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Elder abuse is a general term used to describe certain types of harm to older adults. Other terms commonly used include: "elder mistreatment", "senior abuse", "abuse in later life", "abuse of older adults", "abuse of older women", and "abuse of older men". One of the more commonly accepted definitions of elder abuse is "a single, or repeated act, or lack of appropriate action, occurring within any relationship where there is an expectation of trust which causes harm or distress to an older person." This definition has been adopted by the World Health Organization from a definition put forward by Action on Elder Abuse in the UK. The core feature of this definition is that it focuses on harms where there is "expectation of trust" of the older person toward their abuser. Thus it includes harms by people the older person knows or with whom they have a relationship, such as a spouse, partner or family member, a friend or neighbor, or people that the older person relies on for services. Many forms of elder abuse are recognized as types of domestic violence or family violence.
or humiliating a person. where a stranger distracts an older person at the doorstep while another person enters the property to steal. such as home break ins. It may take verbal forms such as name-calling. slapping.The term elder abuse does not include general criminal activity against older persons. "muggings" in the street or "distraction burglary". economic strength and societal perceptions of older people within nations themselves. there are also unique manifestations based upon history. swearing. frightening. Contents [hide] 1 Types 2 Signs 3 Common abusers of older people 4 Abuse statistics 5 Abandonment 6 Self-abuse and neglect 7 Research 8 Where to get help 9 See also 10 References 11 Further reading 12 External links Types Although there are common themes of elder abuse across nations. kicking. restraining.g. shouting. A common theme is a perpetrator who identifies something that matters to an older person and then uses it to coerce an older person into a particular action. punching. culture. hitting. The fundamental common denominator is the use of power and control by one individual to affect the wellbeing and status of another. pushing.g. or giving excessive or improper medication Psychological/Emotional: e. burning. and highlight ways to challenge such abuse. including: Physical: e. In 2006 the International Network for Prevention of Elder Abuse (INPEA) designated June 15 as World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) and an increasing number of events are held across the globe on this day to raise awareness of elder abuse. false imprisonment/confinement. ridiculing. older. constantly . There are several types of abuse of older people that are generally recognized as being elder abuse. individual.
criticizing. signs of depression in elders are not getting dressed. Other forms include deprivation of money or other property. inability to sleep or sleeping too much Not accepting invitations to spend time away from their family or a caregiver Seem afraid to make their own decisions .S. accusations. some U. or theft. In addition. illegal or unauthorized use of a person’s property. depriving a person of food. and general disrespect. or by eviction from own home Sexual: e. financial and otherwise. Signs The signs of abuse vary considerably among older people and with the type of harm being experienced. or non verbal forms such as ignoring. The term includes fraudulently obtaining or use of a power of attorney. 'Abandonment': deserting a dependent person with the intent to abandon them or leave them unattended at a place for such a time period as may be likely to endanger their health or welfare. silence or shunning. blaming. This is an aspect of elder abuse that is increasingly being recognised and adopted by nations Self-neglect: elderly persons neglecting themselves by not caring about their own health or safety.g. coercion. It may be obtained by deception. but not declared by court to be mentally incapacitated. state laws  also recognize the following as elder abuse: Rights abuse: denying the civil and constitutional rights of a person who is old. undue influence. forcing a person to take part in any sexual activity without his or her consent. never going out even if they can. Self neglect ( harm by self) is treated as conceptually different than abuse (harm by others). An older person who is being abused may: Say she or he is being harmed Seem depressed and withdrawn. money. including forcing them to participate in conversations of a sexual nature against their will. e. may also include situations where person is no longer able to give consent (dementia) Neglect: e. clothing or comfort or essential medication and depriving a person of needed services to force certain kinds of actions. pension book or other valuables (including changing the person's will to name the abuser as heir). Financial abuse: also known as financial exploitation. Institutional abuse refers to physical or psychological harms. not performing basic care of themselves that they are able to do.g. The deprivation may be intentional (active neglect) or happen out of lack of knowledge or resources (passive neglect).g. heat. misrepresentation. as well as rights violations in settings where care and assistance is provided to dependant older adults or others.
described somewhat of an ecstasy. or sense of satisfaction while performing acts of abuse on the elderly. an older couple may be attempting to care and support each other and failing. Older people living alone who have no adult children living nearby are particularly vulnerable to "grooming" by neighbors and friends who would hope to gain control of their estates. Some abuse is the willful act of cruelty inflicted by a single individual upon an older person. Seem to be hiding something about a caregiver Not have any spending money Put off going to the doctor Feel anxious and fearful Try to "run away. neighbours and friends. The majority of abusers are relatives. Relatives include adult children and their spouses or partners. in the absence of external support." leaving their place of residence and not wishing to return Seem to have too many household "accidents" Any of these potential signs can indicate problems other than abuse or neglect. In some situations the abuse is "domestic violence grown old". In some situations. a case study in Canada suggests that the high elder abuse statistics are from repeat offenders who. control or authority. whether or not the older adult actually thinks of the people as "trustworthy". typically the older adult's spouse/partner or sons and daughters. Common abusers of older people An abuser can be a spouse. like in other forms of abuse. practice elder abuse for the Schadenfreude associated with the act. solicitor or any other individual with the intent to deprive a vulnerable person of their resources. relative. their offspring and other extended family members. are all socially considered as relationships of trust. lack of support. a volunteer worker. a paid worker. and none of these "proves" there is harms occurring. Institutional abuse may be the consequence common practices or processes that are . institutional abuses or neglect may reflect lack of knowledge. practitioner. Family relationships. or insufficient resourcing. Children and living relatives who have a history of substance abuse or have had other life troubles are of particular concern. More commonly. valuables and money. Some perpetrators may "groom" an older person (befriend or build a relationship with them) in order to establish a relationship of trust. Within paid care environments. justified by a belief that it is nothing more than the "advance inheritance" of property. Perpetrators of elder abuse can include anyone in a position of trust. a situation in which the abusive behaviour of a spouse or partner continues into old age. abuse can occur for a variety of reasons. lack of training. a practitioner of elder abuse involved in the study. high. In fact. Nick Klassen. although the type of abuse differs according to the relationship. a friend or neighbor. With sons and daughters it tends to be financial abuse. The presence of the signs simply indicate that further inquiry may be necessary. partner.
