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Protect your grandparents: 6 types of elder abuse and what to do about it

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According to the World Health Organization (WHO), in the past year alone one in six people over sixty years of age has experienced some kind of elder abuse by their caregivers. These figures increased during the pandemic. Elder abuse seems to be more prevalent in long-term care institutions. Learn about the six most common types of abuse perpetrated on older adults.

Physical abuse

Approximately 14% of older adults who live in long-term care communities have reported suffering from physical abuse. Mild to moderate blows by their caregivers are the most common forms of this elder abuse. Excessive physical force to perform everyday tasks such as going to the bathroom, feeding, or grooming is also a sign that an older adult is being physically abused.

Psychological abuse

elder abuse

Psychological abuse is one of the most common, and insidious, forms of elder abuse. According to official figures, more than 33% of the personnel in charge of care have admitted to verbal abuse. The manipulation of information, the use of nicknames, unfounded accusations, criticism and isolation are just some of the examples that could reflect that a person is the victim of this type of abuse.

Financial abuse

Financial abuse in adulthood is very common, and it is usually perpetrated by close relatives of the person. They take advantage of the opportunity or the physical or psychological limitations of an older person to make unauthorized or coerced financial transactions. This type of abuse, according to statistics provided by the WHO, occur in at least 10% of the adult population, who are often robbed of their savings or income.

Elder abuse: Negligence

elder abuse

An alarming statistic regarding the care of the elderly shows that more than 12% of nursing home staff have openly admitted to engaging in day-to-day negligence of the people in their care. Negligence can be reflected in actions such as: poor nutrition, dehydration, few or no changes of clothes, poor body hygiene or carelessness when eating food or medication.


The abandonment of older adults is a worrying trend. In these cases, the closest relatives decide to completely abandon their responsibilities as the main caregivers for their relatives. This can happen in several ways. For example, sending the older adult to a nursing home or care home and never visiting them again or leaving them alone in a house without someone visiting to verify their physical and mental condition.

Sexual abuse


Sexual abuse is the least reported form of elder abuse, with 1.9% of reported sexual assaults. However, this does not mean that it doesn’t exist. Just that, in most cases, the abuse is not reported in an accurate way. At least 30% of adults over 65 years of age have been victims of sexual abuse, and 83% of these reside permanently in institutions specialized in caring for the elderly.

The post Protect your grandparents: 6 types of elder abuse and what to do about them appeared first on Mundo Hispanico

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