Facts About Physical Abuse And Effects of It

Adult maltreatment is the abuse of an adult which is being neglected and not being treated the same. The topic I will be focusing on is Elder Abuse. Elder abuse is the failure to act, by a caregiver or another person in a relationship with the elder that is being affected. According to “The Center of Disease Control and Prevention”(CDC) an older adult is defined as someone age 60 or older. A large number of the population have come to conclude that elderly people have to be placed in a center home, I highly disagree with that because that is a form of neglect against elders. First , I will provide evidence of elder abuse which is physical, emotional and sexual harm against the elders. Overall, the elder neglect and abuse take place at home with the caregivers being the cause they get maltreated. Providing risk factors and how we can prevent and when we can report this issue of elder abuse. In the U.S alone, more than half a million reports of elder abuse reach authorities every year, and million more cases go unreported. Someone who is 60 years or older become more physically frail, and they are less able to take care of themselves. For example, a 65 year old person can have a difficult time standing up from bed and taking showers overall being more active because we need to understand that an elderly person’s brain is not the same as when they were 30 years old and they can even forget to do certain stuff which they can have some memory loss not in all cases but in most. At this age the elderly are not able to perform essential self- care for themselves and they need that extra help.

Physical abuse to the elder can be seen as hitting, pushing, shoving, kicking, punching, restraining, slapping or even given the inappropriate use of drugs. For example, if a caregiver is being neglectful with the person they might bruise them up by hitting them and since they are older they tend to show more quick after the maltreatment. Also, if the elder is on some medication which in most cases the 87% of elders are put on medications, the caregiver is there to give them the right medications to help be successful and have a better life. But when it comes to the maltreatment the caregiver is not responsible and gives the elder the wrong medication or does not provide them with any. Physical pain comes with any type of violence or harm that leaves an older person injured. Since the person being damaged is older then the time for them to recover from any type of injury might take longer and require more medical attention for months.

When the caregiver is being neglected then the life of the elder does not matter to them and they do not give them the appropriate attention they need and can result in the elder’s death. There is just so much an older person can do that they can even defend themselves if that is the case. The physical abuse can come from a family member, friends, nursing home staff or even grandchildren. Older people’s bodies are weaker therefore when you abuse them they can affect their bodies dramatically. According to the U.S Department of Justice (DOJ), only 1 in 20 cases of physical elder abuse is reported to authorities. The effects of the caregivers or the abuser to be doing this to older people is because they can abuse drugs or alcohol, have a criminal record, have a mental illness or were exposed to abuse as a child. Some risk factors that can be caused by physical abuse can be mental or physical illness, isolation and overall disabilities. As a person that cares for elderly people we should all be aware of the signs of physical abuse which vary from broken bones, sprains or burns.

Emotional abuse is verbal emotional abuse or nonverbal emotional abuse. Emotional abuse is when a person acts in a way that leads a senior to suffer from depression and feel helpless. Some examples for verbal emotional abuse is yelling, screaming, insulting, name- calling, intimidating, embarrassing or being mean to the senior. Blaming them can be an abuse or humiliating them as well because they are basically feeling like they are not worth it or that they are just being someones nuisance. Some examples of nonverbal emotional abuse is isolating a senior from others like if there’s any family event going on and isolating them can be a way of depression towards their health and ignoring the individual as well. The emotional abuse comes with making the senior feel alone and that nobody wants to talk to them and then that causes them to feel depressed. The feeling of no help can be the worst that an elderly person can feel because they have no one to reach out to and talk about it or even to ask for help. Some of the side effects due to the emotional abuse can be anxiety and fear against the world and themselves. Due to the abuse that is happening in the household some frustration can be going through this individual’s mind along with feeling hopelessness and lack of interest for their living. The feeling of mental discomfort is something an elder individual should not feel in any type of case especially when it comes to the different types of behaviors they show. The way that people treat elders is a form that they do not have any consideration for and they do not think that they will soon get old as well and i’m sure they do not want to be treated the way they give back. Emotional abuse is dangerous and can lead to a more serious case causing the elders to have a hard time adapting to the life they are given. The general decline can be dramatic and the elders are the way we need to see because we all have parents and might be going through this or any other family member. Preventing this emotional abuse can go from as easy and staying in contact with the elder person and letting them know that there is someone who cares for them and keep them motivated with no negative thinking towards their health. We can help seniors stay active and encourage them to do better, this will help and boost the elders’ thinking.

