Physical elder abuse is 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.
Signs of this type of abuse are bruises or even broken bones, broken glasses or frames. Signs of restraint, rope marks to the wrists. They also may have too much medication in their blister packs from miss use of medication. The carer may also want to be in the room when visitors come round as they fear being reported.
Emotional and Psychological abuse
In emotional or psychological senior abuse, people speak to or treat elderly persons in ways that cause emotional pain or distress.
Verbal forms of emotional elder abuse include
Intimidation through yelling or threats
Humiliation and ridicule
Blaming or scapegoating
Nonverbal psychological elder abuse can take the form of
Ignoring the elderly person
Isolating an elder from friends or activities
Terrorizing or menacing the elderly person
Signs of emotional abuse can be that the care giver is constantly belittling the resident or threatening or controlling. Also the resident could start showing signs of rocking, sucking or mumbling to themselves.
Sexual elder abuse is contact with an elderly person without the elder’s 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.
Signs of this type of abuse could be bruising around the breasts or genital area, unexplained vaginal infections and bleeding, and torn stained or bloody clothing or bed sheets.
Neglect by others
Elder neglect, failure to fulfil a caretaking obligation, constitutes more than half of all reported cases of elder abuse. It can be active (intentional) or passive (unintentional).
This type of neglect can lead to the elderly person losing weight with malnutrition or being dehydrated. They could be living in squalid conditions and be left dirty and unwashed. They could be left with inadequate clothing for the weather and even be disserted in a public place.
This involves 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 goods
Forge the elder’s signature
Engage in identity theft
Typical rackets that target elders include
Announcements of a “prize” that the elderly person has won but must pay money to claim
Signs of this type of abuse include missing items from the elderly home or room, unnecessary subscriptions or goods being delivered. Financial activity that the person could not have done, additional names on accounts and cards. Changing to the elderly will and power of attorney and sudden changes to the elderly financial condition.
Carried out by unethical doctors, nurses, hospital personnel, and other professional care providers, examples of healthcare fraud and abuse regarding elders 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
Signs of this type of abuse are the healthcare provider sending out duplicate bills for payment, evidence of over or under medicating, inadequate care being given and poor