Disabled or Elder Abuse
A general statement about abuse: Those who hold the least power and resources in
society are most often those who are abused (women, children, disabled, elderly). Bear in
mind that anyone can be abused, this includes men and women, rich or poor, educated or
illiterate, employed or unemployed - abuse is no respecter of persons or boundaries, and
can occur at any time during a person’s life.
Abuse of the disabled or elderly can involve the physical, sexual, or psychological
mistreatment of anyone physically or mentally disabled over the age of 18 years (under 18
years is considered child abuse), or those who are 65 years of age or older. If abuse of the
elderly or disabled adult is suspected, report it to the local Adult Protective Services agency
or the nearest law enforcement office. Anyone who suspects abuse is occurring must report
Physical abuse – infliction of physical pain or injury, including bruising, punching,
restraining, or sexually molesting.
Psychological abuse – the infliction of mental anguish, such as intimidating, humiliating,
and threatening harm.
Financial abuse – the illegal or improper exploitation of the victim’s assets or property.
Neglect – the deliberate failure or refusal to fulfill a care giving obligation, such as denial of
food or health care or abandoning the victim.
Sexual abuse - sexual molestation, coercion into sexual activity, or other inappropriate
sexual activity between a person of power or authority and the elderly or disabled.
Typical signs of abuse in the elderly or disabled
Abuse (physical and sexual abuse):
- unexplained bruising or welts
- multiple injuries
- low self esteem
- bruises in various healing stages
- passive or withdrawn
- unexplained cuts, scratches, or fractures
- no self-determination
- dirty or inappropriate clothing
- inappropriately used medications
- lack of physical aides (glasses, dentures, hearing aides, etc.)
- not using medications correctly
- socially isolated
- sloppy appearance
- dehydration or malnourishment
- failure to keep medical/dental appointments
- glasses, dentures, hearing aides missing or not used when needed
- possessions missing
- coerced or forced to sell home or change will
- over charged for repairs
- living environment inadequate
- lack of funds for social activities, food or clothing
- coerced of forced to release control of finances
Please note that neither the author, nor anyone affiliated with this website, will bear any responsibility
for anyone taking the information contained herein and misusing it or attempting to claim it is
professional advice. It is simply information, how it is used is the responsibility of the reader.
|National Suicide Hotline: 1-800-784-2433
National Elder Abuse hotline: 1-800-922-1660
Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233