2.8 Barriers to Recognizing Elder Abuse

Elder abuse can be specifically difficult to recognize and report because of the complexities involved in each case.

For instance, due to their age and lack of awareness, it can be difficult for vulnerable adults to realize if theyre being abused. However, if they do recognize it, asking for support can be extremely daunting.

Moreover, vulnerable adults rely on some other person to take care of their needs, such as food, shelter, hygiene, medical treatment, and assistance in making decisions such as financial matters. This can give their caregivers or family members a lot of power without much scrutiny.

As a result, if the vulnerable adult realizes theyre being abused, they may not say anything because theyre dependent on their family member or caretaker for everything.

Such situations are well hidden from the public eye since people do not see most of the personal care being provided to the elderly, and without very obvious signs of abuse, many implications or nonobvious signs can be overlooked.

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