Steps to HOPE observes Elder Abuse Awareness June 15

Published 6:58 pm Thursday, June 14, 2012

According to Steps to HOPE, each year, more than two million vulnerable and older adults are victims of abuse, neglect and exploitation. Research has shown that:

Older adults who are abused, neglected and exploited are three times more likely to die within 10 years than those who are not.

A total of 70 percent of mistreatment reported in North Carolina happens to persons age 60 and older, the majority of whom live in the community.

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The most common form of mistreatment is neglect, with 69 percent of the cases involving self-neglect, where victims are unable to care for themselves adequately.

In North Carolina alone, nearly 20,000 reports of abuse, neglect or exploitation of elderly citizens and younger adults with disabilities were made to county departments of social services in 2011, according to data released by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). Reports are made by doctors and other professionals and by family members and concerned citizens.

Steps to HOPE officials said signs of elder abuse or abuse of an adult with a disability may include:
Bruises, burns, cuts or scratches
Untreated medical conditions
Unsafe or unsanitary housing
Mental anguish and distress
Mistrust toward others
Mismanaged property, finances or savings
Inability to provide needed care

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If you or someone you know is a victim of elder abuse, contact Steps to HOPE at 828-894-2340. Your call will be kept strictly confidential.

– article submitted by Debra Backus