- 1 in 10 Americans age 60 and older experienced abuse over one year, and many experienced it in multiple forms.
- Nearly 1 in 2 people who suffer from dementia experience some form of abuse by others.
- Elder Abuse is under-reported. Nearly 1 in 14 cases ever comes to the attention of authorities.
- Elder Abuse costs victims BILLIONS of dollars each year.
- Elder Abuse is associated with increased rates of hospitalization.
- Elders who experience mistreatment and self-neglect face a greater risk of dying sooner.
- Survivors of Elder mistreatment suffer significantly higher levels of psychological distress than non-victims.
What is Elder abuse?
Elder abuse is intentional or neglectful acts that lead to harm of a vulnerable older adult. Physical abuse, neglect, emotional or psychological abuse, financial abuse and exploitation, sexual abuse, and abandonment are considered forms of elder abuse. In many states, self-neglect is also considered mistreatment.
Who is at Risk?
Elder abuse can occur anywhere and to anyone. Elder abuse can occur in private residences and residential care facilities such as a nursing home or assisted living facility. Elder abuse affects seniors of all races and cultures, as wells as across all socioeconomic groups. Recent statistics has shown the greatest risk factors to be: older woman, those with dementia and those with mental health or substance abuse issues. Additionally, isolation can also contribute to risk.
What should you do if you suspect abuse?
REPORT your concerns immediately. You do not need to prove the abuse is occurring; that is up to the professionals to investigate. To report suspected elder abuse call 9-1-1.
World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is June 15.