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What is Elder Abuse?

by Alexandra Wright

Elder Abuse is the term used to describe the mistreatment and/or abuse of an elderly person. The National Center for Elder Abuse states that: "Elder abuse is a growing problem." Abuse of an elderly person can occur at home or in a nursing home. Health care providers are also capable of elder abuse. Understanding what elder abuse is can help the elderly who are suffering.

Physical Abuse

Physical abuse is a form of elder abuse. When an individual hits, pushes, or purposefully injures an elderly person, he has participated in elder abuse.

Emotional Abuse

Emotional elder abuse includes: ignoring the individual, regularly blaming an individual falsely, making fun of the elderly person and isolating the individual from activities and people.

Neglect

Neglecting to take care of the needs of an elderly person constitutes elder abuse. If an individual does not take an elderly person to the doctor, feed the elderly person, or provide adequate shelter for the elder, he is participating in elder abuse.

Sexual Abuse

Non-consensual sex with an elder, unwelcome sexual touching, making an elder disrobe against his will and forcing an elder to view pornography or other sexual acts against his will are all considered forms of elder abuse.

Financial Abuse

Making unauthorized withdrawals from an elderly person's account is elder abuse. Forcing an elderly person to change her will suddenly is also a form of elder abuse.

Health care Abuse

A health care provider who over-medicates or under-medicates an elderly person is participating in elder abuse as is a health care provider who is double billing Medicare.

About the Author

Alexandra Wright is a freelance writer and professional educator. She has taught English as a second language and has experience teaching English at the elementary, secondary and university levels. Wright holds a Master of Arts in English literature.