Elder abuse can be found on any street and in any neighborhood. It's estimated between one and two million people over age 65 are victims., mostly abused by their caregivers.
Director Krista Hughes heads up the Division of Aging and Adult Services for the state Arkansas. She knows all too well what the stress of care giving can lead to.
"Without proper coping skills and without proper rest it's not unlikely that somebody would be pushed to the point where they just don't handle situations correctly," says Hughes.
It's more prevalent than most of us think and sadly it's seldom reported. Only one in 14 cases come to the attention of the authorities.
"And then there's financial abuse, essentially stealing from the elderly," says Dr. David. "Estimates put that number at 5 million cases a year. All of us can and should look out for those who can't look out for themselves. Know what to look for because it could be happening right next door. "
" if you see blinds drawn for days at a time that should be an alert to you. If someone used to come out to get the paper everyday and you are seeing papers that are accumulating on a lawn i would check on that"
And we must go beyond just noticing, we also need to be notifying.
"We do want neighbors to be concerned about neighbors and we do want that call," says Dr. David.
In most states, claims are checked out within 72 hours so if you suspect abuse, call your local authorities. No one should have to suffer abuse for one minute more.