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Be Aware: Elder Abuse

Updated on July 2, 2017


He or she may be your neighbor, relative or friend.  Due to their age and possibly because of health issues, these persons may be targeted as someone to be taken advantage of.  Their minds may not be as sharp as they used to be and it causes them to make poor decisions on many levels.


Many elderly have been victims of several abuses:

PHYSICAL:  Whether by a threat or actual physical harm.

EMOTIONAL:  Verbal or non-verbal acts which cause mental-or-emotional distress of the elderly.

ABANDONMENT and NEGLECT:  The one who is responsible for care, refuses to see to it that the basic needs of the elder in their care are met.  They may leave someone with Alzheimers or some form of dementia without supervision.

THEFT:  The illegal use of an elders finances or other valuable assets.

SEXUAL:  Exploited bodily contact of any kind in any type of sexual manner.

Whether in a nursing home, or assisted living homes (senior citizens homes), in a relatives home or even in their own home; signs of abuse can be evident.


ElderAbusePSA by Assembly Access


BRUISES: May be indicative of abuse. If bruising is noticed with frequency and/or current bruising is becoming worse.

PERSONALITY and BEHAVIOR CHANGES: Watch for frequent sadness, depression or an acute alertness on the elders part that someone is about to harm them. Watch for body language as well, such as putting their hands up to cover their face or head when someone is harmlessly approaching them.




EXCUSES, EXCUSES, EXCUSES: If you notice persistent/consistent 'reasons' for the elderly not being given proper medical care (even when not intentional). Such as:

*No way to get them to the doctor.

*Car is broke down.

*Caregiver does not feel well enough to take them to necessary appointments (on a frequent basis).


 You can make your home safe within and without by doing a few simple things:

In The Home:

*stabilizing furniture (removing wheels), *remove clutter to avoid tripping, *installing adequate lighting (using night- lights as necessary), *installing grab bars (being certain to mount them properly), *use a remote/cordless phone

Outside of the Home:

*fill in cracks on the sidewalk and driveway, *properly install handrails and make certain current ones are secure, *remove rocks/clutter, *rake leaves/put them away and have someone shovel snow/de-ice when necessary).


 CHECK WITH THE PHYSICIAN:  An exercise program will help to maintain bulk and flexibility of muscles, keep bones strong, and may improve gait and balance.  Their physician may be able to give you booklets and/or prescribe the proper exercise routine for them to follow.


When abuse is reported, elders can receive the support necessary to allow them to receive proper medical care and the basics to live well.





The ' International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse' recognizes June 15th as 'World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.' The designated color is 'purple.' Visit to download a copy of the 'Elder Care Tool Kit.'

You may also download 'Strengthening Rights of the Elderly' 2010 directly at that same site at:


On June 15th will you wear a 'purple' ribbon and/or clothing article?

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    • Support Med. profile imageAUTHOR

      Support Med. 

      8 years ago from Michigan

      As a RN, I can see why this topic would be dear to your heart. Hope this article will help people to get the resources they need concerning the elderly. Thanks for visiting/commenting.

    • Coolmon2009 profile image


      8 years ago from Texas, USA

      This is a topic that is dear to my heart. It saddens me when the elderly aren't safe walking the streets or in their homes. Thank you for this information. Good article.

    • Support Med. profile imageAUTHOR

      Support Med. 

      8 years ago from Michigan

      Thank you for visiting/commenting. Sad, but there is help.

    • M.s Fowler profile image

      M.s Fowler 

      8 years ago from United states

      How sad awww

    • Support Med. profile imageAUTHOR

      Support Med. 

      8 years ago from Michigan

      Some unbelievable things can occur in the life of persons who need to be cared for by others. It's good to know that there is a way to help when needed. Thanks for reading and commenting Lady_E.

    • Lady_E profile image


      8 years ago from London, UK

      Mmmmh. This is a very much needed Hub. It's possibly the only one covering this topic on Hubpages and I'm so glad you wrote it as people hardly bring attention to it.

      I only got to know about this when a CEO I used to do IT Training for had a stroke. Her kids put her in a care home and I used to visit often. Let's just say, I saw a lot. They are so vulnerable.

      Thanks for sharing the precautionary measures.

      Bless you. xx

    • Support Med. profile imageAUTHOR

      Support Med. 

      8 years ago from Michigan

      hypnodude, I agree. Abuse towards the elderly is intolerable. Thanks for sharing with your fellow followers. I'll return the sharing. Have a good one!

    • hypnodude profile image


      8 years ago from Italy

      The only thing that I hate more than children abuse is elder abuse. Rated up, useful and stumbled. Well done Support Med. Oh, and shared with my followers. ;)

    • Support Med. profile imageAUTHOR

      Support Med. 

      8 years ago from Michigan

      It is a sad thing. Thanks for showing your support. I know many more will be wearing their purple ribbons as well.

    • profile image

      Just A Voice 

      8 years ago

      This is the one of the saddest things we have to face in this day and age. This and child abuse. I just can't fathom the people who take this kind of advantage of the helpless. It makes me so angry.

      When my mother was in the hospital, it saddened me to see how many of the elderly were left alone, day after day. No family, no support. It killed my soul.

      I will have my purple ribbon on.

    • Support Med. profile imageAUTHOR

      Support Med. 

      8 years ago from Michigan

      Thanks katiem2: I will have my purple ribbon on as well.

    • katiem2 profile image


      8 years ago from I'm outta here

      Thanks for the headsup on this very important issue of elder abuse. I will def be wearing a purple ribbon. Peace :)

    • Support Med. profile imageAUTHOR

      Support Med. 

      8 years ago from Michigan

      Thanks for visiting and commenting! I worked in a nursing home and also did private duty care. Have a great day!

    • mulberry1 profile image

      Christine Mulberry 

      8 years ago

      Good topic. Increasing awareness is important. I worked in healthcare (rehab mostly) We often had elderly patients that were to be discharged home in the care of family members...we really had to be alert to signs of abuse and report those immediately.

    • Support Med. profile imageAUTHOR

      Support Med. 

      8 years ago from Michigan

      Thanks for reading and commenting. I hope as well that this hub will help others.

    • Eileen Hughes profile image

      Eileen Hughes 

      8 years ago from Northam Western Australia

      support med. very good hub, yes this does happen in our own back yard far too often. You see kids taking advantage of them because they are a soft touch. They are being bashed up in their own homes for a measly few dollars or on the streets their handbags ripped away from them.

      And yes even their own families taking homes of them by getting them to sign papers they when don't know what they are. Great hub and hope it helps others to be more aware of this problem. rated

    • Support Med. profile imageAUTHOR

      Support Med. 

      8 years ago from Michigan

      That is really sad. And it is fortunate that he ended up in jail for DUI or it could have gotten even worse; wish he could have been brought up on charges for the beating (but life found a way). Elders are our wisdom and our guidance in this life. May they experience much peace and hopefully, respect.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      8 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Support Med, Elder abuse happens so much more than we realize and I think this is a great hub to bring this problem to the forefront.

      It is good to be alert with elderly neighbors. We had a old man beaten up by his drunken son-in-law but nobody knew until a week later. Fortunately the idiot ended up in jail for a DUI and unpaid tickets. It was shocking to learn that something like that happened to this nice man.


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