Elder abuse includes physical harm, failure to provide basic care, abandonment or involuntary seclusion, unwanted sexual contact, verbal or emotional abuse, neglect , self- neglect , wrongful restraint and financial exploitation.
The National Center on Elder Abuse distinguishes between seven different types of elder abuse. These include physical abuse , sexual abuse , emotional abuse , financial/material exploitation, neglect , abandonment, and self – neglect .
The Older Americans Act of 2006 defines elder financial abuse , or financial exploitation , as “the fraudulent or otherwise illegal, unauthorized, or improper act or process of an individual, including a caregiver or fiduciary, that uses the resources of an older individual for monetary or personal benefit, profit, or
According to the National Council on Aging (NCOA), elders are more likely to self-report financial exploitation than emotional, physical, and sexual abuse or neglect . According to the NCEA, neglect is the most common type of elder abuse.
What Are the Warning Signs of Elder Abuse? Injuries such as bruises , cuts, or broken bones . Malnourishment or weight loss . Poor hygiene. Symptoms of anxiety, depression, or confusion. Unexplained transactions or loss of money. Withdrawal from family members or friends.
Passive neglect – the failure by a caregiver to provide a person with the necessities of life including, but not limited to, food, clothing, shelter, or medical care, because of failure to understand the person’s needs, lack of awareness of services to help meet needs, or lack of capacity to care for the person.
The most common complaints of elder abuse in nursing facilities are the failure to meet the elder’s basic needs, including nutritional needs, medical needs, or mobility assistance.
But while state law requires that elder abuse be reported, the high level of proof needed for criminal charges is often elusive. If an abuser has legal documents such as power of attorney, it is especially hard to prove that a victim has been defrauded or stolen from.
However if the victim so chooses, and criminal charges are filed, financial elder abuse can lead to misdemeanor and felony charges. Misdemeanor convictions can lead to up to a year in jail , and a $1,000 fine. Felony convictions can result in up to four years in jail and fines up to $10,000.
One of the leading causes of elder abuse is caregiver stress and other problems that prevent caregivers from properly caring for the elderly. Factors such as substance abuse or financial problems can lead to caregiver abuse of the elderly in both residential and institutional care settings.
Emotional abuse signs and symptoms Delayed or inappropriate emotional development. Loss of self-confidence or self-esteem. Social withdrawal or a loss of interest or enthusiasm. Depression . Avoidance of certain situations, such as refusing to go to school or ride the bus. Desperately seeks affection.