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Elder abuse

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Elder abuse paiting by Boyd Richard

Abuse of the elderly by their care givers or family members is a serious issue facing many countries in the world. Elder abuse can have serious and harmful effects on the victims and prevention plays an important role eradicating elder abuse.

Forms of Elder Abuse

  • Physical Abuse occurs once associate elder is hurt (e.g., scratched, bitten, slapped, pushed, hit, burned, etc.), assaulted or vulnerable with a weapon (e.g., knife, gun, or different object), or inappropriately restrained.
  • Sexual Abuse or Abusive Sexual Contact is associatey sexual contact against an elder’s will. This includes acts in which the elder is unable to know the act or is unable to speak. Abusive sexual contact is outlined as intentional touching (either directly or through the clothing), of the private parts, anus, groin, breast, mouth, inner thigh, or buttocks.
  • Psychological or Emotional Abuse occurs once associate elder experiences trauma once exposure to threatening acts or coercive tactics. Examples embody humiliation or embarrassment; controlling behavior (e.g., prohibiting or limiting access to transportation, telephone, cash or different resources); social isolation; regardless or trivializing needs; or damaging or destroying property.
  • Neglect is that the failure or refusal of a caregiver or different accountable person to provide for associate elder’s basic physical, emotional, or social needs, or failure to safeguard them from hurt. Examples embody not providing adequate nutrition, hygiene, clothing, shelter, or access to necessary health care; or failure to forestall exposure to unsafe activities and environments.
  • Abandonment is that the willful desertion of associate older person by caregiver or different accountable person.
  • Financial Abuse or Exploitation is that the unauthorized or improper use of the resources of associate elder for monetary or personal profit, profit, or gain. Examples include forgery, misuse or theft of money or possessions; use of coercion or deception to surrender finances or property; or improper use of guardianship or power of Attorney.

Statistics on Elder Abuse

  • The most recent major studies on incidence reported that 7.6%–10% of study participants experienced abuse in the prior year.6,7 The study that found an incidence of 1 in 10 adults experiencing abuse did not include financial abuse.
  • Available data from state Adult Protective Services (APS) agencies show an increasing trend in the reporting of elder abuse.
  • Despite the accessibility of APS in all 50 states (whose programs are quite different), as well as mandatory reporting laws for elder abuse in most states, an overwhelming number of cases of abuse, neglect, and exploitation go undetected and untreated each year.
  • One study estimated that only 1 in 14 cases of elder abuse ever comes to the attention of authorities.9 The New York State Elder Abuse Prevalence Study found that for every case known to programs and agencies, 24 were unknown.
  • Major financial exploitation was self-reported at a rate of 41 per 1,000 surveyed, which was higher than self-reported rates of emotional, physical, and sexual abuse or neglect.

Source: National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA).

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