When we are talking about intentional abuse (sexual, physical and the like), most commonly the abusers are hired caregivers, although they can sometimes family
members. There is also a rash of individuals who are photographing older people and are sending embarrassing photographs of them around the Internet.
There are situations where caregivers sexually assault persons, usually people who are comatose, or with dementia or who are non-verbal, because the perpetrator knows the resident won’t be believed or able to report. Physical abuse can be when a caregiver slaps or hits an older person because that older person isn’t doing what they’re being asked to do. Those sorts of levels of abuse can happen both within the home and in a facility.
Are there criminal or civil penalties for elder abusers?
Absolutely. Elderly people are considered a special class in most states and you will see different penalties for the different types of abuse involved, whether it’s a physical or
sexual assault. Even the depictions of nudity and the transmission of nude photos is a criminal charge and there have been convictions in Wisconsin for that.