Psychological Abuse of the Elderly


What is psychological abuse of the elderly? Psychological or emotional abuse occurs when a carer causes you emotional pain or stress. A carer may be a family member or a person who is responsible for taking caring of you. The carer may insult, threaten, humiliate, or harass you through words or actions. He may also ignore you or isolate you from family members, friends, or your daily activities. Your rights may be ignored, limited, or taken from you even if you can think and act for yourself. Psychological abuse can happen in your own home, the carer's home, or a facility, such as a nursing home.

What causes psychological abuse of the elderly? The exact cause of psychological abuse is not known. The following may increase your risk of psychological abuse:

What are the signs and symptoms of psychological abuse of the elderly? Caregivers will ask you, your family, or friends if you are or have any of the following:

How is psychological abuse of the elderly diagnosed? Your caregiver will ask about your health. He may ask you questions about how your carer speaks to you and treats you. He may also ask you questions about how the carer takes care of you each day.

How is psychological abuse of the elderly treated? You may be placed in another setting, such as an adult day care. Special services may be offered to ensure your safety and health.

What are the risks of psychological abuse of the elderly? If left untreated, you may develop serious health and emotional problems. You may also become depressed.

How can I help myself?

Where can I find support and more information?

When should I contact my caregiver? Contact your caregiver if:

When should I seek immediate care? Seek care immediately or call 911 if:


You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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