What is elder abuse?

by Maria Ruiz, Daya Intern


Elder abuse is an intentional act or failure to act that causes or creates a risk of harm to an older adult. And older adult is someone age 60 or older. The abuse occurs at the hands of a caregiver or a person the elder trusts.


Could you imagine how heartbreaking it would be if you got word that your one of your elder family members was being abused? Imagine how they feel? This is a problem that doesn’t get as much attention but it should. Elder Abuse is a problem we don’t talk enough about.


Elder Abuse is common. Elder abuse can affect an older adult in a number of physical and emotional ways. Victims experience anxiety and fear. They could struggle with trust and be suspicious of others. Numerous victims sustain physical wounds. Minor injuries include welts, wounds, scratches, bruises, and bruising. Others are more significant and may result in long-term damage. These include soreness, persistent physical pain, fractured bones, and head injuries. Physical harm can worsen pre-existing conditions and cause premature death. Many of the elders being abused are afraid or unable to report their case, victims must choose between reporting their abuse or bearing up with it from someone they rely on or care about very much.


I think it is very important to address elder abuse because victims that are being abused have a higher risk of death than those who have not been mistreated. Elder abuse is a first-person and third-person problem. It affects people who are old now, and it is a threat to each of us as we enter old age. I think that we, as a community, should take a stand for the elder community and try to make a change before situations get worse.


The first step to preventing Elder Abuse is recognizing it. The physical, emotional, psychological, financial, and medical abuse of elders is a sad reality that causes pain and trauma for millions of older Americans. Elder abuse is sometimes hard for caregivers to spot and the majority of cases are not reported. It is most frequently committed by trusted individuals, such as family members, friends, and professional caretakers.


All seniors deserve to spend their final years with dignity and affection, not in anguish and suffering. That's why it's vital for caregivers and professionals to see indicators of abuse, report it, and put an end to it.