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Learn About Elder Abuse On Elder Abuse Awareness Day

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Learn About Elder Abuse On Elder Abuse Awareness Day

Governor Lee has declared Thursday Elder Abuse Awareness Day in Tennessee.

Trent Carter is an Advocate with UCDD’s Area Agency on Aging and Disability. He said perpetrators often try to keep the victim isolated.

“The perpetrator, perpetrating the elder abuse or neglect whether that’s financially, emotionally, physically or all three, is typically a relative or a close non-relative of the victim,” Carter said.

Carter said the perpetrator may instruct the victim to remain indoors or avoid activities for health reasons.

Carter said perpetrators develop a strong bond with their victim and the victim may believe that their abuser is the only person who cares about them or who can take care of them.

“If an elder is very defensive about a relationship when you ask questions, then that may be a sign that they are being abused,” Carter said.

Carter said during COVID online schemes grew with the elderly using Facebook and other social sites for interaction. He said that false identities, changing IP addresses and other abuses make it nearly impossible to track the perpetrators.

“If you look at their bank statements and notice that there are large gaps and large withdrawals, and again you question them and they become defensive or they give a story that doesn’t seem quite right, then that might be a sign that they are being financially exploited,” Carter said.

Carter said if you suspect elder abuse of any sort, whether you are out in public at a store or you see someone at church, Tennessee requires that you report suspected abuse.

Anonymous reports may be made to  or you can call 1-888-277-8366. Carter said calling is the best way to report because the advocate who answers the phone can help make sure you give all the pertinent information.


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