About 4,000 cases of elder abuse are reported each year in Wisconsin
YOU CAN HELP
Even though being abused is never the elder’s fault, he or she might feel ashamed, trapped or all alone. But you can help. If you believe that someone you know is being abused, read through the following questions.
If you answer “yes” to any of them, call your county elder abuse help-line.
MOST ABUSERS ARE SPOUSES, CHILDREN OR OTHER RELATIVES.
The are many types of abuse.
The most obvious is physical abuse. But there are other types that fon’t involve any physical violence, such as verbal or emotional abuse, financial exploitation, sexual assault or neglect.
REMEMBER, JUST BECAUSE SOMEONE DOESN’T HIT DOESN’T MEAN THEY’RE NOT ABUSIVE.
Hurting Someone is Never a Sign of Caring.
Do you know a friend or relative age 60 or older who is taken advantage of or hurt by a family member or caregiver?
No one deserves this treatment. And no matter what reason an abuser gives for his or her behavior, it’s not done out of love. It’s elder abuse, and it won’t just go away.
Does your friend or relative get:
shoved or shaken?
drugged or starved?
hit, kicked or physically hurt in any way?
Is your friend or relative:
isolated from family and friends?
verbally assalted, threatened or harassed?
treated like an infant or given the silent treatment?
Is a family member, caregiver, friend or neighbor:
taking money or possessions belonging to your friend or relative?
forcing or tricking your friend or relative into signing any documents (e.g., Power of Attorney, contracts, will)?
If you think an older person is being financially exploited, don’t feel guilty about asking a professional to look into it. You are not being nosy. You are watching out for him or her and showing that you care.
Is your friend or relative being touched inappropriately or forced to perform or watch sexual acts?
Does a family member or caregiver refuse to provide food, water, clothing, shelter, personal hygiene, medicine or other life essentials?
Is your friend or relative unable or unwilling to eat, dress, bathe, take medications, or keep his or her home clean and liveable?
Self neglect is considered elder abuse because the elder is threatening his or her own health and safety.
It’s not a family problem it’s abuse.
ONE PHONE CALL CAN CHANGE EVERYTHING
IF SOMEONE YOU KNOW IS BEING ABUSED, CALL YOUR COUNTY ELDER ABUSE HELP LINE. YOUR IDENTITY IS KEPT CONFIDENTIAL BY LAW. WHEN YOU CALL, YOU’LL BE ASKED WHAT HAPPENED, WHEN AND WHERE THE ABUSE OCCURRED, AND THE NAME OF THE SUSPECTED ABUSER.
Elder abuse doesn’t have to be abuse that begins after age 60. It can be domestic violence that has been happening for years.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN SOMEONE MAKES A REPORT?
Each Wisconsin county has a professional people who know how to help, and the authorities offer better protection than ever before. There are many ways they can reduce the danger-from police interventions to financial support or transportation to a safe place. There are also ways they can help make things better, including home repairs, meals, social connections and legal assistance.
EVERYONE DESERVES A SAFE ENVIROMENT
Abuse doesn’t belong in a caring relationship, and one person can’t fix this complicated problem alone. But one phone call can reach a network of caring professionals who are ready to help. No matter how long a person has been abused, it’s not too late to stop the hurt and harm. Remember, elder abuse can happen to anyone, but you can take a stand against it.
If you are unable to call your county elder abuse help-line under the blogroll link e-mail them at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Wisconsin Bureau of Aging and Disability Resources at (608)-266-2536.