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Elder Abuse Facts

Types of Elder abuse:

Emotional or Psychological abuse
This occurs when the behavior of others causes fear or emotional distress. It includes insulting or name calling. It is when an elder is treated as though they are a child. Abuse is isolating them from their family or friends. It can be ignoring them. This form of abuse can happen through intimidation and threats. Signs to look for include:
  • They no longer want contact with their friends and family
  • They no longer communicate or respond
  • They are suddenly suspicious of everyone
Physical Abuse
This is when force results in pain or injury. It includes pushing, hitting, slapping or any other act that results in physical pain. Sometimes it is using restraints. It is also exposing to harsh conditions. It is not feeding. Whether it is done on purpose or just carelessness, it is abuse. Some signs to be aware of include:
  • Repeated and unexplainable injury
  • Bruises and grip marks
  • Restraint marks on wrists and ankles
Financial Abuse
Taking or misusing an elder's money is a type of abuse. It is when they are denied their money. It can be spending their money on things they do not approve of. Fraud and embezzlement are both forms of abuse. Sometime elders can be taken advantage of by sales persons and financial managers. Some things that may indicate financial abuse are:
  • Large withdrawals from bank accounts
  • Switching of bank accounts for no reason
  • Signatures on checks that do not match the elder's signature
Caregiver Abuse
This is the neglectful behavior of a caregiver. It can be withholding things needed to survive. This includes medication. It is when a caregiver fails to meet the elder's needs. It includes not bathing them or changing their clothes. It is over medicating them. Things that may indicate neglect include:
  • Sunken eyes, bed sores and/or weight loss
  • Extreme thirst
  • Dirty clothes or person
Sexual Abuse
Any unwanted sexual behavior is abuse. It includes forced viewing of sexual materials. It is inappropriate touching. It includes rape and sodomy. Warning signs to look for are:
  • Pornographic materials
  • Anal or vaginal bleeding
  • Bloody underclothes
  • Emergence or STD's or infections
  • Bruising on breasts or lower regions
  • Torn underclothes
Self-Neglect
Sometimes elder's neglect themselves. This usually happens as a result of depression. It can develop with the progression of dementia. Admitting that you are no longer able to care for yourself is hard. It is important to look for warning signs of self-abuse. They mirror the signs of neglect. If you notice these signs it is important to get help.

Return to the Elder Abuse Introduction
Return to the Anger and Abuse Page
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