What is Elder Abuse?
In general, elder abuse refers to intentional or neglectful acts by a caregiver or “trusted” individual that lead to, or may lead to, harm of a vulnerable elder. Physical abuse; neglect; emotional or psychological abuse; verbal abuse and threats; financial abuse and exploitation; sexual abuse; and abandonment are considered forms of elder abuse. In many states, self‐neglect is also considered mistreatment.
Types of Elder Abuse:
Physical abuse ‐ Use of force to threaten or physically injure a vulnerable elder.
Emotional abuse ‐ Verbal attacks, threats, rejection, isolation, or belittling acts that cause or could cause mental anguish, pain, or distress to a senior.
Sexual abuse ‐ Sexual contact that is forced, tricked, threatened, or otherwise coerced upon a vulnerable elder, including anyone who is unable to grant consent.
Exploitation ‐ Theft, fraud, misuse or neglect of authority, and use of undue influence as a lever to gain control over an older person’s money or property.
Neglect ‐ A caregiver’s failure or refusal to provide for a vulnerable elder’s safety, physical, or emotional needs.
Abandonment ‐ Desertion of a frail or vulnerable elder by anyone with a duty of care.
Self‐neglect ‐ An inability to understand the consequences of one’s own actions or inaction, which leads to, or may lead to, harm or endangerment.
Remember: You do not need to prove that abuse is occurring; it is up to the professionals to investigate the suspicions.
The Experts on Elder Abuse (NCPEA)
In 2007, the National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (NCPEA) was awarded a cooperative agreement to carry out multidisciplinary efforts for the NCEA.
The goal of this project is to encourage and enhance the development of comprehensive elder justice systems by supporting the creation and promoting the sustainability of multidisciplinary local and state elder abuse networks and by disseminating promising practices and information on federal and state laws. NCPEA plans to achieve this goal through the following major activities.
The National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) operates as a unique, multi-disciplinary consortium of equal partners with expertise in elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation. Over the years, the NCEA collaborators have worked towards helping the nation better address and respond to elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation. Not only have the NCEA collaborators come from various professional fields, the NCEA has proven a valuable resource to many professionals working in some way with older victims of elder mistreatment, including: adult protective services; national, state, and local aging networks; law enforcement; health care professionals; domestic violence networks; and others.
AoA is proud of the organizations that have collaborated in making the NCEA the foremost federal source of information on elder mistreatment, and dedicates this “Partners” section to recognizing their contributions and their on-going commitment to protecting our most vulnerable citizens.
To learn more about how your Community Health Center can be more prepared to address elder abuse visit: http://www.ncea.aoa.gov/resources/index.aspx