Elder Abuse is any action or inaction which causes harm to an older person. It can happen to anyone regardless of culture, gender, race or financial status. The person causing the abuse could be a family member, friend, neighbour, paid caregiver, professional, financial or legal adviser, or healthcare provider.
Types of Abuse
Physical Abuse is any action which causes physical discomfort, pain or injury.
Emotional Abuse is any action or words causing feelings of distress, fear, a sense of worthlessness, or a loss of dignity.
Financial Abuse is the theft or misuse of money, power of attorney, property or possessions
Neglect occurs when a person who has responsibility to provide care or assistance, does not do so. Neglect can be intentional or unintentional.
Sexual Abuse is any sexual behaviour directed towards an older adult without that person’s full knowledge or consent
Spiritual Abuse is preventing a person from practicing his or her faith, or forcing someone to participate in a spiritual ritual, practice, or religion.
Institutional Abuse can be defined as “any physical, sexual, psychological, financial abuse or neglect occurring within a facility.” Institutional abuse includes “poor standards of care, lack of responses to complex needs, rigid routines, inadequate staffing, and an insufficient knowledge base within the service.” The policies, procedures, and actual practices of an institution can also be abusive to the needs of senior. Seniors are often discriminated against by ageist practices within institutions.