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Elder Abuse: The Hidden Epidemic

Stop Elder Abuse

Growing up in inner city Philadelphia, I saw many disheartening things but nothing impacted more than watching my grandmother be abused at the hands of her primary caregiver. My grandmother’s caregiver was not contracted for hire. Rather her caregiver was a family member. At the time of the abuse, I was a child and I was also rendered powerless. All I could do was watch in disbelief. I saw a woman that was once vibrant and full of life wither into a person that I barely recognized. What I saw in her eyes is something that haunts me to this day. And while I could not save my grandmother from the wrath of her abuser, I made it my mission to advocate for those in our community that are voiceless and that go unnoticed.

When I was younger, I had no concept of what elder abuse was but I knew that it was evil. My goal in writing this is to raise awareness of the silent epidemic that is plaguing our eldest community members.

There are many forms of elderly abuse. The abuse may be physical, neglectful, financial, sexual, emotional and abandonment.

If you suspect that a loved one or someone you know is being abused, please be on the look out for signs. Signs of Elder Abuse Include:

  • Seemingly depressed, confused or withdrawn
  • Isolated from friends and family
  • Has unexplained bruises, burns or scars
  • Appearing dirty, unfed, underfed, dehydrated, over-medicated/under-medicated or not receiving needed care for medical issues
  • Has bed sores or other preventable conditions
  • Recent changes in banking or spending patterns

Report this to your locate Adult Preventive Services organization, Long-Term Care Ombudsman or the Police. Let’s raise our voices to eradicate this hidden epidemic!


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