How Common Is Elder Abuse?

Seniors represent a population that is highly vulnerable to abuse, but how common is elder abuse? Data on the rates of elder abuse remain scarce. Most experts believe that rates of elder abuse are highly underreported. A study cited by the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA), found at 7.6% – 10% of study participants experienced abuse in the last year. However, a second study cited by the same organization estimated that just 1 in 14 elder abuse cases are ever reported to authorities.

According to the NCEA, 90% of elder abusers are family members, which may go a long way in explaining why so few cases are reported. Many elders may not want to report their family members, or they may not have the means to report abuse. Family members should be the greatest protector of an elder. If they turn out to be an abuser, there may be few other people for an elder to turn to, especially if they live in the house of their abuser.

How can we make elder abuse less common? If a senior cannot or feels uncomfortable reporting abuse, it may be up to another family member to be observant and to ask questions. Remember, abuse doesn’t have to be physical. Verbal abuse is also a common occurrence.

As the ranks of the elderly grow, we can only assume the instances of elder abuse will continue to increase as well. It is up to all of us to report elder abuse that we observe and for seniors to report any abuse that they experience. Our seniors deserve to feel safe and protected by those they love.

If you are concerned about finding an assisted living facility or other type of care home with a good reputation of treating patients well, give Care Placement a call. We keep up to date with reports filed against local communities and follow up with our previous clients to make sure they are well cared for in their new home. It is very important to find the best care for your loved one, and we want to help.

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