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ELDER ABUSE Stop Abuse and Financial Exploitation.

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Presentation on theme: "ELDER ABUSE Stop Abuse and Financial Exploitation."— Presentation transcript:

1 ELDER ABUSE Stop Abuse and Financial Exploitation

2 Who are Elder Abuse Victims? Age – 50 and over Gender – Male or Female Ongoing Relationship with Expectation of Trust

3 Who are Abusers? Family members, trusted individuals Caregivers Faith leaders “New” friends/partners Guardians or individuals with Power of Attorney

4 Elder Abuse In general, elder abuse is any knowing, intentional, or negligent act by a caregiver or any other person that causes harm or a serious risk of harm to an older adult. Defined by age, relationship, type of abuse Victims are often on a continuum from active, to having various medical, cognitive, mobility issues

5 Older is not always Vulnerable  Unlike many other states, Minnesota's legal protections for vulnerable adults are not defined by age  Vulnerable Adult is defined by law Sub. 21 Resident or inpatient of facility Receives services at or from a facility Receives services from a home care provider, or person that acts as a personal care/medical assistant Possesses a physical, mental, or emotional infirmity/dysfunction that: Impairs individuals ability to provide adequately for their own care without assistance, including food, shelter, clothing, health care, supervision; and Because of the dysfunction or infirmity and the need for assistance, the individual has an impaired ability to protect the infirmity from maltreatment.

6 Types of Abuse Physical Abuse Causing or threatening physical pain or injury. Emotional Abuse Causing or threatening mental pain, anguish or distress with words or actions. Sexual Abuse Unwanted sexual contact of any kind including forcing an elder to witness sexual behaviors. Financial Exploitation Improper taking, misuse, or concealment of funds, property, or assets. Neglect Refusal or failure by those responsible to provide food, shelter, health care or protection, including abandonment.

7 Financial Exploitation/Abuse Misuse of a person’s money, property, or assets Using relationship to gain access to funds Theft, fraud, coercion Influence Power of Attorney, signer on accounts Abusing authority

8 Where Can This Happen? In the home: Elder abuse is often committed by someone the elder trusts: a spouse, a sibling, a child or grandchild, a friend, or caregiver. In a residential facility: Elder abuse in residential facilities, such as nursing homes and assisted living, may be committed by staff of the facility or can be any of the same group of trusted loved ones. Anywhere in the community: On a street corner, in the grocery store, at the bank, elder abuse can happen anywhere.

9 WHY? Cognitive Impairments Intimate Partner Violence Perpetrator Characteristics and Circumstances Isolation Money and Property Power and Control

10 Power and Control Wheel – Abuse in Later Life

11 Power and Control Wheel Domestic Abuse Intervention Project - Duluth

12 Abuser Tactics Manipulation Lying Using multiple forms of abuse (“tools”) to get what they want Making others think victim is confused/wrong Victim-blaming “She falls all the time” “He forgets things”

13 Warning Signs Bruises, pressure marks, broken bones, and burns—often accompanied with inconsistent explanation for how they occurred Internal injuries Victim statements Dehydration Malnutrition Weight loss Poor Hygiene

14 Warning Signs Absence of needed supervision Lack of necessary equipment or health aids Denied basic financial information Unpaid bills Asked to be a co-signer on documents Abrupt asset transfers Abrupt changes to an important document such as a will or Power of Attorney form Sudden changes in financial situations

15 Warning Signs Unexplained withdrawal from normal activities, a sudden change in alertness, and unusual depression Bedsores, unattended medical needs, poor hygiene, and unusual weight loss Belittling, making threats, and other uses of power and control by spouses, loved ones, or caretakers Strained or tense relationships, including frequent arguments between the caregiver and elderly persons

16 Videos Elder Victims: Abused, Exploited, Alone Minnesota video produced by Twin Cities Public Television and the Minnesota S.A.F.E. Elders Initiative An Age for Justice: Confronting Elder Abuse in America National Video Produced by WITNESS and The National Council on Aging

17 Video Clip – Ms. Mary Ms. Mary Sexual abuse Physical abuse Neglect Financial Abuse Emotional Abuse

18 How to Help Ask Questions 1. Is someone taking or using your money without your permission? 2. Are you afraid of anyone? 3. Is anybody hurting you?

