What Is Elder Abuse?

This is a very personal perspective on what constitutes Elder Abuse and Elder Neglect. Honestly, I spent years shying away from this topic. My reaction when I saw the announcements about World Elder Abuse Awareness Day was quick, sharp, visceral; “How awful,” Thank goodness this does not apply to me or the seniors I know and love.” After a while, I accepted that the ugliness of elder abuse is all around us. I opened myself up to education around the topic of Elder Financial Abuse. 

I listened with shock and anger to the stories of scammers that prey on seniors who are lonely, socially isolated, or confused. I can no longer look away or say that these topics aren’t relevant to me. My heart aches when I think of the situations I’ve encountered where a senior is not being cared for in the ways that every human being should be: with dignity and without abuse, neglect, or exploitation. 

Social isolation has never been more common than in 2020. It steals dignity, self-awareness, and opportunities for elders to seek and receive help. Elder neglect is defined by the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) as “failure or refusal to provide for an older person’s safety, physical, or emotional needs.” Once I acknowledged that the prevention of elder abuse is a responsibility that we all share, I stopped looking away and began to recognize the many ways I could build awareness in others. 

If you or a loved one is looking for a care manager you can trust, contact us at 919-554-0675 and let us help you make a plan. 

Written by Vivian McLaurin, Certified Care Manager at Preferred Living Solutions.