What is Elder Abuse?
Elder abuse refers to the intentional or negligent acts by a caregiver or trusted individual that causes harm to a vulnerable elder. Elder abuse can take many forms including: Financial exploitation, physical abuse, neglect by a care-giver or self-neglect by an older adult, verbal abuse, and emotional abuse.
What are the risk factors? Elder abuse can happen to anyone and can occur anywhere - in a person's own home, in nursing homes or assisted living facilities, even in hospitals. It affects elders across all socioeconomic groups, cultures, and races. Based on available information, women, elders who are homebound or isolated, and individuals ages 80 and above are most at risk. Perhaps most surprising is that the mistreatment is most often perpetrated by the individual's own family members.
Common risk factors for abuse include:
- The elder is socially isolated or withdrawn
- The elder is in poor physical health
- The elder has dementia or mental health or substance abuse issues
- The perpetrator has mental health or substance abuse issues
- Source: Administration on Aging -Year of Elder Abuse Prevention