ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – President Joe Biden deemed Wednesday, June 15 as World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD). This year’s theme is “Building Strong Support for Elders”.

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  • Seems depressed, confused, or withdrawn.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.