Elder abuse and neglect occurs all too frequently to vulnerable adults in every U.S. state, and while there are laws in place to protect aging adults, many cases of abuse go unreported. The perpetrators of this awful crime are mostly like to be the spouses, adult children or other family members, but a large amount of elder abuse and neglect is also executed by nursing home employees, at-home caregivers and other long-term care facility residents. There are shocking statistics behind the abuse, and certain factors increase the risk of your loved one being intentionally or unintentionally harmed such as past trauma, low social support, dementia and living in poverty.
What is the Definition of Elder Abuse?
The definition of elder abuse varies, but a 2016 report from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) identify it as the “intentional act or failure to act by a caregiver or another person in a relationship involving an expectation of trust that causes or creates a serious risk of harm to an older adult.” Examples of elder abuse include physical, psychological or sexual abuse as well as financial exploitation, abandonment and neglect.
Elder Abuse Statistics
- More than 3.2 million men and women reside in nursing homes or long-term care facilities.
- A two-year congressional study discovered that approximately one in three nursing homes were issued citations for violations that could have caused injury or death to a resident. The same study found nearly ten percent of these nursing homes had violations that caused actual harm, severe injury or wrongful death.
- 44 percent of long-term care facility residents self-reported abuse.
- 95 percent of long-term care facility residents had witnessed another resident be neglected.
- A New York State study estimates that 260,000 older adults in New York were the victims of abuse or neglect in the previous year, which amounts to one in 13 seniors.
- Just 10 percent of elder abuse claims are thoroughly investigated.
- Adult Protective Services agencies have data which shows this rate of violence is increasing as more and more aging adults become dependent on the care of others.
If you suspect your loved one is being abused or neglected by their caregiver or nursing home, please contact our nursing home abuse lawyer in Cottonwood today at 928-778-2660 for a FREE consultation. We are experienced and capable with elder abuse cases: see our Mendenhall v. Munn case for an example. The Jensen Phelan Law Firm, P.C. serves clients in Cottonwood, Prescott, Prescott Valley and nearby areas of Northern Arizona.