What Are the Most Common Elder Abuse Risk Factors?

As individuals age, they can grow increasingly vulnerable and dependent upon third parties for assistance with medical care and daily living activities. There are a variety of factors that can combine to increase an older individual’s risk of abuse. Additionally, whether caregivers are family members or staff members of agencies, there are certain factors that can make them more likely to abuse an older individual.

For instance, those aging individuals who suffer from intense levels of illness or dementia and who are socially isolated from anyone other than their caregivers are a higher risk of abuse. Individuals who formerly were abusive to family members, or who resided in a home with a pattern of domestic violence, also appear to be a greater risk of abuse by their caregivers. Finally, an elderly individual who is prone to verbally or physically abuse his or her own caregivers may unwittingly become more susceptible to abuse.

Likewise, certain characteristics of caregivers can make it more likely that they will abuse their elderly patients. An inability to cope with high levels of stress and isolation, depression, and other mental disorders make it more likely that a caregiver will abuse an elderly patient. Substance abuse is another factor that may lead to elder abuse. Other family members’ unwillingness to share in the individual’s care also can make the primary caregiver resentful and angry, which may cause him or her to lash out at the patient.

While all elderly individuals who rely on family members or any third parties for care are at some risk for abuse, some individuals are at a higher risk for abuse and neglect than others. At Boller & Vaughan, we focus on protecting the rights of those who have suffered neglectful or abusive actions at the hands of nursing home facilities and other care providers. We have the skills and knowledge to delve into the facts of your case, consider all available options, and advocate on your behalf by bringing any legal claims that you may have against the nursing facility or healthcare provider in question, or its staff members. Call your Wisconsin nursing home abuse attorneys at (608) 268-0268 and schedule your free consultation today.