By Georgia Anetzberger, PhD, ACSW
A friend of mine died last year. I’ll refer to her as “Jenny”. Some of us might ask ourselves, “How was it that Jenny didn’t become a victim of elder abuse?” By most accounts, she should have. After all, towards the end of her life Jenny was the embodiment of many established elder abuse risk factors. For self-neglect, these included frailty, functional limitations, living alone, and lack of a primary caregiver. For elder mistreatment, these included physical disability, impairment, or frailty along with advanced age. Yet, Jenny managed to reside alone in her home of decades until age 89, when she elected to move into a hospice facility for her final weeks. She was able to live life on her own terms, because Jenny also possessed protective factors from elder abuse, the most important of which are described below.
How was it that Jenny didn’t become a victim of elder abuse?” By most accounts, she should have.