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Elderly Abuse on the Rise, WHO Reports

One out of six of those aged 60 and above, specifically in countries with low to middle income, go through different types of abuse, thereby resulting to grave effects on their health and well-being, a recent World Health Organization (WHO) study (published in the Lancet Global Health) stated.

According to the study, about 16 percent of individuals aged 60 and above experienced various kinds of abuses – from financial, sexual, psychological, physical or in the form of neglect.

Among those mentioned, psychological abuse turned out to be the most prevalent. It includes deeds that undermine the elderly’s well-being or self-worth. This could be through scaring, name calling, destroying property, embarrassing, or even hindering them from seeing family and friends.

These abuse forms do have serious effects on the elderly, and these include pain, injury, depression, anxiety and stress, hospitalization, emergency situations, and even death.

Now, even though elder abuse cases are widespread, such issues are still not that much investigated, Alana Officer, senior health adviser at the Department of Ageing and Life Course at WHO, pointed out. According to her, more must be done to avoid and act upon such situations.

It has also been foreseen that by 2050, those aged 60 and above will be doubled to 2 billion worldwide, the majority of whom are in low- to middle-income nations.

Should the number continuously increase throughout the years, the number of those affected will also increase, leading to a projection of 320 million victims by 2050.

With this issue on the rise, there is no doubt that abuses must be considered more intently by care providers, home care services, families, friends and the elderly themselves. In this way, they can be prevented as early as possible.


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