Know the facts
Elder abuse isn’t something any of us like to think or talk about. Unfortunately, it does happen. It happens more than most of us know. More and more elderly celebrity cases have been exposed recently, proving it is a crime that knows no boundaries. Abuse doesn’t have to be physical, it can also be financial, verbal, or can even be in the form of neglect.
With the downturn of the economy, financial abuse among those age 70 and older has become more prevalent. According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, more than 2 million cases are reported annually nationwide. The median age of the victim is 78 years old.
The good news is the State of Kansas has taken this very seriously. Prior to 2014, elder abuse statutes were not well defined and penalties didn’t seem to fit the crimes. Fortunately, in the state of Kansas, a new law was passed in 2014 giving elderly residents a new protection against fraud and financial abuse.
The law was aimed at protecting people 70 and older who are victims of financial abuse. Before July 1, 2014, elder abuse wasn’t clearly defined and the penalties were lacking. Now, people convicted of large-scale abuse could be sentenced to more than 40 years in prison. The law adds protections against misusing a financial trust or power of attorney for the purpose of misappropriating a person’s life savings.
Kansas Governor Jeff Colyer has proclaimed today, June 15, 2018, is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. The Governor joins with The National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) and Kansas Advocates for Better Care (KABC) in recognition of this serious issue which has for too long remained out of our collective awareness and with devastating results for many older adults.
It is estimated that 1 in 10 older adults are victims of elder abuse each year.
An older adult who is abused has a 300% increased risk of death within 18 months.
2,500 older Kansans are given anti-psychotic drugs without a supporting diagnosis and often without their consent.
Join us in recognizing the seriousness of this issue. If you suspect abuse, you should report it. First, if you believe someone is in immediate danger, call 911 or the local police for immediate help. HYPERLINK "http://www.ncea.aoa.gov/Stop_Abuse/Partners/APS/index.aspx" o "Link to APS page" Adult Protective Services (APS) is the common name of the social services program that receives and looks into reported suspicions about abuse or neglect of people living in the community. If you suspect abuse or neglect of someone living in the community, contact the local Adult Protective Services reporting hotline at 1-800-922-5330. For more information on this and other resources, please call the Butler County Department on Aging at 775-0500.