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Elder Abuse Most Commonly Perpetrated by Family Members

Financial abuse was most common type of elder abuse identified

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THURSDAY, Aug. 29, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Elder abuse is most commonly committed by family members, according to a study published online July 31 in the Journal of Applied Gerontology.

Gali H. Weissberger, Ph.D., from the University of Southern California in Alhambra, and colleagues used data from the National Center on Elder Abuse resource line (between August 2014 and June 2017) to characterize types of elder abuse and identify the characteristics of perpetrators.

Based on an analysis of 1,939 calls, the researchers found 42.2 percent involved alleged abuse, with financial abuse being the most commonly reported (449 calls; 54.9 percent). In 23 percent of calls, multiple abuse types were identified, and 18.2 percent involved multiple abusers. In two-thirds of physical abuse cases, physical abuse co-occurred with another abuse type. The most commonly identified perpetrators were family members (46.8 percent).

"The results highlight the importance of developing effective strategies to prevent future abuse," Weissberger said in a statement. "Our next step is to conduct more studies targeting high-risk individuals and to better understand additional risk factors."

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