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; or
- 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; or
- 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.