Elder Abuse More than Just Physical Abuse
In a recent fraud case from northern California, the alleged perpetrator of fraud apparently targeted elderly women with a securities loan investment scheme that cost victims an estimated $20 million. A May 7, 2009, bargaining agreement resulted in a no contest plea for Thomas Hastert, who will serve five years of a potential 32-year sentence. Sources cited in the AppealDemocrat.com story suggest that a charge of elder abuse would have been appropriate.
Contrary to common belief, elderly abuse is not limited to physical abuse. Although physical violence committed against the elderly is the most visible sign of abuse, other types of mistreatment can be just as damaging to the mental and financial health of senior citizens.
Emotional blackmail and verbal abuse target the psyche of the older citizen. Often, the elderly are dependant on a very small circle of friends and family members for social support. The narrowness of their social contacts makes them more vulnerable to threats to withhold attention and less likely to speak out against humiliating or degrading insults.
Financial abuse is another example of willful mistreatment considered a form of elder abuse. When an elderly person is dependant on friends and family members to make decisions regarding investments or simply meeting the household bills, the potential for elderly abuse is present.