Why elder abuse happens?

In some families, members have a way of relating to each other that is generally hostile and not nurturing. Adult children may have been abused by their parents and, having learned to interact in that way, take it to the next generation. Or there may be some unresolved family conflicts that encourage abuse. The family may have a history of abuse of the wife that lasts into old age.

Or, in some cases, functions may be reversed if the former partner who abused becomes incapacitated and your wife takes the opportunity to retaliate. One of the main reasons for elder abuse is a nursing facility with few staff and a lack of quality caregivers. When this happens, residents don't get the care they deserve, as caregivers are too dispersed. The result of an understaffed nursing facility is often the neglect of its residents, and this neglect is a form of elder abuse.

Globally, very little is known about elder abuse and how to prevent it, particularly in developing countries. Individual-level characteristics that increase the risk of becoming an abuser include mental illness, substance abuse, and often financial dependence on the abuser of the victim. Elder abuse can be prevented if nursing home managers focus more on the needs of the caregiver. A stronger response to elder abuse will need to be guided by a theory that accounts for both the victim and the person who perpetrated the abuse, including their cognitive functioning, the types of abuse, the domestic environment, and the nature of their relationship.

However, a review of recent studies on elder abuse in institutional settings (indicates that 64.2% of staff reported having perpetrated some form of abuse in the past year). Elder abuse is more common in cultures or families where the older person is seen as a burden or an unsuccessful member of society. As the older person loses their health and becomes more socially isolated, they are more dependent on the abuser for care, resulting in mutual dependence. In many cases, it is family members who commit emotional, sexual, physical and financial abuse against the older relative.

Community and social factors related to elder abuse may include age discrimination against older persons and certain cultural norms (for example, elder abuse is an intentional act or lack of action that causes or creates a risk of harm to an older adult). Other problems in elder abuse include personal problems that occur in residents or among caregivers. Whether intentional or not, abuse can occur as a result of ignorance around the aging process and the needs of older people. Globally, the number of cases of elder abuse is projected to increase, as many countries have rapidly aging populations.

Caregivers, family members and residents themselves should look for any evidence of elder abuse and possible problems that may have led to this abuse.

Geoffrey Rossow
Geoffrey Rossow

Amateur bacon expert. Incurable beer buff. Social media scholar. Avid food trailblazer. Hardcore beer practitioner.

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