Behavior Health and Wellness Blog

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Elder Abuse

Elder abuse has been recognized globally as a serious problem. WHO or better known as the World Health Organization has defined elder abuse as, “The abuse of older people, also known as elder abuse, is a single or repeated act, or lack of appropriate action, occurring within any relationship where there is an expectation of trust, which causes harm or distress to an older person. This type of violence constitutes a violation of human rights and includes physical, sexual, psychological and emotional abuse; financial and material abuse; abandonment; neglect; and serious loss of dignity and respect.” It is important we raise awareness and gather resources for seniors who may also need them.

Senior abuse is a public health issue. A 2017 review of 52 studies in 28 countries from diverse regions estimated that 1 in 6 people or 15.7% ages 60 years and older were subjected to some form of senior abuse. Rigorous data is limited, and the review provides estimates of the proportion of older people affected by different types of abuse.

see chart below:

Emerging evidence indicated that the prevalence of abuse of the older people in both the community and in institutions has increased during COVID-19. A US study suggests that rates in the community may have increased by as much as 84%. Globally, the number of elder abuse cases is projected to increase as many countries have populations that are rapidly aging. Even if the proportion of victims of senior abuse were to remain constant, the global number of victims would increase rapidly due to population aging, growing to some 320 million victims by 2050, as the global population of people aged 60 years and more will increase to 2 billion by the year 2050.

This link has info on what to look for in spotting and reporting elder abuse, how you can report and a list of helpful information:



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