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Ahead of the Curve Community Caregiver Training: Addressing Elder Abuse

  • Physical abuse – Hitting or hurting an older adult. Look for bruises or unexplained injuries.  
  • Sexual abuse – Unwanted touching or sexual activity with an older adult. Unexplained sexually transmitted diseases, pain when sitting, and ripped or torn clothing could be clues of sexual abuse.  
  • Emotional abuse –  Threats, constantly insulting or putting down an older adult. Although there aren’t physical signs, take note if an older adult’s mental health suddenly worsens or they become more anxious.  
  • Confinement – Restraining an older adult or separating them from their family and friends. If the caregiver always has excuses for why an older adult in their care can never see family or friends, the caregiver could be purposely isolating them.  
  • Passive neglect – When a caregiver can’t take good care of an older adult. 
  • Willful deprivation – Purposely making an older go without resources they need. Examples of this could be a caregiver leaving an older adult home alone while they go to work or not getting them the medical help they need (e.g., the older adult needs a walker and glasses, but has neither).  
  • Financial exploitation – Misusing or stealing money from an older adult. This includes theft and fraud/scams.   
  • Self-Neglect – An older adult not taking care of themselves by staying on top of their medication or hygiene. Warning signs include having an unkempt appearance (especially if the older adult is usually more put together) and/or dehydration.