Elder Abuse is any action or inaction that results in harm or threatened harm to the health or welfare of a senior. It involves coercive control which can include: financial exploitation, emotional, physical abuse or neglect.
Every year an estimated 2.1 million older Americans are victims of abuse and neglect. For every reported case of abuse it is estimated that 5 or more cases go unreported.
- Female over the age of 80
- Isolation and/or dependence on caregivers
- Physical or mental impairment
- History of mental illness
- Personal or family history of abuse
General Signs of Abuse
The following are some of the warning signs for elder abuse:
- Changes in personality or behavior, withdrawn, passive or fearful especially around their caregiver
- Delay in seeking medical treatment, unkempt appearance, dirty or inappropriate clothing, missing dentures, glasses, hearing aid
- Discrepancy between income and standard of living
- Unavailability to visitors or callers, visits monitored by caregiver
- Missing checks, income or possessions, changes in will, power of attorney or policies
- Unexplained or frequent injuries or broken bones
If you suspect elder abuse, here are some Albany County agencies and programs you can talk to anonymously about your concerns:
If someone is in immediate danger, call 911 or the local police for immediate help.
Albany County Adult Protective Services
Serves anyone 18 years or older, regardless of income who are in danger of being mistreated or neglected and are unable to take care of themselves or protect themselves from harm. Caseworkers will investigate reports, assess for risk, develop a care plan, assist with supportive services and take legal action if warranted. Adult Protective Services can be contacted by calling Albany County NY-Connects at (518) 447-7177.
Equinox Elder Abuse Project
Provides counseling, case management, shelter, and legal advocacy to elder victims of domestic abuse. Call (518) 434–6135 or click here to visit their website.
S.A.L.T. Seniors and Law Enforcement Together
The Albany County District Attorney has organized a Senior Citizen Advisory Council to address issues related to adult abuse and crimes against the elderly. To talk to one of the Adult Abuse Staff members, call (518) 447-7258 or click here to visit their website.
Albany County Department for Aging’s Elder Law Attorney
Legal Aid of Northeastern New York can provide Albany County seniors with legal advice and representation on civil legal issues including abuse, neglect, exploitation or fraud. Click here for more information about this program.
Albany County Crime Victim and Sexual Violence Center
The Center provides free information, referral services, confidential counseling and criminal advocacy to crime victims; and maintains a 24 hour sexual assault hotline ((518) 447-7716). For more information call (518) 447-7100 or click here to visit their website.
Additional Resources and Information
The New York State Attorney General
The New York State Attorney General website has information and downloadable guides on a variety of topics including: crime victims' rights, health care proxy, identity theft, consumer tips, credit issues, tenant's rights, and tips on choosing a health care plan. To contact the AG's office, call (518) 474-7330.
The Administration on Aging’s National Center on Elder Abuse
The Administration on Aging’s National Center on Elder Abuse website provides comprehensive information about elder abuse. It helps define the forms of abuse, statistics, the laws protecting seniors, and how to help.
911 Cell Phone
The FCC mandates that any used/charged cell phones can call 911 operator in case of emergency (even if the phone is not currently receiving service).
Albany County Adult Protective Services
Seniors (or others concerned about a senior) dealing with financial abuse, self-neglect or neglect by a caregiver, physical abuse, emotional/verbal or sexual abuse, can contact Albany County Adult Protective Services at (518) 447-7100. For more information, see the National Center on Elder Abuse.
The Elder Abuse Project
Seniors can receive support and information from this program. Services include safety planning, support and counseling, case management, advocacy, shelter medical needs assessment, and referrals for legal counseling. Call the 24-hour hotline at 432-7865 for more information.
National Crime Prevention Council
The National Crime Prevention Council website has two downloadable documents that provide home and neighborhood safety tips for seniors to prevent crime.