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What are the different types of elder abuse?

Though this blog spends a lot of time talking about nursing home neglect, elder abuse, both in individual homes and in nursing homes, is also very common and can be just as damaging. Victims of nursing home abuse can suffer tremendously and, unless proactive steps are taken, the abuse may go unnoticed for a significant period of time. Therefore, those who have a loved one in a nursing home facility should be aware of the different types of elder abuse so that they can be sure to prevent or stop it.

The first, and most often thought of type of elder abuse, is physical abuse. This type of harm is always non-accidental and can result is serious injury, physical pain, and impairment or incapacitation. Though being struck by a nursing home employee certainly counts as physical abuse, so too does confinement and inappropriately being placed in restraints.

The second type of elder abuse is emotional abuse. Those who are subjected to this type of abuse are often left with emotional pain and suffering as well as mental distress. It is often caused by being yelled at, humiliated, isolated from others, or terrorized.

Sexual abuse is the third type of abuse elderly individuals may face. Overt sexual acts are abuse, but showing an elderly individual pornography against his or her will, forcing him or her to watch sex acts, and forcing a nursing home resident to remove clothing can all count as abuse.

There are many other types of abuse, including financial exploitation, which can befall our elderly loved ones. Tragically, this harm knows no bounds and can even be found in the institutions that promise to keep our loved ones safe. Therefore, those who have been subjected to any type of elder abuse should consider what they can do to hold those wrongdoers accountable, and we should all be more vigilant to keep our loved ones safe.

Source: HelpGuide.org, "Elder Abuse and Neglect," accessed on April 30, 2015

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