Navigation Links
Elder Abuse, Neglect Make Early Death Far More Likely
Date:8/4/2009

Finding illustrates need to report suspected problems, expert says,,,,

TUESDAY, Aug. 4 (HealthDay News) -- When seniors stop taking proper care of themselves, their risk for death increases nearly sixfold, a new study shows.

In addition, elderly people who are abused physically, emotionally, financially or through withdrawal of care don't fare much better. Their risk for dying more than doubles, the researchers report.

"Elder self-neglect and abuse really have severe consequences," said study author Dr. XinQi Dong, an associate professor of medicine at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago.

Though people often associate dementia or Alzheimer's disease with self-neglect, the researchers found that "it's not just the cognitively impaired" who are affected, Dong said. "Even more capable seniors face a higher risk of premature death from self-neglect."

The findings are reported in the Aug. 5 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Elder self-neglect is the most common reason that someone is referred to adult protective services, according to Dr. Thomas Gill, author of an accompanying editorial in the same issue of the journal. The inability to care for oneself, which characterizes self-neglect, can include failing to provide adequate food, water, clothing, shelter and necessary medications and not following basic hygiene practices, according to the study and editorial.

Abuse can include physical or sexual abuse, confinement, emotional abuse, caregiver neglect, deprivation or financial exploitation, the study reported.

Dong and his colleagues followed a group of 9,318 Chicago residents, all older than 65, who were participating in the Chicago Health and Aging Project. During the study period, from 1993 to 2005, social service agencies received reports of self-neglect on 1,544 of the participants, and 113 were reported as being abused. During about seven years of follow-up, 4,306 of the participants died.

The researchers found that elder self-neglect was associated with a 5.82 times increased risk for mortality in the year after a report of self-neglect. For abused seniors, the chance that they would die in the year after the abuse was reported was more than twice as great as it was for seniors who were not abused.

Dong said the researchers controlled the data to account for numerous factors -- such as medical conditions, socioeconomic status, health habits and memory -- but still found a strong association between abuse and self-neglect and the risk for premature death.

That suggests, he said, that it's the abuse and self-neglect that lead to the physical decline that ends in death.

"This degree of mortality risk is usually reserved for acute conditions, like an acute heart attack or stroke, and these findings really emphasize the importance of reporting abuse and self-neglect as well as the need to respond promptly with social service and medical intervention and prevention," Dong said.

The study points to an imminent problem, according to Dr. Karin Ouchida, medical director of the Montefiore Medical Center Home Health Agency in New York City.

"The situation is kind of grim right now," Ouchida said. "The population is going to get larger, and the population of people armed to care for them is getting smaller. I think this study really raises a red flag."

"Whether it was some decline in medical function that led to self-neglecting behavior, or the other way around, these people are in crisis, and social services and medical services need to have more communication and interaction," she said.

Anyone who suspects that an older family member, neighbor or friend is being abused or might be self-neglecting need to report those suspicions, both Ouchida and Dong said. A sudden change in weight, hygiene, or worsening medical conditions, such as being more short of breath, are clues that people might be neglecting themselves. Abuse can be harder to detect, but any unexplained bruises or sudden change in doctors could be clues.

Financial abuse and exploitation are probably getting worse in the recession, they said. Possible signs of this can include more telephone, mail and even in-person solicitations. Or, if older people start running out of money when they never did before or things are suddenly missing from their home, they could be in trouble.

"The tragedies of elder abuse are a reflection on all of us," Don said. "It can be a difficult topic to talk about, but this study demonstrated the adverse health outcomes that can result."

More information

The American Psychological Association has more on elder abuse and neglect.



SOURCES: XinQi Dong, M.D., associate professor, medicine, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago; Karin Ouchida, M.D., assistant professor, medicine, Montefiore Medical Center, and medical director, Montefiore Medical Center Home Health Agency, New York City; Aug. 5, 2009, Journal of the American Medical Association


'/>"/>
Copyright©2009 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Leading U.S. Expert Offers Ten Warning Signs and Symptoms of Mental Health Problems in Elderly
2. Fox Chase finds all-biologic regimen efficacious and well-tolerated in elderly lung cancer patients
3. Breakthrough Nursing Home Alternative Now Available to Cincinnati Elders and Their Families at Deupree Cottages
4. The Mills Group LLC Announces ElderCare/PrimePlus Service
5. Renaissance Grants $3,000 to the Florida Dental Association to Present Oral Health Workshops for the Vulnerable Elderly
6. Elder Boom Will Be Felt Worldwide
7. Caring for Elderly Parents Is Tougher During Hard Times
8. Aurora Health Care Sponsors Education Event to Improve Care for the Elderly
9. Leading Senior Care Destination TheCaringSpace.com Launches ElderCare Library and Care Community
10. PTs say proper fit and use of walking aids can prevent fall-related injuries in elderly
11. Physical Therapists Say Proper Fit and Use of Walkers and Canes Can Prevent Fall-Related Injuries in Elderly
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Elder Abuse, Neglect Make Early Death Far More Likely
(Date:2/5/2016)... ... February 05, 2016 , ... ... CitiDent, announces that it is now welcoming orthodontist, Dr. Amanda Cheng, to ... a complete range of oral health care, including general dentistry, cosmetic treatments, periodontics, ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... ... ... Health and wellness is a topic that should concern all Americans; however, it ... illness. Migraines are a severe form of a headache and often are accompanied by ... pain on their worst enemy, the feeling can last for many hours and be ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... , ... February 05, 2016 , ... Calls Blacklist has ... completely new user interface design and the developer has fixed known bugs within the ... want to on their phone while not consuming any of their device’s battery power ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... ... February 05, 2016 , ... Susan Polk Health Insurance ... Obispo users can expect to see in 2016. To view the report, see below, ... will directly impact many San Luis Obispo seniors who rely on Medicare health insurance ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... , ... February 04, 2016 , ... According to a ... advised to see their dentist once every six months for a cleaning and checkup, ... , Dr. Farzad Feiz, head dentist at Calabasas Dental Group and California Dental ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/5/2016)... Feb. 5, 2016  As people age, it is ... of recommended screenings and tests that are linked with ... However, for the majority of aging individuals, hearing health ... For the 37.5 million American adults who report some ... to make hearing health a 2016 healthy aging priority.[1] ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... , Feb. 5, 2016 ... addition of the "Global Musculoskeletal Partnering ... company profile to their offering. ... addition of the "Global Musculoskeletal Partnering ... company profile to their offering. ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... --> --> ... the global active pharmaceuticals ingredients (APIs) market stood at ... US$185.9 bn by 2020. It is expected to expand ... The title of the report is "Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients ... by Therapeutic Area) - Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: