Elder Abuse and Neglect

  • Elder abuse is a crime—from threats to neglect, physical abuse, and financial fraud.  
  • Elderly are abused in their own homes, in relatives’ homes, and in facilities responsible for their care.  
  • Abusers are often adult children, other family members, spouses or partners.
 
What You Can Do
  • Be aware of the signs of abuse  –
Confinement
Emotional abuse – such as intimidation
Healthcare abuse - Unusual weight loss; under-medicating; unsanitary living conditions.
Neglect – such as ignoring the elderly person
Physical abuse - Unexplained injury and bruises
Sexual abuse.
Financial exploitation - Money missing from personal belongings and financial institutions.
Unexplainable financial activity; forging the elder’s signature; investment fraud.   
Suspicious changes in wills, power of attorney, titles and policies.  
  • If you are being abused, report it to any law enforcement agency, or 1-800-459-0421.  Do not let fear paralyze you.  Ask for help.

    911
    Call if you are aware of a crime of abuse in progress, or if you feel threatened.

    Domestic Violence Hotline for Help:  
    1-800-562-6025

    Lutheran Community Services
    (509) 747-8224

    Spokane County Domestic Violence Consortium
    835-4561, 487-6783 

    The National Domestic Violence Helpline
    1-800-799-7233   
    Another national 24-hour toll-free abuse helpline can be contacted at 1-866-363-4276.

    Victims Response Team Crisis Line
    a 24-hour help line available locally
    (509) 624-7273.  

    YWCA Alternatives to Domestic Violence
    Their 24-hour domestic violence helpline: (509) 326-2255, or 326-1190.   
    Your call is anonymous.
  • If you are elderly, make sure your financial and legal affairs are in order.  If they are not, enlist professional help to get them in order, with the assistance of a trusted friend or relative if necessary.
  • If you are elderly, keep in touch with family and friends and avoid becoming isolated, which increases your vulnerability to elder abuse.
  • If you are elderly, and are unhappy with the care you are receiving, whether it’s in your own home or in a care facility, speak up. Tell someone you trust and ask that person to report the abuse, neglect, or substandard care.  
  • Watch for warning signs that might indicate elder abuse.  If you suspect abuse, report it to any law enforcement agency, or 1-800-459-0421.  
  • Take a look at the elder’s medications.  Is the amount of medication left appropriate for the date of the prescription?
  • Watch for possible financial abuse.  Ask the elder if you may scan bank accounts and credit card statements for unauthorized transactions.
  • Call and visit as often as you can.  Help the elder consider you a trusted confidante.
Local Organizations
Additional Resources

The National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA), directed by the U.S. Administration on Aging, is committed to helping national, state, and local partners in the field be fully prepared to ensure that older Americans will live with dignity, integrity, independence, and without abuse, neglect, and exploitation.  The NCEA is a resource for policy makers, social service and health care practitioners, the justice system, researchers, advocates, and families.  To report suspected elder abuse, neglect, or exploitation in Spokane County in the home, call 1-800-459-0421.