Elder Abuse Awareness
What is Elder Abuse?
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Elder Abuse is defined as:
“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.”
Abuse can occur in any relationship, including healthy ones. If you have a concern regarding an older adult’s safety or well-being it is important to break the silence. Knowledge is power and learning the signs, symptoms, and triggers can help you prevent, identify and report the problem as soon as possible.
Types of Elder Abuse
The use of physical force that causes pain, discomfort or injury; or that is excessive for, or inappropriate in the circumstances; or administering or withholding medication for inappropriate purposes.
Failure to provide a person with the care and assistance required for health, safety or well-being, and includes inaction or a pattern of inaction that jeopardizes the health or safety of one or more residents.
Non-consensual sexual contact of any kind with an older adult. Sexual contact with any person incapable of giving consent
is also considered sexual abuse.
Any form of verbal communication that is of a belittling or degrading nature which may diminish the person’s sense of wellbeing, dignity or self-worth.
Any action or behaviour that may diminish the sense of identity, dignity, or self-worth of a resident.
Misappropriation or misuse of a person money or property by anyone.
The following signs may indicate that an older adult is being victimized or neglected:
- Fear, anxiety, depression or passiveness in relation to a family member, friend or care provider
- Unexplained physical injuries
- Dehydration, poor nutrition/hygiene
- Improper use of medication
- Confusion about new legal documents, such as a new will
- Sudden drop in cash flow or financial holdings
- Reluctance to speak about the situation
ARE YOU A CAREGIVER WHO IS OVERWHELMED BY THE DEMANDS OF CARING FOR A LOVED ONE?
Here are a few tips and tricks to get the needed support and respite care you deserve:
- Request help from friends, relatives or local agencies
- Find an Adult Day Program
- Stay healthy and get medical care for yourself when necessary
- Adopt stress reduction practices
- Seek counseling
- Find a support group for the senior or caregiver
- Talk to a Client Care Coordinator at Lumacare