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What Is Elder Abuse?

What Is Elder Abuse?Though commonly used, ‘elder abuse’ really means a variety of harm to an older person.  The Administration on Aging defines elder abuse as “the intentional or negligent act by a family member or caregiver that causes harm or serious risk of harm to an older adult.”

Elder abuse encompasses:

  • Physical abuse is inflicting, or threatening to inflict, physical pain or injury on a vulnerable elder, or depriving them of a basic need.
  • Sexual abuse is the infliction of non-consensual sexual contact of any kind.
  • Emotional or psychological abuse is the infliction of mental or emotional anguish or distress on an elder person through verbal or nonverbal acts.
  • Financial or material exploitation is the illegal taking, misuse, or concealment of funds, property, or assets of a vulnerable elder.
  • Neglect is the refusal or failure by those responsible to provide food, shelter, health care, or protection for a vulnerable elder.
  • Self-neglect is characterized as the behavior of an elderly person that threatens his/her own health or safety.
  • Abandonment – The desertion of a vulnerable elder by anyone who has assumed the responsibility for care or custody of that person.
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  • Mrs. Karen Blackburn

    I lost my mom last November 12th, on the 11th along with our troops I will also spend the day remembering my mom’s pre-mature death. Then on the 12th I will celebrate her influence and training of me, I am proud to be her daughter. She was put in a place we call a home, this is a term I would only use if my heart was at residence with my body. I know every term of abuse with the exception of sexually abused in reference to my mom.
    I grew up believing caring for our elderly parents was a privilege not a obligation nor a burden. Not only was my mom abused at the place she was in, but she was abused by her own son.
    Beyond belief and unfortunately my story is so similar to many more elderly that are abused daily, and we choose to keep a deaf ear, how are we going to feel when in our old age the care has not changed.

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