Abuse can happen to anyone – no matter the person’s age, race, sex, race, religious, ethnic or cultural background. Elder abuse can include physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, abandonment, financial abuse, and neglect – including self-neglect. Many victims are older, frail, vulnerable, and cannot help themselves and depend on others to meet their basic needs.
Some Signs of Abuse
- Unexplained withdrawal from normal activities
- Unusual weight loss
- Unusual depression
- Sleep trouble
- Physical appearance neglected
- Signs of trauma, including rocking back and forth
- Unexplained bruises, burns, cuts or scars
- Bed sores or other preventable conditions
- Unsafe, hazardous, or unclean living conditions
If you see signs of abuse, talk to the older adult to find out what is going on. Most importantly, get help or report what you see to Adult Protective Services (APS). You do not need to prove abuse is happening. Professional APS staff will investigate.
Adult Protective Services (Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services-DHSS) investigates abuse, neglect, and exploitation of vulnerable individuals 60 and older and people with disabilities between 18 and 59. These individuals may live in the community or in long-term care facilities. ‘
Be alert. Elder abuse will not stop on its own. Someone else needs to step in and help. The suffering is often in silence. Many times, older adults fear reporting and even feel ashamed. Certain professionals are mandated reporters. Anyone who suspects abuse, neglect, or exploitation can make a report.
Missouri Adult Abuse and Neglect Hotline
Make a difference. Make the call.
New: As an alternative to the above phone hotline, online reporting is now available for all concerned individuals. This should ONLY only be used to report non-emergencies.