Risk factors Individual level characteristics which increase the risk of becoming a victim of abuse include functional dependence/disability, poor physical health, cognitive impairment, poor mental health and low income.
Risk factors for elder abuse It’s difficult to take care of a senior who has many different needs, and it’s difficult to be elderly when age brings with it infirmities and dependence. Both the demands of caregiving and the needs of the elder can create situations in which abuse is more likely to occur.
People financially abuse elders because they choose money over the trust and well-being of the older person. This is particularly true when the elder is a family member. Family members who commit elder financial abuse may: Fear the elder will use all their savings and leave nothing for the family.
One of the leading causes of elder abuse is caregiver stress and other problems that prevent caregivers from properly caring for the elderly. Factors such as substance abuse or financial problems can lead to caregiver abuse of the elderly in both residential and institutional care settings.
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.
Elder abuse most often takes place in the home where the senior lives. It can also happen in institutional settings, especially long-term care facilities. It is estimated that more than 1 in 10 older adults experience some form of abuse.
Why are the elderly in particular vulnerable to financial exploitation? Physical decline and dependency are also risk factors for elder financial exploitation. So, too, is the wealth of older generations, which makes them targets for financial exploitation.
Here are some steps to consider taking:
What makes an older adult vulnerable to abuse? Social isolation and mental impairment (such as dementia or Alzheimer’s disease ) are two factors. Recent studies show that nearly half of those with dementia experienced abuse or neglect.
Psychological abuse with family poverty; Caregiver neglect with caregiver’s substance use and poor physical health; Financial exploitation with caregiver’s neurotic personality, as well as care recipient’s younger age, absence of chronic illness, and co-residence between the caregiver and care recipient.
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.
This abuse often happens when staff members and families are not around, so it is usually not reported. Some studies have shown that 20% of nursing home residents suffer abuse by their fellow residents.
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.
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 adults who experience abuse or neglect may also lose interest in life, change their habits such as eating, drinking or taking medications. They may experience depression or have suicidal thoughts. People may not recognize or identify these as abuse.