09 Sep Written for Deer Lodge Centre Foundation: Story on Elder Abuse
This was an article written for my good friends at the Deer Lodge Centre Foundation on Elder Abuse and what it entails. Awareness helps to stop this terrible occurrence, and it starts with accessible information. You can find it in its entirety at the Deer Lodge Centre Foundation website.
You don’t think it can happen to you. You know the warning signs. You’re smart, strong and independent. But the truth is, with the aging of our population, elder abuse is spreading. It can take many forms. It can impact not only the victim, but their friends, family and caregivers.
Of the more than 160,000 Manitobans aged 55 or older, four to ten per cent will experience elder abuse at some point in their later years. As an umbrella term, elder abuse describes any activity that involves harming or taking advantage of an older individual – and includes everything from psychological and physical abuse, to neglect, to sexual or financial abuse. It can happen at home, in the community, and in hospital or care facilities. One of the darkest sides of elder abuse is that it is usually committed by someone the victim trusts or depends on.
It can be prevented, and it can be stopped.
What Elder Abuse Looks Like
Elder abuse is not always easy to spot. Signs of physical abuse include bruises, cuts, burns, swellings and scratches. These signs often won’t fit with the victim’s explanation of the injury, or with the victim’s medical history.