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What makes an individual more vulnerable to elder abuse?

Even if you haven't known anyone personally that's been treated poorly in a nursing home, you've likely heard about it on the nightly news. If you have a parent or a loved one that is facing the prospect of being sent to live in one of these types of facilities, then you may be wondering what some of the risk factors for elderly abuse are.

National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) statistics show the residents in these types of facilities that have low social support are more at risk of being mistreated than those who have a solid support structure. Data from 2009 also shows that at least 50 percent of all dementia patients experience some sort of abuse at the hands of their caregivers.

Women are more likely to experience elder abuse than men. The likelihood that an individual will be subjected to abuse increases the younger the victim is too. Researchers who worked on a study for The Journals of Gerontology reported in 2008 that they found that individuals in their 60s were more likely to experience physical, financial and emotional mistreatment by nonrelatives than their older counterparts.

Individuals who've previously experienced traumatic events in their pasts, such as domestic violence or interpersonal abuse, were found to be more vulnerable to being sexually, financially or emotionally abused than others. Those experiencing declines in their health or some kind of functional impairment were more apt to be abused as well.

The researchers also found that the more populated a home or facility is, the more likely it was that they'd be abused, especially on a financial level. They argued that the financial strain experienced by impoverished or low-income individuals made them more likely to become abusive to others.

Other individuals that NCEA researchers contend are at high risk of abuse include African-Americans, those without spouses or romantic partners and those who don't receive social services benefits.

Although an act of violence may only last a few moments or few harsh words may be spoken by an abuser, the impact that these may have in the lives of those that they're directed toward may last a lifetime. A Tucson nursing home abuse and neglect attorney can investigate your case and let you know whether you're entitled to compensation for the trauma that you've been subjected to.

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