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Risk Factors for Reported Elder Abuse and Neglect: A Nine-Year Observational Cohort Study

 In this study researchers report on risk factors for reported and verified elder abuse and neglect in a cohort of 2,812 community-dwelling older adults followed over a 9-year period. Cases were identified through a state social service agency (the ombudsman’s protective services for the elderly program) charged with assessment and advocacy for frail or disenfranchised elderly persons, a subset of whom have experienced elder mistreatment. Risk factors for entering this social welfare system for any reason have been reported previously.

 The study was conducted by linking an established cohort of older adults with records from Connecticut’s Ombudsman on Aging (the state entity responsible for investigating and adjudicating cases of elder abuse, neglect, self-neglect, exploitation, or abandonment occurring in the community or long-term care facilities)

 To conclude; poverty, minority status, functional disability, and worsening cognitive impairment were risk factors for reported elder mistreatment in this 9-year longitudinal study of elder mistreatment, and the influence of race and poverty were probably overestimated by reporting bias. Clinicians should be (Particularly aware of high-risk situations in which functional and/or cognitive impairment are present, especially in circumstances where violent behavior has been known to exist previously.


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