Elder abuse is defined as any form of mistreatment that harms or causes loss for an older, elderly person. Elder abuse is typically categorized into the following six types:
- Physical Abuse: non-accidental physical action that causes an elderly person a body injury or injuries, physical pain, or any impairment. Physical elder abuse includes battery, assault, and inappropriate restraint.
- Sexual Abuse: any kind of sexual contact with an elder person that is non-consensual
- Domestic Abuse/Violence: an exhibition of an escalation pattern of violent actions or intimidation perpetrated by an elderly person’s intimate partner in order to establish power and control over the elderly person
- Psychological Abuse: any form of threat, humiliation, or physical or verbal intentional action that causes an elderly person to endure mental or emotional misery
- Financial Abuse: includes a variety of illegal or improper uses of an elderly person’s finances, which include not only cash, but property and other financial resources, such as a will or a deed, as well
- Neglect: any instance of failure on the caregiver’s part to provide necessary care- for intentional reasons (“active” neglect), such as purposely withholding necessities from the elderly person for personal gain; or for unintentional reasons (“passive” neglect), such as neglect resulting from a caretaker’s illness or lack of resources
- Self Neglect: neglect that results from an elderly person’s refusal of care
In order to prevent elder abuse in San Diego, both intentional and unintentional, practice the following three actions:
- Listen to seniors and any caregiver that they may have
- Intervene if and when you suspect any form of elder abuse
- Educate yourself, others, and elderly persons on how to recognizes as well as report instances of elder abuse
If you are a caregiver and feel overwhelmed by or are unable to meet the demands of providing care for an elderly person, you should take the following measures to ensure that La Jolla elder abuse does not unintentionally occur:
- Ask for help from family, friends, or in-home caregiver agencies
- Consider enrolling the elderly person in an adult day care program
- Make sure that you yourself are being taken care of and staying healthy
- Try stress reduction exercises
- Join a support group for caregivers for the elderly
- Seek counseling if you are experiencing depression or other mood disorders, or if you are abusing drugs and/or alcohol
At healthcare facilities, healthcare abuse and fraud problems and issues can typically be linked to a poor standard and quality of care at the facility.
If you suspect that elder abuse is occurring or if you are an elder person experiencing some form of abuse, you should report it by telling at least one trusted person, as reporting elder abuse in La Jolla is the only viable method of action in most cases of elder abuse. You should tell a close friend or family member, or the elder person’s physician in suspected elder abuse cases. There are other people who can help; do not assume someone else will report the abuse or that the elder person will be capable of reporting the abuse him or herself. Many seniors tend to not report the abuse they are experiencing out of fear of retaliation or out of the worry that there will be no one else to take care of them.
In most states, Adult Protective Services (APS) is the primary agency that will respond to reports of elder abuse.
Elder abuse in San Diego County should be reported to (800) 338-4661, a 24-hour abuse hotline.
Read on to find out about elder abuse, what you can do to prevent elder abuse, and how you can help elderly people experiencing elder abuse