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251 West Plant St.
Winter Garden, FL 34787

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Warning Signs of Elder Abuse

July 29 2013

According to Florida State Statute 825.101, an "Elderly person" means a person 60 years of age or older who is suffering from the infirmities of aging as manifested by advanced age or organic brain damage, or other physical, mental, or emotional dysfunctioning, to the extent that the ability of the person to provide adequately for the person’s own care or protection is impaired.

Elder abuse can be difficult to discuss because the people doing the abuse are usually people the senior knows and trusts. It is often not reported because the senior is afraid of revenge by the abuser, is ashamed they cannot handle the abuse themselves or the senior is concerned with being labeled as too demanding or senile.

Here are some of the warning signs to look for.

Physical abuse:

Hitting, beating, pushing, sexual assault, forcing consumption of additional drugs, locking the senior in a room or house.

Look for:

  • unusual cuts, bruises, burns, bites
  • poor personal hygiene
  • untreated bed sores
  • dirty clothing & linen
  • emotional withdrawal

Emotional abuse:

Yelling, use of harsh words, ignoring the senior, treating the senior like a child and not allowing the senior to speak to others.

Look for:

  • confusion
  • fear and anxiety
  • refusal to speak in front of someone
  • certain subjects will not be discussed

Financial abuse:

Not allowing the senior to spend money the way he/she wants; telling lies to get money or property from the senior; stealing money, jewelry or other possessions; forcing a senior to sell or give away property or sign Power of Attorney.

Look for:

  • malnutrition
  • belongings are missing
  • sudden changes in senior's will
  • signing of Power of Attorney without discussing with a lawyer

If you suspect elderly abuse, please don’t hesitate to call the Winter Garden Police Department at 407-656-3636. We are here to help.

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