What is elder abuse?
Elder abuse refers to any intentional or negligent act that causes harm or serious risk to a vulnerable elder. Broadly defined, abuse may include: Physical Abuse. Inflicting physical pain or injury. Depriving a vulnerable elder of a basic need or subjecting them to unreasonable confinement. Emotional Abuse. Inflicting mental pain, anguish, or distress through verbal or nonverbal acts. Sexual Abuse. Non-consensual sexual contact of any kind. Exploitation. Illegal taking, misuse, or concealment of funds, property, or assets of a vulnerable elder for personal profit. Neglect & Abandonment. A pattern of careless disregard or desertion that deprives a vulnerable elder of food, water, shelter, medication or healthcare services needed to sustain quality of life.
What makes an older adult vulnerable to abuse?
Social isolation, physical limitations, mental impairment (such as dementia, Alzheimer's Disease) or fear of losing independence may contribute to vulnerability. Family members (adult children, spouses) are the most common perpetrators—making this form of abuse hard to detect.
How many people suffer from elder abuse?
Some national studies suggest more than 500,000 Americans over 60 are victims of domestic abuse each year. It is estimated that for every case that is reported to authorities, 14 or more are never reported. Reporting of exploitation is even less, with estimates of only one in 25 cases being reported to authorities.
What do I do if I suspect elder abuse?
We are all responsible for keeping vulnerable elders safe from harm. If you suspect abuse, neglect, exploitation or that an elder may be in need of services to maintain their health or safety, contact your local law enforcement agency or one of the agencies listed below.
Adult Protective Services
1.877.767.2385 | 1.877.SOS.ADULT
Northern Arizona Council of Governments Area Agency on Aging
Yavapai County Public Fiduciary 928.771.3153
Yavapai County Long Term Care 928.771.3560
Yavapai Family Advocacy Center 928.445.5038
Senior Peer Program,
West Yavapai Guidance Clinic
Arizona Attorney General's Elder Help