As a professional care provider, Alex Gow has been made aware of an alarming increase of abuse upon our elderly in the community and would like to use this publication as a means of providing information so that you can identify the signs of abuse and gain assistance if needed.
Elder Abuse can take various forms and these are listed below for your information.
Psychological abuse is the infliction of mental anguish, fear and feelings of shame and powerlessness.
Behaviours include verbal intimidation, humiliation, harassment, shouting, threats of various forms, withholding of affection and removal of decision-making powers.
Financial abuse is the illegal or improper use of an older person’s finances or assets without their informed consent.
Behaviours include misappropriation of assets, money or valuables, forced changes to legal documents, the denial of access to personal funds, forging signatures, misuse of a bank card and misappropriation of an Enduring Power of Attorney.
Physical abuse is the infliction of physical pain, injury or force and the deprivation of liberty.
Behaviours include slapping, hitting, bruising, pushing and shoving, physically restraining and over & under medicating.
Social abuse is the intentional prevention of an older person from having social contact with family or friends or accessing social activities of their choice.
Behaviours include Moving the older person away from family and friends, forbidding access to visitors, denying the use of the phone or monitoring calls and cutting off activities without explanation and many other controlling behaviours.
Sexual abuse is sexually abusive or exploitative behaviour or any behaviour that makes the older person feel uncomfortable about their body or gender.
Behaviours include rape, indecent assault, sexual harassment, the use of sexually offending language and touching inappropriately.
Neglect is the failure of a caregiver to provide the necessities of life to a person for whom they are caring. Neglect can be unintentional or intentional. Both have the same adverse effect on the abused and cannot be excused or condoned.
Behaviours include Unintentional Neglect – when a carer does not have the skills, knowledge or physical ability to care for the person or they lack knowledge of the supports available to them. Intentional Neglect – when an older person is abandoned or not provided with adequate food, clothing or water or when there is a refusal by the carer to allow other people to provide necessary care.
If you or anyone you know has been a victim of abuse, please contact the Elder Abuse Prevention Unit [A Division of Uniting Care] on 1300 651 192
or Lifeline on 13 11 14 or the Police on 000.
Alex Gow Funerals – Promoting the rights
of all older people to live free from abuse