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 Recognize the Signs of Abuse on World Elder Abuse Day

The International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (INPEA) designated June 15, as World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD). Since then, Better Business Bureau (BBB) along with other organizations have come together to help provide resources, raise awareness and prevent elder abuse. BBB urges businesses to educate their workforce about signs of abuse and report any suspected mistreatment immediately.

The most common types of abuse are physical, emotional, financial and verbal. The National Council on Aging says approximately up to five million older Americans are abused every year, and the annual loss by victims of financial abuse is estimated to be at least $36.5 billion. 

“It’s very likely each of us has encountered someone who is experiencing some form of elder abuse,” Mechele Agbayani Mills, President and CEO of BBB Serving Central East Texas said. “We can all work together to aid in prevention.”

BBB recommends being on the lookout for the following signs of abuse:

●     Individual lacks basic hygiene, nutrition or cleanliness
●     Necessary medical aids not provided
●     Dementia patient left unsupervised

  • Individual confined to bed without care
    ●     Cluttered home, filthy, in disrepair, or having fire and safety hazards
    ●     Home without adequate facilities (heating, cooling, plumbing, electric)
    ●     Untreated pressure “bed” sores

    Financial Abuse/Exploitation 
    ●     Lack of amenities victim could afford
    ●     Giving excessive financial reimbursement/gifts for care and companionship
    ●     Caregiver controls elder’s finances without providing for elder’s needs
    ●     Elder/adult signs property transfers (Power of Attorney, new will, etc.) but is unable to comprehend the transaction or what it means

    Psychological/Emotional Abuse
    ●     Unexplained or uncharacteristic changes in behavior, such as withdrawal from normal activities
    ●     Caregiver isolates elder
    ●     Caregiver is verbally aggressive, uncaring or demeaning

    Physical/Sexual Abuse 
    ●     Inadequately explained fractures, bruises, welts, cuts, sores or burns
    ●     Unexplained sexually transmitted diseases

The Department of Justice’s Elder Justice Initiative ( features an Elder Abuse Resource, as well as financial topics and helpful resources (

To report fraudulent activity or unscrupulous business practices, please call BBB at (903)581-5704 or use BBB Scam Tracker. Always look for the BBB seal; it’s the Sign of a Better BusinessSM

About BBB: BBB is a nonprofit, business-supported organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior. Most BBB services to consumers are free of charge. BBB provides objective advice, free BBB Business Profiles on more than 5.3 million companies, 11,000 charity reviews, dispute resolution services, alerts and educational information on topics affecting marketplace trust. Visit for more information. BBB Serving Central East Texas was founded in 1985 and serves 19 counties.

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