Caregiver abuse is typically defined as abuse by someone providing care for a child, the elderly or a person with a disability. Caretaker abuse is a broad term encompassing all types of abuse and neglect but not always specifically caused by someone in a caretaker role. The term caregiver refers to anyone who routinely helps others who are limited they’re ability to care for themselves. While formal caregivers are typically paid employees, contractors or even volunteers connected to the social service or health care systems, informal caregivers are often family members or friends, who provide care.
Elder abuse might include any or all of the following:
- Physical Abuse: Inflicting, or threatening to inflict, physical pain or injury on a vulnerable person, or depriving them of a basic need;
- Emotional Abuse: Inflicting mental pain, anguish, or distress on an elder person through verbal or nonverbal acts;
- Sexual Abuse: Non-consensual sexual contact of any kind;
- Exploitation: Illegal taking, misuse, or concealment of funds, property, or assets of a vulnerable person;
- Neglect: Refusal or failure by those responsible to provide food, shelter, health care or protection for a vulnerable person;
- Abandonment: The desertion of a vulnerable person by anyone who has assumed the responsibility for care or custody of that person.
There are some tell-tale signs that there could be a problem, including:
- Bruises, pressure marks, broken bones, abrasions, and burns may be an indication of physical abuse, neglect, or mistreatment;
- Unexplained withdrawal from normal activities, a sudden change in alertness, and unusual depression may be indicators of emotional abuse;
- Bruises around the breasts or genital area can occur from sexual abuse;
- Sudden changes in financial situations may be the result of exploitation;
- Bedsores, unattended medical needs, poor hygiene, and unusual weight loss are indicators of possible neglect;
- Behavior such as belittling, threats and other uses of power and control by spouses are indicators of verbal or emotional abuse.
If you suspect that a vulnerable loved one is being victimized, contact us today for a consultation. We are here to provide you with peace-of-mind.