Approximately 1 in 10 Americans over age 60 experience some form of elder abuse. According to a 2017 study, 15.7% of people over age 60 experienced some type of abuse, but it is likely underestimated since only 1 in 24 cases of elder abuse is reported.
At least 10% of adults age 65 and older will experience some form of elder abuse in a given year, with some older adults simultaneously experiencing more than one type of abuse.
Quick Facts About Elder Abuse According to the National Council on Aging (NCOA), elders are more likely to self-report financial exploitation than emotional, physical, and sexual abuse or neglect. According to the NCEA, neglect is the most common type of elder abuse.
Many believe institutions for care, like assisted living and nursing homes, commit the most abuse. This is not so. 90 percent of elder abuse cases are perpetrated by family members.
Elder abuse is extremely common, especially in nursing homes. As adults age, they become more likely to experience abuse. The rates of abuse are higher for older individuals living in nursing homes or other care facilities. → An estimated 5 million elders are abused each year.
Elder abuse can be either a misdemeanor or a felony depending on where the crime is committed and how serious it is. An example of misdemeanor elder abuse may be reckless neglect, while an example of felony elder abuse might be violence against an older adult at a nursing home.
Elder abuse includes physical, emotional, or sexual harm inflicted upon an older adult, their financial exploitation, or neglect of their welfare by people who are directly responsible for their care.
The National Center on Elder Abuse distinguishes between seven different types of elder abuse. These include physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, financial/material exploitation, neglect, abandonment, and self-neglect. Physical abuse.
In almost 60% of elder abuse and neglect incidents, the perpetrator is a family member. Two thirds of perpetrators are adult children or spouses.
Adults with care and support needs, (for example, a disability, health condition, mental illness or learning disability) can be at increased risk of abuse and neglect, and less able to protect themselves from harm.
Sadly, trusted family members are more likely than anyone else to commit elder abuse. Adult children, spouses, and even grandchildren can abuse seniors who are entrusted in their care.
Prevalence of elder abuse: total number of cases of a phenomenon in a particular population at a specific time. Estimated between 1 and 10% of elder population age 65 and older.
Family Members. One study found that more than 90 percent of financial abusers were family members or close friends. Family dynamics can set up a situation where a relative financially exploits a senior. In this situation, financial exploitation may be referred to as financial mistreatment, fiduciary, or economic abuse
Even with mandatory reporting laws, elder abuse is believed to be an underreported crime. Some of the reasons that elders may not report include: Being unable to report, due to physical or mental ability. Fearing that reporting the abuse will end with them being placed in an institution.
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. It is estimated that more than 1 in 10 older adults experience some form of abuse.
Risk Factors for Perpetration