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Elderly Abuse

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Elder Abuse

Elder abuse can be described as any action or lack of action that puts the health or well-being of an elderly person at risk. The abuse is often carried out by a family member whom the victim trusts.

 

PHYSICAL ABUSE

Causing physical pain and injury – this includes aggressive behaviours such as beatings, torture, being locked up as well as sexual abuse.  

 

  • History of previous injuries, untreated old injuries, and multiple injuries especially at various stages of healing
  • Delay in reporting injury/illness and seeking treatment
  • Unexplained cuts and/or bruises
  • Unexplained burns
  • Unexplained fractures
  • Unexplained hair loss
  • Signs of sexual abuse such as, torn or stained underclothing, or pain or itching in the genitals
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EMOTIONAL PSYCHOLOGICAL ABUSE

Emotional and psychological abuse refers to verbal or non-verbal acts which cause pain and distress to the elderly family member. These include verbal attacks such as threats, insults and humiliation as well as actions that cause a strong fear of violence, being left alone, and/or shame and harassment.

  • Anxiety
  • Nervousness or anger
  • Depression
  • Drug / Alcohol abuse​
  • Headaches, chest pain, palpitation
  • Neurotic traits (e.g. sleep disorders)
  • Non-responsiveness
  • Social withdrawal or isolation
  • Suicidal behaviour / tendency
NEGLECT

This is the deliberate refusal to meet the elderly’s needs such as the failure to provide food, access to housing, clothing, medical care, supervision, safe care and financial support which is required for the elderly’s safety and welfare.

ABANDONMENT

This is when the family member who is responsible for the care of an elderly person, purposely rejects the elder.

  • Unexplained cuts and scratches
  • Body odour
  • Dehydration
  • Unexplained fractures and/or sprains
  • Poor nutrition
  • Poor hygiene
  • Unexplained rashes
  • Soiled / unsuitable clothing
  • Misuse of medication / over-medication
  • Medical needs / physical problems ignored
  • Pressure sores
  • Living in filthy conditions
  • Constant lack of supervision, especially in dangerous activities or for long periods
 
WHAT CAUSES ELDER ABUSE?
Elder abuse and neglect can be set off by the individual qualities of the abuser and/or victim. For example, the abuser may be going through a life crisis or the victim may have a difficult personality. It can also be caused by outside factors that worsen the situation.
CHARACTERISTICS OF ELDER ABUSE VICTIMS
Victims of elder abuse may refuse to admit their mistreatment. There are many reasons for this: fear of rejection and disruption of their lives; embarrassment or shame; worry about their family’s privacy or that legal action might be taken against their abuser. Some victims feel that they deserve the abuse and simply accept it. For the mentally challenged, they may not be aware that they are abused and may not be able to report the abuse.
 
  • Vulnerable
  • Easily taken advantaged of
  • Socially isolated
  • Physically / Mentally impaired
  • Dependent on their caregiver
CHARACTERISTICS OF THE ABUSERS OF ELDERLY VICTIMS
  • Caregivers or relatives who defend their actions or deny that they have harmed the aged victim.
  • Stressed
  • Lonely and cut off from society
  • A person with a history of family violence- likely to suffer from an alcohol and/or drug addiction
  • Bad at communicating with elders
  • Suffering from a mental health problem
  • Financially dependent on the elderly victim
  • Facing caregiver stress
WHERE TO GET HELP
 
          1 Jurong West Central 2
          #06-04
          Jurong Point Shopping Centre
          Singapore 648886           
          Tel: 6791 0341         
         
       1800 555 5555
 
 
ComCare Call - to be connected
          to a Family Service Centre (FSC)
          close to your home
         1800 222 0000
 
          PAVE
          6555 0390
          www.pave.org.sg
 
           TRANS SAFE Centre
           6449 9088
           www.transfamilyservices.org.sg
 
 
           Care Corner Project StART            
           6476 1482
 
          Samaritans of Singapore 
          1800 221 4444