Elder Mistreatment: Knowing the 7 Types of Senior Abuse

Home Health Aides

June is Elder Abuse Awareness month: a time for caregivers re-familiarize themselves with the issue of elder abuse. This process of learning and re-learning is crucial. According to the NCOA, approximately 5 million seniors suffer from abuse every year. It’s important to use reputable, caring home health aides, like those available through Expicare Nursing Agency, Inc.

With such a high number, it’s imperative for all caregivers to familiarize themselves with the forms of elder abuse. This process begins with learning the seven common forms of elder abuse: physical, sexual, emotional, neglect, abandonment, financial, and self-neglect.

It is through awareness and familiarity that we can protect our aging loved ones from potential abusers!

1. Physical Abuse

This form of mistreatment is the most commonly referenced when we think of elder abuse. It is, quite simply, any form of physical force inflicted upon a senior. This force can result in a pained response, impairment, or visible bodily injury. 

2. Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse inflicted on elderly individuals is any sexual contact that is non-consensual. If an elderly individual cannot physically or mentally give enthusiastic consent, any sexual interaction is predatory and abusive. This can span from unwanted touching or sexually inappropriate dialogue.

3. Emotional or Psychological Abuse

This form of abuse depends entirely on the infliction of emotional distress via the words or actions of a person. Emotional abuse can be, but is not limited to, verbal bereavement, gaslighting, or derogatory language.

4. Neglect

Neglect is a form of abuse that is conceptualized by NOT providing care. It is either the outright refusal or failure to fulfill the duties and needs assigned to a caretaker.

5. Abandonment

In the same vein as neglect, abandonment is also categorized by what is NOT being provided to an elderly individual. Abandonment is the outright desertion by someone who has custody over an aging loved one.

6. Financial Abuse

Financial abuse is categorized as the misallocation of a senior’s financial resources or a caretaker taking an abusive grasp over a senior’s financial control. It can also occur if your loved one is being actively defrauded out of their own money or property. 

7. Self-Neglect

Self-neglect is a form of abuse that actually manifests from the senior. It is characterized by an elderly individual neglecting daily needs, such as eating or practicing self-maintenance. If your loved one is actively participating in activities that comprise their own well-being, this could be a sign that it’s time to intervene.