What Is Elder Abuse and Neglect?

Elder abuse and neglect involve physical, sexual, or emotional harm inflicted on an elderly person. Patients in care homes often get financially exploited and abused by those supposed to care for them.

In the United States, there are nearly half a million reports of elder abuse or elder neglect. Here is everything you need to know about signs of elder abuse to protect your loved one.

Why do Elder Abuse and Neglect Happen?

As adults become older, they are more physically frail. This makes them less capable of taking care of themselves, which is why they become the perfect target for abusers.

Someone with malicious intentions may try to exploit an elderly person financially if they cannot fight back to bullying due to physical or mental ailments.

Many patients may also not hear or see well while in a nursing home. This can leave more openings for others to take advantage of them.

Where Elder Abuse Takes Place?

Elder abuse can happen at any place where the senior citizen lives. Most of the time, the abusers are typically children or grandchildren seeking financial gain.

Elder abuse can also occur in long-term care facilities by staff members. It is always easier to keep an eye on things at home.

However, you may not know what is going on between a senior citizen and their caregiver if you do not watch them all the time. Click here to learn more online about how dangerous nursing homes can be if you are not careful.

elder abuse definition

According to WHO “Elder abuse is a single or repeated act, or lack of appropriate action, occurring within any relationship where there is an expectation of trust, which causes harm or distress to an older person” 

Types of Elder Abuse

Elderly people can get abused in many forms. Some of these may involve threats and intimidation. Others can lead to violent behavior. Here are the most common signs you need to look for:

Physical Elder Abuse

This is where a caregiver may be physically harming a senior citizen. You should be able to see signs of injuries or physical pain. The next time you visit a loved one in care, always check for bruises, cuts, and scratches.

Emotional Elder Abuse

This type of elder abuse is difficult to monitor because there may not be obvious signs. Psychological or emotional pain is always challenging to prove.

However, you should check if seniors in the nursing home are being yelled at or threatened. Are caregivers ignoring an elderly person or isolating them from family and friends?

Sexual Elder Abuse

Sexual elder abuse involves a lack of consent. If you discover that an elderly patient is being coerced into intimate acts or is exposed to pornography against their will, you should immediately call your local attorney to press charges.

Financial Exploitation

If someone uses an elderly person’s assets and funds without authorization, they are most likely a scam artist. They may misuse their patient’s credit cards, steal cash, force their signature, or engage in identity theft.

Some of the most common scams are grand prizes where an elderly person must pay money to claim.

Get Help Today

Now that you know all about elder abuse and neglect, you should research reputable attorneys in your area. They can help you fight for justice if you suspect that someone has harmed your loved one.

If you enjoyed reading this elder care guide, check out some of our other posts for more information.

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