Types of Elder Abuse

Abuse can take many different forms and are not always so obvious to see. Below we identify the types of abuse that seniors may be at risk of:

Physical abuse

Physical abuse describes any deliberate act that causes pain for, injury to, or intimidation of, an older person. This includes all forms of physical assault, along with the use of restraint by physical or chemical methods.

Psychological/emotional abuse

Psychological or emotional abuse involves any action or threat that causes fear of violence, isolation, deprivation, humiliation or powerlessness. For example, treating the elder like a child, preventing access to services, making threats (such as preventing them from seeing loved ones) or telling them they have dementia.

Social abuse

Social abuse is forced isolation that prevents or restricts the older person’s contact with friends, family or the community.

This could involve withholding or controlling mail or phone calls, preventing them from attending religious or cultural events, or taking over their home without consent. Social isolation often allows other forms of abuse to take place.

Financial abuse

This is the illegal, mismanagement or improper use of the older person’s finances.

This includes stealing money or possessions, controlling their finances without permission, threats or coercion to gain Power of Attorney or pressuring them for early inheritances.

Sexual abuse

Any sexual contact, language or display of pornography without the older person’s consent, or through coercion.

For example, making obscene phone calls in the person’s presence, inappropriate handling when undertaking personal care activities, or making the person perform a sexual act they don’t want.

Neglect

Neglect involves the failure of a carer to provide basic necessities such as food, shelter, or medical care, or preventing someone else from providing them.


Support

Our Senior Relationship Services supports older people to feel respected and safe through counselling, mediation, information and referrals.

If anyone is in immediate danger at any time, call 000 for Emergency Services.

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