Millions of older adults are abused each year. There are many kinds of abuse. Tell your health care provider if you experience any of the following, or call one of the numbers above if any of the following happens to you:
- Physical abuse is when someone hurts or harms you. This is when someone hits, slaps, pushes or kicks you. It is when someone burns or bites you.
- Signs of abuse can be bruising, bite marks, burns, or welts.
- Sexual abuse is if you are touched by force when you do not want to be touched. It is when someone touches you by force and you are unable to say no.
- Domestic violence is when you are hurt or intimidated at home by
- a family member
- a domestic partner
- a caregiver
- Neglect is when your caregiver does not give you the care you need.
- Psychological abuse is causing mental or emotional pain. It is making verbal or nonverbal threats. It is calling you bad names. It is treating you like a child.
- Self-neglect is when you stop taking care of yourself:
- you can get dehydrated
- you can become dirty
- you can have a strong odor
- you can get malnourished
- you can get ill because you are not taking your medicine
- you may not be thinking properly
- your home can get very dirty
- Financial abuse is when you do not know when your money is being used:
- someone is writing checks without asking you
- someone is cashing your checks without asking you
- someone is lying about how much money is needed to take care of you
- someone is stealing money from you
- The flu is a contagious lung illness caused by a virus. It can cause mild to severe illness. It can cause death. The best way to prevent the flu is by getting a flu shot each year. Please ask your primary care physician about the flu shot.
- Pneumonia is caused by bacteria. It can cause infection in the blood. It can cause meningitis. The best way to prevent pneumonia is to get a pneumonia shot. Please ask your primary care physician about the pneumococcal shot.
- Tetanus (Lockjaw) is an illness caused by bacteria. It causes your muscles to become tight. It is very painful. The jaw gets very tight. You are unable to open your mouth. You cannot swallow. You can prevent Tetanus by getting a vaccination. Please ask your primary care physician about the tetanus shot.
- Hepatitis A, B and C is a disease caused by a virus that attacks the liver. Depending upon which hepatitis virus a victim has been exposed to it can cause:
- Acute or lifelong infection
- Cirrhosis (scarring) of the liver
- Liver cancer
- Liver failure
- There are shots to prevent Hepatitis A and B. There is not a shot to prevent Hepatitis C. Please ask your primary care physician about the Hepatitis A or B shot.
Important Numbers You Should Know
Fire, Police and Medical Emergencies: 911
National Adult Protective Services: 1-800-393-0210
National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233
National Eldercare Locator Hotline: 1-800-677-1116
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
Poison Control Center: 1-800-222-1222
Elder Abuse and Neglect, Lawrence Robinson, Tina de Benedicts, Ph.D., and Jeanne Segal, Ph.D., June 2012