What is the most common form of elder abuse in the domestic setting?

Emotional abuse, defined as inflicting mental pain, distress, or distress on an older person, either through verbal or nonverbal acts, is the most common form of elder abuse reported to protective agencies. The most common type of elder abuse is neglect. Some examples of neglect are not giving them their medicines, protecting them from danger, not providing them with food or water, and not taking care of their hygiene if they cannot do it themselves. Contrary to common belief, many elderly people who are victims of physical abuse have a high level of functioning.

The person abusing them is usually a family member, often the victim's adult offspring. The person who abuses them may be a long-term dependent on the victim due to health or financial problems and may draw resentment for this dependence from the elderly victim. Usually, these victims are aware that they are being abused, but their sense of parental or family obligation makes them reluctant to isolate the person who abuses them. Cases where financial exploitation is combined with physical abuse or neglect often involve economically dependent family members, particularly adult children, who have been cared for by the older person.

As the older person loses their health and becomes more socially isolated, they depend more on the abuser for care, resulting in mutual dependence. These hybrid cases are unique in many ways and tend to have worse outcomes for victims than other types of elder abuse, perhaps because the abuse is accompanied by the stress of financial loss. Factors at the community and social levels related to elder abuse may include age discrimination against older persons and certain cultural norms (for example, most mandatory reports of elder abuse appear to come from health care providers, including providers of home health care, and family, friends, or neighbors of the victim (Rosenblatt et al. Although conceptualizations of what elder abuse encompasses vary considerably, the National Center on Elder Abuse (200) identifies six main categories of elder abuse.

Studies have shown considerable variation in what constitutes financial abuse among cultural, racial and ethnic groups (Brown, 1999; Hudson and Carlson, 1999; Moon, 2000; Nerenberg, 2000a), and it has been argued that ignoring these differences undermines efforts to assess people's financial abuse older people (Sánchez, 199.Until it is determined that an elderly person lacks decision-making capacity, the elderly person has the right to make financial decisions that may seem poor or foolish (Gilbert, 1986; Macolini, 1995; Wilber and Reynolds, 199.Companies that routinely provide services to the elderly can also help minimize the possibility of financial abuse of the elderly. A protective order is another type of civil remedy that may be available to remedy or prevent financial abuse of elders. Unlike physical abuse or neglect, manifestations of financial abuse are generally not immediately evident or detectable (Dessin, 2000). Although many people believe that elder abuse only happens in nursing homes, it often happens under their own roof.

Macolini (199) reported that 6 states and the District of Columbia require the consent of the elderly person before initiating an investigation into a complaint of elder abuse and that 29 states and the District of Columbia specifically require the consent of the elderly person before they can provide services. A 1994 survey of lawyers and elder service providers found that two-thirds of the 410 respondents reported cases of abuse of durable power of attorney and 38 percent knew of five or more such cases (Sacks, 199.In light of the scant amount of research on the subject, it is difficult determine how a model of child abuse could usefully be applied to financial abuse of elders. It's essential to know the warning signs of all types of elder abuse, especially if you or a loved one has an older family member. .

Erika Shipley
Erika Shipley

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