SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WEHT) – The Illinois Department on Aging (IDoA) wants you to know the warning signs of elder abuse and how to put a stop it.

IDoA officials cite research suggesting that elder abuse is underreported with as few as 1 in 14 cases reported to the proper authorities. They said that an estimated 1 in 10 elders will experience this abuse.

In light of these statistics, Governor JB Pritzker has worked with Illinois’s Adult Protective Services (APS) to recognize World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on June 15.

“Every single person – no matter their age, gender, citizenship, sex, ability, race, or religion – deserves to feel safe and secure,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “This World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, I call on all our residents to learn about the warning signs of elder abuse so they can do their part to keep our communities safe. Illinois is committed to ensuring our older residents are treated with the respect they deserve.”

People are encouraged by APS to report any signs of suspected abuse by calling the statewide, 24-hour APS hotline at 1-866-800-1409.

According to their website, there are 8 categories of elder abuse. Here are the warning signs for each:

  • Physical Abuse
    • Grabbed/hit/pushed/pinched
    • Giving more medication than prescribed
    • Injuries that happen over and over
    • Bruises, cuts, burns
    • Going to the ER or hospital often

  • Sexual Abuse
    • Have a sexually transmitted disease but do not know how
    • Unwanted sexually touching or acts person does not agree to
    • Forced to watch sexual activity
    • Unwanted sexual language from another person
    • Sexually attacked or assaulted

  • Emotional Abuse
    • Insults/humiliates/blames the person
    • Calls person names and/or cusses at person
    • Harassing phone calls/texts/emails/social media posts
    • Talks of person dying as a good thing or that the person is a burden
    • Threatens to leave person or put person in nursing home or facility

  • Confinement
    • Markings on skin where restraints were used (tied down)
    • Person cannot get to a phone because other moved it out of reach or will not give it to the person
    • Locked in room/house and not allowed to leave the house
    • No visitors are allowed, can’t speak to family/friends on the phone
    • Giving the individual more medication than needed to make person tired or weak

  • Passive Neglect
    • Person has bed sores or skin rashes not treated
    • No food in house or spoiled food, person is underweight
    • Not getting or taking medications correctly
    • Dirty appearance/not dressed/smells/ home has no utilities, dirty, in disrepair
    • Left alone when needs help

  • Willful Deprivation
    • Other refuses to help the person
    • Other does not follow the person’s doctor orders on purpose
    • Other will not hire help for the person in the home or other services
    • Other won’t buy food clothes, or medications for the person
    • Other puts walker or wheelchair out of reach of the person

  • Financial Exploitation
    • Zero or low bank account balance
    • Not paying bills when the person has income
    • Money, medication, property stolen by someone the person knows
    • Large bank withdrawals and no receipts
    • Other using the person’s credit card/LINK card for themselves
    • Other lives with person but pay no rent and gives no money towards bills
    • Other won’t give person their own money, controls the money
  • Self Neglect
    • Underweight/No food/Can’t prepare meals or buy food
    • Lack of clothing/ Not dressed for the weather/Smells related to urine or feces
    • Hoarding animals or things
    • Not taking medications/ Not seeking medical care for physical or mental health
    • Home is dirty, dangerous, bug/rodent infestations/ no utilities or working appliances.

More information can be found at APS’ website here.