Elder Abuse

Holding Hands with Elderly Patient

Elder abuse is becoming a growing concern within the UK. Research done by the charity, Action on Elder Abuse found that over a quarter of a million people over the age of 65 (the vast majority of whom are women) will suffer abuse of some sort.

Abuse can be anything from emotional or physical abuse to financial abuse. Like many forms of abuse, elderly abuse can often go unnoticed with those being abused feeling too ashamed or scared to speak out. Often, when victims do speak out they aren’t taken seriously.

There has been a “disturbing” rise in the numbers of reports of possible abuse of vulnerable elderly people in England, the charity Age UK has warned.

The number of people who live to age 90 and beyond has tripled in the past three decades and is projected to quadruple by 2050. As their numbers grow, the economy has forced many to live with children and grandchildren, a situation that may tempt the unscrupulous to take advantage of the old in their care. The fastest-growing segment is people over 85 and the percentage of people with Alzheimer’s and dementia is at an all-time high.

One of the problems can be the elderly who fall ill and unknowingly sign over their assets to people who care for them, becoming victims of the most common form of elder abuse: financial. Others suffer physical abuse that can range from not being fed or cleaned to being beaten. Former child actor Hollywood star, Mickey Rooney, now 91, testified before Congress in March 2013 that he had been financially abused by his stepson.

In 2013 the United Nations produced a document: Neglect, Abuse and Violence against Older Women. Please click on the link to download this 65-page document.