Elder abuse occurs when someone in power intentionally harms or puts a senior individual at risk. Despite elder abuse becoming a prevalent issue in society, many cases go unreported, causing further exploitation and neglect of elderly persons.
If you have a senior loved one in your care or a nursing home, it’s essential to understand the different types of elder abuse to protect them.
Here are five types of elder abuse.
1. Physical abuse
This is the intentional use of force against a senior individual, leading to physical harm, pain, or death. Some physical signs of abuse include:
• Broken bones
• Tooth loss
• Dislocated joints
If your loved one is continuously hospitalized for the same or similar injuries, they may be experiencing physical abuse.
2. Emotional or psychological abuse
These are intentional actions that cause mental pain, distress, and fear. Generally, emotional abuse is verbal, taking the form of threats, insults, intimidation, harassment, and humiliation. However, it can take non-verbal forms, like when a caregiver isolates an older person.
3. Sexual abuse
This is forced, unwanted, or non-consensual sex with an older person. Sexual contact with an elderly individual who is too confused to understand what’s happening is also considered sexual abuse. Some common forms of sexual abuse include forced nudity, sexually explicit photography, and unwanted touching.
Elder neglect occurs when a caregiver fails to fulfill their duty to provide care to an older person, causing harm or risk of injury. For instance, failure to provide an elderly individual with food, shelter, clothing, and basic comfort is considered neglect.
Many people often use neglect and abandonment interchangeably. However, the latter refers to the total desertion of an older person. For example, leaving a victim at a shopping mall or at home, forcing them to fend for themselves. This often leads to a great deal of pain and confusion.
Remember, regardless of the type, elder abuse can be detrimental to the health and well being of your loved one. Click to learn more about elder abuse laws in California and how you can protect your loved one.