AARP Provides Elder Abuse Warning Signs & Where to Get Help in Idaho

Jan 06, 2010, 12:57 ET from AARP Idaho

BOISE, Idaho, Jan. 6 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- With news of the horrific elder abuse case in Nampa, it's important for people to know the warning signs and resources available if they suspect abuse or have concerns. Elder abuse is a horrific, yet largely unreported crime. For every one case that's reported, five are not. In Idaho, roughly 9% of the state's elderly population is estimated to be victims of abuse. In 18% of abuse cases, family members are most often cited as the source.

AARP is providing the following to help inform the public of elder abuse warning signs and resources in Idaho:

Warning signs of elder abuse:

  • Unexplained bruises or other injuries.
  • Sudden change in behavior.
  • Caregiver's refusal to allow visitors.
  • Elder is extremely upset, withdrawn, unresponsive; other unusual behavior.
  • Dehydration, malnutrition, untreated bed sores, weight loss.
  • Unattended health problems or lack of necessary aids, such as eyeglasses or dentures.
  • Unsanitary living conditions (lice, soiled bedding).
  • Inadequate clothing; no heat or running water.
  • Unexplained bank withdrawals, unauthorized use of a credit or ATM card, stolen or "misplaced" cards or checkbook.
  • Checks written as a "loan" or "gift."
  • Abrupt changes in a will or other documents.

What to do if you suspect or are experiencing abuse:

  • In an emergency, always call 911 or the local police.
  • If you haven't seen an elderly neighbor or relative, check on them.
  • If you suspect in-home abuse call Adult Protective Services toll-free (877) 471-2777.
  • If you suspect abuse in a nursing home or another type of institutional care, call the Ombudsman for the Elderly at (208) 334-3833.

To learn more about local resources for you, a neighbor or a relative call the Eldercare Locator, operated by the U.S. Department on Aging, at 1-800-677-1116 or get more information online at