Officials give signs for elderly abuse victims - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Officials give signs for elderly abuse victims

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CARTERVILLE -- Experts at Shawnee Alliance say elder abuse comes in different forms and happens more often than you might think. In the U.S., about 10 percent of people who are 60 and older experience some kind of abuse. The chances of being abused increase for those in poor health.

David Mitchell the unit director of adult protective services at Shawnee Alliance says, elderly abuse has many faces: from financial exploitation to physical and emotional abuse. He says about a fourth of reports are alleged physical abuse of an older adult. But, he also says verbal and mental abuse are just as bad. 

"Threats to harm a beloved pet is one, and usually the motive is money," said Mitchell. 

Officials say the chances of being abused rise for people who are in poor health, have experienced traumatic events or have dementia. Red flags to look out for are signs of psychological abuse including sudden, unexplained changes in behavior, or a caregiver who isolates their charge, unexplained sexually transmitted infections, or bruises and fractures, or money problems.

Mitchell explains, "A person who's often able to afford a bunch of amenities, now they can't afford to pay their bills their utilities are disconnected they can't make their car payments on their time." 

Officials with Shawnee Alliance say if you know of someone who's being abused you don't need to get evidence before reporting it. You're asked to call their agency at (618) 985-8322 and someone will investigate the case.

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