In general, adult/elder abuse refers to intentional or neglectful acts by a caregiver or “trusted” individual that lead to, or may lead to, harm of a vulnerable elder or disabled adult. Physical abuse; neglect; self-neglect; emotional or psychological abuse; financial abuse and exploitation; sexual abuse; and abandonment are considered forms of adult/elder abuse.
Adult/Elder abuse can occur anywhere – in the home, in nursing homes, or other institutions. It affects seniors across all socio-economic groups, cultures, and races. Based on available information, women and “older” elders are more likely to be victimized. Dementia is a significant risk factor. Mental health and substance abuse issues – of both abusers and victims – are risk factors. Isolation can also contribute to risk.
Report your concerns.
Most cases of elder abuse go undetected. Don’t assume that someone has already reported a suspicious situation. The agency receiving the report will ask what you observed, who was involved, and who they can contact to learn more.
You do not need to prove that abuse is occurring; it is up to the professionals to investigate the suspicions.
To report suspected abuse in Marathon, Langlade and Lincoln counties, contact Adult Protective Services of North Central Health Care at 1-715-841-5160 or Toll-Free 1-855-487-3338.