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How To Help Fight Elder Abuse

Information courtesy of Indiana Association of Area Agencies on Aging and the National Center on Elder Abuse

In general, elder abuse refers to intentional or neglectful acts by a caregiver or “trusted” individual that lead to, or may lead to, harm of a vulnerable elder. Last year, Indiana Adult Protective Services (APS) investigated over 6,000 cases involving people over age 60.

Red flags of elder abuse:

  • Lack of basic hygiene, adequate food, or clean clothing
  • Lack of medical aids (glasses, walker, teeth, hearing aid, or medications)
  • Person with dementia left unsupervised
  • Person confined to bed is left without care
  • Home cluttered, filthy, in disrepair, or having fire and safety hazards
  • Home without adequate facilities (stove, refrigerator, utilities)
  • Caregiver has control of elder’s money but is failing to provide for elder’s needs
  • Unexplained changes in behavior, such as withdrawal from normal activities
  • Caregiver doesn’t let anyone into the home or speak to the elder
  • Caregiver is verbally aggressive or demeaning, controlling

If you suspect elder abuse, you can contact the Indiana Adult Protective Services State Hotline at 1-800-992-6978. For a local number in your county, download the directory here (pdf).

Doug Schmidt
Act Team Coordinator
The Fifth Freedom Network