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).
Act Team Coordinator
The Fifth Freedom Network