Those tasked with caring for the elderly, only to violate trust by committing abuse, represent a breach of trust and a sinister crime. Intentionally causing harm to or failing to protect seniors is a continuing problem lacking an effective solution.
Various types of violence and neglect
Elder abuse puts adults 60 and older in serious danger of injuries or death. Acts can take many forms and include:
- Neglect in ignoring the needs of the elderly, including the basics such as food, water, and shelter, with many older people finding themselves wearing the same clothing without bathing with others being denied medical care
- Emotional abuse that results in emotional pain, distress, or terror from disrespect, humiliation, threats, harassment, and isolation
- Physical abuse that takes the form of bullying and physical violence leads to the elder suffering from the pain of severe injury and phycological trauma
- Sexual abuse that takes the form of unwanted contact or penetration that can also involve sexual harassment
- Financial abuse and exploitation with the caregiver taking belongings, money, property, or financial assets that would benefit the elderly resident’s loved ones
Statistics show that one in 10 people 60 and older living at home experience abuse. From 2001 to 2016, more than 643,000 received treatment in emergency rooms for non-fatal assaults, with 19,000 succumbing to their injuries.
Additional data reveals non-fatal assaults increased by more than 75 percent among men (2002 – 2016) and 35 percent among women (2007 – 2016). Deaths of men grew seven percent from 2010 to 2016.
Elder abuse remains a serious problem that lurks in the shadows far too often. Countless cases go unreported due to fear or an inability to communicate with law enforcement or loved ones. Holding deliberately negligent, so-called “professionals” accountable in criminal and civil proceedings is an essential first step.