Elder abuse is responsible for a huge number of abuse victims in the United States and throughout the world. Because the elderly can often not see well, not hear well, and confused more often, they are prime candidates for abuse by those around them, including family, friends, caretakers, and medical professionals. Some elder abuse is not intentional but more a result of the family member not being aware of just how much help and how much care their elderly loved ones need so those needs go unmet. At least that is so for elder neglect.
Elder abuse can be physical, emotional, sexual, financial, or neglect. The elderly are more fragile than younger adults and are easier targets. They often don’t know what is happening to them. They may also be aware of what is happening to them but be so frightened to speak up that they don’t say anything.
One of the types of abuses that the elderly are more susceptible to is financial abuse. They often trust others to take care of paying their bills and dealing with their banks. Often this is because they don’t see well enough or don’t hear well enough to deal with banks and businesses, especially over the phone. They hand over their finances to a family member or a “trusted” friend/neighbor. Then all of the sudden, their financial situation is far worse than they thought they should be because the person who has been taking care of their finances has actually been helping themselves to the finances.
The elderly are also prime candidates to be abused by people in care taking positions who often get paid for performing jobs for and around the elderly that are never actually done. They just bill the hours and get paid, whether they do the job or not. Often, those caretakers who are supposed to dispense medications to the elderly either dispense too much medication or not enough. This adds to the medical problems of the elderly.
The suffering of elderly abuse victims is a silent suffering. We should all be on the watch for signs of elderly abuse in those around us and try to do something about it when we suspect it. You don’t have to prove your suspicions. You just need to contact the proper authorities and they will investigate.
My 2016 A to Z Challenge Posts