There are several types of senior abuse, including:
Physical abuse is the infliction of pain, injury, or discomfort on an older adult.
Acts of physical abuse include:
hitting, punching, slapping, pushing, pinching, choking, or kicking
throwing the person around, or throwing things at them
medication abuse (over/under medicating)
any unwanted physical touching
Physical abuse is assault. Assault is when someone purposely uses or tries to use force against another person, without that person’s consent.
Verbal abuse is when someone threatens with words (‘do this or else’), calls a person names, insults them or their loved ones, raises their voice, or yells at the person.
Sexual abuse is any form of sexual activity with a person without the consent of that person. It can include unwanted sexual touching, sexual relations without voluntary consent, or the forcing or coercing of degrading, humiliating, or painful sexual acts. This kind of behaviour is a crime in Canada.
Emotional abuse is the infliction of anguish or emotional pain. Psychological or emotional abuse can be similar to verbal abuse, and can include purposely rejecting, degrading, terrorizing, isolating, or exploiting someone, or denying or not responding to someone’s emotions. Emotional abuse also includes threats or intimidation, constant criticism and put downs, controlling the older adult’s activities, humiliating or isolating them, or treating them like a child.
Violation of human/civil rights is the unlawful or unreasonable denial of the fundamental rights and freedoms normally enjoyed by adults. It can involve denial of information, denial of visitors, denial of opportunity for religious worship, denial of the right to provide informed consent to medical treatment, interference with mail, or unwarranted confinement in a hospital or institution.
Financial abuse is the unethical or illegal misuse of the money, property, or other assets of an older adult, including placing inappropriate pressure on an older person in order to gain access to their money or assets. It can involve the improper withholding of finances, fraud, misuse of power of attorney, pressuring the older person to change the terms of their will or hand over pension cheques.
Neglect is the failure to provide the necessities of life such as proper food, fluids, suitable clothing, a safe and sanitary place of shelter, proper medical attention, personal care, and necessary supervision. The intentional withholding of the necessities of life is referred to as active neglect, and the unintentional failure to provide proper care is referred to as passive neglect. Passive neglect is often a result of lack of knowledge, experience, or ability to provide care. Self-neglect occurs when older adults are not willing or able to perform essential self-care tasks and live in ways that disregard their health or safety needs.
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