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10 Percent Of Older People Have Been Victims Of Abuse

Nursing home residents can be at risk, but so are people living at home with a spouse or adult children.

Abuse of older people, which can take the form of sexual or emotional abuse,physical violence and financial manipulation, affects at least 10 percent of older Americans, according to a review article published Thursday in the New England Journal of Medicine.

That figure, researchers note, is likely an underestimate, since it’s based on self-reported cases and its victims often suffer from dementia or are otherwise isolated from people who might notice something is wrong. But the estimate drives home how pervasive the problem is and how familiar its victims might be.

Elder abuse can happen to residents in nursing homes or those living with family members. The “young old” are more vulnerable because they’re apt to be living               with a spouse or adult children, the two groups most likely to be abusers.

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