Although child abuse receives strong media attention, abuse of the elderly is surprisingly common. Even well-meaning, loving individuals can become overwhelmed with their caregiving responsibilities and unintentionally cause harm or take advantage. Especially if the patient has Alzheimer's disease or another form of dementia, caregivers often find themselves so frustrated that they behave in abusive ways despite their best intentions.
While physical abuse is the most obvious form, there are other forms of elder abuse: financial, emotional, and sexual. Neglect of a patient's needs is another form of abuse. If you suspect that an elder may be mistreated in any of these ways, call the Elder Abuse Agency and discuss your concerns.
Domestic Violence/Elder Abuse
Call Department of Child and Family Services to report any abuse to an elderly person in the home. For abuse in an adult care facility or skilled nursing facility, call Patient Care Investigator, Monday - Friday from 9:00-5:00 at (585) 847-4324 or the New York State Helpline at 1-800-342-3099.
Protective Services for Adults (PSA)
This DSS program investigates report of abuse or neglect to anyone 18 years or older. PSA also works with individuals who are unable to act on their own behalf due to mental and/or physical impairments or who have no one to assist them responsibly. Contact Department of Social Services.
Albion, NY 14411
National Center on Elder Abuse
302-831-3525 (Delaware) or toll-free through the Eldercare Locator: 800-677-1116
Hosted at the University of Delaware, the National Center on Elder Abuse makes information and resources available to professionals and the public. From this website, you can locate the agencies in your state that assist with elder abuse concerns, including the number of your local elder abuse hotline. (The hotline is for discussing concerns about possible elder abuse. If someone is in immediate danger, call 911.)
297 Graham Hall
Newark, DE 19716
Please Note: Hospice of Orleans does not specifically endorse the activities of these organizations, but offers their information as a sample of the kinds of materials and services that are available.
"There was a time when Pop lived with my brother Mark, and I felt Mark was taking advantage of him--using his money but not taking care of Pop's needs. I talked to the Elder Abuse people and they helped us arrange things so Pop was protected. It's a touchy subject, but they really had their wits about them. They handled it very well."