19 How to Help - Follow Up Questions Have you or a loved one had a partner, family member, or trusted caregiver that: Embarrasses you by calling you bad names or putting you down? Looks at you or acts in ways that scare you? Destroys, damages or gives away your property? Hides details about your finances or property from you? Controls what you do, who you see, or where you go? Controls your money or legal documents without your permission? Uses your money in ways that do not benefit you? Makes all of the decisions without your input? Threatens to hurt you? Shoves, slaps, grabs or hits you? Ignores your physical, emotional or medical needs? Takes money that you need to pay your bills? Acts like everything is fine when others around me say I should be concerned?

20 How to Help – Reporting Elder Abuse To make a report of suspected elder abuse, you do not have to know everything about the situation. It is helpful to have the following information ready: · Name, age and address of the potential victim · Brief description of the situation · Any evidence of previous maltreatment · Explain how you know about the situation, your relationship to the elder · Name and address of alleged perpetrator · Location of the incident(s) · Current injuries, medical problems, or behavioral problems · Names of relatives or concerned parties in or outside the home · Your name and contact information

21 How to Help – Reporting Elder Abuse If you suspect that you or someone you know is being abused, neglected or exploited, call: YOUR Adult Protection NUMBER HERE The Senior LinkAge Line® at to contact your county’s Adult Protection office. If the elder is in crisis or danger, call 911. Otherwise, make a report with local law enforcement. If the elder is living in a long term care facility, contact the Ombudsman for Long Term Care at

22 Prevalence 1,000,000 – 2,000,000 adults in later life in U.S. are victims of abuse 1 1 in 10 persons over the age 60 are victims of elder abuse 2 Victims of elder financial abuse in U.S. lose close to $3 Billion each year 3 1 National Center of Elder Abuse:2005 Elder Abuse Prevalence and Incidence 2 National Institute of Justice: Elder Abuse as a Criminal Problem 3 Blancato, Robert: Violence Against Older Women and The Elder Justice Act; 3/04/12

23 Growth of Older Adults The Administration on Aging expects that by 2030, the U.S. population over age 65 will have doubled from 2000, with older adults representing 19% of the population.

24 MN S.A.F.E. ELDERS INITIATIVE – STOP ABUSE AND FINANCIAL EXPLOITATION

25 S.A.F.E. Elders Initiative Led by the Anoka County Attorney’s Office and began in early 2012 Collaboration of agencies joined to address abuse and exploitation against adults in later life. Mission - to increase knowledge of and access to services for adults later in life who are victimized through abuse and/or financial exploitation, by the production of a Minnesota-focused educational toolkit and video.

26 S.A.F.E. Elders Initiative Anoka County Attorney Alexandra House, Inc. Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid Center for Elder Justice and Policy, William Mitchell College of Law Office of Justice Programs Dakota County Attorney Clay County Attorney Sherburne County Attorney AARP Aging Services of Minnesota Allina Health Crest View Senior Communities Care Providers of Minnesota Minnesota Bankers Association Minnesota Attorney General’s Office Minnesota Commerce Department Wells Fargo Advisors MN County Attorneys Association Urban County Attorneys Association Blue Earth County Attorney Carver County Attorney Cass County Attorney Hennepin County Attorney Isanti County Attorney Lake County Attorney Lake of the Woods County Attorney Mille Lacs County Attorney Morrison County Attorney Nicollet County Attorney Nobles County Attorney Olmstead County Attorney Ramsey County Attorney Scott County Attorney St. Louis County Attorney Swift County Attorney Wadena County Attorney Winona County Attorney Wright County Attorney

27 S.A.F.E. Elders Initiative Available Materials: Website - Includes handouts, presentations, and resources Video – Elder Victims: Abused, Exploited, Alone 26 minute documentary available free of charge through includes discussion guide and facilitator notes Law Enforcement Mobile App Download SAFEMN through Android or Apple Prosecutors Trial Notebook Available to prosecutors through the MCAA website

28 Acknowledgements/References OVW Victim-Centered Response to Abuse in Later Life National Coalition on Abuse in Later Life National Center of Elder Abuse National Council on Aging Office for Victims of Crime National Institute of Justice: Elder Abuse as a Criminal Problem Blancato, Robert: Violence Against Older Women and The Elder Justice Act

29 Questions Contact: YOUR NAME CONTACT INFO


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