World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is on June 15 and the state’s departments of Aging and Job and Family Services are asking all Ohioans to learn the warning signs of elder abuse so they can protect their loved ones and neighbors.

“While we work every day to empower elders to remain independent and vital, we also know that they are often the targets of abuse,” said Beverley Laubert, interim director of the Ohio Department of Aging. “We are committed to empowering individuals, families and communities so that no elder is victimized again.”

Elder abuse can take many forms, from neglect and abandonment to financial, emotional, physical or sexual abuse.

MORE: Abuse is “silent epidemic” among older population, experts say

Warning signs of elder abuse may include:

  • Changes in an older adult’s physical appearance, such as weight loss or unexplained bruising or bleeding
  • Changes in an older adult’s personality or mood
  • Becoming withdrawn, depressed, agitated or not participating in activities they enjoy
  • Changes in an older adult’s finances or money management
  • A dominating, threatening caregiver or new “best friend”
  • Exclusion from other family members or friends
  • Changes in an older adult’s home environment

The National Center on Elder Abuse reports that about one in ten Americans age 60 and over have experienced elder abuse in some form.

The departments of Aging and Job and Family Services want all Ohioans to know who they can turn to if they feel they know someone who is a victim of elder abuse.

Each county’s job and family services department receives and investigates reports of abuse, neglect and exploitation, and evaluates the need for protective services.

To report suspected abuse, call the statewide, toll-free helpline at 1-855-644-6277 (1-855-OHIO-APS).

To report suspected abuse in a nursing home or assisted living facility, or by staff of a home care agency, call the State Ombudsman’s Office toll-free at 1-800-282-1206.

Get connected to local Area Agency on Aging 11, call 330-505-2300 or visit them online.