Office of the District Attorney of Schuylkill County


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Safe Seniors

Elder abuse is estimated to affect 5 million Americans each year. The direct medical costs associated with violent injuries to elders are estimated to add more than $5.3 billion to the nation's annual health expenditure. Research suggests that one out of every 10 people 60 and older who live at home suffers abuse, neglect or exploitation.  Only one in 24 cases of elder abuse is reported to authorities.

 

Tragically, elder abuse is also deadly. According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, victims of abuse, neglect and financial exploitation have 3 times the risk of dying prematurely. PA currently ranks fourth in the nation in percentage of people 60 and older. As of the 2010 census, nearly 2.7 million Pennsylvanians were over 60 and that number is projected to continue to increase to 3.3.million by 2020.

 

Now is the time to put in place solutions which will allow older Pennsylvanians to age without worries that they will be abused or that their money will be stolen. Together we must learn the signs that indicate elder abuse and take steps to prevent it!

 

RED FLAGS of ABUSE:

 

NEGLECT:

  • lack of basic hygiene, adequate food, or clean and appropriate clothing
  • lack of medical aids (glasses, walker, dentures, hearing aid, medications)
  • a person with dementia left unsupervised
  • a person confined to a bed without care
  • home is cluttered or filthy
  • home is without adequate facilities (stove, refrigerator, heat, water, etc.)
  • a person has untreated pressure "bed' sores

 

FINANCIAL EXPLOITATION:

  • lack of amenities the person could afford
  • voluntarily giving uncharacteristically excessive financial reimbursements/gifts for needed care and companionship
  • the caregiver has control of elder's money, but is failing to provide for elder's needs
  • elder has signed property transfers, but is unable to comprehend the transaction or what it means
  • a new acquaintance becomes the Power of Attorney and abrupt changes  in a will are made, such as making the POA the beneficiary
  • contractors are seen leaving an elder's residence when little to no repairs are done or necessary

 

PSYCHOLOGICAL/EMOTIONAL ABUSE:

  • unexplained or uncharacteristic changes in behavior, such as withdrawal from normal activities or unexplained changes in alertness
  • the caregiver isolates the elder
  • the caregiver is verbally aggressive or demeaning, controlling, or overly concerned about spending money

 

PHYSICAL/SEXUAL ABUSE:

  • unexplained fractures, bruises, welts, cuts, sores or burns
  • unexplained sexually transmitted diseases

 

The Schuylkill County Office of Senior Services can help:

110 E. Laurel Blvd, Pottsville PA 17901

1-800-832-3313

570-622-3103

570-874-4040

 

You may also contact Dolly Malec, Chief Detective, in the Schuylkill County District Attorney's Office by calling (570) 628-1350. We will assist you in filling out  the enclosed complaint form and the complaint will be investigated.   Elder Abuse Complaint Form

 

For further assistance, you may also call the Senior Helpline:  1-866-623-2137

DA Holman was present at a local Rite Aid Pharmacy on July 1, 2015 to speak to senior citizens and their families about the alarming number of scams currently targeting the elderly. The District Attorney's Office hopes that these informational sessions will arm our citizens with the knowledge needed to avoid becoming victims of this deceptive crime.