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What is Elder abuse?

City of Delta Police Department

Elder Abuse
Abuse is intentionally causing pain, suffering, and/or injury to a vulnerable adult. Abuse can be physical, mental, or sexual.

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Goal of Police department

Goal Regarding Elder Abuse
A goal of the Delta Police Department is to educate as many senior citizens as possible on ways to protect themselves from becoming a victim of crime. The Delta Police Department can meet with senior groups to minimize the chances of being targeted by a criminal(s), to protecting themselves from assaults, car-jackings, purse snatchings, robberies, burglaries, and con- artist scams.

Who is a Vulnerable adult

City of Delta Police Department
Who is Considered a Vulnerable Adult?
Any adult 60 years or older who cannot take care of him/herself is considered a vulnerable adult. Other adults considered vulnerable are 18 years or older and: have a legal guardian, have a developmental disability, live in a facility licensed by Adult Protective Services, receive services from Columbine Senior Services, receive in-home services through a licensed health, hospice or home care agency, have a personal care aide who performs care under his/her direction for compensation.

Elder abuse facts

City of Delta Police Department
Elder Abuse Facts

Abuse comes in many forms. Know the signs and sumptoms of abuse and don't be hesitant to act on a gut feeling. Educate those around you about Elder Abuse and what to do if they believe a vulnerable adult is being abused. Ensure that respite care is available to caregivers. Often abuse is the result of frustrated, overworked caregivers who became overwhelmed and lashed out at the vulnerable adult.

Most incidents of elder abuse do not happen in nursing homes; rather it takes place at home. The great majority of older people live on their own or with their spouses, children, siblings, or other relatives, not in institutional settings. When elder abuse happens, family, other household members, and paid caregivers usually are the abusers. Although there are extreme cases of elder abuse, often the abuse is subtle, and the distinction between normal interpersonal stress and abuse in not always easy to discern.

There is no single pattern of elder abuse in the home. Sometimes the abuse is a continuation of long-standing patterns of physical or emotional abuse within the family. Perhaps, more commonly, the abuse is related to changes in living situations and relationships brought about by the older person's growing frailty and dependence on others for companionship and for meeting basic needs.

It isn't just mentally impaired elderly people who are vulnerable to abuse. Elders who are ill, frail, disabled, and mentally impaired or depressed are at greater risk of abuse, but even those who do not have these obvious risk factors can find themselves in abusive situations and relationships.

Stay alert to possible signs and symptoms of the different forms of abuse, signs include: unexplained injuries or behavior, vulnerable adult appears afraid of a person or certain situations, vulnerable adult is kept isolated from others, and vulnerable adult reports abuse.

how to protect an elder or vulnerable adult

City of Delta Police Department
How to Protect an Elder or Vulnerable Adult
Talk with your parents. Get a feel for what they understand, what they want and what they do with their time. If you feel that your parents are at risk for their physical or financial welfare, file a report with Adult Protective Services (APS) 970-874-2503. APS will do a home visit and make an assessment of their needs. Have medical assessments done. It will be necessaryy to have medical documentation to support housing and/or financial assistance. Ensure that your parents have prepared a will. Consider obtaining Power of Attorney (POA). There are varying powers available and need not take control from your parent's ability to make their own decisions. A POA is very helpful when needing to access medical or financial records. Know your parent's financial history. Learn where they bank, know their investments and what their spending habits are.
Safety at Home for Senior Citizens - Home Security & Burglary Prevention
Most burglaries occur during daylight hours and many intruders gain access through open or poorly secured doors and windows. To reduce your chance of becoming a victum of a burglary: trim trees and shrubs to eliminate hiding places; keep the exterior of your home well lit, especially where there are doors and windows. Install outside lights equipped with motion detectors to deter burglars and alert others of potential criminal activity; make it difficult for an intruder to enter. Be certain your locks are functioning properly, all doors have deadbolts and use them. Make sure windows are locked and cannot be forced open, especially those not in use. Secure the basement and attic windows. Many communities have free or low cost repairs to low-income seniors. Check with local senior organizations for more information; create and maintain safe and adequate excape routes in every room. Know how to get out fast; when away from home, use timers on inside lamps and radios to create the impression of an occupied home. When returning home, give the house a brief visual survey before entering. If anything looks suspicious, call 911 from another location; if you have an answering machine your message should not indicate that you live alone; form a neighborhood watch program and look out for one another; report suspicious activity to the police; call 911 if needed.
Safety at Home for Senior Citizens- Fire Safety
Protect yourself & your home from fires with these helpful tips: test your smoke detectors once a month to make sure they work; replace smoke detector batteries once a year; keep a fire extinguisher on every floor in the house; plan and practice a home fire drill; make a map showing the exits from every room; obtain an escape ladder for bedrooms located on the 2nd floor or higher; make sure windows can be opened easily from the inside if needed for escape; make sure burners are turned off after use. Keep and store flammable materials in a safe place; eliminate fire hazards in your home, i.e. piles of paper, smoking in bed, etc.