Elder Abuse and Neglect - (Please note that the below is a much generalized view of elder abuse and neglect. These crimes can take on a multitude of schemes and inappropriate or illegal behavior.)
Rarely talked about is the topic of elder abuse. However due to its prevalence it should occasionally be revisited and discussed. Being able to recognize elder abuse and reporting it to the proper authorities is critical for the ongoing health and well being of the elderly person. Family members should be keenly aware of the actions and attitudes of an elder caretaker and be particularly aware of the potential for misconduct in long term care arrangements. Talk to your loved ones, ask questions, and be alert to the possibility of elder abuse or neglect.
Where does elder abuse take place and who is committing these acts?
Elder abuse often takes place at the residence of the senior, be in their own home or the home of a family member or in a long term care facility.
Types of abuse and key indicators
Physical abuse – signs of injury, medication overdose, broken glasses, restraint wounds etc.
Emotional abuse – Threatening and belittling behavior by caregiver or behavior from the elder that mimics dementia such as rocking, sucking, or mumbling to oneself.
Neglect – Weight loss, dehydration, bed sores, elder is dirty or un-bathed, soiled bedding.
Financial Exploitation – Unaccounted for withdrawals from the elders account, change in elders financial condition, items missing from the household, unusual changes in wills, powers of attorney, insurance policies, unpaid bills, lack of medical care, unscrupulous financial advisors or brokers, insurance agents trying to sell less then “A” rated insurance to an elder and likely it is insurance that they don’t even need or want, etc.
Healthcare fraud and abuse – Unscrupulous medical professionals charging for services not rendered or double billing, Medicaid fraud and duplicate billings, etc.
How can we report this?
• If an actual crime has been committed such assault, theft or reckless endangerment then a family member should contact the police.
• In cases of suspected elder abuse or neglect families can contact NJ Adult Protective Services/Elder Abuse website. http://www.state.nj.us/humanservices/doas/services/aps/ or call them at
Gloucester County Board of Social Services
400 Hollydell Drive
Sewell, NJ 08080
Phone: 856-582-9200, 856-256-2209, 856-256-2280
After Hrs: 1-800-648-0132
• In cases of securities or investment fraud families can contact the New Jersey Bureau of Securities at 1-866-446-8378
Elder Abuse & Neglect retrieved from: http://www.helpguide.org/mental/elder_abuse_physical_emotional_sexual_neglect.htm
State of New Jersey Dept of Human Services Division of Aging: