People frequently hear or read the term elder abuse, but few understand what constitutes abuse of older citizens. The term describes any type of wrong committed against an older person including emotional, physical or sexual violence or abuse. According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, it is difficult to determine the number of elderly people who fall victim to abuse because incidents often go unreported because they frequently occur in a domestic setting. There is also no national database to track the incidence of abuse among elders. However, a study by the National Research Council Panel to Review Risk and Prevalence of Elder Abuse and Neglect estimates that 1-2 million older adults have been victims of abuse.
Elder abuse occurs in many ways and caregivers are often the culprits. The different types of elder abuse include:
–Physical abuse: When someone uses brute force to inflict pain or injury to an older person.
– Neglect: When a caretaker fails to perform their duties to deliver life’s necessities or protect the well-being of an older person who relies on them.
–Financial abuse and exploitation: When someone misuses an older person’s money or assets.
-Emotional abuse: When a person uses verbal assaults, threats or harassment to inflict pain or anguish on an older person.
-Sexual abuse: When a person participates in sexual acts with an older person without their consent.
–Nursing home abuse: When a resident falls victim to any type of abuse in a long-term care facility.
Elder abuse is a growing problem and it is important to raise awareness in order to protect this vulnerable population. If you suspect that a loved one has been the victim of ANY type of elder abuse, contact an elder abuse lawyer who can help you take legal action to ensure that wrongdoers are held accountable for the harms caused. If you believe that an acquaintance, neighbor, or any older person is being abuse, you can also call the Illinois Elder Abuse hotline to report it: 1-866-800-1409.