Elder Abuse

From the Mennonite Central Committee's Abuse Response and Prevention website: "Seniors are a population that are vulnerable to abuse of many kinds. Part of this vulnerability has to do with society’s reluctance to listen to older people. Their complaints can be dismissed as confusion or dementia. Seniors may have disabilities and need to rely on caregivers to help them manage their life. This power imbalance can lead to abuse.

Abuse of elderly persons includes any act or omission which jeopardizes or results in harm to the health or welfare of an older individual. It is part of an ongoing pattern of power and control by someone with whom there is a trusting relationship. This type of abuse occurs in all socio-economic, religious, geographic and cultural backgrounds.

Those who abuse may be spouses, adult children, professional caregivers or friends. They may be dependent on the victim through alcoholism, drug dependency, psychological problems and/or unemployment. Sometimes, abuse can be the end result of the caregiver being stressed-out."

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