10 Facts About Elder and Nursing Home Abuse You May Not Be Aware Of
Elder abuse is a painful subject, one that not many people are eager to discuss. Yet education and open discussion are among the most powerful weapons we have to combat the problem of elder and nursing home abuse that is affecting so many older people today. Greater visibility for the problem can help save lives and bring abusers to justice. Below are 10 facts about elder and nursing home abuse that you may not be aware of:
- Elder abuse can take many different forms, including physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, financial abuse and neglect. These forms of abuse can occur independently of one another, or concurrently – meaning that elderly people may be abused in a variety of different ways, either by one person or by multiple caregivers.
- Abuse of the elderly can be hard to detect, since many older people suffer from age-related mental illnesses that can compromise their ability to communicate. Even those who can communicate clearly may be reluctant to do so, due to feelings of shame, depression and fear.
- The National Center on Elder Abuse reports that women are more like to suffer from elder abuse than men, and that one’s risk for elder abuse increases with age.
- Statistics show that 9 out of 10 abusers are family members – spouses, adult children or relatives of the abused.
- Although most abusers are relatives of the abused, elder abuse occurs in institutional settings, like nursing home and assisted living facilities, as well.
- Disabled elderly people and those who suffer from dementia are far more likely to be abused than elderly people who are able-bodied and in good mental health.
- Elder abuse can be deadly: One study shows that elderly people who suffered abuse have a 300% higher risk of death, as well as a significantly incidence of health problems and elevated levels of psychological distress.
- The problem of elder abuse is widespread: Between 1 and 2 million elderly people in the United States fall victim to abuse or neglect each year. 1 in 9 Americans over the age of 60 has suffered from some form of elder abuse.
- The majority of elder abuse cases go unreported – which means that the sufferers of that abuse also go untreated.
10. All 50 states in the U.S. have passed some form of anti-elder abuse legislature.
Clearly, elder and nursing home abuse is a serious problem in our country. The elderly, like children, are among the most vulnerable segments of our population, and yet elder abuse has not received the attention that child abuse has, allowing it to fly largely “under the radar” and leaving many concerned family members in the dark. If you have an elderly family member who is suffering from abuse or neglect, do not allow it to go unreported; help your loved one get the protection they need. For more information on elder and nursing home abuse, contact the law firm of Garcia, Artigliere & Medby. Call 1-800-281-8515 or go online at www.lawgarcia.com today for a free case review.