Elder Abuse is not restricted to physical harm – but can include other behaviour that causes distress to an older person, occurring within a relationship where there is an expectation of trust. Forms of abuse include:
1. Physical abuse: Hitting, shaking, pushing, slapping or any rough handling which results in pain, injury or death. Physical abuse includes the denial of food and water, or deliberately withholding warm clothing/ blankets when it’s cold.
2. Financial abuse: Illegal or improper use of an older person’s property or finances, such as taking control of a pension.
3. Sexual abuse: Exploiting an older person for sexual or erotic gratification, often without their knowledge, understanding or consent.
4. Psychological, emotional and verbal abuse: Degrading or humiliating conduct towards an older person, such as rejection, ridicule or isolation – or saying things like: “I wish you would die.”
5. Intimidation: Using threats to force an older person to do something against their will.
6. Violation of Human Rights: Denying fundamental rights such as dignity, speech, expression, access to information or medical attention.
7. Victimisation: Older people with dementia may be incorrectly perceived to be participating in witchcraft and stigmatised, excluded or harmed, or have their property damaged.