and consequently strategies which have proved effective within the domestic violence arena have not been routinely transferred into circumstances involving the family abuse of older people. This is an important point because the domestic violence of older people is often not recognized. although a helpline does not necessarily provide a true reflection of such situations as it is based upon the physical and mental ability of people to utilize such a resource. with 78% of victims being over 70 years of age. and through limited and small scale research projects. The research still varies considerably in the definitions being used. the risk of homicide for older men was far greater outside the family than within. With the aging of today's population. Work undertaken in Canada suggests that approximately 70% of elder abuse is perpetrated against women. As a result. and this is supported by evidence from the AEA helpline in the UK which identifies women as victims in 67% of calls. although it is important to recognise that this term reflects the motive of the perpetrator (the causation) rather than the impact upon the older person. Also domestic violence in later life may be a continuation of long term partner abuse and. Certainly. the statistics used in this area vary considerably.part of running of a care institution or service. some consistent themes are beginning to emerge from interaction with abused elders. dependent person with the intent to abandon them or leave them unattended at a place for such a time period as may be likely to endanger their health or welfare. there is the potential that elder abuse will increase unless it is more comprehensively recognised and addressed. abuse may begin with retirement or the onset of a health condition. in some cases. Abandonment Elder abuse can also include deserting an elderly. The higher proportion of spousal homicides supports the suggestion that abuse of older women is often a continuation of long term spousal abuse against women. abuse occurs primarily in the family home (64%). According to the AEA helpline in the UK. One study suggests that around 25% of vulnerable older adults will report abuse in the previous month. who is being asked and what is being asked. Sometimes this type of abuse is referred to as "poor practice". In contrast. totaling up to 6% of the general elderly population. abuse increases with age. followed by residential care (23%) and then hospitals (5%). Abuse statistics There has been a general lack of reliable data in this area and it is often argued that the absence of data is a reflection of the low priority given to work associated with older people. However. . However. over the past decade there has been a growing amount of research into the nature and extent of elder abuse.
19 incidents were related to a death. This may simply be their personal choice. Tragically. Some older adults may choose to deny themselves some health or safety benefits. Of 1288 cases in 2002–2004. 42 couples and 45 groups were found to have been abused.Self-abuse and neglect Older adults may neglect themselves by not taking care of or caring about their own personal health and wellbeing. neglect. Sexual abuse occurred in 2 percent of reported cases. In 2007 4. This is also not considered as "self neglect". the older adult may lack the needed resources. Caregivers and other responsible individuals must honor these choices if the older adult is sound of mind. Elder self-neglect can lead to illness. Of these. In other instances. Age Concern New Zealand found that most abusers are family members (70%). or financial exploitation involving older adults were reported. 70 percent were female. About one in 11 incidents involved a life-threatening or fatal situation. and a total of 303 incidents were considered life-threatening. as a result of poverty or other social condition. Research Research conducted in New Zealand broadly supports the above findings. Psychological abuse (59%). which may not be selfneglect. injury or even death. Common needs that the older adult may deny themselves or ignore are the following: Sustenance (food or water) Cleanliness (bathing and personal hygiene) Adequate clothing for climate protection Proper shelter Adequate safety Clean and healthy surroundings Medical attention for serious illness Essential medications Self neglect is often created by an individual's declining mental awareness or capability. Where to get help . an increase of 9 percent over 2006. followed by material/financial (42%) and physical abuse (12%) were the most frequently identified types of abuse.766 cases of suspected abuse. most commonly sons or daughters (40%). with some variations. 1201 individuals. Older abusers (those over 65 years) are more likely to be husbands.
and advocates dedicated to protecting the safety. and dignity of America’s most vulnerable citizens. It was established in 1988 to achieve a clearer understanding of abuse and provide direction and leadership to prevent it. the NCEA was granted a permanent home at AoA in the 1992 amendments made to Title II of the Older Americans Act. . Administration on Aging (AoA) in 1988 as a national elder abuse resource center.S. help is available through local Area Agencies on Aging (AAA) that include older adult protective services as an important component of their aging services. educators. practitioners. First established by the U. security. The phone number for local AAA offices can be found in the phone book blue pages under Abuse/Assault. National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (NCPEA) The National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse is an association of researchers. National Center on Elder Abuse The National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) serves as a national resource center dedicated to the prevention of elder mistreatment.For those over the age of 60.
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