Research finds America's elderly suffering abuse

Aug 22, 2008

A new study concludes that nearly 13 percent of America's aged citizens suffer some form of abuse. Specifically, nine percent of adults reported they have suffered from verbal mistreatment, 3.5 percent suffer financial mistreatment, and 0.2 percent suffer physical mistreatment. This data was reported in the latest issue of [i]The Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences[/i].

The research was conducted by a team headed by Edward O. Laumann, PhD, at the University of Chicago. The findings were based on the National Social Life, Health and Aging Project, which conducted interviews with over 3,000 community-dwelling residents aged 57 to 85.

"The population of the country is aging, and people now live with chronic diseases longer. So it's important to understand, from a health perspective, how people are being treated as they age," Laumann said.

Older adults who are physically impaired are particularly susceptible to mistreatment. This demographic is 13 percent more likely to experience verbal abuse than those without similar handicaps — although there was no evidence to suggest they suffer greater financial mistreatment.

The Chicago researchers also found that females were nearly twice as likely to report verbal mistreatment, but no higher level of financial mistreatment, than men; Latinos were about half as likely as whites to report verbal mistreatment and 78 percent less likely to report financial mistreatment; and blacks were 77 percent more likely to report financial mistreatment than whites.

Most elders reported that the mistreatment was perpetrated by someone other than a member of their immediate family. Of those who reported verbal mistreatment, 26 percent identified their spouse or romantic partner as the person responsible; 15 percent said their child verbally mistreated them; and 57 percent said that the mistreating party was someone other than a spouse, parent, or child.

A total of 56 percent of those who reported financial mistreatment said that someone other than a member of their immediate family was responsible. Of family members, children were mentioned most often and spouses rarely. Ex-spouses, in-laws, and siblings were all identified by some respondents as those responsible for mistreatment.

More information: The Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences (Volume 63B, Number 4)
Source: The Gerontological Society of America

Explore further: Continued reliance on Windows XP in physician practices may threaten data security

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

The 'criminal' immigrant

Feb 06, 2013

Politicians often use rhetoric about "crime-prone" immigrants to support tough-on-immigration legislation.

Australia tries tough love to heal Aboriginal woes

Jun 14, 2009

(AP) -- Along the dusty red road that leads from the lonely airstrip into town, the signs flash by: "No alcohol," says one. "Petrol sniffing kills," admonishes another. "Don't bring gunja into our town," ...

More than 10 percent of older Americans suffer mistreatment

Aug 19, 2008

About 13 percent of elderly Americans are mistreated, most commonly by someone who verbally mistreats or financially takes advantage of them, according to a University of Chicago study that is the first comprehensive look ...

Recommended for you

What are the chances that your dad isn't your dad?

10 hours ago

How confident are you that the man you call dad is really your biological father? If you believe some of the most commonly-quoted figures, you could be forgiven for not being very confident at all. But how ...

New technology that is revealing the science of chewing

Apr 15, 2014

CSIRO's 3D mastication modelling, demonstrated for the first time in Melbourne today, is starting to provide researchers with new understanding of how to reduce salt, sugar and fat in food products, as well ...

After skin cancer, removable model replaces real ear

Apr 11, 2014

(HealthDay)—During his 10-year struggle with basal cell carcinoma, Henry Fiorentini emerged minus his right ear, and minus the hearing that goes with it. The good news: Today, the 56-year-old IT programmer ...

Italy scraps ban on donor-assisted reproduction

Apr 09, 2014

Italy's Constitutional Court on Wednesday struck down a Catholic Church-backed ban against assisted reproduction with sperm or egg donors that has forced thousands of sterile couples to seek help abroad.

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

GrayMouser
not rated yet Aug 22, 2008
WTF? "verbal mistreatment"?

Grow up. Everybody suffers that all their lives. Adults learn how to handle it.

More news stories

Down's chromosome cause genome-wide disruption

The extra copy of Chromosome 21 that causes Down's syndrome throws a spanner into the workings of all the other chromosomes as well, said a study published Wednesday that surprised its authors.

Researchers see hospitalization records as additional tool

Comparing hospitalization records with data reported to local boards of health presents a more accurate way to monitor how well communities track disease outbreaks, according to a paper published April 16 in the journal PLOS ON ...

Ebola virus in Africa outbreak is a new strain

The Ebola virus that has killed scores of people in Guinea this year is a new strain—evidence that the disease did not spread there from outbreaks in some other African nations, scientists report.