Protecting Our Elders: Identifying the Most Common Forms of Elder Abuse



Elder abuse “is characterized by any negligence or omission committed by a person, if it harms life, bodily or mental integrity, the freedom of another person or seriously impairs the development of his personality and financial security.

In the family and an institution (establishment of the EHPAD type or retirement home, for example),  the mistreatment of older people covers multiple forms of suffering and mistreatment in the eyes of the law. It extends to all types of violence and neglect, associated or not.

What Are The Forms Of Abuse

    • physical: blows, wounds, physical constraint
    • moral and psychological: insults, violation of privacy, blackmail, deprivation of affection or visits
    • drugs: excess of neuroleptics, lack of appropriate treatment,
    • financial: theft, extortion, forced inheritance,
    • active neglect (confinement, etc.) or passive (absence of food assistance, etc.),

The risk factors can be linked to the profile of the potential victim, and the cases differ:

  • She is very dependent or suffers from a physical handicap and cannot carry out daily life alone: ​​disorders, such as incontinence, create an overload of work and can lead to the mistreatment of the older adult: rejection, isolation, and even abandonment.
  • She has been receiving help from the same caregiver for a long time.
  • She does not have control over her financial assets or her day-to-day money.
  • She has character issues. Dementias, such as Alzheimer’s disease, can lead to backlashes and acts of abuse towards the older person.
  • She lives alone and is socially isolated.
  • There are risk factors linked to the profile of the carer likely to lead to mistreatment of older people:
  • The caregiver is not well prepared to care for a sick person.
  • He lives with the older adult and cares for her for a long time.
  • He does not accept this caretaker role badly nor receive any reward.
  • Psychological fragility or moral and affective overload (the ‘burn-out’) are elements favoring the mistreatment of older people when the caregiver’s tolerance threshold is exceeded.

Social or financial problems in the caregiver: These problems increase the risk of financial abuse and elder abuse. You should visit a lawyer like Barr & Young Attorneys for example.

Isolation: when the caregiver is alone in taking charge of the older adult, he may not be able to cope and let himself go more easily to abusive behavior, bordering on the mistreatment of the older adult.