The global population of people aged 60 years and older will more than double, from 900 million in 2015 to about 2 billion in 2050. Elder abuse is a single or repeated act, or lack of appropriate action, occurring within any relationship where there is an expectation of trust, which causes harm or distress to an older person.
Approximately 1 in 10 Americans aged 60+ have experienced some form of elder abuse . Some estimates range as high as 5 million elders who are abused each year . One study estimated that only 1 in 14 cases of abuse are reported to authorities.
Scope of the problem
|Elder abuse incommunity settings (1)||Elder abuse in institutional settings (2)|
|Type of abuse||Reported by older adults||Reported by staff|
|Overall Prevalence||15.7%||64.2% or 2 in 3 staff|
|Psychological abuse :||11.6%||32.5%|
|Physical abuse :||2.6%||9.3%|
Elder abuse most often takes place in the home where the senior lives. It can also happen in institutional settings, especially long-term care facilities.
THURSDAY, April 4, 2019 (HealthDay News) — As the American population ages, elder abuse rates are increasing , particularly among men, federal health officials reported Thursday. Between 2002 and 2016, the rate of assaults among men 60 and older jumped 75%, while it rose 35% among women between 2007 and 2016.
Financial exploitation has been described as the fastest growing form of elder abuse (New York State Department of Law, 2000), although empirical support for this assertion is scanty.
Types of risk made clear Of 154,700 cases of risk recorded across concluded enquiries, self-neglect accounted for 4.2%, domestic abuse 4.1%, sexual exploitation 0.6% and modern slavery 0.2%. Neglect and acts of omission made up the biggest proportion (32%) in 2017-18, though this was down from 35% the previous year.
Nursing Home Abuse Statistics Overview. As many as 5,000,000 elders are abused each year. One study reported that as many as 24.3% of residents experienced at least one instance of physical abuse while in a nursing home . Another study estimates only 1 in 14 incidents of elder abuse are formally reported.
The majority of elder abuse victims are female, whereas the majority of the perpetrators are male. Overall, adult children are most often the perpetrators of elder abuse , followed by other family members and spouses.
The most common complaints of elder abuse in nursing facilities are the failure to meet the elder’s basic needs, including nutritional needs, medical needs, or mobility assistance.
But while state law requires that elder abuse be reported, the high level of proof needed for criminal charges is often elusive. If an abuser has legal documents such as power of attorney, it is especially hard to prove that a victim has been defrauded or stolen from.
What Are the Warning Signs of Elder Abuse? Injuries such as bruises , cuts, or broken bones . Malnourishment or weight loss . Poor hygiene. Symptoms of anxiety, depression, or confusion. Unexplained transactions or loss of money. Withdrawal from family members or friends.
Although more research is needed, most cases of elder abuse are perpetrated by known and trusted others, particularly family members (including adult children, spouses, and others). Abusers can be men or women, of any age, race, or socio-economic status.
The Older Americans Act of 2006 defines elder financial abuse , or financial exploitation , as “the fraudulent or otherwise illegal, unauthorized, or improper act or process of an individual, including a caregiver or fiduciary, that uses the resources of an older individual for monetary or personal benefit, profit, or
Many factors in elder abuse arise through individual, relationship, community and societal influences. Elder abuse can be attributed to both the victim’s and the abuser’s social and biomedical characteristics, the nature of their relationship, and power dynamics, within their shared environment of family and friends.