As with domestic violence, elder abuse can take many forms.
Physical Abuse: Any physical pain or injury which is willfully inflicted upon an elder by a person who has care or custody of, or who stands in a position of trust with the elder, constitutes physical abuse:
- Sexual Assault
- Unreasonable physical restraints
- prolonged deprivation of food or water
Financial Abuse: Any theft or misuse of an elder's money or property, by a person in a position of trust with the elder.
Psychological/Emotional Abuse: The willful infliction of mental suffering by a person in a position of an trust:
- Verbal Abuse
- Instilling fear
Neglect: The failure of any person having the care or custody of an elder to provide a degree of care which a reasonable person in a similar position would provide:
- Failure to assist in personal hygiene or the provision of clothing for an elder
- Failure to provide medical care for the physical and mental needs of an elder
- Failure to protect an elder from health and safety hazards
Abandonment: Abandonment constitutes the desertion or willful forsaking of an elder by any perosn having hte care and custody of that elder, under circumstances in which a reasonable person would continue to provide care.
Self-Neglect: Failure to provide for self through inattention. The identification of this type of case depends on assessing the elder's ability to choose a life-style versus a recent change in the elder's ability to manage.
Elder's may feel like:
- The abuser may change;
- They may love the person abusing them while feeling fear, shame, and humiliation;
- It is impossilbe to leave or get help;
- They should minimize their own needs for safety;
- To ask for help is a sign of weakness;
- Because of their dependency on others to provide for thier physical care, they may be placed in a facility if the violence is reported.