Elder abuse most often occurs in the home where the elderly person lives. It can also occur in institutional settings, especially in long-term care settings. It is estimated that more than 1 in 10 older adults experience some form of abuse. The Community Living Administration has a National Center on Elder Abuse, where you can learn how to report abuse, where to get help, and state laws that address abuse and neglect.
Elders who have experienced physical abuse should be taken to a hospital for treatment and should not return to live with the caregiver or spouse who abused them. Community and social level factors related to elder abuse may include age discrimination against older persons and certain cultural norms (e) Individual-level characteristics that increase the risk of becoming an abuser include mental illness, substance abuse and dependence, often financial, on the victim's abuser. Globally, very little is known about elder abuse and how to prevent it, particularly in developing countries. Unfortunately, addressing elder abuse remains a challenge, as the root causes vary on a case-by-case basis, and the full extent of the problem is still unknown.
Financial abusers tend to be trusted caregivers, friends, or family members looking to extort hard-earned life savings from seniors. In addition to family members, in-home caregivers, nursing home staff members, and other nursing home residents can commit elder abuse. Concerned families should review the most important facts and statistics on elder abuse to gain an understanding of the overall problem and learn how to protect loved ones. But elder abuse can lead to premature death, damage physical and psychological health, destroy social and family ties, cause devastating financial losses, and more.
Globally, the number of cases of elder abuse is projected to increase, as many countries have rapidly aging populations. Elder abuse is an intentional act or lack of action that causes or creates a risk of harm to an older adult. Sexual abuse of an elderly person occurs when an abuser engages in any type of sexual contact without the person's consent. And elder abuse takes many forms, including physical injury, financial exploitation, and even sexual assault.
Elder abuse can occur in many different settings, including nursing homes and centers for the elderly, but most reports of elder abuse occur in the home, according to the Department of Justice.