October 20, 2012

From the Office of Steve Papadimos: Recognizing Signs of Elder Abuse (Part Two)

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , at 2:19 am by Steve Papadimos

In Part One of this series, Steven Papadimos discussed two of the five categories of elder abuse (physical, sexual, emotional, neglect, and financial). Today, Papadimos examines signs of the other three types.


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3. Sexual abuse, which is any form of sexual contact that occurs without permission, is marked by bleeding, bruising, or pain in the genital area. Some seniors develop sexually transmitted diseases as a result of sexual abuse. Seniors who experience sexual abuse often display the symptoms similar to those of psychological or emotional abuse, including depression, anxiety, or withdrawal.

4. Neglect, which can be intentional or unintentional, may be indicated when a senior displays malnutrition, or appears over-medicated or under-medicated. More subtle signs of neglect include isolation or lack of social contact.

5. Financial abuse involves the theft or misuse of an elder citizen’s money or possessions. Signs of financial abuse include sudden changes in a bank account, unexplained or recurring withdrawal of funds, disappearance of material possessions, changes in a will, or changes in the names on the person’s bank signature card.

Although statistics vary from state to state, as many as one in ten senior citizens may be victims of abuse, and many incidents of abuse are unreported. As baby boomers reach their senior years and life expectancy continues to crime, the problem of elder abuse is expected to worsen.

Steve Papadimos is Chief of the Lucas County Prosecutor’s Office, Civil Division, a department consisting of 14 attorneys. The Division assumes responsibility all laws concerning the public sector, including laws that protect senior citizens.

From the Office of Steve Papadimos: Recognizing Signs of Elder Abuse (Part One)