The signs of elder abuse:
- Bank withdrawals that are inconsistent with an older person's typical bank activity.
- New authorized signers on person's accounts, or changes in beneficiaries.
- Increased activity on credit card accounts.
- Caregiver, relative or friend showing excessive interest in person's finances or assets, or who doesn't allow an older person to speak for himself or herself.
- Suspicious bruises or other injuries.
- Sudden change in behavior. (Person is extremely upset, withdrawn, unresponsive.)
Where to turn for help:
- The elder care locator (1-800-677-1116), for a referral to a local agency that can help.
- Your local Adult Protective Services, the government agency responsible for investigating cases, intervening and providing help.
Carole Fleck is a senior editor at the AARP Bulletin. Talia Schmidt is a Bulletin intern.