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SENIORS & ADULTS WITH DISABILITIES

AbuseofElderlyandAdultsDisabilities

Definition

Any use of abuse, neglect or exploitation to control or take advantage of seniors (anyone aged 60 or over) or adults with disabilities (aged 18-59).

Types of Abuse

Physical Abuse

Examples

Pushing, punching, choking, burning, shooting, dragging, restraining, locking in the house, throwing down the stairs, kicking, poking, slapping, cutting, tripping, holding down, hair pulling squeezing, suffocating, kidnapping, handling someone roughly, giving inappropriate medication or over medicating with alcohol

Financial Exploitation

Controlling another person’s finances without permission.

Examples

Withholding dollars for basic needs, depriving someone of financial benefits, or exerting undue influence of finances

Sexual Abuse

Examples

Unwanted kissing or touching, unwanted rough or violent sexual activity, rape or attempted rape, refusing to use condoms or restricting someone’s access to birth control, keeping someone from protecting themselves from sexually transmitted infections (STIs), sexual contact with someone who is very drunk/drugged/unconscious or otherwise unable to give a clear and informed “yes” or “no” pressuring someone to have sex or perform sexual acts, making degrading sexual comments, forcing a partner to have sex with a third person, threatening to tell others about the victim’s sexual activity particularly with people that are part of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community.  Touching, fondling or any other sexual activity with an older adult, when the person is unable to understand, unwilling to consent, threatened or physically forced.

Emotional Abuse

Examples

Name calling, yelling, making demeaning comments, nagging, cussing, threatening, belittling, constant phone calls, actively undermining the victims’ authority with children, telling the victim that they are a bad parent, telling the victim they can’t control the kids, setting the victim up so that they can be humiliated publicly or in front of family and friends, making threats of violence, forcing a person to do degrading things, controlling victim’s activities, frightening the victim, harassment and intimidation.

Confinement

Restraining or isolating someone, other than for medical reasons.

Examples

Restraining, isolation, denying access to phone/mail, controlling activities of an adult, limiting the time spent with loved ones

Neglect

Examples

Failure to provide food, shelter, clothing, and personal hygiene to a dependent person who needs such assistance, failure to take care of the needs of the dependent person, failure to protect the dependent person from health and safety hazards, leaving a dependent adult alone without adequate supervision, unsanitary or hazardous conditions in the home, inadequate food, not providing enough electricity, removing aids such as wheelchair or communication device, leaving medical problems untreated and the failure to comply with a treatment plan. Leaving a dependent adult alone or without adequate supervision, unsanitary or hazardous conditions in home, inadequate food, not providing enough electricity, removing aids such as a wheelchair or communication device, leaving medical problems untreated and the failure to comply with a treatment plan.

Indicators that Might Suggest Elder Abuse or Abuse to Adults with Disabilities

  • Indicators of overall abuse would include:
    • Change in behavior
    • Withdrawn
    • Depressed
    • Lack of interest in normal activities
    • Change in appearance
    • Appears hungry, unclean, frightened of family members or caregivers
    • May present as afraid, reluctant to answer questions
    • Explanations for injuries that do not make sense
    • Fears being touched
    • Sudden onset of nightmares
    • Change in sleep patterns
  • Physical Indicators
    • Injuries that have not been properly cared for
    • Sunken eyes or cheeks
    • Injuries incompatible with history
    • Cuts, lacerations or puncture wounds
    • Evidence of inadequate care, such as improperly cared for bedsores
    • Bruises, welts, discoloration, especially bilateral or multiple in various stages of healing
    • Dehydration, malnourishment, or weight loss
    • Broken Bones without medical explanation
    • Pallor or poor skin hygiene
    • Eye problems, retinal detachment
    • Pulled out hair
    • Soiled clothing or bed: left in own waste
  • Financial Indicators
    • Unpaid bills when income is adequate
    • Caregiver overly concerned with person’s money
    • Food, clothing & care needs not being met
    • Overcharged for rent or services
    • Personal loans not repaid
    • Complaints of thefts of property or money
    • Missing checks, jewelry or other valuables
    • Power of attorney signed by confused person
    • Suspicious changes in property title
    • Promises of lifelong care in exchange for assets
    • ATM transactions by home-bound elder
    • Utility shut-offs or threats of shut-offs
    • Large telephone bills run up by caregiver
    • Checks for food, etc, written over amount needed
    • Large or unusual bank transactions

If you need help or more information please call 309-691-0551