What Is Elder Abuse?
Elder abuse happens to men and women, in all ethnic, social and economic groups.
And while a lot of media attention has been given to stories of elder abuse by caregivers in private homes or nursing homes, the truth is that anyone can be guilty of committing elder abuse, including family members.
Elder abuse is defined as any intentional or negligent action that harms-or creates the risk of harm-to a vulnerable older adult.
Federal and state laws have been enacted to prevent elder abuse, but individual states vary in their specific language defining elder abuse and punishment for the people who are found guilty of elder abuse.
The National Center on Elder Abuse, part of the U.S. Administration on Aging, defines these commonly acknowledged types of elder abuse:
Physical Abuse: Inflicting, or threatening to inflict, physical pain or injury on a vulnerable elder, or depriving them of a basic need.
Emotional Abuse: Inflicting mental pain, anguish, or distress on an elder person through verbal or nonverbal acts.
Sexual Abuse: Non-consensual sexual contact of any kind.
Exploitation: Illegal taking, misuse, or concealment of funds, property, or assets of a vulnerable elder.
Neglect: Refusal or failure by those responsible to provide food, shelter, health care or protection for a vulnerable elder.
Abandonment: The desertion of a vulnerable elder by anyone who has assumed the responsibility for care or custody of that perso
About the Author
Attorney Steven Peck has been practicing law since 1981. A former successful business owner, Mr. Peck initially focused his legal career on business law. Within the first three years, after some colleagues and friend’s parents endured nursing home neglect and elder abuse, he continued his education to begin practicing elder law and nursing home abuse law.