A stitch in time – Be alert


Every year over hundreds of thousand senior citizens are neglected, abused and exploited by family, medical practitioners and caregivers. The abused can be both men and women and the abusers are usually the ‘trusted others’ who take the advantage of the situation. The reasons are many which revolve the abuse pattern. Physical and mental abuses are the most common especially when the elders cannot retaliate due to frail health. It is extremely inhumane and bad on the abuser’s part to conduct such heinous acts. However, with the increasing trend new laws and bills are being passed to prevent such occurrences. In the United States, there have legislatures passed in 50 states that prevent the abuses from occurring.

Abuse types

The state laws have a set of elder abuse practice area around which the laws revolve. The practice areas usually comprise of physical and mental abuse along with sexual abuse. Physical abuse comprises of beating, kicking and causing injuries to the elderly person without any reason. It is non-accidental in nature and has no underlying reasons for the same. The elders are usually left with gashes and wounds and at times multiple injuries. The abuser can also drug the person or give him medicines that can have an adverse reaction the body. Mental abuse usually involves making the elders the scapegoats and playing the blame game and even bullying the person. The acts leave the person traumatized and shaken. They often get into dementia and are very shaken and nervous. The signs are usually old age symptoms, but are caused due to excessive abusing behavior of the trusted sorts. The sexual abuse is on the same ground, but usually revolves around molestation, rape and insertion of foreign objects in the privates. This might lead to other complications and often death. Neglect and abandonment is also categorized under abusing and affects the elders greatly. Self-neglect is also termed as abuse when the person refuses to take care of himself.

Abuses around finance and property

Unlike the physical forms of abuse, which traumatize and disturb the person, financial abuse and frauds often rob the person of his wealth. The caregivers usually conduct this practice of misusing the person’s bank accounts, bills and credit cards for transactions. Likewise, medical practitioners overcharge, double bill, ignore and even prescribe the wrong medicine for personal financial gains and benefits. Certain fraudulent companies also play the trick of securing bank details by claiming lottery tickets and prizes won by elderly person.

Signs of abuses

If you see bruises and press marks on an elderly person body or broken bones and burns – be alert. If it is your family member then seek medical help first and then figure out the underlying cause of an act. If there is a sudden withdrawal from normal activities or dementia or trauma – follow the drill. Scars and bruises are common around the breasts and genital areas when there is a sexual abuse occurring and sudden change in financial situations indicates financial strain. Use these parameters as elder abuse practice areas and alert everyone around you. This prevent the further occurrences of such events in the lives of many.