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What are the Types of Elder Abuse?

You may think of elder abuse as coming only at the hands of caregivers in long-term care facilities or home care, but abuse of one of the most vulnerable populations in our society also often sadly comes at the hands of relatives. Unfortunately, because of the nature of many types of elder abuse in New Jersey, it may be difficult to ascertain when it is occurring.

The National Center on Elder Abuse defines elder abuse based on an analysis of existing state and federal definitions of elder abuse, neglect and exploitation:

  • Physical abuse. Physical force that may result in bodily injury, physical pain, or impairment.
  • Sexual abuse. Non-consensual sexual contact of any kind.
  • Emotional abuse. Verbal or non-verbal infliction of anguish, pain or distress.
  • Financial/material exploitation. Illegal use of an elder’s funds without permission, property or assets.
  • Neglect. Refusal or failure to fulfill any part of a person’s obligations or duties that causes harm to an elderly person.
  • Abandonment. Desertion of an elderly person by an individual who has assumed responsibility for providing care to the elder.
  • Self-neglect. Behaviors of the elderly person that threaten the elder’s health or safety.

Family members, caregivers, neighbors and acquaintances need to know the signs of New Jersey elder abuse in order to protect the elderly person’s rights and well-being. Unusual bruising, fear, or agitated behavior could also be signs that abuse is occurring.

The Brown, Novick & Colarulo has extensive experience in elder abuse cases and offers free consultations.