Red Flags of Abuse
Does someone you know—an older adult or adult with a disability—display any warning signs of mistreatment? If so, call Adult Protective Services immediately.
Neglect/Self Neglect: Failure of the caregiver or individual to provide care, nutrition, shelter, clothing, medical care.
- Lack of basic hygiene, adequate food, or clean and appropriate clothing
- Lack of medical aids (glasses, walker, teeth, hearing aid, medications)
- Cognitive issues, yet left unsupervised
- Confined to a bed and left without care
- Home is cluttered, filthy, in disrepair, or having fire and safety hazards
- Home is without adequate facilities (stove, refrigerator, heat, cooling, working plumbing, and electricity)
- Untreated pressure “bed” sores (pressure ulcers)
Financial Abuse/Exploitation: Unjust or improper use of an elderly person or his/her resources for profit.
- Lack of amenities victim could afford
- Vulnerable elder/adult “voluntarily” giving excessive financial reimbursement/gifts for needed care and companionship
- Caregiver controls elder’s money but fails to provide for elder’s needs
- Vulnerable elder/adult has signed asset transfers (Power of Attorney, bank account, trust, new will, etc.) but is unable to comprehend the transaction or what it means
Psychological/Emotional Abuse: Removal of decision making power, isolating the victim, withholding affection.
- Unexplained or uncharacteristic changes in behavior, such as withdrawal from normal activities
- Unexplained changes in alertness, depression
- Caregiver is isolating the elder (doesn’t let anyone into the home or speak to the elder)
- Caregiver is verbally aggressive or demeaning, controlling or uncaring
Physical/Sexual Abuse: Inflicting pain or injury, threatening injury, denial of physical and health related necessities.
- Inadequately explained fractures, bruises, welts, cuts, sores or burns
- Unexplained sexually transmitted diseases
What Should I Do if I Suspect Abuse?
Contact Adult Protective Services
(Open seven days a week, 24 hours a day, including holidays. Calls are handled by 216-696-KIDS after hours and on weekends.)
Red Flags of Elder Abuse (pdf)226 KB