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Yuma Neighbors Helping Neighbors: How to Identify Elder Abuse

Yuma is a great community of people, sometimes referred to as Yumans, and many of which are senior citizens.  As part of a Yuma Neighbor Helping Neighbors series, Yuma Senior Living will provide a series of educational articles of how we can support different Yumans within our city.

Identifying elder abuse requires vigilance and awareness of potential signs and symptoms. Here are some common indicators across different types of elder abuse:

1.      Physical Abuse: Unexplained injuries such as bruises, burns, fractures, or marks, especially if they occur repeatedly or have implausible explanations. Fear of a spouse, family member or “friend”, or reluctance to speak openly about injuries may also be signs of physical abuse.

2.      Emotional or Psychological Abuse: Behavioral changes such as withdrawal, depression, anxiety, or unexplained changes in mood. Verbal threats, insults, humiliation, or controlling behaviors from family members can also indicate emotional abuse.

3.      Financial Abuse: Sudden changes in financial situation, unexplained withdrawals or transfers of money, missing valuables, unpaid bills despite adequate financial resources, and the sudden appearance of new "friends" or acquaintances who seem overly interested in the elder's finances.

4.      Neglect: Signs of inadequate care such as poor hygiene, unattended medical needs, malnutrition, dehydration, unsanitary living conditions, or lack of appropriate clothing or medication. Bedsores or pressure ulcers may also indicate neglect in bedridden individuals.

5.      Sexual Abuse: Bruises, unexplained injuries to genital areas, torn or bloody underclothing, sexually transmitted infections, or changes in behavior such as sudden fear of physical contact or withdrawal from social activities.

6.      Self-Neglect: Seniors may neglect their own needs due to physical or mental health issues, leading to signs such as poor personal hygiene, unsafe living conditions, failure to take prescribed medications, or neglect of medical or dental needs.

7.      Isolation: Intentional isolation or restriction of social contact by caregivers or family members, preventing the elder from interacting with friends, family, or other support networks.

If you suspect elder abuse, it's important to act. You can report your concerns to Arizona Adult Protective Services at or call (877) 767-2385, Yuma law enforcement, or other Yuma organizations specializing in elder abuse prevention. Additionally, reaching out to Yuma Senior Living, healthcare professionals, social workers, or legal advisors can provide guidance and support in addressing the situation.

Feel free to give us a call at (928) 388-6858 to learn more on we can support our fellow Yuman seniors.


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