Elder Abuse and Elder Neglect: Understanding the Difference
Elder abuse and elder neglect are two of the most serious issues facing seniors today. While both involve mistreatment of the elderly, it’s important to understand the difference between the two. To help simplify things, we thought it would be useful to put together a brief article about this subject. If this is something that you want. to learn more about, read on as we breakdown what you need to know to understand the difference between elder abuse and elder neglect.
What is Elder Abuse?
Elder abuse is a serious problem that affects millions of elderly people each year. Elder abuse is defined as any knowing, intentional, or negligent act by a caregiver or any other person that causes harm or a serious risk of harm to a vulnerable elder. Elder abuse can take many forms, including physical, emotional, financial, and neglect.
Physical abuse of an elder can range from slapping, hitting, or pushing to more serious forms of physical abuse such as sexual assault or battery. Physical abuse can also include restraint of an elder’s movement or the use of medications to control their behavior.
Emotional abuse of an elder can include verbal insults, threats, intimidation, humiliation, and isolation. This type of abuse can also include the refusal to provide necessary social contact or emotional support.
Financial abuse of an elder can include stealing or misusing an elder’s money or property, or taking advantage of an elder’s mental or physical incapacity to gain access to their finances.
Neglect of an elder can involve the refusal or failure to provide an elder with necessary food, clothing, shelter, medical care, or protection from harm, or the failure to help an elder meet their basic needs.
What is Elder Neglect?
Elder neglect is an often overlooked form of elder abuse that occurs when an elderly person is not provided with the necessary care and support they need to live a safe and healthy life. Elder neglect can take many forms, from physical neglect to emotional neglect. It can include failing to provide adequate food, water, clothing, hygiene, medical care, and supervision. It can also include financial exploitation, such as taking advantage of an elderly person’s finances or property.
Elder neglect can have serious consequences, including physical and mental health issues, social isolation, and even death. It is estimated that up to one in ten elderly people experience some form of elder neglect. Unfortunately, elder neglect is often overlooked because the elderly are particularly vulnerable and often unable to speak up for themselves.
If you suspect elder neglect is occurring, it is important to take action. Contact the local adult protective services or law enforcement to report your suspicions. You can also contact the elderly person’s doctor or a local elder abuse hotline. It is also important to ensure the elderly person has access to social services and support, such as meals on wheels, home health care, and legal and financial assistance.
What’s the Difference Between Elder Abuse and Elder Neglect?
The terms “elder abuse” and “elder neglect” are often used interchangeably, but they are actually quite different. Elder abuse is defined as any type of harm or mistreatment inflicted upon an elderly person, while elder neglect is the failure to provide an elderly person with the basic necessities of life, such as food, shelter, medical care, and social interaction.
Elder abuse can take many forms, including physical, emotional, or sexual abuse, financial exploitation, and neglect. Physical abuse is the intentional use of physical force that results in bodily injury, pain, or impairment. Emotional abuse is the use of verbal or nonverbal acts to threaten, intimidate, humiliate, or otherwise psychologically harm an elderly person. Sexual abuse is any type of sexual contact without the elderly person’s consent. Financial exploitation is the unauthorized use of an elderly person’s funds or assets for the benefit of another. Neglect is the failure to provide an elderly person with the basic necessities of life, such as food, shelter, medical care, and social interaction.
Elder neglect is usually unintentional, as it is usually caused by a caregiver’s lack of knowledge or resources, rather than malicious intent. It is important to note that elder neglect can be just as damaging as elder abuse, as it can lead to physical, emotional, and financial harm.
Our firm has litigated hundreds of elder abuse and neglect cases and recovered many six- and seven-figure settlements and verdicts for our clients. We firmly believe that the elderly and most vulnerable in our community deserve a voice, and we take pride in advocating for them. If you need an elder abuse lawyer in Phoenix, AZ, get in touch with us today.