Elder Abuse 2

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Elder abuse is doing something or failing to do something that results in harm to an elderly person or puts a helpless older person at risk of harm. Dr. Edward Hill concludes a two-part look at elder abuse in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Elder abuse can happen within a family. It can also happen in settings such as hospitals or nursing homes or in the community. Elder abuse is a serious problem in this country.

Risk factors for those most susceptible for elder abuse include older people who:

Have memory problems, such as dementia

Have physical disabilities

Have depression, loneliness or lack of social support

Abuse alcohol or other substances, or

Are verbally or physically combative with the caregiver

Caregivers who may be guilty of elder abuse may:

Feel overwhelmed or resentful

Have a history of substance abuse or history of abusing others, and

Are dependent on the older person for housing, finances or other needs

Intervene if you suspect elder abuse by calling the elder care help line at 1-800-677-1116. Listen to elders and their caregivers. Be alert for warning signs such as withdrawal from usual activities, unexplained bruises or caregiver anger.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.