Source: Nursing Home Abuse Justice
Nursing Home Abuse Statistics Overview
- As many as 5,000,000 elders are abused each year.
- It is thought that 1 in 10 elders over the age of 60 have been abused.
- 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 New York State Elder Abuse Prevalence Study suggests this number is even more severe, with only 1 in 25 cases of abuse reported.
- It is estimated that these figures are low, as many elder abuse victims are unable or unwilling to report their abuse.
- Data from Adult Protective Services (APS) indicates a rising number of reported abuses in recent years.
- A 2018 study found that Massachusetts had the best protections for elders overall and South Carolina had the worst protections.
Breakdown of Complaints
According to the National Center for Victims of Crime, the breakdown of elder abuse complaints is as follows:
- 27.4% – Physical abuse
- 22.1% – Resident-on-resident abuse (physical or sexual)
- 19.4% – Psychological abuse
- 15.3% – Gross neglect
- 7.9% – Sexual abuse
- 7.9% – Financial exploitation
Who Is at Risk?
- Men and women are both at risk of elder abuse, although women are more likely to be abused—in fact, 2 out of 3 elder abuse victims are women.
- Those who have mental impairments are particularly vulnerable to abuse.
- Studies indicate approximately 50% of people with dementia are neglected or abused.
- Poor medical health has also been linked to higher abuse rates.
- According to a 2009 study, 1.6% of all older adults report some form of physical mistreatment each year.
- Social isolation is another factor that can increase abuse rates.
- Individuals who have been abused or experienced traumatic events in the past are more likely to be victims of abuse again in the future.
- Researchers have also found a link between lower socioeconomic status and elder abuse.
- Individuals over 65 years old are 34% more likely to be victims of financial fraud compared to those in their 40s.
Preventing Abuse in Nursing Homes
- Ensure adequate staffing levels exist to maintain quality of care and treatments.
- Form and enforce procedures and standards of care that are clear and compassionate.
- Train all staff on neglect and elder abuse with ongoing retraining.
- Ensure monitoring systems are in place.
- Educate individuals on the use of power of attorney.
- Encourage strong support networks with frequent visitors.
- Allow individuals access to community resources and services.
- Help elders build a community with numerous social relationships.
- Develop multidisciplinary teams to intervene and address elder abuse problems.
- Follow APS guidelines and suggestions for minimizing and preventing elder abuse.
Problems Resulting from Elder Abuse
Elder abuse can result in physical, mental, emotional and financial problems.
- Abused elders are 300% more likely to die than individuals who have not been abused.
- Violent crime injuries are responsible for $5.3 billion in annual medical care costs.
- Losses of $2.9 billion per year have been linked to financial elder abuse.
- Individuals with mental impairments tend to have 2 times the amount of financial loss.
- Hospitalization is three times as likely to occur if an elder is abused.
- Abuse can also lead to future disabilities and medical issues.
- Elders who have been abused are 4 times more likely to end up in a nursing home.
What to Do If You or Someone You Know Is Being Abused
Report the abuse to Adult Protective Services in Maryland or notify the police and tell someone you trust. Make sure to keep a record of the abuses if you are able to. Next, seek justice by contacting a lawyer. Share your story with a trusted nursing home abuse and neglect law firm, such as Potter Burnett Law, to help protect your Pride and allow you and your loved ones to have the compensation you deserve.