What is elder abuse?
The elder abuse occurs when someone takes advantage or harms an older person. The elder abuse can take many different forms, including:
- The neglect or abandonment occurs when a caregiver does not provide adequate care or abandons an adult. This is the most common type of elder abuse.
- The physical abuse is the use of physical force in order to cause pain or injury. Examples include hitting, pushing or restrictions for the elderly.
- The emotional and verbal abuse occurs when a person uses words or nonverbal actions performed to cause emotional distress to the elderly. Examples include yelling at the elderly, ignore or ridicule him.
- The sexual abuse occurs when a person engages in sexual acts with an adult without the consent of this. Examples include sex or undressing and touching them inappropriately.
- The financial operation is to use the money or property of an elder without their permission. Examples include using credit cards or checks, stealing jewelry or steal the identity of the person. Older adults can also be exploited financially by organizations or scammers. Usually this happens when the senior gives money to a charity fund or investment or delivering false money false to claim a prize.
Why is there elder abuse?
As people age, they may develop health problems that cause a decrease in physical strength, vision and ability to reason. These changes may make older adults vulnerable. It may depend on others for care or are unable to tell when someone is taking advantage of them.
Who abuses older people?
Anyone can abuse the elderly. It is estimated that 2 out of 3 offenders are familiar, such as adult children or spouses who care for the elderly. Caregivers are at increased risk of abusing elderly people when:
- They can not cope with the stress of caregiving.
- Are depressed.
- They have no support system.
- Abuse alcohol or other drugs.
Among the abusers could also include health care workers, neighbors or friends, and swindlers seeking organizations or financial exploitation of older adults.
What are the warning signs of abuse?
It is possible that an older adult is being neglected or is being abused physically, emotionally or sexually submit one or more of the following warning signs of physical or behavioral:
- Unexplained injuries such as cuts, burns or broken bones.
- Marks on the body of unknown origin, such as scars or bruises.
- Untreated medical conditions, as not receiving medication or the proper amount of medication.
- Changes in behavior or personality, such as isolation and depression.
- Sexually transmitted infections.
- Anal or vaginal bleeding of unknown origin.
- Mechanisms used to cope with a situation such as swing forward or backward or talking to himself.
- Weight loss or other symptoms of malnutrition or dehydration.
- Personal hygiene problems, such as skin or clothing unwashed or dirty living conditions.
Warning signs of financial exploitation include one or more of the following:
- Unexplained withdrawals from the ATM card for older or your checking or savings account.
- Purchases of unknown or unusual with the credit card.
- Loss of jewelry, cash or other valuables.
- Investment offers of prizes or suspects or "too good to be true."
It is possible that a caregiver who abuses an elderly person:
- Refuses to leave him alone with the elderly.
- Threaten the elderly, make fun of him or argue with him in front of you.
- Do not respond to questions about the care of the elderly.
- Appears to be poorly trained or have a lot of work.
What should I do if I suspect someone abusing an elderly person?
If you are an older adult is being abused or is in immediate danger, call 911 or your local police department for assistance.
If you have seen or suspect any elder abuse, report it. All states have a toll-free hotline which you can call to report an elder abuse in the home or in institutional care.
To report a case of elder abuse is not necessary to prove that abuse is actually happening. In most cases, an agency called Protective Services for Adults will respond to your call. These professionals will investigate the situation and take measures, if necessary.
How I can help prevent elder abuse?
If you are a caregiver, learn about how to manage your stress. This will help provide the best possible care for your loved one. If you are overwhelmed or think you might start abusing an elderly person, get help. Talk to your family doctor about your feelings and find someone else to care for your relative to feel better.
If your loved one is receiving care at home or in institutional long-term care, involved in your care. If you are dissatisfied with the care they are receiving, discuss with management the status or report the alleged abuse.
To help prevent financial exploitation, ensure that the financial and legal documents of their loved one is in order. Although some information is available only to older adults with dementia. Also, check the states of the bank account and credit card of your loved one and try to keep a record of all valuables at home.