Elder Abuse

Types of elder abuse

Elder abuse is a term referring to any knowing, intentional, or negligent act by a caregiver or any other person that causes harm or a serious risk of harm to a vulnerable adult.

  • Physical Abuse – Slapping, hitting, beating, shoving, pushing, kicking, pinching, burning, biting, severe beatings, inappropriate restraint
  • Emotional Abuse – Inflicting mental pain, anguish
  • Sexual Abuse – Non-consensual sexual contact of any kind, sexual exhibition to rape or sodomy; Inappropriate touching; Photographing in suggestive poses; Forcing to view pornography; Forcing sexual contact; Coerced nudity
  • Exploitation – Illegal taking, misuse, or concealment of funds, property, or assets of a vulnerable elder.
  • Abandonment – The desertion of a vulnerable elder by anyone who has assumed the responsibility for care or custody of that person.
  • Neglect – Withholding appropriate attention; Intentionally failing to meet older person’s physical, social, emotional needs; Failure to provide food, water, clothing, medications; Failure to assist with activities of daily living or help with personal hygiene.
  • Emotional and Psychological Abuse – Name-calling, “Silent treatment”, Intimidate or threaten the individual; invoke fear or mental anguish; cause emotional pain or distress, or distress on an elder person through verbal or nonverbal acts
  • Financial Abuse – Misuse of older family member’s funds; Embezzlement; Fraud, forgery; Taking money under false pretences; Forced property transfers

Elder abuse can affect people of all ethnic backgrounds, social status and gender.

An extract found in one of eight commissioned papers prepared for: 2020 A Vision for Aged Care In Australia – The Myer Foundation.

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