Any person can suffer abuse, regardless of age, religion, sex or cultural background. Unfortunately, thousands of individuals over the age of 60 face exploitation, abuse and neglect every year.
According to the National Institute on Aging, there are various forms of elder abuse that caregivers, family members, strangers and friends may direct towards senior loved ones.
Emotional abuse and manipulation
When caregivers take out their anger on their patients, this results in emotional abuse. Sometimes, caregivers become overworked and because of it, they yell, threaten or say harmful things to the older adult. Facilities can avoid emotional abuse by providing a less stressful environment for the workers. Your loved one should never encounter psychological cruelty in a care facility.
Physical abuse and injuries
When you think of abuse, you may automatically think of physical abuse. While not the only form, physical abuse can result in serious injuries. Some examples of physical abuse include slapping, pushing or restraining an adult against his or her will. For instance, strapping a patient to the bed for long periods in unnecessary circumstances constitutes physical abuse.
Financial abuse and loss
Some people look at older adults as easy targets for financial scams. On the one hand, many older adults have money saved away and on the other, people may find it easy to gain the trust of an older person. An abuser may forge checks, use a person’s credit card or access bank accounts without permission. A common abuse method is to convince the older adult to change names on the will, life insurance policies or bank accounts.
The only way to help in the fight against abuse against seniors is to be aware of the signs when they happen. Catching abuse early may help reduce its impact on your loved one.