Understanding the Different forms of Elder Abuse

Understanding the Different forms of Elder Abuse

Caregiver with Client

Caregiver with Client

Physical Abuse

Physical abuse is the intentional use of force toward an elderly person, and this conduct can result in physical injury, impairment, or pain. This type of abuse can include a physical assault, such as shoving or hitting, but it may also include inappropriate usage of confinement, restraints, or drugs. Unfortunately, physical abuse of an elderly person can sometimes include sexual abuse.  At Partners in Healthcare our RNs are your geriatric care managers, this service is bundled into our home health care services

Emotional Abuse

Emotional abuse of an elder involves treating that person in a way that might cause emotional distress or pain, and it can include verbal and nonverbal abuse. Verbal forms include habitual blaming, ridicule, humiliation, and intimidation through the use of threats or yelling. On the other hand, nonverbal emotional abuse can include ignoring the elder, isolating him from others, and engaging in menacing behaviors.  When looking for elderly home care hiring a person off the web or a independent contract puts your loved one at risk.  Simply ask a company if the person they are sending is an “employee” that is RN managed, has Workers Compensation insurance, and a $1M+ professional liability insurance, or just an “independent contractor”.  Is your loved one worth the risk of having non-managed, uninsured and untrained caregiver?

Healthcare Abuse and Fraud

This type of elder abuse is carried out by hospital personnel, including nurses, doctors, and other providers. Some of the most common examples of this type of abuse include the following:

  • Medicaid fraud
  • Under-medicating or overmedicating
  • Receiving a kickback for a referral to another provider or for writing a prescription for a specific medication
  • Double-billing or overcharging for medical services and care
  • Charging for services that were not provided

 Financial exploitation involves the unauthorized usage of an elder’s property or funds. This can be done at the hands of a scam artist or by a trusted caregiver. Con artists often prey on the elderly, and they use the confusion and vulnerability that this population often experience to their advantage. Scammers may call the elderly person claiming to be from a financial institution, hospital, or insurance company and ask for his personal information, or they may claim that the elderly person has won a prize or solicit a donation for a fake charity.

Family and friends that serve as caregivers are often the source of financial exploitation of the elderly. A caregiver may forge the elder’s checks or misuse his bank accounts. Identity theft and the stealing of cash, Social Security benefits, and household items are also common.

If you suspect that your elderly loved one is being abused, it is important that you report it as soon as possible. Contact your county human or social services office to determine where to make your report. By taking this step, you can help to ensure your loved one’s physical, emotional, and financial safety and well-being.

The nurses at Partners in Healthcare are available to talk with you about your in-home senior care needs including how to stay healthy at home with RN managed affordable care. We are a personal home care agency that provides elder home care serves in the Orlando area, call us at 407-788-9393.

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