If you are an elder who is being abused, neglected, or exploited, tell your doctor, a friend, or a family member whom you trust. Or call the helplines. Many seniors don’t report the abuse they face even if they’re able. Some fear retaliation from the abuser, while others fear being forced to move out of their own home. When the caregivers are their children, they may feel ashamed that their children are inflicting harm or blame themselves. In any situation of elder abuse, it can be a real challenge to respect an older adult’s right to autonomy while at the same time making sure they are properly cared for.
If you see an older adult being abused or neglected, don’t hesitate to report the situation. And if you see future incidences of abuse, continue to call and report them. Older adults can become increasingly isolated from society and, with no work to attend, it can be easy for abuse cases to go unnoticed for long periods.