There are many reasons why victims of elder abuse and people who know about or suspect elder abuse do not take action. Understanding these reasons and some ways to take action can help combat elder abuse in our communities
Awareness, education and support services can affect both reporting and addressing the abuse and neglect of older adults. No one deserves to be abused or neglected. If you are being abused or neglected, or if you think someone else is being abused, tell someone. Help is available.
Some older victims of abuse may not discuss the matter with a trusted individual or report the abuse because they...
Limited social interactions or isolation from family and friends, combined with a victim's reluctance to speak up, may allow abuse to go unnoticed. Sometimes family, friends and other caregivers remain bystanders who suspect that an older person may be the victim of abuse or neglect but don't take any action because they...
Sometimes people assume that older adults are not mentally competent because they have certain physical or mental limitations, so it is important to consider first whether the older person is capable of making their own choices. The goal of helping a victim of abuse is to leave them with more power, not less.
Different options are appropriate for different forms and stages of abuse. Your help could be anything from just listening, to getting the older adult's permission to involve others.
Victims may need information about the justice system. In particular, they may need to know where to go for help, what is likely to happen to the abuser and what impact it may have on them.
Before taking any action it is important to ask yourself if what you are doing will help empower the older adult and help keep them safe or if it will disempower them and/or put them in more danger.
Taking action could include...
PLEA's Safety Planning Tool is designed to help people dealing with violent relationships by providing them with strategies to increase their safety. By answering anonymous and confidential questions about their situation people can create a safety plan specific to their situation and their needs.