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National Association of Adult Survivors of Child Abuse

August 19, 2013

Elder abuse is one form of abuse that is really not spoken about much and it should be.Remember we will all get old one day and the respect that elderly people should be given is well and truly earned.The two groups of people in our world that are forgotten about the most are the Young and the Old and why well the young dont have the voice and the old many wont listen to

Our future is based on the children of today,and our present is due to the people that are now elderly and should not be forgotten.Elder abuse infuriates me so much I recently saw an article on a elderly lady found sitting in her own faeces for days and urine,with maggots eating the open wounds on her legs and flies everywhere,there was also a child in this house.Neighbours were concerned but didnt want to get involved ,well I am saying to you simply GET INVOLVED NOW ,when you are older you would like to be cared for so why not ensure others get the same now

Elder Abuse and Neglect

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Many elderly adults are abused in their own homes, in relatives’ homes, and even in facilities responsible for their care. If you suspect that an elderly person is at risk from a neglectful or overwhelmed caregiver, or being preyed upon financially, it’s important to speak up. Learn about the warning signs of elder abuse, what the risk factors are, and how you can prevent and report the problem.

What is elder abuse? — Your elderly neighbor

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There’s an elderly neighbor you’ve chatted with at civic meetings and block parties for years. When you see her coming to get her mail as you walk up the street, you slow down and greet her at the mailbox. She says hello but seems wary, as if she doesn’t quite recognize you. You ask her about a nasty bruise on her forearm. Oh, just an accident, she explains; the car door closed on it. She says goodbye quickly and returns to the house. Something isn’t quite right about her. You think about the bruise, her skittish behavior. Well, she’s getting pretty old, you think; maybe her mind is getting fuzzy. But there’s something else — something isn’t right.

As elders become more physically frail, they’re less able to stand up to bullying and or fight back if attacked. They may not see or hear as well or think as clearly as they used to, leaving openings for unscrupulous people to take advantage of them. Mental or physical ailments may make them more trying companions for the people who live with them.

Many seniors around the world are being abused: harmed in some substantial way often by people who are directly responsible for their care.

In the U.S. alone, more than half a million reports of abuse against elderly Americans reach authorities every year, and millions more cases go unreported.

Where does elder abuse take place?

Elder abuse tends to take place where the senior lives: most often in the home where abusers are often adult children, other family members such as grandchildren, or spouses/partners of elders. Elder abuse can also occur in institutional settings, especially long-term care facilities.

The different types of elder abuse

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Abuse of elders takes many different forms, some involving intimidation or threats against the elderly, some involving neglect, and others involving financial chicanery. The most common are defined below.

Physical abuse

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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.

Emotional abuse

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In emotional or psychological 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

•  Habitual 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

Sexual abuse

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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.

Neglect or abandonment by caregivers

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Elder neglect, failure to fulfill a caretaking obligation, constitutes more than half of all reported cases of elder abuse. It can be intentional or unintentional, based on factors such as ignorance or denial that an elderly charge needs as much care as he or she does.

Financial exploitation

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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

•  Phony charities

•  Investment fraud

Healthcare fraud and abuse

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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 undermedicating

•  Recommending fraudulent remedies for illnesses or other medical conditions

•  Medicaid fraud

Signs and symptoms of elder abuse

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At first, you might not recognize or take seriously signs of elder abuse. They may appear to be symptoms of dementia or signs of the elderly person’s frailty — or caregivers may explain them to you that way. In fact, many of the signs and symptoms of elder abuse do overlap with symptoms of mental deterioration, but that doesn’t mean you should dismiss them on the caregiver’s say-so.

General signs of abuse

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The following are warning signs of some kind of elder abuse:

•  Frequent arguments or tension between the caregiver and the elderly person

•  Changes in personality or behavior in the elder

Please just take a minute to think and realise that your one voice can make the difference to an elderly persons life even that smile or wave as you pass them by.Dont forget them or what they gave up or lost in life for us all to have the lifes we have today

Lurleen 

NLV

WWW.NAASCA.ORG

 

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