. This may also include the failure to pay for or provide necessary home care services. Look for:
Abandonment: the desertion of a senior by a caregiver. These symptoms may include:
Financial or Material Exploitation: taking advantage of and misusing the financial resources of a senior. Look for:
Self-neglect: those who are able to make a conscious decision to engage in behaviors that may be harmful to oneself. This includes:
Consumer Scams: can include sweepstakes offerings, which promise winnings only if something is purchased. These scams also include request for donations from companies that cannot identify their credential, and credit repair scams. Please see personal safety tips for more information about consumer scams and ways to protect yourself.
National Elder Abuse Statistics
References: The National Center for Victims of Crime; National Clearinghouse on Family Violence; National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA); National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse