Domestic abuse of the elderly is more frequent than you think

Scene at Antwerp station Credit: StationschefBMO Twitter

A recent report released by the Spanish Confederation of Organisations of the Elderly (CEOMA) has highlighted that the number of abuse cases of elderly people could be drastically higher than originally thought.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) published figures showing that amongst the elderly community, between four and six per cent suffer some form of abuse whilst under care.

However the Spanish organisation fears that the number could be as many as one in 24.

They are concerned that a large majority of cases go unreported. Whether due to a complex system of trust in the care homes, fear of reprisal, fear of not being believed or not completely understanding the situation, experts fear that the WHO’s figures could paint a false picture.

A number of cases have recently been brought to the media’s attention, including an incident at the Los Nogales residence in Madrid, however many incidents go unrecorded due to lack of complaints.

Authorities in the matter are concerned that amongst the unreported forms of abuse are not just violence, but also cases of misuse of medication, manipulation of the elderly as well as anything that is deemed to make the patient feel bad.

Experts are calling for improved training, stricter guidelines on employment of staff and more thorough research into the matter.

The latest concerns come as the country recognises World Awareness of the Abuse of the Eldery Day.  

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