Our Solutions to Violence programs provide empowerment-based services to strengthen and support survivors of intimate partner abuse, sexual assault, and human trafficking crimes. We also provide prevention and education services for groups, schools, and the community about child abuse prevention and teen assault awareness.
In the U.S. alone, more than half a million reports of abuse against elderly Americans reach authorities every year, and millions of more cases go unreported. As elders become more physically frail, they are less able to stand up to bullying and/or fight back. They may not see, hear or think as clearly as they used to, leaving openings for unscrupulous people to take advantage of them. Mental or physical ailments may make them more trying companions for the people who live with them.
At first, it may not be easy to recognize or take seriously signs of elder abuse. They may appear as symptoms of dementia or signs of the elderly person’s frailty – or caregivers may explain them in that way. In fact, many of the signs and symptoms of elder abuse do overlap with symptoms of mental deterioration, but that doesn’t mean they should be dismissed.
Some general signs of abuse are:
- Frequent arguments or tension between the caregiver and the elderly person, and/or changes in personality or behavior in the elderly person.
- Bruises, pressure marks on the skin, broken bones, scrapes or abrasions, and burn marks. Look for bedsores, unattended medical needs, poor hygiene and unusual weight loss.
- Sudden changes in financial situations. These may be the result of financial exploitation or the elder may be a victim of a senior scam.
As difficult as reporting elder abuse can be, it’s important for caregivers to stand up for an older adult in need. Learn how to communicate effectively in different situations and put a stop to elder abuse and neglect. Every state in the U.S. has at least one toll-free elder abuse hotline for reporting elder abuse. In Santa Clara County you can report Elder Abuse to 1-888-436-3600. Each of us can help reduce the incidence of elder abuse by listening to seniors and their caregivers, intervening when you suspect elder abuse, and educating others about how to recognize and report elder abuse.
Report Elder Abuse in Santa Clara County to 1-888-436-3600.