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Next TU Talk to focus on elder abuse

Each year an estimated 4 million older Americans are victims of physical, psychological or other forms of abuse or neglect. For every case of elder abuse and neglect reported, experts say as many as 23 cases go unreported. Most elder abuse doesn’t happen in a nursing facility; it happens at home.

The next TU Talk will tackle the subject of elder abuse and how it can be recognized and even prevented. Speaking on the topic will be TU faculty members Dr. Steve DePaola, Associate Professor of Psychology, and Robin Ouzts, Director of the Academic Resource Center. The lecture will be held at 11 a.m. Monday, March 21, in the Flowers Foods Executive Classroom inside Smith-Bonvillian Hall on TU’s Main Campus.

“Research indicates that the quality of life of older individuals who experience abuse is severely endangered,” DePaola said. “They experience deteriorated functional and financial status, progressive dependency, poor self-rated health, feelings of helplessness and loneliness, and increased psychological distress. Research also suggests that older people who have been abused tend to die earlier than those who have not been abused, even in the absence of chronic conditions or life-threatening disease.”

Often times, elder abuse isn’t obvious.

“Abuse can escalate as couples get older and their children leave home,” Ouzts said. “Physical violence sometimes develops later in life and may result in withholding medical care along with medications, for example.”

Hosted by the TU Library, TU Talks are free and open to the public. For more information, call 229-227-6959.

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