Elder abuse is common around the world

A new global review reveals that elder abuse—which includes psychological, physical, and sexual abuse; neglect; and financial exploitation—is common among community-dwelling older adults and is especially prevalent among minority older adults. Older adults with cognitive and physical impairments or psychosocial distress are also at increased risk of elder abuse.

In North and South American epidemiological studies, the prevalence of elder abuse ranged from about 10% among cognitively intact older adults to 47% in older adults with dementia. In Europe, the prevalence varied from 2% in Ireland to 61% in Croatia. In Asia, the highest prevalence was found among older adults in China (36%), while the lowest was reported among in India (14%). In Africa, the prevalence ranged between 30% and 44%.

The findings suggest that health professionals should consider integrating routine screening of elder abuse in clinical practice, especially among high-risk populations. Specific guidance is provided in the review for healthcare professionals to manage potential elder abuse cases.

"The epidemics of and our societal inability to sufficiently protect the most vulnerable population are only compounded by their increased risks for premature death, psychosocial distress, use of emergency departments, hospitalization, and nursing home placement," said Dr. XinQi Dong, lead author of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society review. "Systematic, coordinated and targeted research, education, advocacy, and policy efforts are needed to protect, prevent, and serve our golden population in diverse communities."

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is today-June 15, 2015.


Explore further

Education and awareness key to helping physicians address elder abuse

More information: Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 2015. DOI: 10.1111/jgs.13454
Provided by Wiley
Citation: Elder abuse is common around the world (2015, June 15) retrieved 18 October 2019 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2015-06-elder-abuse-common-world.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
9 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more