Elder Abuse and What We Can Do About It


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Elderly People Can Also Be Abused

Today often we hear about abuse when we discussing abuse or mistreatment we think its only limited to children and women but its not, this happens to our seniors also. the elderly people due to ageing process which result in dependency upon others. The dependency ultimate lead to elderly abuse. The elderly abuse does not have and particular definition, Acc to WHO” a single or repeated act or lack of appropriate action occurring within any relationship where there is an expectation of trust which cause harm or distress to an older person. (Tephaval, 2017). I know elderly abuse happen in our society but when I know about the facts, it surprised me. Acc to WHO ” Around 1 in 6 people 60 years and older experienced some form of abuse in community settings during the past year, rates of elder abuse are high in institutions such as nursing homes and long-term care facilities, with 2 in 3 staff reporting that they have committed abuse in the past year” (Tephaval, 2017) “The aggregate prevalence for elder abuse in Canada for the last year was 7.5%physical, sexual, psychological and financial abuse) representing 695,248 older Canadians” (INTO THE LIGHT: NATIONAL SURVEY ON THE MISTREATMENT OF OLDER CANADIANS 2015, 2015).

Elderly abuse is a serious social and public health issue. It happens where the seniors live in homes and the instructional settings like nursing home and long-term centers. The old determinate our senior independence and self-esteem. In this modern society elderly treated as a burden to their children so due to their physical and mental health damage. They are not able to do their daily living activities. Elderly abuse destroys their life in the form of depression, dementia, stress, isolation, malnutrition, decline in mental status and all these leads to morbidity and mortality.

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Types of Elder Abuse

Elder abuse not only include exploitation it is a broad term which include physical, psychological, sexual, emotional, financial as well as neglect. It also includes mistreatment by family member and caregiver. The physical abuse involves violence or rough handling which cause discomfort to the senior. Physical abuse includes hitting, biting, kicking, slapping, spitting, use of restrain, pulling their hair and beating and it also include use of drugs however sexual abuse means an unacceptable behavior toward the person without their knowledge or consent. It includes touching, kissing, inappropriate touching, threat for intercourse and sexual comments. Sexual abuse is one of the abuses which cannot identified due to embarrassment and include forced older people to make sexual contacts. Financial abuse is the one which will further lead to physical abuse, it it is done mostly by the family member or the trusted person of elderly. In this older person is pressurized to take their money or property, stealing their money and make will or attorney changes. Neglects is most common abuse in elderly, in this older people is fail to get their basic necessities like food, shelter, medicine and clothing. The other type of abuse is psychological or emotional abuse in which older people get humiliated, harassed, blaming, ignoring, and embarrassed by family or friends. this type of abuse lead to social isolation. (Manoj, 2017).

What Can We Do?

To identify the elderly abuse, we have to open our eyes and know what to look for so we can help them. Elderly abuse happens in different ways so we have to identify the warning signs of abuse. The most of the risk person were older who are cognitive or physically impaired. The physical abuse is easily identified by looking them for any seen injury on the body like burns, cuts, marks on hand, sprains. The sexual abuse cannot identify easily we have to look for the changing in the behavior, bruising on genitalia and signs of bleeding. Most of elderly did not report sexual abuse due to embarrassments. The neglect warning signs are older become undernourished, weight loose, bed sore, unhygienic, dirty clothes. financial exploitation of elderly seen by withdrawal of money from their accounts when he is not able top go any place, suddenly change of will and attorney. (Government, 2019)

Seniors also deserve respectful and dignified life. Elderly abuse some time underdiagnosed and untreated due to missed or deny by elders. The health care provide should assess all the individual who are more than 60 years to early detection of abuse. The screening can be done systematically which include interview and physical examination. Before assessment we have to maintain a therapeutic contact with the person so he or she can communicate with you without and fear and embarrassment. There are various tools were developed to identified the all type of abuse or any specific type of abuse.

Seniors are vital for community. They are backbone of us so we all have to take initiatives to prevent elderly abuse. The first thing in my mind to deal with this problem is awareness we have to aware our societies that they are not burden to us they are our responsibility same like when we are young and depends upon them, secondly, we have to make a good relationship with them so we can find out their needs. Learn about the sign of elderly abuse. Treat with medical care when they need. Involve them in social activities. Encourage them to participate in senior living activities. Teach family member to deal with aging change, help them to cope with cognitive changes occur due to ageing. they can control on their own belongings, property, social securities and also take help in legal documents. The main key point to prevent elderly abuse is to strengthen elderly self esteem and adjustment with the problem. We have to make older people self-dependent.


No matter how old we are, we all deserve to treated equally and same with the older people they also have a fundamental right to live a respectful life. We have to treats them with passion and love. They are not burden for us but they are blessing. In this stage of life, they don’t want money but they want our love, attention, affection and most important thing is our time. We all have to work together to prevent this from our society

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