It’s been reported that around 10% of the elder population (65 and up) have suffered some form of physical, mental, financial, or sexual abuse. These studies have also shown that the elderly women are more at risk than their male counterparts, especially when it comes to financial and physical abuse. There are a few factors that can increase or decrease your probability of abuse, some of which you can easily change yourself. Read the list below to learn more about the factors that can increase your odds of becoming a victim of elder abuse.
Factors Contributing to Risk for Elder Abuse
While there are some things you can’t change, such as your gender and the amount of money you have, there are a few things you can do to decrease your risk of elder abuse.
- Staying in shape and remaining active is a great deterrent for people looking to take money for personal ends. Abusers naturally seek the weakest victims so having both the physical and mental capacity to stop them will make them think twice. Even simple exercises and brain workouts a day will keep you in good shape, as well as a well-balanced diet.
- Many elderly people or couples tend to isolate themselves. This is a huge mistake. If you are someone active in the community and have a slew of people supporting you, someone is a lot less likely to target you. Stay involved in your neighborhood meetings, church activities, and anything else you can think up.
- Poor family relations also opens the path for elder abuse. In many cases, it is the adult children of the victim that is responsible for abuse (often financial). You need to know when to severe ties with family members only looking to take you for a ride.
- Old mentalities are the biggest contributor to elder abuse. Reporting a case of abuse is simple and easy to do. Just pick up the phone and report the issue and an agent will come to investigate. It’s this mentality that many elderly share (avoiding the victim role at any cost) that ultimately hurts them. This attitude needs to change and change fast. If you feel you’re being abused or see it with others, you need to report it.
There are many factors that contribute to elder abuse. However, staying sharp, involved in the community, and open to accepting help are the best things you can do to lowering the risk.