4 Types Of Elder Abuse

Posted on: 15 June 2018


You have most likely heard the phrase, "respect your elders." Some ways of doing this include listening when they are speaking, calling or visiting them on a regular basis, and telling them how much you appreciate them. Unfortunately, some people do just the opposite and abuse their elders instead. According to recent statistics, an estimated one to two million seniors over the age of 65 have been mistreated by a caregiver.

To do your part to stop elder abuse, it's important to gain understanding, which includes knowing about the different types of elder abuse.

1. Physical Abuse

When physical force is used that results in bodily harm or pain, it's considered physical abuse. This type of abuse usually involves pushing, hitting, kicking, and slapping. Some of the most common signs of physical abuse include:

  • Bruises, cuts, or burns on various parts of the body
  • Grip markings on the skin
  • Black eyes

If you notice an unusual pattern of injuries that require frequent trip to the emergency room, it may indicate someone is physically abusing your elderly loved one. 

2. Psychological Abuse

This type of abuse may not be as obvious as physical abuse, but it doesn't mean it is any less harmful. Also referred to as mental or emotional abuse, this type of abuse occurs when a person is subjecting someone else to behavior that results in anxiety, fear, or other types of psychological trauma. If your elderly loved one is being subjected to emotional abuse, they may have trouble sleeping, appear to lose their confidence, or have a loss of appetite.

3. Neglect

If a caregiver does not adequately meet the needs of the person they are caring for, it is considered neglect. Elderly people who are neglected are at risk for not getting the medical attention they need, have poor hygiene, and don't receive adequate nutrition.

Some signs your elderly loved one is being neglected include:

  • They have bedsores
  • They appear malnourished
  • They become incontinent

If you notice your loved one is not wearing clean clothing or does not have clean bedding, these are also signs of neglect.

4. Financial

Unfortunately, the elderly are targets for financial abuse and are often taken advantage of when it comes to their finances. Some ways elderly people get financially abused include cashing social security checks without permission, stealing cash from them, and coercing them into signing financial documents. If you notice your elderly loved one is missing assets or they are no longer receiving their bank statements, they could be experiencing financial abuse.

If you suspect someone is abusing an elderly loved one, an elder law attorney will be able to help.