5 Types of Elder Abuse and Their Symptoms
As the population ages, cases of elder abuse are expected to rise. Unfortunately, only one in every fourteen cases of such abuse is reported. To prevent elder abuse, it is important to be aware of the issue and take steps to protect the elderly from exploitation, injury, and mistreatment. By recognizing the signs of elder abuse and taking action, we can ensure that our elders are safe and secure. Here are five types of elder abuse:
1. Physical Abuse
Physical abuse of elderly people is the intentional infliction of harm or injury on an older person. This can include hitting, pushing, shaking, slapping, using inappropriate drugs or restraints, or confining the person against their will. The signs of this type of abuse may include bruises, marks from pressure, broken bones, and burns on the body.
2. Sexual Abuse
Sexual elder abuse is any form of unwanted contact with an elderly person that is of a sexual nature. This form of abuse can include physical contact, such as unwanted touching of sexual organs, and non-physical acts, like forcing an elderly person to watch sexual activities or showing them pornographic material. Signs of sexual elder abuse can include bruises on the genitals or breasts.
3. Emotional Abuse
Emotional or psychological abuse of the elderly involves behavior that causes emotional harm or distress. This can include verbally intimidating or belittling an elderly person or nonverbal forms such as ignoring them, isolating them from social activities, or frightening them. Signs of psychological abuse may be seen in the elderly person’s withdrawal from usual activities, a sudden change in alertness, or even depression.
4. Financial Exploitation
Financial exploitation of the elderly is a form of elder abuse in which someone takes advantage of an elderly person’s resources for their own benefit. This could involve a caregiver or family member misusing an elderly person’s checks, credit cards, or accounts, stealing cash, or engaging in identity theft. It could also involve an outside scam artist, such as through a prize offer that requires money to claim or a fraudulent investment scheme. Signs to look out for include a sudden change in the elderly person’s finances.
5. Neglect or Abandonment
Neglect of the elderly is a form of mistreatment that occurs when a caregiver does not provide the necessary care and attention to an elderly person. This can be either intentional or unintentional, but the result is the same: the elderly person’s needs are not being met. Signs of neglect include bedsores, lack of hygiene, unexplained weight loss, and hostile interactions between the caregiver and elderly person. These can be indicative of a lack of adequate care and attention.
Elder abuse is a serious issue that needs to be addressed. Many types of elder abuse include physical, emotional, financial, sexual, and neglect. Each type of abuse can have serious consequences for the elderly, resulting in physical, emotional, and financial harm.
It is important for individuals to be aware of the signs of elder abuse and to take steps to protect elderly individuals from abuse. As a society, we must work together to increase awareness of the issue, create supportive environments for the elderly, and ensure that those who engage in elder abuse are held accountable.
Melanie Bossie, Mary Ellen Reilly and Donna Oh founded Bossie, Reilly, and Oh to continue their mission to hold nursing homes, hospitals, group homes and assisted living facilities accountable for the abuse and neglect of elders and vulnerable adults. 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.