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The different types of elder abuse

Much research shows that the elderly experience a high rate of abuse. In recent years, some evidence shows that this level has only increased due to a multitude of reasons.

Seniors have the potential to fall victim to several different types of manipulation or mistreatment.

Physical, emotional and financial abuse

According to the National Council on Aging, elder abuse takes many different forms. Physical abuse, for example, refers to the physical pain or injury inflicted upon an older adult. Sexual abuse refers to any type of unwanted physical intimacy forced upon a member of the senior community, ranging from fondling to sexual intercourse.

Emotional abuse involves any type of harassment, intimidation, verbal assaults and verbal cruelty toward a senior. The following types of abuse also impact seniors:

  • Passive neglect where the victim’s basic needs remain unmet
  • Confinement where the victim cannot leave the home or care facility
  • Willful deprivation where a person withholds medical treatment
  • Financial abuse where a person takes monetary advantage of a senior

The perpetrators of abuse include family members such as children or spouses. Occupational caregivers, senior facilities and scammers also engage in elderly abuse.

Warning signs of abuse

Different types of abuse have different signs. Physical abuse can result in scars, wounds and broken bones, while emotional abuse often shows up in a person’s change in behavior such as withdrawal or signs of depression.

In cases of financial abuse, the victim could become anxious about financial matters and have a reduced ability to meet expenses. Any unexplained reduction in the ability of a senior to meet the demands of life could point toward potential elder abuse.

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