Elder Abuse and How to Identify It

Elder abuse is harm done by a relative, friend, caregiver or person that the elder person relies on to meet their basic needs.
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Definition: Harm done by a relative, friend, caregiver or person that the elder person relies on to meet their basic needs.

Forms of Abuse

Physical
  • Assault
  • Sexual abuse
  • Restraint
Neglect
  • Abandonment
  • Failure to provide adequate nutrition, medical services or basic needs
Financial
  • Theft or misuse of money or property
  • Forceful change of will or sale of property
  • Misuse of Power of Attorney
  • Fraud, forgery or extortion
Psychological
  • Threatening, yelling, insulting, frightening or ignoring
  • Treating the elder in a child like manner
The Abused
  • They generally know and trust their abusers
  • Most are mentally competent and can make their own decisions
  • Persons who dependent on others for their care are at higher risk
The Abusers
  • Usually is someone who control or influence over the person
  • Abusers are generally dependent on the elder for money or lodging
  • Individuals who have a history of drug alcohol abuse, or family violence
Signs of Abuse
  • Unexplained physical injuries
  • Poor hygiene, Malnutrition and or Dehydration
  • Anxiety, depression, and fearfulness
  • Over-sedation
  • Unpaid bills or missing property
Why is this abuse not being reported?

Seniors do not report for fear of retaliation or punishment, fear of being placed in a home and shame if the abuser is a family member.

What can be done?

If you are being abused, suspect that someone is might be abused, or are an abuser seek help. Contact public health, a social worker, doctor, lawyer or police for advice on how to deal with the situation.

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