It is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day today, 15 June, which draws attention to the need to:
Provide Support To Older Adults That Are Victims
Raise Public Awareness Of Elder Abuse
Minimise Harm To Older Adults And Having Interventions That Support Them
Support Older Adults At The Centre Of Any Decisions For Their Well-being
Empower Older Adults To Know Their Rights And Exercise Them
Here are the eight most common forms of elder abuse:
- Self-Neglect – Refusal or failure to provide himself/herself with adequate food, water, clothing, shelter, personal hygiene, medication (when indicated), and safety precaution.
- Physical Abuse – The use of physical force that may result in bodily injury, physical pain, or impairment; or any physical injury to an adult caused by other than accidental means.
- Neglect by Others – Failure to provide the basic care, or services necessary to maintain the health and safety of an adult: this failure can be active or passive.
- Sexual Abuse – Sexual contact with a non-consenting adult or with an adult considered incapable of consenting to a sexual act.
- Financial Abuse – The illegal or unethical exploitation and/or use of an elder’s funds, property, or other assets.
- Mental Abuse – Verbal or emotional abuse includes threatening significant physical harm or threatening or causing significant emotional harm to an adult e.g. abusive language, harassment, threats, intimidation, humiliation, mental cruelty, or inappropriate sexual comments.
- Abandonment – the desertion or wilful neglect by anyone having responsibility for care.
- Isolation – Preventing the individual from receiving mail, telephone calls, or visitors.
How to Recognize Abuse
Don’t Miss the Signs of Abuse
- Lack of basic amenities
- Cluttered, filthy living environment
- Unexplained or uncharacteristic changes in behaviour
- Unexplained sexually transmitted diseases
- Unpaid bills, new credit cards and/or increased cash withdrawals
- Harassment, coercion, intimidation, humiliation
- Caregiver isolates elder