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The Forms Of Elderly Abuse And Neglect

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Many elderlies rely on their family or trusted individuals (friends or neighbors) to help them. When an old person grows old, they need care, guidance, aid and support. Unfortunately, their dependence on their close one sometimes led to abuse. Elder abuse is the abuse and neglect of older people. It takes many forms. (WHO, 2016). Elder abuse can happen at any time and in many places like: at home, at a family member’s place, or at elderly homes. 90% of abusers are their family members, it can be children, spouse and partners. (WHO, 2016). Abuse of elderly is recognized as social problems and are raising concern among the elderly cohort. The rate of elderly populations keeps on increasing and if resources for them are insufficient, there is a chance that abuse will increase. ( ) .

Abuse can be in any forms:

Physical abuse.

Physical abuse is described as any bodily harm that are caused by someone. Examples: hitting, pushing, beating, slapping, burning or inappropriate use of drugs. According to an article in Mauritius times (March 19, 2018), in most cases, it is the children who is the perpetrators to their parent or grandparents. Since older adults are dependent on the family, their relationship can deteriorate. Sometimes, elderly who suffer from psychological problem are abusive towards their caregivers, which in turn can affect the mental health of the caregiver. ( ).

Another disturbing factor that result in elderly ill-treatment is drug abuser. Those who fell into this trap can go to any extent of physical abuse to take money from their parents or grandparents which make them become more prone to poor nutrition and health problems. In some cases, they are even beaten to death. An example of elderly mistreatment in Mauritius : ( )

“Le 5 septembre, la région de St-Pierre se réveillait dans l’effroi. Dhanon Dawoonath, 85 ans, venait d’être mortellement agressée. Après son arrestation, Randirsingh Choytun, son fils de 55 ans, est passé aux aveux. Outre ce meurtre, il a également confessé aux enquêteurs qu’il maltraitait sa mère régulièrement. Un énième cas qui attire l’attention sur les abus à l’égard des aînés et, aussi, sur les failles du système d’intervention, pour leur venir en aide.” (L’, by Melhia Bissiere, 12 September 2018). In this case, the old lady’s son is the perpetrator.

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·Financial exploitation

Financial exploitation is the misuse or illegal use of an older person’s money, property or assets. For examples: forging of signatures, stealing an older person’s money (using ATM card to withdraw money from their account) keeping the pensions money to themselves, deceiving an older person for property. Financial exploitation is omnipresent and it is often underreported. The effects of financial exploitation on elder abuse is primordial: ( )

  • The older person feels insecure
  • Loss of trust
  • Can have depression
  • Feel afraid


Neglect occurs when the elder adult is deprived of the basic needs (food, shelter, clothing) or medical care. Many children do not fulfill their responsibility, they are rather busy in their ‘own world’. According to an article, some bedridden parents, were not taken care of for days, they are not changed or fed up. Some were even lying in bed with their nappies soaked with urine and faeces. Only a maid was present, no family member even came to visit them. (

An example of neglect in Mauritius:

“Nadine, 45 ans, a, pour sa part, pu sauver de justesse une vieille voisine de 83 ans, violentée. «Ses enfants la frappent souvent. Las d’entendre des cris, nous nous sommes rendus chez elle. Elle était dans un état déplorable. Elle n’était plus nourrie. Sa famille ne lui donnait plus son bain et ne faisait que voler sa pension”.

However, in many countries, many elderlies do not know where to go and seek help. Not all cases of elderly abuse are reported. Many of them fear the abuser, feel reluctant or embarrassed or fear retaliation.

Abuse in elderly homes.

While elder abuse occurs in homes, there is abuse also in elderly homes too or other facilities where they stay for a long time. Some elderly has some physical impairments and are more dependent on others, thus they are more vulnerable to physical abuse.

According to an article, in Mauritius, a surprise investigation was made by officers from the Ministry of Social Security, National Solidarity and Reform Institutions in collaboration with State Law officers and the police in three homes. These homes were operated illegally as revealed by the Minister Leela Devi Dhookun at a press meet. Under conditions of confidentiality, an old member who used to live in the elderly homes confessed that there were physical assault and sexual abuse by those formal caregivers. Even their pensions or other benefits they received did not reach to them, the institutions used to keep the money. Proper care was not given to them, sometimes they were left alone with a cook, no caregiver was present and the place were untidy, with a bad smell. ( )

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The Forms Of Elderly Abuse And Neglect. (2021, September 16). Edubirdie. Retrieved December 4, 2022, from
“The Forms Of Elderly Abuse And Neglect.” Edubirdie, 16 Sept. 2021,
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