Elder abuse is any form of mistreatment that results in harm or loss to an older person. It is generally divided into the following categories:
Physical abuse is physical force that results in bodily injury, pain, or impairment. It includes assault, battery, and inappropriate restraint.
Sexual abuse is non-consensual sexual contact of any kind with an older person.
Domestic violence is an escalating pattern of violence by an intimate partner where the violence is used to exercise power and control.
Psychological abuse is the willful infliction of mental or emotional anguish by threat, humiliation, or other verbal or nonverbal conduct.
Financial abuse is the illegal or improper use of an older person's funds, property, or resources.
Neglect is the failure of a caregiver to fulfill his or her care giving duties.
Self Neglect is failure to provide for one's own essential needs.
Protective Services for Adults: The first thing to understand is you can never go wrong by reporting abuse or suspected abuse of an elder to Adult Protection Services. Adult Protection (housed in the department of Social Services) will look into the situation without revealing who made the call. Many calls to APS are just people in crisis or stressed out caregivers who need services. In these situations, the APS social worker works with Office for the Aging and other community partners to connect people to programs and services that relieve stress and improve care for the elder. If abuse is happening in any form, APS will involve the appropriate agencies including law enforcement, legal services, mental health, or others. Call Chautauqua County Protective Services for Adults at (716) 753-4447, 363-4447, or 661-7447.
Long-term Care Ombudsmenare specially trained volunteers who work with residents living in nursing facilities and adult homes to ensure their rights are protected. Ombudsmen regularly visit local facilities and can work with staff and residents to resolve minor issues or they can involve the NY State Ombudsman or NY State Department of Health for more serious cases. Ombudsmen are usually present during state audits of facilities and can be a great source of information on patient rights. Call NY Connects or People Inc. (Information: 716-817-9222, or toll-free at 1-844-527-5509). http://www.people-inc.org/senior_services_home/ombudsman_program/index.html
For more information on Elder Abuse Prevention Services or to speak with someone who can guide you call the local NY Connects Helpline at 753-4582, 363-4582, 661-7582 or For resources in other NY counties search the NY Connect State website at www.nyconnects.ny.gov. For out of state resources visitEldercare Locator at www.eldercare.gov.