Over the years, your elderly relative has thrown a lot of wisdom and advice your way. They always seem to find the positives in situations that others might find unbearable. You’re envious of the apparent trust that they display toward other people.
Is the trusting nature of your elderly relative all in your imagination? Or, is there a scientific basis for this?
Trust increases as we grow older
Research carried out by Northwestern University and the University of Buffalo seems to offer empirical evidence that elderly individuals become more trusting as their age increases. Northwestern University examined 197,000 people from across the globe over a period of 30 years and found that their trust in other people grew as they got older. The method of the study was then carried over into further research involving 1230 individuals Across America, which found the same conclusion.
Negative aspects of trustworthiness
While remaining optimistic and being trusting are generally considered positive attributes, there are some drawbacks. Elderly individuals can be more susceptible to those who intend to abuse them or take advantage. This makes them vulnerable to scams, financial abuse and even emotional and physical mistreatment. They are also more likely to pass abusive behavior off as normal rather than alerting the relevant authorities.
The trusting nature of your elderly family members should never be taken advantage of. If you suspect that they have been subjected to elder abuse, then you can hold the responsible parties to account. Seeking some legal guidance will give you further insight into your options.