Causes of Elder Abuse

According to the National Institute of Justice, there are several different causes of elder abuse. Some abusers may feel that violence is the only way to solve a problem or get a certain income. Others, who are usually caregivers of the elderly person, feel that they don’t receive sufficient benefits from caring for the person, so violence is necessary to get their “fair share.” Abusers may have a personal history of abuse, use abuse to maintain power and control over the elderly individual, or to coerce the person into a certain type of behavior.

The cause of the abuse also can be dependent on the type of abuse that is being perpetrated on the victim. In terms of physical abuse, the abuser is typically a family member, and often an adult child. The abuser is often dependent on the senior citizen, whether due to health, finances, or both, and, as a result, resentful. A sense of family obligation often prevents the victim from cutting off the relationship, reporting the abuse, or getting help.

On the other hand, a neglected elderly individual may have an adult child or relative as a primary caregiver. The individual may justify the neglect by reasoning that he or she must have been a poor parent, and that the now-adult child is right to neglect him or her. The elderly individual may simply believe that he or she does not deserve any better, and is also likely to be physically or cognitively frail or impaired.

Victims of financial exploitation rarely have a trusted person whom they can go to with financial concerns. They may have declining health or cognitive impairment, or feeling that they are losing their independence and freedom. This may make the elderly individuals overly trusting of caregivers who are capable of theft and exploitation of assets.

We are the Wisconsin nursing home abuse lawyers whom you can turn to if you suspect or become aware of staff members’ abuse of your loved one while residing in a nursing home or receiving caretaker services at home. Regardless of the complexity or difficulty of your situation, the Madison abuse attorneys of Boller & Vaughan are prepared to advocate on behalf of your loved one and hold nursing homes, other long-term care facilities, or caretakers responsible for any abuse that has occurred.


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