Elder Abuse

Elder abuse is more common than you might think. Learn to spot the warning signs and what you can do to help.

 

Elder abuse tends to take place where the senior lives: where their abusers are often adult children, other family members such as grandchildren, or a spouse or partner. Elder abuse can also occur in institutional settings, especially long-term care facilities.

Abuse of elders takes many different forms, some involving intimidation or threats against the elderly, some involving neglect, and others involving financial trickery.

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Elder abuse includes physical, emotional, or sexual harm inflicted upon an older adult, their financial exploitation, or neglect of their welfare by people who are directly responsible for their care. In the U.S. alone, more than half a million reports of elder abuse reach authorities every year, and millions more cases go unreported.

As older adults become more physically frail, they’re less able to take care of themselves, stand up to bullying, or fight back if attacked. Mental or physical ailments can make them more trying companions for those who live with them. And they may not see or hear as well or think as clearly as they used to, leaving openings for unscrupulous people to take advantage of them.

Elder abuse tends to take place where the senior lives: where their abusers are often adult children, other family members such as grandchildren, or a spouse or partner. Elder abuse can also occur in institutional settings, especially long-term care facilities.

If you suspect that an elderly person is at risk from a neglectful or overwhelmed caregiver, or being preyed upon financially, it’s important to speak up. Everyone deserves to live in safety, with dignity and respect. These guidelines can help you recognize the warning signs of elder abuse, understand what the risk factors are, and learn how to prevent and report the problem.

Physical elder abuse – The non-accidental use of force against an elderly person that results in physical pain, injury, or impairment. Such abuse includes not only physical assaults such as hitting or shoving but the inappropriate use of drugs, restraints, or confinement.

Emotional elder abuse – The treatment of an older adult in ways that cause emotional or psychological pain or distress.

Sexual elder abuse – Contact with an elderly person without their consent. Such contact can involve physical sex acts, but activities such as showing an elderly person pornographic material, forcing the person to watch sex acts, or forcing the elder to undress are also considered sexual elder abuse

Elder neglect – Failure to fulfill a care taking obligation. This constitutes more than half of all reported cases of elder abuse. It can be intentional or unintentional, based on factors such as ignorance or denial that an elderly charge needs as much care as they do.

Financial exploitation – The unauthorized use of an elderly person’s funds or property, either by a caregiver or an outside scam artist.

Healthcare fraud and abuse – Carried out by unethical doctors, nurses, hospital personnel, accountants and other professional care providers.

How True North Investigations can Assist:

True North Investigations will quickly provide surveillance findings and aid in the need to report to Adult Protective Services (APS). APS will provide social services to ensure the safety and well-being of elders and adults with disabilities.