Driving safety (Giving up driving means giving up a measure of independence. Seniors may be unwilling
to stop driving, even though continuing to drive can pose a safety risk for themselves and for others.).
Fire/smoke safety (Memory lapses, which are more common in older adults, increase the risk for
household fires caused by cooking, candles or smoking. It’s important to have working smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors in the home.)
Extremely hot or cold weather. (Seniors are at increased risk for health problems caused by hot or cold
temperatures, especially when the cooling or heating systems in the homes aren’t functioning properly.) Older adults are at increased risk for certain types of crime, including burglary and fraud—identity theft, fake check and wire transfer scams, investment and credit card fraud and fake online charity solicitations.
Unfortunately, many elderly are at risk for another type of crime that takes place in their home, in the
home of a family member, or in a living facility or nursing home and is committed by people responsible for their care. Called elder abuse, this type of crime can take many forms. Elder abuse can be physical, emotional (psychological) or sexual. It may involve neglect, abandonment or financial exploitation. Physical elder abuse is the non-accidental use of force against an elderly person that causes injury or pain. It includes hitting, shoving and kicking, as well as misusing drugs, restraints or confinements on a person who is elderly.
Emotional or psychological elder abuse can be verbal or non-verbal. It includes intimidation (e.g., through yelling or threatening), humiliation and ridicule, as well as ignoring, terrorizing or isolating the elder from family and friends.
Sexual elder abuse involves sexual contact with a senior without personal consent, as well as forcing the elder to view pornographic material, watch sexual acts or undress.
Neglect and abandonment are the most common type of elder abuse. They involve failing to fulfill care-taking obligations—either intentionally or unintentionally.
Financial exploitation elder abuse involves the unauthorized use of the elder’s assets—funds or property. It also includes health care fraud and abuse, which is carried out by unethical health care providers and involves charging for health care services not provided, overcharging for services, over- or under-medicating, and insurance fraud.