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Monday, March 14, 2016

Types of elder abuse and why it often goes unreported

A number of years ago, I took part in a panel on CPAC that discussed elder abuse. During the show, we became aware of the case of an elderly man who lived with his only remaining relative, his nephew. The living arrangements were, to say the least, unsuitable. The nephew was apparently an alcoholic who became violent when he drank. He regularly beat up his uncle.

A social worker became aware of the situation and tried her best to persuade the uncle to move to a senior's living facility where he would be safe from physical and emotional abuse by the nephew. However, the man refused to move. He stated that he would prefer to stay where he was and suffer the beatings than to move to a place where he might be worse off.

This story has really stuck with me. To picture this elderly man being beaten up regularly but feeling that he had no viable options makes me cringe. I can only imagine his helplessness, isolation, and fear. It's a vivid illustration of why elder abuse often goes unreported - because the senior is afraid that intervention and change will make things even worse. It saddens and upsets me every time I think about it.

Toronto lawyer Ian Hull has a new post about the various types of elder abuse that exist, and he speculates as to why it so often goes unreported. Check out his post by clicking here. It's a complex issue with no simple answer, but information and awareness are a start.


  1. It discuss me to read such articles about our elders,as they need respect.

    1. I completely agree with you. I think you'll find that the people who abuse seniors are the same people who bully anyone vulnerable, such as children and small animals. In this particular case, the nephew obviously had an addiction that was adversely affecting both him and his uncle. The really horrible part is that the uncle somehow thought the terrible way he was living could be WORSE and he didn't trust anyone to help him.



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