What is Elder Abuse?
Elder abuse is any action or inaction by self or others that jeopardizes the health or well-being of an older adult. This includes physical, emotional, psychological, financial, sexual, or medication abuse, as well as passive or active neglect.
Physical abuse includes any kind of physical assault such as slapping, pushing, kicking, punching, or injuring with an object or weapon. It also includes deliberate exposure to severe weather, inappropriate use of medication, and unnecessary physical restraint.
Sexual abuse includes any kind of forced sexual activity.
Psychological abuse includes humiliation, isolation, threats, and inappropriate control of activities. Removal of decision-making power when the elderly person is still competent to make his/her own decision is also considered psychological abuse.
Financial abuse includes the misuse of the elderly person’s funds or property through fraud, trickery, or force.
This is the misuse of an older person’s medications and prescriptions on purpose or by accident. It may include withholding medication, over-medicating, or not complying with prescription refills.
Neglect is any lack of action required to meet the needs of an elderly person. It includes inadequate provision of food, clothing, shelter, required medication, or other kinds of health and personal care, as well as social companionship.
Passive neglect is the unintentional failure to fulfill a caretaking obligation, infliction of distress without wilful or conscious intent, etc.
Active neglect is the intentional failure to fulfill caregiving obligations; infliction of physical or emotional stress or injury; abandonment; denial of food, medication, personal hygiene, etc.