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Elder Physical and Sexual Abuse

Tips for Older Adults

Tips for Caregivers

Tips for Professionals Who Work with Older Adults

You can help stop elder abuse.
Silence isn't golden.

If you suspect elder abuse call:

Elder Abuse is a Crime!
Professionals Play a Critical Role in Stopping Elder Abuse and Neglect

Professionals who work in programs for the elderly are likely to be the first to discover abuse and can provide a vital link to protective services, including APS and law enforcement. As a professional, you have the unique opportunity to be able to offer support and encouragement to your clients as they take action to end their victimization.

If you suspect abuse of an older adult:

  • Report abuse to your local Area Agency on Aging or local police department. (Bucks County Area Agency on Aging - 267-880-5700)
  • Tell the victim that nobody deserves to be abused and encourage them to accept help.
  • Provide information that can help in proving abuse to as great extent possible while respecting clients' confidentiality and right to privacy (Examples: observed patterns in behavior, marks on skin, interactions between clients and caregivers, etc.)
  • Provide emotional support to victims
  • Provide or refer clients to services that reduce risk and vulnerability, such as your local victim service agency (In Bucks County, call NOVA - 215-343-6543 or 24-hour crisis line 1-800-675-6900.)

How to Support Victims of Elder Sexual Assault

Older sexual assault victims need many of the same services and  interventions younger victims need:

  • Non-judgmental emotional support
  • Medical care
  • Protection from unsupervised access by the accuser
  • Legal interventions where appropriate and desired

In Bucks County, adult protective services programs work collaboratively with the local rape crisis center staff to learn more about the dynamics of sexual abuse and how to effectively intervene with victims in a sensitive manner.

To report Elder Sexual Assault:

If an elder is in danger now, call  911 or PA's 24-Hour Elder Abuse Hotline at 1-800-490-8505.

Abuse is NEVER the victim's fault.