Rate of elder abuse is higher than previously thought

Elder abuse is a growing and overlooked problem. Many elderly people who need extensive care are not able to speak up for themselves, and those that do speak up about neglect are not always heard or helped. This is part of the reason why the most vulnerable are also the most likely to experience abuse, both by family caregivers and in long-term care institutions, including nursing homes.

Nursing home abuse occurs when workers do not take the time to care for residents the way they should, but it can also come from policies that are not as sound as they should be or not properly enforced. Whether the abuse comes from a single negligent or nefarious worker, or is a widespread problem throughout the nursing home, the ones who suffer are those that need and deserve a higher level of care.

What Does WHO Say About Elder Abuse?

Currently, studies show that one in six elderly people will encounter some type of elder abuse. That is a figure much higher than previously thought, and one that WHO also says will be on the rise due to an aging population. Much of the abuse is psychological in nature, but neglect, financial abuse, physical abuse, and even sexual abuse all occur, as well. The information came from 28 different countries and 52 well-conducted studies. Approximately half of the studied countries were lower or middle income, with the others being higher income. This shows that elder abuse is a problem everywhere, regardless of income or other factors.

A Taboo Topic Slowly Coming to Light

The idea that elder abuse happens is still taboo in many places, but it is being talked about more now than in the past. Deliberately mistreating the elderly is so abhorrent to the minds of many people that they do not realize it actually takes place. But it does, every day. In addition to physical health concerns that elder abuse can cause, depression and anxiety can occur when a person is mistreated and does not have the resources to defend or properly care for themselves. Medical personnel who pay close attention during appointments or hospitalizations, though, may be able to spot signs and investigate.

That can improve and even save lives for elderly people, allowing them to have better lives right up until the end. Getting the proper care they need and not being abused in any way should be a right that every elderly person gets to enjoy. As more acknowledgement of elderly abuse comes to light, the possibility exists to reduce the number of cases and create a better quality of life for more elderly people throughout the world.

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Steven H. Dorne

Attorney Steven H. Dorne

Attorney Steven H. Dorne is an accomplished lawyer who practices in state and federal courts in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia. He brings more than 30 years of experience and a long record of success to each case. His law practice is distinguished by careful preparation and thorough analysis of each case...

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