New York State officials and victim advocates are offering information for the public to identify and report abuse, along with resources to help victims. Abuse takes several forms: physical, emotional, and sexual abuse; financial exploitation; and neglect (including self-neglect).
Elders who are socially isolated are more likely to experience abuse, according to the New York State Office of the Aging. A study in the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry suggests that one in five elder people have experienced abuse during the pandemic, an increase of nearly 84% over pre-pandemic statistics.
Possible signs of abuse:
- Seems depressed, confused, or withdrawn.
- Is isolated from friends and family.
- Has unexplained bruises, burns, or scars.
- Exhibits poor hygiene or appears underfed, dehydrated, overmedicated or undermedicated, or is not receiving needed care for medical problems.
- Has bed sores or other preventable conditions.
- Exhibits recent changes in banking or spending patterns.
To report abuse:
- Individuals should call the Adult Protective Services (APS) helpline at (844) 697-3505.
- For emergencies that require immediate attention, call 911.
- For non-emergency assistance, individuals can call the helpline for concerned individuals who might be worried about a friend or loved one at (844) 746-6905.