There is a silent enemy of seniors in Delaware and other states that lays in wait to rob them of their security and dignity. Sadly, in some cases, it even robs them of their lives. It is estimated that about 25% of cases involving abuse of adults over 65 years goes unreported. Furthermore, annual losses of financially abused elders amounts to about $36.5 billion.
Types of abuse many elders suffer
It takes a keen eye from family members or friends to recognize signs of abuse. The perpetrators are creative in the ways they conceal their actions. The following are the types of abuse older adults could face:
- Emotional abuse includes intimidation, harassment, verbal assaults and threats of abuse.
- Confinement means isolating or restraining an elder from everything except medical care.
- Physical abuse could include inflicting injury or physical pain upon an older person.
- Sexual abuse includes physical force or threats when elders resist sexual activity or are unable to understand.
- Passive neglect involves the failure to provide necessities like food, shelter, medical care and clothing.
- Financial exploitation means the withholding or misuse of an older person’s resources.
- Willful deprivation involves denying medical care, medication, a therapeutic device, food shelter and more.
Older adults could be victims of any or all of the many types of elder abuse, all of which expose vulnerable people to emotional, mental, physical and financial harm. Both men and women could be victims of abuse. Although elder abuse often occurs in nursing homes, family members, including spouses and adult children, perpetrate a significant percentage of neglect and abuse.
Family members or friends of older adults who are not the primary caregivers can play a protective role by frequent visits and looking out for any telltale signs of elder abuse. The Delaware civil justice system provides a platform for recovering financial and emotional damages caused by negligent caregivers.