The Coon Rapids Police Department has partnered with the Alexandra House, the Anoka County Attorney's Office, Anoka County Adult Protection, local community partners and the rest of the law enforcement agencies in Anoka County on a grant to combat abuse of the elderly.
The Mission and purpose of the grant is to create a collaborative approach to provide services for older adults to protect their safety and quality of life ensuring the golden years are truly golden.
The guiding principles of the grant are:
1) Focus on systems review and change
2) Enhance victim safety
3) Improve offender accountability
4) Work collaboratively
What is Elder Abuse?
Elder abuse is a term referring to any knowing, intentional, or negligent act by a caregiver or any other person that causes harm or a serious risk of harm to a vulnerable adult. This also includes domestic abuse. Each year hundreds of thousands of older people are abused, neglected, and exploited. Many victims are people who are older, frail, vulnerable and who cannot help themselves and depend on others to meet their most basic needs. Abusers of older adults are both women and men and may be family members, friends, or “trusted others". Statistics show that 1 in 10 elderly adults will be a victim of abuse. When a diagnosis of any form of dementia the numbers are a staggering 1 in 5 elderly will be a victim of abuse.
Elder Abuse is Rarely Reported
There are many obstacles in determining an accurate number of elder abuse victims each year. The main reason is the fact that elder abuse is rarely reported. Estimates show that only 1 in 14 incidents of elder abuse are reported to authorities. The reasons for this include:
Fear of retaliation by the abuser.
Fear of not being believed.
Fear of being institutionalized, removed from their home or separated from family and familiar things.
Fear of the criminal justice system.
Fear of loneliness.
Protect the Abuser
Adult children and caregivers are often the abusers and because of the guilt and shame in being abused by one's own child or by a trusted caregiver, the abuse is not reported.
An isolated older victim may not know where or how to seek help. Elders often live alone or with family members and do not interact with others in the community. Abuses may even refuse to give or transport the elderly to appointments , faith services or social gathreings.
Many victims do not seek help because they either blame themselves for the abuse or they tolerate and accept the abuse.
Inability to Report
Mental impairments: Alzheimer's disease or other forms of dementia may cause memory loss and impair the ability to communicate effectively.
Physical impairments may affect the victim's ability to get to the phone or leave the home to report abuse or a stroke may affect their ability to communicate.
Types of Elder Abuse and Warning Signs:
Characteristics of Victims
Characteristics of the Abusers
How to Report Elder Abuse
Report any suspected abuse to the Coon Rapids Police Department by calling 9-1-1, or the Minnesota Adult Abuse Reporting Center at 844-880-1574. Help us protect the elderly and give them the honor and respect they deserve.
Other Minnesota Agencies Involved in Elder Abuse Investigation
Additional Resources for information on Elder Abuse