Burglary, robbery, and fraud are the crimes most frequently committted against the elderly. Older individuals placed in extended care facilities may be physically abused or defrauded of personal possessions by staff members.
According to the Justice Department, 10 percent of seniors are abused each year, with only 1 out of every 23 cases reported. The most likely victims are women, people with cognitive impairments, people without relatives, those with disabilities and those who are ill-housed, poor, physically weak or socially isolated.
Quick Facts About Elder Abuse According to the National Council on Aging (NCOA), elders are more likely to self-report financial exploitation than emotional, physical, and sexual abuse or neglect. According to the NCEA, neglect is the most common type of elder abuse.
Elder victimization is an important subset of crime. While people age 65 and older experience the same crimes as the rest of the population, they are at increased risk for certain types of victimization, including financial victimization, neglect, and physical, sexual, or emotional abuse.
Although more research is needed, most cases of elder abuse are perpetrated by known and trusted others, particularly family members (including adult children, spouses, and others). Abusers can be men or women, of any age, race, or socio-economic status.
The National Center on Elder Abuse distinguishes between seven different types of elder abuse. These include physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, financial/material exploitation, neglect, abandonment, and self-neglect. Physical abuse.
Some authors define the age from 65 to 74 as pre-old age, while those aged over 75 are considered old. Similarly, one study differentiates the young-old from 60 to 69, the middle old from 70 to 79, and very old 80 years of age and older.
Passive Neglect – non-willful failure of a caregiver to fulfill caretaking functions and responsibilities assumed by the caregiver, including but not limited to, abandonment or denial of food or health related services because of inadequate caregiver knowledge, infirmity, or disputing the value of prescribed services. 6
There are three main risk factors that contribute to vulnerability in older adults: health status; cognitive ability; and, social network.
Secondary victimisation occurs when the victim suffers further harm not as a direct result of the criminal act but due to the manner in which institutions and other individuals deal with the victim.
Risk factors for elder abuse
Interpersonal violence involves the intentional use of physical force or power against other persons by an individual or small group of individuals. Interpersonal violence may be physical, sexual, or psychological (also called emotional violence), and it may involve deprivation and neglect.
To be considered competent, individuals need to be able to: Comprehend information that is presented to them. Understand the importance of such information. Make sound decisions among provided choices. Understand the potential impact of their decisions.
The generally accepted definition of emotional elder abuse is, “ intentional infliction of anguish, pain, or distress through verbal or nonverbal acts.” This includes threatening, harassing, intimidating, and attempting to humiliate an elderly individual. Examples of emotional elder abuse include: Degrading statements.
Family Members. One study found that more than 90 percent of financial abusers were family members or close friends. Family dynamics can set up a situation where a relative financially exploits a senior. In this situation, financial exploitation may be referred to as financial mistreatment, fiduciary, or economic abuse