Elderly man old dude past his prime 390 (R).
(photo credit: Thinkstock/Imagebank)
One in every five elderly citizens in Israel suffers from some form of physical,
psychological or financial abuse by those who are supposed to be taking care of
him or her, according to a study to be published this week by the Israel
The study used a sample of 1,317 people over the
age 60 and from all sectors of society.
Sixteen percent reported
experiencing some level of abuse. The levels of abuse were significantly higher
among those suffering from senile dementia, with 22% of that group saying they
had experienced abuse by those who care for them.
The research was
carried out by Professors Miri Cohen and Gideon Fridman, Dr.
Parilutzky, social worker Ronnie Ganim and Sarah Halevi Levin from the
University of Haifa and centered on elderly people in hospital emergency rooms,
social welfare departments, elderly daycare centers and those receiving National
Insurance Institute-provided nursing services.
Elderly Arab citizens and
new immigrants from the former Soviet Union were included in the interviews and
researchers also met with 412 family members.
The findings will be used
to develop new tools that are more effective in identifying and detecting elder
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Those who face abuse share demographic characteristics, the
researchers found. A large portion of those who reported abuse or abusive
behavior toward them had a low level education and faced difficult financial
trouble. A significantly higher than average rate of abuse was found among
In addition, most of those suffering from abuse lived
alone and received less nursing care than those who were not abused.
Particularly high rates of abuse were reported among patients seen by social
welfare services, and the lowest levels were among those receiving nursing care
from the NII.
Among those interviewed in hospital emergency rooms and
elderly daycare centers, most of the cases of abuse involved
Researchers said that most of such cases came about because of a
failure to properly care for the aged and that the signs were not always
recognized by professionals.
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