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U. of Chicago study: More than 10 percent of older Americans suffer mistreatment
Date:8/19/2008

, were reported in "Elder Mistreatment in the U.S.: Prevalence Estimates from a Nationally-Representative Study," published in the current issue of the Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences.

The study found that females were about twice as likely to report verbal mistreatment, but no higher level of financial mistreatment, than men; Latinos were about half as likely as whites to report verbal mistreatment and 78 percent less likely to report financial mistreatment; and blacks were 77 percent more likely to report financial mistreatment than whites.

Regarding mistreatment, respondents were asked about the past 12 months and answer three questions: "Is there anyone who insults you or puts you down?" (verbal); "Is there anyone who has taken your money or belongings without your OK or prevented you from getting them, even when you ask?" (financial); and "Is there anyone who hits, kicks, slaps or throws things at you?" (physical).

Of the people reporting verbal mistreatment, 26 percent identified their spouse or romantic partner as being responsible, 15 percent said their children mistreated them verbally, while the remainder said that a friend, neighbor, co-worker or boss was responsible.

Among people who reported financial mistreatment, 57 percent reported someone other than a spouse, parent or child, usually another relative, was taking advantage of them.

Waite said there is good news, though. Few older adults reported mistreatment by family members, with older adults quite insulated from physical mistreatment. However, the authors pointed to the need for sensitivity on the part of physicians and other medical personnel to the possibility, although infrequent, of physical mistreatment of their patients.


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Contact: Steve Koppes
skoppes@uchicago.edu
773-702-8366
University of Chicago
Source:Eurekalert

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