Elder Abuse Brochure 06.qxp - Westchester County District Attorney

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Elder Abuse Brochure 06.qxp - Westchester County District Attorney

Understanding Elder AbuseDetecting Neglect and AbuseFinding HelpAbuse and neglect can take manyforms from physical to emotional.It may involve exploitation of a victim'sfinances. Physical abuse ranges fromassaults resulting in bruising to seriousfractures and sexual abuse. Neglect caninclude a caregiver failing to provide anolder individual with basic necessities,such as medication or meals. Elderabuse can frequently be undetected orunnoticed. Many older individuals tryto shield an abusive caretaker since theydepend upon family members and othersfor assistance with daily needs and financialplanning. Living alone, a victim ofelder abuse may be isolated and unableto call authorities for help. In otherinstances, the abuser may be an adultchild who a parent seeks to protect.Our trained prosecutors understand thesedynamics and work to protect seniorswhile holding offenders accountable.Signs of abuse may not be obvious. It couldinclude the onset of depression, confusion, disorientationor agitation. Physical caretakers,doctors, dentists, nurses and other health aidesare in a unique position to recognize thesesigns and take appropriate measures to identifyand report abuse. Neighbors and friends mayalso recognize changes in behavior or physicalappearance. Reluctance by a caregiver to leavean elder alone may be a warning sign. Fear ofa caregiver should give you pause.In cases of emergency, always contact911 and the local police. At other times,the Elder Abuse Bureau remains availableto aid and assist you if you are a victim orto answer questions if you suspect thatsomeone you know is being abused.The Westchester District Attorney's officehas joined forces with the Hebrew Homefor the Aged in Riverdale to addressserious issues of abuse. The WeinbergCenter for Elder Abuse Prevention at theHebrew Home for the Aged houses ashelter that services seniors who are thevictims of abuse. The WestchesterDepartment of Senior Programs andServices, and Adult Protective Servicescan also provide services and referrals.According to the best available estimates, between 1 and 2 million Americans age 65 or olderhave been injured, exploited, or otherwise mistreated by someone on whom they depended forcare or protection.2003 Study by the National Center on Elder AbuseEstimates indicate that for every one case of elder abuse, neglect, exploitation,or self neglect reported to authorities, about five go unreported.In 2003 there were 35.9 million people age 65 or over in the United States.2050 this population is expected to reach 86.7 million.U.S. Census Bureau, 2005


Where to Call for HelpIn cases of emergency, call 911 oryour local police department.Westchester CountyDistrict Attorney's OfficeSpecial Prosecutions DivisionElder Abuse Bureau(914) 995-3000Westchester CountyDepartment of Social ServicesAdult Protective Services(914) 995-5411Westchester County Departmentof Senior Programs and Services(914) 813-6300Westchester County'sSafe Center for Seniors(914) 683-7530Victims Assistance Servicesof Westchester, Inc.(914) 345-3113ElderServe-The Hebrew Homefor the Aged at Riverdale1 (800) 567-3646Message fromDistrict AttorneyJanet DiFioreHere in Westchester County, older individuals comprisethe fastest growing segment of our population.Within the next fifteen years adults over 60 will comprise37% of Westchester's population. With thischange in demographics, the District Attorney's officehas seen a greater need for specialized prosecution ofelder abuse cases.At the District Attorney's office, our elder abusebureau prosecutes these cases with the concern andcompassion that is needed to protect seniors and bringjustice. We know that the criminal justice system canbe overwhelming for victims, and we provide a widearray of services that assist older individuals in simplifyingthe process and accessing needed resources.If you or a friend or neighbor needs the help of theElder Abuse Bureau, we can be reached at (914) 995-3000 or visit our website at www.westchesterda.netOFFICE OF THEWESTCHESTER COUNTYDISTRICT ATTORNEYRICHARD J. DARONCO COURTHOUSE111 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd.White Plains, NY 10601Telephone: (914) 995-3317www.westchesterda.netElder AbuseJanet DiFioreWestchester County District Attorney

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