County prosecutor launches Elder and Disabled Persons Abuse Hotline

St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Wesley Bell has launched a new Elder and Disabled Persons Abuse Hotline in March. Anyone with evidence of an elderly or disabled person being abused in St. Louis County should call 314-960-6100.

The hotline is staffed by a prosecutor or a staff member with a background in social work. A staff member will return each call and ask to speak with the witness and/or victim to document evidence of any abuse and to evaluate the case for referral to a police detective and/or prosecution.

If it is an emergency, the witness or victim should first call 911 for emergency services.

“It’s that age-old adage: If you see something, say something,” Bell said. “If you see someone harming or neglecting an elderly or disabled person, call our hotline and say something to somebody who can stop the abuse and suffering and hold the abuser accountable. Our police partners and this office will not tolerate any abuse of our most vulnerable citizens.”

According to the National Institute on Aging, there are many types of abuse: physical, emotional, sexual, abandonment, financial and neglect. 

Watch for these signs of abuse in an elder:

  • seems depressed, confused, or withdrawn
  • becomes isolated from friends and family
  • has unexplained bruises, burns, or scars
  • appears dirty, underfed, dehydrated, over-or undermedicated, or not receiving needed care for medical problems
  • has bed sores or other preventable conditions
  • changes in banking or spending patterns.

“It takes a village to protect our most vulnerable members,” Bell said. “No matter where you see abuse – in the home, in a facility, in the community, at work – please report it immediately.”