THE PROFILE… WHO IS BEING ABUSED?
Although it can happen to any older person, more often the usual “target” victim appears frail, has no family or friends nearby, has memory problems, and depends on others for help with activities of everyday life, such as bathing, dressing, and taking medications.
The abuse, sometimes called elder mistreatment, can happen in the older person’s home, a family member’s house, an assisted living facility, or a nursing home.
TYPES OF ABUSE:
- Physical abuse: Someone causes bodily harm by hitting, pushing, or slapping
- Emotional/psychological abuse: Someone says, yells, or screams hurtful words, repeatedly ignores the older person, and/or prevents that person from seeing close friends and relatives
- Neglect: Caretaker repeatedly does not respond to the person’s needs
- Abandonment: Caregiver repeatedly leaves a person alone without planning for his/her care
- Sexual abuse: Inappropriate and/or forceful sexual advances
- Financial abuse: Money (may occur using credit cards or bank accounts and is increasingly accomplished via the Internet) and/or belongings are taken without permission or through manipulation
- Healthcare fraud: May be committed by doctors, hospital staff, or other healthcare workers
SIGNS OF ABUSE:
(often combinations of the following are evident)
- Difficulty sleeping
- Appears fearful, depressed and/or withdrawn
- Unexplained bruises, scars
- Unexplained weight loss
- Appears frightened and/or agitated
- Looks disheveled/unkempt
- Stops taking part in activities he/she once enjoyed
ELDER ABUSE WON’T STOP ON ITS OWN. MANY OLDER PEOPLE ARE TOO ASHAMED AND AFRAID TO REPORT IT.
IF YOU SUSPECT ELDER ABUSE, GET HELP!
If you think someone is in urgent danger, call 911 or your local police.
If you’re not sure how to proceed, call: