Types of Elder Abuse

PHYSICAL ABUSE

Physical elder abuse is non-accidental use of force against an elderly person that results in physical pain, injury or impairment. Such abuse includes hitting, shoving, use of drugs, restraints or confinement.

EMOTIONAL ABUSE

Emotional or psychological abuse occurs when people speak to or treat elderly persons in ways that cause emotional pain or distress. Such abuse includes intimidation, yelling, threatening, and humiliation. Nonverbal psychological abuse also occurs when the elderly person is ignored or isolated from friends or activities.

SEXUAL ABUSE

Sexual abuse of an elder is sexual contact with an elderly person without the elder’s consent.

NEGLECT OR ABANDONMENT BY CAREGIVERS

Elder neglect constitutes more than half of all reported cases of elder abuse. It can be active (intentional) or passive (unintentional). Neglect is the failure to fulfill the caretaking obligations of the elder.  Abandonment is the failure to pay proper attention to the elder client.

FINANCIAL EXPLOITATION

Financial exploitation involves the unauthorized use of an elderly person’s money or property by a caregiver, family member or third party. Examples include misuse of an elder’s personal checks, credit cards or bank accounts, stealing of case, income checks or household goods, and forging the elder’s signature or identify theft.

Financial exploitation can also involve “scams” against the elderly such as false prize announcements, phony charities, and investment fraud.

HEALTHCARE FRAUD AND ABUSE

Healthcare fraud and abuse are carried out by unethical health care providers who bill for services but failing to provide the services, overcharging or double-billing for services, overmedicating or under-medicating patients, recommending fraudulent remedies for illnesses and Medicaid fraud.