Indiana Elderly Abuse Numbers, Information, and What to Do to Protect your Loved Ones
These days, it’s becoming harder and harder to find the bits of trust needed to leave loved ones. However, many times, the family has no choice and need some place or people to help provide elderly care. Nowadays, more times than not, elder care is ending badly, and in our court systems. There are cases across the country and throughout the world that show that any one from private home care, to nursing homes…even family members can be guilty of inflicting physical pain, and mental abuse on to our loved ones. This blog will cover things to watch for, what to do if you‘re afraid your loved one is being abused, and how to prevent this in the future.~
What the Facts tell us on Elder Abuse:
*Indiana’s elderly population in 2010 was 1,128,000.
*In 2010, the number of reported elder abuse cases was 5,961,568; which is 9.5% of the total elderly population in the United States.
*Most commonly, neglect is the highest form of abuse, being 58.5% of all reported cases.
*36% of nursing homes in the US have had reports of elderly abuse
*Elderly woman are 67% more likely to be abused than elderly men
Signs of Elderly Abuse:
These are the signs to watch for, according to the NCEA.
*Bedsores, unattended medical needs, poor hygiene, and unusual weight loss are indicators of possible neglect.
*Behavior such as belittling, threats, and other uses of power and control by spouses are indicators of verbal or emotional abuse.
*Strained or tense relationships, frequent arguments between the caregiver and elderly person are also signs.
*Bruises, pressure marks, broken bones, abrasions, and burns may be an indication of physical abuse, neglect, or mistreatment.
*Unexplained withdrawal from normal activities, a sudden change in alertness, and unusual depression may be indicators of emotional abuse.
*Bruises around the breasts or genital area can occur from sexual abuse.
*Sudden changes in financial situations may be the result of exploitation.
There are many other ways that the elderly can be abused, and taken advantage of, too. Keeping a close eye on prescription medications, especially pain medicines and certain other types of medicines commonly sold on the streets. Recently, some have been caught using elderly loved one’s needles for diabetes, and certain drugs for street use. Check out the brief story article here: http://www.whas11.com/news/indiana/Indiana-State-Police-Elderly-abuse-investigation-leads-to-drug-arrests-191673191.html
Where to get help:
Immediately report any signs of abuse to family members, and determine the most likely causes, and timeline of action to be taken. If signs are extreme, call 911 and report to the local authorities immediately. If you’re not comfortable reporting abuse in a nursing home environment, as you think that someone there may be the cause of said abuse, call the police, and make a police report. It is absolutely okay to step around the chain of command in these facilities to ensure that the proper steps are taken, and not simply covered up.
You can also check out this list of numbers by State. http://www.ncea.aoa.gov/ncearoot/Main_Site/Find_Help/State_Resources.aspx
Also, calling 1-800-677-1116 and speaking with the representatives who can point you in the right direction, get you the information you may need, and answer any questions you may have.
Federal Agencies Relating to Elder Abuse
National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA)- The National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) serves as a national resource center dedicated to the prevention of elder mistreatment. To carry out its mission, the NCEA disseminates elder abuse information to professionals and the public, and provides technical assistance and training to states and to community-based organizations. The NCEA makes news and resources available on-line and an easy-to-use format; collaborates on research; provides training; identifies and provides information about promising practices and interventions; operates a list serve forum for professionals; and provides subject matter expertise on program and policy development. http://www.ncea.aoa.gov/NCEAroot/Main_Site/Index.aspx
Administration on Aging (AoA)- The mission of the AoA is to develop a comprehensive, coordinated and cost-effective system of home and community-based services that helps elderly individuals maintain their health and independence in their homes and communities.
Indiana Agencies Relating to Elder Abuse
Indiana Adult Protective Services (APS)- The Adult Protective Services Program was established to investigate reports and provide intervention and protection to vulnerable adults who are victims of abuse, neglect, or exploitation. APS field investigators operate out of the offices of county prosecutors throughout the state. http://www.in.gov/fssa/da/3479.htm
Indiana Department of Health, Long Term Care Division– The Division of Long Term Care consists of health care facilities (including nursing homes) licensing and certification programs. http://www.in.gov/isdh/
Indiana Family and Services Administration, Division of Aging and Rehabilitative Services– The Division of Aging establishes and monitors programs that serve the needs of Indiana seniors. The Division of Aging’s overarching vision is to re-define long-term care for consumers and providers. The Division of Aging focuses on home- and community-based services for the elderly and disabled and is also responsible for nursing home reimbursement policy and oversees the Residential Care Assistance Program. http://www.in.gov/fssa/2329.htm
Indiana Long Term Care Ombudsman Program- The Indiana Long Term Care Ombudsman Program is a federal and state funded program that provides advocacy and related services for consumers of congregate long term care services, regardless of age or payer source. Congregate settings include nursing facilities, residential care facilities, assisted living facilities, adult foster care homes and county operated residential care facilities. http://www.in.gov/fssa/da/3474.htm
**State and Federal Law on Elder Abuse**
Federal Older Americans Act (42 U.S.C. § 3001 et seq.)- provides definitions of elder abuse and authorizes the use of federal funds for the NCEA and for certain elder abuse awareness and coordination activities in states and local communities.
Indiana Adult Protective Services (Ind. Code, Title 12, Art. 10, Chpt. 3 )- Indiana is the only state in which adult protective service is a criminal justice function. Full time investigators operate out of 18 county Prosecutors offices state wide. This Indiana law protects “endangered adults” (a person at least 18 who is incapable of managing or directing management of property or self-care who is exposed to neglect, battery, or exploitation). The law requires all persons to report all cases of suspected Abuse, Neglect, or Exploitation to either the nearest APS office or to Law Enforcement if the person has “reason to believe” a particular person is an endangered adult. Failure to do so is a Class B misdemeanor punishably by up to $1,000 fine and 180 days in jail. This increases to a Class D felony if the proceeds involved are more than $10,000 and the endangered adult is at least 60 years of age.
Indiana Elder Justice Act (Title XI of the Social Security Act Section 1150B)- Requires employers of long-term care facilities that receive at least $10,000 in federal funds (Medicare and Medicaid payments) to report any “reasonable suspicion of a crime” involving the elderly. Facilities must notify all of their employees of the reporting obligation on an annual basis and post notices. The report must be filed within 24 hours or 2 hours if “serious bodily injury” is involved. An individual who fails to report can be fined up to $300,000 and the person may also be banned from working in a health care facility for up to 3 years.
National Center on Elder Abuse
A o A- http://www.aoa.gov/AoARoot/AoA_Programs/Elder_Rights/index.aspx