June is Elder Abuse Awareness Month
1 out of every 10 people over the age of 60, who live at home, report being abused.
If someone is in immediate danger call 911.
Elder abuse can happen to anyone-you, your family, friends or neighbors. Elder Abuse is any knowing, intentional or negligent act that causes harm (or a serious risk of harm) to a vulnerable adult perpetrated by a family member, caregiver or trusted friend.
It doesn’t matter if you are rich or poor. Elder abuse happens in all cultures and races. It can happen in your home, in a nursing home, assisted living facility, or in a hospital.
The abuser may be a family member such as a spouse or adult child who is a caregiver.
Some of the risk factors for Elder abuse include:
- A diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease or related dementia
- History of mental illness or substance abuse by the victim or abuser or both
- Social isolation
- Poor physical health
If you think a Senior is not safe, Rhode Island law requires you to report your suspicions.
The Rhode Island Division of Elderly Affairs Adult Protective Services Unit is responsible for investigating complaints of abuse of Rhode Islanders 60 years of age and older by a family member, caregiver, or person with a duty to care for the elder.
Division of Elderly Affairs Adult Protective Services
401-462-0555 or 462-3000
Under Rhode Island law, every city and town has a Senior Citizen Police Advocate. These are men and women on the police force who have received special training in working with Seniors. You can call the nonemergency number of your local police station and ask to speak with the Senior Citizen Police Advocate.
If you suspect a resident of a nursing home or assisted living facility may be being abused contact the Rhode Island Department of Health, Rhode Island Attorney General and the Rhode Island Long Term Care Ombudsman.
Neglect or Abuse in a facility call:
RI Attorney General Patient Abuse or Neglect,
401-222-2566 or 274-4400 x2269