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Elder Abuse

According to Kansas Adult Protective Services (see http://www.dcf.ks.gov), seniors at risk for elder abuse are “unable to protect their own interest and who are harmed or threatened with harm whether financial, mental, or physical in nature, through action or inaction by themselves or others.”

Seniors victims of neglect or physical or financial abuse may be difficult to identify. Perhaps they live with caretakers who have enough money for their own pleasures, but do not provide adequate clothing, food, and health care for an elder. They are happy to cash the pension check, but the elder never sees the money. Abusive businesses demand payment in advance, sometimes without returning to do the work, or prolong a task while charging more and more.

Sometimes abuse of older people is blatant, easily seen in facial and body bruises. Sometimes we overhear verbal abuse (demeaning comments, yelling, or profanity). More often, though, such clues are hidden from public view.

If you suspect an older person is in a harmful or exploitative situation, call the local police in an emergency. At other times, call the Protection Report Center at 1-800-922-5330. Representatives of the Kansas Department for Children and Families make personal visits within five days (sooner if danger is imminent) to discuss the situation with the senior adult and those responsible for his or her wellbeing. Action taken can range from making referrals and locating services, to removing the victim from the situation. Most victims are not removed, though, as other solutions may be available.

When you report elder abuse, your name will remain confidential and cannot be disclosed without your written consent, except by a court order.

If you would like help understanding or reporting elder abuse, contact Janet at (785) 727-7873 or contact us using our online form.

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