There are physiologic changes associated with aging. There are also medical conditions that occur more commonly with advancing age. These changes and conditions increase an older adult’s vulnerability to and injuries from abuse or neglect. An older adult may have more difficulty recovering from an abuse incident. The investigation of abuse or neglect may be more difficult because of aging changes.
Schneider D, Li X. Sexual Abuse of vulnerable adults: the medical director’s response.
Sexual abuse is the least recognized and reported form of mistreatment of vulnerable adults (adults that are elderly or disabled), representing less than 1% of mistreatment reported in the United States.1 However, sexual victimization is underreported in all age groups and has been shown to be significantly underreported in the elder and disabled populations. This may be a result of generational beliefs about sexuality and morality, embarrassment, shame, and guilt. Sexual abuse of vulnerable adults may occur in the community as well as any long-term care setting. The purpose of this article is to present information for medical directors of long-term care facilities.