What do you call it when there is a single, or repeated act, or lack of appropriate action, occurring within any relationship by people who are directly responsible for other’s care, where there is an expectation of trust, but causes physical, emotional, sexual harm or distress and/or financial exploitation to an OLDER person???
Yup, you guessed it, That’s called ELDER ABUSE!! We have a 95 year old grandmother. She still lives alone and doesn’t have any paid help. She’s pretty self-sufficient (praise God) and is doing well. My husband and brother in law visit her almost daily, brining her groceries and supplies. Grandma has always been independent and out spoken. I can’t imagine that anyone would ever be able to take advantage of her. There are so many elderly people, however that deal with elder abuse every day.
My cousin Marq Brown is an advocate for individuals dealing with Domestic Violence and shared some of the tips below to recognize elder abuse.
Types of elder abuse:
- Abuse of elders takes many different forms, some involving intimidation or threats against the elderly, some involving neglect, and others involving financial trickery. The most common are: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, including:
- Intimidation through yelling or threats
- Humiliation and ridicule Habitual blaming or scapegoating
- Ignoring the elderly person Isolating an elder from friends or activities
- Terrorizing or menacing the elderly person
- 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
- Financial exploitation – The unauthorized use of an elderly person’s funds or property, either by a caregiver or an outside scam artist. An unscrupulous caregiver might:
- Misuse an elder’s personal checks, credit cards, or accounts
- Steal cash, income checks, or household goodsForge the elder’s signature
- Engage in identity theft
- Typical scams that target elders include:
- Announcement of a “prize” that the elderly person has won but must pay money to claim
- Phony charities
- Investment fraud
- Healthcare fraud and abuse – Carried out by unethical doctors, nurses, hospital personnel, and other professional care providers. This can include:
- Not providing healthcare, but charging for it
- Overcharging or double-billing for medical care or services
- Getting kickbacks for referrals to other providers or for prescribing certain drugs
- Overmedicating or under medicating
- Recommending fraudulent remedies for illnesses or other medical conditions Medicaid fraud
- Elder self-neglect One of the most common forms of elder abuse encountered by geriatric care managers is self-neglect. Physical or mental impairment or diminished capacity can mean that an older adult is no longer able to perform essential self-care. They may lack basic personal hygiene, appear dehydrated, malnourished, or underweight, live in increasingly unsanitary or dirty conditions, and be unable to pay bills or properly manage their medications.
- Self-neglect can be a sign of depression, grief, dementia, or other medical problem, and in many cases, the older person will refuse to seek assistance. They may be in denial, feel ashamed about needing help, or worried about losing their independence.
If you are looking for ways to help please consider donating to Marq Brown’s fundraiser to help support a local DV Shelter for Woman and Children (CashAp) $wsybkllc or (PayPal)paypal.me/MarQBrown (any amount will help.
If you or someone you know is dealing with DV please call the DV Hotline (1-800-621-HOPE)