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June 26, 2012 > What is Elder Abuse?

What is Elder Abuse?

Submitted By Newark PD

Elder abuse is any form of mistreatment that results in harm or loss to an older person. It is generally divided into the following categories:

* Physical abuse is physical force that results in bodily injury, pain, or impairment. It includes assault, battery, and inappropriate restraint.

* Sexual abuse is non-consensual sexual contact of any kind with an older person.

* Domestic violence is an escalating pattern of violence by an intimate partner where the violence is used to exercise power and control.

* Psychological abuse is the willful infliction of mental or emotional anguish by threat, humiliation, or other verbal or nonverbal conduct.

* Financial abuse is the illegal or improper use of an older person's funds, property, or resources.

* Neglect is the failure of a caregiver to fulfill his or her care giving responsibilities. Self-neglect is failure to provide for one's own essential needs.


How big a problem is it?
Although estimates vary, it is generally believed that 4-6% of the elderly are abused. According to the National Incidence Study on Elder Abuse, approximately 450,000 elderly experienced abuse in 1996 nationwide. If self-neglect is included, the number is 551,000.


About Adult Protective Services
Adult Protective Services (APS) responds to reports from individuals, concerned citizens, social service and health providers, and law enforcement representatives about adults with developmental disabilities, physically and mentally disabled adults, and the elderly, who may be physically or financially abused, neglected, or exploited. Anyone aged 18 to 64 who, because of their mental or physical disability, or who is aged 65 or older and is suspected of being abused or neglected, is eligible for APS.


Reporting Abuse
Persons interested in obtaining more information or who wish to report adult or elder abuse should call 24 hours a day: 510/577-3500 or toll free at 866/225-5277 (866-CALL-APS). ALL REFERRALS ARE CONFIDENTIAL.

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