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The abusive adult child

Updated on March 5, 2011

The abusive adult child., elder abuse

There is much talk about nursing home abuse of seniors but most abuse of the elderly happens right in their own home by family and care givers . Thousands of parents are abused emotionally , financially or physically every day by their adult children .

The adult child that bullies their parents may have psychiatric problems , drug problems,or they may simply be a bully, or a selfish child who wants financial control over the parent..

I have watch for years as my brothers abuse of my mother got worse and worse every year , so I know how hard it is to deal with . My mother who is a wonderful mother and who was a very strong woman began to weaken as she aged . The weaker she became the more my brother tried to control her. I Have noticed a definite pattern in my brothers abuse . I Seen it when my father was dieing . My father never put up with my brothers temper but when dad got sick and weakened ,my brother started to become verbally abusive with him . My brother began to try to take control of my parents home. The weaker dad got the more controlling and abusive my brother became. At this time my mother was still strong enough to keep my brother some what in check .

After dads death , over the course of two years, my brothers abuse of my mother began to escalate . The weaker my mother became the more the abuse and control escalated .

This is a definite pattern with adults who abuse their parents . The weaker the parent becomes, the worse the abuse becomes .

If I tend to ramble some what while writing this, it is because I am going threw the process of trying to stop my brothers abuse, so I am also on a learning mission .

. I could not understand why my mother defended my brother or hid from me the extent of the abuse until my mother had a mental brake down .

I have a hard time understanding why the child in the family that was spoiled the most, would become abusive . Maybe it is because he is accustomed to getting what ever he wants , Maybe his child hood temper tantrums worked so well, he is now trying to get his way as an adult with the same screaming and tantrums .

I have a hard time understanding where he learned to treat people this way . My parents were good parents, never putting us down or abusing us..

My brother dose have some mental health issues but I do believe he is quite aware that he is doing wrong.

senior elder abuse
senior elder abuse

What is Elder abuse

Senior abuse

There are many types of elder abuse . An adult child may abuse the parent in one of these ways, or all of these ways.

Verbal abuse and Emotional abuse.

Psychological abuse includes humiliation, swearing , blaming , isolation, intimidation, threats, and inappropriate control of activities. Removal of decision making power when the elderly person is still competent to make his/her own decision is also considered to be psychological abuse.

Physical Abuse

Physical abuse includes any kind of physical assault, such as slapping, pushing, kicking, punching, or injuring with an object or weapon. It also includes deliberate exposure to severe weather, inappropriate use of medication and unnecessary physical restraint.


Medication Abuse

This is the misuse of an older person's medications and prescriptions on purpose or by accident. It may include withholding medication, over-medicating or not complying with prescriptions refills,

Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse includes any forced sexual activity, or uninvited touching


Neglect is any lack of action required to meet the needs of an elderly person. It includes inadequate provision of food, clothing, shelter, required medication or other kinds of health and personal care, as well as social companionship.

Financial abuse

The adult child cons the parent into giving money , borrows money and dose not pay it back , takes control of the elderly persons finances and uses the money for their own purposes . The adult child dose not allow the elderly person access to their own money .

Bullies and threatens the Senior if the Senior dose not give the adult child money .

Examples of financial abuse

Stealing the seniors checks ,

Others are less obvious, but are still financial abuse. They involve pressuring or tricking the senior into giving away money, making changes to legal documents, even selling their home.

Another example of how an adult child may financially abuse a senior. The adult child may yell at , and gets angry at the elder if they do not give them money This may include making the elder feel guilty . Saying things like you don't care about me etc . Putting stress and pressure on the senior for not handing over the money.

Books on elder abuse

Senior and Elder abuse

elder abuse prevention
elder abuse prevention

Is your adult child abusing you

Do you know some one who is being abuse

It is a very hard thing emotionally to end this kind of abuse.. but for the health and safety of the abused, it must end.


If you are being abused by your child here are some things you need to do.

1. Make contact with as many people as you can .

2. Tell your Dr what is going on. If the abuser goes to the Dr's office with you, make an appointment for a private problem that requires a physical like a prostate exam or a personal ladies physical such as a pap smear . That way the abuser will not be in the room at that time and then tell the Dr what is going on.

3. Tell family members, relatives, and friends, any community support worker you are involved with , and ask for their help.

4. Call the crisis line in your area, crisis lines are usually manned 24 hrs a day . You can call then just to talk if you need some one to talk to.

Make an appointment with an abuse counselor .

5. If you are ready to end the abuse and the abuser lives with you and they do not pay rent, contact the police and have them removed from your house ., Ask for a restraining order or NO CONTACT order .

Make plans to not be alone , Here are some suggestions

1, Find a friend or relative you can stay with until everything is safe .

2. You could also try and get some one to stay with you.

3. Hire some one to stay with you for a few months

4. consider moving to a seniors residence where you will be safe . or seniors only housing complex/ apartment

You may still love your abusive child and you may feel you are being cruel buy putting a restraining or on them or kicking them out, but things will not get better until you do If your adult child is abusing you or taking advantage of you they are the ones doing wrong , not you .

Books on abuse with in the family

please watch this video on Elder abuse

Elder abuse video

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    • profile image


      3 years ago

      Your story brought me to tears. My father passed away four years ago. Before his death my brother would do anything he asked help out around the house that is why my other siblings and I had no problem with him moving home because he was there to help our aging parents. After my father's death my brother became increasingly controlling and cruel to my mother. He lives in her house rent-free she recently brought him a brand-new Volkswagen. He has never had a job he is 35 years old. She put him through College and most recently and EMT program for which he refuses to take the examination as a way to punish her. He refuses to take out the trash go to the grocery store clean up the cat litter from the cats that he brought into the house. My mother works 12 hour night shift as a nurse and she has to go to the grocery store after the shifts despite her exhaustion at 67 years old. She continues to work because she has to provide for him and his extravagant lifestyle. When she gets home from the grocery store he will throw away some of the food that she bought if he decides that he doesn't want to eat it like he was on a no carb kick so he threw out all the carbs she brought home and then he decided to go off of dairy so he threw away all of the cheese. He dumped out about $600 of wine and alcohol because he decided he was an alcoholic for a time. My mom for the most part will defend what he's doing although at this point she basically just tells us to leave him alone she's definitely scared of him he punches holes through walls in her home slams doors punishes her when she asks him to do something by doing something else passive aggressively. It is the most mind-boggling relationship I have ever watched. She took amazing care of all of us all of our lives. How he could ever turn around now that she needs something from him and be so incredibly callous and cruel is out of my comprehension. He is my sibling and I wish daily that he would die in a car accident so that she would be free of him.

    • colorfulone profile image

      Susie Lehto 

      3 years ago from Minnesota

      I am sorry that your Mom endured this from your brother. We need to honor our parents. They gave us life!

    • Frischy profile image


      6 years ago from Kentucky, USA

      This can even begin at younger ages. I think there is not much help or information available for parents who are mistreated or abused by their adult children. At any age, silence and isolation of the victims perpetuates the bullying.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      As a parent who is suffering the emotional abuse of my adult child im glad i found this site...its taken me years to realise what's actually happening.. I kept thinking surely this isn't normal...

    • linhah lm profile image

      Linda Hahn 

      6 years ago from California

      I am so sorry that the disregard for elders continues.

    • howtocurecancer profile image


      7 years ago

      Oh my God, a lens that talks about a cruel reality.


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