Risk Factors for Elder Abuse


Risk Factors for the Elder

There are several factors that place the elder at risk for being abused, such as:

  •       Dependency (living arrangements, financially, and emotionally)
  •       Depression
  •       Isolation (social and geographical)
  •       Impaired health
  •       Confusion/dementia
  •       History of violence in the home
  •       Physical disabilities
  •       Verbally or physically combative with caregiver

Risk Factors for the Caregiver

Elder abuse is very real, but in some cases, is unintentional.  Caring for a loved one can be very stressful, and caregivers who are functioning outside of their capabilities or lack resources may unintentionally take stresses out on the elder.  There are several factors that place caregivers at risk for abusing the elders they care for, such as:

  • Dependency (living arrangements, financially, and emotionally)
  • Feeling overwhelmed or resentful with situation
  • History of abuse between family members
  • High level of stress and poor coping mechanisms
  • Alcohol and drug use
  • Financial difficulties
  • Lack of knowledge surrounding needed care
  • Poor adjustment (inability to keep employment, relationships)
  • Antisocial behaviours
  • Mental health issues
  • Negative perception of the older person
  • Isolation
  • Exhaustion
  • Health problems of their own