Who are the typical perpetrators of elder abuse?

In nearly 60% of elder abuse and neglect incidents, the perpetrator is a family member. Two-thirds of perpetrators are adult children or spouses. There are several reasons why most major victims of financial abuse are women (Dessin, 2000). One of them is actuarial in nature; namely, women live longer than men and, therefore, more women are available as targets of financial abuse by the elderly.

Second, authors may perceive women as weak and vulnerable in general. Third, many women haven't taken care of their financial affairs because their husbands took care of them. When their husbands die or lose the ability to manage their finances, these women become particularly good targets for perpetrators who offer “help” but instead exploit available assets. The typical victim of abuse is a woman, but often a man, 75 years of age or older, who may have a condition that makes the person vulnerable.

They argued that an older person is more likely to be abused by the person they live with. In addition, the mass adoption of a model of child abuse can contribute to the infantalization of the elderly and the perpetuation of ageism, since it is erroneously assumed that the elderly are like children and lack decision-making capacity (Capezuti et al. However, others believe that exceptions within state and federal laws allow financial institutions to contact government entities and release private client records and information about alleged violations of the law, and that this would cover complaints of elder abuse (U. There are two general categories of criminal laws that states use to punish people who financially abuse the elderly (Dessin, 2000).

Elder abuse can worsen if left unchecked, and your older loved one could suffer even more injuries or even die. If financial abuse of elders is more difficult to detect than child abuse, financial abuse of elders may require a model that is more proactive in detecting and responding to cases of such abuse. They reasoned that the higher proportion of elder abuse committed by spouses reflected the fact that many more elderly people live with their spouses than with their children. Another reason to adopt a model for addressing financial abuse of older persons that is relatively different from that used to respond to child abuse is that the problems associated with the decision-making capacity of elders are quite different from those associated with children (Nerenberg, 2000a).

Thus, unlike child abuse, there may be no natural circle of people who can be encouraged or compelled to monitor and report elder abuse (Choi and Mayer, 2000; National Center on Elder Abuse, 199). Greater attention has been given to this problem by the increase in the number of older people people, a greater emphasis on home care, and the substantial resources of older persons (Langan and Means, 199.These “helpers may have easy access to the assets, documents, or financial information of older persons or be able to exert significant influence over the older person” (National Committee for the Elder Abuse Prevention, 2001; Nerenberg, 2000c; Quinn, 2000). However, the number of APS elder abuse reports increased substantially over the past 10 years, an increase that outpaced the growth of the elderly population during this period (National Center on Elder Abuse, 199.The NEAIS report found that 60.4 percent of corroborated 1996 APS financial abuse cases involved an adult child (compared to 47.3 percent for all forms of elder abuse) and only 4.9 percent involved a spouse (versus 19.3 percent for all forms of elder abuse). Older people have been identified as vulnerable to undue influence when there is a close relationship in which the abuser is trusted and the older person suffers from cognitive impairments, is socially isolated, or is in a major life transition, such as widowhood (Quinn, 2000).

Pillemer and Finkelhor (198) argue that changing from an underlying model of child abuse to a model of spousal abuse (would better inform service providers of situations in which elder abuse is likely to occur), (would help educate elders that abuse by a spouse is inappropriate and encourage non-acceptance, and (improve the form of services provided in response to elder abuse in line with those already provided to abused spouses, such as battered women's shelters and self-help groups). . .

Erika Shipley
Erika Shipley

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