What does elder abuse look like?
There are different types of abuse, and commonly several types occur together. These include:
Behaviour causing mental anguish, stress or fear. For example:
ridicule or threats
harassment or humiliation
preventing choice or decision-making
Illegal or improper use of money, property or other assets. For example:
- unauthorised taking of money or possessions
- misuse of power of attorney
- failure to repay loans
- use of home and/or utilities without contributing to costs
- scams that rely on establishing a relationship with the older person with the intention of exploiting their savings and/or assets, e.g. romance scams.
Infliction of pain, injury or use of force. For example:
- hitting, pushing, rough handling
- inappropriate use of restraints or confinement.
Not providing for physical, emotional or social needs. For example:
- inadequate food, clothing, shelter
- lack of social contact, support
- health needs not attended to.
Non-consensual sexual acts or exploitive behaviours. For example:
- inappropriate touching
- sexual acts with someone unable to give consent.
A policy or accepted practice within an organisation that disregards a person’s rights or causes harm. For example:
- lack of respect for a person’s culture or customs
- Inappropriate rationing of continence products
- inflexible routines e.g. breakfast at 8 am in the dining room.