Finally, sexual harm/elder neglect are main points of elder abuse. Sexual harm to an elder person can be from showing to obligation any sexual harm to the individual. Many abusers of the sexual harm against the elderly can be described as an individual or the caregiver and their contact without their consent. This sexual harm is very damaging to the elderly because it messes up their mind and way of thinking and ask why they are doing that to them. Some effects towards this harm can be depression and for the elder to be feeling some type of way or feel insecure about themselves. Elder neglect can be mostly done in a family home which in this way they can be neglectful to the elderly person by not having the supplies an elder person needs. For example, if the elder person has any type of disability which the caregiver is being neglectful and not providing the supplies they need then that is neglect. Also, if the home or center that the elder person is being held in is dirty or in any bad condition then that is neglect as well. An elder person can also be a victim of neglect if the caregiver does not provide them with the general personal hygiene, most of the older individuals have to be clean and hydrated given plenty of attention to be successful. The effects of this type of elder neglect can vary from unhealthy and for the victim to be underweight. Living in an unsanitary place can bring many diseases to the individual and get health problems from the environment they are being exposed to.

Overall, any type of abuse is harmful but in this case elder abuse is the most important to stood out to me because we all have parents and grandparents which we have to see the signs if anyone is being neglectful towards them or abusing of them as a person and who they are with their defects or any other situation they might be facing. The first factors we need to focus on when someone is being neglected is looking for the relationship that the caregiver has with the elderly person and if the bond with each other and the caregiver treats them as a normal individual they are. Some warning signs will help prevent the abuse of someone. There are many obstacles that an elder individual has as it is and it should not be getting worse only because someone is taking advantage of them and abusing them. As an individual that cares for elder people it is just sad to see how someone can be so cruel and not have a heart towards someone who is of the third age. We should be considered and take the elder point of view and acknowledge where they are coming from and what they are going through. In this research paper I explained the main three types of abuse due to elders which are physical, emotional and sexual abuse. Each one of these abuses have their risk factors that we should be aware of and take action and report any type of abuse when we see signs. With us reporting any case it can save a life and the well-being of any individual.


  1. “Definitions|Elder Abuse|Violence Prevention|Injury Center|CDC.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 28 May 2019, www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/elderabuse/definitions.html.
  2. “Elder Abuse and Neglect.” HelpGuide.org, 14 Feb. 2020, www.helpguide.org/articles/abuse/elder-abuse-and-neglect.htm.
  3. Elder Abuse. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/elder-abuse
  4. What is Elder Abuse? (n.d.). Retrieved from https://acl.gov/programs/elder-justice/what-elder-abuse
  5. Lachs, Mark, and Karl Pillemer. ‘Elder Abuse.’ The New England Journal of Medicine 373.20 (2015): 1947-956. Web.
  6. Storey, Jennifer E. ‘Risk Factors for Elder Abuse and Neglect: A Review of the Literature.’ Aggression and Violent Behavior 50 (2020): Aggression and Violent Behavior, January 2020, Vol.50. Web.
  7. Liu, Pi-Ju, Kendon J Conrad, Scott R Beach, Madelyn Iris, and Lawrence B Schiamberg. ‘The Importance of Investigating Abuser Characteristics in Elder Emotional/Psychological Abuse: Results from Adult Protective Services Data.’ The Journals of Gerontology. Series B, Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences 74.5 (2019): 897-907. Web.
  8. Dong, XinQi, Melissa Simon, and Denis Evans. ‘Decline in Physical Function and Risk of Elder Abuse Reported to Social Services in a Community‐Dwelling Population of Older Adults.’ Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 60.10 (2012): 1922-928. Web.

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