Elder Abuse: Millions of elderly are abused each month – UN health agency

Millions of elderly people report significant abuse each month, “an important public health problem” expected to increase in many countries as the number of people aged 60 and older is forecasted to reach about 1.2 billion by the year 2025, the World Health Organization reported.

“Abusive acts in institutions include physically restraining patients, depriving them of dignity (by for instance leaving them in soiled clothes) and choice over daily affairs, intentionally providing insufficient care (such as allowing them to develop pressure sores), over- and under-medicating and withholding medication from patients; and emotional neglect and abuse,” WHO said in a fact sheet released December 10.

“While there is little information regarding the extent of abuse in elderly populations, especially in developing countries, it is estimated that 4-6 per cent of elderly people report significant abuse in the last month,” according to the UN health agency.

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