Elder Abuse is the infliction of physical, emotional or psychological harm on a vulnerable older adult. Abuse can happen in the elderly person’s own home, family member’s home or in a care facility.

Types of Elder Abuse

  • Physical Abuse: Hitting, slapping, punching, choking, kicking, spitting, pinching, hair pulling, burning, shooting, stabbing, physical neglect through denial of food or medication, inappropriate personal medical care, rough handling or confinement, force feeding.
  • Emotional/Psychological Abuse: Putting the person down, making fun of activities or talents, twisting reality to make the person think they are crazy, removal of decision making power although the person is competent to make their own decisions, threats of harm, controlling who you see and what you do.
  • Financial Abuse: Misuse of an elderly person’s money or property through trickery, fraud, theft or force, taking cheques, stealing items.
  • Neglect: When an elderly persons basic needs are not being met such as clothing, shelter, medical care, health, personal care, social needs, being locked in or confined to a room.
  • Self Neglect: Behaviour of an elderly person that threatens his/her own health and safety. Self Neglect includes refusal or failure to provide him or herself with adequate food, water, clothing, shelter, personal hygiene, medication and safety precautions.
  • Sexual Abuse: Unwanted sexual contact including touching, sexual assault or rape.

Indicators

  • Frequent arguments between the elderly person and caregiver
  • Changes in personality or behaviour
  • Signs of injury such as bruises, cuts, scars, dislocations, sprains, fractures
  • Caregiver’s refusal to allow you to see the elderly person alone
  • Signs of being restrained
  • Malnutrition, weight loss, dehydration
  • Bed sores
  • Unsanitary living conditions
  • Unsafe living conditions
  • Significant withdrawals from elderly person’s bank account
  • Changes in financial situation
  • Items missing
  • Problems with care facility
  • Changes in will or power of attorney
  • Evidence of inadequate medical care