Forms of Abuse and Neglect

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Abuse and neglect of older adults can take many forms; these definitions are based on an analysis of existing State and Federal definitions of elder abuse, neglect and exploitation.

Physical Abuse: Physical abuse consists of an intentional infliction of physical harm of an older person. The abuse can range from slapping an older adult to beatings to excessive forms of physical restraint (e.g. chaining).

Material/Financial Abuse: Material and financial abuse consists of the misuse, misappropriation, and/or exploitation of an older adults material (e.g. possessions, property) and/or monetary assets.

Psychological Abuse: Psychological or emotional abuse consists of the intentional infliction of mental harm and/or psychological distress upon the older adult. The abuse can range for insults and verbal assaults to threats of physical harm or isolation.

Sexual Abuse: Sexual abuse consists of any sexual activity for which the older person does not consent or is incapable of giving consent. The sexual activity can range from exhibitionism to fondling to oral, anal, or vaginal intercourse.

Violations of Basic Rights: Violations of basic rights is often concomitant with psychological abuse and consists of depriving the older person of the basic rights that are protected under state and federal law ranging from the right of privacy to freedom of religion.

Self-Neglect: The older person fails to meet his or her own physical, psychological, and/or social needs.

 

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