Understanding Elder Abuse

It was originally called "granny bashing" when the first stories about elder abuse came out in the 1970s. 

Since then, elder abuse has been identified as a serious social problem that is far more prevalent than most of us care to admit.  According to the 2009 National Elder Mistreatment Survey, at least ten percent of elderly people living in American communities (4.3 million people)  experience one or more forms of elder abuse each year.    This can involve financial abuse by a family member (5.2 percent), financial abuse by a stranger (6.5 percent), emotional abuse (4.5 percent). or potential neglect by a caregiver (5.1 percent).  More rarely, elder abuse can take the form of physical abuse (1.6 percent) and sexual abuse (0.6 percent) though these last two categories, along with emotional abuse, often go unreported by seniors.

Among the various reasons many elders have for not reporting what is happening to them are feelings of embarrassment, believing that they are somehow responsible for their abuse, fear of retaliation,  fear of being placed in a nursing home, not believing that help is available for them, or simply accepting that long-term abuse is "the way it's always been" and just putting up with it.   Even when people in the community, whether strangers or family members, become aware that the abuse is happening, they may often refuse to get involved believing there is nobody available to help.   

To read more, check out my new Psychology Today blog post.

 

           

Related Stories

  • Suicide and the Internet
  • How Common is Road Rage?
  • The Self-Help Maze
 

 
disclaimer

The information provided on the PsyWeb.com is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her health professional. This information is solely for informational and educational purposes. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Neither the owners or employees of PsyWeb.com nor the author(s) of site content take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading this site. Always speak with your primary health care provider before engaging in any form of self treatment. Please see our Legal Statement for further information.

PsyWeb Poll

Are you currently taking or have you ever been prescribed anti-depressants?
Yes
50%
No
50%
Total votes: 3979