Older people who have been abused have a 300% higher risk of death when compared to those who have not been mistreated, as well as higher rates of hospitalization. Elder abuse has harmful impacts at all levels of society, affecting public health, resources, and civic engagement.
Consequences. Elder abuse can have serious physical and mental health, financial, and social consequences, including, for instance, physical injuries, premature mortality, depression, cognitive decline, financial devastation and placement in nursing homes.
Although elder abuse first appeared on the national scene in the late 1970s, the formal efforts to help vulnerable elders began at least two decades before that time.
Over half of those who experience abuse suffer debilitating long term health problems such as depression, anxiety disorders and exacerbation of chronic health conditions as a direct result of the abuse. Elder abuse also damages family relationships. Rifts can occur between siblings, spouses, children and parents etc.
Elder abuse has a range of physical, psychological and financial consequences. It can result in pain, injury and even death, and is associated with higher levels of stress and depression and an increased risk of nursing home placement and hospitalisation (WHO, 2015).
Individual Level Factors (trusted other): mental illness, hostility, alcohol abuse, experience of violence or aggression in childhood. Relationship Type: Shared living arrangement, relationship to victim (spouse or child). Power and Exchange Dynamics. Abuser dependency, victim dependency/ caregiver stress.
Older Americans lose an estimated $2.9 billion a year as a result of financial exploitation. In the most heartbreaking cases, it means the complete loss of savings earned through decades of hard work. Elder abuse also is a critical public health issue. Survivors report higher rates of depression.
Elder abuse is a health and social justice issue that takes the form of physical abuse, neglect or economic exploitation. To this day, elder abuse is the only form of family violence for which the federal government provides virtually no resources.
increased fear, guilt and self-blame. distrust of adults or difficulty forming relationships with others. disrupted attachments with those who are meant to keep them safe. mental health disorders such as anxiety, attachment, post-traumatic stress and depression disorders.
Cultural factors such as language, attitudes toward illness, values, expectations and perceived roles may keep elderly persons and their caregivers from understanding society’s concept of elder abuse, let alone to seek assistance or report abuse.
Elder abuse is common. Abuse, including neglect and exploitation, is experienced by about 1 in 10 people aged 60 and older who live at home. From 2002 to 2016, more than 643,000 older adults were treated in the emergency department for nonfatal assaults and over 19,000 homicides occurred.
What Is the Long-Term Effect of Abuse? Most physical wounds heal in time. But elder abuse can lead to early death, harm to physical and psychological health, destroy social and family ties, cause devastating financial loss, and more. Any type of mistreatment can leave the abused person feeling fearful and depressed.
Risk Factors for Perpetration
Depression, anxiety and posttraumatic disorder were reported as the most prevalent psychological consequences of elder abuse. Compared to nonvictims, abused older adults were more likely to report a higher level of psychological distress [15,16].
Isolation of both older people and carers is a known risk factor for elder abuse. Examples include restricted or minimal contact with others, spiritual support, sharing time with friends, family or neighbours.
Social abuse is forced isolation that prevents or restricts the older person’s contact with friends, family or the community. This could involve withholding or controlling mail or phone calls, preventing them from attending religious or cultural events, or taking over their home without consent.