The elderly are abused, too

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Abuse of elderly people should receive the same level of attention that child abuse gets, according to Professor Rudi Westendorp of Leiden University.

Research by the Dutch Union for the Elderly ANBO revealed last year that every year 200,000 cases of abuse are reported. According to the union, this is just the tip of the iceberg.

ANBO research showed that abuse by carers or relatives can take many forms, both physical and psychological, but also financial exploitation. Cases occur both at home and in care homes.

Geriatrics professor Westendorp said that government policy targeting child abuse is well-developed, but elderly abuse remains underexposed. Professor Westendorp's Leyden Academy institute and Leiden University Medical Centre are organising a conference on Wednesday about the physical and mental abuse of the elderly.

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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