Nursing Home Abuse
Understanding Nursing Home Abuse
According to the 2010 US Census (1), there is a greater number of people over the age of 65 than in any other time in which the census was taken.Nursing home abuse is what can unfortunately happen to any residents under the care of a licensed care facility. There are different types of abuse. The most common types of abuse are physical, sexual, emotional, or financial. This abuse often happens in plain sight, and can often be overlooked. It can be caused by a staff member at the facility, or even other residents living there.
This figure amounts to 40.2 million individuals, or about 13 percent, of Americans that are over the age of 65. Much of this is due to the “Baby Boomer Effect”; and this relationship is not expected to change anytime soon.
By the year 2050, it is estimated that 20 percent of all Americans will be at least 65 years of age, with the most growth occurring among Americans aged 85 and older. According to 2010 the census, about 5.8 million Americans were over the age of 85, and this number is expected to reach 19 million people by 2050.
The Problem of Elder Abuse
Researchers do not know exactly how many elderly individuals are being abused or neglected. However, the problem of elder abuse seems to be worse among women who are 65 years and older.The mistreatment of the elderly is defined as engaging in actions that intentionally harm or create a risk of some type of harm to an elderly person by a trusted individual or caregiver (2).
Overall, the older the person is, the more likely it is that the person will be abused.
Evidence of abuse of the elderly may be overlooked by healthcare professionals because there is little training available in this area. The elder may be reluctant to report that they have been abused because they fear retribution or lack of continued care if they were to report it.
The individual may also be unable to speak of the abuse due to language or communication barriers. Because 90 percent of abusers come from within the family, the senior citizen may not want to get their loved one in trouble and fail to report their actions as abuse.
Researchers do not know exactly how many elderly individuals are being abused or neglected. However, the problem of elder abuse seems to be worse among women who are 65 years and older.
What is Known About Elder Abuse and NeglectThe information from the Adult Protective Services (APS) indicates that there are more reported cases of elder abuse than in the past.
- About 4-10 percent of older people experienced some type of abuse within the previous year. This amounts to about 1 in 10 older individuals. These statistics do not involve abuse of the elderly person’s finances.
- In spite of the accessibility of Adult Protective Services in every state and mandatory reporting laws, there are many unreported cases of neglect, abuse and exploitation every year.In spite of the accessibility of Adult Protective Services in every state and mandatory reporting laws, there are many unreported cases of neglect, abuse and exploitation every year.
- Exploitation of the elderly person’s finances occurs at a rate of about 41 per 1,000 people surveyed. This is a greater number when compared to those who suffer from neglect, sexual abuse, physical abuse or emotional abuse.
- Only about 1 out of every 14 cases of elder abuse ever reach authorities. For every case that is known to APS and other programs, 24 cases were undiscovered (2).
Who are the Abusers?According to national studies on elder abuse, most abuses of elderly individuals were family members, with a rate of about 90 percent. Other perpetrators of abuse can be partners, spouses, adult children or in-home caregivers.
Family members or caretakers who also abuse alcohol or drugs on a daily basis, or who have an emotional or mental illness, tend to be at a greater risk of being an abuser. Those who feel burdened by caring for an elderly person are also more likely to be abusers.
MORE HERE: https://www.nursinghomeabusecenter.com/nursing-home-abuse/
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