Elder abuse facts
City of Delta Police Department
Elder Abuse Facts
Abuse comes in many forms. Know the signs and sumptoms of abuse and don't be hesitant to act on a gut feeling. Educate those around you about Elder Abuse and what to do if they believe a vulnerable adult is being abused. Ensure that respite care is available to caregivers. Often abuse is the result of frustrated, overworked caregivers who became overwhelmed and lashed out at the vulnerable adult.
Most incidents of elder abuse do not happen in nursing homes; rather it takes place at home. The great majority of older people live on their own or with their spouses, children, siblings, or other relatives, not in institutional settings. When elder abuse happens, family, other household members, and paid caregivers usually are the abusers. Although there are extreme cases of elder abuse, often the abuse is subtle, and the distinction between normal interpersonal stress and abuse in not always easy to discern.
There is no single pattern of elder abuse in the home. Sometimes the abuse is a continuation of long-standing patterns of physical or emotional abuse within the family. Perhaps, more commonly, the abuse is related to changes in living situations and relationships brought about by the older person's growing frailty and dependence on others for companionship and for meeting basic needs.
It isn't just mentally impaired elderly people who are vulnerable to abuse. Elders who are ill, frail, disabled, and mentally impaired or depressed are at greater risk of abuse, but even those who do not have these obvious risk factors can find themselves in abusive situations and relationships.
Stay alert to possible signs and symptoms of the different forms of abuse, signs include: unexplained injuries or behavior, vulnerable adult appears afraid of a person or certain situations, vulnerable adult is kept isolated from others, and vulnerable adult reports abuse.