Protecting Veterans In The Center
Sadly it is all too common to find veterans victims of nursing home abuse. Assisted living facilities in general really suffer from this problem. Military veterans are often left without the proper support or care that they need. They may not have friends or family or appropriate physical or mental health services.
There are about 21.3 million veterans in the United States, and about 9.9 million of these veterans are over the age of 65. Over 46% of military veterans fit this age bracket. Meaning many of them are elderly and subject to abuse.
Forms Of Veteran Elderly Abuse
These types of abuse include:
- Neglect: when caregivers don’t properly give the care they need this can lead to physical or mental damage.
- Physical abuse: Punching, shoving, and scratching is common forms of abuse.
- Emotional and psychological abuse: Verbal assault includes humiliation, threats, and ridicule.
- Sexual abuse: This is defined as sexual contact or touching that is not wanted or consented to.
- Financial abuse: Sadly family members are very likely to abuse an elderly veteran by trying to gain control of their money and then using it for their own whims.
The people most likely to abuse an elderly veteran are their family members.
Veterans At Higher Risk For Abuse
Among the population of elderly veterans are far more likely to be abused. This is due to many reasons. These reasons include:
- Increased risk for mental health disorders
- Increased risk for physical disabilities
- Fewer meaningful personal relationships
- Lowered ability to function in civilian society
Potentially suffering from these conditions make them more likely to be abused or to be neglected. Often abuse in nursing homes is not reported because the elderly themselves have impaired cognitive function and are isolated from the outside world. This is prime grounds for abuse.
A 2011 research study by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) said that 1 in 3 veterans at least one mental health disorder. This includes depression, substance abuse, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Aging also increases risks for mental health disorders. This just makes it harder for elderly individuals.
Another study from 2011 said that primary caregivers are the people most likely to report mental health issues for the elderly. Even though they rely on these caregivers, they only notice about 40-50% of all cases of depression.
This means when it comes to the elderly veterans their mental health needs to be watched.