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Elder Abuse- Less a Myth, More a Reality

For many of us, old age brings wisdom and calmness, liberty from the responsibility of taking care of a family and the opportunity to allow ourselves the luxury of some well-deserved rest, relaxation as well as ‘me’ time.

However, there are some elders who have to face challenges like deteriorating health, memory loss, monetary hardships and even abuse. We deal with the issue Elder Abuse here:

Elder Abuse is undoubtedly an offence

Sadly, aged people are vulnerable to abuse – particularly in societies where poverty, corruption as well as unemployment create destitution and frustration. Cases where aged people are assaulted or even murdered for their pension are not uncommon. Senior citizens who rely on others for basic care might be mistreated or not given food and medicine, as well.

Elder Abuse can occur in households, at the hands of spouses, children and also grandchildren. It can range from using vulgar language or screaming at the victim to hitting, kicking or pushing them, or stealing their things.

Emotional abuse – Other forms of ill-treatment are not that evident, however equally damaging. E.g.: paying no attention to the elderly people; separating them from families; demeaning them or cursing them or threatening them.

Not caring for the elderly- Ignoring a destitute elderly person is another form of ill-treatment. The person who is taking care of them at home may purposely not remember their medicines or give an overdose. Or they might not be given an adequate amount of food to eat.

Financial abuse- A senior family member’s pension might be stolen or he or she might be forced to change his or her Will or transfer power of attorney.

Sexual abuse- This sort of mistreatment is often not spoken about however is turning out to be more prevalent in our society. This sort of abuse consists of any behavior that violates the sexual integrity of an elder person and would comprise of sexual harassment etc.

Noticing Elder Abuse can be hard. Because, sometimes bruises as well as broken bones can simply be the consequence of a genuine fall, while verbal abuse and neglect are hard to prove.

On the other hand, a victim might keep quiet about the abuse – particularly if they are scared, or dependent on the abuser for food, accommodation and care.  But, If you notice an elder person is being ill-treated, get in touch with a non profit organisation near you and get them a place to live in, where they are given respect and care, all in abundance.


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