What can I do about it?
If you suspect elder abuse - report it. In Michigan, please call 1-855-444-3911. If you or someone you know is a victim of fraud or a financial scam, call your local law enforcement agency.
How to identify the warning signs of abuse:
1. Financial Exploitation:
- Lack of affordable amenities and comforts in an elder's home.
- Giving uncharacteristically excessive gifts or financial reimbursment for needed care and companionship.
- A caregiver has control of an elder's money but fails to provide for the elder's needs.
- An older adult has signed property transfers (power of attorney or will, for example) but is unable to comprehend what the transaction means.
2. Physical Abuse:
- Inadequately explained fractures, bruises, welts, cuts, sores, or burns.
- Unexplained sexually transmitted diseases.
- Lack of basic hygiene or appropriate clothing.
- Lack of food.
- Lack of medical aids (ie: glasses, walker, dentures, hearing aid, or medications).
- Person with dementia left unsupervised.
- Person confined in bed is left without care.
- Home is cluttered, dirty, or in disrepair.
- Home lacks adequate faclilites (stove, refridgerator, heating and cooling, plumbing, and electricity).
- Untreated bed sores or pressure ulcers.
4. Emotional Abuse:
- Unexplained or uncharacteristic changes in behavior, such as withdrawal from normal activities, or unexplained changes in alertness.
- Caregiver isolates the elder (doesn't let anyone in the home or speakt to the elder).
- Caregiver is verbally aggressive or demeaning, controlling, or uncaring.