Physical abuse is caused by inflicting physical harm on an older adult.
Physical abuse includes behaviours such as:
- sedating (quietening) a person through over-medication
- under-medicating a person when drugs are needed for a medical problem
- holding back or not giving enough food
- purposely exposing a person to severe weather
- physically confining the person for long periods of time
Signs of Physical Abuse
- marks or physical injuries that cannot be explained (or where the explanation seems unlikely)
- repeated falls
- medical attention sought from a variety of doctors or clinics
- injuries that have not received proper medical attention
- delay in seeking treatment
- confusion or tiredness from over-medication
- continued suffering from a medical condition as a result of under-medication
- loss of mobility as a result of being restrained
- signs of fear of certain family members, friends, or caregivers
- locks on the doors
- locks in areas where food is kept
- unusual marks on furniture from restraints
NOTE: Some of these indicators may be present and the older adult is not being abused. These are only possible signs of abuse.
For more information, see CPLEA’s Let’s talk: Elder abuse resource manual.