Emotional Abuse can result from verbal assaults, threats, intimidation, humiliation, or isolation and can cause mental and emotional trauma. Verbally threatening and abusive treatment, and other acts of rage are not acceptable behavior, even if carried out by a son or daughter or family friend. You can report such psychological abuse to Adult Protective Services at (800) 471-7123. Understand that such intimidating and hurtful conduct is not your fault.
When to suspect a senior may be a victim of emotional abuse:
- Appears depressed and not himself/herself
- Unusual mood changes and anger
- Fear of being touched or approached by others
- Seems withdrawn and unusually introverted or afraid
Neglect is the failure by a caregiver to provide the senior with basic needs. This includes food, shelter, medical assistance, personal hygiene products, heat or air conditioning. Such neglect should be reported. Adult children, especially unemployed or those with a criminal history, may neglect their elder parents. Be leery of giving an adult child with a history of emotional or criminal problems too much control over your money or your life.
When to suspect a senior may be a victim of neglect:
- The elder feels isolated by a caretaker and is unable to speak freely or spend time with others
- A caretaker fails to assist with personal hygiene or in providing clothing for the elder
- A caregiver has a history of violence, or alcohol or drug abuse
- The senior shows signs of dehydration or malnutrition
- The elder has sudden weight loss
- The elder does not have necessities, including eyeglasses, dentures, prostheses, hearing aids, canes, walkers, or other critical items
Another form of neglect is self-neglect. Self-neglect is the inability of an elder who does not have a caretaker to provide for himself/herself. Self-neglect is NOT a crime. However, seniors can receive services and assistance from Adult Protective Services at (800) 471-7123.
Important: Often victims of elder abuse can be abused in more ways than one. For example, an abuser may hit the elder (physical abuse) in order to convince him or her to turn over money to the abuser (financial abuse).