A study finds older people who live in communities that are traditionally poorer or more crowded than other areas may be more susceptible to abuse. The University of Iowa study covered all 99 Iowa counties over ten years, comparing certain community characteristics with incidents of elder abuse.Dr. Gerald Jogerst is a professor of family medicine at the University of Iowa. He says the study found more cases of elder abuse in more heavily-populated Iowa communities where there were also high incidents of child abuse.Dr. Jogerst says elder abuse rates were the highest in Polk County and several other urban counties, while the rates were lowest in rural counties generally across northern and southern Iowa. He says many people understand what constitutes child abuse, but he says even the experts struggle to assign one definition to elder abuse.Jogerst says those forms of elder abuse may cause unnecessary suffering, pain or injury, loss or violation of human rights and a decrease in the quality of life.
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