Types of Elder Abuse
Elder abuse is a common and serious problem in the United States. The number of elderly who suffer from abuse is thought to be underestimated. This is due in part to victims’ non-reporting.
Elder abuse is experienced by about 1 in 10 people aged sixty and older who live at home. More than 643,000 assaults on elderly adults treated in emergency rooms from 2002 to 2016, and more than 19,000 homicides. The majority of these were men.
The following is a brief look at elder abuse, its various types, consequences, and finally, how to prevent it.
What is Elder Abuse?
According to the CDC, elder abuse is “an intentional act or failure to act that causes or creates a risk of harm to an older adult.” An older adult is defined as someone age 60 or older. Elder abuse is perpetrated by a caregiver or another person the elder trusts.
Common types of elder abuse include:
- Physical abuse. Physical abuse is the use of physical force such as hitting, kicking, pushing, slapping, and burning to inflict illness, pain, injury, functional impairment, distress, or death;
- Sexual abuse. Sexual abuse is forced or unwanted sexual interaction of any kind with an older adult. This includes sexual harassment;
- Emotional or psychological abuse. Emotional or psychological abuse may be verbal or nonverbal behavior that inflicts anguish, mental pain, fear, or distress on an older adult. This includes humiliation or disrespect, verbal and non-verbal threats, harassment, and isolation;
- Neglect. Neglect is the failure to meet an older adult’s basic needs of food, water, shelter, clothing, hygiene, and essential medical care; and
- Financial Abuse is the illegal, unauthorized, or improper use of an elder’s money, benefits, belongings, property, or assets for the benefit of someone other than the older adult.
Consequences of Elder Abuse
Elder abuse can cause older adults to become fearful and anxious or stop trusting others. Victims of elder abuse can suffer from minor injuries like cuts, scratches, bruises, and welts. While others are left with severe injuries.
Severe injuries in the elderly can exacerbate existing health problems and lead to premature death.
Preventing Elder Abuse
The first step to preventing elder abuse is identifying and addressing the risk factors and causes of elder abuse.
The next steps are to:
- Listen and provide support to older adults and their caregivers;
- Report abuse or suspected abuse to local adult protective services;
- Educate oneself and others about how to recognize and report elder abuse;
- Check-in on older adults who may have few friends and family members;
- Support over-burdened caregivers with help from friends, family, or local relief care groups, adult day care programs, and counseling; and
- Encourage and assist persons, caregivers, or older adults, having problems with drug or alcohol abuse to get help.
Contact an Experienced Elder Abuse Attorney
At Knapp & Roberts, our elder abuse attorneys in Phoenix care about you and your family members. If you suspect a nursing home or long-term care facility is abusing your loved one, contact one of our attorneys today. We will listen to you and help guide you towards the appropriate legal action or local reporting agency.
Do not wait to get help for your loved one. Your actions may keep others from suffering from the same type of abuse.
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The personal injury attorneys in Phoenix, Arizona at Knapp & Roberts have the compassion and trial lawyer skills to tell your story to a jury. We will get to know you and your family so that we can help the jury understand what has happened to you and your family and how it has changed your lives. Obtain the compensation necessary for the injuries and losses you have suffered.