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What does psychological abuse mean to the elderly?

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Discussion thread: Services for Elders
Koei Cheng
28 July 2021
What does psychological abuse mean to the elderly?

What does psychological abuse mean to the elderly?

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Heather Ko
28 July 2021

You’re welcome.

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Koei Cheng
28 July 2021

Thanks a lot.

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Heather Ko
28 July 2021

The conceptual definition of psychological abuse as defined by the National Center on Elder Abuse is “verbal or nonverbal act or acts of a person who stands in a position of trust to a vulnerable older adult (age 65 or greater) that result in mental pain, anguish, or distress in the older adult” (Center on elder abuse, 2015). Perhaps the most difficult type of abuse to define is that of psychological abuse. Unlike the other forms of abuse, this type of abuse seldom leaves physical scars or other tangible evidence. Although often more conspicuous than physical or sexual abuse, the likelihood of intervention to protect is victim from psychological mistreatment is lower. There are several terms that are used synonymous with psychological abuse, such as emotional abuse, mental abuse, mental anguish, psychological injury, and verbal abuse. However, commonalities between emotional and psychological abuse make differentiation between the two categories difficult. In addition, the term verbal abuse can be problematic as it excludes nonverbal forms of psychological or emotional abuse. Although psychological abuse commonly occurs with other types of abuse or neglect, this classification is generally applied when psychological abuse is the exclusive or main type of abuse perpetrated.

Center on elder abuse (2015). Conceptual definitions and operational frameworks for five types of perpetrated elder mistreatment [internet]. http://www.centeronelderabuse.org/files/elder_mistreatment_terms.pdf. Accessed 20 Aug 2015.

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