Elder Abuse.

One in 10 seniors over the age of 65 will fall victim to exploitation or financial fraud, and this number may be low as many incidents are not reported. 

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Physical, emotional and sexual abuse happens to senior men and woman across all races and socio-economic levels. The perpetrator could be a paid guardian, a family member, or a “new best friend” who has taken on the role of caregiver. 

Financial Abuse

According to Colorado Coalition for Elderly Rights and Abuse Prevention, financial abuse is the most common form of elder victimization, and a 2011 MetLife report states that $2.9 billion was wrongfully taken from seniors that year. Unauthorized, illegal, and improper use of financial resources of the victim takes many forms: co-mingling income of the senior with that of the caregiver; denying or limiting access to bank accounts and assets; not paying for adequate care out of the senior’s accounts; frequent “gifts” or payments to the caregiver; or a change of financial documents such as powers of attorney or wills. These actions are often achieved through forgery, intimidation, deception, or threats of refusing care.  

Emotional Abuse and Neglect

An elder who shows unexplained or uncharacteristic changes is behavior, withdrawal, unexplained changes in alertness, or increased isolation may be experiencing abuse at the hands of a caregiver. Signs of abuse also include a caregiver being verbally aggressive or demeaning, as well as showing excessive concern about the senior’s spending habits.  

Failure to give medications, provide food and water, take care of basic hygiene, or provide necessities such as hearing aids or dentures are neglectful and put the adult at risk of injury. Other signs of neglect include a victim confined to bed without care, untreated bed sores, or a demented individual being left without supervision.   

About Red Rocks Investigations

Red Rocks Private Investigations is owned and operated by Elizabeth Daerr, a former news editor for a national environmental magazine and the first executive director for the Washington D.C. office of the Center for Inquiry, a national nonprofit promoting science-based policy making. During her time as a journalist, she interviewed a diverse group of high-ranking government officials, environmentalists, and local stakeholders and wrote about controversial issues on federal lands policy. She is a skilled interviewer able to build rapport and gather critical information from her subjects. As executive director, Elizabeth managed major projects such as membership growth, events and fundraising for the organization’s public policy office. Today, she uses all these skills primarily to locate witnesses and conduct investigations for personal injury attorneys. 

            Elizabeth holds a B.S. in journalism from CU-Boulder and is a graduate of the PI Academy of the Rockies. In addition, she is a member of the Colorado Society for Private Investigators, and is certified by Johns Hopkins University as a COVID-19 Contact Tracer. 

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