You trust that your older loved one will be handled with respect and that all of his or her mental and physical demands will be addressed when it comes time to place them into the care of a nursing home or hire an adult caretaker. Unfortunately, that trust is abused.
Elder abuse and nursing facility abuse can take various shapes, but one thing always remains the same: Elder abuse is widespread among seniors, to the point that those who do it think the elderly would be a simple target. If you do not want your loved ones getting abused, click here to hire an attorney once you suspect any signs of abuse.
Why do elders most often experience abuse?
The following characteristics of this elderly population are regarded as risk factors contributing to their vulnerability.
Decline in physical health
A decline in physical health is an essential aspect of aging. Hearing and vision loss are common, arteries thicken, which makes the heart work harder, and bones are more likely to fracture. Frailty is a common occurrence.
Abuse is most common when there is a gradual decrease in physical well-being. To take advantage of an elderly person’s decreased vision or bodily weight, perpetrators can more quickly intimidate and manipulate them.
Mental and cognitive impairment
Elderly people are more prone to abuse due to the high prevalence of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease in their age group. The National Council on Ageing states that abuse or neglect has been experienced by over half of the elderly with dementia.
Victims find it difficult to understand or express the abuse due to these and other types of mental and cognitive impairment. They also lead to confusion, loss of memory, and problem-solving problems since they are related to reduced thinking, judgment, memory, and sophisticated motor skills. These conditions put the population at greater risk.
Social isolation is an additional reason for abuse, whether it is self-inflicted, a consequence of manipulation, or the result of confinement. In addition to poor social support, elderly people who live independently are less likely to have knowledge about or use community and health services.
Caregiver of facility dependency
Elderly people often depend on other people for support and assistance. Unpaid relatives, professional in-home carers, or long-term care facilities like nursing homes can create situations where an older person is scared to ask for help because they depend on it and worry it will be taken away.
Furthermore, the stress of providing care, especially if it comes from non-professionals like family members, could make abuse worse.