Physical abuse is defined as the use of physical force that may result in bodily injury, physical pain, or impairment. Physical abuse may include but is not limited to such acts of violence as striking (with or without an object), hitting, beating, pushing, shoving, shaking, slapping, kicking, pinching, and burning. In addition, inappropriate use of drugs and physical restraints, force-feeding, and physical punishment of any kind also are examples of physical abuse.
Signs and symptoms of physical abuse include but are not limited to: bruises, black eyes, welts, lacerations, and rope marks; bone fractures, broken bones, and skull fractures; open wounds, cuts, punctures, untreated injuries in various stages of healing; sprains, dislocations, and internal injuries/bleeding; broken eyeglasses/frames, physical signs of being subjected to punishment, and signs of being restrained; laboratory findings of medication overdose or underutilization of prescribed drugs; an elder's report of being hit, slapped, kicked, or mistreated; an elder's sudden change in behaviour; and
The caregiver's refusal to allow visitors to see an elder alone.
Sexual abuse is defined as non-consensual sexual contact of any kind with an elderly person. Sexual contact with any person incapable of giving consent is also considered sexual abuse. It includes, but is not limited to, unwanted touching, all types of sexual assault or battery, such as rape, sodomy, coerced nudity, and sexually explicit photographing.
Signs and symptoms of sexual abuse include but are not limited to: bruises around the breasts or genital area; unexplained venereal disease or genital infections; unexplained vaginal or anal bleeding; torn, stained, or bloody underclothing; and
An elder's report of being sexually assaulted or raped.
Emotional or psychological abuse is defined as the infliction of anguish, pain, or distress through verbal or nonverbal acts. Emotional/psychological abuse includes but is not limited to verbal assaults, insults, threats, intimidation, humiliation, and harassment. In addition, treating an older person like an infant; isolating an elderly person from his/her family, friends, or regular activities; giving an older person the "silent treatment;" and enforced social isolation are examples of emotional/psychological abuse.
Signs and symptoms of emotional/psychological abuse include but are not limited to: being emotionally upset or agitated; being extremely withdrawn and non-communicative or non-responsive; unusual behaviour usually attributed to dementia (e.g., sucking, biting, rocking); and
An elder's report of being verbally or emotionally mistreated.
Neglect is defined as the refusal or failure to fulfil any part of a person's obligations or duties to an elder. Neglect may also include failure of a person who has fiduciary responsibilities to provide care for an elder (e.g., pay for necessary home care services) or the failure on the part of an in-home service provider to provide necessary care.
Neglect typically means the refusal or failure to provide an elderly person with such life necessities as food, water, clothing, shelter, personal hygiene, medicine, comfort, personal safety, and other essentials included in an implied or agreed-upon responsibility to an elder.
Signs and symptoms of neglect include but are not limited to: dehydration, malnutrition, untreated bed sores, and poor personal hygiene; unattended or untreated health problems; hazardous or unsafe living condition/arrangements (e.g., improper wiring, no heat, or no running water); unsanitary and unclean living conditions (e.g. dirt, fleas, lice on person, soiled bedding, faecal/urine smell, inadequate clothing); and
An elder's report of being mistreated.
Abandonment is defined as the desertion of an elderly person by an individual who has assumed responsibility for providing care for an elder, or by