Psychological or Emotional Abuse “may take the form of verbal aggression, humiliation, isolation, intimidation, threats, or inappropriate control of activities. These actions “diminish the identity and self-worth” of older adults.
Examples of Psychological or Emotional Abuse:
- Making threats; for example:
- Threat to commit suicide
- Threatening to harm the victim or a child or pet to which the victim is close
- Refusing access to grandchildren
- Humiliation, belittling comments, or put-downs
- Treating you like a child
- Not allowing you to make decisions for yourself
- Yelling at or scolding
- Begging, pleading, or manipulating you into doing something you don’t want to do
- Forced isolation or socialization
Indicators of Psychological or Emotional Abuse:
- The victim becomes agitated, withdrawn, or anxious
- Unusual weight gain or loss
- Unexplained paranoia
- Reluctance to talk openly
- Making inconsistent statements
- Appearing nervous around a certain caregiver, family member, friend or neighbour
- Waits for caregiver to respond to questions
- Low self-esteem;
- Difficulty sleeping or needing excessive sleep
- Making excuses for social isolation.
NOTE: Some of these indicators may be present and the older adult is not being abused; these are merely possible indicators of abuse.
For more information, please view CPLEA’s Let’s talk: Elder abuse resource manual.