Jandal and Zurf I just want to say I wish there were more people like you who look out for the elderly. My family spend alot of time with my mother who is 97 but I can tell you around the world there are many elderly who are forgotten by their families.
Elder abuse is a global problem. International studies report that 3% - 10% of older people experience abuse or neglect each year. It happens to men and women of every religious, cultural, ethnic and income group. However, much abuse goes unreported. It has been estimated that only 16% of all abuse incidents come to the attention of service agencies which can assist the older person to live safely.
What’s happening in New Zealand?
Each year, Age Concern’s Elder Abuse and Neglect Prevention (EANP) services receive more than 2000 referrals for older people who may be facing elder abuse or neglect. That’s eight referrals every working day. About three quarters of these situations are confirmed to involve elder abuse or neglect.
Often the abuse experienced by an older person involves more than one type of abuse. In cases seen by Age Concern’s Elder Abuse and Neglect Prevention Services over the last three years:
75% involved psychological abuse
over 50% involved financial abuse
15-20% involved physical abuse
10-15 % involved neglect
10-15% involved self-neglect
Abuse is also identified by other agencies including health providers, the Police, lawyers, other community support organisations, and other non-Age Concern Elder Abuse and Neglect Prevention services.
Age Concerns report that they are dealing with an increasing number of older people who have become the victims of scams. Predators are deliberately targeting lonely older people who have assets, forming friendships with them through the internet or in person, then requesting money for various hypothetical emergencies. In many cases, it is the family that contacts Age Concern for assistance. But the older person is often prepared to incur their loss in exchange for the proffered friendship.
Almost half of abused older people are over the age of 80
One third of abused older people live alone
Three quarters of alleged abusers are family members; and we know this often continues even when the older person moves to residential care
Almost half of alleged abusers are adult children
Abusers are as likely to be female as male.