When you think of elder abuse, you may not think it's something that could happen to you or someone you love, but the reality is that elder abuse truly is everyone's problem. Everyone gets older, everyone needs help at one time or another and everyone has times when they're vulnerable.
Many times, the problem of elder abuse doesn't come about because of maliciousness but instead because of disrespect and disregard for a person's life and needs. Financial abuse is particularly common. So is physical abuse, which is easily explained away when questioned.
Elder abuse increases the risk of premature death threefold, and the victims are three times more likely to end up in the hospital. On top of that, when abused at home, they're four times more likely to find themselves in a nursing home for care.
Who suffers from abuse the most?
As a group, women are disproportionately at risk of becoming victims of elder abuse. Other at-risk groups include those who are suffering from dementia or mental impairments and people with disabilities. Socially isolated individuals may also struggle due to having few contacts when they need help.
In approximately 90 percent of cases, the abuse the elderly face is a result of neglect or abuse from someone in the family or close to the person. Caregiving is stressful. That explains away some situations, but in others, people simply take advantage of and become angry with their elderly wards.
There is never an acceptable reason for any kind of elder abuse. Protecting your loved ones is essential at any age.