Knowing the signs of elder abuse and how to stop it

STAUNTON, Va. (WHSV) — Rhonda Moore, a patient advocate with Intrepid Hospice, says elder abuse can occur in any part of a senior's life, whether it be physical, mental, social or financial, and it is often hidden and ignored.

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The elderly population is most commonly targeted for scams, Moore says, and they do not always admit if they are a victim.

Moore says scammers will call and try to scare people into sending them money. Another common scam in the area is tricking people into thinking they have won a prize where they have to send in money to claim it.

Elder abuse can also happen in care facilities, Moore says. Family members may be aware of what is going on, but also fear continued abuse to their loved one if they speak out against any mistreatment.

"Check in frequently to see if they have what they need, if anything is going on," Moore said, "and just be aware that senior abuse is very prevalent and can be hidden, and that we need to look for signs."

Bruises, bed sores and weight loss are a few signs to look for in spotting elder abuse.

If you suspect that something is wrong, you should contact the Department of Social Services.