10% of Americans over 60 have experienced some form of elder abuse

Elderly Abuse Awareness Day
Published: Jun. 15, 2022 at 7:47 PM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - The National Council on Aging says one in 10 Americans over the age of 60 has experienced some form of elder abuse.

At the Lake Charles senior center, Bridget Joseph works with older people everyday. She said it breaks her heart to hear cases of them being mistreated.

“It’s unfortunate to find out that in our community, we have elderly people that are being misused, mistreated, forgotten about, and we don’t want that to happen,” Bridget Joseph with the Lake Charles Senior Center said.

In 2021, the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office had 33 cases of cruelty to the infirmed. So far, 7 cases have been reported in 2022. That’s not counting financial abuse cases.

“Most of what we see is not physical abuse. So you do see at times a caregiver or maybe in a nursing home or somewhere where there is physical neglect or physical abuse. Most of what we see is somebody taking advantage of the elderly. and that could be by phone or text or mail,” commander Gene Pittman said.

Lake Charles resident Leroy Stevenson said his mother was a victim of a phone scam.

“You hate to see people being taken advantage of, especially at the age of 91. Elderly people are kind of a lost group. you know a lot of time people focus on the youngsters and teenagers,” Stevenson said.

Now, the Sheriff’s Office is sharing tips on recognizing signs of abuse, whether it be physical, verbal, or financial. Commander Pittman said to watch out for bruising or unexpected weight loss.

“Or when in the presence of their caregiver, maybe not making eye contact or looking for the caregiver to give them permission to speak. Scared or upset whenever the caregiver or perpetrator is in the room,” Pittman said.

Joseph said the senior center is working to ensure the elderly population in Lake Charles doesn’t have to live in fear.

“Here at the Lake Charles Senior Center, we pride ourselves on taking care of our seniors- and I’m one of them!,” Joseph said.

The Governor’s Office for Elderly Affairs wants to make sure seniors in the lake area know that there are resources available. CLICK HERE for more information on those resources.

To report any form of elderly abuse, you can contact the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office, or the Elderly Protective Services hotline is (833) 577-6532.

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